The Danites send five men to seek out for them an inheritance, who come to the house of Micah, and are encouraged by the Levite to proceed on their way. They search Laish, and bring back news of good hope. Six hundred men are sent to surprise the place. On the way they rob Micah of his consecrated things, and carry off his priest. Micah pursueth them, but is obliged to return for fear of violence. Laish is surprised, taken possession of, and called Dan. Idolatry is set up in Dan, where Jonathan the Levite and his sons have the priesthood.
1 IN athose days there was no king in Israel: and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwell in; bfor unto that day all their inheritance had not fallen unto them among the tribes of Israel.
2 And the children of Dan sent of their family five men from their *coasts, 1men of valour, from cZorah, and from Eshtaol, dto spy out the land, and to search it; and they said unto them, Go, search the land: who when they came to emount Ephraim, to the house of Micah, they lodged there.
3 When they were by the house of Micah, they fknew the voice of the young man the Levite: and they turned in thither, and said unto him, Who brought thee *hither? and what makest thou in this place? and what hast thou here?
4 And he said unto them, gThus and thus dealeth Micah with me, and hath hired me, and I am his priest.
5 And they said unto him, hAsk counsel, we pray thee, iof God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous.
6 And the jpriest said unto them, Go in peace: kbefore the LORD is your way wherein ye go.
7 ¶Then the five men departed, and came to 2Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt *careless, after the *manner of the Zidonians, lquiet and *secure; and there was no 3magistrate in the land, that might put them to shame in any thing; and they were far from the Zidonians, and had no business with any man.
8 And they came unto their brethren to mZorah and Eshtaol: and their brethren said unto them, What say ye?
9 And they said, nArise, that we may go up against them: for we have seen the land, and, behold, it is very good: and are ye ostill? pbe not slothful to go, and to enter to possess the land.
10 When ye go, ye shall come unto qa people *secure, and to a large land: for rGod hath given it into your hands; sa place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth.
11 ¶And there went from thence of the family of the Danites, out of Zorah and out of Eshtaol, six hundred men 4appointed with weapons of war.
- 4: Heb. girded.
12 And they went up, and pitched in tKirjath-jearim, in Judah: wherefore they called that place 5Mahaneh-dan unto this day: behold, it is behind Kirjath-jearim.
13 And they passed thence unto umount Ephraim, and came unto the house of Micah.
14 ¶Then vanswered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Do ye know that wthere is in these houses an *ephod, and *teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore xconsider what ye have to do.
15 And they turned thitherward, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, even unto the house of Micah, and 6saluted him.
16 And the ysix hundred men appointed with their weapons of war, which were of the children of Dan, stood by the entering of the gate.
- y: Ju. 18:11
17 And zthe five men that went to spy out the land went up, and came in thither, and atook the graven 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.
18 And these 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?
- *: ephod-embroidered cape worn by priest. , teraphim-images.
19 And they said unto him, Hold thy peace, blay thine hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us ca 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?
20 And the dpriest's heart was glad, and he took the *ephod, and the *teraphim, and the graven image, and went in the midst of the people.
21 So they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the cattle and ethe *carriage before them.
22 ¶And when they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men that were in the houses near to Micah's house were gathered together, and overtook the children of Dan.
23 And they cried unto the children of Dan. And they turned their faces, and said unto Micah, What aileth thee, 7that thou comest with such a company?
- 7: Heb. that thou art gathered together.
24 And he said, Ye have taken away fmy gods which I made, and the priest, and ye are gone away: and what have I more? and what is this that ye say unto me, What aileth thee?
25 And the children of Dan said unto him, Let not thy voice be heard among us, lest 8angry fellows run upon thee, and thou lose thy life, with the lives of thy household.
- 8: Heb. bitter of soul, 2Sa. 17.8. , 2Sa. 17:8
26 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.
27 And they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest which he had, gand came unto Laish, unto a people that were hat quiet and *secure: and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire.
28 And there was no deliverer, because it was ifar from Zidon, and they had no business with any man; and it was in the valley that lieth by jBeth-rehob. And they built a city, and dwelt therein.
29 And they called the name of the city Dan, kafter the name of Dan their father, lwho was born unto Israel: howbeit the name of the city was mLaish at the first.
30 ¶And the children of Dan 9set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of nGershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the ocaptivity of the land.
- 9: Heb. set up before them, Ex. 20.4. Le. 26.1. De. 13; 17.2-7; 27.15; 31.16,29; 32.16,17,21. , Ex. 20:4 , Le. 26:1 , Deuteronomy 13 , De. 17:2 - 7 , De. 27:15 , De. 31:16 , De. 31:29 , De. 32:16 , De. 32:17 , De. 32:21
- n: Ex. 2:22 , Ex. 18:3
- o: 1Sa. 4:10 , Ps. 78:60 , Ps. 78:61 , 2Ki. 15:29 , 2Ki. 17:6 , 2Ki. 17:23