Judges 18
New American Standard Bible►► 

Danites Seek Territory

1In those days there was no king of Israel; and in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking an inheritance for themselves to live in, for until that day [a]an inheritance had not [b]been allotted to them as a possession among the tribes of Israel. 2So the sons of Dan sent from their family five men out of their whole number, [c]valiant men from Zorah and Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to explore it; and they said to them, “Go, explore the land.” And they came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and stayed overnight there. 3When they were near the house of Micah, they recognized the voice of the young man, the Levite; and they turned aside there and said to him, “Who brought you here? And what are you doing in this place? And what do you have here?” 4He said to them, “Micah has done this and that for me, and he has hired me and I have become his priest.” 5Then they said to him, “Inquire of God, please, that we may know whether our way on which we are going will be successful.” 6And the priest said to them, “Go in peace; your way in which you are going [d]has the LORD’S approval.”

7So the five men departed and came to Laish, and saw the people who were in it living in security, in the way of the Sidonians, quiet and unsuspecting; for there was no [e]oppressive ruler humiliating them for anything in the land, and they were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone. 8When they came back to their brothers at Zorah and Eshtaol, their brothers said to them, “What do you say?9And they said, “Arise, and let’s go up against them; for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good. And will you [f]sit still? Do not hesitate to go, to enter, to take possession of the land. 10When you enter, you will come to an unsuspecting people with a spacious land; for God has handed it over to you, a place where there is no lack of anything that is on the earth.”

11Then from the family of the Danites, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, six hundred men armed with weapons of war set out. 12They went up and camped at Kiriath-jearim in Judah. Therefore they called that place [g]Mahaneh-dan to this day; behold, it is [h]west of Kiriath-jearim. 13And they passed from there to the hill country of Ephraim and came to the house of Micah.

Danites Take Micah’s Idols

14Then the five men who went to spy out the country of Laish [i]said to their kinsmen, “Do you know that there are in these houses an ephod and [j]household idols, and a carved image and a cast metal image? Now then, consider what you should do.” 15So they turned aside there and came to the house of the young man, the Levite, to the house of Micah, and asked [k]him how he was doing. 16Meanwhile, the six hundred men armed with their weapons of war, who were of the sons of Dan, were positioned at the entrance of the gate. 17Now the five men who went to spy out the land went up and entered there; they took the carved image, the ephod, the [l]household idols, and the cast metal image, while the priest was standing at the entrance of the gate with the six hundred men armed with weapons of war. 18When these men entered Micah’s house and took the carved image, the ephod, [m]household idols, and the cast metal image, the priest said to them, “What are you doing?” 19And they said to him, “Be silent, put your hand over your mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be a priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and a family in Israel?” 20The priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod, the [n]household idols, and the carved image, and went among the people.

21Then they turned and left, and put the children, the livestock, and the valuables in front of them. 22When they had distanced themselves from Micah’s house, the men who were in the houses near Micah’s house assembled by command and overtook the sons of Dan. 23Then they called out to the sons of Dan, who turned [o]around and said to Micah, “What is the matter with you, that you have assembled together?” 24And he said, “You have taken my gods which I made, and the priest, and have gone away; what more do I have? So how can you say to me, ‘What is the matter with you?’” 25Then the sons of Dan said to him, “Do not let your voice be heard among us, or else [p]fierce men will attack you, and you will [q]lose your life and the lives of your household.” 26So the sons of Dan went on their way; and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his house.

27Then they took what Micah had made and the priest who had belonged to him, and came to Laish, to a people quiet and unsuspecting, and struck them with the edge of the sword; and they burned the city with fire. 28And there was no one to save them, because it was far from Sidon and they had no dealings with anyone, and it was in the valley which is near Beth-rehob. So they rebuilt the city and lived in it. 29And they named the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father who was born to Israel; however, the name of the city was previously Laish. 30The sons of Dan set up for themselves the carved image; and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of [r]Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land. 31So they set up for themselves Micah’s carved image which he had made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.

[a] 1 Lit it
[b] 1 Lit fallen
[c] 2 Lit men, sons of valor
[d] 6 Lit is before the LORD
[e] 7 Or oppressive conqueror; lit possessor of oppression
[f] 9 Lit be
[g] 12 I.e., the camp of Dan
[h] 12 Lit behind
[i] 14 Lit answered and said
[j] 14 Heb teraphim
[k] 15 Lit his well-being
[l] 17 Heb teraphim
[m] 18 Heb teraphim
[n] 20 Heb teraphim
[o] 23 Lit their faces
[p] 25 Lit bitter of soul
[q] 25 Lit take away
[r] 30 Some ancient versions Moses

New American Standard Bible
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