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17 A man named Micah lived in the hill country of Ephraim.

Micah (to his mother): Do you remember those 1,100 pieces of silver that were stolen from you? I heard you curse the person who took them. Well, I have them. I took them, and now I want to return them to you.

Micah’s Mother: May my son be blessed by the Eternal!

He returned the 1,100 pieces of silver to her.

Micah’s Mother: I want to give this silver as a holy offering to the Eternal from me for my son to create an image in cast silver.

After Micah returned the silver, she took 200 of the coins returned by her son and gave them to the silversmith, who cast an idol that was kept in Micah’s house. Micah had a shrine, and in his house he had a priestly vest used in seeking oracles and the images of household gods. He had set aside one of his sons to be his priest. In those days of the judges, there was no king in Israel, and everyone did what seemed right in his own eyes.

Now in Bethlehem in Judah, there was a young man who was a Levite, from the tribe of priests, and he was sojourning among the clan of Judah. He left Bethlehem in Judah to make his way as best he could. On his way, he arrived at Micah’s home in the hill country of Ephraim seeking work.

Micah: Where are you from?

Levite: I am a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, and I am traveling and looking for a place to live and work.

Micah: 10 You can stay here. Be a father and a priest to me; and I will give you 10 silver pieces a year, a set of clothes, and your room and board.

11 The Levite agreed to stay with Micah and came in to live with him like one of his sons. 12 So Micah installed the Levite as priest in his house.

Micah: 13 Now I know that the Eternal will look with favor on me, since I have invited this Levite to be my priest.

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