Judges 18:1 - 18:31
Danites Seek an InheritanceIn those days there was no king of Israel; and in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking an inheritance for themselves to live in, for until that day the land among the tribes of Israel had not fallen to them as an inheritance. 2 So the sons of Dan sent from their family five men out of their whole number, men of valor from Zorah and Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to search it; and they said to them, “Go, search the land.” And they came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there. 3 They were near the house of Micah, and they recognized the voice of the young man, the Levite. So they turned aside there and said to him, “Who brought you here? And what are you doing in this place? And what do you have here?” 4 And he said to them, “Thus and so has Micah done to me, and he has hired me, and I have become his priest.” 5 And they said to him, “Ask of God, please, that we may know whether our way on which we are going will be successful.” 6 So the priest said to them, “Go in peace; your way in which you are going is before Yahweh.” 7 Then the five men went forth and came to Laish and saw the people who were in it living in security, after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and secure; for there was no oppressive conqueror dishonoring them for anything in the land, and they were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone. 8 So they came back to their brothers at Zorah and Eshtaol, and their brothers said to them, “What do you report?” 9 And they said, “Arise, and let us go up against them; for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good. And will you be silent? Do not delay to go, to enter, to possess the land. 10 When you enter, you will come to a secure people and a spacious land; for God has given it into your hand, a place where there is no lack of anything that is on the earth.” 11 Then from the family of the Danites, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, 600 men armed with weapons of war set out. 12 And they went up and camped at Kiriath-jearim in Judah. Therefore they called that place Mahaneh-dan to this day; behold, it is west of Kiriath-jearim. 13 Then they passed from there to the hill country of Ephraim and came to the house of Micah.
Danites Take Micah’s Idols14 And the five men who went to spy out the country of Laish answered and said to their relatives, “Do you know that there are in these houses an ephod and household idols and a graven image and a molten image? So now, know what you should do.” 15 Then they turned aside there and came to the house of the young man, the Levite, to the house of Micah, and asked him of his welfare. 16 Now the 600 men armed with their weapons of war, who were of the sons of Dan, were standing by the entrance of the gate. 17 Then the five men who went to spy out the land went up and entered there, and took the graven image and the ephod and household idols and the molten image. And the priest was standing by the entrance of the gate with the 600 men armed with weapons of war. 18 Now these had entered into Micah’s house and took the graven image, the ephod and household idols and the molten image. Then the priest said to them, “What are you doing?” 19 And they said to him, “Be silent; put your hand over your mouth and come with us and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be a priest to the house of one man or to be priest to a tribe and a family in Israel?” 20 And the priest’s heart was merry, and he took the ephod and household idols and the graven image and entered among the people. 21 Then they turned and went away and put the little ones and the livestock and the valuables in front of them. 22 They had gone some distance from the house of Micah, and the men who were in the houses near Micah’s house were summoned and then overtook the sons of Dan. 23 And they called out to the sons of Dan, who turned around and said to Micah, “What is the matter with you, that you were summoned together?” 24 And he said, “You have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and have gone away, and what do I have besides? So how can you say to me, ‘What is the matter with you?’” 25 Then the sons of Dan said to him, “Do not let your voice be heard among us, lest men, bitter of soul, fall upon you and you lose your life, with the lives of your household.” 26 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. 27 Now they took what Micah had made and the priest who had belonged to him, and they came to Laish, to a people quiet and secure, and struck them with the edge of the sword; and they burned the city with fire. 28 And there was no one to deliver them because it was far from Sidon and they had no dealings with anyone, and it was in the valley which is near Beth-rehob. And they rebuilt the city and lived in it. 29 And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father who was born in Israel; however, the name of the city formerly was Laish. 30 Then the sons of Dan set up for themselves the graven image; and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the exile of the land. 31 So they set up for themselves Micah’s graven image which he had made, all the time that the house of God was at Shiloh.