Micah - Introduction
If the prophets have a single message, it may be summed up thus: God can be counted on to care. When the people have succumbed to corruption or to overweening pride, God's care shows itself in punishment; when they are in despair or have been overrun by an arrogant enemy, God's care shows itself in encouraging and restoring them. So especially with Micah.
The unity of the book lies in presenting a God who is concerned with human existence. That unity transcends a diversity of times and authors found in the book. Chapters 1–3 seem to come from the eighth century B.C.E., with portions from before 721, when the Assyrians demolished Israel and its capital, Samaria (see 1.5–6 ). Chapters 4–7 (except, perhaps, 5.5–6 ) seem to stem from the Babylonian Exile in the sixth century, or possibly even later.
The specific historical settings were helpful to the book's ancient readers, but not essential to them, for they were seeking its message of judgment and hope. These two elements appear alternately in the book. Judgment predominates in chs. 1–3 , hope in chs. 4–5 , judgment again in 6.1–7.6 , and hope again in 7.7–20 .