v1: Micah, a prophet to Judah and Israel, represented by their capital cities. He prophesies during the reigns of:
- Jotham, 2 Kings 15.32-38; good, but tolerated idolatry;
- Ahaz, 2 Kings 16.1-4; evil, making an alliance with Assyria, 2 Kings 6.7-9; and
- Hezekiah, 2 Kings 18-1-8; good, reforming the nation.
v2: The message is relevant beyond the borders of Judah and Israel; the God of the Hebrews is God of all the earth.
v3-4: The mighty power of God, and He "comes down" to the earth, bringing judgment.
v5: The sins of Israel; the clear, ungodly testimony of Samaria; the very existence of two kingdoms instead of one; the idolatry in Israel, and the high places in Judah. Jacob's transgressions and Israel's sins, are all very evident.
v6-7: Samaria will be destroyed because of her prostitution. She worshipped idols, but these will be destroyed. She gathered temple gifts, but these will be burned with fire. She grew rich by adultery, but her riches will be used again for prostitutes.
v8: It seems the prophet himself goes about the city and beyond, howling and moaning.
v9: The wound of Israel is incurable, since the nation is about to be finally defeated. But Judah has not learned from Israel's experience; even the transgressions of Israel are found in her (v13).
v10-16: Mourning throughout Judah; Micah uses the very names of cities for his message. There is irony too, as he refers to Shaphir, meaning pleasantness, when the people would live in "nakedness and shame."`