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Judges 17:8: Levite for Hire

Verse 8:[1] And the man departed out of the city from Beth-lehem-judah to sojourn where he could find a place: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he journeyed (Heb. in making his way[2]).



[He wished to sojourn wherever he found advantage for himself,לָג֖וּר בַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר יִמְצָ֑א] To sojourn, or abide, or live, wherever he might find (Junius and Tremellius, Pagnine, Montanus), understanding, either, a place (Tigurinus, Septuagint), or, advantage (Munster, Junius and Tremellius), or, an advantageous seat, or habitation, or, living (Vatablus). He is poor; because, since the Levites had no fields, and the piety and Religion of the people toward God had grown cold, meager were the returns wherewith the Levites were sustained, which otherwise, with piety thriving, were not only sufficient, but abundant (Menochius). The tithes owed to the Levites were not recompensed to them at that time, partly because the Philistines were oppressing the Jews [he says this because he thinks that these matters were conducted after the death of Samson: concerning which see what things are on verse 1], partly because there was no Magistrate that might see to this; finally, because the Israelites at that time were inclined to idolatry, neither were they valuing the worship and ministers of God (Martyr).


Where he could find a place, for employment and a livelihood; for the tithes and offerings, which were their maintenance, not being brought in to the house of God, the Levites and priests must needs be reduced to great straits.


Mount Ephraim

[Making his way, and he had turned aside for a short while unto the house of Micah, עַד־בֵּ֥ית מִיכָ֖ה לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת דַּרְכּֽוֹ׃] And he came unto the house of Micah, to make his journey (Montanus, Pagnine, Septuagint, Vatablus), or, his way (Jonathan); that is, so that he might pass that way. That is, he began to make his journey near the house of Micah (Vatablus). Others otherwise: with a mind to accomplish his journey (Syriac); so that he might proceed in his way (Tigurinus); so that he might complete his way (Munster); so that he might accomplish the rest of the journey. For he was not hoping to find there an convenient place to stay (Osiander).

[1] Hebrew: וַיֵּ֙לֶךְ הָאִ֜ישׁ מֵהָעִ֗יר מִבֵּ֥ית לֶ֙חֶם֙ יְהוּדָ֔ה לָג֖וּר בַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר יִמְצָ֑א וַיָּבֹ֧א הַר־אֶפְרַ֛יִם עַד־בֵּ֥ית מִיכָ֖ה לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת דַּרְכּֽוֹ׃


[2] Hebrew: לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת דַּרְכּֽוֹ׃.

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Martyr's interpretation of this passage stuck out to me: "because the Israelites at that time were inclined to idolatry, neither were they valuing the worship and ministers of God." How true is that, especially in the day we live in. I think the infinitive verb in the final clause is there to denote a state of being; that is, to show that the Levite sojourned and then arrived at the house of Micah.

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
14 de mar. de 2019


Matthew Henry: 'We have here an account of Micah's furnishing himself with a Levite for his chaplain, either thinking his son, because the heir of his estate, too good to officiate, or rather, because not of God's tribe, not good enough. Observe...


What brought this Levite to Micah. By his mother's side he was of the family of Judah, and lived at Bethlehem among his mother's relations (for that was not a Levites' city), or, upon some other account, as a stranger or inmate, sojourned there, Judges 17:7. Thence he went to sojourn where he could find a place, and in his travels came to the house of Micah in Mount Ephraim, Judges 17:8. Now, 1. Some think it was…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
14 de mar. de 2019

Hebrew: How is the infinitive being used in the final clause? How would you translate it?

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