Juĝistoj 17



1 Estis homo sur la monto de Efraim; lia nomo estis Mihxa.

2 Li diris al sia patrino:La mil kaj cent argxentaj moneroj, kiujn oni prenis de vi kaj pro kiuj vi malbenis antaux miaj oreloj, jen la argxento estas cxe mi; mi prenis gxin. Kaj lia patrino diris:Mia filo estu benata de la Eternulo.

3 Kaj li redonis la mil kaj cent argxentajn monerojn al sia patrino. Kaj lia patrino diris:Mi dedicxis la argxenton al la Eternulo el mia mano por mia filo, por fari figuron kaj idolon; nun mi redonas gxin al vi.

4 Sed li redonis la argxenton al sia patrino. Lia patrino prenis ducent argxentajn monerojn kaj donis ilin al orfandisto, kaj li faris el tio figuron kaj idolon, kiu restis en la domo de Mihxa.

5 Tiu homo Mihxa havis domon de dio; kaj li faris efodon kaj domajn diojn, kaj konsekris unu el siaj filoj, ke li estu por li pastro.

6 En tiu tempo ne ekzistis regxo cxe Izrael; cxiu faradis tion, kio placxis al li.

7 Estis junulo el Bet-Lehxem de Jehuda, el familio de Jehudaidoj, li estis Levido kaj logxis tie.

8 Tiu homo iris el la urbo, el Bet-Lehxem de Jehuda, por eklogxi tie, kie li trovos oportune. Kaj li venis dum sia vojirado sur la monton de Efraim al la domo de Mihxa.

9 Kaj Mihxa diris al li:De kie vi venas? Kaj tiu diris al li:Mi estas Levido el Bet-Lehxem de Jehuda, kaj mi iras, por eklogxi tie, kie mi trovos oportune.

10 Tiam Mihxa diris al li:Restu cxe mi kaj estu por mi patro kaj pastro, kaj mi donados al vi po dek argxentaj moneroj cxiujare kaj necesajn vestojn kaj mangxajxon. Kaj la Levido iris.

11 Kaj la Levido konsentis resti cxe tiu homo, kaj la junulo estis por li kiel unu el liaj filoj.

12 Kaj Mihxa konsekris la Levidon, kaj la junulo farigxis por li pastro kaj logxis en la domo de Mihxa.

13 Kaj Mihxa diris:Nun mi scias, ke la Eternulo bonfaros al mi, cxar Levido farigxis por mi pastro.

Exploring the Meaning of Juĝistoj 17      

Од стране 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)