Samson is the last of the judges mentioned in the Book of
Judges. Today’s reading covers the story of Micah and his idolatry.
Under pretense of devotion to the Lord, Micah’s mother had several
images made. Micah also had an idolatrous shrine and had made an
ephod and teraphim (images). In the spirit of the lawless age, he
also installed one of his sons as priest. When a Levitical priest
arrived from Bethlehem-Judah, Micah persuaded him to act as chaplain
in his shrine. This lawless, man-made religious arrangement, showing
the spiritual apostasy of the day, was ignorantly claimed by Micah
as a basis of divine blessing.
Today’s reading also covers the migration of the Danites.
They had been assigned territory that included the Philistine plain,
which they had been unable to take. Part of the tribe, being cramped
for room, migrated to the far north, stealing Micah’s images, taking
the Levite priest with them, and settled near the headwaters of the
Jordan. This is another evidence of the lawless apostasy and
political confusion of the period. Moreover, the aim of the last
five chapters of the Book of Judges is to show Israel’s deep
internal corruption. The Levite did not object to this flagrant
injustice to Micah, because it meant advantage to him personally.
Micah’s objections against this outrage were made in the name of
religion. His efforts to recover his losses came to naught.