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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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the seventh in order of the twelve lesser prophets, is supposed to have prophesied about B.C. 750. He was commissioned to denounce the judgments of God against both the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, for their idolatry and wickedness. The principal predictions contained in this book are, the invasions of Shalmanezer and Sennecharib; the destruction of Samaria and of Jerusalem, mixed with consolatory promises of the deliverance of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity and of the downfall of the power of their Assyrian and Babylonian oppressors; the cessation of prophecy in consequence of their continued deceitfulness and hypocrisy; and a desolation in a then distant period, still greater than that which was declared to be impending. The birth of the Messiah at Bethlehem is also expressly foretold; and the Jews are directed to look to the establishment and extent of his kingdom, as an unfailing source of comfort amidst general distress. The style of Micah is nervous, concise, and elegant, often elevated, and poetical, but sometimes obscure from sudden transitions of subject; and the contrast of the neglected duties of justice, mercy, humility, and piety, with the punctilious observance of the ceremonial sacrifices, affords a beautiful example of the harmony which subsists between the Mosaic and Christian dispensations, and shows that the law partook of that spiritual nature which more immediately characterizes the religion of Jesus.

The prophecy of Micah, contained in the fifth chapter, is, perhaps, the most important single prophecy in all the Old Testament, and the most comprehensive respecting the personal character of the Messiah, and his successive manifestations to the world. It crowns the whole chain of predictions respecting the several limitations of the promised seed: to the line of Shem; to the family of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; to the tribe of Judah; and to the royal house of David, terminating in his birth at Bethlehem, "the city of David." It carefully distinguishes his human nativity from his divine nature and eternal existence; foretels the casting off of the Israelites and Jews for a season; their ultimate restoration; and the universal peace which should prevail in the kingdom and under the government of the Messiah. This prophecy, therefore, forms the basis of the New Testament revelation which commences with the birth of the Messiah at Bethlehem, the miraculous circumstances of which are recorded by St. Matthew and St. Luke in the introduction to their respective histories; the eternal subsistence of Christ as "the Word," in the sublime introduction to St. John's Gospel; his prophetic character and second coming, illustrated in the four Gospels and in the apostolic epistles.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Micah'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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Monday, October 26th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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