Judges 18:18
And these went into Micah's house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest unto them, What do ye?
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(18) The carved image, the ephod.—In the Hebrew this is pesel ha-ephodi.e., the “pesel-ephod.” Very possibly, however, the ephod may, as a rule, have hung on the carved image, so that to carry off the pesel was also to carry off the ephod, which ordinarily covered it.

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.The five went back to Micah's chapel (Micah's house, Judges 18:18) and took the ephod, teraphim, etc., and brought them to the gate where the priest was talking to the 600 men. 11-21. there went from thence of the family of the Danites … six hundred men—This was the collective number of the men who were equipped with arms to carry out this expeditionary enterprise, without including the families and furniture of the emigrants (Jud 18:21). Their journey led them through the territory of Judah, and their first halting place was "behind," that is, on the west of Kirjath-jearim, on a spot called afterwards "the camp of Dan." Prosecuting the northern route, they skirted the base of the Ephraimite hills. On approaching the neighborhood of Micah's residence, the spies having given information that a private sanctuary was kept there, the priest of which had rendered them important service when on their exploring expedition, it was unanimously agreed that both he and the furniture of the establishment would be a valuable acquisition to their proposed settlement. A plan of spoliation was immediately formed. While the armed men stood sentinels at the gates, the five spies broke into the chapel, pillaged the images and vestments, and succeeded in bribing the priest also by a tempting offer to transfer his services to their new colony. Taking charge of the ephod, the teraphim, and the graven image, he "went in the midst of the people"—a central position assigned him in the march, perhaps for his personal security; but more probably in imitation of the place appointed for the priests and the ark, in the middle of the congregated tribes, on the marches through the wilderness. This theft presents a curious medley of low morality and strong religious feeling. The Danites exemplified a deep-seated principle of our nature—that men have religious affections, which must have an object on which these may be exercised, while they are often not very discriminating in the choice of the objects. In proportion to the slender influence religion wields over the heart, the greater is the importance attached to external rites; and in the exact observance of these, the conscience is fully satisfied, and seldom or never molested by reflections on the breach of minor morals. These, to wit, the five mentioned Judges 18:17.

What do ye? what do you mean to do? I hope you will not do so impious and injurious an action.

And these went into Micah's house,.... Into that part of it where his gods were; not the six hundred men last mentioned, but the five men who knew the house, and the chapel where the things were:

and fetched the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image; and brought them away in their hands to their brethren at the gate, where the priest also was: and when he saw them:

then said the priest to them, what do ye? what do you mean by this? is this your kindness to me, to take away what are my care and charge, and on which my livelihood depends? and do you consider the wickedness, the sin of sacrilege you are guilty of, to take away these sacred things, these objects of religious devotion?

And these went into Micah's house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest unto them, What do ye?
18. these went into] i.e. the spies; they knew their way about the house.

the graven image, the ephod] The Hebr. has the graven image of the ephod; probably a scribal error; LXX the graven image and the ephod. The last word in the list is not in its usual place; clearly an addition.

Verse 18. - The carved image. It should be the graven image, as elsewhere. The Hebrew text here has the graven image of the ephod, as was noticed in Judges 17:3, note. But it is very possible that the ray, and, has fallen out of the text by accident, and it does not seem likely that a different phrase should be adopted in this one place from that followed throughout in the enumeration of the articles in Micah's chapel, so that the A.V. is probably right. Then said the priest, etc. When he saw the idols and teraphim in the hands of the five men he cried out in alarm. It is remarkable that here and in the preceding verse he is styled the priest. Judges 18:18Then the five spies went up, sc., into Micah's house of God, which must therefore have been in an upper room of the building (see 2 Kings 23:12; Jeremiah 19:13), and took the image, ephod, etc., whilst the priest stood before the door with the 600 armed men. With the words וגו בּאוּ the narrative passes from the aorist or historical tense ויּעלוּ into the perfect. "The perfects do not denote the coming and taking on the part of the five men as a continuation of the previous account, but place the coming and taking in the same sphere of time as that to which the following clause, 'and the priest stood,' etc., belongs" (Bertheau). But in order to explain what appears very surprising, viz., that the priest should have stood before the gate whilst his house of God was being robbed, the course which the affair took is explained more clearly afterwards in Judges 18:18, Judges 18:19, in the form of a circumstantial clause. Consequently the verbs in these verses ought to be rendered as pluperfects, and the different clauses comprised in one period, Judges 18:18 forming the protasis, and Judges 18:19 the apodosis. "Namely, when those (five) men had come into Micah's house, and had taken the image of the ephod, etc., and the priest had said to them, What are ye doing? they had said to him, Be silent, lay thy hand upon thy mouth and go with us, and become a father and priest to us (see Judges 17:10). Is it better to be a priest to the house of a single man, or to a tribe and family in Israel?" The combination האפוד פּסל (the ephod-pesel), i.e., the image belonging to the ephod, may be explained on the ground, that the use of the ephod as a means of ascertaining the will of God presupposes the existence of an image of Jehovah, and does not prove that the ephod served as a covering for the Pesel. The priest put on the ephod when he was about to inquire of God. The או in the second question is different from אם, and signifies "or rather" (see Genesis 24:55), indicating an improvement upon the first question (see Ewald, 352, a.). Consequently it is not a sign of a later usage of speech, as Bertheau supposes. The word וּלמשׁפּחה (unto a family) serves as a more minute definition or limitation of לשׁבט (to a tribe).
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