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Flashcards in Micah Deck (13):

Micah background

He preached in the last third of the eighth century BC (during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah).


Micah theme

No specific theme, but the general tenor of the book is the place and purpose of the remnant of the people of God.


Micah structure

1. The whole book is in three sections: “Hear” is the key beginning word to each (1:2; 3:1; 6:1).
2. Alternating prophecies
a. Doom (1:2-2:11; chap 3; 6:1-7:6)
b. Hope (2:12-13; chaps 4-5; 7:7-20).

1:1 Introduction
1:2-2:13 First Cycle
1:2-2:11 Judgment
2:12-13 Salvation
3-5 Second Cycle
3 Judgment
4-5 Salvation
6-7 Third Cycle
6:1-7:6 Judgment
7:7-20 Salvation


Message of Micah

A. Judgment and Salvation: First Cycle (1:2-2:13)
B. Judgment and Salvation: Second Cycle (3-5)
C. Judgment and Salvation: Third Cycle (Mic 6-7)


Micah: First cycle (1:2-2:13)

1. Message of Doom (1:2-2:11): The judgment of the people of God is paradigm for world judgment.
2. Message of Hope (2:12-13): Confirms the election promises of God to Israel, the continued existence of a remnant.


Micah: second cycle (3-5)

1. Message of Doom (chap 3): Emphasizes the theme of justice.
2. Message of Hope (chaps 4-5): The eschatological divine rule from Zion over a restored people.


Micah: third cycle (6-7)

1. Message of Doom (6:1-7-6):
a. Conduct within covenant matters greatly (6:1-8)
b. Reasons for indictment (6:9-12): the familiar social sins, commercial exactions, and extortion.
c. The final sentence and summary (6:13-16): the economy will be stricken (a punishment that fits the crime).
d. The Prophet’s Lament (7:1-6).
2. Message of Hope (7:7-20):
a. Jerusalem expresses confidence in YHWH (7:8-10)
b. Jerusalem rejoices in expectation for Zion (vv 11-13).
c. Exodus intervention grounded in the covenant made with Abraham (14-20).


Micah Major Themes

A. Election
B. Land as inheritance
C. Yahweh alone
D. Conditional Possession
E. Just rule


Micah election

1. “Elected vassals.”
2. The rib or controversy or lawsuit in 6:1-5 and its continuation in 6:6-8 is the best evidence for this theme in the book.


Land as Inheritance

1. Background in the book of Deuteronomy where the people, as families and kinship groups, had a stake in the land as an inheritance.
2. People had security to enjoy a place to dwell without potential danger from powerful enemies (Mic 2:9).
3. Given the theme of the land as inheritance, all of Micah’s injunctions against greedy land grabbing make sense (2:1-5; 6-11)


Yahweh Alone

1. As vassals Israel’s loyalty should be to Yahweh alone. Yahweh is the true landowner (Lev. 25:23).
2. Micah 1:2-7 portrays Yahweh as having a unique claim on Israel.
3. Micah 5:10-15 insists on separation from other gods. The passage is similar in tone to the passages in Deuteronomy


Conditional Possession

1. Grounded in the covenant Deuteronomy 7:9-10: Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face.
2. Micah 6 contains the controversy or rib, which outlines obligations for God’s elect.
3. The most remarkable example of conditional theology in Micah comes at 3:9-12 where not even the temple in the city of Jerusalem is guaranteed to experience Yahweh’s permanent favor. Here the Zion traditions are challenged.


Micah: Just Rule

1. Micah 5:2-6, which is traditionally interpreted as a messianic passage announcing a ruler from Bethlehem Ephrathah. The prophecy uses royal language (shepherding 5:4), and the vision of a reign of peace has certain echoes of the Davidic prophecy in Isaiah 9:5-6.
2. Two views. One view understands this figure to refer to Hezekiah, since he was remembered as a righteous King who averted a national disaster by his prayer and trust in Yahweh. However, the traditional view of taking the passage as a prophecy concerning the Messiah is also possible.