Judges 17

Listen to Judges 17

Micah and the Levite

1 There was a man of 1the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Micah.
2 And he said to his mother, "The 1,100 pieces of silver that were taken from you, about which you uttered a curse, and also spoke it in my ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it." And his mother said, 2"Blessed be my son by the LORD."
3 And he restored the 1,100 pieces of silver to his mother. And his mother said, "I dedicate the silver to the LORD from my hand for my son, to make 3a carved image and 4a metal image. Now therefore I will restore it to you."
4 So when he restored the money to his mother, his mother 5took 200 pieces of silver and gave it to the silversmith, who made it into a carved image and a metal image. And it was in the house of Micah.
5 And the man Micah had a shrine, and he made 6an ephod and 7household gods, and 8ordained[a] one of his sons, who became his priest.
6 9In those days there was no king in Israel. 10Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
7 Now there was a young man of 11Bethlehem in Judah, of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there.
8 And the man departed from the town of Bethlehem in Judah to sojourn where he could find a place. And as he journeyed, he came to 12the hill country of Ephraim to the house of Micah.
9 And Micah said to him, "Where do you come from?" And he said to him, "I am a Levite of Bethlehem in Judah, and I am going to sojourn where I may find a place."
10 And Micah said to him, "Stay with me, and be to me 13a father and a priest, and I will give you ten pieces of silver a year and a suit of clothes and your living." And the Levite went in.
11 And the Levite 14was content to dwell with the man, and the young man became to him like one of his sons.
12 And Micah 15ordained the Levite, and the young man 16became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.
13 Then Micah said, "Now I know that the LORD will prosper me, because I have a Levite as priest."

Judges 17 Commentary

Chapter 17

The beginning of idolatry in Israel, Micah and his mother. (1-6) Micah hires a Levite to be his priest. (7-13)

Verses 1-6 What is related in this, and the rest of the chapters to the end of this book, was done soon after the death of Joshua: see chap. ( Judges 20:28 ) . That it might appear how happy the nation was under the Judges, here is showed how unhappy they were when there was no Judge. The love of money made Micah so undutiful to his mother as to rob her, and made her so unkind to her son, as to curse him. Outward losses drive good people to their prayers, but bad people to their curses. This woman's silver was her god, before it was made into a graven or a molten image. Micah and his mother agreed to turn their money into a god, and set up idol worship in their family. See the cause of this corruption. Every man did that which was right in his own eyes, and then they soon did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.

Verses 7-13 Micah thought it was a sign of God's favour to him and his images, that a Levite should come to his door. Thus those who please themselves with their own delusions, if Providence unexpectedly bring any thing to their hands that further them in their evil way, are apt from thence to think that God is pleased with them.

Cross References 16

  • 1. ver. 8; Judges 18:2; See Joshua 24:33
  • 2. Ruth 3:10; 1 Samuel 15:13
  • 3. [Exodus 20:4]
  • 4. [Leviticus 19:4]
  • 5. [Isaiah 46:6]
  • 6. Judges 8:27; Judges 18:14, 17; See Exodus 28:6-35
  • 7. [Genesis 31:19; Hosea 3:4]
  • 8. ver. 12; [1 Kings 13:33]
  • 9. Judges 18:1; Judges 19:1; Judges 21:25
  • 10. [Deuteronomy 12:8]
  • 11. Judges 19:1; Ruth 1:1, 2; Micah 5:2; Matt. 2:1, 5, 6
  • 12. See Joshua 24:33
  • 13. Judges 18:19
  • 14. [Exodus 2:21]
  • 15. ver. 5
  • 16. [Judges 18:30]

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew filled the hand of; also verse 12

Chapter Summary


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 Commentaries