C A¹ 17:1–18:1-. The idolatry of Micah. A² 18:-1-31. Agression of Danites.
A¹ a 17:1–4. Micah's house. Fabrication of image. b 17:5. Consecration of his son. c 17:6. "No king". a 17:7-11. Micah's house. Arrival of Levite. b 17:12,13. Consecration of Levite c 18:1-. "No king".
1423 to 1383 B.C.
1: And there was a man of the hill country Ephraim (where Joshua dwelt and was buried [Josh. 24:30]), whose name was Micah (= who is like God (Yah)?).
2: And he said to his mother, “The eleven hundred (see 16:5) shekels of silver that were taken from you (idolatry in Israel commenced with dishonesty), about which you cursed, and spoke of also in my ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it.” And his mother said, “Blessed be you of the Lord (Yahaveh), my son.”
3: And when he had restored the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, his mother said, “I had wholly dedicated the silver to the Lord from my hand for my son, to make a graven image and a molten image: now therefore I will restore it to you.”
4: Yet he restored the silver to his mother; and his mother took two hundred shekels of silver, and gave them to the founder, who made thereof a graven image and a molten image: and they were in the house of Micah.
5: And the man Micah had a house of gods (the true house of God was neglected, and as hard to find as it is today [21:19]; and, when found, dancing was the prominent feature, not sacrifice or worship [21:21-23]), and made an ephod (an imitation of Aaron's. Ex.25:7; 28:4), and teraphim (this word occurs only in the plural, and denotes images connected with magical rites. The derivation of the name is obscure. In one case - 1 Sam.19:13-16 - a single statue seems to be intended by the plural. The teraphim, translated "images" in the A.V., carried away from Laban by Rachel were regarded by Laban as gods, and it would therefore appear that they were used by those who added corrupt practices to the patriarchal religion. Teraphim were consulted for oracular answers by the Israelites, Zech. 10:2; Cp. 18:5,6. 1 Sam. 15:22,23; 19:13,16. 2 Kings 23:24, and by Babylonians in the case of Nebuchadnezzar. Ezek. 21:19-22), and consecrated (see Ex. 28:41. Lev. 9:17) one of his sons, who became his priest (not Yehovah's, but "made with hands").
6: In those days there was no king in Israel (first occ. of 4, see 18:1; 19:1; 21:25. Two conform to the structure here; and two in 19:1, and 21:25), but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
7: And there was a young man (see 18:30) out of Beth-lehem-judah (to distinguish it from Beth-lehem in Zebulun [Josh. 19:15]) of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there.
8: And the man departed out of the city from Beth-lehem-judah to sojourn where he could find a place (true worship neglected. Priests and Levites unemployed. Idolaters busy making idols and dancing): and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he journeyed.
9: And Micah said to him, “From which place come you?” And he said to him, “I am a Levite of Beth-lehem-judah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a place.”
10: And Micah said to him, “Dwell with me, and be to me a father and a priest, and I will give you ten shekels of silver by the year, and a suit of apparel, and your victuals.” So the Levite went in.
11: And the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man was to him as one of his sons.
12: And Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young man became his priest (not Yehovah's; see v.5), and was in the house of Micah.
13: Then said Micah, “Now know I that the Lord will do me good (the "good" [as in all such cases] never came. For Micah is afterward robbed both of his idols and his priest), seeing I have a Levite to my priest.”