The internal disorders of the realm depicted by Micah are also prominent in Isaiah's prophecies; they were closely connected, not only with the foreign complications due to the approach of the Assyrians, but with the break-up of the old agrarian system within Israel, and with the rapid and uncompensated aggrandisement of the nobles during those prosperous years when the conquest of Edom by Amaziah and the occupation of the port of Elath by his son (2 Kings xiv.
The sixth chapter of Micah presents a very different situation from that of chs.
Bib.) finds nothing by Micah in iv.-vii., thinks these chapters have crystallized round two central passages, viz.
Indeed, as Marti points out (p. 259) the triple division of the book of Micah (i.-iii.; iv., v.; vi., vii.) corresponds with that of the book of Isaiah (i.-xxxix.; xl.-lv.; lvi.-lxvi.) in the character of the three divisions (judgment; coming restoration; prayer for help in adversity) respectively, and in the fact that the first alone gives us pre-exilic writing in the actual words of the prophet to whom the whole book is ascribed.
The religion of the Hebrew race - properly the Jews - now enters on a new stage, for it should be observed that it was Amos, Isaiah and Micah - prophets of Judah - who laid the actual foundations.
But the earliest forms of Hebrew priesthocd are not Canaanite in character; the priest, as he appears in the older records of the time of the Judges, Eli at Shiloh, Jonathan in the private temple of Micah and at Dan, is much liker the sadin than the kahin.
Hezekiah's time may have been selected by the author of the title (or by the tradition which he represents) as being the next great literary period in Judah after Solomon, the time of Micah and Isaiah, or the selection may have been suggested by the military glory of the period (the repulse of the Assyrian army) and by the fame of Hezekiah as a pious monarch and a vigorous reformer of the national religion.
This prophetic activity of Micah under Hezekiah is confirmed by the direct statement of Jer.
Since the absorption of the aborigines in Israel Canaanite ideas had exercised great influence over the sanctuaries - so much so that the reforming prophets of the 8th century regarded the national religion as having become wholly heathenish; and this influence the ordinary prophets, whom a man like Micah regards as mere diviners, had certainly not escaped.
The prophetic teaching had indeed produced a profound effect; to the party of reaction, as the persecution under Manasseh shows, it seemed to threaten to subvert all society; and we can still measure the range and depth of its influence in the literary remains of the period from Isaiah to the captivity, which include Micah vi.