Judges 18:30
Parallel Verses
New International Version
There the Danites set up for themselves the idol, and Jonathan son of Gershom, the son of Moses, and his sons were priests for the tribe of Dan until the time of the captivity of the land.

New Living Translation
Then they set up the carved image, and they appointed Jonathan son of Gershom, son of Moses, as their priest. This family continued as priests for the tribe of Dan until the Exile.

English Standard Version
And the people of Dan set up the carved image for themselves, and Jonathan the son of Gershom, son of Moses, and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land.

New American Standard Bible
The sons of Dan set up for themselves the graven image; and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land.

King James Bible
And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The Danites set up the carved image for themselves. Jonathan son of Gershom, son of Moses, and his sons were priests for the Danite tribe until the time of the exile from the land.

International Standard Version
The descendants of Dan set up the carved image, and Gershom's son Jonathan, a descendant of Manasseh, served along with his descendants as priests to the tribe of Dan until the land was taken captive.

NET Bible
The Danites worshiped the carved image. Jonathan, descendant of Gershom, son of Moses, and his descendants served as priests for the tribe of Dan until the time of the exile.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The people of Dan set up the carved idol for themselves. Jonathan (son of Gershom and grandson of Moses) and his descendants were priests for Dan's tribe until the people living in that land were taken captive.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the sons of Dan set up the graven image; and Jonathan, the son of Gershon, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land.

King James 2000 Bible
And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land.

American King James Version
And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land.

American Standard Version
And the children of Dan set up for themselves the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they set up to themselves the graven idol, and Jonathan the son of Gersam the son of Moses, he and his sons were priests in the tribe of Dan, until the day of their captivity.

Darby Bible Translation
And the children of Dan set up the graven image; and Jehonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses; he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land.

English Revised Version
And the children of Dan set up for themselves the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land.

World English Bible
The children of Dan set up for themselves the engraved image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land.

Young's Literal Translation
And the sons of Dan raise up for themselves the graven image, and Jonathan son of Gershom, son of Manasseh, he and his sons have been priests to the tribe of the Danite, till the day of the removal of the people of the land.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

17:7-13 Micah thought it was a sign of God's favour to him and his images, that a Levite should come to his door. Thus those who please themselves with their own delusions, if Providence unexpectedly bring any thing to their hands that further them in their evil way, are apt from thence to think that God is pleased with them.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 30, 31. - And the children of Dan, etc. It was probably the long existence of this semi-idolatrous worship of the graven image at Dan that induced King Jeroboam to set up one of his golden calves at Dan, as we read 1 Kings 12:28-30. And Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh. The Hebrew text really has the son of Moses. But a little n is written above the line between the M and the S of Moses (Mosheh), so as to be read Manasseh, as thus: MSH; so that they avoided the pain of reading aloud that the grandson or descendant of Moses was an idolatrous priest, without actually altering the written text. It is indeed most sad that it should have been so, though like examples are not wanting, as, e.g., the sons of Eli and of Samuel. For Gershom the son of Moses see Exodus 2:22; Exodus 18:3; 1 Chronicles 23:14-16. It does not follow that Jonathan, the priest of the Danites, was literally the son of Gershom. It may merely mean that he was of the family of which Gershom was the head. Until the day of the captivity of the land. There is great diversity of opinion as to the meaning of this phrase. Many understand it, as is the obvious meaning of the words, of the Assyrian captivity (2 Kings 15:29; 2 Kings 17:6). But some of the best commentators, as Kimchi among the Jews, and many moderns, think it refers to the taking captive of the ark by the Philistines in the days of Eli, because this is the time indicated in the next verse by the mention of the house of God in Shiloh. The ark of God never returned to Shiloh after it was taken thence (1 Samuel 4:3, 4) and captured by the Philistines (ibid. ver. 11). It is also noticed that the expression, The ark of God is gone into captivity (is taken, A.V.), occurs in 1 Samuel 4:21, 22. It certainly would be strange that one verse (30) should speak of the worship of the graven image lasting till the Assyrian conquest of the land, and the next verse (31) limit it to the time that the house of God was in Shiloh, some 300 years earlier. At the same time it should be noticed that ver. 30 speaks of the time that Jonathan's sons were priests to the tribe of Dan, and ver. 31 of the worship of Micah's image. It is quite possible that the descendants of Jonathan may have been appointed priests at Dan to Jeroboam's golden-calf worship, though the original graven image of Micah may have been destroyed by Saul or David; and in the interval between such destruction of Micah's image and the setting up of Jeroboam's calves they may have been the priests of an irregular worship on a high place at Tell-el-Kady. And this would enable us to give what is certainly its natural meaning to the words, "the captivity of the land." But no certainty can be arrived at without more actual knowledge. Many commentators adopt Houbigant's conjecture to read ark for land at the end of ver. 30 (aron for aretz). Others think that some deportation of the Danites by the Syrians or other neighbouring people not recorded in history is here spoken cf. All the time the house of God, etc. This must have been written not earlier than the time of Samuel, and possibly much later. The house of God, i.e. the tabernacle, was in Shiloh from the days of Joshua (Joshua 18:1) till the days of Eli (1 Samuel 1:3), after which we have no account of where the house of God was till the ark was brought up to Jerusalem by King David from the house of Obed-edom the Gittite (2 Samuel 6:12), and placed in the tabernacle that David had pitched for it (2 Samuel 6:17); but whether this was the tabernacle that had been pitched at Shiloh or a new one does not appear. It is not improbable that Samuel may have moved the tabernacle from Shiloh to Ramah (1 Samuel 7:17). The ark had rested in the house of Abinadab at Baaleh or Kirjath-jearim for twenty years (1 Samuel 7:2) previous to its removal by David.





Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And the children of Dan set up the graven image,.... In their new city Dan, and very probably had a house built for it, peculiar to it, in the same place where Jeroboam, in later times, set up one of his golden calves. The Danites having succeeded, according to the oracle in Micah's house, they had a very great veneration for the images they brought away with them from thence, and set them up for religious worship in a proper place; for though only mention is made of the graven image, yet no doubt the molten image, and the teraphim, with the ephod, were all placed together for devotion and consultation:

and Jonathan the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan: not to the whole tribe, but to that part of it which resided in this city, called Dan; and this Jonathan seems to be no other than the Levite Micah took into his house, and made a priest of; and whom the Danites took with them to Laish, to be their priest, who is said to be the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh: now Gershom was the son of Moses, and this man is thought by some to be a grandson of his; and with this agrees the time in which he lived, for as Phinehas the grandson of Aaron was now living, Judges 20:28 so might a grandson of Moses; and though he is called a young man, he might be a younger son of Gershom's; nor is his being a Levite any objection, since it is a clear case that Moses made no provision for his family, so disinterested was he, which may be observed against the deists: and it is remarkable that the "nun", or "N" in Manasseh, is suspended over the other letters in our printed copies of the Hebrew Bible, and so without it may be read, Moses; and the Jews (c) have a notion, that this was done for the honour of Moses, and to observe that he was more like a son of Manasseh than of Moses; though rather this being the first letter of "to forget", may suggest, as Alting (d) observes, that he had forgot the virtues of his grandfather; and the Vulgate Latin version reads, the son of Moses; and some (e) are of opinion that this is the true reading of the text; though it may be that another Gershom than the son of Moses, and another Manasseh we know nothing of, are here intended, so Marcus Marinus (f): however, this man, and his sons in succession after him, were priests in Dan:

until the day of the captivity of the land; not till the captivity of Sennacherib or Salmaneser, when Dan, with the rest of the ten tribes, were carried captives, as Jarchi; for this idolatry, and these idolatrous priests, can hardly be thought to be continued here through the times of Samuel, David, and Solomon: nor is it to be understood of the captivity of Israel by Jabin king of Canaan, as Ben Gersom; for as the other is too long a time, this is too short, since it is clear, by the next verse, that this idolatry continued all the time the house of God was at Shiloh; and which directs us to the captivity here spoken of, when the ark was carried captive by the Philistines, and the house of Shiloh was forsaken; which is the sense of Kimchi, R. Isaiah, and Abarbinel; and may be illustrated and confirmed by some passages in Psalm 78:58.

(c) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 109. 2.((d) Shiloh, l. 4. c. 28. p. 334. (e) See Dr. Kennicott's Dissertation 2. p. 51, &c. (f) Apud Glassium in Philolog. Sacr. l. 1. tract. 1. sect. 2.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Jud 18:30, 31. They Set Up Idolatry.

30, 31. the children of Dan set up the graven image—Their distance secluded them from the rest of the Israelites, and doubtless this, which was their apology for not going to Shiloh, was the cause of perpetuating idolatry among them for many generations.

Judges 18:30 Additional Commentaries
Context
Danites Take Micah's Idols
29They called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father who was born in Israel; however, the name of the city formerly was Laish. 30The sons of Dan set up for themselves the graven image; and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land. 31So they set up for themselves Micah's graven image which he had made, all the time that the house of God was at Shiloh.
Cross References
Exodus 2:22
Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, "I have become a foreigner in a foreign land."

Exodus 18:3
and her two sons. One son was named Gershom, for Moses said, "I have become a foreigner in a foreign land";

Judges 17:3
When he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, "I solemnly consecrate my silver to the LORD for my son to make an image overlaid with silver. I will give it back to you."

Judges 17:5
Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some household gods and installed one of his sons as his priest.
Treasury of Scripture

And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land.

set up

Exodus 20:4 You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of any …

Leviticus 26:1 You shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither raise you up …

Deuteronomy 17:2-7 If there be found among you, within any of your gates which the LORD …

Deuteronomy 27:15 Cursed be the man that makes any graven or molten image, an abomination …

Deuteronomy 31:16,29 And the LORD said to Moses, Behold, you shall sleep with your fathers; …

Judges 18:30 And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the …

God had graciously performed his promise, in putting these Danites in possession of that which fell to their lot, obliging them thereby to be faithful to him who had been so to them; they inherited the labour of the people, that they might observe his statues.

Psalm 105:44,45 And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labor …

But the first thing they do after they are settled is to break his laws, by setting up the graven image, attributing their success to that idol, which, if God had not been infinitely patient, would have been their ruin. Thus a prosperous idolater goes on to offend, imputing this his power unto his God. Instead of Manasseh, some would read Moses; as it is found in some MSS., in the Vulgate and in the concessions of the most intelligent Jews. But Bp. Patrick takes this to be an idle conceit of the Rabbins, and supposes this Jonathan to be of some other family of the Levites. Yet Kimchi acknowledges, that the Jews deeply concerned for the honour of their lawgiver, to whom they thought it would be a great dishonour to have a grandson who was an idolater, suspended the letter, noon, over the word Moses; which, by means of the points, they have changed into Manasseh. until

Judges 13:1 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD…

1 Samuel 4:2,3,10,11 And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when …

Psalm 78:60-62 So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed …

the land. Houbigant contends that instead of the land we should read the ark.

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