From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

1. Of Mount Ephraim. (See Jonathan .) The date of the event is implied as before Samson, for the origin of the name Mahaneh Dan occurs in this narrative ( Judges 18:12) and it is mentioned as already so named in Samson's childhood ( Judges 13:25, margin). Josephus places the synchronous narrative of the Levite and his concubine at the beginning of the judges. Phinehas, Aaron's grandson, is mentioned ( Judges 20:28). The narrative was written after the monarchy had begun ( Judges 18:1;  Judges 19:1), while the tabernacle was still at Shiloh, not yet moved by David to Jerusalem ( Judges 18:81).

2. Micah The Prophet The oldest form of the name was Μikaiahuw , "who is as Jah?" (compare Michael In  Micah 7:18 Micah alludes to the meaning of his name as embodying the most precious truth to a guilty people such as he had painted the Jews, "who is a God like unto Thee that pardon iniquity," etc. Sixth of the minor prophets in the Hebrew canon, third in the Septuagint. The Morasthite, i.e. of Moresheth, or Moresheth Gath (near Gath in S.W. of Judaea), where once was his tomb, but in Jerome's (Ep. Paulae 6) days a church, not far from Eleutheropolis. Micah prophesied in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah somewhere between 756 and 697 B.C. Contemporary with Isaiah in Judah, with whose prophecies his have a close connection (compare  Micah 4:1-3 with  Isaiah 2:2-4, the latter stamping the former as inspired), and with Hosea and Amos during their later ministry in Israel.

His earlier prophecies under Jotham and Ahaz were collected and written out as one whole under Hezekiah. Probably the book was read before the assembled king and people on some fast or festival, as certain elders quoted to the princes and people assembled against Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 26:18)  Micah 3:12, "Micah the Morasthite in the days of Hezekiah, and spoke to all the people of Judah, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest. Did Hezekiah put him ... to death? Did he not fear the Lord and besought the Lord, and the Lord repented Him of the evil which He had pronounced against them?" The idolatries of Ahaz' reign accord with Micah 's denunciations. He prophesies partly against Israel (Samaria), partly against Judah.

Shalmaneser and Sargon took Samaria in the sixth year of Hezekiah (722 B.C.). The section in which is ( Micah 1:6) "I will make Samaria as an heap" was therefore earlier. The "high places" ( Micah 1:5) probably allude to those in Jotham's and Ahaz' reigns ( 2 Kings 15:35;  2 Kings 16:4). The "horses and chariots" ( Micah 5:10) accord with Jotham's time, when Uzziah's military establishments still flourished ( 2 Chronicles 26:11-15).  Micah 5:12-14;  Micah 6:16, "the statutes of Omri are kept and all the works of the house of Ahab," accord with the reign of Ahaz who "walked in the way of the kings of Israel" ( 2 Kings 16:3).

Divisions . The thrice repeated phrase "Hear ye" ( Micah 1:2;  Micah 3:1;  Micah 6:1) divides the whole into three parts. The middle division (Micah 3-5) has Messiah and His kingdom for its subject. The first division prepares for this by foretelling the overthrow of the world kingdoms. The third division is the appeal based on the foregoing, and the elect church's anticipation of God's finally forgiving His people's sin completely, and restoring Israel because of the covenant with Jacob and Abraham of old. The intimations concerning the birth of Messiah as a child and His reign in peace, and Jacob's remnant destroying adversaries as a "lion," but being "a dew from the Lord amidst many people" ( Micah 4:9-5:5), correspond to  Isaiah 7:14-16;  Isaiah 9:6-7.

This middle section is the climax, failing into four strophes ( Micah 4:1-8;  Micah 4:9-5; Micah 4:2;  Micah 5:8-9;  Micah 5:10-15).  Micah 6:7, form a vivid dialogue wherein Jehovah expostulates with Israel for their sinful and monstrous ingratitude, and they attempt to reply and are convicted ( Micah 6:6-8). Then the chosen remnant amidst the surrounding gloom looks to the Lord and receives assurance of final deliverance. Zacharias ( Luke 1:72-73) reproduces the closing anticipation ( Micah 7:16-20), "Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob and the mercy to Abraham which Thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old." Sennacherib's invasion is foreseen,  Micah 1:9-16; especially  Micah 1:13-14, compare  2 Kings 18:14-17. Jerusalem's destruction in  Micah 3:12;  Micah 7:13.

