A man named Micah lived in the hill country of Ephraim.
One day he said to his mother, "I heard you curse the thief who stole eleven hundred pieces a of silver from you. Well, here they are. I was the one who took them." "The LORD bless you for admitting it," his mother replied.
He returned the money to her, and she said, "I now dedicate these silver coins to the LORD. In honor of my son, I will have an image carved and an idol cast."
So his mother took two hundred of the silver coins to a silversmith, who made them into an image and an idol. And these were placed in Micah's house.
Micah set up a shrine, and he made a sacred ephod and some household idols. Then he installed one of his sons as the priest.
In those days Israel had no king, so the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.
One day a young Levite from Bethlehem in Judah
arrived in that area of Ephraim, looking for a good place to live. He happened to stop at Micah's house as he was traveling through.
"Where are you from?" Micah asked him. And he replied, "I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, and I am looking for a place to live."
"Stay here with me," Micah said, "and you can be a father and priest to me. I will give you ten pieces b of silver a year, plus a change of clothes and your food."
The Levite agreed to this and became like one of Micah's sons.
So Micah ordained the Levite as his personal priest, and he lived in Micah's house.
"I know the LORD will bless me now," Micah said, "because I have a Levite serving as my priest."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)