Judges 17



1 και-C γιγνομαι-VBI-AMI3S ανηρ-N3--NSM απο-P ορος-N3E-GSN *εφραιμ-N---GSM και-C ονομα-N3M-ASN αυτος- D--DSM *μιχαιας-N---NSM

2 και-C ειπον-VBI-AAI3S ο- A--DSF μητηρ-N3--DSF αυτος- D--GSM ο- A--NPM χιλιοι-A1A-NPM και-C εκατον-M ος- --APM λαμβανω-VBI-AAI2S αργυριον-N2N-GSN σεαυτου- D--DSF και-C εγω- P--AS αραομαι-VAI-AMI2S και-C προςειπον-VAI-AAI2S εν-P ους-N3--DPN εγω- P--GS ιδου-I ο- A--NSN αργυριον-N2N-NSN παρα-P εγω- P--DS εγω- P--NS λαμβανω-VBI-AAI3P αυτος- D--ASN και-C ειπον-VBI-AAI3S ο- A--NSF μητηρ-N3--NSF αυτος- D--GSM ευλογητος-A1--NSM ο- A--NSM υιος-N2--NSM εγω- P--GS ο- A--DSM κυριος-N2--DSM

3 και-C αποδιδωμι-VAI-AAI3S ο- A--APM χιλιοι-A1A-APM και-C εκατον-M ο- A--GSN αργυριον-N2N-GSN ο- A--DSF μητηρ-N3--DSF αυτος- D--GSM και-C ειπον-VBI-AAI3S ο- A--NSF μητηρ-N3--NSF αυτος- D--GSM αγιαζω-V1--PAPNSF αγιαζω-VX--XAI1S ο- A--ASN αργυριον-N2N-ASN ο- A--DSM κυριος-N2--DSM εκ-P χειρ-N3--GSF εγω- P--GS ο- A--DSM υιος-N2--DSM εγω- P--GS ο- A--GSN ποιεω-VA--AAN γλυπτος-A1--ASN και-C χωνευτος-A1--ASN και-C νυν-D αποδιδωμι-VF--FAI1S συ- P--DS αυτος- D--ASN

4 και-C αποδιδωμι-VAI-AAI3S ο- A--ASN αργυριον-N2N-ASN ο- A--DSF μητηρ-N3--DSF αυτος- D--GSM και-C λαμβανω-VBI-AAI3S ο- A--NSF μητηρ-N3--NSF αυτος- D--GSM διακοσιοι-A1A-APM αργυριον-N2N-GSN και-C διδωμι-VAI-AAI3S αυτος- D--ASN αργυροκοπος-N2--DSM και-C ποιεω-VAI-AAI3S αυτος- D--ASN γλυπτος-A1--ASN και-C χωνευτος-A1--ASN και-C γιγνομαι-VCI-API3S εν-P οικος-N2--DSM *μιχαιας-N---GSM

5 και-C ο- A--NSM οικος-N2--NSM *μιχαιας-N---GSM αυτος- D--DSM οικος-N2--NSM θεος-N2--GSM και-C ποιεω-VAI-AAI3S εφωδ-N---ASN και-C θαραφιν-N---ASN και-C πληροω-VAI-AAI3S ο- A--ASF χειρ-N3--ASF απο-P εις-A3--GSM υιος-N2--GPM αυτος- D--GSM και-C γιγνομαι-VBI-AMI3S αυτος- D--DSM εις-P ιερευς-N3V-ASM

6 εν-P δε-X ο- A--DPF ημερα-N1A-DPF εκεινος- D--DPF ου-D ειμι-V9--IAI3S βασιλευς-N3V-NSM εν-P *ισραηλ-N---DSM ανηρ-N3--NSM ο- A--ASN ευθης-A3H-ASN εν-P οφθαλμος-N2--DPM αυτος- D--GSM ποιεω-V2I-IAI3S

7 και-C γιγνομαι-VCI-API3S νεανιας-N1T-NSM εκ-P *βηθλεεμ-N---DS δημος-N2--GSM *ιουδα-N---GSM και-C αυτος- D--NSM *λευιτης-N1M-NSM και-C ουτος- D--NSM παραοικεω-V2I-IAI3S εκει-D

8 και-C πορευομαι-VCI-API3S ο- A--NSM ανηρ-N3--NSM απο-P *βηθλεεμ-N---DS ο- A--GSF πολις-N3I-GSF *ιουδα-N---GSM παραοικεω-VA--AAN εν-P ος- --DSM εαν-C ευρισκω-VB--AAS3S τοπος-N2--DSM και-C ερχομαι-VBI-AAI3S εως-P ορος-N3E-GSN *εφραιμ-N---GSM και-C εως-P οικος-N2--GSM *μιχαιας-N---GSM ο- A--GSN ποιεω-VA--AAN οδος-N2--ASF αυτος- D--GSM

9 και-C ειπον-VBI-AAI3S αυτος- D--DSM *μιχαιας-N---NSM ποθεν-D ερχομαι-V1--PMS2S και-C ειπον-VBI-AAI3S προς-P αυτος- D--ASM *λευιτης-N1M-NSM ειμι-V9--PAI1S απο-P *βαιθλεεμ-N---GS *ιουδα-N---GSM και-C εγω- P--NS πορευομαι-V1--PMI1S παραοικεω-VA--AAN εν-P ος- --DSM εαν-C ευρισκω-VB--AAS1S τοπος-N2--DSM

10 και-C ειπον-VBI-AAI3S αυτος- D--DSM *μιχαιας-N---NSM καταημαι-V1--PMD2S μετα-P εγω- P--GS και-C γιγνομαι-V1--PMD2S εγω- P--DS εις-P πατηρ-N3--ASM και-C εις-P ιερευς-N3V-ASM και-C εγω- P--NS διδωμι-VF--FAI1S συ- P--DS δεκα-M αργυριον-N2N-GSN εις-P ημερα-N1A-ASF και-C στολη-N1--ASF ιματιον-N2N-GPN και-C ο- A--APN προς-P ζωη-N1--ASF συ- P--GS και-C πορευομαι-VCI-API3S ο- A--NSM *λευιτης-N1M-NSM

11 και-C αρχω-VAI-AMI3S παραοικεω-V2--PAN παρα-P ο- A--DSM ανηρ-N3--DSM και-C γιγνομαι-VCI-API3S ο- A--NSM νεανιας-N1T-NSM παρα-P αυτος- D--DSM ως-C εις-A3--NSM απο-P υιος-N2--GPM αυτος- D--GSM

12 και-C πληροω-VAI-AAI3S *μιχαιας-N---NSM ο- A--ASF χειρ-N3--ASF ο- A--GSM *λευιτης-N1M-GSM και-C γιγνομαι-VBI-AMI3S αυτος- D--DSM εις-P ιερευς-N3V-ASM και-C γιγνομαι-VBI-AMI3S εν-P οικος-N2--DSM *μιχαιας-N---GSM

13 και-C ειπον-VBI-AAI3S *μιχαιας-N---NSM νυν-D γιγνωσκω-VZI-AAI1S οτι-C αγαθυνω-V1--PAI3S κυριος-N2--NSM εγω- P--DS οτι-C γιγνομαι-VBI-AMI3S εγω- P--DS ο- A--NSM *λευιτης-N1M-NSM εις-P ιερευς-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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