More Information
ISBN: 9781783687688
Imprint: Langham Monographs
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 14.4
Publication Date: 14/12/2019
Pages: 270
Language: English

The Concept of Divine Sovereignty in Micah

A Vision for the Fulfillment of the Abrahamic Promises


We live in a world gone awry. Social injustice pervades our societies, the poor are disdained, despotic leaders and nations seem to control world events, and racism and hatred abound. Yet, while it might appear that evil reigns, the sovereign God is in control.

Such is the message of the book of Micah, a text that underscores God’s presence in the world, righting wrongs, delivering the marginalized, and restoring the intended order of creation. In this careful explication of the minor prophet, Dr Semwayo challenges those who would question the text’s unity, revealing Micah as a powerful theological reflection on the reestablishment of Yahweh’s sovereignty on earth. Connecting the Zion/Davidic traditions to the Abrahamic covenant, Semwayo articulates a vision of hope that is as relevant for us in the twenty-first century as it was for Micah’s original audience.

Author Bios


Interpreters have struggled to discern literary-theological unity in the Book of Micah, leading some to deny it exists. Semwayo rightly challenges such scepticism. He argues that the central theological theme of Micah is the re-establishment of Yahweh’s sovereignty in the face of the covenant community’s rebellion. Yahweh accomplishes this through the restoration of Zion and the Davidic dynasty. In the process Yahweh fulfills his promises to Abraham. Semwayo’s most valuable contribution to our understanding of Micah is showing how the Zion-Davidic and Abrahamic promises intersect.

Robert B. Chisholm, Jr, ThD
Chair and Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas, USA

In this scholarly exegesis of the book of Micah, the reader is guided step by step through a careful analysis to the conclusion. There is a sense of honesty in the use of the evidence which gives the reader a glimpse of scholarship at its best, and there is much here which will be of value to both the layperson and academic in their studies of the minor prophets.

William Domeris, PhD
Senior Academic in Biblical Studies, South African Theological Seminary, Bryanston, South Africa

Biblical theology is a well-worn subject area, and the study of the theology of Micah is no exception in this regard. But Dr Semwayo brings a fresh voice to the conversation. Methodologically, he applies relevance theory, a linguistic model of communication that has been underutilized in biblical studies. This validates his search for intertextual allusions that are necessary to link various motifs in Micah and unify the theme of divine sovereignty with the Zion traditions and the Abrahamic covenant. Semwayo’s discussion of covenants is also refreshing, being informed by recent developments in our understanding of ancient Near Eastern covenants and the Old Testament. On the whole, this is biblical theology at its best.

John W. Hilber, PhD
Professor of Old Testament, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

This biblical-theological study examines the thematic coherence of the book of Micah in relation to the theme of divine sovereignty, specifically with regard to the Lord’s action on and for Mt Zion in fulfilment of the Abrahamic promise. The level of scholarship is high and the dissertation successfully challenges previous studies which regard Micah’s oracles as only superficially connected and/or reject the authenticity of Micah 6–7. The author’s examination of divine sovereignty as expressed in the Zion traditions cogently demonstrate the conceptual coherence and structure of the book of Micah.

Eric Ortland, PhD
Lecturer in Old Testament and Biblical Hebrew, Oak Hill College, Chase Side, London, UK

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgements
  2. Abstract
  3. Abbreviations
  4. Tables and Figures
  5. Chapter 1 Introduction
    1. Need for This Study
    2. Concept of Divine Sovereignty
      1. Concept of Divine Sovereignty in the ANE Context
      2. Concept of Divine Sovereignty in the Old Testament
      3. Concept of Divine Sovereignty in Micah
    3. Purpose and Thesis Statement
    4. The Method of the Study
      1. A Biblical Theology for Micah
      2. The Task of Biblical Theology: A Definition
      3. A Structure of Biblical Theology: Covenantal Story/Metanarrative Approach
      4. A Method of Biblical Theology: Theological Exegesis
    5. Outline of the Investigation
  6. Chapter 2 Covenant Concept: A Theological Context for Micah
    1. Introduction
    2. Approaches to Biblical Covenants
      1. A Traditional Approach to Biblical Covenants
      2. An Alternative Approach to Biblical Covenants
      3. Abrahamic Covenant
      4. Mosaic Covenant
      5. Davidic Covenant
    3. Summary
  7. Chapter 3 Zion/Davidic Traditions: A Framework for Micah
    1. Introduction
      1. Definition of Zion/Davidic Traditions
    2. Approaches to Zion/Davidic Traditions
      1. Relationship between Zion and Davidic Traditions
      2. Motifs of the Zion/Davidic Traditions
    3. Analyzing Traditions in Micah
      1. Definitions
      2. Shared and Intended Contexts
      3. Criteria for Discerning Intertextual Allusions
      4. Putting It Together
  8. Chapter 4 Divine Sovereignty and Mount Zion (Micah 1:2–4:8)
    1. Introduction
    2. Overview of Micah 1:2–4:8
      1. Unity of Micah 1:2–4:8
      2. Zion: A Key to Yahweh’s Sovereignty in Micah 1:2–4:8
      3. Zion/Davidic Traditions Motifs in Micah 1:2–4:8
    3. Transformation of Zion
      1. Unbridled Sin: Idolatry and Social Injustice in Jerusalem
      2. Judgment: From Mountaintops to Mount Zion
      3. Restoration: The Exaltation of Zion
    4. Significance of Divine Sovereignty in Zion
      1. Zion as the Cosmic Mountain
      2. Yahweh as the Cosmic King
  9. Chapter 5 Divine Sovereignty and the Davidic King (Micah 4:9–5:14)
    1. Introduction
    2. Overview of Micah 4:9–5:14
      1. Unity of Micah 4:9–5:14
      2. Zion/Davidic Traditions in Micah 4:9–5:14
    3. Transformation of Davidic Kingship
      1. Implied Sin Concerning Zion’s King and Inhabitants
      2. Judgment upon Zion’s King and Inhabitants
      3. Restoration of Zion’s Former Dominion
    4. Significance of Davidic Kingship
  10. Chapter 6 Divine Sovereignty and the New People of God (Micah 6:1–7:20)
    1. Introduction
    2. Overview of Micah 6:1–7:20
      1. Unity of Micah 6:1–7:20
      2. Zion/Davidic Traditions in Micah 6:1–7:20
    3. Transformation of the New People of God
      1. Yahweh Demands Covenant Recommitment
      2. Judgment upon the Wicked
      3. Transformation of the Righteous
    4. Conclusion
  11. Chapter 7 Covenantal Implications of Divine Sovereignty in Micah
    1. Introduction
    2. Zion/Davidic Traditions and the Abrahamic Traditions
    3. Restoration of the Abrahamic Promises
      1. Yahweh Restores the Land
      2. Yahweh Restores Kingship
      3. Yahweh Restores Israel’s Status as a Great Nation
      4. Yahweh Restores a New Covenant Community
    4. Conclusion
  12. Appendix Origins of the Zion/Davidic Traditions
    1. Introduction
    2. The Jebusite Theory
    3. The Shiloh Ark Theory
    4. The Davidic Court Theory
  13. Bibliography

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