The Babylonian captivity and deliverance in  Micah 4:10;  Micah 4:1-8;  Micah 7:11, confirming the genuineness of the latter half of Isaiah his contemporary, with whom Micah has so much in common and who (Isaiah 39-66) similarly foretells the captivity and deliverance. The fall of Assyria and Babylon are referred to ( Micah 5:5-6;  Micah 7:8;  Micah 7:10). Hengstenberg thinks that Micaiah's words ( 1 Kings 22:28), "hearken, O people, every one of you," were intentionally repeated by Micah to intimate that his own activity is a continuation of that of his predecessor who was so jealous for God, and that he had more in common with him than the mere name.

STYLE . His diction is pure and his parallelisms regular. His description of Jehovah ( Micah 7:18-19), "who is a God like unto Thee, forgiving?" etc., alludes to the meaning of his own name and to  Exodus 15:11;  Exodus 34:6-7, and is a fine specimen of his power and pathos. He is dramatic in Micah 6; 7. His similarity to Isaiah in style is due to their theme being alike ( Micah 1:2;  Isaiah 1:2;  Micah 2:2;  Isaiah 5:8;  Micah 2:6;  Micah 2:11;  Isaiah 30:10;  Micah 2:12;  Isaiah 10:20-22;  Micah 6:6-8;  Isaiah 1:11-17).

He is abrupt in transitions, and elliptical, and so obscure; the contrast between Babylon, which triumphs over carnal Israel, and humble Bethlehem out of which shall come forth Israel's Deliverer and Babylon's Destroyer, is a striking instance:  Micah 4:8-5:7. Pastoral and rural imagery is common ( Micah 1:6;  Micah 1:8;  Micah 2:12;  Micah 3:12;  Micah 4:3;  Micah 4:12-13;  Micah 5:4-8;  Micah 6:15;  Micah 7:1;  Micah 7:4;  Micah 7:14). Flays upon words abound ( Micah 1:10-15). (See Aphrah ; Bethezel; Maroth; Achzib; Mareshah ) New Testament quotations of Micah:  Matthew 2:5-6 ( Micah 5:2);  Matthew 10:35-36 ( Micah 7:6);  Matthew 9:13 ( Micah 6:6-8);  Mark 13:12;  Luke 12:53 ( Micah 7:6);  John 7:42 ( Micah 5:2);  Ephesians 2:14 ( Micah 5:5).

3. The Reubenite Joel's descendant ( 1 Chronicles 5:5).

4. Mephibosheth's or Meribbaal's son ( 1 Chronicles 8:34;  2 Samuel 9:12), Micha

5. A Kohathite Levite, Uzziel's oldest son; nephew of Amram, and cousin to Moses ( 1 Chronicles 23:20;  1 Chronicles 24:24-25); the spelling varies in the two chapters.

6. Abdon's father ( 2 Chronicles 34:20); Achbor's,  2 Kings 22:12.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

Micah The Morashtite , one of the four prophets of the 8th century b.c. whose writings have survived. Probably his prophecy does not extend beyond the first three chapters of the Book of Micah (see next art.).

According to the general interpretation of  Micah 1:5 , Micah prophesied, at least in part, before the destruction of Samaria, which took place in b.c. 722; though some place his prophetic activity entirely in the years 705 701. In any case, he prophesied a generation or so later than Amos, later also than Hosea; but he was contemporary with Isaiah, and his activity coincides with the mid-career of Isaiah, or its close, according as we accept the one or the other of the two views just mentioned.

He was a native of Moresheth (  Micah 1:1 ,   Jeremiah 26:18 ), a place which, if we identify it, as we probably should, with Moresheth-gath (  Micah 1:14 ), lay in the Shephçlah of Judah, a fertile country with views over the Philistine country to the Mediterranean, and backed by the loftier hills which rise to the plateau on which Jerusalem is placed. The home of Micah thus lay a good day’s journey from the capital, which, if we may judge from the vividness of his descriptions, he must frequently have visited.

How Micah worked we are not told; that he spoke in public, and that perhaps both at home and in Jerusalem, is probable in the light of what is known of Amos and Isaiah; and, guided by the same analogy, we may suppose that he himself summarized his teaching in writing ( Micah 1:1-16;   Micah 2:1-13;   Micah 3:1-12 in the main).

Of the call of Micah we have no details, but he understood his duty as prophet to consist in ‘declaring to Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin’ ( Micah 3:8 ), and the doom which these involved. This transgression is centralized in the capitals Samaria and Jerusalem (  Micah 1:5 What is the sin (so LXX [Note: Septuagint.] ) of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem?’; cf.   Micah 3:10-12 ). The rising buildings and the growing magnificence of Jerusalem in Hezekiah’s day spoke to him of the grinding down of the poor by which the wealth needed for such works had been obtained. It is more especially the leading and ruling classes that Micah upbraids the wealthy land-proprietors who squeeze out the smaller holders (  Micah 2:1 ff.; cf.   Isaiah 5:8 ), the judges and officials (  Micah 3:1-4 ), the prophets (  Micah 3:5 ff.), and the priests; they have wholly misunderstood Jahweh; in the very pursuit of injustice and inhumanity they rely on His presence for safety! (  Micah 3:11 ). With Micah as with Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea, Jahweh is thus essentially a righteous God, offended by man’s moral sins, pleased only with a moral life; the ethical is the essential element in His personality. Brief as is his prophecy, this is clear, and the deep impression made by his work is evident from the narrative in   Jeremiah 26:1-24 .

