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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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Commentary on Micah

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1.1 : Title.

Micah means “Who is like?” and is probably a contraction of Micaiah, “Who is like the LORD?” Moresheth: a town in Judah, about twenty-three miles southwest of Jerusalem. The names of the kings date the man Micah between about 740 and 700 B.C.E. Samaria: the capital of Israel, conquered by Assyria in 721 B.C.E.

1.2–3.12 : The rulers of Israel and Judah denounced.

Several of the poems accuse leaders, others deal with the people.

1.2–9 : The crimes of Israel and Judah.

The LORD walks on the earth to destroy Samaria and Jerusalem.

5 :

The crime committed appears in v. 7 .

6 :

When a city was razed by an enemy, the site was leveled by pushing the stones of its ruin into the valley surrounding it.

8 :

The prophet probably acted out this verse; see Jer. 27.2; 28.10–11 .

1.10–16 : An invasion of Judah.

The names of the towns seem to depict an invader's advance from the southwest toward Jerusalem.

10 :

Gath: a Philistine town. Beth-aphrah: northwest of Hebron; dust is a pun on its name, “house of dust.”

11 :

Shaphir: probably near Beth-aphrah. Zaanan: perhaps near Lachish (v. 13 ); gone out is a pun on the name. Beth-ezel: to the south of Beth-aphrah.

12 :

Maroth: perhaps northeast of Beth-aphrah.

13 :

Lachish: an important fortress about thirty miles from Jerusalem; to the chariots may be a pun on the name. The historical allusion is obscure.

14 :

Moresheth-gath: the same as Moresheth, v. 1 . Beth-achzib: east of Moresheth; betrayed puns on the name.

15 :

Mareshah: northeast of Lachish; take your place puns on the name. Adullam: east of Achzib; its cave was once David's headquarters (2 Sam. 23.13 ).

16 :

To shave the hair was a sign of deep mourning.

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