Micah condemns the people of Judah for following the ways of Omri and Ahab. We know from Kings that this is precisely what Judah has been doing. Within Micah 6, though, there is a sharp pun. Verse 16 condemns Judah for doing the works of the house of Ahab, while verse 8 commends the right way for Judah, a way that includes love (ahab) of covenant loyalty. The words are not exactly the same; the “h” on Ahab is the guttural “het” while the “h” on love is “hey.” But the pun is there: Judah has been walking in the house of Ahab while they are called to ahab covenant loyalty.
(The connection is strengthened by the repetition of “walk” in verses 8 and 16. Clearly, the Micah Mandate is being set up as the polar opposite of the Ahab Agenda.)
The contrast becomes sharper when we realize that “covenant loyalty” includes not only faithfulness to Yahweh but kindness to the needy. Ahab failed conspicuously in this when he arranged for Naboth’s murder to seize his vineyard; Ahab did not ahab loyalty.
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 2:34 pm
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