Judges 18:30
Parallel Verses
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
Commentary
Clarke'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,

נ

משה

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

set up

Exodus 20:4 You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath...

Leviticus 26:1 You shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither raise you up a standing image...

Deuteronomy 17:2-7 If there be found among you, within any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you, man or woman...

Deuteronomy 27:15 Cursed be the man that makes any graven or molten image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman...

Deuteronomy 31:16,29 And the LORD said to Moses, Behold, you shall sleep with your fathers; and this people will rise up...

Judges 18:30 And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh...

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.

Psalm 105:44,45 And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labor of the people...

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

Judges 13:1 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD...

1 Samuel 4:2,3,10,11 And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines...

Psalm 78:60-62 So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men...

the land. Houbigant contends that instead of the land we should read the ark.

Library
The 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:
TOGETHER WITH THE WAY HE RUNS IN, THE MARKS HE GOES BY; ALSO, SOME DIRECTIONS HOW TO RUN SO AS TO OBTAIN. 'And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain: escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.'--Genesis 19:17. London: Printed for John Marshall, at the Bible in Gracechurch Street, 1698. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. About forty years ago a gentleman, in whose company I had commenced my
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Cross References
Exodus 2:22
Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, "I have become a foreigner in a foreign land."

Exodus 18:3
and her two sons. One son was named Gershom, for Moses said, "I have become a foreigner in a foreign land";

Judges 17:3
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."

Judges 17:5
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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