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Judges 18:21-23: Micah in Hot Pursuit!

Verse 21:[1] So they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the cattle and the carriage before them.

[And they make the little ones, etc., to go before them] Lest they should be exposed to a hostile incursion by those that were going to demand those sacred instruments back (Piscator).

[And all that was precious, וְאֶת־הַכְּבוּדָּה[2]] And the precious (Montanus, Septuagint, Pagnine, Drusius); and the weight (Malvenda, Drusius), impediments (Junius and Tremellius, Tigurinus, Drusius). All the heavy burdent that they had, and had carried off with them from the house, Rabbi Isaiah.[3] For from the house of Micah they had taken nothing other than the Ephod, etc. (Drusius). Others: their substance (Jonathan, Arabic, Munster), understanding, remaining (Munster); their vessels and moveable things (Kimchi in Drusius).

And put the little ones, etc., before them: For their greater security, if Micah should pursue them.

Verse 22:[4] And when they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men that were in the houses near to Micah’s house were gathered together, and overtook the children of Dan.

[Crying out, נִזְעֲקוּ[5]] They were gathered together. For people are congregated by loud shouting (Drusius, Munster).

[They followed, וַיַּדְבִּ֖יקוּ אֶת־בְּנֵי־דָֽן׃[6]] And they pursued, or overtook (clinging together, they pursued [Munster], overtook [Septuagint, Jonathan, Junius and Tremellius, Vatablus]) the children of Dan (Syriac, Pagnine, Montanus, Tigurinus). They overtook by pursuing (Vatablus). They adhered. And they pursued and overtook them, clinging to them (Drusius). They made to stick fast the children of Dan; that is, they made themselves to mass them together, whom were advancing dispersedly and carelessly: for, when they had seen themselves being pursued, they composed themselves into ranks and condensed the troop, expecting the assault of enemies (Malvenda).

Verse 23:[7] And they cried unto the children of Dan. And they turned their faces, and said unto Micah, What aileth thee, that thou comest with such a company (Heb. that thou art gathered together[8])?

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּפְנ֖וּ וַיֵּלֵ֑כוּ וַיָּשִׂ֙ימוּ אֶת־הַטַּ֧ף וְאֶת־הַמִּקְנֶ֛ה וְאֶת־הַכְּבוּדָּ֖ה לִפְנֵיהֶֽם׃

[2] כְּבוּדָּה, abundance or riches, is related to כָּבֵד, to be heavy.

[3] Isaiah ben Elijah di Trani the Younger was a thirteenth century Italian Rabbi, grandson of the great Talmudist, Isaiah ben Mali di Trani the Elder. Rabbi Isaiah the Younger wrote commentaries on Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, and perhaps others. His commentaries are characterized by sober, literal exegesis.

[4] Hebrew: הֵ֥מָּה הִרְחִ֖יקוּ מִבֵּ֣ית מִיכָ֑ה וְהָאֲנָשִׁ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֤ר בַּבָּתִּים֙ אֲשֶׁר֙ עִם־בֵּ֣ית מִיכָ֔ה נִֽזְעֲק֔וּ וַיַּדְבִּ֖יקוּ אֶת־בְּנֵי־דָֽן׃


[6] דָּבַק, in the Hiphil conjugation, signifies to cause to cling.

[7] Hebrew: וַֽיִּקְרְאוּ֙ אֶל־בְּנֵי־דָ֔ן וַיַּסֵּ֖בּוּ פְּנֵיהֶ֑ם וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ לְמִיכָ֔ה מַה־לְּךָ֖ כִּ֥י נִזְעָֽקְתָּ׃

[8] Hebrew: כִּ֥י נִזְעָֽקְתָּ׃.

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