Judges 19:6
And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together: for the damsel's father had said to the man, Be content, I pray you, and tarry all night, and let your heart be merry.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) Let thine heart be merry.Judges 16:25; Judges 18:20.

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.Played the whore against him - Perhaps only meaning that she ran away from him, and left him, for she returned to her father's house. 3, 4. And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her—Hebrew, "speak to her heart," in a kindly and affectionate manner, so as to rekindle her affection. Accompanied by a servant, he arrived at the house of his father-in-law, who rejoiced to meet him, in the hope that a complete reconciliation would be brought about between his daughter and her husband. The Levite, yielding to the hospitable importunities of his father-in-law, prolonged his stay for days. No text from Poole on this verse. And they sat down,.... Not only sat down upon their seats again, the Levite having rose up in order to go away, but sat down at table:

and did eat and drink both of them together; both the Levite and his father-in-law; and it appears by this, and what follows, that the Levite did not take only a short repast, or breakfast with him, but stayed and dined with him, when they ate a plentiful meal, and drank freely after dinner:

for the damsel's father had said to the man, be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night, and let thine heart be merry; let us spend a pleasant evening together, in drinking freely, though not to excess, in cheerful conversation, and innocent mirth. This he proposed to him, and hoped he would agree to it.

And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together: for the {a} damsel's father had said unto the man, Be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night, and let thine heart be merry.

(a) That is, his concubines father.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 6. - For the damsel's father had said, etc., or rather, And the damsel's father said. He had not at first intended to stay on, but to go on his way after he had eaten and drunk (ver. 5). But when they had prolonged their carousal, the father of the damsel persuaded him to stay on another night. Establishment of the Image-worship in Dan. - After the rebuilding of Laish under the name of Dan, the Danites set up the pesel or image of Jehovah, which they had taken with them out of Micah's house of God. "And Jehonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites till the day of the captivity of the land." As the Danites had taken the Levite whom Micah had engaged for his private worship with them to Dan, and had promised him the priesthood (Judges 18:19 and Judges 18:27), Jehonathan can hardly be any other than this Levite. He was a son of Gershom, the son of Moses (Exodus 2:22; Exodus 18:3; 1 Chronicles 23:14-15). Instead of בּן־משׁה, our Masoretic text has בּן־מנשּׁה with a hanging נ. With regard to this reading, the Talmud (Baba bathr.f. 109b) observes: "Was he a son of Gershom, or was he not rather a son of Moses? as it is written, the sons of Moses were Gershom and Eliezer (1 Chronicles 23:14), but because he did the deeds of Manasseh (the idolatrous son of Hezekiah, 2 Kings 21) the Scripture assigns him to the family of Manasseh." On this Rabbabar bar Channa observes, that "the prophet (i.e., the author of our book) studiously avoided calling Gershom the son of Moses, because it would have been ignominious to Moses to have had an ungodly son; but he calls him the son of Manasseh, raising the n, however, above the line, to show that it might either be inserted or omitted, and that he was the son of either מנשּׁה (Manasseh) or משׁה (Moses), - of Manasseh through imitating his impiety, of Moses by descent" (cf. Buxtorfi Tiber. p. 171). Later Rabbins say just the same. R. Tanchum calls the writing Menasseh, with a hanging nun, a סופרים תקּוּן, and speaks of ben Mosheh as Kethibh, and ben Menasseh as Keri. Ben Mosheh is therefore unquestionably the original reading, although the other reading ben Menasseh is also very old, as it is to be found in the Targums and the Syriac and Sept. versions, although some Codd. of the lxx have the reading uhiou' Moou'see' (vid., Kennic. dissert. gener. in V. T. 21).

(Note: These two readings of the lxx seem to be fused together in the text given by Theodoret (quaest. xxvi.): Ἰωνάθαν γάρ φησίν υἱὸς Μανασσῆ, υἱοῦ Γερσὼμ υἱοῦ Μωσῆ)

