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Exposition of the Old and New Testament, by John Gill, [1746-63], at

Micah Introduction


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This book is called, in the Hebrew copies, "Sepher Micah", the Book of Micah; in the Vulgate Latin version "the Prophecy of Micah"; and in the Syriac version "the Prophecy of the Prophet Micah". This prophet is not the same with Micaiah the son of Imiah, who lived in the times of Ahab and Jehoshaphat, Kg1 22:8; for, as Aben Ezra observes, there were many generations between them, at least many reigns of kings, as Jehoram, Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah, and Uzziah, all which made up a hundred and thirty years; their names indeed seem to be the same, since he that is called Micaiah, Kg1 22:8; is called Micah, Ch2 18:14; and this our prophet is named Micaiah in Jer 26:18; which is with some of the same signification with Michael. So Abarbinel interprets, it, "who [is] as God"; see Mic 7:18; which Hillerus (a) confutes, and renders it, "the contrition, attrition, attenuation, and depauperation, of the Lord"; deriving it from Kwm, which signifies to be depressed, humbled, weakened, and impoverished, as others do; which name, some think, was given him by his parents, because of their low estate, their meanness and poverty; but of them we have no account: however, this is much more probable than the reason Cornelius a Lapide gives of his name, that he was so called because he prophesied of Christ, who was poor, and that he should be born in a poor country village. As for his country, and the place of his birth, and the time in which he lived, they may be gathered from Mic 1:1; by which it will appear that he was not of the tribe of Ephraim, as Pseudo-Epiphanius (b) says but of the tribe of Judah; whose kings' reigns in which he prophesies are only made mention of; though his prophecies concerned both Israel and Judah, and he reproves both for their sins, and foretells their various captivities; and, for the comfort of God's people, says many things concerning the Messiah, his incarnation the place of his birth, which no prophet so clearly points at as he, the execution of his offices, prophetic, priestly, and kingly; the blessings of grace that came by him, pardon of sin, atonement, &c. and the happiness and glory of his church in the latter day. The authority of this book is confirmed both by the elders of Judah in the times of Jeremiah, who quote a passage out of it; Mic 3:12; which they improve in favour of that prophet, Jer 26:17; and by the chief priests and Scribes in the time of Herod, who refer that prince to a prophecy in this book for the place of the Messiah's birth, Mic 5:2; see Mat 2:4. He is thought to have prophesied thirty or forty years, Bishop Usher (c) places him in the year of the world 3291 A.M., and 713 B.C.; but, according to Mr. Whiston (d), he prophesied 750 B.C., and so Mr. Bedford (e), and three after the building of the city of Rome; and he foretells the captivity of the ten tribes thirty years, and the coming of Sennacherib forty years, before they came to pass; but when and where he died, and was buried, no certain proof can be given. Pseudo-Epiphanius, confounding him with Micaiah in Ahab's time, says (f) he was killed by his son Joram, who cast him down from a precipice, and was buried at Morathi, his native place, near the burying ground of Enakeim, and his grave was well known to that day. And, according to Jerom (g), the grave of this our prophet was at Morasthi, and in his time turned into a church or temple. Sozomen (h) reports, that, in the times of Theodosius the elder, the body of Micah was found by Zebennus bishop of Eleutheropolis at Berathsalia, a mile and a quarter from the city, near which was the grave of Micah, called by the common people the faithful monument, and in their country language Nephsameemana.

(a) Onomast. Sacr. p. 14, 466, 494, 542. (b) De Prophet. Vit. & Inter. c. 13. (c) Annales Vet. Test. A. M. 3291. (d) Chronological Tables, cent. 8. (e) Scripture Chronology, p. 662. (f) De Prophet. Vit. & Inter. c. 13. (g) Epitaph. Paulae, tom. 1. operum, fol. 60. A. B. (h) Histor. Eccles. l. 7. c. 29.

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