Micah chapters 1-3 Star Chart: From 721 to 718 B.C. when Shalmaneser beseiged Samaria three years in the reign of Hoshea (2 Ki.17:3-5) and "In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of ASSYRIA took Samaria, and carried Israel away into ASSYRIA, and placed them in Halah and Habor by the river of Gozan, in the cities of the Medes" (2 Ki.17:6) till 701 B.C. when Sennacherib, king of Assyria, attacked the fortified cities of Judah, laying siege on Jerusalem, but failed to capture it (it is the only city mentioned as being besieged on Sennacherib's Stele, of which the capture is not mentioned) is 17 years or (17x12=) 204° months.
From when "I will make Samaria as an heap of the field" (1:6) (718 B.C.) till "it is come unto Judah; he is come unto the (solar golden) gate of my people, even to Jerusalem" (1:9)(701 B.C.) is 204° months. "Then shall they (Orion, Auriga and Scorpio) (red radius) cry unto the Lord, but he will not hear them: he (Orion or Scorpio) will even hide his face from them at that time (using a lunar frying pan or an orange bag over his head), as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings" (3:4). "Then shall the (Orion, Auriga and Scorpio) seers be (red radius line) ashamed, and the (Orion, Auriga and Scorpio) diviners confounded: yea, they shall all (Orion, Auriga, and Scorpio)(red radius) cover their lips; for there is no answer of God" (3:7).
He Will Hide His Face From Them
Because of the Evil Way They Behaved
1:1 The word of the Lord that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham( 742 – 735 BC), Ahaz (744 – 728 BC), and Hezekiah (716–697 BC), kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria (721-718) and Jerusalem (701).
of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, that is, between 757 and 699 B.C. Jeremiah (Jer 26:18) quotes Mic 3:12, as delivered in the reign of Hezekiah.
2 Hear, all ye (Orion, Auriga, Ophiuchus and Hercules) people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord God be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.
3 For, behold, the Lord (Ophiuchus) cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and (Ophiuchus) tread upon the high places of the earth.
4 And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the (solar) fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place.
5 For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem?
Samaria gathered together the entire apparatus of her idolatrous worship from prostitute's gifts (the wages of prostitution), namely, through gifts presented by the idolaters. The acquisition of all this is described as the gain of prostitute's wages, according to the scriptural view that idolatry was spiritual whoredom. There is no ground for thinking of literal wages of prostitution, or money which flowed into the temples from the voluptuous worship of Aphrodite, because Micah had in his mind not literal (heathenish) idolatry, but simply the transformation of the Jehovah-worship into idolatry by the worship of Jehovah under the symbols of the golden calves.
6 Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, and as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the (lunar white and solar golden) stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof.
while Sargon the destroyer was pushing his way past Judah to meet Egypt at Raphia, a Judean prophet of the name of Micah, standing in sight of the Assyrian march, attacked the sins of his people and prophesied their speedy overthrow beneath the same flood of war. If we be correct in our surmise, the exact year was 721-718 B.C.
Jerusalem, which is threatened with the invasion of Sennacherib
Samaria was taken by Shalmaneser, and reduced to a heap of stones. Afterwards he prophesies against Judah, and declares the troubles that Sennacherib should bring upon it under the reign of Hezekiah.
The historical fulfilment of the prophecy is in the capture of Samaria by Sargon in 722 and that same king’s invasion of Judah in 711
7 And all the (lunar and solar) graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces (by Orion and Hercules), and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the (solar) fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered it of the hire of an (Virgo) harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an (Virgo) harlot.
8 Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.
9 For her wound is incurable; for it is come unto Judah; he is come unto the (solar golden) gate of my people, even to Jerusalem (701 B.C.).
the Assyrians besieging Jerusalem, as Sennacherib son of Shalmaneser did some few years after the sack of Samaria,
Soon after the destruction of Samaria and the ten tribes, the Assyrian army, under Sennacherib, laid siege to Jerusalem, came to the gate, but could not force their way any further
the calamity, "came unto" Judah, many of the inhabitants of which suffered, but did not reach the citizens of Jerusalem, "the gate" of which the foe ("he") "came unto," but did not enter (Isa 36:1;37:33-37).
