Judges 17 – 18

Judges 17

How part of Dan migrated north to get a new city and new gods

Micah of Ephraim stole eleven hundred shekels of silver from his mother; and later repented restoring it.

Judges 17:1 And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah. 17:2 And he said unto his mother, The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from thee, about which thou cursedst, and spakest of also in mine ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it. And his mother said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my son.

His mother tells him that she had dedicated her silver to make an idol for him.

17:3 And when he had restored the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, his mother said, I had wholly dedicated the silver unto the LORD from my hand for my son, to make a graven image and a molten image: now therefore I will restore it unto thee.

Micah’s mother made him an idol.

17:4 Yet he restored the money unto his mother; and his mother took two hundred shekels of silver, and gave them to the founder, who made thereof a graven image and a molten image: and they were in the house of Micah.

Micah had many idol gods just like today’s Ekklesia has idols of men and false traditions.

17:5 And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod [priestly vestment], and teraphim [idols], and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest [from Ephraim and NOT of Aaron, therefore a false priest of false gods].

17:6 In those days there was no king [ruler or Judge] in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

A Levite came to Ephraim from Bethlehem of Judah.

17:7 And there was a young man out of Bethlehemjudah of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there.

The Levite traveled from Bethlehem of Judah looking for a place to start his synagogue [school], to teach.

17:8 And the man departed out of the city from Bethlehemjudah to sojourn where he could find a place: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he journeyed.

Micah met the Levite and invited the Levite to come and be the “priest” of his gods.

17:9 And Micah said unto him, Whence comest thou? And he said unto him, I am a Levite of Bethlehemjudah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a place. 17:10 And Micah said unto him, Dwell with me, and be unto me a father and a priest, and I will give thee ten shekels of silver by the year, and a suit of apparel, and thy victuals. So the Levite went in.

This Micah was no respecter of gods and worshiped all gods; and added an apostate Levite in his collection of priests and gods.

17:11 And the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man was unto him as one of his sons. 17:12 And Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.

17:13 Then said Micah, Now know I that the LORD will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest.


Judges 18

The area east of Lake Hulah including Dan was given to but not occupied by Naphtali when Israel divided the land under Joshua. The original land given to Dan by Joshua was by the central sea coast.

Judges 17-19 covers the taking of the northern territory by part of the tribe of Dan. Dan had been given land on the coast and considered that land too small for them, and so sought out another place; and thus Dan became divided between a part on the coast and a landlocked part in the north belonging to but not occupied by Naphtali.

Later the coastal seafaring Dan went by sea to Spain and then on to Ireland; and when God gave the northern ten tribes to Assyria, northern Dan was taken to Mesopotamia and then migrated to Denmark.

It was prophesied that [Northern] Dan would leap from Bashan [Golan] and that is what Dan did. 

Dan is still divided with two nations [Ireland and Denmark] today.

Judges 18:1 In those days there was no king in Israel: and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwell in; for unto that day all their inheritance had not fallen unto them among the tribes of Israel.

Dan sent out reconnaissance to find more land, and the five men came and found rest with Micah the worshiper of many gods of chapter 17.

18:2 And the children of Dan sent of their family five men from their coasts, men of valour, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land, and to search it; and they said unto them, Go, search the land: who when they came to mount Ephraim, to the house of Micah, they lodged there.

Spies from Dan recognized the voice of the Levite as someone they knew and asked him his story.

18:3 When they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man the Levite: and they turned in thither, and said unto him, Who brought thee hither? and what makest thou in this place? and what hast thou here?

The whole situation in the area is one of gross idolatry and attempts to call idolatry and false priests as godly.  These idols and foreign gods separated these folks from the Eternal God. Today many false leaders have infiltrated the Spiritual Ekklesia and have led the brethren to exalt and follow them away from any zeal for the Word of God; which is idolatry as well!

18:4 And he said unto them, Thus and thus dealeth Micah with me, and hath hired me, and I am his priest.

18:5 And they [the spies from Dan] said unto him, Ask counsel, we pray thee, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous.

This false priest told these men that God was with them. The same lie is told to the brethren today, as the false leaders and elders feign to be of God in order to lead men to follow themselves away from any zeal to live by every Word of God; as Jesus himself warned us would happen in Matthew 24.

You shall know the godly from the ungodly by their fruits, Matthew 7.

Are your leaders zealous for every Word of God to learn it and to keep it?  Or do they teach the brethren to relax any zeal to live by every Word of God and instead follow themselves?

