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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Shoftim - Judges - Chapter 17

Shoftim - Judges - Chapter 17

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 17

1. Now there was a man from the mountain of Ephraim, and his name was Micahyahu.   א. וַיְהִי אִישׁ מֵהַר אֶפְרָיִם וּשְׁמוֹ מִיכָיְהוּ:
Now there was a man from the mountain of Ephraim: Although the following two episodes are written at the end of this book; the one of Micah and the other about the concubine of Gibeah, they, nevertheless, occurred at the beginning of the period of the Judges. This was during the days of Othniel the son of Kenaz (and Cushan, above 3:8 11) as it says, (below 18:31) “And they accepted for themselves the graven image of Micah which he had made, throughout the period that the house of God was in Shiloh,” so we can derive that for the duration of Shiloh (Fourteen years after Israel’s crossing the Jordan, the Tabernacle was erected in Shiloh and remained there for three hundred sixty-nine years.) the image of Micah remained. Also, by the concubine of Gibeah it is said concerning the Jebusites of Jerusalem, (below 19:12) “We will not turn into (this) city of heathens,” so we can derive that they had not yet captured Jerusalem (which was captured by Judah, see above 1:8).  
2. And he said to his mother, "The eleven hundred pieces of silver that were taken from you, and (about which) you did curse, and you also spoke (it) in my ears. Behold the silver is with me, I took it." And his mother said, "Blessed be my son to the Lord."   ב. וַיֹּאמֶר לְאִמּוֹ אֶלֶף וּמֵאָה הַכֶּסֶף אֲשֶׁר לֻקַּח לָךְ וְאַתְּ אָלִית וְגַם אָמַרְתְּ בְּאָזְנַי הִנֵּה הַכֶּסֶף אִתִּי אֲנִי לְקַחְתִּיו וַתֹּאמֶר אִמּוֹ בָּרוּךְ בְּנִי לַיהֹוָה:
that was taken to you: Heb. לָ. (Lit.) I.e., that was stolen from you (מִמּ). There is a similar verse: (I Sam. 21:6) “But women are withheld from us” (לָנוּ as מִמֶּנּוּ).  
and (about which) you did curse: Anyone who stole it, and you also said the curse in my ears.  
Behold the silver: I admit that it is in my possession because I took it.  
3. And he restored the eleven hundred pieces of silver to his mother. And his mother said, "I have dedicated the silver before the Lord from my hand for my son to make a graven image and a molten one, and now I will restore it to you."   ג. וַיָּשֶׁב אֶת אֶלֶף וּמֵאָה הַכֶּסֶף לְאִמּוֹ וַתֹּאמֶר אִמּוֹ הַקְדֵּשׁ הִקְדַּשְׁתִּי אֶת הַכֶּסֶף לַיהֹוָה מִיָּדִי לִבְנִי לַעֲשׂוֹת פֶּסֶל וּמַסֵּכָה וְעַתָּה אֲשִׁיבֶנּוּ לָךְ:
And he restored the eleven hundred pieces of silver to his mother: He said he would return them to her, and wherever they were they would be in her domain.  
I have dedicated the silver (before the Lord) from my hand for my son: I accepted upon myself to transfer them from my possession to your possession for the purpose of a form and a molten image. Give them to me now, and then, from (being in) my possession I will return them to you. Some say that this woman was Delilah because it mentions eleven hundred pieces of silver (as above 16:5), but they are mistaken because Micah preceded Samson many years. However, these sections are adjacent because of the wicked silver which was an equal amount in both of them, and by their both being silver of misfortune.  
4. And he restored the money to his mother. And his mother took two hundred pieces of silver, and gave them to the founder, and he made thereof a graven image and a molten one, and it was in the house of Micahyahu.   ד. וַיָּשֶׁב אֶת הַכֶּסֶף לְאִמּוֹ וַתִּקַּח אִמּוֹ מָאתַיִם כֶּסֶף וַתִּתְּנֵהוּ לַצּוֹרֵף וַיַּעֲשֵֹהוּ פֶּסֶל וּמַסֵּכָה וַיְהִי בְּבֵית מִיכָיְהוּ:
5. Now the man Micah had a house of idolatry. And he made an ephod and teraphim, and initiated one of his sons, who became his priest.   ה. וְהָאִישׁ מִיכָה לוֹ בֵּית אֱלֹהִים וַיַּעַשׂ אֵפוֹד וּתְרָפִים וַיְמַלֵּא אֶת יַד אַחַד מִבָּנָיו וַיְהִי לוֹ לְכֹהֵן:
