Micah is a short form of the name Micayah, which means “Who is like Jehovah?” “Like the names of some of the other prophets and patriarchs, [the name Micah] is appropriate to the life’s work of this man, who prophetically demonstrated in many ways that no one indeed is like Him, and everyone should strive to live His ways. No other power is like His power, and no king like this King” (Ellis T. Rasmussen, A Latter-day Saint Commentary on the Old Testament, 664).
Micah lived in a small town in southern Judah (see Micah 1:1, 14; Jeremiah 26:18) and prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, approximately 740 to 697
B.C. (see Micah 1:1; Bible Dictionary, “Micah,” pp. 731–32; see also “The Kings and the Prophets of Israel and Judah,”
Micah’s message alternates between warnings of coming judgments and promises of future redemption. In chapters 1–3 Micah declared judgments against Israel (Samaria) and Judah (Jerusalem). But in chapters 4–7 he prophesied the latter-day gathering and redemption of the house of Israel. Micah is the only Old Testament prophet to prophesy that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2).
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
Suggestions for Teaching
Micah 1–7. The wicked will be punished, but if they repent the Lord will comfort and heal them. (40–50 minutes)
Draw two large picture frames on the board. Label one Before and the other After. Hold up a book and ask students:
Have you ever read the last page of a book first?
Did it ruin the story?
What can be gained by reading the last page first?
Have students read Micah 7:18–20 and look for what Micah prophesied at the end of his book. List the promises on the board in the “After” frame.
Invite students to help paint a “word picture” of what Israel was like in Micah’s day. Assign the following references to groups or individuals and have them search for clues: Micah 1:2–9; 2:1–2, 9–11; 3:2, 5, 9–12; 6:12–16; 7:1–6. List what they discover on the board in the “Before” frame.
The following exercise will help students understand when Israel will receive the promised blessings. With your students, read each of the five scriptures listed below. After each scripture reference is a description of a symbol used there. Draw or tape a picture of the symbol or simply write the description in the “After” frame and ask the accompanying questions.
Micah 2:12–13 (a sheep breaking through a fence or gate). How can this image represent a latter-day Israel composed of large numbers of Church members? What promise made to Abraham does this fulfill? (see Abraham 2:9–11).
Micah 5:7 (rain falling gently on grass). In what ways will latter-day Israel bring life and stimulate growth in the world?
Micah 5:8 (a lion scattering a flock of sheep). How does this image suggest the unstoppable nature of God’s kingdom in the latter days?
“Our missionaries are going forth to different nations, … the Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done” (History of the Church, 4:540).
Discuss how the gospel is spreading throughout the world. Discuss the barriers that need to be overcome to fulfill Micah’s prophecy. Ask students what part they can play now in fulfilling the promised blessings for latter-day Israel.
Have students read the following scriptures and identify what they have in common: 3 Nephi 16:15; 20:13–17; 21:12–21; Mormon 5:22–24; Doctrine and Covenants 87:5. Have students read Micah 5:8–15, and ask what else those scriptures have in common. (They all quote or echo those verses from Micah.)