God will come down to the earth to destroy Samaria, the capital city of the kingdom of Israel, because of its many transgressions.
The book of Micah begins with a horrific description of the devastation soon to come to the northern kingdomThe Northern Kingdom consisted of ten of the twelve tribes of Israel and lasted for 200 years until it was destroyed by Assyria in 721 B.C.E. In the northern kingdom the kings were evil. Prophets like Elijah and Amos railed against them and their evildoing. More of Israel. God has been moved to act because of Israel’s sins. God would not take such violent action if there were not a good reason for it. This passage is written as if God were making a case before all the people on earth that the destruction of Samaria is justified (v. 2). For those who may be wondering why God would so cruelly punish God’s own people, the book wants to make clear from the beginning that God had just cause. It is not that God has been unfaithful or takes pleasure in acts of destruction. The people deserve their fate, and cleansing judgment is needed.
This is probably the earliest prophetic oracleAn oracle is a divine utterance of guidance, promise, or judgment delivered to humans through an intermediary (who is often also called an oracle). In the Bible oracles are given by Balaam (in the book of Numbers) and by David (in 2 Samuel). A number... More from Micah since it must come before the calamity that it predicts–the fallThe fall refers specifically to the disobedience of Adam and Eve when they listened to Satan rather than adhering to God's command not to eat the fruit from the tree. When people act contrary to God's will, they are said to fall from from grace... More of Samaria in 721 B.C.E. The rest of the book is directed to the southern kingdomThe Southern Kingdom consisted of two tribes of Israel, Judah and Benjamin. Jerusalem was its capital, and the kingdom lasted from 931-586 B.C.E. As with the Northern Kingdom many of the kings were wicked, and prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel spoke their often judgmental... More of JudahJudah was the name of Jacob's fourth son and one of the 12 tribes. More, which remained in existence for more than another century. It is important to note (in v. 5) the link between the fall of Israel and the threat to Judah. Judah will face the same horrible end because they, too, have sinned and deserve punishment.