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Judges 18:14 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what ye have to do.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what ye have to do.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then the five men who went to spy out the country of Laish said to their kinsmen, “Do you know that there are in these houses an ephod and household idols and a graven image and a molten image? Now therefore, consider what you should do.”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Then answered the five men that went to explore the country of Laish, and said to their brethren, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what ye have to do.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Then the five men that had gone to spy out the country of Laish spoke and said to their brethren, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? And now ye know what to do.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Then responded the five men who had been to spy out the land of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Know ye that there are in these houses, an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image,—now, therefore, know what ye will do!
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And the five men, those going to traverse the land of Laish, answer and say unto their brethren, 'Have ye known that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and graven image, and molten image? and now, know what ye do.'
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— The five men, that before had been sent to view the land of Lais, said to the rest of their brethren: You know that in these houses there is an ephod and theraphim, and a graven and a molten god: see what you are pleased to do.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Then answered the fiue men that went to spie out the countrey of Laish, and saide vnto their brethren, Doe ye know that there is in these houses an Ephod, and Teraphim, and a grauen image, and a molten image? Now therefore consider what ye haue to doe.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And the five men who went to spy out the land of Laisa answered, and said to their brethren, Ye know that there is in this place an ephod, and theraphin, and a graven and a molten image; and now consider what ye shall do.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Layish, and said unto their brethren, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what ye have to do.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Then answered 6030
{6030} Prime
עָנָה
`anah
{aw-naw'}
A primitive root; properly to eye or (generally) to heed, that is, pay attention; by implication to respond; by extension to begin to speak; specifically to sing, shout, testify, announce.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
the five 2568
{2568} Prime
חָמֵשׁ
chamesh
{khaw-maysh'}
A primitive numeral; five.
men y582
[0582] Standard
אֱנוֹשׁ
'enowsh
{en-oshe'}
From H0605; properly a mortal (and thus differeing from the more dignified H0120); hence a man in general (singly or collectively). It is often unexpressed in the English Version, especially when used in apposition with another word.
x376
(0376) Complement
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
that went 1980
{1980} Prime
הָלַךְ
halak
{haw-lak'}
Akin to H3212; a primitive root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
to spy out 7270
{7270} Prime
רָגַל
ragal
{raw-gal'}
A primitive root; to walk along; but only in specific applications, to reconnoitre, to be a tale bearer (that is, slander); also (as denominative from H7272) to lead about.
z8763
<8763> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 790
x853
(0853) Complement
אֵת
'eth
{ayth}
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
the country 776
{0776} Prime
אֶרֶץ
'erets
{eh'-rets}
From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land).
of Layiš לַיִשׁ, 3919
{3919} Prime
לַיִשׁ
Layish
{lah'-yish}
The same as H3918; Laish, the name of two places in Palestine.
and said 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
their brethren, 251
{0251} Prime
אָח
'ach
{awkh}
A primitive word; a brother (used in the widest sense of literal relationship and metaphorical affinity or resemblance (like H0001)).
Do ye know 3045
{3045} Prime
ידע
yada`
{yaw-dah'}
A primitive root; to know (properly to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially (including observation, care, recognition; and causatively instruction, designation, punishment, etc.).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
that x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
there is 3426
{3426} Prime
יֵשׁ
yesh
{yaysh}
Perhaps from an unused root meaning to stand out, or exist; entity; used adverbially or as a copula for the substantive verb (H1961); there is or are (or any other form of the verb to be, as may suit the connection).
in these x428
(0428) Complement
אֵלֶּה
'el-leh
{ale'-leh}
Prolonged from H0411; these or those.
houses 1004
{1004} Prime
בַּיִת
bayith
{bah'-yith}
Probably from H1129 abbreviated; a house (in the greatest variation of applications, especially family, etc.).
an ephod, 646
{0646} Prime
אֵפוֹד
'ephowd
{ay-fode'}
Second form is a rare form; probably of foreign derivation; a girdle; specifically the ephod or high priest's shoulder piece; also generally an image.
and teraphim, 8655
{8655} Prime
תְּרָפִים
t@raphiym
{ter-aw-feme'}
Plural perhaps from H7495; a healer; Teraphim (singular or plural) a family idol.
and a graven image, 6459
{6459} Prime
פֶּסֶל
pecel
{peh'-sel}
From H6458; an idol.
and a molten image? 4541
{4541} Prime
מַסֵּכָה
maccekah
{mas-say-kaw'}
From H5258; properly a pouring over, that is, fusion of metal (especially a cast image); by implication a libation, that is, league; concretely a coverlet (as if poured out).
now x6258
(6258) Complement
אַתָּה
`attah
{at-taw'}
From H6256; at this time, whether adverbial, conjugational or expletive.
therefore consider 3045
{3045} Prime
ידע
yada`
{yaw-dah'}
A primitive root; to know (properly to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially (including observation, care, recognition; and causatively instruction, designation, punishment, etc.).
z8798
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
what x4100
(4100) Complement
מָּה
mah
{maw}
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what? (including how?, why? and when?); but also exclamations like what! (including how!), or indefinitely what (including whatever, and even relatively that which); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
ye have to do. 6213
{6213} Prime
עָשָׂה
`asah
{aw-saw'}
A primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

