Bible Commentaries

Judges 17

Verses 1-13

Here begins the final section of the Book of Judges which is of the nature of an appendix. The events here recorded must have taken place closely following the death of Joshua. They give us a picture of the internal condition of the people, and it is probable that they were added with that intention by the historian.

Micah's act was a violation of the second commandment. He made to himself and for his household certain images. In doing so he was not adopting the idolatries of the heathen. His mother's language reveals her recognition of Jehovah as she said, "Blessed be my son of Jehovah." Moreover, Micah's own words, when persuading a Levite to act as his priest, show the same thing, "Now know I that Jehovah will do me good. . . ." The images were intended to aid him in the worship of Jehovah but were distinctly forbidden, as we have said, in the second commandment.

The whole story is a (revelation of a degenerate condition. Micah had robbed his mother. On making restitution he accompanied the act, at her instigation, with what she supposed to be a religious movement. The consent of the Levite to become a priest in the house of Micah for the sake of a living is a further revelation of degeneracy. Micah was attempting to maintain his relationship with God by violating the commands of God. The Levite degenerated into an attempt to secure his own material comfort by compromise.