Judges 18:21 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 18:21, NIV: Putting their little children, their livestock and their possessions in front of them, they turned away and left.

Judges 18:21, ESV: So they turned and departed, putting the little ones and the livestock and the goods in front of them.

Judges 18:21, KJV: So they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the cattle and the carriage before them.

Judges 18:21, NASB: Then they turned and left, and put the children, the livestock, and the valuables in front of them.

Judges 18:21, NLT: They turned and started on their way again, placing their children, livestock, and possessions in front of them.

Judges 18:21, CSB: They prepared to leave, putting their dependents, livestock, and possessions in front of them.

What does Judges 18:21 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The convoy from the tribe of Dan (Judges 18:11–15) had waited outside of Micah's property (Judges 18:16). They have secured Micah's cultic religious objects (Judges 17:1–5) and his Levite priest (Judges 18:16–20). This young man was overjoyed at the chance to betray his former employer (Judges 17:7–13) and become the false "priest" of an entire tribe. Every person involved in the story is guilty of violating God's commands, which is one reason the book of Judges so often notes that Israel had no king during this era (Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25).

As they resume moving north (Judges 18:7–10) the six hundred armed warriors position themselves at the back of the group. They send the noncombatants and livestock ahead of them. This is for strategic reasons: if Micah sends warriors to retrieve his stolen gods, he will have to deal with the soldiers first, and they are prepared for battle. Micah will make such an attempt, only to realize the enemy is too strong for him to overcome (Judges 18:26).