Micah 1:1. Micah the Morasthite, alluding to a village in the tribe of Judah, near the city of Eleuthera, which distinguishes him from the prophet Micaiah, who foretold the defeat of Ahab. 1 Kings 22:8.
In the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Micah was therefore contemporary with Isaiah, having begun to prophesy after the death of Uzziah, and continued his ministry during part of the reign of Hezekiah. Jeremiah 26:18.
Micah 1:4. The mountains shall be molten [melted] under him. These bolder figures of rhetoric are often used by the prophets to designate great national events. “The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord.” Psalms 97:5.
Micah 1:7. All the idols thereof will I lay desolate. The Chaldaic reads, “her temple of idols.” The inner parts of all the heathen temples in India are to this day full of idols. In the times of idolatry, Ezekiel complains of a chamber of images in the temple of Jerusalem.
Micah 1:8. Make a wailing like the dragons. The critics refer us here to the dreadful noise of elephants when they fight, and the wailings of the wounded. The word mostly means the larger serpents. Deuteronomy 32:33.
Micah 1:11. Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir. This name being equivalent to pleasant, is thought to be a delicate allusion to the king of Israel, and a denunciation against his palace and his court. In the topography of Palestine we find no name of Saphir.
Having thy shame naked. This is a declaration that the Assyrian soldiers would strip the richer captives as nearly naked as possible, and in that plight, drive them away to the market. The slave dealers should ever keep these reverses in mind.
Micah 1:16. He shall enlarge thy baldness as the eagle. Natural history records, that the eagle lives to a hundred years of age; and that not only his head, but nearly his whole body loses its plumage. In like manner should the Assyrian invaders strip the Israelites of their robes, and the palaces of their riches, and all their glory.
Our prophet was taught to regard the visitations of war on the Hebrew nation as emanations of divine counsel. Behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to tread down the mountains. Of course, men in their sins should ever reckon on the day of punishment. Why then glory in mansions and palaces, and splendour of equipage? Are they not so many temptations to the invading foe to come and carry them away?
The first strokes therefore of the prophet's ministry, like the first onsets of battle, were impetuous. Like a faithful watch on the high tower, he blew the trumpet of alarm. As a harbinger he led on the Assyrian army, in all their wide-spreading detachment, from Aphrah in Benjamin to Saphir on the hills. He excites weeping in Bethezel, like the moanings of wounded dragons. Bethezel could not assist Saphir, if he would; neither could Jerusalem lend assistance, she herself being sickly, and afraid of the powerful invader.
The whole of these warnings then were evidently intended to excite alarm, to bring the nation back to the covenant of God, and to effectual reformation of manners. And if ancient events are left on record for our example, then those alarms still speak to the nations of Europe.