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Micah and the Levite 17:1 There was a man of the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Micah.
2 And he said to his mother, “The 1,100 pieces of silver that were taken from you, about which you uttered a curse, and also spoke it in my ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it.” And his mother said, “Blessed be my son by the Lord.”
3 And he restored the 1,100 pieces of silver to his mother. And his mother said, “I dedicate the silver to the Lord from my hand for my son, to make a carved image and a metal image. Now therefore I will restore it to you.”
4 So when he restored the money to his mother, his mother took 200 pieces of silver and gave it to the silversmith, who made it into a carved image and a metal image. And it was in the house of Micah.
5 And the man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and household gods, and ordained one of his sons, who became his priest.
6 In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
7 Now there was a young man of Bethlehem in Judah, of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there.
8 And the man departed from the town of Bethlehem in Judah to sojourn where he could find a place. And as he journeyed, he came to the hill country of Ephraim to the house of Micah.
9 And Micah said to him, “Where do you come from?” And he said to him, “I am a Levite of Bethlehem in Judah, and I am going to sojourn where I may find a place.”
10 And Micah said to him, “Stay with me, and be to me a father and a priest, and I will give you ten pieces of silver a year and a suit of clothes and your living.” And the Levite went in.
11 And the Levite was content to dwell with the man, and the young man became to him like one of his sons.
12 And Micah ordained the Levite, and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.
13 Then Micah said, “Now I know that the Lord will prosper me, because I have a Levite as priest.”
« Judges 17 | Judges 18 | Judges 19 »
Danites Take the Levite and the Idol 18:1 In those days there was no king in Israel. And in those days the tribe of the people of Dan was seeking for itself an inheritance to dwell in, for until then no inheritance among the tribes of Israel had fallen to them.
2 So the people of Dan sent five able men from the whole number of their tribe, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to explore it. And they said to them, “Go and explore the land.” And they came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there.
3 When they were by the house of Micah, they recognized the voice of the young Levite. And they turned aside and said to him, “Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? What is your business here?”
4 And he said to them, “This is how Micah dealt with me: he has hired me, and I have become his priest.”
5 And they said to him, “Inquire of God, please, that we may know whether the journey on which we are setting out will succeed.”
6 And the priest said to them, “Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the Lord.”
7 Then the five men departed and came to Laish and saw the people who were there, how they lived in security, after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and unsuspecting, lacking nothing that is in the earth and possessing wealth, and how they were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone.
8 And when they came to their brothers at Zorah and Eshtaol, their brothers said to them, “What do you report?”
9 They said, “Arise, and let us go up against them, for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good. And will you do nothing? Do not be slow to go, to enter in and possess the land.
10 As soon as you go, you will come to an unsuspecting people. The land is spacious, for God has given it into your hands, a place where there is no lack of anything that is in the earth.”
11 So 600 men of the tribe of Dan, armed with weapons of war, set out from Zorah and Eshtaol,
12 and went up and encamped at Kiriath-jearim in Judah. On this account that place is called Mahaneh-dan to this day; behold, it is west of Kiriath-jearim.
13 And they passed on from there to the hill country of Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah.
14 Then the five men who had gone to scout out the country of Laish said to their brothers, “Do you know that in these houses there are an ephod, household gods, a carved image, and a metal image? Now therefore consider what you will do.”
15 And they turned aside there and came to the house of the young Levite, at the home of Micah, and asked him about his welfare.
16 Now the 600 men of the Danites, armed with their weapons of war, stood by the entrance of the gate.
17 And the five men who had gone to scout out the land went up and entered and took the carved image, the ephod, the household gods, and the metal image, while the priest stood by the entrance of the gate with the 600 men armed with weapons of war.
18 And when these went into Micah’s house and took the carved image, the ephod, the household gods, and the metal image, the priest said to them, “What are you doing?”
19 And they said to him, “Keep quiet; put your hand on your mouth and come with us and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and clan in Israel?”
20 And the priest’s heart was glad. He took the ephod and the household gods and the carved image and went along with the people.
21 So they turned and departed, putting the little ones and the livestock and the goods in front of them.
22 When they had gone a distance from the home of Micah, the men who were in the houses near Micah’s house were called out, and they overtook the people of Dan.
23 And they shouted to the people of Dan, who turned around and said to Micah, “What is the matter with you, that you come with such a company?”
24 And he said, “You take my gods that I made and the priest, and go away, and what have I left? How then do you ask me, ‘What is the matter with you?’”
25 And the people of Dan said to him, “Do not let your voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows fall upon you, and you lose your life with the lives of your household.”
26 Then the people of Dan went their way. And when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his home.
27 But the people of Dan took what Micah had made, and the priest who belonged to him, and they came to Laish, to a people quiet and unsuspecting, and struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire.
28 And there was no deliverer because it was far from Sidon, and they had no dealings with anyone. It was in the valley that belongs to Beth-rehob. Then they rebuilt the city and lived in it.
29 And they named the city Dan, after the name of Dan their ancestor, who was born to Israel; but the name of the city was Laish at the first.
30 And the people of Dan set up the carved image for themselves, and Jonathan the son of Gershom, son of Moses, and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land.
31 So they set up Micah’s carved image that he made, as long as the house of God was at Shiloh.
« Proverbs 21 | Proverbs 22 | Proverbs 23 »
22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,and favor is better than silver or gold.
2 The rich and the poor meet together;the Lord is the Maker of them all.
3 The prudent sees danger and hides himself,but the simple go on and suffer for it.
4 The reward for humility and fear of the Lordis riches and honor and life.
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go;even when he is old he will not depart from it.
7 The rich rules over the poor,and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
8 Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,and the rod of his fury will fail.
9 Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed,for he shares his bread with the poor.
10 Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,and quarreling and abuse will cease.
11 He who loves purity of heart,and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,but he overthrows the words of the traitor.
13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!I shall be killed in the streets!”
14 The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit;he with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it.
15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
16 Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.
Words of the Wise17 Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise,and apply your heart to my knowledge,
18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,if all of them are ready on your lips.
19 That your trust may be in the Lord,I have made them known to you today, even to you.
20 Have I not written for you thirty sayingsof counsel and knowledge,
21 to make you know what is right and true,that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
22 Do not rob the poor, because he is poor,or crush the afflicted at the gate,
23 for the Lord will plead their causeand rob of life those who rob them.
24 Make no friendship with a man given to anger,nor go with a wrathful man,
25 lest you learn his waysand entangle yourself in a snare.
26 Be not one of those who give pledges,who put up security for debts.
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,why should your bed be taken from under you?
28 Do not move the ancient landmarkthat your fathers have set.
29 Do you see a man skillful in his work?He will stand before kings;he will not stand before obscure men.
« Romans 10 | Romans 11 | Romans 12 »
The Remnant of Israel 11:1 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.
2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel?
3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.”
4 But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.
6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened,
8 as it is written,“God gave them a spirit of stupor,eyes that would not seeand ears that would not hear,down to this very day.”
9 And David says,“Let their table become a snare and a trap,a stumbling block and a retribution for them;
10 let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,and bend their backs forever.”
Gentiles Grafted In11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.
12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!
13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry
14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.
15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?
16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,
18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.
19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”
20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.
21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.
22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.
23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.
24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.
The Mystery of Israel’s Salvation25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,“The Deliverer will come from Zion,he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
27 “and this will be my covenant with themwhen I take away their sins.”
28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.
29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
30 For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience,
31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy.
32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to himthat he might be repaid?”
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
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