G. B. Gray.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [3]

1. A man of Mount Ephraim, whose history reveals the sad state of private life in Israel, as well as the mixture of idolatry with the name of Jehovah, early in the times of the Judges, Phinehas being still high priest. He had a house of gods, and made an ephod and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons to act as priest. A wandering son of Levi finding his way to Micah's house was gladly received by him, treated as one of his sons, and became his priest. Then Micah said, "Now know I that the Lord will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest." The Danites however, seeking a larger inheritance, sent spies to the north, who came near Micah's house, and knowing the voice of the Levite, asked him to inquire of God for them. He ventured to reply, "Go in peace: before the Lord is your way wherein ye go." A larger body of Danites afterwards came and carried away the gods of Micah, and the ephod and the teraphim, together with the Levite, and took them to the north, where they established themselves. Micah hastened after them, but could not recover his gods. There was no king in Israel, and every man did that which was right in his own eyes; and God, though nominally owned, was, alas, in reality ignored.  Judges 17 ,  Judges 18 .

2. Son of Shimei, a descendant of Reuben.   1 Chronicles 5:5 .

3. Son of Merib-baal, or Mephibosheth, the grandson of Saul.   1 Chronicles 8:34,35;  1 Chronicles 9:40,41 . Called MICHA in  2 Samuel 9:12 .

4. Son of Zichri, or Zabdi, or Zaccur, a Levite.   1 Chronicles 9:15 . Apparently called MICHA in  Nehemiah 11:17,22; and Michaiah in  Nehemiah 12:35 .

5. Son of Uzziel, a Kohathite.   1 Chronicles 23:20 . Called Michah in  1 Chronicles 24:24,25 .

6. Father of Abdon.   2 Chronicles 34:20 . Called MICHAIAH in  2 Kings 22:12 .

7. The Morasthite, the prophet.   Jeremiah 26:18;  Micah 1:1 .

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [4]

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.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [5]

Mi'cah. (Who Is Like God?). The same name as Micaiah. See Micaiah .

1. An Israelite, whose familiar story is preserved in the 17th and 18th chapters of Judges. Micah is evidently a devout believer in Jehovah , and yet, so completely ignorant is he of the law of Jehovah that the mode which he adopts of honoring him is to make a molten and graven image, teraphim or Images Of Domestic Gods , and to set up an unauthorized priesthood, first, in his own family,  Judges 17:5, and then, in the person of a Levite, not of the priestly line.  Judges 17:12. A body of 600 Danites break in upon and steal his idols from him.

2. The sixth, in order, of the minor prophets. He is called the Morasthite, that is, a native of Moresheth, a small village near Eleutheropolis to the east, where formerly, the prophet's tomb was shown, though in the days of Jerome, it had been succeeded by a church.

Micah exercised the prophetical office, during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, giving thus a maximum limit of 59 years, B.C. 756-697, from the accession of Jotham to the death of Hezekiah, and a minimum limit of 16 years, B.C. 742-726, from the death of Jotham to the accession of Hezekiah. He was contemporary with Hosea and Amos, during the part of their ministry in Israel, and with Isaiah in Judah.

3. A descendant of Joel, the Reubenite.  1 Chronicles 5:5.

4. The son of Meribbaal or Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan.  1 Chronicles 8:34-35;  1 Chronicles 9:40-41.

5. A Kohathite Levite, the eldest son of Uzziel, the brother of Amram.  1 Chronicles 23:30.

6. The father of Abdon, a man of high station, in the reign of Josiah.  2 Chronicles 34:20.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [6]

1. The Morasthite, or of Maresheth, a village near Eleutheropolis, in the west of Judah; the seventh in order of the lesser prophets. He prophesied under Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, for about fifty years, if with some we reckon from near the beginning of the reign of Jotham, to the last year of Hezekiah B. C. 750-698. He was nearly contemporary with Isaiah, and has some expressions in common with him. Compare  Isaiah 2:2 with   Micah 4:1 , and  Isaiah 41:15 with   Micah 4:13 . His bold fidelity served as a shield to the prophet Jeremiah a century afterwards,  Jeremiah 26:18,19   Micah 3:12 . He wrote in an elevated and vehement style, with frequent transitions. His prophecy relates to the sins and judgments of Israel and Judah, the destruction of Samaria and Jerusalem, the return of the Jews from captivity, and the punishment of their enemies. He proclaims the coming of the Messiah, "whose going forth have been from of old, from everlasting," as the foundation of all hope for the glorious and blessed future he describes; and specifies Bethlehem in Judah as the place where He should be born of woman,  Micah 5:2,3 . The prediction was thus understood by the Jews,  Matthew 2:6   John 7:41,42 .

