Original Research

Micah’s shepherd-king (Mi 2:12–13): An ethical model for reversing oppression in leadership praxis

Blessing O. Boloje
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 41, No 1 | a2088 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v41i1.2088 | © 2020 Blessing O. Boloje | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 March 2020 | Published: 10 September 2020

About the author(s)

Blessing O. Boloje, Department of Old Testament and Hebrew Scriptures, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


The exposition attempts to use Micah’s metaphor of shepherd-king (Mi 2:12–13) as a heuristic ethical model for reversing oppression and violence in leadership praxis. Given the reality of widespread oppression and violence perpetrated by the powerful, Micah 2:12–13 is interjected into the oracle as a means of accentuating the hope of those who are marginalised and dispossessed. Although Micah’s shepherd-king metaphor interrupts the foregoing context of the oracle of condemnation and doom, the unit logically balances the general rhetorical pattern of judgement, and afterward salvation. Such a canonical and ideological reading presents a window through which informed ethical models are constructed for the reversal of oppression and violence in the readers’ socio-economic and religious context. Micah’s shepherd-king metaphor imagines a restoration of fortune under the leadership of a coming eschatological shepherd-leader allows one a positive construct of a visionary leader, who is a passionate agent of restoration rather than one who is an agent of exploitation, oppression and bondage.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: As a rhetorical literary production, there are seemingly noteworthy ideological and theological intentions in the Book of Micah. Consequently, this exposition brings together biblical, literary, exegetical and theological discourses into dialogue with ethics, ethical demands and practical theology. Granted that leadership affects every aspect of community life, Micah’s beautifully harmonised, biblical shepherd-king in time and context generates insightful alternative and viable components of the process of conveying its life-giving and instructive power for contemporary leadership praxis, both within the ecclesia community and larger human society.


Micah; shepherd-king; flock; leadership; oppression and violence; ethical model; reversal of fortune


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