Judges 17

Micah Makes His Own Religion

17:1 There was a man named Micah from the Ephraimite hill country. 17:2 He said to his mother, “You know1 the eleven hundred pieces of silver which were stolen2 from you, about which I heard you pronounce a curse? Look here, I have the silver. I stole3 it, but now I am giving it back to you.”4 His mother said, “May the Lord reward5 you, my son!” 17:3 When he gave back to his mother the eleven hundred pieces of silver, his mother said, “I solemnly dedicate6 this silver to the Lord. It will be for my son’s benefit. We will use it to make a carved image and a metal image.”7 17:4 When he gave the silver back to his mother, she8 took two hundred pieces of silver9 to a silversmith, who made them into a carved image and a metal image. She then put them in Micah’s house.10 17:5 Now this man Micah owned a shrine.11 He made an ephod12 and some personal idols and hired one of his sons to serve as a priest.13 17:6 In those days Israel had no king. Each man did what he considered to be right.14

Micah Hires a Professional

17:7 There was a young man from Bethlehem15 in Judah. He was a Levite who had been temporarily residing among the tribe of Judah.16 17:8 This man left the town of Bethlehem in Judah to find another place to live. He came to the Ephraimite hill country and made his way to Micah’s house.17 17:9 Micah said to him, “Where do you come from?” He replied, “I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah. I am looking for a new place to live.”18 17:10 Micah said to him, “Stay with me. Become my adviser19 and priest. I will give you ten pieces of silver per year, plus clothes and food.”20 17:11 So the Levite agreed to stay with the man; the young man was like a son to Micah.21 17:12 Micah paid22 the Levite; the young man became his priest and lived in Micah’s house. 17:13 Micah said, “Now I know God will make me rich,23 because I have this Levite as my priest.”

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