The migration of part of the tribe of A son of Jacob and tribe of Israel. More to the north is recounted through the story of the Danites’ theft of Micah’s Idolatry is the worship of something other than the true God. An idol may be a cult image, an idea, or an object made of wood or stone. Ome of the Ten Commandments specifically prohibits the worship of graven images or idols; this concern is... More to account for the establishment of the A sanctuary is the consecrated area around the altar of a church or temple. It also means a place of safety where one can flee for protection. In the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms, God is referred to as a sanctuary, a refuge from... More at Dan.
Essentially, this story explains how the tribe of Dan (“He judged”) moved from its allotted territory in the central part of the coastal plain to the far north of Galilee (The successor of Moses, Joshua led the Israelites into Canaan More 19:40-48). The story itself revolves around Micah, who built himself a shrine with money stolen from his own mother and then fills it with an “idol of cast metal” (cast from the stolen silver), an ephod, and teraphim or A household is a living unit comprised of all the persons who live in one house. A household would embrace all the members of a family, including servants and slaves. In the book of Acts, stories are told of various persons and their households, like... More gods often used in divination (Judges 17:1-6). All this is explicitly condemned (Exodus 20:3-4; Judges 2:1-5). To make matters worse, Micah (“Who Is Like Yahweh”), conveniently ignoring the last part of his name, installs his own son as A priest is a person who has the authority to perform religious rites. In New Testament times priests were responsible for daily offerings and sacrifices in the temple. More of this Abomination in biblical terms is that which is forbidden or unclean according to ritual code. Offering incense to idols and following the ways of the wicked are biblical examples of abomination to the Lord. More until an itinerant A Levite was a member of the tribe of Levi. This tribe had priestly and political responsibilities for the Israelites. Levites appear prominently in Old Testament accounts, and they accompany priests to question John the Baptizer's identity early in John's Gospel. More happens by and is cajoled into service (vv. 7-13). Unbelievably, his mother is complicit in all this. After Micah confesses his theft and returns the 1100 pieces of silver, she consecrates it and returns it to her son in the form of an idol and with a Blessing is the asking for or the giving of God's favor. Isaac was tricked into blessing Jacob instead of his firstborn Esau. At the Last Supper Jesus offered a blessing over bread and wine. To be blessed is to be favored by God. More; well…she returns 200 pieces of it, anyway (compare vv. 3-4).
Chapter 18 brings the tribe of Dan on the scene. Acting upon information obtained by spies, the Danites steal Micah’s bogus liturgical paraphernalia and convince the Levite to become their tribal priest instead of Micah’s family priest (vv. 11-20). After destroying the town of Laish and settling there, they install the Levite as their priest who sets up the shrine with its stolen liturgical appurtenances (vv. 21-31).
A charitable reading of these shenanigans would see a description of how Dan settled in the north. But the trenchant critique of the sanctuary constructed in Dan (1 Kings 12:28-30) and the pray-for-pay priesthood that served there can hardly be missed. The story thus serves as a caustic illustration of the refrain that peppers these chapters, “In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes” (Judges 17:6; compare 18:1; 19:1; 21:25). This, says Judges, is what you get when you don’t serve the Lord and you have no central government.