The prophet Micah, a contemporary of the prophet Isaiah ben Amoz, was active from before the fall of Samaria in 722 B.C.E., and apparently through Sennacharib’s invasion of Judah in 710 BCE. consequently, he applies the moral and ethical lessons of Samaria’s fall to the approaching plight of Jerusalem. Micah has some material in common with Isaiah (Micah 4:1-5 = Isaiah 2:2-4); there is no consensus as to who might be the original author of this material. Micah was evidently well-known among later prophets as well, as he is quoted in the book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 26:18). Reprinted with permission from Micah the Prophet (Fortress Press).
The superscription (1:1) of [Micah’s] book dates him to the days of the kings of Judah: Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. According to this information (and we realize that the chronological data at our disposal are a bit uncertain), Micah appeared on the scene at the very latest in the year 734 (B.C.E.). He was active until at least 728, but perhaps much longer because his words are filled with the sense of imminent horror. Even if he did not experience the events themselves, he foresaw the inexorable incursions of Assyrian might in the destruction of Samaria in 722 and of Jerusalem in 701 (1:6-7; 3:12). He proclaims as the word of his God:
“I am making Samaria a heap … ;
I am pouring her rubble down into the valley;
Her foundations I am laying bare” (1:6).
Later he must speak similarly of Jerusalem. Micah was, however, not living at his nation’s political center. His native town Moresheth lay some 20 miles southwest of the royal capital in the beautiful hill country of Judah, commanding a broad view across the coastal plain to the Mediterranean. But he was not a backcountry hermit either.
Lively contact with Jerusalem was assured by the fact that the Judean kings maintained five fortress cities within a radius of less than six miles round about Moresheth. They were to protect the Judean homeland from encroachments by the Philistine cities or attacks launched by the superpowers from the favorable staging area of the coastal plain…