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). This Micah, with two chapters surrounding him, is not listed as a judge and does not lead the people to overthrow their oppressors.
If anything, Micah is an anti-hero or anti-judge. There is nothing positive in his story:
- He steals silver from his mom.
- When he later confesses this to her, she blesses him! Then she tells him to keep the silver and make an idol.
- Micah uses the silver to cast an idol and carve an image; he also makes a shrine and fabricates an ephod.
- A wayward Levite happens by and Micah hires him to be his priest. (Although all priests are Levites, most Levites are not priests; this was determined by ancestry. This Levite is likely not meant to be a priest, yet he jumps at the chance, even though—according to the Law of Moses—he is in the wrong place and doing the wrong thing.)
- Since Micah now has a priest, he concludes that God will bless him, (which doesn’t seem to be the case.)
This is all backstory. Men from the tribe of Dan are 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, steal Micah’s idol, image, and ephod, as well as enticing away his “priest.” They go into battle and win. They and their descendants worship Micah’s idol for several centuries.
Seemingly, everything Micah did was wrong.
Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s new book, Dear Theophilus, Minor Prophets: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.