Babylon or Nineveh?

By Royce Frederick

Micah prophesied during the reigns of three kings of Judah — during the reigns of Jotham and Ahaz, and the first part of Hezekiah’s reign (see Micah 1:1).

Micah foretold that the people of Jerusalem would be carried to BABYLON (Micah 4:10): “Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion [the mountain on which Jerusalem sits], like a woman in birth pangs. For now you shall go forth from the city, you shall dwell in the field, and to Babylon you shall go. There you shall be delivered; there the LORD will redeem you from the hand of your enemies.”

Why Babylon? It was an important city during Micah’s time. But the Assyrian Empire was in power, and Nineveh was its capitol. Why did Micah say they would be carried to Babylon, instead of Nineveh?

Micah prophesied from about 750 B.C. to about 710 B. C. We first read of a captive going to Babylon when the king of Assyria took king Manasseh there about 677 B. C. (2 Chron. 33:11), thirty years after Micah’s work. Nineveh fell in 612 B. C., almost 100 years after Micah’s work. The Babylonian Empire took control, with Babylon as its capitol. Captives were taken to Babylon from Jerusalem in 606, in 597, and in 586 B. C., when Jerusalem was finally destroyed (see 2 Chron. 36:6, 9-10, 11-20).

Micah was right! The fulfillment of this prophecy shows us that Micah’s message was from God, and the Bible is truly God’s word.