The southern prophet, Micah, was a contemporary of Isaiah in Judah and Hosea in Israel, prophesying in the last third of the eighth century B.C. Although his message related to both Israel and Judah, he focused on the latter. He denounced ethical sins primarily, and the social situation which he addressed is markedly similar to that encountered by Amos in Israel a few years earlier. The rich were continually oppressing the poor. Merchants were cheating their customers. The religious and judicial leaders were corrupt, and the true prophets were told to keep quiet. Many people were so insensitive to the problem that they believed God would still defend them--in spite of their sins. Micah's message reminded them of the consequences of national sin. He foretold the fall of both Samaria and Jerusalem and even the Babylonian exile later.

Two passages stand out above the rest: Mic.5v2 prophesied the Messiah's birth in Bethlehem, and this was fulfilled by the birth of Jesus. Mic.6v8 is one of the classical statements of the prophets, and some regard it as the high-water mark of Old Testament religion.

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