a house of idolatry: Heb. אֱלֹהִים. And so (is rendered) each אֱלֹהִים stated in this section as being profane with the exception of, (below 18:31) “Throughout the period that the house of God was in Shiloh.”  
and he initiated (lit., and he filled the hand of) one: I.e., he indoctrinated him in the service of the image to be a priest to it. Any initiation whereby a person enters onto a higher level is called (מִלּוּי יָדַיִם) “filling the hands.” Revetir in O.F., and when office is bestowed upon a person it is called Reveture in O.F.  
6. In those days (there was) no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his eyes.   ו. בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם אֵין מֶלֶךְ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינָיו יַעֲשֶֹה:
7. And there was a lad from Beth-lehem in Judah, of the family of Judah, and he was a Levite, and he sojourned there.   ז. וַיְהִי נַעַר מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת יְהוּדָה וְהוּא לֵוִי וְהוּא גָר שָׁם:
of the family of Judah: And he was a Levite from his mother’s side. However, our Sages said (B.B. 109b) that since he committed deeds like those of Menasseh (i.e., he committed idolatry) who came from Judah he is called “Of the family of Judah,” but he was really a Levite the son of Gershom the son of our teacher Moses, as is stated below, (18:30) “And Jonathan the son of Gershom…”  
8. And the man went out of the city, out of Beth-lehem in Judah, to sojourn where he could find (a place). And he came to the mountain of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, (while continuing) to make his way.   ח. וַיֵּלֶךְ הָאִישׁ מֵהָעִיר מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה לָגוּר בַּאֲשֶׁר יִמְצָא וַיָּבֹא הַר אֶפְרַיִם עַד בֵּית מִיכָה לַעֲשֹוֹת דַּרְכּוֹ:
(while continuing) to make his way: I.e., (while continuing) the way he was travelling.  
9. And Micah said to him, "From where do you come?" And he said to him "I am a Levite from Beth-lehem in Judah, and I go to sojourn where I may find (a place)."   ט. וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ מִיכָה מֵאַיִן תָּבוֹא וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לֵוִי אָנֹכִי מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה וְאָנֹכִי הֹלֵךְ לָגוּר בַּאֲשֶׁר אֶמְצָא:
where I may find (a place): To earn my livlihood.  
10. And Micah said to him, "Dwell with me, and be to me an instructor and a priest, and I will give you ten peices of silver for the period, and a wardrobe of clothing with your provisions." And the Levite followed.   י. וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ מִיכָה שְׁבָה עִמָּדִי וֶהְיֵה לִי לְאָב וּלְכֹהֵן וְאָנֹכִי אֶתֶּן לְךָ עֲשֶֹרֶת כֶּסֶף לַיָּמִים וְעֵרֶךְ בְּגָדִים וּמִחְיָתֶךָ וַיֵּלֶךְ הַלֵּוִי:
for the period: (Lit., for the days) I.e., at the end of the year.  
and a wardrobe of clothing: A pair of garments that is suited for all people according to their needs for a year. וְעֵרֶ בְּגָדִים - Appareillement in O.F. וּמִחְיָתֶ I.e., your sustenance.  
And the Levite followed: (lit., went) after his advice.  
11. And the Levite was content to dwell with the man. And the lad was to him as one of his sons.   יא. וַיּוֹאֶל הַלֵּוִי לָשֶׁבֶת אֶת הָאִישׁ וַיְהִי הַנַּעַר לוֹ כְּאַחַד מִבָּנָיו:
12. And Micah initiated the Levite, and the lad became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.   יב. וַיְמַלֵּא מִיכָה אֶת יַד הַלֵּוִי וַיְהִי לוֹ הַנַּעַר לְכֹהֵן וַיְהִי בְּבֵית מִיכָה:
13. And Micah said, "Now I know that the Lord will be good to me, because I had a Levite as my priest."   יג. וַיֹּאמֶר מִיכָה עַתָּה יָדַעְתִּי כִּי יֵיטִיב יְהוָה לִי כִּי הָיָה לִי הַלֵּוִי לְכֹהֵן:
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