17 A man named Micah lived in the mountainous region[a] of the territory of[b] Ephraim. 2 He told his mother, “Do you remember[c] those 1,100 silver coins that were stolen from you and about which you uttered a curse when I could hear it? Well, I have the silver. I took it.”
So she replied, “May my son be blessed by the Lord.”
3 Her son gave back the 1,100 silver coins to his mother, and she said, “I’m totally giving this silver—from my hand to the Lord—so my son can make a carved image and a cast image. So I’m returning it to you.”
4 When he had returned the silver to his mother, his mother took 200 of the silver coins and handed them over to a silversmith. He crafted them into a carved image and into a cast image, and they were set up[d] in Micah’s house. 5 This man Micah had his own shrine,[e] had crafted his own ephod and some household idols,[f] and had installed one of his sons as a priest.
6 Back in those days, Israel didn’t yet have a king, so each person did whatever seemed right in his own opinion.
7 A young male descendant of Levi happened to be visiting there from Bethlehem in the territory of[g] Judah. 8 The man had left his city Bethlehem in Judah to live wherever he could. As he traveled along, he eventually arrived at Micah’s house in the mountainous region[h] of Ephraim, looking for work.
9 Micah asked him, “Where did you come from?”
He replied, “I’m a descendant of Levi from Bethlehem in Judah, and I’m going to stay temporarily wherever I can find a place.”[i]
10 So Micah replied, “Come live with me! You can be a spiritual father[j] to me, as well as a priest. I’ll pay you ten silver coins a year, plus a priestly uniform[k] and an income.” So the descendant of Levi moved in. 11 The descendant of Levi agreed to live with the man, and the young man became like one of the family.[l]12 Micah set up the descendant of Levi in ministry, and the young man became his priest while he lived in Micah’s house. 13 As for Micah, he kept saying, “Now I know the Lord will make me rich, because I have a descendant of Levi for a priest!”
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