Judges 18:26 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 18:26, NIV: So the Danites went their way, and Micah, seeing that they were too strong for him, turned around and went back home.

Judges 18:26, ESV: 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.

Judges 18:26, KJV: And the children of Dan went their way: and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back unto his house.

Judges 18:26, NASB: So the sons of Dan went on their way; and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his house.

Judges 18:26, NLT: So the men of Dan continued on their way. When Micah saw that there were too many of them for him to attack, he turned around and went home.

Judges 18:26, CSB: The Danites went on their way, and Micah turned to go back home, because he saw that they were stronger than he was.

What does Judges 18:26 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The religious objects and hand-made gods Micah trusted to protect him have been stolen (Judges 18:14–20). The migrating people of the tribe of Dan stopped by his homestead in Ephraim and walked off with them on their way north (Judges 18:7–13). Micah chased them down, but when he and his neighbors caught up with them it became clear they were no match for the armed Danite soldiers (Judges 18:21–25). Even his own hired priest was thrilled to accept the robbers' offer of a better job.

Micah returns home in pathetic despair, yet his story ends with a sense of justice and irony. He was introduced in chapter 17 as he admitted stealing a huge sum of money from his own mother. He likely only confessed to avoid her curse. His mother used the stolen silver to make a profane object of worship to Yahweh (Judges 17:1–5). Now that precious metal has been stolen again, still in the form of a God-insulting idol (Exodus 20:4–5). Having armed men march into his home and steal his house gods while threatening to kill him and his family could be seen as the Lord's judgment against Micah. It could have been much worse: God's law commanded Israelites to stone to death any other Israelite who tried to entice them to serve other gods (Deuteronomy 13:6).

Still, instead of a final judgment, Micah now has an opportunity to repent. He can learn from this hard lesson and decide to truly put his faith in Yahweh alone. Having false, worthless, ineffective gods ripped from his hands was truly an act of mercy, allowing Micah to realize his need for true salvation. When God tears away worldly things, idols, and betraying false teachers, it makes room for true faith, for those ready to receive it. Of course, it's unlikely Micah ever came to see it this way. The book of Judges mentions Micah as an example of Israel's deep spiritual ignorance and anarchy (Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25).