Judges 18:1-31

Judges 18:1-31 American Standard Version (ASV)

In those days there was no king in Israel: and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwell in; for unto that day their inheritance had not fallen unto them among the tribes of Israel. And the children of Dan sent of their family five men from their whole number, men of valor, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land, and to search it; and they said unto them, Go, search the land. And they came to the hill-country of Ephraim, unto the house of Micah, and lodged there. When they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man the Levite; and they turned aside thither, and said unto him, Who brought thee hither? and what doest thou in this place? and what hast thou here? And he said unto them, Thus and thus hath Micah dealt with me, and he hath hired me, and I am become his priest. And they said unto him, Ask counsel, we pray thee, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous. And the priest said unto them, Go in peace: before Jehovah is your way wherein ye go. Then the five men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt in security, after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and secure; for there was none in the land, possessing authority, that might put them to shame in anything, and they were far from the Sidonians, and had no dealings 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, and let us go up against them; for we have seen the land, and, behold, it is very good: and are ye still? be not slothful to go and to enter in to possess the land. When ye go, ye shall come unto a people secure, and the land is large; for God hath given it into your hand, a place where there is no want of anything that is in the earth. And there set forth from thence of the family of the Danites, out of Zorah and out of Eshtaol, six hundred men girt with weapons of war. And they went up, and encamped in Kiriath-jearim, in Judah: wherefore they called that place Mahaneh-dan, unto this day; behold, it is behind Kiriath-jearim. And they passed thence unto the hill-country of Ephraim, and came unto the house of Micah. Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what ye have to do. And they turned aside thither, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, even unto the house of Micah, and asked him of his welfare. And the six hundred men girt with their weapons of war, who were of the children of Dan, stood by the entrance of the gate. And the five men that went to spy out the land went up, and came in thither, and took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood by the entrance of the gate with the six hundred men girt with weapons of war. And when these went into Micah’s house, and fetched the graven image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image, the priest said unto them, What do ye? And they said unto him, Hold thy peace, lay thy hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest: is it better for thee to be priest unto the house of one man, or to be priest unto a tribe and a family in Israel? And the priest’s heart was glad, 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 goods before them. 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. 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 are gone away, and what have I more? and how then say ye unto me, What aileth thee? And the children of Dan said unto him, Let not thy voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows fall upon you, and thou lose thy life, 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 they took that which Micah had made, and the priest whom he had, and came unto Laish, unto a people quiet and secure, and smote them with the edge of the sword; and they burnt the city with fire. And there was no deliverer, because it was far from Sidon, and they had no dealings with any man; and it was in the valley that lieth by Beth-rehob. And they built the city, and dwelt therein. And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born unto Israel: howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first. And the children of Dan set up for themselves the graven image; and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land. So they set them up Micah’s graven image which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.

Judges 18:1-30-31 The Message (MSG)

