In Christian tradition the Prophet Micah is considered one of the twelve Minor Prophets. He was born in the town of Moresheth-Gath, to the south of Jerusalem. He began his prophetic ministry in about 778 BC and continued prophesying during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. The Prophet Micah was contemporary with the Prophet Isaiah.
Micah’s messages were directed mainly against the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. He predicted the destruction of Israel and the conquest of Judah by the Assyrian king Sennacherib. The prophet Micah foretold the birth of the Savior: “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:2).
The Prophet Micah is traditionally depicted as a gray-haired old men wearing a blue chiton, ochrous or wine-colored himation and sandals; other color combinations are also encountered in the iconography. He is shown holding a scroll carrying a quotation from the Book of Micah (Micah 5: 2). In Byzantine art the prophet Micah is represented on a miniature dated 950 AD from the Vatican Library in Rome. He is depicted as a younger man on a miniature of the 10th century Interpretations of the Book of the Prophets (The National Library, Turin). In iconography the Prophet Micah is represented on the icons of the prophets’ tier of iconostases (the Assumption Cathedral of the Cyril of Belozersk Monastery, 1497, State Russian Museum) and the Nativity of the Theotokos Cathedral in the St. Therapont Monastery (Dionysius, 1502).
The Prophet Micah is commemorated on August 27th (August 14th, the old style).
Zhanna G. Belik,
Ph.D. in Art history, senior research fellow at the Andrei Rublyov Museum, custodian of the tempera painting collection.
Olga E. Savchenko,
research fellow at the Andrei Rublyov Museum.
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