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Monday, June 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries

Benson's Commentary of the Old and New TestamentsBenson's Commentary

- Micah

by Joseph Benson



MICAH, of whose family nothing certain is known, was a Morasthite, or of Moresa, a village near Eleutheropolis, in the south of Judah. He was cotemporary with Isaiah, began to prophesy a little after him, and continued in the prophetic office about fifty years. What we find here in writing seems to be an abstract of what he preached during that time. He had seen the prophecies of Isaiah, and has introduced whole passages verbatim into his own. Compare Isaiah 2:2, with Micah 4:1; and Isaiah 41:15, with Micah 4:13. “The style of Micah,” says Bishop Lowth, “is, for the most part, close, forcible, pointed, and concise; sometimes approaching the obscurity of Hosea: in many parts animated and sublime, and in general truly poetical.” “Like Amos and Hosea;” says Archbishop Newcome, “he reproves and threatens a corrupt people with great spirit and energy. See Micah 2:1-10; Micah 3:2-4; Micah 6:10-16; Micah 7:2-4. And, like Hosea, he inveighs against the princes and prophets with the highest indignation. See Micah 3:5-12; Micah 7:3. Some of his prophecies are distinct and illustrious ones, as Micah 2:12-13; Micah 3:12; Micah 4:1-4; Micah 4:10; Micah 5:2-4; Micah 7:8-10.” In many passages, “we may justly admire the beauty and elegance of his manner; his animation; his strength of expression; his pathos; his sublimity.” The scope of his whole book Isaiah , 1. To convince Israel and Judah of their sins, and of the judgments of God ready to break in upon them; 2. To comfort the righteous with promises of mercy and deliverance, and especially with an assurance of the coming of the Messiah. To be more particular, In the first chapter of his prophecies he foretels the calamities of Samaria, which was some time after taken and spoiled by Shalmaneser; and then prophesies against Judah, denouncing the evils which were accordingly brought upon it by Sennacherib, in the reign of Hezekiah. In the second chapter he inveighs against those who devised evil against others, and who coveted and took away by violence other men’s possessions, &c. In the third chapter he reproves the heads of Jacob, and the princes of the house of Israel, for their avarice, injustice, and oppression of the people; and also the false prophets, for their deceiving of the people; and tells them that they will be the occasion of Jerusalem’s being reduced to a heap of rubbish. After these terrible denunciations, in chapters fourth and fifth he speaks of their restoration, and, under the figure of that, of the times of the Messiah. In the sixth and seventh chapters the sins of the people are reproved, and threatenings denounced against them; but with promises of better things on their amendment. This prophet is cited by Jeremiah, (Jeremiah 26:18,) which shows that he prophesied before Jeremiah. “It is related by Epiphanius, and the Greek writers who copied him, that Micah was thrown from a precipice and killed by Jehoram, the son of Ahab, whom he erroneously calls king of Judah, but who was really king of Israel; and whose grandson Jehoram lived at least one hundred and thirty years before Micah. But these writers seem to have confounded Micah with Micaiah the son of Imlah, who flourished in Israel, and prophesied evil of Ahab. Micah does not appear to have suffered martyrdom, as may be collected from Jeremiah 26:18-19, but probably died in peace in the reign of Hezekiah. St. Jerome says, that his tomb was at Morasthi, and converted into a church in his time: and Sozomen professed to have heard, that his body was shown, in a divine vision, to Zebennus, bishop of Eleutheropolis, in the reign of Theodosius the Great, near a place called Berathsatia, which probably might be a corruption of Morasti, since Sozomen describes it to have been at nearly the same distance from Jerusalem that St. Jerome places Morasthi.” Gray’s Key.

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