17 There was a man named Micah who lived in the ·mountains [hill country] of Ephraim. 2 He said to his mother, “I heard you speak a curse [C uttered against the thief] about the ·twenty-eight pounds [L eleven hundred pieces] of silver that were taken from you. I have the silver with me; I took it.”
His mother said, “The Lord bless you, my son [C for confessing the crime]!”
3 Micah gave the ·twenty-eight pounds [L eleven hundred pieces] of silver to his mother. Then she said, “I will ·give [dedicate] this silver [L from my hand] to the Lord. ·I will have my son make [or For the benefit of my son I will make] ·an idol and a statue [a carved image and a cast-metal image; or a carved image overlaid with silver]. So I will give the silver back to you.”
4 When he gave the silver back to his mother, she took about ·five pounds [L two hundred pieces of silver] and gave it to a ·silversmith [or idol-maker; Acts 19:24]. With it he made an ·idol and a statue [or carved image overlaid with silver; C an abomination and violation of the law; Deut. 27:15], which stood in Micah’s house. 5 Micah had a ·special holy place [shrine], and he made a ·holy vest [ephod] and some ·household idols [L teraphim; Gen. 31:19]. Then Micah ·chose [ordained; installed; or paid; L filled the hand of] one of his sons to be his priest. 6 At that time Israel did not have a king, so everyone did what seemed right in their own eyes [C the common refrain through the rest of Judges, referring both to the lack of a human king and the rejection of God’s sovereignty; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25].
7 There was a young man who was a Levite [C the priestly tribe of Israel; Num. 1:47–53] from the city of Bethlehem in Judah who was ·from [or living among] the people of Judah. 8 He left Bethlehem to look for another place to live, and ·on his way [or to carry on his vocation] he came to Micah’s house in the ·mountains [hill country] of Ephraim. 9 Micah asked him, “Where are you from?”
He answered, “I’m a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah. I’m looking for a place to live.”
10 Micah said to him, “Live with me and be my father [C meaning an advisor or counselor; Gen. 45:8] and my priest. I will give you ·four ounces [L ten pieces] of silver each year and clothes and food.” So the Levite went in. 11 He agreed to live with Micah and became like one of Micah’s own sons. 12 Micah ·made him [installed/ordained him as; or paid him to be; L filled his hand to be] a priest, and he lived in Micah’s house. 13 Then Micah said, “Now I know the Lord will ·be good to [prosper] me, because I have a Levite as my priest.”