18:6 And the priest said unto them, Go in peace: before the LORD is your way wherein ye go.

The spies scouted the land and came to Laish east of the northern lake and rivers, and found it undefended and a rich land.

18:7 Then the five men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt careless, after the manner of the Zidonians, quiet and secure; and there was no magistrate in the land, that might put them to shame in any thing; and they were far from the Zidonians, and had no business with any man.

The five spies reported back to their cities.

18:8 And they came unto their brethren to [in] Zorah and Eshtaol: and their brethren said unto them, What say ye? 18:9 And they said, Arise, that we may go up against them: for we have seen the land, and, behold, it is very good: and are ye still? be not slothful to go, and to enter to possess the land. 18:10 When ye go, ye shall come unto a people secure, and to a large land: for God hath given it into your hands; a place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth.

An army of 600 was sent to take the city, and they camped at the house of Micah to seek a blessing from the “priest.”

18:11 And there went from thence of the family of the Danites, out of Zorah and out of Eshtaol, six hundred men appointed with weapons of war. 18:12 And they went up, and pitched in Kirjathjearim, in Judah: wherefore they called that place Mahanehdan unto this day: behold, it is behind Kirjathjearim. 18:13 And they passed thence unto mount Ephraim, and came unto the house of Micah.

The five men had also told the 600 about the priest and the house of Micah.

18:14 Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what ye have to do.

The 600 went to the home of Micah and his “priest,” and waited at the gate as the five men went inside.

18:15 And they turned thitherward, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, even unto the house of Micah, and saluted him. 18:16 And the six hundred men appointed with their weapons of war, which were of the children of Dan, stood by the entering of the gate.

As the “priest ” spoke with the 600 the five went and stole the priestly raiment and the gods of Micah.

18:17 And the five men that went to spy out the land went up, and came in thither, and took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men that were appointed with weapons of war. 18:18 And these [the five men] went into Micah’s house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest unto them, What do ye?

When the “priest” saw this he demanded to know what they were doing in taking away the gods.

The men then offered the man an opportunity to be the “priest” of the 600 instead of a priest of only one family; and the priest left for the better job, stealing the gods of his benefactor! 

How like many elders today who reject any zeal to live by every Word of God and sell themselves to follow idols of men.

18:19 And they said unto him, Hold thy peace, lay thine hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest: is it better for thee to be a priest unto the house of one man, or that thou be a priest unto a tribe and a family in Israel? 18:20 And the priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and went in the midst of the people.

The 600 men and their animals and families moved on towards the north, and Micah called on his neighbors and friends to pursue them.

18:21 So they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the cattle and the carriage before them. 18:22 And when they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men that were in the houses near to Micah’s house were gathered together, and overtook the children of Dan.

Micah demands the return of the gods that he had made.

18:23 And they cried unto the children of Dan. And they turned their faces, and said unto Micah, What aileth thee, that thou comest with such a company? 18:24 And he said, Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and ye are gone away: and what have I more? and what is this that ye say unto me, What aileth thee?

Then the people of Dan replied that they had 600 men of war and told Micah to be content to let go of his “priest” and gods, lest he die.

18:25 And the children of Dan said unto him, Let not thy voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows run upon thee, and thou lose thy life, with the lives of thy household. 18:26 And the children of Dan went their way: and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back unto his house.

Dan then smote Laish a city at peace with Israel; and named it Dan.

18:27 And they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest which he had, and came unto Laish, unto a people that were at quiet and secure: and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire. 18:28 And there was no deliverer, because it was far from Zidon, and they had no business with any man; and it was in the valley that lieth by Bethrehob. And they built a city, and dwelt therein.

18:29 And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born unto Israel: howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first.

Northern Dan then set up false priests not of Aaron, and worshiped idols through history. Even today it is recorded of Dan that they shall have no part in the 12,000 called out of each tribe of Israel at the end of the tribulation (Rev 7).

18:30 And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land [the removal of the ten tribes by the Assyrians].

18:31 And they set them up Micah’s graven image [in northern Dan], which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.

Brethren, in the Mosaic Covenant a true priest of God was a son of Aaron who was called to that office; to teach zeal for the whole Word of God, to officiate over the offerings and to turn the people to God.

In the New Covenant Jesus Christ commanded us to judge who we are willing to follow by their fruits of godliness.

An elder who is not called of God to that office and does not live and teach others to zealously live by every Word of God; is not a true elder!

