Judges 18:6
And the priest said to them, Go in peace: before the LORD is your way wherein you go.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) Before the Lord is your way—i.e., Jehovah looks favourably upon it. (Comp. Proverbs 5:21; Ezra 8:21.) The answer had, however, some of the oracular ambiguity. Jonathan did not stake his own credit or that of his ephod on any definite details, or even on any distinct promise.

Jdg 18:6. The priest said, Before the Lord is your way — Your design is under the eye of God; that is, under his direction, protection, and care. The priest undoubtedly feigned this answer; for it is not to be imagined that he could, in such a case, have any answer from God, either through his ephod and teraphim, or in any other way. From hence, however, we may infer, Micah and his priest gave out that God might be inquired of by their means as well as at his oracle at Shiloh. 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.Before the Lord ... - i. e. He looks favorably upon it. (Compare Ezra 8:21-22.) 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.

Your way, i.e. your journey or design, is under the eye of God, i.e. under his care, and protection, and direction, which the eye of God being upon a person commonly notes in Scripture, as Psalm 32:8 34:15. Compare Jeremiah 39:12 40:4. So the phrase is here taken in a restrained sense, which is elsewhere taken more largely, as Proverbs 5:21. This answer he either feigns to gratify their humour, or did indeed receive from the devil, who transformed himself into an angel of light, and in God’s name gave them answers, and those not seldom very true, which God suffered for the trial of his people. See Deu 13:1-3. But it is observable, that his answer was, as the devil’s oracles usually were, ambiguous, and such as might have been interpreted either way, as they had success or disappointment. And the priest said to them, go in peace,.... After he had consulted the oracle, or had asked counsel by the ephod and teraphim; either of his own head, or by a voice he had heard, which Satan might be permitted of God to deliver, he very roundly told them that they might proceed on in their journey with their minds quite easy, and with full assurance of success:

before the Lord is your way wherein ye go; it is seen, observed, and taken notice of by him, and he approves of it; it is according to his will, and under his direction and protection, and success from him may be depended upon; though some observe that this answer is delivered in ambiguous terms, as generally the oracles of demons were, and might be taken in a good or bad sense, as the event should be; as that their way was before the Lord, and was seen by him either with pleasure or displeasure, with approbation or disapprobation, for their good, or for their harm: so that let it fall out as it might, the credit of the oracle was saved.

And the priest said unto them, {d} Go in peace: before the LORD is your way wherein ye go.

(d) Thus sometimes God grants the idolaters requests to the destruction of those who delight in errors.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. before the Lord] i.e. under His favourable regard. Cf. 1 Samuel 1:17, 1 Kings 22:6 for similar responses.Verse 6. - And the priest said, etc., having first, it is to be presumed, put on the ephod (see Judges 8:26, 27, note; Judges 17:5). Before the Lord is your way, i.e. he looks upon it with favour, has respect unto it, and will make it successful, as it is said in Psalm 34:15: "The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous." "Whether," says Bishop Patrick, "he had any answer from the teraphim, or feigned it out of his own head, is uncertain." 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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