Judges 17


וַיְהִי־אִישׁ מֵהַר־אֶפְרָיִם וּשְׁמוֹ מִיכָיְהוּ׃   17:1

Judg. 17:1   Now there was a man from the hill country of Ephraim and his name was Micah.

וַיֹּאמֶר לְאִמּוֹ אֶלֶף וּמֵאָה הַכֶּסֶף אֲשֶׁר לֻקַּח־לָךְ (וְאַתִּי) [וְאַתְּ] אָלִית וְגַם אָמַרְתְּ בְּאָזְנַי הִנֵּה־הַכֶּסֶף   17:2

אִתִּי אֲנִי לְקַחְתִּיו וַתֹּאמֶר אִמּוֹ בָּרוּךְ בְּנִי לַיהוָה׃

Judg. 17:2   And he said to his mother, “The thousand and one hundred pieces of silver that was taken to you that you cursed, and also said in my ear, ‘Behold, the silver is with me?’  I took it.”  And his mother said, “Blessed be my son to the Lord.”

There should be no yad in the word in parentheses.  The correction is in the brackets.

וַיָּשֶׁב אֶת־אֶלֶף־וּמֵאָה הַכֶּסֶף לְאִמּוֹ וַתֹּאמֶר אִמּוֹ הַקְדֵּשׁ הִקְדַּשְׁתִּי אֶת־הַכֶּסֶף לַיהוָה מִיָּדִי לִבְנִי   17:3

לַעֲשׂוֹת פֶּסֶל וּמַסֵּכָה וְעַתָּה אֲשִׁיבֶנּוּ לָךְ׃

Judg. 17:3   And he returned the eleven hundred pieces of silver to his mother, and his mother said, “I hereby dedicate the silver to the Lord, from my hand, for my son, to make an engraved image and a molten image, so now I will give it back to you.”

וַיָּשֶׁב אֶת־הַכֶּסֶף לְאִמּוֹ וַתִּקַּח אִמּוֹ מָאתַיִם כֶּסֶף וַתִּתְּנֵהוּ לַצּוֹרֵף וַיַּעֲשֵׂהוּ פֶּסֶל וּמַסֵּכָה וַיְהִי בְּבֵית   17:4


Judg. 17:4   When he returned the silver to his mother, then his mother took two hundred pieces of silver and gave it to a smith, and he made an engraved image and a molten image of it, and it was in the house of Micah.

וְהָאִישׁ מִיכָה לוֹ בֵּית אֱלֹהִים וַיַּעַשׂ אֵפוֹד וּתְרָפִים וַיְמַלֵּא אֶת־יַד אַחַד מִבָּנָיו וַיְהִי־לוֹ לְכֹהֵן׃   17:5

Judg. 17:5   And the man Micah, his was a house of God, and he made an ephod and teraphim, and consecrated the hand of one from his sons, and he was for a priest for him.

בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם אֵין מֶלֶךְ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינָיו יַעֲשֶׂה׃   17:6

Judg. 17:6   In those days there was no king in Israel.  Everyone did what was right in his eyes.

The scribe is apparently writing this after kings were established in Israel, probably later than Solomon’s reign.  The kingdom was probably divided already.  The next verse may be informing us that Judah had already formed its own kingdom in the north.

וַיְהִי־נַעַר מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת יְהוּדָה וְהוּא לֵוִי וְהוּא גָר־שָׁם׃   17:7

Judg. 17:7   And a young man was from Beth-lehem of Judah from the families of Judah, and he was a Levite; and he sojourned there.

Is it possible that at that time anyone could claim he was a Levite?  This young man was of the family of Judah, not Levi.  Seems possible, although quite remarkable!

וַיֵּלֶךְ הָאִישׁ מֵהָעִיר מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה לָגוּר בַּאֲשֶׁר יִמְצָא וַיָּבֹא הַר־אֶפְרַיִם עַד־בֵּית מִיכָה   17:8

לַעֲשׂוֹת דַּרְכּוֹ׃

Judg. 17:8   And the man went from the city, from Beth-lehem of Judah to sojourn wherein he might find, and he came into the hill country of Ephraim as far as the house of Micah going about his way.

וַיֹּאמֶר־לוֹ מִיכָה מֵאַיִן תָּבוֹא וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לֵוִי אָנֹכִי מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה וְאָנֹכִי הֹלֵךְ לָגוּר בַּאֲשֶׁר   17:9


Judg. 17:9   And Micah said to him, “From where are you coming?”  And he said to him, “I am a Levite from Beth-lehem of Judah, and I go to sojourn wherein I find.”

וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ מִיכָה שְׁבָה עִמָּדִי וֶהְיֵה־לִי לְאָב וּלְכֹהֵן וְאָנֹכִי אֶתֶּן־לְךָ עֲשֶׂרֶת כֶּסֶף לַיָּמִים וְעֵרֶךְ בְּגָדִים   17:10

וּמִחְיָתֶךָ וַיֵּלֶךְ הַלֵּוִי׃

Judg. 17:10   And Micah said to him, “Dwell with me and be to me for a chief and for a priest and I will give to you ten pieces of silver for a year and an allotment of clothes and your victuals.” So the Levite came.

וַיּוֹאֶל הַלֵּוִי לָשֶׁבֶת אֶת־הָאִישׁ וַיְהִי הַנַּעַר לוֹ כְּאַחַד מִבָּנָיו׃   17:11

Judg. 17:11   And the Levite was content to dwell with the man, and the young man was like one from his sons to him.

וַיְמַלֵּא מִיכָה אֶת־יַד הַלֵּוִי וַיְהִי־לוֹ הַנַּעַר לְכֹהֵן וַיְהִי בְּבֵית מִיכָה׃   17:12

Judg. 17:12   And Micah consecrated the hand of the Levite, and the young man was for a priest for him, and he was in the house of Micah.

וַיֹּאמֶר מִיכָה עַתָּה יָדַעְתִּי כִּי־יֵיטִיב יְהוָה לִי כִּי הָיָה־לִי הַלֵּוִי לְכֹהֵן׃   17:13

Judg. 17:13   And Micah said, “Now I know that the Lord will do good for me, seeing the Levite is for a priest for me.”

Was this story of Micah and the young Judean who set himself up as a priest intended to illustrate a typical sort of situation then prevalent in Israel?  Maybe so.  The story continues in the next chapter.


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