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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Judges

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FRAMEWORKS: Judges 17: Micah's Idols


v.1-6 Micah sets up his own idol worship

v.7-13 A Young Levite becomes Micah's priest


[Preliminary Notes: From observing individual judges the final five chapters of the book reveal the terrible spiritual, moral and administrative state of the nation without any real leadership. This first example in this chapter shows an Israelite who set up his own religion. In this and following chapters there is little indication of time and so it is possible we are being told incidents that happened much earlier in the period of the judges.]



v.1-6 Micah sets up his own idol worship


v.1-2 Micah confesses stealing his mother's silver

v.1  Now a man named Micah from the hill country of Ephraim [ in the centre of the country ]

v.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!”


v.3-4 His mother makes an idol of the silver

v.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.”

v.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.


v.5,6 Micah sets up a shrine for false worship

v.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.

v.6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.


[Notes: Micah steals his mother's savings and when she curses whoever took it, he confesses. She in turn then takes a little under of a fifth of it and makes an idol with it for him. He establishes a shrine and gods and appoints one of his sons to act as their priest.]



v.7-13 A Young Levite becomes Micah's priest


v.7 A young Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, who had been living within the clan of Judah,

v.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.

v.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.”

v.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.”

v.11 So the Levite agreed to live with him, and the young man became like one of his sons to him.

v.12 Then Micah installed the Levite, and the young man became his priest and lived in his house.

v.13 And Micah said, “Now I know that the Lord will be good to me, since this Levite has become my priest.”


[Notes: A while later, a young Levite who had previously been living in Bethlehem, [not one of the Levitical towns in Judah - Josh 21:4, 13-15], but who must have been a priest from the line of Aaron, clearly felt unfulfilled and travelled north through the lands of Ephraim. Micah invites him to be his priest and he agrees.]