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Bible Commentaries
Judges 18

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-31

The Danites go in Quest of an Inheritance. They rob Micah of his Images, capture and settle in Laish, and set up Idol-Worship there

1-10. The Danite Spies.

2. From their coasts] RV ’from their whole number.’ For Zorah and Eshtaol see on Judges 13:25.

3. They knew] They recognised him as a Levite from the prayers he was saying.

Makest] RV ’doest.’

6. Before the lord] i.e. under Jehovah’s care.

7. Laish] In Joshua 19:47 the name appears as Leshem. Later on it was called Dan, from its new inhabitants (cp. Judges 18:29, and chapter Judges 20:1). It lay near Lebanon and the sources of the Jordan in the extreme N. of Palestine, and was about 40 m. from Sidon, the famous commercial city on the sea-coast. The rest of the v. implies that the residents were a colony from Zidon. Put them to shame] The Hebrew here gives no intelligible sense. Business] RV ’dealings.’

With any man] LXX (in some Mss) reads ’with Syria’ whose capital, Damascus, was about as distant as Sidon.

10. Secure] as always in AV,’ free from care or apprehension.’

11-31. The Danite Expedition to Laish.

11. Six hundred men] cp. Judges 20:47 a very small number when compared with those given in Judges 20:15, Judges 20:17 or Judges 15:15; Judges 16:27. Yet it would seem that the larger part of the tribe went northwards. Appointed] RV ’girt.’

12. Mahanehdan] see on Judges 13:25 they then turn northwards.

16. The gate] of the village.

17. An amplification of Judges 18:15 farther repeated in Judges 18:18. Here and in Judges 18:18 ’graven image’ and ’molten image’ are understood as two distinct objects. In Judges 18:20, Judges 18:30-31 the ’molten image’ is left unmentioned.

19. See on Judges 17:10.

21. Carriage] RV ’goods’: cp. Acts 21:15 (what is carried: cp. the word ’luggage’). The armed men marched last, expecting pursuit.

28. See on Judges 18:7. The building of one city on the ruins of another was common, as excavations at Gezer and Lachish have made clear. Beth-rehob] unknown.

29. Israel] Jacob: see Genesis 35:10.

30. The possession of this image was evidently an important thing. Jonathan] This must refer to the young Levite, who has been hitherto unnamed, unless his name has dropped out of the text previously. Manasseh] RV ’Moses.’ This, the true text, was altered in later times, to save Moses from any connexion with such a priesthood as this. Captivity] Probably the depopulation of Northern Israel by Tiglath Pileser in 734 b.c.

31. In Shiloh] NE. of Bethel, where the ark was kept in the ’house of God’ (1 Samuel 1-4). The destruction of this ’house’ is mentioned in Jeremiah 7:12; Jeremiah 26:9. Possibly it was destroyed by the Philistines. In 1 Samuel 22:11 the priesthood settled formerly at Shiloh appears at Nob.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Judges 18". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/judges-18.html. 1909.
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