Judges 17:1-6

Micah’s Idols

1 Now a man named Micah from the hill country of Ephraim
2 said to his mother, “The eleven hundred shekels[a] of silver that were taken from you and about which I heard you utter a curse—I have that silver with me; I took it.” Then his mother said, “The LORD bless you, my son!”
3 When he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, “I solemnly consecrate my silver to the LORD for my son to make an image overlaid with silver. I will give it back to you.”
4 So after he returned the silver to his mother, she took two hundred shekels[b] of silver and gave them to a silversmith, who used them to make the idol. And it was put in Micah’s house.
5 Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some household gods and installed one of his sons as his priest.
6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

Judges 17:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah.
ESV
1 There was a man of the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Micah.
NLT
1 There was a man named Micah, who lived in the hill country of Ephraim.
MSG
1 There was a man from the hill country of Ephraim named Micah.
CSB
1 There was a man from the hill country of Ephraim named Micah.

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 Now a man named Micah from the hill country of Ephraim
2 said to his mother, “The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you and about which I heard you utter a curse—I have that silver with me; I took it.” Then his mother said, “The LORD bless you, my son!”
3 When he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, “I solemnly consecrate my silver to the LORD for my son to make an image overlaid with silver. I will give it back to you.”
4 So after he returned the silver to his mother, she took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to a silversmith, who used them to make the idol. And it was put in Micah’s house.
5 Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some household gods and installed one of his sons as his priest.
6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.
7 A young Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, who had been living within the clan of Judah,
8 left that town in search of some other place to stay. On his way he came to Micah’s house in the hill country of Ephraim.
9 Micah asked him, “Where are you from?” “I’m a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah,” he said, “and I’m looking for a place to stay.”
10 Then Micah said to him, “Live with me and be my father and priest, and I’ll give you ten shekels of silver a year, your clothes and your food.”

Cross References 11

  • 1. Judges 18:2,13
  • 2. Ruth 2:20; Ruth 3:10; 1 Samuel 15:13; 1 Samuel 23:21; 2 Samuel 2:5
  • 3. S Exodus 20:4; Exodus 20:4,23; Exodus 34:17; Leviticus 19:4
  • 4. S Exodus 32:4; S Isaiah 17:8
  • 5. Isaiah 44:13; Ezekiel 8:10
  • 6. S Judges 8:27
  • 7. S Genesis 31:19; Judges 18:14
  • 8. S Numbers 16:10
  • 9. S Exodus 29:9; Judges 18:24
  • 10. Judges 18:1; Judges 19:1; Judges 21:25
  • 11. S Deuteronomy 12:8

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. That is, about 28 pounds or about 13 kilograms
  • [b]. That is, about 5 pounds or about 2.3 kilograms
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