The contagion of her sins, and the indignation of God against them, have reached to Judah also, yea, to Jerusalem. This was accordingly fulfilled: for a few years after the Assyrians had destroyed Samaria, and spoiled all the land of Israel, their conquering army, led by Sennacherib, entered the kingdom of Judah, and took all the fenced cities; and a part of it, termed a great host, was sent up to the gates of Jerusalem, as is related, 2 Kings 18:17.
same king’s invasion of Judah in 701. Compare the topographical allusions in Micah 1:10-15 with the corresponding section in Isaiah 10:28-32.
for it is come unto Judah; the calamity has reached the land of Judah; it stopped not with Israel or the ten tribes, but spread itself into the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin; for the Assyrian army, having taken Samaria, and carried Israel captive, in a short time, about seven or eight years, invaded Judea, and took the fenced cities of Judah in Hezekiah's time, in which Micah prophesied;
he is come unto the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem; Sennacherib, king of Assyria, having taken the fenced cities, came up to the very gates of Jerusalem, and besieged it, where the courts of judicature were kept, and the people resorted to, to have justice done them; and Micah, being of the tribe of Judah, calls them his people, and was the more affected with their distress.
In approximately 701 BCE, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, attacked the fortified cities of Judah, laying siege on Jerusalem, but failed to capture it (it is the only city mentioned as being besieged on Sennacherib's Stele, of which the capture is not mentioned).
King Sennacherib of Assyria sacks the city of Lachish in Judah but fails to take the capital Jerusalem.
Sennacherib's siege of Jerusalem probably took place after 701 BCE which would have been the 27th or 28th year of the reign of Hezekiah.The text seems to say that the siege took place in the 14th year of Hezekiah. (Isaiah 36:1ff)
10 Declare ye it not at Gath, weep ye not at all: in the house of Aphrah roll thyself in the dust.
11 Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, having thy shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Bethezel; he shall receive of you his standing.
12 For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the Lord unto the gate of Jerusalem.
13 O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the (Auriga) chariot to the swift (Taurus) beast: she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of (Scorpio) Israel were found in thee.
Sennacherib had not only already conquered the greater part of Judah, and penetrated to the very gates of Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:13-14, 2 Kings 18:19; Isaiah 36:1-38:22), but would have destroyed the kingdom of Judah, as his predecessor Shalmaneser had destroyed the kingdom of Israel, if the Lord had not heard the prayer of His servant Hezekiah, and miraculously destroyed Sennacherib's army before the walls of Jerusalem.
make haste to escape with thy goods
Inhabitant of Lachish - This city was in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:39, and was taken by Sennacherib when he was coming against Jerusalem, 2 Kings 18:13, etc., and it is supposed that he wished to reduce this city first, that, possessing it, he might prevent Hezekiah's receiving any help from Egypt.
She is the beginning of the sin - This seems to intimate that Lachish was the first city in Judah which received the idolatrous worship of Israel.
Shalmaneser and Sennacherib are doubtless in view here; but they are only the occasion of the prophecy, looked at in its full extent. The Assyrian comes up to the gates of Jerusalem. His progress is described in Verses 11-16 (Micah 1:11-16), as in Isaiah, only that the description is more intermingled with the causes of the judgment upon the different cities that he attacks than it is in Isaiah, who enumerates them rather as the stages of his march.
14 Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moreshethgath: the houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel.
15 Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he shall come unto Adullam the glory of Israel.
16 Make thee (lunar white) bald, and poll thee for thy delicate (Orion, Auriga, Ophiuchus and Hercules) children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee.
Make thee bald and shear thy head—in spite of the prohibition, Deut. 14:1, this had remained a common sign of sorrowful lamentation for the dead (Jer. 26:6; cf. Job 1:20; Is. 15:2)—for the sons of thy delight; enlarge thy baldness like the eagle (the giiffin vulture (shown above) is meant, which is often met with in Egypt and Syria, and has the whole forepart of the head bare of feathers);
a. Tell it not in Gath: The city of Gath belonged to the Philistines, and it hurts Micah to think that the Philistines will rejoice at the pain of God’s people.
b. In Beth Aphrah roll yourself in the dust: Following to the end of the chapter, Micah uses puns and plays on words to talk about the judgment coming upon the cities of Judah. These towns are clustered in the Shephelah - the lowlands between the coastal region and the mountains of Judah.
i. Though Micah uses puns, this isn’t about clever word games - it goes back to the ancient idea that a name isn’t just your “handle” but describes - sometimes prophetically - your character and your destiny. In showing how the name of these cities is in some way a prophecy of their destiny, Micah shows how our character becomes our future.
c. Beth Aphrah: To Micah, Aphrah sounds like the Hebrew word for dust, so he told the citizens of Beth Aphrah to roll in the dust in anticipation of coming judgment.
