Introduction: Micah is from a town called Moresheth Gath, located twenty-five miles southwest of Jerusalem on the border of Judah and Philistia, near Gath. Like Amos, Micah was from the country. His family and occupation was unknown, but Moresheth was in a productive agricultural belt. Micah showed a profound concern for the sufferings of the people.
Micah and Isaiah lived at the same time, about 750-680 B.C. This is interesting that these two prophets were speaking warnings to both Israel, the northern kingdom, and Judah, the southern kingdom, at the same time, because that means the people both had ample warnings and ignored them.
Verse 1 – The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Judah.
Of the three kings mentioned, Jotham (750-732 B.C.) and Hezekiah (715-686) had tried to follow God (2 Kings 15:32-38; 18-20), but Ahaz was one of the most evil kings to ever reign in Judah (2 Kings 16).
Verse 2 – Hear, all you peoples! Listen, O earth, and all that is in it! Let the Lord God be a witness against you, the Lord from His holy temple.
With God as the witness, none of the people could say they had not been warned. His holy temple is heaven.
Verse 3 – For behold, the Lord is coming out of His place; He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth (where idol worship is done).
Hezekiah had repented through Micah’s preaching (Jeremiah 26:18, 19) and removed all the high places.
Verse 4 – The mountains will melt under Him, and the valleys will split like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.
Verse 5 – All this is for the transgression of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgressions of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And what are the high places of Judah? Are they not Jerusalem?
There were two sins Micah mentions; the perversion of worship, and the injustice towards others. These sins infected the entire country.
Verse 6 – “Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of ruins in the field, places for planting a vineyard; I will pour down her stones into the valley, and I will uncover her foundations.
Samaria’s punishment is mentioned first because it fell before Jerusalem as a heap in a field.
Verse 7 – All her carved images shall be beaten to pieces, and all her pay as a harlot shall be burned with the fire; all her idols I will lay desolate, for she gathered it from the pay of a harlot, and they shall return to the pay of a harlot.”
Israel’s apostasy included participating in pagan cultic prostitution, which involved paying wages to prostitutes; Assyrian troops would steal these wages and use the money again on prostitutes.
Verse 8 – Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked; I will make a wailing like the jackals and a mourning like the ostriches,
Verse 9 – for her wounds are incurable. For it has come to Judah; it has come to the gate of My people even to Jerusalem.
The wounds inflicted on Samaria would be fatal. In fact, Samaria was destroyed early in Micah’s ministry. Sad to say, Samaria’s wins had influenced Jerusalem, and judgment would come to its gates. This might refer to Sennacherib’s siege in 701 B.C.
Verse 10 – Tell it not in Gath, weep not at all in Beth Aphrah, roll yourself in the dust.
In other words – don’t weep and carry on in these places because the enemy will see it and gloat.
Verse 11 – Pass by in naked shame, you inhabitant of Shaphir; the inhabitant of Zaanan does not go out. Beth Ezel mourns; its place to stand is taken away from you.
Verse 12 – For the inhabitants of Maroth pined for good, but disaster came down from the Lord to the gate of Jerusalem.
Verse 13 – O inhabitant of Lachish, harness the chariot to the swift steeds: she is the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion, for the transgressions of Israel were found in you.
Lachish was the first of the cities of Judah to introduce the worship of false gods, imitating what Jeroboam had introduced in Israel. Our daily actions and words are observed by others who may choose to follow our examples, whether we know it or not.
Verse 14 – Therefore you shall give presents to Moresheth Gath; the house of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel.
Verse 15 – I will yet bring an heir to you, O inhabitants of Mareshah; the glory of Israel shall come to Adullam.
Micah was telling them that when the enemy approached, Judah’s princes would flee and hide in these caves – Adullam.
Verse 16 – Make yourself bald and cut off your hair, because of your precious children; enlarge your baldness like an eagle, for they shall go from you into captivity.
Micah pictured the devastating sorrow of the parents seeing their children taken into captivity and made slaves in a distant land.