Micah, the Anti-Hero

A curious fellow in the book of Judges is Micah (not to be confused with the prophet Micah who lived many centuries later and has a book of the Bible named after him). Micah, with two chapters surrounding him, was not listed as a judge and did not lead the people to overthrow their oppressors. If anything, Micah was an anti-hero or anti-judge, and there is nothing positive in his story:

  • He stole silver from his mom.
  • When he later confessed this to her, she blessed him! Then she told him to keep the silver and make an idol.
  • Micah used the silver to cast an idol and carve an image; he also made a shrine and fabricated an ephod.
  • A wayward Levite happened by and Micah hired him to be his priest. (Although all priests were Levites, most Levites were not priests; this was determined by ancestry. This Levite was likely not meant to be a priest, yet he jumped at the chance, even though — according to the Law of Moses — he was in the wrong place and doing the wrong thing.)
  • Since Micah now had a priest, he concluded that God would bless him, (which doesn’t seem to be the case.)

This is all backstory. Men from the tribe of Dan were looking for some land and come upon a “peaceful and unsuspecting people” — not an oppressing people, which the other Judges fought against, but a peaceful people.

The men from Dan, bent on conquering, stole Micah’s idol, image, and ephod, as well as enticing away his “priest.” They went into battle and won. They then worshiped Micah’s idol for several centuries.

Seemingly, everything Micah did was wrong.

[Judges 17 and 18]