MICAH, BOOK OF. The prophet Micah, whose book is one of the twelve Minor Prophets, is described as the Morashtite, i.e., as a native of Moresheth. The prophet Jeremiah quotes Micah iii. 12 and refers to him as pro phesying " in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah " (Jeremiah xxvi. 18). Whitehouse thinks that " the closely analogous passage, Micah i. 5-9, clearly proves that he prophesied in the reign of Ahaz, shortly before the overthrow of Samaria (722-I B.C.)." The super scription to the book (i. 1) is no doubt due to an editor. The book may be divided into three sections. The first, chapters Ishii.. is a prophecy of denunciation and judg ment. Samaria is to be punished for idolatry. So also Judah, which has been guilty not only of idolatry, but also of social and moral corruption. The second section, chapters iv.-v., opens with a Messianic passage (iv. 1-5) which in large part recurs in the book of Isaiah (ii. 2-4). There is another Messianic passage in v. 2-6 (Heb. 1-5) which makes definite reference to the overthrow of Assyria. The third section, chapters vi.-vii., is of the
nature of a controversial dialogue between Jehovah and his people. In Chap. vli. 8-20, however, the standpoint changes. These verses are assigned by Cornill to an editor who revised the whole book. It seems hardly possible to ascribe the whole book to Micah. Robertson Smith thought that chapters i.-v. formed a single well connected Book of Micah. Whitehouse thinks that " it is not possible to assign to Micah and the latter part of the eighth century more than chaps. i.-iii." In any case, chap. vi. 1-vii. 6 is different in character and style from the rest of the book, and H. Ewald, who thought that the section was composed by an anonymous writer in the reign of Manasseh, has found many followers. See eneyel. Bibl.: T. K. Cheyne, Micah in the " Cambridge Bible," 1882; J. Wellhausen, Kleine Prophetcn, 3rd ed., 1S9S; W. Nowack, Kleine Propheten, 2nd ed., 1904; C. F. Kent, Sermons, Epistles, and Apocalypses, 1910; C. Cornill, Intr.; G. H. Box: O. C. Whitehouse.