Jerome also has filii Moysi. At the same time, it does not follow with certainty from the reading ben Gershom that Jehonathan was actually a son of Gershom, as ben frequently denotes a grandson in such genealogical accounts, unknown fathers being passed over in the genealogies. There is very little probability of his having been a son, for the simple reason, that if Jehonathan was the same person as Micah's high priest - and there is no ground for doubting this - he is described as נער in Judges 17:7; Judges 18:3, Judges 18:15, and therefore was at any rate a young man, whereas the son of Gershom and grandson of Moses would certainly have passed the age of youth by a few years after the death of Joshua. This Jehonathan and his sons performed the duties of the priesthood at Dan הארץ גּלות עד־יום. This statement is obscure. הארץ .eru גּלות can hardly mean anything else than the carrying away of the people of the land into exile, that is to say, of the inhabitants of Dan and the neighbourhood at least, since גּלה is the standing expression for this. Most of the commentators suppose the allusion to be to the Assyrian captivity, or primarily to the carrying away by Tiglath-Pileser of the northern tribes of Israel, viz., the population of Gilead, Galilee, and the tribe of Naphtali, in the midst of which Laish-Dan was situated (2 Kings 15:29). But the statement in Judges 18:31, "And they set them up Micah's graven image, which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh," is by no means reconcilable with such a conclusion. We find the house of God, i.e., the Mosaic tabernacle, which the congregation had erected at Shiloh in the days of Joshua (Joshua 18:1), still standing there in the time of Eli and Samuel (1 Samuel 1:3., Judges 3:21; Judges 4:3); but in the time of Saul it was at Nob (1 Samuel 21:1-15), and during the reign of David at Gibeon (1 Chronicles 16:39; 1 Chronicles 21:29). Consequently "the house of God" only stood in Shiloh till the reign of Saul, and was never taken there again. If therefore Micah's image, which the Danites set up in Dan, remained there as long as the house of God was at Shiloh, Jonathan's sons can only have been there till Saul's time at the longest, and certainly cannot have been priests at this sanctuary in Dan till the time of the Assyrian captivity.

(Note: The impossibility of reconciling the statement as to time in Judges 18:31 with the idea that "the captivity of the land" refers to the Assyrian captivity, is admitted even by Bleek (Einl. p. 349), who adopts Houbigant's conjecture, viz., הארון גּלות, "the carrying away of the ark.")

There are also other historical facts to be considered, which render the continuance of this Danite image-worship until the Assyrian captivity extremely improbable, or rather preclude it altogether. Even if we should not lay any stress upon the fact that the Israelites under Samuel put away the Baalim and Astartes in consequence of his appeal to them to turn to the Lord (1 Samuel 7:4), it is hardly credible that in the time of David the image-worship should have continued at Dan by the side of the lawful worship of Jehovah which he restored and organized, and should not have been observed and suppressed by this king, who carried on repeated wars in the northern part of his kingdom. Still more incredible would the continuance of this image-worship appear after the erection of Solomon's temple, when all the men of Israel, and all the elders and heads of tribes, came to Jerusalem, at the summons of Solomon, to celebrate the consecration of this splendid national sanctuary (1 Kings 5-7). Lastly, the supposition that the image-worship established by the Danites at Dan still continued to exist, is thoroughly irreconcilable with the fact, that when Jeroboam established the kingdom of the ten tribes he had two golden calves made as images of Jehovah for the subjects of his kingdom, and set up one of them at Dan, and appointed priests out of the whole nation who were not of the sons of Levi. If an image-worship of Jehovah had been still in existence in Dan, and conducted by Levitical priests. Jeroboam would certainly not have established a second worship of the same kind under priests who were not Levitical. All these difficulties preclude our explaining the expression, "the day of the captivity of the land," as referring to either the Assyrian or Babylonian captivity. It can only refer to some event which took place in the last years of Samuel, or the first part of the reign of Saul. David Kimchi and many others have interpreted the expression as relating to the carrying away of the ark by the Philistines, for which the words מיּשׂראל כבוד גּלה are used in 1 Samuel 4:21-22 (e.g., Hengstenberg, Beitr. vol. ii. pp. 153ff.; Hvernick, Einl. ii. 1, p. 109; O. v. Gerlach, and others). With the carrying away of the ark of the covenant, the tabernacle lost its significance as a sanctuary of Jehovah. We learn from Psalm 78:59-64 how the godly in Israel regarded that event. They not only looked upon it as a casting away of the dwelling-lace of God at Shiloh; but in the fact that Jehovah gave up His might and glory (i.e., the ark) into captivity, they discerned a surrender of the nation into the full power of its foes which resembled a carrying away into captivity. For, apart altogether form the description in Psalm 78:62-64, we may infer with certainty from the account of the tyranny which these foes still exercised over the Israelites in the time of Saul (1 Samuel 13:19-23), that, after this victory, the Philistines may have completely subjugated the Israelites, and treated them as their prisoners. We may therefore affirm with Hengstenberg, that "the author looked upon the whole land as carried away into captivity in its sanctuary, which formed as it were its kernel and essence." If, however, this figurative explanation of הארץ גּלות should not be accepted, there is no valid objection to our concluding that the words refer to some event with which we have no further acquaintance, in which the city of Dan was conquered by the neighbouring Syrians, and the inhabitants carried away into captivity. For it is evident enough from the fact of the kings of Zoba being mentioned, in 1 Samuel 14:47, among the different enemies of Israel against whom Saul carried on war, that the Syrians also invaded Israel in the tie of the Philistine supremacy, and carried Israelites away out of the conquered towns and districts. The Danite image-worship, however, was probably suppressed and abolished when Samuel purified the land and people from idolatry, after the ark had been brought back by the Philistines (1 Samuel 2 ff.).

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