Micah, Book of

      the sixth of 12 Old Testament books that bear the names of the Minor Prophets, grouped together as The Twelve in the Jewish canon. According to the superscription, this Judaean prophet was active during the last half of the 8th century BC.

      The book is a compilation of materials some of which come from a period considerably later than Micah's time. The threats in chapters 1–3 and 6–7:7 are usually attributed to Micah, but the promises in chapters 4–5 and 7:8–20 are generally dated several centuries later. Some of the promises seem to presuppose the fall of Jerusalem and the subsequent Babylonian Exile (6th century BC), but it is possible that some promises date from before the exile or from Micah himself. The exalted view of Zion in 4:1-4 and the messianic character of 5:2–4 reflect the ideology of the Zion cult in Jerusalem before the exile.

      Micah's threats are directed against idolaters, those who oppress the little man, priests and prophets who use their profession for financial gain, and leaders who pervert equity and abhor justice. The promises emphasize the importance of Zion, where Yahweh or his royal regent reigns over a kingdom of peace, and of the return from exile for Israel as well as for Judah.

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Universalium. 2010.

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