New International Version
There the Danites set up for themselves the idol, and Jonathan son of Gershom, the son of Moses, and his sons were priests for the tribe of Dan until the time of the captivity of the land.
King James Bible
And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land.
Darby Bible Translation
And the children of Dan set up the graven image; and Jehonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses; he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land.
World English Bible
The children of Dan set up for themselves the engraved image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land.
Young's Literal Translation
And the sons of Dan raise up for themselves the graven image, and Jonathan son of Gershom, son of Manasseh, he and his sons have been priests to the tribe of the Danite, till the day of the removal of the people of the land.
Judges 18:30 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
The children of Dan set up the graven image - They erected a chapel, or temple, among themselves, as Micah had done before; having the same implements and the same priest.
And Jonathan the son of Gershom - Either this was the name of the young Levite; or they had turned him off, and got this Jonathan in his place.
The son Manasseh - Who this Manasseh was, none can tell; nor does the reading appear to be genuine. He could not be Manasseh the son of Joseph, for he had no son called Gershom nor could it be Manasseh king of Israel, for he lived eight hundred years afterwards. Instead of מנשה Manasseh, the word should be read משה Mosheh, Moses, as it is found in some MSS., in the Vulgate, and in the concessions of the most intelligent Jews. The Jews, as R. D. Kimchi acknowledges, have suspended the letter: נ nun, over the word משה, thus,
which, by the addition of the points, they have changed into Manasseh, because they think it would be a great reproach to their legislator to have had a grandson who was an idolater. That Gershom the son of Moses is here intended, is very probable. See the arguments urged by Dr. Kennicott, Dissertation I., p. 55, etc.; and see the Var. Lect. of De Rossi on this place.
Until the day of the captivity of the land - Calmet observes, "The posterity of this Jonathan executed the office of priest in the city of Dan, all the time that the idol of Micah (the teraphim, ephod, etc). was there. But this was only while the house of the Lord was at Shiloh; and, consequently, the sons of Jonathan were priests at Dan only till the time in which the ark was taken by the Philistines, which was the last year of Eli, the high priest; for after that the ark no more returned to Shiloh." This is evident; and on this very ground Houbigant contends that, instead of הארץ haarets, the Land, we should read הארן haaron, the Ark; for nothing is easier than the ו vau and final nun to be mistaken for the ץ final tsade, which is the only difference between the captivity of the Land and the captivity of the Ark. And this conjecture is the more likely, because the next verse tells us that Micah's graven image, etc., continued at Dan all the time that the house of God was at Shiloh; which was, till the ark was taken by the Philistines. Those who wish to see more on this subject may consult Calmet, and the writers in Pool's Synopsis. This chapter is an important supplement to the conclusion of the 19th chapter of Joshua, on which it casts considerable light.
The Danites were properly the first dissenters from the public established worship of the Jews; but they seem to have departed as little as possible from the Jewish forms, their worship being conducted in the same way, but not in the same place. Surely it was better to have had this, allowing it to be unconstitutional worship, than to have been wholly destitute of the ordinances of God. I think we have not sufficient ground from the text to call these persons idolaters; I believe they worshipped the true God according to their light and circumstances, from a conviction that they could not prosper without his approbation, and that they could not expect that approbation if they did not offer to him a religious worship. They endeavored to please him, though the means they adopted were not the most proper.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
God had graciously performed his promise, in putting these Danites in possession of that which fell to their lot, obliging them thereby to be faithful to him who had been so to them; they inherited the labour of the people, that they might observe his statues.
But the first thing they do after they are settled is to break his laws, by setting up the graven image, attributing their success to that idol, which, if God had not been infinitely patient, would have been their ruin. Thus a prosperous idolater goes on to offend, imputing this his power unto his God. Instead of Manasseh, some would read Moses; as it is found in some MSS., in the Vulgate and in the concessions of the most intelligent Jews. But Bp. Patrick takes this to be an idle conceit of the Rabbins, and supposes this Jonathan to be of some other family of the Levites. Yet Kimchi acknowledges, that the Jews deeply concerned for the honour of their lawgiver, to whom they thought it would be a great dishonour to have a grandson who was an idolater, suspended the letter, noon, over the word Moses; which, by means of the points, they have changed into Manasseh. until
the land. Houbigant contends that instead of the land we should read the ark.
LibraryThe Historical Books.
1. In the Pentateuch we have the establishment of the Theocracy, with the preparatory and accompanying history pertaining to it. The province of the historical books is to unfold its practiced working, and to show how, under the divine superintendence and guidance, it accomplished the end for which it was given. They contain, therefore, primarily, a history of God's dealings with the covenant people under the economy which he had imposed upon them. They look at the course of human events on the …
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible
The Heavenly Footman; Or, a Description of the Man that Gets to Heaven:
Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, "I have become a foreigner in a foreign land."
and her two sons. One son was named Gershom, for Moses said, "I have become a foreigner in a foreign land";
When he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, "I solemnly consecrate my silver to the LORD for my son to make an image overlaid with silver. I will give it back to you."
Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some household gods and installed one of his sons as his priest.
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