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Micah
A Worker for God

   Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah. He prophesied in the days of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. Isaiah, the princely prophet, labored to overcome evil and corruption among the rich and powerful while Micah, the peasant prophet, sought to alleviate injustices leading to the oppression of the poor. His was the voice of the down-trodden masses. Deeply and unequivocally, he was the prophet of the poor. His Book is permeated with the burning fire of his indignation on their behalf, and it was evidently his compassionate suffering that awakened the spirit of prophecy within his soul.

   Micah's home was in the shephelah (low hills) of western Judea, a small community lying between the hills of Judea and the coast of the Philistria about twenty-seven miles from Jerusalem. He lived close to the soil and loved the simple folk all about him. The influence of this prophet was far-reaching, however, even to the city of Jerusalem, because of his numerous following.

   The wealthy were ruthless in exploiting those of lesser estate. If they wished to take houses or lands of those not strong enough to defend them, they did so, leaving the rightful owner without means of redress. If one thus defrauded complained of ill-treatment his life became forfeit. The propertied classes were aided by a greedy clergy in perpetuating such cruel wrongs. About so direful a condition Micah says: "They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof devine for money." (Micah 3:10-11)

   Yet Micah was fearless and undaunted by seemingly superior forces roused against him. He hurled his prophecies of impending doom so forcefully that King Hezekiah listened and was so impressed he instituted needed reforms. Micah was to the Kingdom of Judah what Amos had been to the Kingdom of Israel. During the reign of the evil Manasseh his valiant voice was stilled. He doubtless suffered martyrdom as did Isaiah.

   A most important kabbalistic key to understanding deeper meanings of the Bible is an interpretation of the esoteric import of names, numbers and certain words of the text. Even exoteric commentators have noted the play upon words in Micah 1:10-16:

   The exotericists state that Micah images the approach of the Assyrians through the villages of the shephelah; that he uses names of towns in the neighborhood of his native village, and traces by the meanings of their names a sign of woe. In New Age Interpretation we find that the records in the Bible are vastly more than mere local prophecies and accounts of passing conditions. They contain a description of the evolution of man from his genesis to his attainment of powers as a Seer.

   Jacob symbolizes man; Samaria, the lower nature; Judah, the higher; Jerusalem, redemption through love that brings an Illumined One to the great peace.

   In Micah 1:10-16 the prophet describes the state of the masses, and his description is as applicable to their condition today as it was in his. Following is the meaning of names used in the above mentioned verses: Gath, tall-town, strength; Aphrath, dust-town; Saphir, fair-town; Zaanan, march-town; Beth-ezel, neighbor-town; Maroth, bitter-town; Lachish, horse-town; Maresheth-gath, the possession of Gath; Achzib, false spring, Mereshah, heir-town; Adullam, wild beasts' cave.

   The sin of desire has ever been likened to an incurable wound. (This is the key to that great drama of soul conquest, Parsifal.) Therefore, Micah declares: "For her wound is incurable; for it is come unto Judah; he is come unto the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem." (Micah 1:9)

   Micah begins his prophecy with a picture of fallen man and the heavy debt he has incurred under the Law of Consequences: "She gathered it of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot." (Micah 1:7)

   The loss of spiritual power and vision inevitably follows a demand for money in payment for spiritual work. What Micah describes here finds repeated duplication in the world today. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God," admonished the Christ, "and all these things shall be added unto you." A purely spiritual Seer attracts the necessities of life; a pseudo-seer dentands them, a form of black magic.

   Astrologically, Micah is a prophet of Aquarius, sign of the New Age. While he is a prophet of doom he is also a messenger of compassion, foretelling the glory of the new life that is to be. The keynote of his message is Christ and the New Age:

   These beautiful words are often quoted by idealists as picturing a perfect world-wide civilization that is attainable now. Skeptical materialists dismiss them as idle fantasy or as belonging to a future so distant as to have no present value. Occultists, however, know that Micah has given a true delineation of future conditions to be evolved by man himself through obedience to spiritual Law.

   Seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, Micah foretells the coming of the Christ, that glorious Initiate of the Archangelic hosts whose goings forth have been from of old, "from everlasting."

   The wickedness and evil of the world necessitated the Christ's supreme sacrifice for humanity. Conditions that brought about such a sacrifice are described by Micah in the following:

   Since these conditions are duplicated in the world today, it is to be expected that the time is near for the return of the Christ to save the earth and man from chaos and destruction.

   The prophecies all close with a picture of God's love and protection for the Remnant of His heritage, those who follow Him in His way:

   This verse has been considered generally as fundamental of religion and has been called the noblest affirmation in the whole body of Old Testament prophecy, for it expresses equality, love and humility, a trinity of attainment for every aspirant and a summary of the life of one who has attained.

   Huxley called these words of Micah's a perfect ideal for religion. They are engraved in the Congressional Library at Washington as a complete summary of a truly religious life. They are sung on Good Friday in the Sistine Chapel at Rome. Finally, they embody the New Age ideal that shall prepare man for the Christ's second coming. Those who demonstrate these precepts will be pioneers in preparing the Way for His return.

   With the death of Hezekiah in 696 B.C., the Golden Age of Prophecy came to an end. Other prophets were to come, but the majestic and heroic figures of Amos, Hosea, Micah and Isaiah are still towering and distinct in their unchallenged glory.

   Manasseh, Hezekiah's successor, soon proved himself to be one of the most evil of Judah's kings. Crime, immortality and debauchery flourished in his reign. Courageous disciples of Micah lifted their voices in protest only to be silenced by martyrdom: "Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another," the record states. (II Kings 21) For long years a famine of the word of the Lord, as foretold by Amos (8:11), prevailed throughout the land.

   In this dark age of Manasseh monasteries of prophets were formed and scribes, working "underground," compiled the older portions of the Old Testament in a style similar to what we know today. The brave souls working in secret, their lives in constant jeopardy, were the Tyndales and the Wycliffes of that early period. The work begun under Manasseh continued through the Babylonian Exile and reached its culmination under the great exilic prophet, Ezekiel.

   In 621 B.C., during repairs on the Jerusalem Temple, discovery of the Book of the Law, Deuteronomy, in the House of the Lord — where it had been secreted — gave fresh inspiration to the spirit of reform which, during the reign of King Josiah, promised better and brighter times to come. To a woman, the prophetess Huldah, wife of a court official, belongs the honor of inaugurating a great spiritual revival. At her request all of the people of Jerusalem gathered in the precincts of the Temple to hear a reading of the Book of the Law, and Josiah declared that with all his heart and with all his soul he would confirm the words of the covenant that were written in this Book. (II Kings 23)

 — Corinne Heline


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