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Micah provides an image for his God, ver. 1 - 6.
And a Levite for his priest, ver. 7 - 13.
1: There was, &c. - The things mentioned here, and in the following
chapters, did not happen in the order in which they are put; but much
sooner, even presently after the death of the elders that over - lived
Joshua, as appears, because Phinehas the son of Eleazar was
priest at this time, (Jdg 20:28), who must have been about 350 years
old, if this had been done after Samson's death.
2: Cursedst - That is, didst curse the person who had taken them away.
I took it - The fear of thy curse makes me acknowledge mine offence, and
beg thy pardon. Blessed - I willingly consent to, and beg from God the
removal of the curse, and a blessing instead of it. Be thou free from my
curse, because thou hast so honestly restored it.
3: The Lord - In the Hebrew it is, Jehovah, the incommunicable
name of God. Whereby it is apparent, that neither she, nor her son,
intended to forsake the true God; as appears from his rejoicing when he had
got a priest of the Lord's appointment, but only to worship God by an image;
which also both the Israelites, (Ex 32:1), &c.
and Jeroboam afterwards, designed to do.
For my son - For the benefit of thyself and family; that you need not be
continually going to Shiloh to worship, but may do it at home.
To thee - To dispose of, as I say.
4: Restored - Though his mother allowed him to keep it, yet he
persisted in his resolution to restore it, that she might dispose of it as
she pleased. Two hundred - Reserving nine hundred shekels, either for the
ephod or teraphim, or for other things relating to this worship.
5: Of gods - That is, an house consecrated for the service of God
in this manner. Teraphim - A sort of images so called.
One of his sons - Because the Levites in that corrupt estate of the
church, neglected the exercise of their office, and therefore they were
neglected by the people, and others put into their employment.
6: No king - No judge to govern and control them. The word king
being used largely for a supreme magistrate. God raised up judges to rule
and deliver the people, when he saw fit; and at other times for their sins
he suffered them to be without them, and such a time this was; and therefore
they ran into that idolatry, from which the judges usually kept them; as
appears by that solemn and oft - repeated passage in this book, that after the
death of such or such a judge, the people forsook the Lord, and turned to
idols. His own eyes - That is, not what pleased God, but what best suited
his own fancy.
7: Bethlehem - judah - So called here, as (Mt 2:1,5),
to difference it from Bethlehem in Zebulun. There he was born and
bred. Of Judah - That is, of or belonging to the tribe of Judah; not
by birth, for he was a Levite; but by his habitation and ministration.
For the Levites were dispersed among all the tribes; and this man's lot
fell into the tribe of Judah.
Sojourned - So he expresseth it, because this was not the proper place of
his abode, this being no Levitical city.
8: To sojourn - For employment and a livelihood; for the tithes and
offerings, which were their maintenance, not being brought into the house
of God, the Levites and priests were reduced to straights.
10: A father - That is, a priest, a spiritual father, a teacher or
instructor. He pretends reverence and submission to him; and what is
wanting in his wages, he pays him in titles.
11: Content - Being infected with the common superstition and
idolatry of the times. His sons - That is, treated with the same degree
of kindness and affection.
12: Consecrated - To be a priest, for which he thought a consecration
necessary, as knowing the Levites were no less excluded from the priest's
office than the people. The young man - Instead of his son, whom he had
consecrated, but now seems to restrain him from the exercise of that office,
and to devolve it wholly upon the Levite, who was nearer akin to it.
13: Do me good - I am assured God will bless me. So blind and
grossly partial he was in his judgment, to think that one right
circumstance would answer for all his substantial errors, in making
and worshipping images against God's express command, in worshipping
God in a forbidden place, by a priest illegally appointed.