The Danites send five men to seek out an inheritance.
Judges 18:1 In those dayes there was no King in Israel, and at the same time the tribe of Dan sought them an inheritance to dwell in: for vnto that time all their inheritance had not fallen vnto them among the tribes of Israel. Judges 18:2 Therefore the children of Dan sent of their familie, fiue men out of their coastes, euen men expert in warre, out of Zorah and Eshtaol, to viewe the lande and search it out, and saide vnto them, Goe, and search out the lande. Then they came to mount Ephraim to the house of Michah and lodged there.
At the house of Micah they consult with Jonathan, and are encouraged in their way.
Judges 18:3 When they were in the house of Michah, they knewe the voyce of the yong man the Leuite: and being turned in thither, they saide vnto him, Who brought thee hither? Or what makest thou in this place? And what hast thou to doe here? Judges 18:4 And he answered them, Thus and thus dealeth Michah with me, and hath hired me, and I am his Priest. Judges 18:5 Againe they said vnto him, Aske counsell nowe of God, that we may knowe whether the way which we goe, shalbe prosperous. Judges 18:6 And the Priest sayde vnto them, Goe in peace: for the Lorde guideth your way which 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 sawe the people that were therein, which dwelt carelesse, after the maner of the Zidonians, quiet and sure, because no man made any trouble in the lande, or vsurped any dominion: also they were farre from the Zidonians, and had no businesse with other men. Judges 18:8 So they came againe vnto their brethren to Zorah and Eshtaol: and their brethren saide vnto them, What haue ye done? Judges 18:9 And they answered, Arise, that we may goe vp against them: for we haue seene the lande, & surely it is very good, and doe ye sit stil? Be not slouthfull to goe and enter to possesse the lande: Judges 18:10 (If ye will goe, ye shall come vnto a carelesse people, and the countrey is large) for God hath giuen it into your hande. It is a place which doeth lacke nothing that is in the worlde.
Six hundred men are sent to surprise it.
Judges 18:11 Then there departed thence of the familie of the Danites, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, sixe hundreth men appointed with instruments 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: and it is behinde Kiriath-iearim. Judges 18:13 And they went thence vnto mount Ephraim, and came to the house of Michah.
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, & said vnto their brethren, Knowe ye not, that there is in these houses an Ephod, and Teraphim, and a grauen & a molten image? Nowe therefore consider what ye haue to doe. Judges 18:15 And they turned thitherward & came to the house of the yong man the Leuite, euen vnto the house of Michah, and saluted him peaceably. Judges 18:16 And the six hundreth men appointed with their weapons of warre, which were of the children of Dan, stoode by the entring of the gate. Judges 18:17 Then the fiue men that went to spie out the land, went in thither, and tooke the grauen image and the Ephod, and the Teraphim, and the molten image: and the Priest stoode in the entring of the gate with the sixe hundreth men, that were appointed with weapons of warre, Judges 18:18 And the other went into Michahs house and fet the grauen image, the Ephod, and the Teraphim, and the molten image. Then saide the Priest vnto them, What doe ye? Judges 18:19 And they answered him, Holde thy peace: lay thine hande vpon thy mouth, and come with vs to be our father and Priest. Whether is it better that thou shouldest be a Priest vnto ye house of one man, or that thou shouldest be a Priest vnto a tribe and to a familie in Israel? Judges 18:20 And the Priestes heart was glad, and hee tooke the Ephod and the Teraphim, and the grauen image, and went among the people. Judges 18:21 And they turned and departed, and put the children, and the cattell, and the substance before them.
Judges 18:22 When they were farre off from the house of Michah, the men that were in the houses neere to Michahs house, gathered together, and pursued after the children of Dan, Judges 18:23 And cryed vnto the children of Dan: who turned their faces, and said vnto Michah, What ayleth thee, that thou makest an outcrie? Judges 18:24 And hee saide, Yee haue taken away my gods, which I made, and the Priest, and go your wayes: and what haue I more? Howe then say ye vnto me, what ayleth thee? Judges 18:25 And the children of Dan sayde vnto him, Let not thy voyce be heard among vs, least angrie fellowes runne vpon thee, and thou lose thy life with the liues of thine housholde. Judges 18:26 So the children of Dan went their wayes: and when Michah saw that they were too strong for him, hee turned, and went backe vnto his house.
They win Laish, and call it Dan.
Judges 18:27 And they tooke the things which Michah had made, and the Priest which he had, and came vnto Laish, vnto a quiet people and without mistrust, and smote them with the edge of the sworde, and burnt the citie with fire: Judges 18:28 And there was none to helpe, because Laish was farre from Zidon, and they had no businesse with other men: also it was in the valley that lyeth by Beth-rehob. After, they built the citie, and dwelt therein, Judges 18:29 And called the name of the citie Dan, after the name of Dan their father which was borne vnto Israel: howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the beginning.
They set up idolatry, wherein Jonathan inheriteth the priesthood.
Judges 18:30 Then the children of Dan set them vp the grauen image: and Ionathan the sonne of Gershom, the sonne of Manasseh and his sonnes were the Priestes in the tribe of the Danites vntil the day of the captiuitie of the lande. Judges 18:31 So they set them vp the grauen image, which Michah had made, all the while the house of God was in Shiloh.