New International Reader's Version

Judges 17

Micah’s False Gods

1A man named Micah lived in the hill country of Ephraim. He said to his mother, “Someone took 28 pounds of silver from you. I heard you curse the one who took it. I have the silver with me. I’m the one who took it.”

Then his mother said, “My son, may the Lord bless you!”

He gave the 28 pounds of silver back to his mother. She said to him, “I’m making a promise to set apart my silver to the Lord. My son, I want you to use it to cover a statue of a god made out of wood or stone. That’s why I’ll give the silver back to you.”

Micah gave the silver back to his mother. Then she gave five pounds of it to a skilled worker who made things out of silver. He used the silver for the statue. The statue was put in Micah’s house.

That same Micah had a small temple. He made a sacred linen apron and some statues of his family gods. He appointed one of his sons to serve as his priest. In those days Israel didn’t have a king. The people did anything they thought was right.

A young Levite had been living in land that belonged to the tribe of Judah. He was from Bethlehem in Judah. He left that town to look for some other place to stay. On his way he came to Micah’s house. It was in the hill country of Ephraim.

Micah asked him, “Where are you from?”

“I’m a Levite,” he said. “I’m from Bethlehem in Judah. I’m looking for a place to stay.”

10 Then Micah said to him, “Live with me. Be my father and priest. I’ll give you four ounces of silver a year. I’ll also give you clothes and food.” 11 So the Levite agreed to live with him. The young man became just like one of Micah’s sons to him. 12 Then Micah appointed the Levite to serve as his priest. He lived in Micah’s house. 13 Micah said, “Now I know that the Lord will be good to me. This Levite has become my priest.”