17:10 Micah said to him, “Stay with me. Become my adviser 1 and priest. I will give you ten pieces of silver per year, plus clothes and food.” 2
18:19 They said to him, “Shut up! Put your hand over your mouth and come with us! You can be our adviser 3 and priest. Wouldn’t it be better to be a priest for a whole Israelite tribe than for just one man’s family?” 4
1 tn Heb “father.” “Father” is here a title of honor that suggests the priest will give advice and protect the interests of the family, primarily by divining God’s will in matters, perhaps through the use of the ephod. (See R. G. Boling, Judges [AB], 257; also Gen 45:8, where Joseph, who was a diviner and interpreter of dreams, is called Pharaoh’s “father,” and 2 Kgs 6:21; 13:14, where a prophet is referred to as a “father.” Note also 2 Kgs 8:9, where a king identifies himself as a prophet’s “son.” One of a prophet’s main functions was to communicate divine oracles. Cf. 2 Kgs 8:9ff.; 13:14-19).
2 tn The Hebrew text expands with the phrase: “and the Levite went.” This only makes sense if taken with “to live” in the next verse. Apparently “the Levite went” and “the Levite agreed” are alternative readings which have been juxtaposed in the text.
4 tn Heb “Is it better for you to be priest for the house of one man or for you to be priest for a tribe, for a clan in Israel?”