Judges 18:5
And they said to him, Ask counsel, we pray you, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(5) Ask counsel . . . of God.—Doubtless Jonathan showed them the glittering ephod. There were no prophets of whom to inquire, as in 1Kings 22:5; but their unauthorised inquiry was liable to the strong censure expressed in Isaiah 30:1, Hosea 4:12. They might have at least consulted the high priest Phinehas, or some other national representative.

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 sight of the ephod and teraphim suggested the notion of inquiring of God. 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.

Ask counsel, we pray thee, of God, to wit, by thine ephod, or teraphim, or images, which they knew he had, Judges 18:14. And they said unto him, ask counsel, we pray thee, of God,.... They did not reprove him for assuming the priestly office, when they knew he was a Levite, such was the corruption of those times, and the great depravity and declensions they were fallen into; nor even for the idolatry he was guilty of, but encourage him in it, and thought they had got a fine opportunity, which they readily laid hold on, to have counsel asked for them of God, about the success of the errand they were sent about; to this they were led at sight of the ephod, which was like that in the tabernacle, and of the teraphim, images which, according to a notion that prevailed, when consulted, foretold future things; whether by God they meant the true God, who they thought would give an answer by these, or Micah's gods, is not certain; according to the Targum of Jonathan, they meant the true God, which paraphrases it,"ask of the Word of the Lord:"

that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous or no; whether they should find out a proper place to dwell in, and be able to get possession of it.

And they said unto him, Ask counsel, we pray thee, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous.
5. Ask counsel … of God] i.e. by means of the ephod or sacred lot. To consult the divine will in this way was one of the special functions of the priesthood; see 1 Samuel 6:2; 1 Samuel 14:18 (RVm.), 1 Samuel 22:10, 1 Samuel 23:9-12 etc. So long as sacrificial acts were freely performed by laymen, the chief distinction of the priest doubtless lay in his qualification to give an oracle: W. R Smith, OTJC., p. 292.Verse 5. - Ask counsel of God, or simply Ask God, as the identical phrase is rendered in Judges 1:2, where see note. 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.
Judges 18:5 Interlinear
Judges 18:5 Parallel Texts

Judges 18:5 NIV
Judges 18:5 NLT
Judges 18:5 ESV
Judges 18:5 NASB
Judges 18:5 KJV

Judges 18:5 Bible Apps
Judges 18:5 Parallel
Judges 18:5 Biblia Paralela
Judges 18:5 Chinese Bible
Judges 18:5 French Bible
Judges 18:5 German Bible

Bible Hub

Judges 18:4
Top of Page
Top of Page