2. An Ephraimite in the time of the Judges, soon after Joshua, who stole eleven hundred shekels of silver from his mother, but restored them, and with her consent employed them in establishing a private sanctuary, with an image to be used in the worship of Jehovah, and with a Levite for his priest. Providence frowned on his idolatrous service, and a troop of Danites robbed him of his priest and of all implements of worship,  Judges 17:13 .

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [7]

The best known of several Micahs in the Bible story is the prophet whose book is part of the Old Testament ( Micah 1:1;  Jeremiah 26:18). (For details of this Micah see Micah, Book Of )

Another prophet had a variation of the same name, Micaiah. He lived in the time of King Ahab of Israel, and Ahab hated him. Whereas the other court prophets said only those things that pleased Ahab, Micaiah spoke the truth, whether Ahab liked it or not ( 1 Kings 22:5-9). When he told Ahab that a coming battle would bring defeat, Ahab threw him into prison. The outcome proved (as Micaiah had asserted) that he spoke the truth and that the other prophets were liars ( 1 Kings 22:13-36).

An earlier Micah lived in the time covered by the book of Judges. He was a thief and an idol worshipper whom his mother made priest of her household shrine. But Micah did not come from the priestly tribe, so when a Levite happened to visit his house, Micah made him priest instead (Judges 17). After some time, representatives of the tribe of Dan stopped at Micah’s house while on a journey north in search of a new tribal homeland ( Judges 18:1-6). When the Danites later moved north to settle, they again visited Micah. On this occasion they raided his shrine, robbed him of his images, and threatened him with death when he resisted ( Judges 18:11-26). They then continued their journey and established Micah’s idolatrous religion in their new homeland ( Judges 18:27;  Judges 18:31).

People's Dictionary of the Bible [8]

Micah ( Mî'Kah ), Who is Like Jehovah? 1. An idolater in Mount Ephraim.  Judges 17:1-13;  Judges 18:2. The sixth of the minor prophets, is called the Morashite, from his birthplace Moresheh, in the territory of Gath, westward from Jerusalem, He prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, b.c. 750-698, and was a contemporary of Isaiah, whom he often resembles in style and expressions. Compare, for instance,  Isaiah 2:2 with  Micah 4:1, or  Isaiah 41:15 with  Micah 4:13.

The Book of Micah contains prophecies concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. In his prophecies concerning Messiah he is very precise. The prediction that Christ should be born in Bethlehem belongs to him. 5:2. His style is poetic throughout, pure, rich in images and plays upon words, old and lofty, but sometimes abrupt and obscure. There are seven persons of this name mentioned in the Bible.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [9]

  • "The Morasthite," so called to distinguish him from Micaiah, the son of Imlah ( 1 Kings 22:8 ). He was a prophet of Judah, a contemporary of Isaiah ( Micah 1:1 ), a native of Moresheth of Gath (1:14,15). Very little is known of the circumstances of his life (Compare  Jeremiah 26:18,19 ).

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Micah'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/m/micah.html. 1897.

  • Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [10]

    There were many of this name in Scripture. (See  1 Chronicles 9:15;  2 Kings 22:12;  1 Chronicles 5:5; 1Ch 23:20) But the one of eminency to be particularly noticed in a work of this kind, is Micah the Morashite, that is, of Moresa, a village in the south of Judah. He is one of what is called the lesser prophets; and his prophecy forms a part of the sacred Canon of Scripture. His name is probably from Macac, poor, low, humble; though some read it Michaiha, and form it into a question, Who is like to JEHOVAH?

    Holman Bible Dictionary [11]

     Judges 17-18 2 1 Chronicles 5:5 3 1 Chronicles 8:34-35 1 Chronicles 9:40-44 2 Samuel 9:12 1 Chronicles 23:20 1 Chronicles 24:24-25 5 2 Chronicles 34:20 2 Kings 22:12

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [12]

    (Heb. Mikah', מַיכָה [in  Judges 17:1;  Judges 17:4, the prolonged form Mika'Yehu, מַיכָיְהוּ , is used], a contracted form of the name Micaiah; Sept. Μιχά , but Μιχαία in 2 Chronicles [18:14, where the name is for that of "Micaiah," and is so rendered in the Auth. Vers.] 34:20; and Μιχαίας in  Jeremiah 26:18;  Micah 1:1), the name of several men. (See Micaiah); (See Michah); (See Michaiah).

