17:5 Now this man Micah owned a shrine. 1 He made an ephod 2 and some personal idols and hired one of his sons to serve as a priest. 3 17:6 In those days Israel had no king. Each man did what he considered to be right. 4
17:7 There was a young man from Bethlehem 5 in Judah. He was a Levite who had been temporarily residing among the tribe of Judah. 6 17:8 This man left the town of Bethlehem in Judah to find another place to live. He came to the Ephraimite hill country and made his way to Micah’s house. 7 17:9 Micah said to him, “Where do you come from?” He replied, “I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah. I am looking for a new place to live.” 8 17:10 Micah said to him, “Stay with me. Become my adviser 9 and priest. I will give you ten pieces of silver per year, plus clothes and food.” 10 17:11 So the Levite agreed to stay with the man; the young man was like a son to Micah. 11 17:12 Micah paid 12 the Levite; the young man became his priest and lived in Micah’s house. 17:13 Micah said, “Now I know God will make me rich, 13 because I have this Levite as my priest.”
[17:10] 9 tn Heb “father.” “Father” is here a title of honor that suggests the priest will give advice and protect the interests of the family, primarily by divining God’s will in matters, perhaps through the use of the ephod. (See R. G. Boling, Judges [AB], 257; also Gen 45:8, where Joseph, who was a diviner and interpreter of dreams, is called Pharaoh’s “father,” and 2 Kgs 6:21; 13:14, where a prophet is referred to as a “father.” Note also 2 Kgs 8:9, where a king identifies himself as a prophet’s “son.” One of a prophet’s main functions was to communicate divine oracles. Cf. 2 Kgs 8:9ff.; 13:14-19).
[17:10] 10 tn The Hebrew text expands with the phrase: “and the Levite went.” This only makes sense if taken with “to live” in the next verse. Apparently “the Levite went” and “the Levite agreed” are alternative readings which have been juxtaposed in the text.