1:5 The problem of the significance of Jacob here can perhaps be resolved by observing the lack of distinction between the fates of Judah and Israel, as pictured in Micah: Micah sees an identity so that what befalls the one befalls the whole people. We will notice his reference now to Samaria, and now to Jerusalem, without any intervening segue. The fall of Samaria is viewed as the beginning of the fall of all Israel, which would culminate in the fall of Jerusalem. In this very chapter, the cities which would be affected are often cities of Judah (1:10-15).
  1:8 cf. Is. 20:2-4. completely naked. On Jackals (KJV: "dragons" via LXX δρακoντων) cf. Is. 13:22. (But note Ez. 29:3, 32:2). Ostriches in the NASB is "owls"' in the KJV. The Hebrew is "daughter of yaanah." LXX has "daughters of sirens." See KJV footnote on "owls" at Is. 13:21. Everywhere the KJV has translated this phrase "owl," the NASB has "ostrich."
  1:9 her refers to Samaria. Notice the connection between the northern and southern kingdoms.
  1:10 "Tell it not in Gath" -the Philistine capital in earlier times. See 2 Sam. 1:20 for the phrase. The gist of the first two clauses in vs. 10. is, "do not allow your enemies to rejoice over your misfortune." Of course the point is, there was such misfortune coming as would provide occasion for rejoicing by enemies.
  1:10-15 Notice the plays on words.
  1:16 eagle: vulture? cf. Jer. 7:29 for cutting the hair.
  A. Sins itemized (2:1-5)
    2:1 They were constantly evil. When they were not working evil, they were scheming evil. Cf. Gen. 6: 5 ."For it is in the power of their hands," i.e. the philosophy, might makes right! Verse 2 further details this condition.
    2:3 family cf. Amos 3:1. your necks: a yoke is implied. cf. Hos. 10:11.
    2:4 Do the enemies take up a taunt against Israel, or does Israel take up a taunt against Micah? Note the interpretation of verse five in each case.
  B. The people's attitude toward reproof (2:6-11)
    2:6 'There is an attempt by the ungodly to silence God's prophets and the response to such attempts is given.
    2:7 The KJV has "0 thou that art named the house of Jacob. .." Perhaps this is the sense. Cf. Is. 48:1, and in the immediate context, 2:8. "Are these his doings?" cf. 1 Kings 18: 17-18
    2:10 "a place of rest" cf. Dt. 12:9-10, Josh. 1:13, Ps. 95:11. We have a rest (Heb. 4) in which the ungodly, though they may be named "Christians" will not rest!
    2:11 KJV: "in the spirit", NASB: "after the wind" Herein is described the kind of prophet the people would listen to. This brings to mind 2 Tim. 4: 3.
  C. Messianic digression.? (2:12-13)
    2:12-13 The restoration of a righteous remnant is suddenly described. (This is messianic, for only then were: they truly righteous.)
  D. Further description of sins (3:1-12)
    3:2-3 a grotesquely figurative description of what was described in 2:2, 8-9.
    3:4 The old "when all else fails turn to the Lord" trick will not work.
    3:5 Peace is proclaimed as long as bribes keep coming. Otherwise a "holy war" (NASB) is threatened. Is there a parallel in the world today??
    3:6-7 When the awful punishment comes, and God is no longer speaking with the rulers, the false prophecies described in vs. 5 will be the source of great shame. (Amos 8:11)
    3:12 Jerusalem is now clearly being spoken of, even the temple's destruction is prophesied, and yet this is a continuation of what began in 1:1. See 1:9.
  4:1ff cf. Is. 2. There is a picture of peace here. See Eph. 2. This peace is in the church.
  4:5a Perhaps a strong indication that the church, and not specifically heaven, is under consideration.
  4:8 In response to the picture of restored dominion, there is an implied question: "How can this be? There is no king!"
  4:9 The nation is as woman in labor to deliver a child. The nation will give birth to a king.
  4:10 Specifically, the Babylonian captivity is a principle part of the "labor" or "travail". See Rev. 12: 1-2.
  4:11-12 Cf. Ps. 2:1-3 (Acts 4:25-26).4:13 - perhaps parallel to Joel 3, Ez. 38-39, Rev. 12:13-17 and following chapters?
  5:1 (4:14 in Heb.)
  5:2 (5:1 in Heb.) The answer to 4:9. For Ephrathah, see Gen. 35:19, Ruth 1:2, and 1 Sam. 17:12. Note the distinction from Bethlehem of Zebulun (Josh. 19:15). This passage was understood by Jews as Messianic: Mt. 2:5, In. 7:41-42.
  5:5 Cf. Is. 9:5, Eph. 2:14, Rom. 5:1-for peace. Assyria: typical of enemies of God's people. On "Seven...eight..." cf. Amos 1:3, Prov. 6:16. (Micah, p. 3)
  5:10-14 The purity of the Messianic kingdom is seen. Horses & chariots, cf. Is. 2:7. also Dt. 17:16, Ps. 20:7, Is. 31:1, Ez. 17:15, Hos. 14:3. Cities & fortifications, cf. .Is. 2:15. Sorceries & fortunetellers, cf. Is. 2:6. Also, in Is 2:8 there are the images referred to as in Micah 5:13-14. On the whole of Micah 5:10-14, cf. Zech. 13:2.
  A. God's case against the people (6:1-5)
    6:1ff cf. Hos. 4:1, 12:2
  B. What the Lord requires (6:6~8)
  C. And yet sin persists (6:9-12)
    6:11 cf. Hos. 12:7, Amos 8:5
  D. Judgment will come (6:13-16)
    6:16 Notice that here, Samaria is probably indicated. The casual transition back and forth from Samaria to Jerusalem underscores the spiritual unity of the nation.
  E. Wickedness utterly pervades the society (7:1-6)
    7:3 the mutual cooperation (yes, I know that's redundant) of wrongdoers.
    7:5-6 Selfishness utterly pervades society so that the righteous may trust no one. Cf. Mt. 10:35-36.
  7:9 for a time, the righteous must bear indignation. In part this is due to the fact that the righteous has also sinned! There is a lesson here.
VI. MICAH’S PRAYER (7:14-20)


  1. Is Micah's prophecy directed at the northern kingdom, the southern kingdom, or both?
  2. Does Micah describe two separate judgments for the two kingdoms?
  3. Whose wound (vs. 9) is incurable?
  4. What is the significance of the phrase "Tell it not in Gath"? What does the use of this phrase suggest concerning the nature of coming events?
  5. What do the names Bethleaphrah and Zaanan mean?
  6. What "modern day" philosophy could be well described by the words of 2:1?
  7. How would you describe the nature of the charges Micah brings against Israel?
  8. What purpose did religion serve in that society? (3:5)
  9. Does the Bible picture religion as always good?

    a) What point can be made to those who regard religion as the source of all the world's problems?

    b) What point can be made to those who believe anyone who is religious in his own way is acceptable to God?

  10. As Micah speaks of the restoration, what does he see is lacking? (4:9)
  11. From whence will a solution arise? (5:2)
  12. Did the Jews recognize Micah 5:2 as a prediction of the origin of the Messiah? (See Mt. 2:1-6, Jn. 7:41-42)
  13. Where is the imagery of Micah 4:9-10 used in the N.T.?