The book of Micah does not tell us too much about the prophet. We know he was a younger contemporary of Isaiah, living in the last quarter of the 8th century BCE, approximately 742 to 698 BCE. This time in history is recorded in 2 Kings 16-19. Briefly, in 745 the Assyrian Empire began a time of expansion. In 721 Samaria, the capital of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians. Thousands of Israelites were made captives. Judah, where Micah was from, was also affected by the Assyrian Empire. In 713 Judah managed to avoid a confrontation with Assyria. In 701 Assyria attacked Judah and thousands were killed and captured.Jerusalem was besieged but escaped destruction.
Micah was from Moresheth a small town southwest of Jerusalem. Some commentators think that Micah’s “small town” perspective caused him to view Jerusalem differently than someone like Isaiah who may have been a priest. But Isaiah, Micah, Amos and Hosea all have in common their concern for justice and worship of God.
The book of Micah can be divided into three parts. The first part, chapters 1-3 are probably the oldest part of the book and probably are from the prophet himself. These chapters contain mostly oracles of judgment. Chapters 4-5 contain oracles of hope and may be collections of prophetic pronouncements collected by the editors. Chapters 6-7 probably were written after the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BCE and so reflect the sixth or early fifth century BCE.
Micah gives a theological interpretation of the turbulent times of the late 8th century. Notice as we read how Micah’s perspective is shaped by his “outsider” and “small town” status.
An Outline of Micah, after Hicks and Brueggemann and March
I. 1;1-5:15 The Reign of the Lord Over the Nations
B. 1-2-3:12 Threats directed against Samaria and Jerusalem
C. 4:1-5:15 Prophecies of Israel’s glorious future and the restoration of the Davidic kingdom
II. 6:1-7:20 The Reign of the Lord Over His People
A.6:1-7.7 A series of laments, threats, and denunciations against all classes of Israelites
B.7:8-20 God will show his steadfast love to Israel and shame will cover her enemies
Read More About It:
Here are several good sources to aid your reading.
Anderson, Bernhard W., Katheryn Pfister Darr, Understanding the Old Testament Abridged fourth Edition. (Upper Saddle River,New Jersey: Prentice Hall) 1998.
The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol 7, Keck, Leander E. ed. (Nashville: Abingdon Press) 2001.
Hicks, R. Lansing, Walter Brueggemann, “Micah” in The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, Metzger,Bruce M.;Murphy,Roland E., eds. (New York:Oxford University Press) 1994.
March, W. Eugene, “Micah” in HarperCollins Bible Commentary Mays, James L. ed.(San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco) 2000.
Mobley, Gregory, “Micah” in The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version.Coogan, Michael D.; Brettler, Marc Z.; Perkins, Pheme; Newsom, Carol A. (2010-01-20) Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.