    1. An Ephraimite, apparently contemporary with the elders who outlived Joshua. B.C. cir. 1590-1580. He secretly appropriated 1100 shekels of silver which his mother had saved; but being alarmed at her imprecations on the author of her loss, he confessed the matter to her, and restored the money. She then forgave him, and returned him the silver, to be applied to the use for which it had been accumulated. Two hundred' shekels of the amount were given to the founder, as the cost or material of two teraphim, the one molten and the other graven; and the rest of the money served to cover the other expenses of the semi-idolatrous establishment formed in the house of Micah, of which a wandering Levite, named Jonathan, became the priest, at a yearly stipend (Judges 17). Subsequently the Danite army, on their journey to settle northward in Laish, took away both the establishment and the priest, which they afterwards maintained in their new settlement (Judges 17). (See Dan); (See Jonathan).

    The establishments of this kind, of which there are other instances as that of Gideon at Ophrah were, although most mistakenly, formed in honor of Jehovah, whom they thus sought to serve by means of a local worship, in imitation of that at Shiloh (see Kitto's Daily Bible Illustra. ad loc.). This was in direct contravention of the law, which allowed but one place of sacrifice and ceremonial service; and was something of the same kind, although different in extent and degree, as the service of the golden calves, which Jeroboam set up, and his successors maintained, in Dan and Bethel. The previous existence of Micah's establishment in the former city no doubt pointed it out to Jeroboam as a suitable place for one of his golden calves. Kitto. (See Jeroboam). The preservation of the story here would seem to be owing to Micah's accidental connection with the colony of Danites who left the original seat of their tribe to conquer and found a new Dan at Laish-a most happy accident, for it has been the means of furnishing us with a picture of the "interior" of a private Israelitish family of the rural districts, which in many respects stands quite alone in the sacred records, and has probably no parallel in any literature of equal age. But apart from this the narrative has several points of special interest to students of Biblical history in the information which it affords as to the condition of the nation, of the members of which Micah was probably an average specimen.

    (1.) We see how completely some of the most solemn and characteristic enactments of the law had become a dead letter. Micah was evidently a devout believer in Jehovah. While the Danites in their communications use the general term Elohim, "God" ("ask counsel of God,"  Judges 18:5; "God hath given it into your hands,"  Judges 18:10), with Micah and his household the case is quite different. His one anxiety is to enjoy the favor of Jehovah ( Judges 17:13); the formula of blessing used by his mother and his priest invokes the same awful name ( Judges 17:2;  Judges 18:6); and yet so completely ignorant is he of the law of Jehovah that the mode which he adopts of honoring him is to make a molten and a graven image, teraphim or images of domestic gods, and to set up an unauthorized priesthood, first in his own family ( Judges 17:5), and then in the person of a Levite not of the priestly line ( Judges 17:12) thus disobeying in the most flagrant manner the second of the Ten Commandments, and the provisions for the priesthood-laws both of which lay in a peculiar manner at the root of the religious existence of the nation. Gideon ( Judges 8:27) had established an ephod; but here was a whole chapel of idols, "a house of gods" ( Judges 17:5), and all dedicated to Jehovah.

    (2.) The story also throws a light on the condition of the Levites. They were indeed "divided in Jacob and scattered in Israel" in a more literal sense than that prediction is usually taken to contain. Here we have a Levite belonging to Bethlehem-judah, a town not allotted to the Levites, and with which they had, as far as we know, no connection; next wandering forth, with the world before him, to take up his abode wherever he could find a residence; then undertaking, without hesitation, and for a mere pittance, the charge of Micah's idol-chapel; and, lastly, carrying off the property of his master and benefactor, and becoming the first priest to another system of false worship, one, too, in which Jehovah had no part, and which ultimately bore an important share in the disruption of the two kingdoms. It does not seem at all clear that the words "molten image" and "graven image" accurately express the original words Pesel and Massekah. (See Idol). As the Hebrew text now stands, the "graven image" only was carried off to Laish, and the "molten" one remained behind with Micah ( Judges 18:20;  Judges 18:30; comp. 18). True the Sept. adds the molten image in  Judges 18:20, but in  Judges 18:30 it agrees with the Hebrew text.

