There was a man from the hill country of Ephraim named Micah.
He said to his mother, "Remember that 1,100 pieces of silver that were taken from you? I overheard you when you pronounced your curse. Well, I have the money; I stole it. But now I've brought it back to you." His mother said, "God bless you, my son!"
As he returned the 1,100 silver pieces to his mother, she said, "I had totally consecrated this money to God for my son to make a statue, a cast god."
Then she took 200 pieces of the silver and gave it to a sculptor and he cast them into the form of a god.
This man, Micah, had a private chapel. He had made an ephod and some teraphim-idols and had ordained one of his sons to be his priest.
In those days there was no king in Israel. People did whatever they felt like doing.
Meanwhile there was a young man from Bethlehem in Judah and from a family of Judah. He was a Levite but was a stranger there.
He left that town, Bethlehem in Judah, seeking his fortune. He got as far as the hill country of Ephraim and showed up at Micah's house.
Micah asked him, "So where are you from?" He said, "I'm a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah. I'm on the road, looking for a place to settle down."
Micah said, "Stay here with me. Be my father and priest. I'll pay you ten pieces of silver a year, whatever clothes you need, and your meals."
The Levite agreed and moved in with Micah. The young man fit right in and became one of the family.
Micah appointed the young Levite as his priest. This all took place in Micah's home.
Micah said, "Now I know that God will make things go well for me - why, I've got a Levite for a priest!"
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)