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Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, [1834], at

Judges Chapter 17

Judges 17:1

jdg 17:1

See the introduction to the Book of Judges. The only point of contact with the preceding history of Samson is, that we are still concerned with the tribe of Dan. See Jdg 18:1-2, note. Josephus combines in one narrative what we read here and in Jdg 1:34, and places it, with the story in Judg. 18-21, immediately after the death of Joshua.

Judges 17:2

jdg 17:2

Thou cursedst - or, "adjuredst me by God." Compare Mat 26:63; Lev 5:1.

Judges 17:3

jdg 17:3

Such a superstitious and unlawful mode of worshipping Yahweh is quite of a piece with Jdg 8:27; Jdg 11:31; Kg1 12:28, etc. It argues but slight acquaintance with the Ten Commandments, which, from the ignorance of reading and writing, were probably not familiar to the Israelites in those unsettled times. The mother intimates that the consecration of the silver was for the benefit of her son and his house, not for her own selfish advantage: and that she adheres to her original design of consecrating this silver for her son's benefit.

Judges 17:4

jdg 17:4

See Jdg 8:27, note; Gen 31:19, note.

Judges 17:6

jdg 17:6

In those days ... - This phrase, indicating distinctly that the writer lived after the establishment of the kingly government in Israel, is unique to the author of these last five chapters.

Judges 17:7

jdg 17:7

The Hebrew words for "he sojourned there" are, שׁם גר gêr shām, which words are used Jdg 18:30 in the genealogy of this young Levite, whose name was "Jonathan, the son of Gershom" (גרשׁם gêreshôm). Hence, some read here, "the son of Gershom."

Judges 17:8

jdg 17:8

Jonathan's state without a home gives us vivid picture of what must have been the condition of many Levites.

Judges 17:10

jdg 17:10

Ten shekels - About 25 shillings to 26 shillings (see Exo 38:24).

Judges 17:13

jdg 17:13

This shows the ignorance as well as the superstition of the age (compare Kg2 18:22), and gives a picture of the lawlessness of the times. The incidental testimony to the Levitical priesthood is to be noted; but the idolatrous worship in the immediate neighborhood of Shiloh is passing strange.

Next: Judges Chapter 18