Wednesday, March 3, 2010

An Introduction to the Old Testament - Micah

Dillard, Raymond B. & Longman, Tremper III. "Micah."  An Introduction to the Old Testament.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 1994. 397-402.

Micah, though a brief and intricately structured prophet is one of the most powerful in his rhetoric.  Micah is apparently from Moresheth, a village about twenty-five miles from Jerusalem.  His ministry probably took place in Jerusalem in the period between 750 and 686 B.C.  He overlaps with Isaiah.  During this time period Assyria was overcoming Israel, though not Judah.  Micah, however, looks forward to the fall of Judah to the Babylonians, as well as to the restoration of Judah from captivity.

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the scholarly community has largely rejected the unity of authorship of Micah.  Yet in all their attempts they are not able to reach a consensus as to the history or authenticity of the text.  It does appear clear that the oracles in Micah were not spoken at one time.  It also seems that the book is not structured chronologically.

Micah is famous for his difficult Hebrew usage and the world plays he makes, linking the names of cities to the type of destruction they will have.  As we might expect from what I've said above, Micah speaks extensively about God's judgment on sin.  Sin brings judgment, leaving us in need of restoration which will also come from God and God alone.

As we look to the New Testament we see that Micah refers to Jesus' birth in Bethlehem and to the future Davidic ruler.  Micah talks about a gathering of believers in the "last days."  We expect with Peter in Acts that we are now in the last days and that our Lord will bring the culmination of those last days as he describes in Revelation 21.

Dave Spotts
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