1In those days there was no sovereign in Yisra’ĕl. And in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking an inheritance for itself to dwell in, for until that day all their inheritance among the tribes of Yisra’ĕl had not yet fallen to them.
2And the children of Dan sent five men of their clan, brave men from Tsor‛ah and Eshta’ol, to spy out the land and search it. And they said to them, “Go, search the land,” so they went to the mountains of Ephrayim, to the house of Miḵah, and spent the night there.
3When they were near the house of Miḵah, they recognised the voice of the young Lĕwite, and turned aside and said to him, “Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place, and what do you have here?”
4And he said to them, “Miḵah did such and such for me. And he hired me, and I have become his priest.”
5And they said to him, “Please inquire of Elohim, and we shall know whether the journey on which we are going is prosperous.”
6And the priest said to them, “Go in peace. Your journey on which you go is before יהוה.”
7Then the five men left and came to Layish, and saw the people who were in their midst, how they dwelt safely, according to the ruling of the Tsiḏonians, at rest and unsuspecting. And no one possessing authority in the land was reproaching for any matter. And they were far from the Tsiḏonians, and they had no word with anyone.
8And the spies came back to their brothers at Tsor‛ah and Eshta’ol, and their brothers said to them, “What do you say?”
9And they said, “Arise, and let us go up against them. For we have seen the land, and look, it is very good. And you sit still! Do not hesitate to go to enter in to possess the land.
10“When you go, you are to come to an unsuspecting people, and the land is spacious. For Elohim has given it into your hands, a place in which there is no lack of any matter which is on the earth.”
11And six hundred men of the clan of the Danites went from there, from Tsor‛ah and Eshta’ol, armed for battle.
12And they went up and encamped in Qiryath Ye‛arim in Yehuḏah. Therefore they call that place Maḥanĕh Ḏan to this day. See, it is west of Qiryath Ye‛arim.
13And they passed over from there to the mountains of Ephrayim, and came to the house of Miḵah.
14And the five men who had gone to spy out the land of Layish answered and said to their brothers, “Do you know that there are in these houses a shoulder garment, and house idols, and a carved image, and a moulded image? And now, you know what to do.”
15And they turned aside there, and came to the house of the young Lĕwite man, the house of Miḵah, and greeted him.
16And the six hundred men, armed for battle, who were of the children of Dan, stood by the entrance of the gate.
17And the five men who had gone to spy out the land went up, and entering there, they took the carved image, and the shoulder garment, and the house idols, and the moulded image, while the priest stood at the entrance of the gate with the six hundred men who were armed for battle.
18And these went into Miḵah’s house and took the idol, and the shoulder garment, and the house idols, and the moulded image. Then the priest said to them, “What are you doing?”
19And they said to him, “Be silent, put your hand over your mouth, and come with us, and be a father and a priest to us. Is it better for you to be a priest to the household of one man, or that you be a priest to a tribe and a clan in Yisra’ĕl?”
20And the heart of the priest was glad. And he took the shoulder garment, and the house idols, and the carved image, and took his place among the people.
21And they turned and went, and put the little ones, and the livestock, and the valuables in front of them.
22They had gone some distance from the house of Miḵah, when the men who were in the houses near Miḵah’s house gathered together and overtook the children of Dan,
23and called out to the children of Dan. So they turned around and said to Miḵah, “What is the matter, that you have gathered such a company?”
24And he said, “You have taken away my mighty ones which I made, and the priest, and you are leaving. Now what more do I have? What is this you say to me, ‘What is the matter?’ ”
25And the children of Dan said to him, “Do not let your voice be heard among us, lest men, bitter of being, fall upon you, and you lose your life, with the lives of your household!”
26And the children of Dan went their way. And when Miḵah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his house.
27Then they took what Miḵah had made, and the priest who had belonged to him, and went to Layish, to a people who were at rest and unsuspecting, and struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire.
28And there was no deliverer, because it was far from Tsiḏon, and they had no word with anyone. And it was in the valley that belongs to Bĕyth Reḥoḇ. And they rebuilt the city and dwelt there.
29And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born to Yisra’ĕl. But previously the name of the city was Layish.
30And the children of Dan set up for themselves the carved image. And Yehonathan son of Gĕreshom, son of Menashsheh, and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day the land was taken into exile.
31And they set up for themselves the carved image of Miḵah, which he had made, all the days that the house of Elohim was in Shiloh.