Judges 18:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 18:6, NIV: The priest answered them, 'Go in peace. Your journey has the LORD's approval.'

Judges 18:6, ESV: And the priest said to them, “Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the LORD.”

Judges 18:6, KJV: And the priest said unto them, Go in peace: before the LORD is your way wherein ye go.

Judges 18:6, NASB: And the priest said to them, 'Go in peace; your way in which you are going has the LORD’S approval.'

Judges 18:6, NLT: 'Go in peace,' the priest replied. 'For the LORD is watching over your journey.'

Judges 18:6, CSB: The priest told them, "Go in peace. The Lord is watching over the journey you are going on."

What does Judges 18:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

These five scouts from the tribe of Dan have been sent to find additional territory for their people to occupy (Judges 18:1–5). They are willing to take land from another tribe's allotted territory without their permission. They are grossly violating God's revealed will for their people (Joshua 19:40–46) and choosing to do things their own way instead (Judges 17:6; 19:1; 21:25).

After recognizing his accent, the men asked the Levite serving as Micah's personal cleric (Judges 17:1–5, 13) about God's opinion of their quest. They want to know if they will be successful in their mission. However, as far as Scripture tells us, they have not explained their task to the Levite. His reaction to the situation later (Judges 18:18) further suggests that he doesn't really know what's happening. Yet this young man is also choosing to do things his own way instead of following God's will (Numbers 3:5–10). Acting entirely outside of the requirements of the law, he has become a cleric for hire, serving the family of a man who has a shrine to other gods (Exodus 20:1–6).

Part of reading Scripture carefully is noting what's not written and realizing that not every detail will be recorded. We're not told every word of the conversation between these men. However, the flow of the text suggests the answer from the priest wasn't the result of extensive prayer or inquiry. He seems to answer both quickly and vaguely, telling the men what they want to hear without really saying anything at all.

After telling them to go in peace, he adds that their journey is under the eye of God. It sounds at first like he is saying they will be successful; at least, that's easily how someone could interpret those words if that was their preference. In truth he only announces that Yahweh is watching them. That could be good or bad. The Levite seems careful to protect his own interests (Judges 17:10, 18:19–20), but doesn't demonstrate a genuine connection to the Lord God.