Study Guide

The Twelve Minor Prophets Micah Chapters 3-5

Micah Chapters 3-5

They’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain When They Come

  • Chapter 3 launches Micah’s second cry for justice with a more extensive takedown of the leaders of Israel and paid full-time prophets, ancient Israel’s answer to middle-managers and strategic consultants.
  • They’ve corrupted the people and lied to them by telling them that peace will come.
  • Micah, however, says he’s speaking the truth when he announces the coming destruction.
  • Days will come when God’s reign will be established and people will follow his laws.
  • Swords into ploughshares, pruning hooks into spears, the nations of the earth going to Mount Zion and gathering at the house of God—listen closely and you’ll notice that chapter 4 starts with verses that sound a whole lot like the beginning of Isaiah chapter 2. Hmmm.
  • (Scholars don’t agree on who said this first: Micah, Isaiah or some unknown person whose sweeping turns of phrase were plugged into these prophetic books by the religious authorities who edited them. Textual questions like this are an unending game of Clue in ancient languages, except Professor Plum always seems to end up in the library.)
  • But first, Judah will have to suffer in exile, although with the understanding that God will eventually thrash their enemies.
  • Chapter 5 starts with another notable quote made famous by the New Testament: “But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. (NRSV 5:2)
  • In context, this verse refers to a leader who will re-unite Israel and Judah to wipe out the Assyrians, but Christians say that this refers to the birth of Christ.
  • This ruler will protect the people from the Assyrians if they invade.
  • God will have his revenge on the nations that haven’t obeyed his laws.