Judges 18:4
And he said to them, Thus and thus deals Micah with me, and has hired me, and I am his priest.
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(4) Thus and thus.—Literally, according to this and according to that, as in 2Samuel 11:25; 1Kings 14:5.

I am his priest.—See Judges 17:13. Similarly in the dearth of genuine priests Jeroboam was forced to make even Levites out of the lowest of the people (1Kings 12:31).

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.It does not follow that they had known him before, and recognized his voice, though it may be so. But the Hebrew equally bears the sense that they heard the voice of the Levite; and, attracted by it, went into the chapel Judges 18:18 where Jonathan was. They were probably just starting on their journey, but were still within the court or precincts of Micah's house. Micah had evidently not told them of his house of God, and his Levite. Their questions indicate surprise. CHAPTER 18

Jud 18:1-26. The Danites Seek Out an Inheritance.

1-6. In those days … the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwell in—The Danites had a territory assigned them as well as the other tribes. But either through indolence, or a lack of energy, they did not acquire the full possession of their allotment, but suffered a considerable portion of it to be wrested out of their hands by the encroachments of their powerful neighbors, the Philistines. In consequence, being straitened for room, a considerable number resolved on trying to effect a new and additional settlement in a remote part of the land. A small deputation, being despatched to reconnoitre the country, arrived on their progress northward at the residence of Micah. Recognizing his priest as one of their former acquaintances, or perhaps by his provincial dialect, they eagerly enlisted his services in ascertaining the result of their present expedition. His answer, though apparently promising, was delusive, and really as ambiguous as those of the heathen oracles. This application brings out still more clearly and fully than the schism of Micah the woeful degeneracy of the times. The Danites expressed no emotions either of surprise or of indignation at a Levite daring to assume the priestly functions, and at the existence of a rival establishment to that of Shiloh. They were ready to seek, through means of the teraphim, the information that could only be lawfully applied for through the high priest's Urim. Being thus equally erroneous in their views and habits as Micah, they show the low state of religion, and how much superstition prevailed in all parts of the land.

No text from Poole on this verse. And he said unto them, thus and thus dealeth Micah with me,.... Told them the whole story, how he came to the door of Micah's house, how he inquired of him who he was, and from whence he came, and whither he was going, and then invited him into his house to stay with him:

and hath hired me; by the year, for ten shekels of silver, a suit of clothes, and meat and drink, and by this means he got a livelihood, and was supported:

and I am his priest; and that was his business to offer sacrifice for his family, and to consult his oracle for him, and for whomsoever should apply.

And he said unto them, Thus and thus dealeth Micah with me, and hath hired me, and I am his priest.
4. and he hath hired me] points to Jdg 17:10-11 a; so a continuation of that narrative.Verse 4. - And I am his priest, or, to be his priest. Micah made this proposal to the Levite: "Dwell with me, and become my father and priest; I will give thee ten shekels of silver yearly, and fitting out with clothes and maintenance." אב, father, is an honourable title give to a priest as a paternal friend and spiritual adviser, and is also used with reference to prophets in 2 Kings 6:21 and 2 Kings 13:14, and applied to Joseph in Genesis 45:8. ליּמים, for the days, sc., for which a person was engaged, i.e., for the year (cf. 1 Samuel 27:7, and Leviticus 25:29). "And the Levite went," i.e., went to Micah's house. This meaning is evident from the context. The repetition of the subject, "the Levite," precludes our connecting it with the following verb ויּואל. - In Judges 17:11-13 the result is summed up. The Levite resolved (see at Deuteronomy 1:5) to dwell with Micah, who treated him as one of his sons, and entrusted him with the priesthood at his house of God. And Micah rejoiced that he had got a Levite as priest, and said, "Now I know that Jehovah will prosper me." This belief, or, to speak more correctly, superstition, for which Micah was very speedily to atone, proves that at that time the tribe of Levi held the position assigned it in the law of Moses; that is to say, that it was regarded as the tribe elected by God for the performance of divine worship.
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