See commentary on Judges 18:11-21.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Judges 18:14-26

_ _ The Danites had sent out their spies to find out a country for them, and they sped well in their search; but here, now that they came to the place (for till this brought it to their mind it does not appear that they had mentioned it to their brethren), they oblige them with a further discovery — they can tell them where there are gods: “Here, in these houses, there are an ephod, and teraphim, and a great many fine things for devotion, such as we have not the like in our country; now therefore consider what you have to do, Judges 18:14. We consulted them, and had a good answer from them; they are worth having, nay, they are worth stealing (that is, having upon the worst terms), and, if we can but make ourselves masters of these gods, we may the better hope to prosper, and make ourselves masters of Laish.” So far they were in the right, that it was desirable to have God's presence with them, but wretchedly mistaken when they took these images (which were fitter to be used in a puppet-play than in acts of devotion) for tokens of God's presence. They thought an oracle would be pretty company for them in their enterprise, and instead of a council of war to consult upon every emergency; and, the place they were going to settle in being so far from Shiloh, they thought they had more need of a house of gods among themselves than Micah had that lived so near to it. They might have made as good an ephod and teraphim themselves as these were, and such as would have served their purpose every whit as well; but the reputation which they found them in possession of (though they had had that reputation but a while) amused them into a strange veneration for this house of gods, which they would soon have dropped if they had had so much sense as to enquire into its origin, and examine whether there were any thing divine in its institution. Being determined to take these gods along with them, we are here told how they stole the images, cajoled the priest, and frightened Micah from attempting to rescue them.

_ _ I. The five men that knew the house and the avenues to it, and particularly the chapel, went in and fetched out the images, with the ephod, and teraphim, and all the appurtenances, while the 600 kept the priest in talk at the gate, Judges 18:16-18. See what little care this sorry priest took of his gods; while he was sauntering at the gate, and gazing at the strangers, his treasure (such as it was) was gone. See how impotent these sorry gods were, that could not keep themselves from being stolen. It is mentioned as the reproach of idols that they themselves had gone into captivity, Isaiah 46:2. O the sottishness of these Danites! How could they imagine those gods should protect them that could not keep themselves from being stolen? Yet because they went by the name of gods, as if it were not enough that they had with them the presence of the invisible God, nor that they stood in relation to the tabernacle, where there were even visible tokens of his presence, nothing will serve them but they must have gods to go before them, not of their own making indeed, but, which was as bad, of their own stealing. Their idolatry began in theft, a proper prologue for such an opera. In order to the breaking of the second commandment, they begin with the eighth, and take their neighbour's goods to make them their gods. The holy God hates robbery for burnt-offerings, but the devil loves it. Had these Danites seized the images to deface and abolish them, and the priest to punish him, they would have done like Israelites indeed, and would have appeared jealous for their God as their fathers had done (Joshua 22:16); but to take them for their own use was such a complicated crime as showed that they neither feared God nor regarded man, but were perfectly lost both to godliness and honesty.

_ _ II. They set upon the priest, and flattered him into a good humour, not only to let the gods go, but to go himself along with them; for without him they knew not well how to make use of the gods. Observe, 1. How they tempted him, Judges 18:19. They assured him of better preferment with them than what he now had. It would be more honour and profit to be chaplain to a regiment (for they were no more, though they called themselves a tribe) than to be only a domestic chaplain to a private gentleman. Let him go with them, and he shall have more dependants on him, more sacrifices brought to his altar, and more fees for consulting his teraphim, than he had here. 2. How they won him. A little persuasion served: His heart was glad, Judges 18:20. The proposal took well enough with his rambling fancy, which would never let him stay long at a place, and gratified his covetousness and ambition. He had no reason to say but that he was well off where he was; Micah had not deceived him, nor changed his wages. He was not moved with any remorse of conscience for attending on a graven image: had he gone away to Shiloh to minister to the Lord's priests, according to the duty of a Levite, he might have been welcome there (Deuteronomy 18:6), and his removal would have been commendable; but, instead of this, he takes the images with him, and carries the infection of the idolatry into a whole city. It would have been very unjust and ungrateful to Micah if he had only gone away himself, but it was much more so to take the images along with him, which he knew the heart of Micah was set upon. Yet better could not be expected from a treacherous Levite. What house can be sure of him who has forsaken the house of the Lord? Or what friend will he be true to that has been false to his God? He could not pretend that he was under compulsive force, for he was glad in his heart to go. If ten shekels won him (as bishop Hall expresses it), eleven would lose him; for what can hold those that have made shipwreck of a good conscience? The hireling flees because he is a hireling. The priest and his gods went in the midst of the people. There they placed him, that they might secure him either from going back himself, if his mind should change, or from being fetched back by Micah; or perhaps this post was assigned to him in imitation of the order of Israel's march through the wilderness, in which the ark and the priests went in the midst of their camp.

