My Bible study notes for Wednesday night, May 31st. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided as an outline each week for our Tabernacle Church family. You can find Sermon Notes, Family Devotional Guides, Prayer List, and other resources at our Church Website.
- Judgment is coming
- The Cities will be judged
- The judgment is deserving
- Idolatry is the deep-rooted issue
The Destruction of Judah and Israel (1:1–16)
A. The Judge (1:1–4): Using fearful, poetic language, Micah describes an angry God coming from his Temple in judgment.
B. The judged (1:5–16)
1. Samaria (1:5–8)
2. Judah (1:9–16)
H. L. Willmington, The Outline Bible (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1999), Mic 1:1–3:11.
Samaria – vv. 6-8
Destruction of the city – vv. 6-7
- Heap in the open county
- Planting vineyards (where the city once was)
- Pour down her stones
- Uncover foundations
- Images beaten to pieces
- Wages burned
- Idols laid waste
- Prostitution (a picture of unfaithfulness and idolatry)
Micah laments, wails, stripped and naked – v. 8
- Grieving over what has taken place.
- Because her wounds are incurable
- Spreading (cannot stop)
Judah -vv. 9-16
- The sin has spread to Judah
- The gates of Jerusalem
The progression and impact – vv. 10-15
- Word play with the cities
- Meaning in Hebrew
1:10–15 The towns are each apparently chosen for their ominous sounding names, which are linked in some way to the coming judgment. The list begins with a notorious statement sounding the note of Judah’s defeat. “Tell it not in Gath” were the same words David used to memorialize forever the deaths of Saul and Jonathan on Mount Gilboa, as well as the fall of Israel itself (2 Sam. 1:20). Micah now uses these same ominous words to introduce a list of cities that were to become the targets of God’s judgment.
The list is full of wordplays in Hebrew that often underscore the ominous nature of what is to happen. The people of Beth-le-aphrah are told to roll in the dust, as the name of their town means “house of dust.” Rolling in the dust was a sign of lament, as the act indicated terrific grief, enacted symbolically as a type of death by returning to the dust (cf. Gen. 2:7; 3:19; Josh. 7:6; Job 2:8). Similarly, the name Shaphir (Mic. 1:11a) means “brilliance” or “beauty,” but its inhabitants are told to leave in “nakedness and shame,” suggesting the way in which prisoners of war were escorted from captured villages. Zaanan (v. 11b) means “exit” and was probably situated so as to provide an exit from the southwestern hills of Judah to the coastal plain and vice versa. For Micah, though, the people of Zaanan will not be able to exit in the impending judgment. Beth-ezel (v. 11c) suggests a nearby town (that is therefore able to help), but it will not be able to provide any support (“standing place”), for it will be in mourning.
Maroth’s name (1:12a) means “bitterness,” and, true to its name, its plight is most bitter as it awaits help that will never come. Jerusalem, the City of Peace, will experience disaster (v. 12b). Lachish is known as the place where sin began in the nation, and this is probably due to its being a strong military fortress, in which its people trusted power rather than God (v. 13). Lachish had trusted in harnessing its horses to chariots, its military power; now Lachish (lakish) is told to “harness the steeds [rekesh] to the chariots” for a battle it will not win. Moresheth-gath (1:14a), Micah’s hometown, suggests with its name the place of “possession,” but it will be given new “possessions” as it heads into exile—most likely ropes and chains. Achzib sounds like the word meaning “lie,” and any help it might give to the royal house will prove an illusion. Mareshah sounds like the word for “conqueror,” but it will prove to be the conquered, not the conqueror. Finally, the last city noted, Adullam (v. 15b), though not a wordplay, is a reminder of where David hid from Saul in caves when he was being pursued (1 Samuel 22). It is now mentioned as a place where the nobility of the nation, the glory of Israel, i.e., the royal house, will seek to hide from the coming judgment.
Stephen G. Dempster, “Micah,” in Daniel–Malachi, ed. Iain M. Duguid, James M. Hamilton Jr., and Jay Sklar, vol. VII, ESV Expository Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2018), 443–444.
A picture of great mourning – v. 16
- Shaved head
- Mourning and agony over the death of a loved one