These small group studies of Judges contain outlines, cross-references, Bible study discussion questions, and applications.  Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Judges 17-18 Inductive Bible Study

Outline – Judges 17-18

  1. Micah’s family makes a graven image (1-6)

  2. Micah hires a wandering Levite to serve as a personal priest for his idolatrous family (7-13)

  3. The Danites begin to search out new territory, encountering Micah’s priest on the way (14:1-6)

  4. The Danites plan to take Laish and set out (7-13)

  5. The priest sells out for the better position (14-20)

  6. Micah confronts them and then retreats because they are too powerful (21-26)

  7. The nation is confirmed in idolatry (27-31)

Discussion Questions:

How are the chapters from here to chapter 21 related to the previous ones?

When do the events they record occur?

What is the purpose of these chapters?

How valuable was the 1100 pieces of silver? How do you know? (10 pieces of silver hired the Levite for one year, so this was a very rich family)

The mother mentions YHWH two times. Is she a believer?

She appears to know God, so how to explain building the idols?

Was what she was doing acceptable since she was building the idols “to the LORD”? Why not?

What commandment had God given about graven images and why?

What does this tell us about mixing worship of God with false things (syncretism)?

Recently a professing believer discussed with me about worshiping ancestors. Explain. What do you think of this?

Any other events in the Bible where people seemed to worship God but were actually disobeying Him? (Saul and the sheep. Prostitution and offering some of the money earned to God. Killing Jesus and asserting they were following God.)


Joshua 21 – 48 cities to the Levites.

Exodus 20:4, Exodus 20:23 – Do not make graven images or idols.

Isaiah 40:18-20 – What image can you compare God to?

Habakkuk 2:18-19 – He who trusts in an idol trusts in his own creation.

Philippians 4:9 – Whatever you have learned or received from me, do.

2 Timothy 1:13- What you have heard from me, keep as a pattern of sound teaching.

Discussion Questions

What is your opinion of this wandering priest?

What do you think of the arrangement Micah made with him?

It seems a bump up to have your own personal Levite priest. Does this show us that Micah was very spiritual? If not, what do you think Micah’s motivation was?

What problems were there with this arrangement?

What do you think was the priest’s motivation?


Hebrews 5:1-4 – Only those called by God can be a priest; they can not take this honor upon themselves.

Deuteronomy 12:8 – Everyone should not just do as he sees fit.

Deuteronomy 12:8-9-15 – There was a specific place to offer sacrifices and give gifts to the Lord, not just anywhere (this was to aid in tribal unity)

Leviticus 17:2-5 – Sacrifices must be taken to the Tent of Meeting.

Discussion Questions

Who were the Danites?

Why did they not get a position along with the rest of Israel?

What was their plan?

Why ask this priest to inquire of God for them? Were they very spiritual?

Does the priest’s answer prove that he had indeed received an answer from God? Why or why not?


Judges 1:34 – The Danites were not strong enough to drive the people out of their inheritance.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 – Whoever loves money will never have enough.

Matthew 6:24 – Cannot serve God and money.

1 Timothy 6:10 – The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.

1 Peter 5:2 – Specific instructions to shepherds of the flock not to be greedy for money.

Discussion Questions

What was their report about the land?

Here they also mention God. Earlier they inquired of God? So the Danites must be very spiritual? If not, how to explain their repeated talking about God and “reliance” upon God?

Why would they steal all of these idols and images?

Why did the priest not tell them it was sin?

Why did the priest defect to go with them?

Do you think it was good for them to take this Levite? Why or why not?


Matthew 23:23-28 – Woe to the hypocrite Pharisees. (Look spiritual but actually aren’t.)

Discussion Questions

What was Micah’s response to all of this?

Any other clues about the Danites’ morality here?

What ended up happening to the tribe of Dan? (A new syncretic/idolatrous culture became the norm.)

Topics to discuss:

  1. Syncretism. If we worship God we must do so His way according to His rules. We cannot combine sinful practices, worldly practices, culture, science, or other things into it. We must follow His Word first and foremost of all.

  2. No idols. Do not even substitute something that appears spiritual for God. Songs are not the most important. Neither is fellowship. Neither is even sharing the gospel.

  3. Motivation of Christians and Christian workers. This priest’s motivation was clearly selfish and materialistic. Micah’s motivation was clearly selfish and materialistic. The Danites’ motivation was clearly selfish and materialistc. For us, we need to check our motivations. Why do we go to church? Why do we read the Bible? Why do we share the gospel? Why do we believe in God? Why do we take this job or that job? Second, we need to beware of Christian workers who are doing it for the money. We must never have this motivation ourselves, but be aware that some Christian pastors just consider it a job. They are not really sold out to God. If you think you face this problem with some Christian pastor/leader, find a new place to worship and learn.

  4. Disobedience brings more trouble. The Danites lacked faith to conquer the land so eventually migrated to another area. Perhaps they justified their actions of taking the priest because they would have been so far from the authorized place of worship. Regardless of their reasoning, one sin led to another.

  5. The unspiritual spiritual person dilemma.

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