_ _ III. They frightened Micah back when he pursued them to recover his gods. As soon as ever he perceived that his chapel was plundered, and his chaplain had run away from him, he mustered all the forces he could and pursued the robbers, Judges 18:22. His neighbours, and perhaps tenants, that used to join with him in his devotions, were forward to help him on this occasion; they got together, and pursued the robbers, who, having their children and cattle before them (Judges 18:21), could make no great haste, so that they soon overtook them, hoping by strength of reason to recover what was stolen, for the disproportion of their numbers was such that they could not hope to do it by strength of arm. The pursuers called after them, desiring to speak a word with them; those in the rear (where it is probable they posted the fiercest and strongest of their company, expecting there to be attacked) turned about and asked Micah what ailed him that he was so much concerned, and what he would have, Judges 18:23. He argues with them, and pleads his right, which he thought should prevail; but they, in answer, plead their might, which, it proved, did prevail; for it is common that might overcomes right.

_ _ 1. He insists upon the wrong they had certainly done him (Judges 18:24): “You have taken away my gods, my images of God, which I have an incontestable title to, for I made them myself, and which I have such an affection for that I am undone if I lose them; for what have I more that will do me any good if these be lost?” Now, (1.) This discovers to us the folly of idolaters, and the power that Satan has over them. What a folly was it for him to call those his gods which he had made, when he only that made us is to be worshipped by us as a God! Folly indeed to set his heart upon such silly idle things, and to look upon himself as undone when he had lost them! (2.) This may discover to us our spiritual idolatry. That creature which we place our happiness in, which we set our affections inordinately upon, and which we can by no means find in our hearts to part with, of which we say, “What have we more?” that we make an idol of. That is put in God's place, and is a usurper, which we are concerned about as if our life and comfort, our hope and happiness, and our all, were bound up in it. But, (3.) If all people will thus walk in the name of their god, shall we not be in like manner affected towards our God, the true God? Let us reckon the having of an interest in God and communion with him incomparably the richest portion, and the loss of God the sorest loss. Woe unto us if he depart, for what have we more? Deserted souls that are lamenting after the Lord may well wonder, as Micah did, that you should ask what ails them; for the tokens of God's favour are suspended, his comforts are withdrawn, and what have they more?

_ _ 2. They insist upon the mischief they would certainly do him if he prosecuted his demand. They would not hear reason, nor do justice, nor so much as offer to pay him the prime cost he had been at upon those images, nor promise to make restitution of what they had taken when they had served their present purpose with them in this expedition and had time to copy them and make others like them for themselves: much less had they any compassion for a loss he so bitterly lamented. They would not so much as give him good words, but resolved to justify their robbery with murder if he did not immediately let fall his claims, Judges 18:25. “Take heed lest angry fellows run upon thee, and thou lose thy life, and that is worse than losing thy gods.” Wicked and unreasonable men reckon it a great provocation to be asked to do justice, and support themselves by their power against right and reason. Micah's crime is asking his own, yet, for this, he is in danger of losing his life and the lives of his household. Micah has not courage enough to venture his life for the rescue of his gods, so little opinion has he of their being able to protect him and bear him out, and therefore tamely gives them up (Judges 18:26): He turned and went back to his house; and if the loss of his idols did but convince him (as, one would think, it should) of their vanity and impotency, and his own folly in setting his heart upon them, and send him back to the true God from whom he had revolted, he that lost them had a much better bargain than those that by force of arms carried them off. If the loss of our idols cure us of the love of them, and make us say, What have we to do any more with idols? the loss will be unspeakable gain. See Isaiah 2:20; Isaiah 30:22.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Judges 18:14

Answered — That is, spake, the word answering being often used in scripture of the first speaker. These houses — That is, in one of these houses. What to do — Whether it be not expedient to take them for your farther use.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Judges 18:14

Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, (f) Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what ye have to do.

(f) Because before they had had good success, they wanted their brethren to be encouraged by hearing the same tidings.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Then:

1 Samuel 14:28 Then answered one of the people, and said, Thy father straitly charged the people with an oath, saying, Cursed [be] the man that eateth [any] food this day. And the people were faint.

in these:

Judges 18:3-4 When they [were] by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man the Levite: and they turned in thither, and said unto him, Who brought thee hither? and what makest thou in this [place]? and what hast thou here? ... And he said unto them, Thus and thus dealeth Micah with me, and hath hired me, and I am his priest.
Judges 17:5 And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest.

now therefore:

Proverbs 19:27 Cease, my son, to hear the instruction [that causeth] to err from the words of knowledge.
Isaiah 8:19-20 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? ... To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.
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Jg 17:5; 18:3. 1S 14:28. Pv 19:27. Is 8:19.

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