Micah is a small book but you will be amazed at the amount of information that is contained in it. Micah was a contemporary with Isaiah, Amos and Hosea. We are going to present the information in this book in a way that you can look up the things mentioned to get greater detail and it will be a good springboard for you to gain further information. There will be a lot of information about geography, history, language and culture that will help you study other prophetical books. As we have taught in other books and teachings, we need to read the Scriptures as if we are Jewish because then you will see it as a Jewish book and in a Jewish context. We are going to replace the English names for people, places and things with Hebrew. We are also going to deal with the concept of time and eschatology because these are going to be totally different than the western concept. The concept of the 7000 year plan of God will be dealt with and this plan can be seen in the first verse of the Bible in Gen 1.1, so we know right away that the Lord wants us to understand these concepts. We are going to need a working knowledge of the months, calendars, ceremonial cycles, the seasons and a basic knowledge of Jewish eschatological concepts and names.
We are going to go over many concepts that will be needed to understand this book right away, and a basic outline will be done at the beginning and then we are going to study several concepts before we even get into the study of the book. Understanding these concepts will affect how we study and understand Micah, as well as all the other books. We will give examples of this as we move along. Eschatologically speaking, this book gives us insight into the end of the second year of the Birth-pains, but before Northern Israel falls to the Russians. We are going to bring out what was happening historically in the book, but we are also going to show how these events are prophetic of the Birth-pains and the Day of the Lord.
A basic outline of the book of Micah looks like this:
Chapter 1 has concepts dealing with a Yom ha Din, in this case Rosh ha Shannah and verses 8-16 have what is called “Midrashic Name Derivations”, chiastic structures, word plays and puns.
Chapter 2 has a prophecy about the false messiah, Elijah and the Kingdom of God.
Chapter 3 has passages denouncing the rulers and the deterioration of the government
Chapter 4 parallels Isaiah 2, and talks about the coming of the Messiah, his earthly reign, his birth and the return of the people from Babylon (prophetically America).
Chapter 5 also talks about the birth of Messiah, but also the first three and a half years of the Birth-pains, the Russian invasion of Israel, the false messiah, what happens to Russia after it is defeated, the 144,000 and their ministry among the nations in the second half of the Birth-pains.
Chapter 6 brings more charges on the Lord’s people.
Chapter 7 deals with the Birth-pains, the Messianic Kingdom and the Day of the Lord.
There is an old movie with Jimmy Stewart that deals with a certain type of plane that has a problem with the tail falling off during a flight. To find out what happened, experiments were done, but the reason is hard to find. They use another plane in a hanger to do experiments on and nothing is happening. Then, all of a sudden, the tail falls off in the experiment and it was ascertained that their calculations were off because they failed to factor in the temperature in flight. The point is, if we don’t have the right data, you can totally miss the story of Micah. In order to make the right calculations, we need to lay a proper foundation for the book and define the terms.
Israel was sent to the Gentiles. What would you teach a people who knew nothing about God? You needed to lay a foundation and the define the terms that the Lord uses in order make the right calculations. So, lets begin with the concept of Biblical Eschatology. In Greek, the word “eschatos” means “the last things” and “ology” means the study of it. But, in biblical thought, eschatology goes much further than that. Eschatology is understood in the biblical sense as pertaining to the redemption and the Messiah. This starts in the first verse of the Bible, Gen 1.1. God and the Messiah is symbolized by the “Aleph and the Tav” which is the first and last letter of the Jewish alphabet. It means “the leader to the cross.” Yeshua said that he was the aleph/tav in Rev 1.8, so what does Gen 1.1 have to do with it. Gen 1.1 has seven words, or a “menorah” in it. It alludes to the 7000 year plan of God and Genesis, Chapter 1, is a picture of it. The fourth and the sixth word in Gen 1.1 is “aleph/tav”, alluding to the coming of the Messiah in year 4000 and year 6000. In coming, he will accomplish the redemption. So, right off, we have biblical eschatology being alluded to. This redemption and the study of the Messiah is seen from 6 reference points: historical; Messiah’s first coming; Messiah’s second coming; the Birth-pains; The Messianic Kingdom and the Olam Haba (Psa 90.4; 2 Pet 3.8). It is studied in the context of the festivals and the Temple. So, there is a realization that all of the Scriptures teach Yeshua’s work as the Messiah and his “comings” (Psa 40.7; John 1.1, 5.39-47; Luke 24.27).
