Judges 17-18; Psalm 21; Acts 1
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
There was a man of the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Micah.
And he said to his mother, ”The 1,100 pieces of silver that were taken from you, about which you uttered a curse, and also spoke it in my ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it.” And his mother said, ”Blessed be my son by the LORD.”
And he restored the 1,100 pieces of silver to his mother. And his mother said, ”I dedicate the silver to the LORD from my hand for my son, to make a carved image and a metal image. Now therefore I will restore it to you.”
So when he restored the money to his mother, his mother took 200 pieces of silver and gave it to the silversmith, who made it into a carved image and a metal image. And it was in the house of Micah.
And the man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and household gods, and ordained one of his sons, who became his priest.
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Now there was a young man of Bethlehem in Judah, of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there.
And the man departed from the town of Bethlehem in Judah to sojourn where he could find a place. And as he journeyed, he came to the hill country of Ephraim to the house of Micah.
And Micah said to him, ”Where do you come from?” And he said to him, ”I am a Levite of Bethlehem in Judah, and I am going to sojourn where I may find a place.”
And Micah said to him, ”Stay with me, and be to me a father and a priest, and I will give you ten pieces of silver a year and a suit of clothes and your living.” And the Levite went in.
And the Levite was content to dwell with the man, and the young man became to him like one of his sons.
And Micah ordained the Levite, and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.
Then Micah said, ”Now I know that the LORD will prosper me, because I have a Levite as priest.”
In those days there was no king in Israel. And in those days the tribe of the people of Dan was seeking for itself an inheritance to dwell in, for until then no inheritance among the tribes of Israel had fallen to them.
So the people of Dan sent five able men from the whole number of their tribe, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to explore it. And they said to them, ”Go and explore the land.” And they came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there.
When they were by the house of Micah, they recognized the voice of the young Levite. And they turned aside and said to him, ”Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? What is your business here?”
And he said to them, ”This is how Micah dealt with me: he has hired me, and I have become his priest.”
And they said to him, ”Inquire of God, please, that we may know whether the journey on which we are setting out will succeed.”
And the priest said to them, ”Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the LORD.”
Then the five men departed and came to Laish and saw the people who were there, how they lived in security, after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and unsuspecting, lacking nothing that is in the earth and possessing wealth, and how they were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone.
And when they came to their brothers at Zorah and Eshtaol, their brothers said to them, ”What do you report?”
They said, ”Arise, and let us go up against them, for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good. And will you do nothing? Do not be slow to go, to enter in and possess the land.
As soon as you go, you will come to an unsuspecting people. The land is spacious, for God has given it into your hands, a place where there is no lack of anything that is in the earth.”
So 600 men of the tribe of Dan, armed with weapons of war, set out from Zorah and Eshtaol,
and went up and encamped at Kiriath-jearim in Judah. On this account that place is called Mahaneh-dan to this day; behold, it is west of Kiriath-jearim.
And they passed on from there to the hill country of Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah.
Then the five men who had gone to scout out the country of Laish said to their brothers, ”Do you know that in these houses there are an ephod, household gods, a carved image, and a metal image? Now therefore consider what you will do.”
And they turned aside there and came to the house of the young Levite, at the home of Micah, and asked him about his welfare.
Now the 600 men of the Danites, armed with their weapons of war, stood by the entrance of the gate.
And the five men who had gone to scout out the land went up and entered and took the carved image, the ephod, the household gods, and the metal image, while the priest stood by the entrance of the gate with the 600 men armed with weapons of war.
And when these went into Micah’s house and took the carved image, the ephod, the household gods, and the metal image, the priest said to them, ”What are you doing?”
And they said to him, ”Keep quiet; put your hand on your mouth and come with us and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and clan in Israel?”
And the priest’s heart was glad. He took the ephod and the household gods and the carved image and went along with the people.
So they turned and departed, putting the little ones and the livestock and the goods in front of them.
When they had gone a distance from the home of Micah, the men who were in the houses near Micah’s house were called out, and they overtook the people of Dan.
And they shouted to the people of Dan, who turned around and said to Micah, ”What is the matter with you, that you come with such a company?”
And he said, ”You take my gods that I made and the priest, and go away, and what have I left? How then do you ask me, ‘What is the matter with you?”’
And the people of Dan said to him, ”Do not let your voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows fall upon you, and you lose your life with the lives of your household.”
Then the people of Dan went their way. And when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his home.
But the people of Dan took what Micah had made, and the priest who belonged to him, and they came to Laish, to a people quiet and unsuspecting, and struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire.
And there was no deliverer because it was far from Sidon, and they had no dealings with anyone. It was in the valley that belongs to Beth-rehob. Then they rebuilt the city and lived in it.
And they named the city Dan, after the name of Dan their ancestor, who was born to Israel; but the name of the city was Laish at the first.
And the people of Dan set up the carved image for themselves, and Jonathan the son of Gershom, son of Moses, and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land.
So they set up Micah’s carved image that he made, as long as the house of God was at Shiloh.
O LORD, in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah
For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
He asked life of you; you gave it to him, length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through your salvation; splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the LORD, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.
Your hand will find out all your enemies; your right hand will find out those who hate you.
You will make them as a blazing oven when you appear. The LORD will swallow them up in his wrath, and fire will consume them.
You will destroy their descendants from the earth, and their offspring from among the children of man.
Though they plan evil against you, though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.
For you will put them to flight; you will aim at their faces with your bows.
Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.
In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach,
until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.
To them he presented himself alive after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ”you heard from me;
for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
So when they had come together, they asked him, ”Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He said to them, ”It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,
and said, ”Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.
And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James.
All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said,
‘Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.
For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.”
(Now this man bought a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.
And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
‘For it is written in the Book of Psalms, ”’May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’;and ”’Let another take his office.’
So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us–one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias.
And they prayed and said, ”You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen
to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”
And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.