The Danites send five men to seek out an inheritance.
Judges 18:1 In those days, there was no king in Israel,and, in those days, the tribe of the Danites was seeking for itself an inheritance to dwell in for there had not fallen to them, unto that day, in the midst of the tribes of Israel, enough for an inheritance. Judges 18:2 So then the sons of Dan sent, out of their family, five men out of their boundsmen who were sons of valourout of Zorah and out of Eshtaolto spy out the land, and to explore it, and they said unto them, Go! explore the land. And they came into the hill country of Ephraim, as far as the house of Micah, and lodged there.
At the house of Micah they consult with Jonathan, and are encouraged in their way.
Judges 18:3 They, being by the house of Micah, knew the voice of the young man, the Levite,so they turned aside there, and said to himWho brought thee in hither? and what art thou doing in this place, and what hast thou here? Judges 18:4 And he said unto them, Thus and so, hath Micah dealt with me, and hath hired me, and I am become his priest. Judges 18:5 So they said unto himAsk of God, we pray thee,that we may know whether the journey on which we are going shall have good success. Judges 18:6 And the priest said unto themGo! and prosper,before Yahweh, is your journey on which ye go.
They search Laish, and bring back news of good hope.
Judges 18:7 So the five men went their way, and entered Laish,and saw the people who were therein, dwelling securely, after the manner of the Zidonians, quietly and securely, and there was no one to reproach them with anything in the land, none to possess himself of dominion, they being, far away, from the Zidonians, and having no dealings with any one. Judges 18:8 So they came unto their brethren, in Zorah and Eshtaol,and their brethren said unto themWhy are ye minded to do nothing? Judges 18:9 And they saidArise! and let us go up against them, for we have seen the land, and lo! it is very good,are, ye, then, minded to do nothing? do not be too slothful to go, and enter, and take possession of the land. Judges 18:10 When ye do enter, ye will enter amongst a people secure, and, the land, is of ample bounds,yea God hath delivered it into your hands,a place where there is no lack of anything that is in the earth.
Six hundred men are sent to surprise it.
Judges 18:11 So there brake up from thence, out of the family of the Danites, out of Zorah and out of Eshtaol, six hundred men, begirt with weapons of war. Judges 18:12 And they went up and encamped in Kiriath-jearim, in Judah,wherefore they have called that place, Mahaneh-danunto this day, lo! it is behind Kiriath-jearim. Judges 18:13 And they passed on from thence unto the hill country of Ephraim,and came as far as the house of Micah.
In the way they rob Micah of his priest and his consecrate things.
Judges 18:14 Then responded the five men who had been to spy out the land of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Know ye that there are in these houses, an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image,now, therefore, know what ye will do! Judges 18:15 So they turned aside thither, and entered into the house of the young man the Levite, the house of Micah,and asked him of his welfare. Judges 18:16 Now, the six hundred men, begirt with weapons of war, were standing at the entrance of the gate,they being of the sons of Dan. Judges 18:17 Then went up the five men who had been to spy out the land, they came in thither, they took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image,now, the priest, was standing at the entrance of the gate, with the six hundred men who were begirt with weapons of war. Judges 18:18 But, when, these, had entered the house of Micah, and taken the graven image and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image, the priest said unto them, What are ye doing? Judges 18:19 And they said unto himHold thy peace, lay thy hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and become to us a father and a priest,is it better that thou be priest to the house of one man, or that thou be priest to a tribe and to a family in Israel? Judges 18:20 Then was the heart of the priest glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image,and came into the midst of the people. Judges 18:21 So they turned, and went their way,and put the little ones, and the cattle, and the goods, before them.
Judges 18:22 They, had gone a good way from the house of Micah, when, the men that were in the houses near to the house of Micah, were called out and overtook the sons of Dan. Judges 18:23 And they called unto the sons of Dan, who turned their faces,and said unto Micah, What aileth thee, that thou hast called out thy neighbours? Judges 18:24 And he saidMy gods which I had made, ye have taken away, and the priest, and have departed, and what have I more? How then is it that ye can say unto me, What aileth thee? Judges 18:25 And the sons of Dan said unto him, Do not let thy voice be heard among us,lest men embittered in soul fall upon you, and thou gather in thy life and the lives of thy household. Judges 18:26 And the sons of Dan went on their journey,and, when Micah saw that they were, too strong, for him, he turned and went back unto his house.
They win Laish, and call it Dan.
Judges 18:27 They, therefore, took what Micah had made, and the priest that he had, and came upon Laish, upon a people quiet and secure, and smote them with the edge of the sword,the city also, burned they with fire. Judges 18:28 And there was no one to rescue, because it was, far, from Zidon, and they had no, dealings, with any one, it, being in the vale that pertaineth to Beth-rehob. Then built they the city, and dwelt therein, Judges 18:29 and called the name of the city, Dan, by the name of Dan their father, who was born to Israel,howbeit, Laish, was the name of the city, at the first.
They set up idolatry, wherein Jonathan inheriteth the priesthood.
Judges 18:30 And the sons of Dan set up for themselves the graven image,and, Jonathan, son of Gershom, son of Moses, he and his sons, became priests to the tribe of the Danites, until the day of the captivity of the land. Judges 18:31 So they set up for themselves the graven image of Micah, which he had made,[and let it remain] all the days that the house of God was in Shiloh.