Judges 17
Contemporary English Version

Micah Makes Idols and Hires a Priest

1Micah+ belonged to the Ephraim tribe and lived in the hill country. 2One day he told his mother, “Do you remember those 1,100 pieces of silver+ that were stolen from you? I was there when you put a curse on whoever stole them. Well, I'm the one who did it.”

His mother answered, “I pray that the Lord will bless+ you, my son.”

3-4Micah returned the silver to his mother, and she said, “I give this silver to the Lord, so my son can use it to make an idol.” Turning to her son, she said, “Micah, now the silver belongs to you.”

But Micah handed it back to his mother. She took 200 pieces+ of the silver and gave them to a silver worker, who made them into an idol.+ They kept the idol in Micah's house. 5He had a shrine for worshiping God there at his home, and he had made some idols and a sacred priestly vest. Micah chose one of his own sons to be the priest for his shrine.

6 This was before kings ruled Israel, so all the Israelites did whatever they thought was right.

7-8One day a young Levite came to Micah's house in the hill country of Ephraim. He had been staying with one of the clans of Judah in Bethlehem, but he had left Bethlehem to find a new place to live+ where he could be a priest.+

9“Where are you from?” Micah asked.

“I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah,” the man answered, “and I'm on my way to find a new place to live.”

10Micah said, “Why don't you stay here with me? You can be my priest and tell me what God wants me to do. Every year I'll give you ten pieces of silver and one complete set of clothes, and I'll provide all your food.”

The young man went for a walk, 11-12then he agreed to stay with Micah and be his priest. He lived in Micah's house, and Micah treated him like one of his own sons. 13Micah said, “I have a Levite as my own priest. Now I know that the Lord will be kind to me.”


17.1 Micah: The Hebrew also uses the longer form “Micaiah.”
17.2 1,100 … silver: About 12.5 kilograms.
17.2 curse … bless: A curse could not be taken back, but it could be made powerless by a blessing.
17.3,4 200 pieces: About 2.3 kilograms.
17.3,4 idol: Probably carved from wood and covered with the silver.
17.7,8 place to live: The people of the Levi tribe did not have a large area of land like the other tribes.
17.7,8 to find … priest: Or “and was on his way to find a new place to live.”

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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