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Judges Seventeen

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Judges 17:1 And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah.

man of Mount Ephraim. The last five chapters of Judges provide a direct insight unto the moral depravity in Israel during one of their many periods of religious apostasy. The latter is indicated in this case by the establishment of a household shrine with an image supposedly depicting Jehovah. Thus Micah could, he thought, have his own worship center without having to travel to the tabernacle at Shiloh. This was in spite of the fact that Micah lived in Ephraim, and the tabernacle had been set up at Shiloh, in Ephraim. Even this Levite—and no doubt others also—had fallen into this apostasy.

Judges 17:2 And he said unto his mother, The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from thee, about which thou cursedst, and spakest of also in mine ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it. And his mother said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my son.

Judges 17:3 And when he had restored the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, his mother said, I had wholly dedicated the silver unto the LORD from my hand for my son, to make a graven image and a molten image: now therefore I will restore it unto thee.

Judges 17:4 Yet he restored the money unto 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.

Judges 17:5 And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.

Judges 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

no king in Israel. Four times (Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25), we are told in this book that “there was no king in Israel in those days,” indicating that the book must have been compiled either by Samuel or someone else of his or a later generation. The first and last of these add that “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” With no centralized government, except for the spiritual center in the tabernacle at Shiloh, the judges were tribal leaders who managed to secure some following in tribes other than their own who would respect and follow their authority. Some of these judges (i.e., Jephthah and Samson) may well have exercised leadership contemporaneously over different groups of tribes in Israel. There are no clear chronological and genealogical summaries in Joshua and Judges, as there are in the Pentateuch.

Judges 17:7 And there was a young man out of Bethlehemjudah of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there.

Judges 17:8 And the man departed out of the city from Bethlehemjudah to sojourn where he could find a place: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he journeyed.

Judges 17:9 And Micah said unto him, Whence comest thou? And he said unto him, I am a Levite of Bethlehemjudah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a place.

Judges 17:10 And Micah said unto him, Dwell with me, and be unto me a father and a priest, and I will give thee ten shekels of silver by the year, and a suit of apparel, and thy victuals. So the Levite went in.

Judges 17:11 And the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man was unto him as one of his sons.

Judges 17:12 And Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.

Judges 17:13 Then said Micah, Now know I that the LORD will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest.