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Judges 18:3, 4: Renewal of Evil Acquaintances

Verse 3:[1] When they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man the Levite: and they turned in thither, and said unto him, Who brought thee hither? and what makest thou in this place? and what hast thou here?


[ הֵ֚מָּה עִם־בֵּ֣ית מִיכָ֔ה] When they were (or, had spent the night [Arabic]) at the house of Micah (Syriac). They were with the house (or, near, by, or at, the house [Pagnine, Junius and Tremellius, Tigurinus) of Micah (Montanus, Junius).



[Recognizing the voice of the Levite] That is, his speech or expression, λαλιάν/dialect (Drusius). Recognizing a certain foreign tone in his pronunciation: for it happens everywhere, that within one and the same province, which makes use of the same tongue, nevertheless there is a diversity of pronunciations even among neighboring citizens (Menochius). There were various dialects in the land of Israel; the Galileans had their own, and the Jerusalemites also (Drusius). The Ephraimites were known by their pronunciation of Sibboleth (Martyr).


They knew the voice of the young man; either, 1. By his manner of pronunciation, which was differing and distinguishable in several tribes, as appears from Judges 12:6; Mark 14:70. Or, 2. By the celebration of some part of his office, which they, then lodging in the neighbourhood, might be invited to. Or rather, 3. By some acquaintance which some of them formerly had with him which they might have upon many occasions. What makest thou in this place; this being not thy usual place, nor proper for thy employment?


Verse 4:[2] And he said unto them, Thus and thus dealeth Micah with me, and hath (Judg. 17:10) hired me, and I am his priest.



[These things and these things, כָּזֹ֣ה וְכָזֶ֔ה] After this and after this, supplying, manner and mode, he hath done to me. The repetition of the demonstrative pronoun indicates distribution. Thus, in Numbers 22:24, גָּדֵ֥ר מִזֶּ֖ה וְגָדֵ֥ר מִזֶּֽה׃, a wall on this side and a wall on that side; in 2 Samuel 12:8, and I would have given unto thee כָּהֵ֥נָּה וְכָהֵֽנָּה׃, as this and as this, that is, these and other things, some and other things (Glassius’ “Grammar” 183).

[1] Hebrew: הֵ֚מָּה עִם־בֵּ֣ית מִיכָ֔ה וְהֵ֣מָּה הִכִּ֔ירוּ אֶת־ק֥וֹל הַנַּ֖עַר הַלֵּוִ֑י וַיָּס֣וּרוּ שָׁ֗ם וַיֹּ֤אמְרוּ לוֹ֙ מִֽי־הֱבִיאֲךָ֣ הֲלֹ֔ם וּמָֽה־אַתָּ֥ה עֹשֶׂ֛ה בָּזֶ֖ה וּמַה־לְּךָ֥ פֹֽה׃


[2] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֔ם כָּזֹ֣ה וְכָזֶ֔ה עָ֥שָׂה לִ֖י מִיכָ֑ה וַיִּשְׂכְּרֵ֕נִי וָאֱהִי־ל֖וֹ לְכֹהֵֽן׃

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The עִם in 18:3 is interesting as it could be used used to mean "with" or "by." It also could mean "beside," indicating that the Danites were on the way and passed by Micah's house. Further, it appears that Micah's house was visible along the main route - for both the Levite and the Danites were passing through and stopped. What stuck out to me was this question, "and what has thou here?" - as in to say, "What are you doing here?" That, I believe, should have caused the Levite to examine himself and flee out of that evil home. Let us take heed that we do not "linger" or enter by Micah's house.

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Mar 21, 2019

George Swinnock's Christian Man's Calling: 'Ought godliness to be every one's business? then, reader, let me persuade thee in the fear of God to put this precept into practice—"Exercise thyself to godliness." [1 Timothy 4:7] Let it be the chief trade thou drivest, the principal calling thou followest, to worship the true God in heart and life, according to his revealed will. I hope thou art satisfied in the weight of the reasons already delivered; what canst thou say why thou shouldst not presently set upon the work. Thou hast heard it is the great end of thy being and continuance in this world; that it is an employment of the greatest concernment—how it is soul-work, God-work, eternity-work; that i…

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Mar 21, 2019

Rather than renewing, and reveling in, evil associations, let us flee their corrupting influence.

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Mar 21, 2019


Hebrew Highlights:


1. In verse 3, note the unusual usage of the preposition min. Were the Danites staying in the house of Micah, or just nearby? what does the context suggest?


2. In verse 4, Glassius' comments on the repetition of the demonstrative pronoun are interesting and instructive.

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