    (3.) But the transaction becomes still more remarkable when we consider that this was no obscure or ordinary Levite. He belonged to the chief family in the tribe; nay, we may say to the chief family of the nation, for, though not himself a priest, he was closely allied to the priestly house, and was the grandson of no less a person than the great Moses himself. For the "Manasseh" in 18:30 is nothing less than an alteration of "Moses," to shield that venerable name from the discredit which such a descendant would cast upon it. (See Manasseh), 3. In this fact we possibly have the explanation of the much-debated passage,  Judges 18:3 : "They knew the voice of the young man the Levite." The grandson of the Lawgiver was not unlikely to be personally known to the Danites; when they heard his voice (whether in casual speech or in loud devotion we are not told) they recognized it, and their inquiries as to who brought him hither, what he did there, and what he had there, were in this case the eager questions of old acquaintances long separated.

    (4.) The narrative gives us a most vivid idea of the terrible anarchy in which the country was placed when "there was no king in Israel, and every man did what was right in his own eyes," and shows how urgently necessary a central authority had become. A body of six hundred men completely armed, besides the train of their families and cattle, traverses the length and breadth of the land, not on any mission for the ruler or the nation, as on later occasions ( 2 Samuel 2:12, etc.;  2 Samuel 20:7;  2 Samuel 20:14), but simply for their private ends. Entirely disregarding the rights of private property, they burst in wherever they please along their route, and, plundering the valuables and carrying off persons, reply to all remonstrances by taunts and threats. The Turkish rule, to which the same district has now the misfortune to be subjected, can hardly be worse.

    At the same time it is startling to our Western minds accustomed to associate the blessings of order with religion to observe how religious were these lawless freebooters: "Do ye know that in these houses there is an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? Now therefore -consider what ye have to do" ( Judges 18:14). "Hold thy peace and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest" ( Judges 18:19).

    (5.) As to the date of these interesting events, the narrative gives us no direct information beyond the fact that it was before the beginning of the monarchy; but we may at least infer that it was also before the time of Samson, because in this narrative ( Judges 17:12) we meet with the origin of the name of Mahaneh-dan, a place which already bore that name in Samson's childhood ( Judges 13:25, where it is translated in the Auth. Vers. "the camp of Dan"). That the Danites had opponents to their establishment in their proper territory before the Philistines entered the field is evident from  Judges 1:34. Josephus entirely omits the story of Micah, but he places the narrative of the Levite and his concubine, and the destruction of Gibeah (chapters 19:20, 21) a document generally recognised as part of the same (see Bertheau, Kommentar, page 192) with the story of Micah, and that document by a different hand from the previous portions of the book at the very beginning of his account of the period of the judges, before Deborah or even Ehud (Ant. 5:2, 8-12). This is supported by the mention of Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron, in  Judges 20:28. An argument against the date being before the time of Deborah is drawn by Bertheau (page 197) from the fact that at that time the north of Palestine was in the possession of the Canaanites "Jabin, king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor," in the immediate neighborhood of Laish. The records of the southern Dan are too scanty to permit our fixing the date from the statement that the Danites had not yet entered on their all of men that is to say, the allotment specified in  Joshua 19:40-48. But that statement strengthens the conclusion arrived at from other passages, that these lists in Joshua contain the towns Allotted, but not therefore necessarily Possessed by the various tribes. " Divide the land first, in confidence, and then possess it afterwards," seems to be the principle implied in such passages as  Joshua 13:7 (comp. 1); 19:49, 51 (Sept. "So they went to take possession of the land").

    The date of the insertion of the record may perhaps be more nearly arrived at. That, on the one hand, it was after the beginning of the monarchy is evident from the references to the ante-monarchical times ( Judges 18:1;  Judges 19:1;  Judges 21:25); and, on the other hand, we may perhaps infer from the name of Bethlehem being given as "Bethlehem-judah," that it was before the fame of David had conferred on it a notoriety which would render any such affix unnecessary. The reference to the establishment of the house of God in Shiloh ( Judges 18:31) seems also to point to the early part of Saul's reign, before the incursions of the Philistines had made it necessary to remove the tabernacle and ephod to: Nob, in the vicinity of Gibeah, Saul's head- quarters. Some, like Le Clerc, argue for a later date, from the phrase, "until the day of the captivity of the land," in  Judges 18:30, as if it necessarily referred to the Assyrian invasion. The reading is doubtful. Studer and Hitzig take the 30th verse as a later interpolation; Kimchi, Havernick, Hengstenberg, and Bleek refer the phrase to the captivity of the ark in the time of Eli, but on no good ground, unless the reading הָאָרֶוֹ be changed, as some prefer, into הָאָרוֹן . Stahelin and Ewald, regarding the verse as a later addition, place the composition about the period of Asa or Jehoshaphat; Stiahelin insisting, too, that the diction does not belong to the purer period of the language.  Judges 18:30; indeed, does not quite agree with 31, which seems to limit the duration of the Danite idolatry to the period of the station of the-ark at Shiloh; and the phrase, "until the day of the captivity," as Keil remarks (Commentary, ad loc.), may refer to some unknown invasion on the part of the neighboring Syrians. Besides, it can scarcely be supposed that this idolatrous cultus, so directly and openly opposed to the spirit and letter of the Mosaic law, would have been allowed to stand in the zealous days of Samuel and David. See Stanley's Lectures on the Jewish Church, pages 296, 297. (See Book Of Judges) .

