Universality in the book of Micah : an exegetical-thematic study
Montano, Victor Costan
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This study investigates the theme of universality in the book of Micah through exegetical-thematic analyses. A review of pertinent literature has shown that in spite of the scholarly treatment on the theme of universality, the book of Micah receives little attention. Some scholars hold that the oracles for the nations were nationalistic and redactionally interpreted. No agreement exists as to how the concept of salvation for the nations is revealed in Micah. Because of these factors, it is the object of this dissertation to pursue its investigation. The discussion on the backgrounds shows that in the narrative, writings, poetic, and prophetic literature of the OT, God makes redemptive benefits available for all. In the OT, God's relationship is open to the Gentiles and is demonstrably universal with regards to His unfailing love and intention for all His creation and He makes all human beings equal in dignity and worthy of His eternal care. The basis for the nations' inclusion in God's promised blessing is both textually and theologically linked to the motifs of covenant, election, mission, deliverance, worship, and prayers Chapter 3 analyzes the pertinent passages dealing on universality in the book of Micah (4:1-5; 5:7-8; 7:11- 12,17-20). The findings reveal that these hopeful passages for the nations are set in the context of judgment and hope oracles. In Micah, the nations are included in judgment and most especially in the promised coming hope. Gentiles are objects of God's mercy rooted in His covenant promise to save humankind. It was found that the presence of several terminological citations, imageries, parallelisms, verbal analyses and other rhetorical features in Micah along with the inter-textual passages provide the background and avenue by which the promised transformation and redemption for the Gentiles can be elaborated and explained. This gives the integral setting to explain the promise hope made by God to the Gentiles in the book of Micah.