A man who was ordained for his talents and organizational loyalty, is not ordained of God; ONLY a person who is called and ordained to his office by God the Father, and who has the fruits of that calling by their zeal for God and his Word to keep it and to teach it; is a true elder and minister of Jesus Christ.

Just as John baptized only those who had proved their repentance by their fruits: We are to baptize and  ordain only those who have the full fruits of repentance to godliness, evidenced by their uncompromising zeal to learn, keep and teach the whole Word of God, and to fearlessly rebuke all sin!

Just as Micah’s false “priest” was ordained of men; to our great shame we have also ordained false elders who are content to close their eyes to idolizing men and corporate entities and false teachings, and encouraging lukewarmness for keeping the Word of God; for a reward of wages.

Not every priest or elder is of God!  Prove all things, hold fast that which is good and consistent with the whole Word of God (1 Thess 5:20-22).


True Godliness

Serve God with all your hearts and do good to others; that is the will of God.

Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Few have the dedication to follow through with enduring and overcoming to become part of the chosen. God wants Kings and Priests for offices of responsibility for all eternity. He must be certain of our fidelity to him; therefore let us put him and his Kingdom FIRST at all times, and be passionate to live by every Word of God so that we may have a part in the bride of Christ!

Like a marriage salvation is a dual effort. God the Father must call people to himself through the Son and open our minds to Him and his Word; yet WE must respond!  Jesus Christ as the espoused Husband leads and enables, but those who want a part in the collective bride must FOLLOW HIM!

We MUST sincerely repent and we MUST commit to keeping God’s Word; to “go and sin NO more!”

We MUST make every possible effort to overcome; and we MUST diligently seek God’s help!

We are called to God the Father through a Marriage Covenant with Jesus Christ: A marriage is a TEAM effort; two uniting as one. Those called to become a part of the collective bride of Christ MUST do their part and that part is to follow Christ and obey God the Father; and we NEED their help to accomplish that!

We overcome through the power of Christ living in us through the indwelling of God’s Spirit; we must be willing to follow Christ and God’s Spirit as it leads us to live by every Word of God.

The big problem in religion today is that people do not follow Christ and do not diligently live by every Word of God, instead they do what is right in their own eyes.  

We have become righteous in our own eyes, but we are wicked in the eyes of Almighty God; doing what we think is right instead of doing what God says is right!

Our part is NOT to do what WE think is right! Our part is to do what God SAYS is right!

We are to seek to grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s ways; we are to seek to become like God the Father with ALL our hearts minds and strength; but not ALONE! We are also to seek God’s help, diligently and consistently; for we ultimately can overcome ONLY by God’s power.

Just like God delivered Israel out of Egypt, he can and will deliver us out of bondage of sin! 

Jesus Christ overcame this world, he WILL overcome this world living in us! Even in ancient physical Egypt Israel had to follow God out of bondage! So we must be willing to follow God in whatever he commands; that is our part.

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.

IF we loved God: We would DO what God says!

We must be willing followers of Jesus Christ and willing DOERS of every Word of God the Father; for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the very Lamb of God will ONLY be applied to the repentant who are committed DOERS of God’s Word [Acts 5:32)!

Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Yes we have our part; we MUST be willing DOERS of the law!  We must diligently seek out God with all our hearts and we MUST serve God ONLY; not serving idols of men with their false traditions! 

When we are tempted to compromise with God’s Word we must boldly declare in the name of Jesus Christ:  Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, GET THEE HENCE, SATAN: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Yes we do have our part, yet we cannot do it alone!

We MUST seek our God with all our might, follow him in all things, trust and obey him alone and serve him with passionate enthusiastic love! We must ASK for his Spirit of Power to overcome, we MUST diligently seek knowledge of his ways and apply what we learn as we learn.

We must reject temptation the second it rears its ugly head and we must hide ourselves in the armor of God.

We must fight the good fight, but if we rely on our Mighty One we are not alone in that fight against temptation, compromise and sin!

Alone we will fail for we are no match for Satan the god-king of this world, but TOGETHER with our Awesome Beloved Father and his Son; the god-king of this world is NO match for us!

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

It is our FAITH in our Great God, married to the action of faithfully FOLLOWING Him and living by every Word of God that makes us strong!  It is our faithful service to our God which brings deliverance for us!

The whole armor of God is there for us; but we MUST put it on: We must USE it!

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

We MUST fight the good fight against the wickedness warring against us, USING all the help and strength that God provides!

Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

We MUST fight to overcome and we shall overcome by the power and righteousness of God the Father and Jesus Christ dwelling in and strengthening us through the Spirit of God!

Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Righteousness IS the keeping of every Word of God! We MUST live in and by the truth of God, which is every WORD of God.

Ephesians 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

The Gospel of peace between God and man, is the Gospel of repentance and reconciliation to God.

It is sincere repentance, an unshakable commitment to faithful obedience and the gift of atonement, reconciliation through the application of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God; which brings empowerment with God’s Spirit of power and a sound mind enabling us to overcome.

We MUST DO our part and God will DO his!

Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

If we are filled with faith in the strength of our God; and we depend and put our TRUST in our God and His Word, rejecting any temptation to compromise with God’s Word; God WILL deliver us.

Brethren, it is this lack of faith which has caused us to compromise with God’s Word and turn the Gospel message of warning and repentance into a lukewarm business model inoffensive message. This in turn offends Jesus Christ and we will be rejected by him until we repent.

Each year at Passover time we study the mighty miracles that Christ performed for his people; and then we go and compromise with God’s ways out of fear of persecution or lust for mammon!

2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Ephesians 5:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Let us cover ourselves with the gift of salvation, given to the sincerely repentant who are diligent to live by every Word of God; let us fight the good fight, wielding the TRUTH, the WORD of God; which is the sword of the Spirit; for God is truth and his Spirit shall: John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:

Yes we MUST DO our part, yet we NEED God’s HELP!  We cannot overcome ALONE!

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

A wolf feeds himself first, and ravages the flock.

Ezekiel 34 the entire chapter is about those shepherds in BOTH physical and spiritual Israel who are wolves and feed themselves with all the good things of the flock while neglecting to feed the flock with the truth is due season.

Those who are political and seek the chief seats, who seek self-aggrandizement and personal advantage; are the wolves hiding among the sheep. Today there are very many wolves who do not feed the sheep the true Gospel of: warning, repentance, and diligent faithful obedience to God and salvation: Which is the way of life and the way to salvation.

Ezekiel 34:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 34:2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

If any man teaches tolerance for sin out of a phony false love; if any elder tolerates sin [the breaking of God’s Word, not the breaking of some organizational edict] without rebuke; if any organization does not preach a message of warning and repentance to the world: They are corrupt branches that will be pruned away!

The True Good Shepherd feeds the flock with the words of truth; with the teachings that lead to salvation; strongly rebuking all sin. We are to follow that true Good Shepherd with the diligent KEEPING of the whole Word of God, so that the whole flock internalizes God the Father and the Son; growing into a full spiritual unity with God!

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

15:2  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

The good tree is that Good Shepherd who is working to bring the whole flock into a fullness of unity with Jesus Christ and God the Father! We are to follow that Good Shepherd who gave his all, his very life for the Father’s flock; and did not seek his own.

We are to follow that example that was set for us and faithfully serve the Father by feeding his flock with the very Word of God, the very nature of God without fear or compromise; regardless of what men think or do.

There are some good shepherds among you even now, who teach the true way of salvation and are alert watchmen discerning the signs of the times. They may be kept down, ridiculed and even persecuted by others, yet God the Father will reward them.

Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

12:43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

12:44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

Matthew 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

The evil servant

Luke 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;

Abusing others and seeking our own pleasures

12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

You shall know the good shepherds by their love of God and their diligent keeping and teaching of every Word of God and by their diligence to do the will of HIM who called them.

Matthew 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock [the Might Rock of our Salvation, the whole Word of God and Messiah the Christ]: 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

Those who internalize the nature of God the Father and Jesus Christ; who become one with them in total spiritual unity, through a deep love for God and all the things of God, those who love the passionate keeping of every Word of God and who set a good example of godliness and FEED THE FLOCK with the good pasture of the Word, watering them with the Spirit of Godliness, are building on the foundation of the Word of God: Which shall NEVER be moved.

Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Matthew 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

The words of Christ are not taught today, because they are NOT KEPT in today’s assemblies!  This is because the Word of God exposes the many false shepherds among us!  It is because the Word of God cuts sharply into the very heart and spirit of our organizations and convicts us of our sins and egocentric complacency; and our lack of Christ centeredness; exposing our almost total lack of Christ-like zeal for God the Father’s will and ways!

Jesus Christ stands at the door of each of those called to God the Father through him; knocking (Rev 3), calling us to repent of our self-righteous idolizing of our own ways; calling us to a diligent dedicated passionate obedience to every Word of God; calling us to a zeal for the keeping of God’s Word and instructions; calling us to sincerely repent of our self-seeking embracing of worldliness.


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