Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia

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Mother of Micah: Midrash and Aggadah

by Tamar Kadari

An anonymous midrashic tradition mentioned by the medieval commentators posits that Micah’s mother was Delilah. This tradition is based on the wording “eleven hundred shekels of silver” that appears in two Biblical narratives: in Jud. 16:5 this is the sum promised to Delilah if she will deliver Samson to the Philistines; and in Jud. 17:2 it is the money dedicated by Micah’s mother for the making of her son’s idol. The connection between Delilah and Micah is explained by the fact that the narrative of Micah’s statue immediately follows the account of Samson and Delilah (see Rashi on Jud. 17:3; R. David Kimhi on Jud. 17:1; see the references in Louis Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, part 13, vol. 6, Philadelphia 19463 p. 209 n. 125). Rashi cites this tradition, but argues that it is fundamentally erroneous, since the Rabbis maintain that Micah preceded Samson by many years and lived during the time of Cushan-rishathaim and of the Judge Othniel the Kenizzite (Seder Olam Rabbah 12).

For other midrashic traditions on Delilah, see “Delilah.”

How to cite this page

Kadari, Tamar. "Mother of Micah: Midrash and Aggadah." Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. 1 March 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on April 25, 2014) <http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/mother-of-micah-midrash-and-aggadah>.