About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Settle In Laish (ch. 18:1 -
1 says, "in those days
have to ask why the tribe of Dan "was seeking a place of their
own" as verse 1 says. They
were given a certain portion of land.
Wasn't that their own? Verse
1 also says that "they had not yet come into their
inheritance". I believe
this means that they had not yet conquered the land the Lord set apart
for them. Israel
was given land by God. Each
tribe had a certain portion of the land, that is, except for Levi.
Dan had been given some land.
But, all this land had to be fought for and taken.
Dan failed to win the victory for their land and therefore felt
they had no land and so they went looking for another parcel of land to
call their own. I suggest
that the movement of Dan was not the will of God.
The will of God was for Dan to fight the battle they were to
fight and win the land the Lord designated for them.
verses 2 to 4 we see that from the tribe of Dan 5 men were chosen to spy
out the new land that Dan would relocate to.
They headed north to Ephraim, where they met up with the Levite
priest that Micah had hired to be his own personal priest.
We saw this in the last chapter.
idea that a man could have his own personal priest as stated in verse 4
was clearly not permitted in the Law of Moses.
This reminds me of the modern day church when it comes to hiring
a pastor. A number of
candidates would come on a Sunday morning and preach a sermon.
From these candidates, the congregation would vote for their
favourite. You might go as
far to say that they are hiring their own personal pastor, the pastor of
their own personal choice. I'm
not convinced this is New Testament thinking concerning pastors.
verses 6 and 7 the five men ask Micah's hired priest if they should
continue on their trip. He
answered by saying it was the will of the Lord.
I doubt if this man knew anything about the will of God.
He and his ministry weren't in the will of God in the first
place, so how could he determine the will of God for others.
this reminds me of the modern day church.
We hire a pastor who we like and will tell us things we like to
hear, whether it is God's will or not.
The apostle Paul says that in the last days people will follow
after teachers as if they had itching ears. (2 Timothy 4:3) That is to
say, they simply want to hear the latest new thing, the things that will
make them feel good, which it is the will of God or not.
That really doesn't matter.
verses 8 to 10 the five men return home and encourage the tribe of Dan
to move north to Laish because it is a good place to live and those
presently living there would be easy to attack and kick out.
In verse 11the five men actually say that the Lord is giving them
this land. I doubt that
these men had any capacity to know the will of God.
They asked a man who considered himself a priest but wasn't, and
he said it was God's will. I
conclude that the tribe of Dan was meant to stay in the original land
God had designated for them. Their
trip north was outside of God's will.
11 to 13 simply states the route the men of Dan took on their trip
north. I will not comment on
the names of towns mentioned here.
verse 14 to 21 we see the men of Dan approach Micah's home, the man we
saw in the last chapter who had fired his own priest, made and ephod,
carved idols, and made a sanctuary of worship, all of which was not
permitted by the Law of Moses.
men of Dan took all these above mentioned things and convinced the hired
priest to come with them because being a priest over a whole tribe was
far more impressive than being a priest over one man.
The men of the tribe of Dan were also not permitted to do this
according to the Law of Moses. Like
Micah, they were not obeying the Lord.
In fact, they were leaving the land God set aside for them.
They were basically adopting pagan practices.
Again, this reminds me of the modern day church when being a
pastor is climbing of the ladder of success.
You leave a church for a larger more prosperous church.
You view pastoring as a career and not a ministry, not as one who
verses 22 through 26 we see Micah and some of his friends overtake the
Danites but they were too outnumbered.
They gave up. Micah
lost his idols and his priest. We
see, like we see in the so-called church today, God's people are
divided. They're not just
divided. They are actually
hostile towards one another. Nothing
note in verse 24 that Micah was really distraught over the fact that he
lost his own personal priest, his idols, and all the trappings of his
own personal religion. Such
is the way with those who put their trust in something of their own
making. Micah's personal
religion was far from real, far from what Yahweh wanted.
When he lost it, he had nothing left.
This is something to think about in our world today.
Inventing our own religion, or revamping Christianity, as what is
happening today, is not Biblical.
verse 26 to the end of the chapter the tribe of Dan went as far north as
Laish, near the Lebanon Syrian border today.
They overtook Laish, killed the people who were utterly
defenseless and burned their city. They
rebuilt and called the new city Dan.
verse 30 we finally see the name of this hired priest.
His name was Jonathan, son of Gershom, son of Moses. It is
interesting to point out here a textual situation.
In many of your Bibles you will see a footnote for the word Moses
that says some text may translate this as "Manasseh".
Moses is probably the right translation.
The Hebrew alphabet has no vowels.
Therefore the name for Moses and the name for Manasseh are very
similar. Some scribe who
translated the book of Judges inserted the Hebrew letter that
corresponds to our 'n', not in the line of the text but above the line.
Apparently the scribe was suggesting that the name should not be
Moses but Manasseh. He most
likely did not want to think that any grandson of Moses could be a
priest, and especially a bad priest like Jonathan.
interesting to note that the "Septuagint" translated the
Hebrew word as "Moses", not "Manasseh".
one thing verse 30 does tell us is that this chapter, along with the
last chapter, and the rest of the book of Judges did take place around
the same time as the first judge of Israel. From chapter 17 to the
end, when it comes to the time line of Judges, these last chapters
should be at the beginning of the book, soon after Joshua dies.
30 states that the tribe of Dan continued to use these idols all the
time when the house of God was in
need to note here that the tribe of Dan was the first to introduce pagan
worship into the worship of Yahweh.
It was actually a mixture of Judaism and paganism, and there is
where it all started. This
is probably why these chapters are in the Bible. It is a significant
step in Israeli history. I
say this is significant, and one reason might be seen in Revelation 7.
You have 12 tribes of
is interesting if you go to