Judges 17:11, 12: Illegitimate Priest of an Idolatrous Shrine

Verse 11:[1] And the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man was unto him as one of his sons.



[He acquiesced and remained, וַיּ֥וֹאֶל הַלֵּוִ֖י לָשֶׁ֣בֶת וגו״[2]] And he willed (was pleased [Pagnine, Junius and Tremellius, Munster, Arabic], began [Septuagint], consented [Syriac]) to remain, or to dwell, with the man (Montanus, Pagnine). He clarifies what he had said at the end of verse 10, and he went on (Vatablus). He resolved in his mind that he would dwell with that man (Tigurinus). Those things [that Micah promised] were not great in themselves; but they appeared so to this hungry and rash young man, and, so that he might get possession of them, he polluted himself with this most filthy apostasy, etc. (Serarius).


The Levite was content; being constrained by necessity, and infected with the common contagion of the superstition and idolatry of the times. Was unto him as one of his sons, that is, treated with the same degree of kindness and affection.


Verse 12:[3] And Micah (Judg. 17:5) consecrated the Levite; and the young man (Judg. 18:30) became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.


[And Micah filled his hand, וַיְמַלֵּא וגו״] And Micah filled (consecrated [Pagnine, Junius and Tremellius, Munster, Tigurinus], perfected, or, made perfect [Syriac, Arabic]) the hand of the Levite (Montanus, Septuagint, Vatablus), or, the ministry of the Levite (Junius and Tremellius). He filled the hand, etc., namely, by offering sacrifices through his agency; that is, he constituted him a priest (Tigurinus Notes). He consecrated him a priest, with the sacrificial victims delivered to him that he would offer for his inauguration in the undertaken priesthood (Osiander).



Consecrated the Levite, to be a priest, for which he thought a consecration necessary, as knowing that the Levites were no less excluded from the priest’s office than the people. Became his priest, instead of his son, whom he had consecrated for want of a fitter, Judges 17:5; but now seems to restrain him from the exercise of that office, and to devolve it wholly upon the Levite, who was nearer akin to it.

[1] Hebrew: וַיּ֥וֹאֶל הַלֵּוִ֖י לָשֶׁ֣בֶת אֶת־הָאִ֑ישׁ וַיְהִ֤י הַנַּ֙עַר֙ ל֔וֹ כְּאַחַ֖ד מִבָּנָֽיו׃


[2] יָאַל, in the Hiphil conjugation, signifies to show willingness, or to determine.


[3] Hebrew: וַיְמַלֵּ֤א מִיכָה֙ אֶת־יַ֣ד הַלֵּוִ֔י וַיְהִי־ל֥וֹ הַנַּ֖עַר לְכֹהֵ֑ן וַיְהִ֖י בְּבֵ֥ית מִיכָֽה׃

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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