The Danites send five men to seek out an inheritance.
Judges 18:1 In those dayes [there was] no king in Israel: and in those daies the tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwel in: for vnto that day, [all] their inheritance had not fallen vnto them, among the tribes of Israel. Judges 18:2 And the children of Dan sent of their family, fiue men from their coasts, men of valour, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land, and to search it, and they said vnto them, Goe, search the land: Who when they came to mount Ephraim, to the house of Micah, they lodged there.
At the house of Micah they consult with Jonathan, and are encouraged in their way.
Judges 18:3 When they [were] by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the yong man the Leuite: and they turned in thither, & said vnto him, Who brought thee hither? And what makest thou in this place? And what hast thou here? Judges 18:4 And hee said vnto them, Thus and thus dealeth Micah with me, and hath hired me, and I am his Priest. Judges 18:5 And they sayd vnto him, Aske counsell, we pray thee, of God, that we may know, whether our way which we goe, shall be prosperous. Judges 18:6 And the Priest said vnto them, Goe in peace: before the LORD [is] your way wherein ye goe.
They search Laish, and bring back news of good hope.
Judges 18:7 Then the fiue men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt carelesse, after the maner of the Zidonians, quiet and secure, and there was no magistrate in the land that might put them to shame in any thing, and they [were] farre from the Zidonians, and had no businesse with any man. Judges 18:8 And they came vnto their brethren to Zorah, and Eshtaol: and their brethren said vnto them, What [say] yee? Judges 18:9 And they said, Arise, that we may goe vp against them: for we haue seene the land, and behold, it [is] very good: and are ye still? Bee not slothfull to goe, [and] to enter to possesse the land. Judges 18:10 When ye goe, ye shall come vnto a people secure, and to a large land: for God hath giuen it into your handes: a place where there is no want of any thing, that [is] in the earth.
Six hundred men are sent to surprise it.
Judges 18:11 And there went from thence of the family of the Danites out of Zorah, and out of Eshtaol, sixe hundred men, appoynted with weapons of warre. Judges 18:12 And they went vp, and pitched in Kiriath-iearim, in Iudah: Wherefore they called that place Mahaneh-Dan, vnto this day: behold, [it is] behinde Kiriath-iearim. Judges 18:13 And they passed thence vnto mount Ephraim, and came vnto the house of Micah.
In the way they rob Micah of his priest and his consecrate things.
Judges 18:14 Then answered the fiue men that went to spie out the countrey of Laish, and saide vnto their brethren, Doe ye know that there is in these houses an Ephod, and Teraphim, and a grauen image, and a molten image? Now therefore consider what ye haue to doe. Judges 18:15 And they turned thitherward, and came to the house of the yong man the Leuite, [euen] vnto the house of Micah, and saluted him. Judges 18:16 And the six hundred men appointed with their weapons of war, which were of the children of Dan, stood by the entring of the gate. Judges 18:17 And the fiue men that went to spie out the land, went vp [and] came in thither, [and] tooke the grauen image, and the Ephod, and the Teraphim, and the molten image: and the Priest stood in the entring of the gate, with the sixe hundreth men that were appointed with weapons of warre. Judges 18:18 And these went into Micahs house, and fetched the carued image, the Ephod, and the Teraphim, and the molten image: then said the Priest vnto them, What doe ye? Judges 18:19 And they said vnto him, Hold thy peace, lay thine hand vpon thy mouth, and goe with vs, and bee to vs a father and a Priest: Is it better for thee to bee a Priest vnto the house of one man, or that thou be a Priest vnto a tribe and a family in Israel? Judges 18:20 And the Priests heart was glad, and he tooke the Ephod, and the Teraphim, and the grauen image, and went in the middest of the people. Judges 18:21 So they turned, and departed, and put the little ones, and the cattell, and the cariage before them.
Judges 18:22 [And] when they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men that were in the houses neere to Micahs house, were gathered together, and ouertooke the children of Dan. Judges 18:23 And they cried vnto the children of Dan: and they turned their faces, and said vnto Micah, What aileth thee, that thou commest with such a company? Judges 18:24 And he said, Yee haue taken away my gods which I made, and the Priest, and ye are gone away: and what haue I more? And what is this that yee say vnto me, What aileth thee? Judges 18:25 And the children of Dan said vnto him, Let not thy voyce bee heard among vs, lest angry fellowes run vpon thee, and thou lose thy life, with the liues of thy houshold. Judges 18:26 And the children of Dan went their way: and when Micah sawe that they were too strong for him, he turned and went backe vnto his house.
They win Laish, and call it Dan.
Judges 18:27 And they tooke the things which Micah had made, and the Priest which hee had, and came vnto Laish, vnto a people that were at quiet, and secure, and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the citie with fire. Judges 18:28 And there was no deliuerer, because it was farre from Zidon, and they had no businesse with any man: and it was in the valley that [lieth] by Beth-rehob, and they built a citie, and dwelt therein. Judges 18:29 And they called the name of the city, Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was borne vnto Israel: howbeit the name of the citie was Laish at the first.
They set up idolatry, wherein Jonathan inheriteth the priesthood.
Judges 18:30 And the children of Dan set vp the grauen image: and Ionathan the sonne of Gershom, the sonne of Manasseh, hee and his sonnes, were Priests to the tribe of Dan, vntill the day of the captiuitie of the land. Judges 18:31 And they set them vp Micahs grauen image, which hee made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.