There are two terms that mean “eschatology” and they are Acharit Yamin (“latter days”) and the Ik’vot ha Mashiach (the footsteps of the Messiah). There are concepts to know in order to understand biblical eschatology. You cannot look at the Scriptures on one level, but four. They are the Peshat (literal); Remez (hint, allegory); Drash (explore, ask) and Sowd (mystical, hidden, secret). There is a “balance” to all these when you study. A “contradiction” is not seen as such because a verse or passage can be seen on different levels. If you try and figure this out with just a chronological, historical view you will get frustrated. God is not restricted to time, time was created for man. History, therefore, is unfulfilled prophecy and prophecy is unfulfilled history (Ecc 1.9, 3.15; Rom 15.4). There is a biblical concept called “Here now, but not yet.” When looking at this concept, we cannot think like a westerner because there is a different logic involved. For example, the 7000 year plan of God is divided into two basic ages. The 6000 years from creation is referred to in Scripture as the Olam ha Zeh (this present age), and the 1000 year period is called the Atid Lavo (future age). After that, eternity is called the Olam Haba (the world to come). The three ages of the Olam ha Zeh, Atid Lavo and the Olam Haba will relate to two things: chronology and state of being. So, what does that mean? When Yeshua was on the cross, he was in the Olam ha Zeh (this present age, or time). But, after his resurrection, he was in the Olam Haba with everyone else still in the Olam ha Zeh. So, we shouldn’t look at things chronologically alone, but also the “state of being.” There will be people in the Olam Haba (state of being) living with people in the Atid Lavo (chronological) after Yeshua returns because believers will be changed, like Yeshua, returning to live among people in their physical bodies. There are many examples of this concept. Prophecy is not limited in time and they can have numerous fulfillments. The ages are not seen as “linear” not “circular.” Before creation, there was the Olam Haba. God created time in Gen 1.1, and after man sinned, God is returning everything back to the Olam Haba, and that is why eschatology is seen as the study of the redemption and the Messiah, who was sent to accomplish that redemption.
There is a word in the Scriptures that summarizes all these concepts, and many more, called the “Basar.” It is translated as “good news or gospel” in English but that term is really misunderstood. The “gospel” or Basar” was preached to Abraham and Israel in the wilderness. But, it was preached going all the way back to Adam. When you understand the above concepts, then all this makes sense. The concepts associated with the “basar” include: the golden age of Israel; David’s throne is restored; Messiah has come; God reigns through him over the earth (like Pharaoh did through Joseph); peace has come; man and nature has been redeemed and restored (following the circular pattern); the resurrection has occurred; righteousness is on the earth; the Day of the Lord has come; the Torah goes forth unto all the earth; idolatry is gone; the exiles have returned; true worship is restored and the nations believe in the Lord. The Messiah is the agent of God, empowered by the Ruach to bring all of this about. His task is to redeem man and the earth. We enter into that redemption by Emunah (faith, confidence, action). The Messiah is not the Basar, but he is the agent of the Basar. This restoration has started but it is not complete, hence the phrase “Here now, but not yet.”
These are the concepts that we will be working with in the book of Micah. As we move along, we are going to build upon this foundation in order to understand what the Lord is trying to communicate. But, these concepts need to be learned because they will help you understand other books as well. This was only a brief overview of these things. On this website, especially under the Prophecy and Eschatology heading, you can find out more information. You can also go on the Internet to look up terms, with the Jewish Encyclopedia being a good source. In Part 2, we will pick up here with some examples of what we are talking about, and then continue with laying a good foundation before we go into the book of Micah itself.