d. Shaphir: The name of this town sounds like the word for beautiful. It won’t be beautiful for long, and Micah warns the citizens of Shaphir to prepare for judgment.
e. Zaanan: The name of this town sounds like the Hebrew word for exit or go out. When the siege armies come, they won’t exit at all - they will be shut up in the city until it falls.
f. Beth Ezel: The name of this town means the nearby city. When the army of judgment comes, it won’t be near and helpful to any other city.
g. Maroth: The name of this town means bitterness, and when the army of judgment comes the citizens of Maroth will know plenty of bitterness.
h. Lachish: The name of this town sounds like the Hebrew word for to the horses. Lachish was an important fortress city, and they should go to the horses to fight, but ironically they will go to the horses to flee the army of judgment.
i. Moresheth: The name of this - Micah’s hometown - sounds like the Hebrew word for betrothed. Here he speaks of giving the city wedding gifts as she passes from the rule of one “husband” (Judah) to another (the invading army).
j. Aczib: The name of this town sounds like the Hebrew word for deceitful or disappointing. This city will fall so quickly it will be a deception and a disappointment for Israel.
k. Mareshah: The name of this town is related to the Hebrew word for possessor or heir. The invading army will soon possess this city.
l. Adullam: The was the place of refuge for David when he fled from King Saul. It will again be a place of refuge for the high and mighty among Israel, when they are forced to hide out in Adullam.
2:1 Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand.
2 And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.
3 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.
4 In that day shall one take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, and say, We be utterly spoiled: he hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he removed it from me! turning away he hath divided our fields.
5 Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the Lord.
6 Prophesy ye not, say they to them (Orion and Auriga) that (red radius) prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take (red radius) shame.
7 O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the Lord straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?
8 Even of late my (Orion, Auriga, Hercules and Ophiuchus) people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war.
9 The women of my (Orion, Auriga, Hercules and Ophiuchus) people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their (Orion, Auriga, Hercules and Ophiuchus) children have ye taken away my glory for ever.
10 Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.
11 If a man (Ophiuchus) walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, (red radius) saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.
12 I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of (Orion, Auriga, Hercules and Ophiuchus) men.
13 The (Orion or Hercules) breaker is come up before them: they (Scorpio and Ophiuchus) have broken up, and have (red radius line) passed through the (solar golden) gate, and are gone out by it: and their king (Cepheus) shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.
3:1 And I said, Hear, I pray you, O (Orion, Auriga, Hercules, Scorpio and Ophiuchus) heads of Jacob, and ye (Orion, Auriga, Hercules, Scorpio and Ophiuchus) princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment?
2 Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their (solar) flesh from off their bones;
3 Who also (red radius) eat the flesh of my (Orion, Auriga, Hercules and Ophiuchus) people, and (red radius) flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and (red radius) chop them in pieces, as for the (lunar) pot, and as (solar) flesh within the (black zodiac) caldron.
4 Then shall they (red radius) cry unto the Lord, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.
5 Thus saith the Lord concerning the (Orion, Auriga, and Scorpio) prophets that make my (Orion, Auriga, Hercules and Ophiuchus) people err, that bite with their (lunar) teeth, and (red radius) cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him.
6 Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the (Orion, Auriga and Scorpio) prophets, and the day shall be dark over them.
7 Then shall the (Orion, Auriga and Scorpio) seers be (red radius line) ashamed, and the (Orion, Auriga and Scorpio) diviners confounded: yea, they shall all (Orion, Auriga, and Scorpio)(red radius) cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.
8 But truly I (Orion) am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to (red radius) declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to (Scorpio) Israel his sin.
9 Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and (Orion, Auriga, and Scorpio) princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity.
10 They build up Zion with (red radius) blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.
11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the (Orion, Auriga and Scorpio) priests thereof teach for hire, and the (Orion, Auriga and Scorpio) prophets thereof divine for ney: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us.
12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.
The Talmudists and Maimonides alike mention "That Turnus, or Terentius Rufus, captain of Titus' army, did with a ploughshare tear up the foundations of the Temple; and did thereby signally fulfil those words in Micah 3:12, 'Therefore shall Zion for your sakes be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.'" The practice of burying their money and other precious things in troublesome times, among the Jews, made greedy conquerors raze it to the foundations, and even to plow up the ground, in order to discover the hidden treasures, contrary to the wishes of Titus (Wars of the Jews, 7:5:2).