New Defender's Study Bible Notes
18:1 tribe of the Danites. The tribe of Dan had been unable to conquer the territory assigned to them (Judges 1:34). Consequently, they sent a delegation northward to find a suitable location, eventually settling on a northern coastal city which they renamed Dan, after they had conquered it (Judges 18:27-29). This was Israel’s northernmost city. Beer-sheba, in Judah, was the most southerly, giving rise to the proverbial expression, “from Dan even to Beer-sheba” (Judges 20:1). The fact that this city of Dan is mentioned in Judges 5:17 is one indication that the events of Judges 17–21 occurred very early in the period of the judges.
18:17 took the graven image. Micah had been guilty of robbing his own mother (Judges 17:2) and now he himself was robbed of his private “tabernacle” and even his “priest” by the Danite invaders.
18:24 taken away my gods. It is ironic that, instead of his “gods” protecting him, Micah was now seeking to rescue them!
18:30 Gershom, the son of Manasseh. This story involves Micah of the tribe of Ephraim, a young Levite living with the tribe of Judah, and the northern settlers from the tribe of Dan. It does not follow the story of Samson chronologically, but took place much earlier (apparently during or soon after Joshua’s conquest). In this passage the Danites had not yet completely occupied their promised territory.
18:31 in Shiloh. This long-functioning pseudo-worship at Dan may be, as some think, one of the reasons why Dan is omitted from the list of the twelve tribes in Revelation 7:4-8.