    2. The son of Mephibosheth, or Meribbaal (son of Jonathan and grandson of king Saul), and the father of several sons ( 1 Chronicles 8:34-35;  1 Chronicles 9:40-41). B.C. post 1037. In  2 Samuel 9:2, he is called MICHA.

    3. The first in rank of the priests of the Kohathite family of Uzziel, under the sacerdotal arrangement by David ( 1 Chronicles 23:20). B.C. 1014. He had a son named Shamir, and a brother Isshiah ( 1 Chronicles 24:24-25; Auth. Vers. "Michah").

    4. The son of Shimei and father of Reaia, of the descendants of Reuben ( 1 Chronicles 5:5). B.C. ante 782.

    5. A prophet, apparently of the kingdom of Judah, and contemporary with Isaiah ( Micah 1:1). B.C. cir. 750. He is styled "the Morasthite," as being a native of Moresheth of Gath ( Micah 1:14-15), so called to distinguish it from another town of the same name in the tribe of Judah ( Joshua 15:44;  2 Chronicles 14:9-10). Micah is thus likewise distinguished from a former prophet of the same name; called also Micaiah, mentioned in  1 Kings 22:8. The above place of Micah's birth "Jerome and Eusebius call Morasthi, and identify with a small village called Eleutheropolis, to the east, where formerly the prophet's tomb was shown, but which in the days of Jerome had been succeeded by a church (Epit. Paulle, c. 6). As little is known of the circumstances of Micah's life as of many of the other prophets. Pseudo Epiphanius (Opp. 2:245) makes him, contrary to all probability, of the tribe of Ephraim; and besides confounding him with Micaiah the son of Imlah, who lived more than a century before, he betrays additional ignorance in describing Ahab as king of Judah. For rebuking this monarch's son and successor Jehoram for his impieties, Micah, according to the same authority, was thrown from a precipice, and buried at Morathi in his own country, hard by the cemetery of Enakim' ( Ε᾿Νακείμ , a place which apparently exists only in the Sept. of  Micah 1:10), where his sepulchre was still to be seen. The Chronicon Paschale (page 148 C) tells the same tale. Another ecclesiastical tradition relates that the remains of Habakkuk and Micah were revealed in a vision to Zebennus, bishop of Eleutheropolis, in the reign of Theodosius the Great, near a place called Berathsatia, which is apparently a corruption of Morasthi (Sozomen. H.E. 7:29; Nicephorus, H.E. 12:48). The prophet's tomb was called by the inhabitants Nephsameemana, which Sozomen renders Μνῆμαπιστόν ."

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [13]

    Micah, Book of

    Mi´cah, one of the twelve Minor Prophets, who, according to the inscription of the book, prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (B.C. 759-699), and was consequently contemporary with Isaiah. It is, however, doubtful whether any accurate separation of the particular prophecies of Micah can be ascertained. He was a native of Moresheth of Gath , so called to distinguish it from another town of the same name, in the tribe of Judah . Micah is to be distinguished from a former prophet of the same name, called also Micaiah, mentioned in (B.C. 897).

    The contents of Micah's prophecy may be briefly summed up. It consists of two parts, the first of which terminates with Micah 5 commences with a majestic exordium , in which is introduced a sublime theophany, the Lord descending from His dwelling-place to judge the nations of the earth, who are approaching to receive judgment. There is then a sudden transition to the judgment of Israel, whose captivity is predicted (Micah 1-2). That of Judah follows, when the complete destruction of Jerusalem is foretold, with the expatriation of the Jews to Babylon, their future return, the glories of Sion, and the celebrity of its temple (;; ), with the chastisement prepared for the oppressors of the Jews . After this, glorious wars are seen in perspective, attended with great slaughter (Micah 5); after many calamities a ruler is seen to arise from Bethlehem. An invasion of the Assyrians is predicted, to oppose which there will be no want of able leaders . A new monarchy is beheld, attended with wars and destruction.

    The second part, from this to the end, consists of an elegant dialogue or contestation between the Lord and his people, in which the corruption of their morals is reproved, and their chastisement threatened; but they are consoled by the promise of a return from their captivity.

