Judges 18:24
And he said, You have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and you are gone away: and what have I more? and what is this that you say to me, What ails you?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) My gods which I made.—He does not scruple to call the pesel and teraphim “gods” (his Elohim), any more than the idolater Laban had done (Genesis 30:31). The expression seems to be intended to show scorn for Micah; and perhaps it is from missing this element that the LXX. soften it down into “my graven image,” and the Chaldee to “my fear.” “My gods which I made” would be a very ordinary expression for the Greeks, who called a sculptor a “god-maker” (theopoios), but was startling on the lips of an Israelite. Micah pathetically asks “What have I more?” but we may well hope that his present loss was his ultimate gain, and that he found the true God in place of the lost gods which he had made.

Jdg 18:24. My gods which I made — Or, rather, my god, as the Hebrew word generally signifies, meaning the image, which he considered as a symbol of God’s presence with him; for he could not be so stupid as to think it to be the great Jehovah, who made heaven and earth, and whom he professed to worship, but merely as a medium through which he offered up his worship to him, as many of the heathen did. What have I more? — I value nothing I have in comparison of what you have taken away. Which zeal for idolatrous trash may shame multitudes that call themselves Christians, and yet value their worldly conveniences more than all the concerns of their own salvation. Is Micah thus fond of his false gods? And how ought we to be affected toward the true God? Let us reckon our communion with God our greatest gain; and the loss of God the sorest loss. Wo unto us, if He depart. For what have we more?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.Were gathered together - literally, "were called together." The men, who were all Micah's workmen, were probably in the fields with their master at the time of the robbery. When the women saw what was done they gave the alarm, and Micah called the men together as quickly as possible, and pursued the Danites and overtook them. 22-26. the men that were in the houses near to Micah's house were gathered together—The robbers of the chapel being soon detected, a hot pursuit was forthwith commenced by Micah, at the head of a considerable body of followers. The readiness with which they joined in the attempt to recover the stolen articles affords a presumption that the advantages of the chapel had been open to all in the neighborhood; and the importance which Micah, like Laban, attached to his teraphim, is seen by the urgency with which he pursued the thieves, and the risk of his life in attempting to procure their restoration. Finding his party, however, not a match for the Danites, he thought it prudent to desist, well knowing the rule which was then prevalent in the land, that

"They should take who had the power,

And they should keep who could."

So far was he besotted with superstition and idolatry, that he esteemed those gods which were man’s work. But he could not be so stupid as to think these were indeed the great Jehovah that made heaven and earth; but only a lower sort of gods, by whom, as mediators, he offered up his worship unto the true God, as it is manifest divers of the heathens did.

What have I more? I value nothing I have in comparison of what you have taken away. Which zeal for idolatrous trash may shame multitudes that call themselves Christians, and yet apparently value their worldly conveniences more than all the concerns even of the true religion, and of their own salvation. And he said, ye have taken away my gods that I made,.... Meaning his graven and molten images, which he had made, or caused to be made, out of the silver his mother gave him, or however had paid for the making of; and though this might be an argument proving his right unto them, it was a very poor one in favour of their deity; and it is astonishing he should call them gods he knew the making of, and who could not save themselves from being stolen and carried off:

and the priest and ye are gone away; they had not only took away his gods, but the priest that sacrificed for him unto them, and assisted him in acts of devotion to them, or to God by them, and were gone off with both:

and what have I more? signifying, that all he had in the world, wife, children, and substance, were all nothing in comparison of these; there was nothing he so much valued as he did these, nor could he take any pleasure or comfort in anything, being deprived of them, so much was his heart set on them:

and what is this that ye say unto me, what aileth thee? what a question is this you ask, as if the injury done me was none at all, and that I had no reason to complain; that it was a trifling insignificant thing, worthy of no regard, when it was a matter of the greater moment and importance to him in life.

And he said, Ye have taken away my {k} gods which I made, and the priest, and ye are gone away: and what have I more? and what is this that ye say unto me, What aileth thee?

(k) This declares the opinion the idolaters have of their idols.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24. my gods which I made] Cf. Genesis 31:30 ff. E, a passage which shews several points of resemblance to the present. For my gods, Vulgate deos meos, we might render my God, offensive though the idea is to us; Micah was a worshipper of Jehovah, see on Jdg 17:5. The LXX paraphrases ‘my graven image.’Verse 24. - My gods, or, as some render it, my god. But the plural is probably right, as Micah was thinking of the molten and graven images, and the teraphim, and called them gods, without perhaps meaning to imply that there was any God but Jehovah. Then 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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