(Hebrew: Mikhayahu, Who is like Jehovah?)
Sixth of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament; born Morasthi, near Eleutheropolis, c.35 miles southwest of Jerusalem.
He was therefore a subject of the southern kingdom.
He calls Juda "my people" and here championed God's cause against religious ana social evils "in the days of Joathan, Achaz and Ezechias, kings of Juda" (Micheas 1), hence he was a contemporary of Isaias and Amos.
His prophecy consists of seven chapters, which may be divided into three discourses; each beginning with a summons to "hear"; each running through a triple cycle of themes, sin, punishment, and the promise of Messianic Redemption.
In the first discourse (1-2) God rises in majesty to punish idolatry and send distress over Juda, to punish injustice, and none can thwart Him, and the Redemption is introduced, "I will assemble and gather together all of thee, O Jacob: I will bring together the remnant of Israel.
I will put them together as a flock in the fold."
In the second discourse (3-5), the birthplace of the coming Saviour is named; God abominates the crimes of princes and judges and false prophets, "Therefore, because of you, Sion shall be ploughed as a field and Jerusalem shall be as a heap of stones and the mountain of the temple as the high places of the forests."
After all this the mountain of the Lord shall be exalted; God's People will be renewed; suffering is the road to glory; the Lord of this glory will be born in Bethlehem and His kingdom will be blessed, triumphant, and peaceful.
In the third discourse (6-7) God challenges His people to come into judgment against Him, and plead their case against His own; God's blessings are contrasted with their base ingratitude and sins, and the penalty is awarded; however, justice must yield to mercy, and the dawn of Messianic glory is once more foretold.
Micheas is the prophet of the common folk and the villages, as Isaias was the oracle of the court and the capital.
His ministry evoked the Reform of Ezechias and is publicly recalled in the times of Jeremias (Jeremias 26).
The canonicity of his prophecy was never seriously questioned.
It is used in the Breviary on the fifth Sunday of November, and in the Missal for the third lesson on Ember Saturday in September (7, 14-16 and 18-20).
New Catholic Dictionary