Judges 17:1-6

Micah's Priest

1 There was a man from the hill country of Ephraim named Micah.
2 He said to his mother, "The 1,100 pieces of silver taken from you, and that I heard you utter a curse about-here, I have the silver with me. I took it. So now I return it to you."[a] Then his mother said, "My son, you are blessed by the Lord!"
3 He returned the 1,100 pieces of silver to his mother, and his mother said, "I personally consecrate the silver to the Lord for my son's benefit to make a carved image overlaid with silver."[b]
4 So he returned the silver to his mother, and she took five pounds of silver and gave it to a silversmith. He made it into a carved image overlaid with silver,[c] and it was in Micah's house.
5 This man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and household idols, and installed one of his sons to be his priest.
6 In those days there was no king in Israel;[d] everyone did whatever he wanted.[e][f]

Judges 17:1-6 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JUDGES 17

This chapter relates the first rise of idolatry in Israel after the death of Joshua, which began in Mount Ephraim, occasioned by a sum of money stolen by a man from his mother, which being restored, part was converted to an idolatrous use; two images were made of it, Jud 17:1-5 and there being no king in Israel to take cognizance of it, the idolatry took place and continued, and afterwards spread, Jud 17:6, and this idolater not only made one of his sons a priest, but took a Levite for another, whom he hired by the year to serve him, Jud 17:7-13.

Judges 17:1-6 In-Context

1 There was a man from the hill country of Ephraim named Micah.
2 He said to his mother, "The 1,100 pieces of silver taken from you, and that I heard you utter a curse about-here, I have the silver with me. I took it. So now I return it to you." Then his mother said, "My son, you are blessed by the Lord!"
3 He returned the 1,100 pieces of silver to his mother, and his mother said, "I personally consecrate the silver to the Lord for my son's benefit to make a carved image overlaid with silver."
4 So he returned the silver to his mother, and she took five pounds of silver and gave it to a silversmith. He made it into a carved image overlaid with silver, and it was in Micah's house.
5 This man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and household idols, and installed one of his sons to be his priest.
6 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever he wanted.
7 There was a young man, a Levite, from Bethlehem in Judah, who resided within the clan of Judah.
8 The man left the town of Bethlehem in Judah to settle wherever he could find a place. On his way he came to Micah's home in the hill country of Ephraim.
9 "Where do you come from?" Micah asked him. He answered him, "I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, and I'm going to settle wherever I can find a place.
10 Micah replied, "Stay with me and be my father and priest, and I will give you four ounces of silver a year, along with your clothing and provisions." So the Levite went in

Footnotes 6

  • [a]. MT places this sentence at the end of v. 3.
  • [b]. Or image and a cast image
  • [c]. Or image and a cast image
  • [d]. Jdg 18:1; 19:1
  • [e]. Lit did what was right in his eyes
  • [f]. Jdg 21:25
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