Micah was born in Judah during the eighth century before Christ. He began his prophetic ministry under the reign of King Jotham, who did right in the eyes of the Lord. Jotham's successor was an evil man who brought idols into the Temple area and who sacrificed his own children in the fire. (See 2 Chronicles 28:3.)
Micah's task was to preach against the sins of the people and to encourage them to turn to God. Micah also had a special burden for the poor (Chapter 2) and promised that their oppressors would be punished. Actually, God sent two prophets to Judah during this period—Micah and Isaiah.
Two verses stand out in Micah's prophecy. The first is quoted by Matthew as a prediction of Christ's birthplace:
- “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah ... out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2).
- The other famous verse is found in Chapter 6:8: “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
Verses like these make the Minor Prophets worthy of our special attention.