Judges 18 ©

Those of the tribe of Dan, having not sufficient inheritance, send forth five men to spy out a place, v. 1, etc. These in their travels come to the house of Micah, and desire the Levite to ask counsel of God touching their journey, 2. Having received an answer, they spy out the city Laish, and make report thereof unto their brethren, whom they instigate to set upon the city, 7. Whereupon, six hundred armed men of Dan march forth, and by the way seize upon Micah’s priest and idols, 11. Which Micah in vain demands again, 22. They pull down, build up again, and inhabit Laish, and call it Dan, 27. Consecrate a priest, and set up idolatry with the images of Micah, 30.


IN those days there was noa1king in Israel: and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwell in; for unto that day all their inheritance had not 2fallen unto them among the tribes of Israel.


And the children of Dan sent of their family five men 3from their coasts, men of valour, from 4Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land, and to search it; and they said unto them, Go, search the land: who when they came to mount Ephraim, to the house of 5Micah, they lodged there.


When they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the 6young man the Levite: and they turned in 7thither, and said unto him, Who brought thee hither? and what makest thou in this place? and what hast thou here?


And he said unto them, Thus and thus dealeth Micah with me, and hath hired me, and I am his priest.


And they said unto him, Ask counsel, we pray thee, 8of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous.


And the priest 9said unto them, Go in peace: 10before the LORD is your way wherein ye go.


¶Then the five men departed, and came to 11Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they 12dwelt careless, after the manner of the Zidonians, quiet and 13secure; and there was 14no 15magistrate in the land, that might put them to shame 16in any thing; and they were 17far from the Zidonians, and 18had no business with any man.


And they came unto their brethren to Zorah and Eshtaol: and their brethren said unto them, What say ye?


And they said, Arise, that we may go up against them: for we have seen the land, and, behold, it is very good: and are ye 19still? be not slothful to go, and to enter to possess the land.


When ye go, ye shall come unto a people secure, and to a 20large land: for God hath given it into your hands; a place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth.


¶And there went from thence of the family of the Danites, out of Zorah and out of Eshtaol, six hundred men appointed with weapons of war.


And they went up, and pitched in 21Kirjath-jearim, in Judah: wherefore they called that place 22Mahaneh-danb unto this day: behold, it is behind Kirjath-jearim.


And they passed thence unto mount Ephraim, and came unto the house of 23Micah.


¶Then 24answered the 25five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Do ye know that there is in 26these houses an 27ephod, and 28teraphim, and a 29graven image, and a molten image? now therefore 30consider what ye have to do.


31And they turned thitherward, and came to the house of the 32young man the Levite, even unto the house of Micah, and 33saluted 34him.


And the six hundred men appointed with their weapons of war, which were of the children of Dan, stood by the entering of the gate.


And the five men that went to spy out the land went up, and came in thither, and took the 35graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men that were appointed with weapons of war.


And 36these went into Micah's house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest unto them, What do ye?


And they said unto him, Hold thy peace, 37lay thine hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest: is it better for thee to be a priest unto the house of one man, or that thou be a priest unto a tribe and a family in Israel?38


And the priest’s 39heart was 40glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and went in the midst of the people.


So they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the cattle and the 41carriage 42before them.


And when they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men that 43were in the houses near to Micah's house were gathered together, and overtook the children of Dan.


And they cried unto the children of Dan. And they turned their faces, and said unto Micah, What aileth thee, that thou comest with such a company?


And he said, Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and ye are gone away: 44and what have I more? and what is this that ye say unto me, What aileth thee?


And the children of Dan said unto him, Let not thy voice be heard among us, lest 45angry fellows run upon thee, and thou lose thy 46life, with the lives of thy household.


And the children of Dan went their way: and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back unto his house.


And 47they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest which he had, and came unto Laish, unto a people that were at 48quiet and secure: and they smote them 49with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire.


And there was no deliverer, because 50it was 51far from Zidon, and 52they had no business with any man; and 53it was in the valley that lieth by 54Beth-rehob. And 55they built a city, and dwelt therein.


Andc they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born unto 56Israel: howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first.


¶And the children of Dan set up the graven 57image: and 58Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the 59land.


And they set them up Micah's graven image, which he made, all the time that the house of God was in 60Shiloh.