Judges 17



1 καί-C γίγνομαι-VBI-AMI3S ἀνήρ-N3--NSM ἀπό-P ὄρος-N3E-GSN *ἐφράιμ-N---GSM καί-C ὄνομα-N3M-ASN αὐτός- D--DSM *μιχαιας-N---NSM

2 καί-C εἶπον-VBI-AAI3S ὁ- A--DSF μήτηρ-N3--DSF αὐτός- D--GSM ὁ- A--NPM χίλιοι-A1A-NPM καί-C ἑκατόν-M ὅς- --APM λαμβάνω-VBI-AAI2S ἀργύριον-N2N-GSN σεαυτοῦ- D--DSF καί-C ἐγώ- P--AS ἀράομαι-VAI-AMI2S καί-C προςεἶπον-VAI-AAI2S ἐν-P οὖς-N3--DPN ἐγώ- P--GS ἰδού-I ὁ- A--NSN ἀργύριον-N2N-NSN παρά-P ἐγώ- P--DS ἐγώ- P--NS λαμβάνω-VBI-AAI3P αὐτός- D--ASN καί-C εἶπον-VBI-AAI3S ὁ- A--NSF μήτηρ-N3--NSF αὐτός- D--GSM εὐλογητός-A1--NSM ὁ- A--NSM υἱός-N2--NSM ἐγώ- P--GS ὁ- A--DSM κύριος-N2--DSM

3 καί-C ἀποδίδωμι-VAI-AAI3S ὁ- A--APM χίλιοι-A1A-APM καί-C ἑκατόν-M ὁ- A--GSN ἀργύριον-N2N-GSN ὁ- A--DSF μήτηρ-N3--DSF αὐτός- D--GSM καί-C εἶπον-VBI-AAI3S ὁ- A--NSF μήτηρ-N3--NSF αὐτός- D--GSM ἁγιάζω-V1--PAPNSF ἁγιάζω-VX--XAI1S ὁ- A--ASN ἀργύριον-N2N-ASN ὁ- A--DSM κύριος-N2--DSM ἐκ-P χείρ-N3--GSF ἐγώ- P--GS ὁ- A--DSM υἱός-N2--DSM ἐγώ- P--GS ὁ- A--GSN ποιέω-VA--AAN γλυπτός-A1--ASN καί-C χωνευτός-A1--ASN καί-C νῦν-D ἀποδίδωμι-VF--FAI1S σύ- P--DS αὐτός- D--ASN

4 καί-C ἀποδίδωμι-VAI-AAI3S ὁ- A--ASN ἀργύριον-N2N-ASN ὁ- A--DSF μήτηρ-N3--DSF αὐτός- D--GSM καί-C λαμβάνω-VBI-AAI3S ὁ- A--NSF μήτηρ-N3--NSF αὐτός- D--GSM διακόσιοι-A1A-APM ἀργύριον-N2N-GSN καί-C δίδωμι-VAI-AAI3S αὐτός- D--ASN ἀργυροκόπος-N2--DSM καί-C ποιέω-VAI-AAI3S αὐτός- D--ASN γλυπτός-A1--ASN καί-C χωνευτός-A1--ASN καί-C γίγνομαι-VCI-API3S ἐν-P οἶκος-N2--DSM *μιχαιας-N---GSM

5 καί-C ὁ- A--NSM οἶκος-N2--NSM *μιχαιας-N---GSM αὐτός- D--DSM οἶκος-N2--NSM θεός-N2--GSM καί-C ποιέω-VAI-AAI3S εφωδ-N---ASN καί-C θαραφιν-N---ASN καί-C πληρόω-VAI-AAI3S ὁ- A--ASF χείρ-N3--ASF ἀπό-P εἷς-A3--GSM υἱός-N2--GPM αὐτός- D--GSM καί-C γίγνομαι-VBI-AMI3S αὐτός- D--DSM εἰς-P ἱερεύς-N3V-ASM

6 ἐν-P δέ-X ὁ- A--DPF ἡμέρα-N1A-DPF ἐκεῖνος- D--DPF οὐ-D εἰμί-V9--IAI3S βασιλεύς-N3V-NSM ἐν-P *ἰσραήλ-N---DSM ἀνήρ-N3--NSM ὁ- A--ASN εὐθής-A3H-ASN ἐν-P ὀφθαλμός-N2--DPM αὐτός- D--GSM ποιέω-V2I-IAI3S

7 καί-C γίγνομαι-VCI-API3S νεανίας-N1T-NSM ἐκ-P *βηθλεεμ-N---DS δῆμος-N2--GSM *ιουδα-N---GSM καί-C αὐτός- D--NSM *λευίτης-N1M-NSM καί-C οὗτος- D--NSM παραοἰκέω-V2I-IAI3S ἐκεῖ-D

8 καί-C πορεύομαι-VCI-API3S ὁ- A--NSM ἀνήρ-N3--NSM ἀπό-P *βηθλεεμ-N---DS ὁ- A--GSF πόλις-N3I-GSF *ιουδα-N---GSM παραοἰκέω-VA--AAN ἐν-P ὅς- --DSM ἐάν-C εὑρίσκω-VB--AAS3S τόπος-N2--DSM καί-C ἔρχομαι-VBI-AAI3S ἕως-P ὄρος-N3E-GSN *ἐφράιμ-N---GSM καί-C ἕως-P οἶκος-N2--GSM *μιχαιας-N---GSM ὁ- A--GSN ποιέω-VA--AAN ὁδός-N2--ASF αὐτός- D--GSM

