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October 5 & 19, 2005

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Bible Study Notes for Micah 1

Some simple steps:

 

I. Read the introduction to the book

o       Let the scholars do the work for you.

        Who wrote it?

Micah.  (1:1).  We don’t know squat about Micah.

   The author, Micah, was of the town called Moresheth
                                    which may be the same town mentioned in 1:14, Moresheth- gath. If so, Micah came from a little town not far from
                                    Jerusalem (25 miles SW of Jerusalem near the Philistine city of Gath)Heater writes, "Isaiah was apparently a more urbane prophet, personally acquainted with
                                    kings and leaders. Micah, like Amos, may not have been part
of the official prophets' guild. His trips to Jerusalem as a 'country' prophet no doubt confirmed what he had heard from a distance. (From
                                    www.Bible.org)

        Who did He write it to? 

Samaria- Israel’s capital and Jerusalem- Judah’s capital (1:1)

        What was the audience like?

At that time they were being, about to be, or already had been overrun/ conquered by neighboring nations.

        Why did he write it?

Who knows!  God told him so he said it and we have it to read.  We can’t always know why.

        When did he write it?

During the reign of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah

(*** See attached Map***)

Eighth Century B.C. probably before the fall
                                    of
     Samaria in 722/21 B.C. to Sennacherib's march to Judah
                                    in
     701
                                    B.C.
     A.   That Micah mentions the "decrees of Omri" (c. 885-874
          B.C.), the
                                    "works of the dynasty of Ahab" (c. 874-853;
          Mic 6:16), and Assyria
                                    indicates that at least part of
         
                                    Micah's ministry was before the fall of Samaria in
          722/21 B.C.
     B. 
                                     The similarities between Micah 6:10-11 and Amos 8:5-6
          supports
                                    a time which would have been before the fall
          of Samaria
     C.  
                                    If 1:10-16 is describing the march of Sennacherib from
          Lachish to Jerusalem in 701 B.C. we may have a terminus
          boundary for the book
     D.  
                                    Jeremiah affirms that Micah predicted the fall of Jerusalem
                                    during the reign
       
                                       of Hezekiah (716-687 B.C.)
(all the above is from www.Bible.org)

        Is it a letter to a person or church or is it a document to be read by all?

“Hear O peoples, all of you, listen, O earth and all who are in it”

-         The word bears subjective and personal overtones.

o       It represents a familial relationship.

o       It may signify those relatives (including women and children) who are grouped together locally whether or not they permanently inhabit a given location:

o       This word may refer to the whole of a nation formed and united primarily by their descent from a common ancestor.[1]

        What is the literary context?

        Is it a poem, a letter, a teaching, a historical document, a song, etc.

It is “The Word of the Lord” (1:1)

-         It is a prophecy

-         Figurative language is being used, lots of symbolism

        Does any of the above matter?

Ask yourself; does how God related to us today in the same ways he related to the people in the book of Micah?

(Remember Hebrews 13:8.)

God is a person of character who’s character does not change. 

 

II. Read the entire book

o       Read it again

o       Read it again in other translations

o       Jot down any overall impressions/ themes about the book. 

        What is the big idea?

The sins of the people

 

 

God’s punishments:

 

 

God’s justice:

 

 

Man’s way out:

 

 

 

o       Do not focus on specifics

o       Write down major questions that have to do with the book as a whole

o       Only focus on specifics when they relate to the major questions

 

III. Read a more specific paragraph/section/chapter

o       Read it again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IV. Ask the Bible some questions

        Things you don’t understand

        Things you think you understand but have never really studied for yourself

 

What questions do you have?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

V. Find the answers to your questions

o       What does it mean?

o       Word studies (original language, not Webster’s)

o       Bible Dictionaries (Make sure the word you look up is the correct one.)

o       Bible encyclopedias (same as above)

o       Commentaries (these are as a last resort since they are mostly the opinions of others)

o       The internet (www.crosswalk.com, www.biblegateway.com, www.bible.org, www.studylight.org)

o       Concordances (see how the same word is used other places)

 

VI. Ask yourself some questions

o       Once you’ve done all the research, what does it say?

        Do not read your meaning into the text.  Take the meaning from the text.  Let the text say what it says

o       What does that have do with our world today?

o       What difference does it make?

 

VII. Verify it

o       Does it say that somewhere else in the Bible?

o       Pray

 

 

 

 

 

Israelite Kings Date Chart
The United Monarchy

Dates (BC)

Kingdom of the Israelites

1020-1000

Saul

1000-961

David

961-922

Solomon

The Divided Kingdoms

Dates (BC)

Israel (Northern)

 

Judah (Southern)

Dates (BC)

922-901

Jeroboam I

 

Rehoboam

922-915

Abijah

915-913

Asa

913-873

901-900

Nadab

 

900-877

Baasha

 

877-876

Elah

 

Jehoshaphat

873-849

876

Zimri

Tibni

 

876-869

Omri

 

869-850

Ahab

 

850-849

Ahaziah

 

Jehoram

849-843

849-843

Joram (Jehoram)

 

Ahaziah

843

843-815

Jehu

 

Athaliah
(non-Davidic Queen)

843-837

815-802

Jehoahaz

 

Joash

837-800

802-786

Jehoash (Joash)

 

Amaziah

800-783

786-746

Jeroboam II

 

Uzziah (Azariah)

783-742

746-745

Zachariah

 

Jotham (co-regent)

750-742

745

Shallum

 

Jotham (king)

742-735

745-737

Menahem

 

737-736

Pekahiah

 

736-732

Pekah

 

Ahaz

735-715

732-724

Hoshea

 

721

Fall of Samaria

 

.

.

 

Hezekiah

715-687

 

Manasseh

687-642

 

Amon

642-640

 

Josiah

640-609

 

Jehoahaz

609

 

Jehoikim (Eliakim)

609-598

 

Jehoiachin (Jeconiah)

598-597

 

Zedekiah (Mattaniah)

597-587

 

Fall of Jerusalem

587

 

 

 

 

Geographical Puns in Micah

W ith skillfully written wordplays on the names of Judah’s cities, Micah prophesied of the coming destruction of Judah ( 1:3–16 ). He turned around the meaning of a number of town names as a way of describing the world being turned upside down. Shaphir, meaning “Beautiful,” would be shamed ( 1:11 ); and Jerusalem, a name suggesting “Peace,” would be disrupted ( 1:12 ). Lachish, a name sounding like the Hebrew word for swift steeds , would flee on its horses. All this agitation was caused by God’s judgment on Judah for worshiping other gods on the high places. In fact, idolatry was so rampant that Micah describes Jerusalem and Samaria, the capital cities of Judah and Israel, as high places themselves ( 1:5 ).

 

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