    Jahn (Introd.) points out the following predictions as contained in the prophet Micah.

    The destruction of the kingdom of Israel, which was impending when the prophecy was delivered, and which was fulfilled in the taking of Samaria by Shalmaneser, in the sixth year of Hezekiah (2 Kings 17), and then that of the kingdom of Judah, with the destruction of Jerusalem (;; ).

    The Babylonian captivity (;; ). These predictions were delivered 150 years before the event, when the Chaldeans, by whom they were accomplished, were scarcely known as a people.

    The return from the exile, with its happy effects, and the tranquility enjoyed by the Jews under the Persian and Grecian monarchies, which referred to events from 200 to 500 years distant .

    The heroic deeds of the Maccabees, and their victories over the Syrians or Syro-Macedonians, called Assyrians in Micah 5, as well as .

    The establishment of the royal residence in Zion .

    The birth and reign of the Messiah . The three last prophecies, observes this learned writer, are more obscure than the others, by reason of the remote distance, in point of time, of their accomplishment, from the period of their being delivered.

    There is no prophecy in Micah so interesting to the Christian as that in which the native place of the Messiah is announced. 'But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah, [yet] out of thee shall he come forth unto me, [that is] to be ruler in Israel' (Eng. Authorized Version). The citation of this passage by the Evangelist differs both from the Hebrew and the Septuagint:—'And thou, Bethlehem, [in] the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a governor, that shall rule [Gr. feed] my people Israel' . The difference, however, is but verbal.

    Of more importance is the application of the prophecy. It is evident that the Jews in the time of Jesus interpreted this passage of the birth-place of the Messiah . But some of the later Rabbinical writers have maintained that it had only an indirect reference to the birth place of the Messiah, who was to be a descendant of David, a Bethlehemite, but not of necessity Himself born in Bethlehem. Others, however, expressly mention Bethlehem as the birth-place of the Messiah. Jahn observes that it is evident that the Jews in the time of Christ expected the Messiah's birth to take place at Bethlehem; and he contends that it is not possible to apply the prophecy fully and literally to any but Him who was not only of the house and lineage of David, but was actually born at Bethlehem, according to the direct testimony of both St. Matthew's and St. Luke's Gospels.

    The style of Micah is sublime and vehement, in which respects he exceeds Amos and Hosea. De Wette observes that he has more roundness, fullness, and clearness in his style and rhythm than the latter prophet. He abounds in rapid transitions and elegant tropes, and piquant plays upon words. He is successful in the use of the dialogue, and his prophecies are penetrated by the purest spirit of morality and piety (see especially; and ). Micah is the third of the Minor Prophets according to the arrangement of the Septuagint, the sixth according to the Hebrew, and the fifth according to the date of his prophecies.

    Micah, person

    An Ephraimite, apparently contemporary with the elders who outlived Joshua. He secretly appropriated 1100 shekels of silver which his mother had saved; but being alarmed at her imprecations on the author of her loss, he confessed the matter to her, and restored the money. She then forgave him, and returned him the silver, to be applied to the use for which it had been accumulated. Two hundred shekels of the amount were given to the founder, as the cost or material of two teraphim, the one molten and the other graven; and the rest of the money served to cover the other expenses of the semi-idolatrous establishment which was formed in the house of Micah, of which a wandering Levite became the priest, at a yearly stipend; till the Danite army, on their journey to settle northward in Laish, took away both the establishment and the priest, which they afterwards maintained in their new settlement (Judges 17; Judges 18) [[[Dan; Jonathan]] 2]. The establishments of this kind, of which there are other instances—as that of Gideon at Ophrah—were, although most mistakenly, formed in honor of Jehovah, whom they thus sought to serve by means of a local worship, in imitation of that at Shiloh. This was in direct contravention of the law, which allowed but one place of sacrifice and ceremonial service; and was something of the same kind, although different in extent and degree, as the service of the golden calves, which Jeroboam set up, and his successors maintained, in Dan and Bethel. The previous existence of Micah's establishment in the former city no doubt pointed it out to Jeroboam as a suitable place for one of his golden calves.

    The Nuttall Encyclopedia [14]

    One of the minor prophets of the Old Testament, a contemporary of Isaiah, Hosea, and Amos; his prophecies are in the same strain as those of Isaiah, and numerous are the coincidences traceable between them; though a great sternness of temper and severity of tone appears in his prophecies, a deep tenderness of heart from time to time reveals itself, and a winning persuasiveness (chap. vi. 8); chap. vii. 8-20 has been quoted as one of the sweetest passages of prophetic writing; his prophecies predict the destruction both of Samaria and Jerusalem, the captivity and the return, with the re-establishment of the theocracy, and the advent of the Messiah.