9 καί-C εἶπον-VBI-AAI3S αὐτός- D--DSM *μιχαιας-N---NSM πόθεν-D ἔρχομαι-V1--PMS2S καί-C εἶπον-VBI-AAI3S πρός-P αὐτός- D--ASM *λευίτης-N1M-NSM εἰμί-V9--PAI1S ἀπό-P *βαιθλεεμ-N---GS *ιουδα-N---GSM καί-C ἐγώ- P--NS πορεύομαι-V1--PMI1S παραοἰκέω-VA--AAN ἐν-P ὅς- --DSM ἐάν-C εὑρίσκω-VB--AAS1S τόπος-N2--DSM

10 καί-C εἶπον-VBI-AAI3S αὐτός- D--DSM *μιχαιας-N---NSM καταἧμαι-V1--PMD2S μετά-P ἐγώ- P--GS καί-C γίγνομαι-V1--PMD2S ἐγώ- P--DS εἰς-P πατήρ-N3--ASM καί-C εἰς-P ἱερεύς-N3V-ASM καί-C ἐγώ- P--NS δίδωμι-VF--FAI1S σύ- P--DS δέκα-M ἀργύριον-N2N-GSN εἰς-P ἡμέρα-N1A-ASF καί-C στολή-N1--ASF ἱμάτιον-N2N-GPN καί-C ὁ- A--APN πρός-P ζωή-N1--ASF σύ- P--GS καί-C πορεύομαι-VCI-API3S ὁ- A--NSM *λευίτης-N1M-NSM

11 καί-C ἄρχω-VAI-AMI3S παραοἰκέω-V2--PAN παρά-P ὁ- A--DSM ἀνήρ-N3--DSM καί-C γίγνομαι-VCI-API3S ὁ- A--NSM νεανίας-N1T-NSM παρά-P αὐτός- D--DSM ὡς-C εἷς-A3--NSM ἀπό-P υἱός-N2--GPM αὐτός- D--GSM

12 καί-C πληρόω-VAI-AAI3S *μιχαιας-N---NSM ὁ- A--ASF χείρ-N3--ASF ὁ- A--GSM *λευίτης-N1M-GSM καί-C γίγνομαι-VBI-AMI3S αὐτός- D--DSM εἰς-P ἱερεύς-N3V-ASM καί-C γίγνομαι-VBI-AMI3S ἐν-P οἶκος-N2--DSM *μιχαιας-N---GSM

13 καί-C εἶπον-VBI-AAI3S *μιχαιας-N---NSM νῦν-D γιγνώσκω-VZI-AAI1S ὅτι-C ἀγαθύνω-V1--PAI3S κύριος-N2--NSM ἐγώ- P--DS ὅτι-C γίγνομαι-VBI-AMI3S ἐγώ- P--DS ὁ- A--NSM *λευίτης-N1M-NSM εἰς-P ἱερεύς-N3V-ASM

Exploring the Meaning of Judges 17      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

The Story of Micah’s Idols

In this chapter, the story moves from the various judges of Israel to an anecdote that illustrates the overall worsening spiritual situation in the land. The people turn from the Lord and do more and more wrong among themselves. The last verse of the book of Judges is very telling, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” The same words come in the present chapter, in Judges 17:6.

In this story, a man named Micah (not to be confused with the prophet Micah) took a lot of silver money from his mother. He confesses that he did this, and returns the money to her. She says, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my son!” She finds a silversmith to melt down the silver money to make an idol which gets set up in their house. One of Micah’s sons is then appointed as the priest to serve this idol.

The spiritual meaning of this is that an idol of any kind is a falsifying of our own worship and sense of the Lord. An idol is a ‘thing’ in a ‘place’, vested with power, whereas our worship and sense of the Lord is that he is fully everywhere and in everything. (Arcana Caelestia 3479, 3732) The essence of idolatry is that it emphasises external forms with no attention to the place and purpose of internal forms and realities. Our ‘idols’ can be whatever we love or desire or feel is important to us, over and above the Lord.

The story then shifts to a wandering Levite, a priest of Israel, who came from Bethlehem in Judah, and is looking for any place to stay. Israel had appointed six cities for Levites to live in, but this Levite is a wanderer. He eventually meets Micah, who takes him into his house and makes him a paid priest. Micah feels important because of this development.

This part of the story depicts the decline of Israel from its worship of the Lord to a state of allowing anything to be done if it seems right in someone’s eyes. The Levite is a trained priest, trained in the law of Moses, someone who should know the commandments of the Lord and also their prohibitions. This Levite is ‘looking for a place to go to’ which describes his apparent falling away from true priesthood. (See the description in Apocalypse Explained 444, about the Levites, and in Doctrine of Life 39 about priests.)

As well as indicating the extent of the spiritual fall of Israel into idolatry and wrong practices, this chapter representatively describes our own scope for moving away from a genuine worship of the Lord into a worship of ourselves and of the world, and the change that comes within us in doing this. It often changes very gradually and inexorably so that it is imperceptible even to ourselves. This is a danger, and the reason for our self-examination and vigilant care.

The name Micah means, “Who is like Jehovah God?” which is an ironical name for someone who turns away from God to substitute an idol made from silver money, in a completely false worship. In genuine repentance, we may ask, “Who is like Jehovah God?” implying that no one is like God, including ourselves, because we are all involved in wrong feelings, thinking and actions, and we know our need of and dependence on the Lord. (Apocalypse Revealed 531)

It is important to note the mother’s first words, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my son!” saying this for his confession and return of the money. She begins her part in the story with the truest of statements, i.e. that the Lord wants to bless us, even while she may just be glad to have all her money back.

“Silver” in the Word can mean truths, truths of faith and truth of good, but in an opposite sense, when used dishonestly, it means falsities. (Arcana Caelestia 1551)

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