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Judges 18:15-18: Micah's Gods Stolen!

Verse 15:[1] And they turned thitherward, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, even unto the house of Micah, and saluted him (Heb. asked him of peace;[2] Genesis 43:27;[3] 1 Sam. 17:22[4]).

[And when they had turned aside a little] Out of their way, with that counsel just now received, so that they might come unto the house (Bonfrerius).

[They entered the house of the young Levite, who was in the house of Micah, אֶל־בֵּֽית־הַנַּ֥עַר הַלֵּוִ֖י בֵּ֣ית מִיכָ֑ה] Into the house of the Levite, who was in the house of Micah (Pagnine). For, even if he was of the family of Micah, he had a separate house, or a part of a house, almost certainly conjoined with the chapel of idols (Bonfrerius). Into the house of the Levite, into the house of Micah (Septuagint, Jonathan, Junius and Tremellius). Into the house of the Levite, namely, or, that is, into the house of Micah (Syriac, Munster, Tigurinus, English).

[They saluted, etc., וַיִּשְׁאֲלוּ־ל֖וֹ לְשָׁלֽוֹם׃] And they saluted him peacefully, that is, they implored wellness to him (Vatablus). They asked him of peace (Drusius, Junius), that is, concerning prosperity (Junius and Tremellius, Piscator). It is a Synecdoche of member (Piscator), that is, it means just what it means in Genesis 29:6, Is there peace to him?[5] (Drusius). That is, having been greeted in a friendly manner, they led him outside unto the six hundred men by conference, as it is understood out of verse 17. It is Metalepsis (Malvenda). It is a metonymical Synecdoche of member: for the end is understood together with the intended effect (Piscator).

And saluted him: Hebrew, asked him of peace, that is, if he were in peace, peace being commonly put for health and prosperity.

Verse 16:[6] And the (Judg. 18:11) six hundred men appointed with their weapons of war, which were of the children of Dan, stood by the entering of the gate.

Verse 17:[7] And (Judg. 18:2, 14) the five men that went to spy out the land went up, and came in thither, and took (Judg. 17:4, 5) the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men that were appointed with weapons of war.

[They had entered] That is, while the six hundred men detained that priest by conversation in the doorway of the house (Malvenda out of Junius).

Came in thither, to wit, into the house, and that part of it where those things were. In the entering of the gate; whither they had drawn him forth that they might without noise or hinderance take them away.

Verse 18:[8] And these went into Micah’s house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest unto them, What do ye?

These, to wit, the five mentioned verse 17.

[The graven thing, the ephod] Either, the graven thing and the ephod, so that it might be ἀσύνδετον/asyndeton; or, the graven thing of the Ephod, that is, which the Ephod has (Drusius).

What do ye? what do you mean to do? I hope you will not do so impious and injurious an action.

[1] Hebrew: וַיָּס֣וּרוּ שָׁ֔מָּה וַיָּבֹ֛אוּ אֶל־בֵּֽית־הַנַּ֥עַר הַלֵּוִ֖י בֵּ֣ית מִיכָ֑ה וַיִּשְׁאֲלוּ־ל֖וֹ לְשָׁלֽוֹם׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיִּשְׁאֲלוּ־ל֖וֹ לְשָׁלֽוֹם׃.

[3] Genesis 43:27: “And he asked them of their welfare (וַיִּשְׁאַ֤ל לָהֶם֙ לְשָׁל֔וֹם), and said, Is your father well (הֲשָׁל֛וֹם אֲבִיכֶ֥ם), the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?”

[4] 1 Samuel 17:22: “And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the carriage, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethrenוַיִּשְׁאַ֥ל לְאֶחָ֖יו) לְשָׁלֽוֹם׃).”

[5] Genesis 29:6: “And he said unto them, Is he well? And they said, He is well (הֲשָׁל֣וֹם ל֑וֹ וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ שָׁל֔וֹם): and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.”

[6] Hebrew: וְשֵׁשׁ־מֵא֣וֹת אִ֗ישׁ חֲגוּרִים֙ כְּלֵ֣י מִלְחַמְתָּ֔ם נִצָּבִ֖ים פֶּ֣תַח הַשָּׁ֑עַר אֲשֶׁ֖ר מִבְּנֵי־דָֽן׃

[7] Hebrew: וַֽיַּעֲל֞וּ חֲמֵ֣שֶׁת הָאֲנָשִׁ֗ים הַהֹלְכִים֮ לְרַגֵּ֣ל אֶת־הָאָרֶץ֒ בָּ֣אוּ שָׁ֔מָּה לָקְח֗וּ אֶת־הַפֶּ֙סֶל֙ וְאֶת־הָ֣אֵפ֔וֹד וְאֶת־הַתְּרָפִ֖ים וְאֶת־הַמַּסֵּכָ֑ה וְהַכֹּהֵ֗ן נִצָּב֙ פֶּ֣תַח הַשַּׁ֔עַר וְשֵׁשׁ־מֵא֣וֹת הָאִ֔ישׁ הֶחָג֖וּר כְּלֵ֥י הַמִּלְחָמָֽה׃

[8] Hebrew: וְאֵ֗לֶּה בָּ֚אוּ בֵּ֣ית מִיכָ֔ה וַיִּקְחוּ֙ אֶת־פֶּ֣סֶל הָאֵפ֔וֹד וְאֶת־הַתְּרָפִ֖ים וְאֶת־הַמַּסֵּכָ֑ה וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם֙ הַכֹּהֵ֔ן מָ֥ה אַתֶּ֖ם עֹשִֽׂים׃

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
31 mar 2019

It is a sorry thing to trust in a god of stone, that cannot deliver itself, much less its worshipper.

It's not just the gods of wood and stone...

Creatures fail. Let us place our hope in the living and true God. No one ever trusted in Him and was disappointed!

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
31 mar 2019

Matthew Henry: 'The five men that knew the house and the avenues to it, and particularly the chapel, went in and fetched out the images, with the ephod, and teraphim, and all the appurtenances, while the 600 kept the priest in talk at the gate, Judges 18:16-18. See what little care this sorry priest took of his gods; while he was sauntering at the gate, and gazing at the strangers, his treasure (such as it was) was gone. See how impotent these sorry gods were, that could not keep themselves from being stolen. It is mentioned as the reproach of idols that they themselves had gone into captivity, Isaiah 46:2. O the sottishness of these Danites! How could they imagin…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
31 mar 2019

Hebrew Highlights:

1. What do you make of the expression, וַיִּשְׁאֲלוּ־ל֖וֹ לְשָׁלֽוֹם׃, in verse 15?

2. What do you think, asyndeton in verse 18?

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