In those days there was no king in Israel. But also in those days, the tribe of Dan was looking for a place to settle down. They hadn’t yet occupied their plot among the tribes of Israel. The Danites sent out five robust warriors from Zorah and Eshtaol to look over the land and see what was out there suitable for their families. They said, “Go and explore the land.” They went into the hill country of Ephraim and got as far as the house of Micah. They camped there for the night. As they neared Micah’s house, they recognized the voice of the young Levite. They went over and said to him, “How on earth did you get here? What’s going on? What are you doing here?” He said, “One thing led to another: Micah hired me and I’m now his priest.” They said, “Oh, good—inquire of God for us. Find out whether our mission will be a success.” The priest said, “Go assured. GOD’s looking out for you all the way.” The five men left and headed north to Laish. They saw that the people there were living in safety under the umbrella of the Sidonians, quiet and unsuspecting. They had everything going for them. But the people lived a long way from the Sidonians to the west and had no treaty with the Arameans to the east. When they got back to Zorah and Eshtaol, their brothers asked, “So, how did you find things?” They said, “Let’s go for it! Let’s attack. We’ve seen the land and it is excellent. Are you going to just sit on your hands? Don’t dawdle! Invade and conquer! When you get there, you’ll find they’re sitting ducks, totally unsuspecting. Wide open land—God is handing it over to you, everything you could ever ask for.” So six hundred Danite men set out from Zorah and Eshtaol, armed to the teeth. Along the way they made camp at Kiriath Jearim in Judah. That is why the place is still today called Dan’s Camp—it’s just west of Kiriath Jearim. From there they proceeded into the hill country of Ephraim and came to Micah’s house. The five men who earlier had explored the country of Laish told their companions, “Did you know there’s an ephod, teraphim-idols, and a cast god-sculpture in these buildings? What do you think? Do you want to do something about it?” So they turned off the road there, went to the house of the young Levite at Micah’s place and asked how things had been with him. The six hundred Danites, all well-armed, stood guard at the entrance to the gate while the five scouts who had gone to explore the land went in and took the carved idol, the ephod, the teraphim-idols, and the god-sculpture. The priest was standing at the gate entrance with the six hundred armed men. When the five went into Micah’s house and took the carved idol, the ephod, the teraphim-idols, and the sculpted god, the priest said to them, “What do you think you’re doing?” They said to him, “Hush! Don’t make a sound. Come with us. Be our father and priest. Which is more important, that you be a priest to one man or that you become priest to a whole tribe and clan in Israel?” The priest jumped at the chance. He took the ephod, the teraphim-idols, and the idol and fell in with the troops. They turned away and set out, putting the children, the cattle, and the gear in the lead. They were well on their way from Micah’s house before Micah and his neighbors got organized. But they soon overtook the Danites. They shouted at them. The Danites turned around and said, “So what’s all the noise about?” Micah said, “You took my god, the one I made, and you took my priest. And you marched off! What do I have left? How can you now say, ‘What’s the matter?’” But the Danites answered, “Don’t yell at us; you just might provoke some fierce, hot-tempered men to attack you, and you’ll end up an army of dead men.” The Danites went on their way. Micah saw that he didn’t stand a chance against their arms. He turned back and went home. So they took the things that Micah had made, along with his priest, and they arrived at Laish, that city of quiet and unsuspecting people. They massacred the people and burned down the city. There was no one around to help. They were a long way from Sidon and had no treaty with the Arameans. Laish was in the valley of Beth Rehob. When they rebuilt the city they renamed it Dan after their ancestor who was a son of Israel, but its original name was Laish. The Danites set up the god-figure for themselves. Jonathan son of Gershom, the son of Moses, and his descendants were priests to the tribe of Dan down to the time of the land’s captivity. All during the time that there was a sanctuary of God in Shiloh, they kept for their private use the god-figure that Micah had made.

Judges 18:1-31 New American Standard Bible - NASB 1995 (NASB1995)

In 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 an inheritance had not been allotted to them as a possession among the tribes of Israel. So the sons of Dan sent from their family five men out of their whole number, valiant men from Zorah and Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to search it; and they said to them, “Go, search the land.” And they came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there. When 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?” He said to them, “Thus and so has Micah done to me, and he has hired me and I have become his priest.” They said to him, “Inquire of God, please, that we may know whether our way on which we are going will be prosperous.” The priest said to them, “Go in peace; your way in which you are going has the LORD’S approval.” Then the five men departed and came to Laish and saw the people who were in it living in security, after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and secure; for there was no ruler humiliating them for anything in the land, and they were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone. When they came back to their brothers at Zorah and Eshtaol, their brothers said to them, “What do you report?” They said, “Arise, and let us go up against them; for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good. And will you sit still? Do not delay to go, to enter, to possess the land. When you enter, you will come to a secure people with a spacious land; for God has given it into your hand, a place where there is no lack of anything that is on the earth.” Then from the family of the Danites, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, six hundred men armed with weapons of war set out. They went up and camped at Kiriath-jearim in Judah. Therefore they called that place Mahaneh-dan to this day; behold, it is west of Kiriath-jearim. They passed from there to the hill country of Ephraim and came to the house of Micah. Then the five men who went to spy out the country of Laish said to their kinsmen, “Do you know that there are in these houses an ephod and household idols and a graven image and a molten image? Now therefore, consider what you should do.” They turned aside there and came to the house of the young man, the Levite, to the house of Micah, and asked him of his welfare. The six hundred men armed with their weapons of war, who were of the sons of Dan, stood by the entrance of the gate. Now the five men who went to spy out the land went up and entered there, and took the graven image and the ephod and household idols and the molten image, while the priest stood by the entrance of the gate with the six hundred men armed with weapons of war. When these went into Micah’s house and took the graven image, the ephod and household idols and the molten image, the priest said to them, “What are you doing?” They said to him, “Be silent, put your hand over your mouth and come 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?” The priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod and household idols and the graven image and went among the people. Then they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the livestock and the valuables in front of them. When they had gone some distance from the house of Micah, the men who were in the houses near Micah’s house assembled and overtook the sons of Dan. They cried to the sons of Dan, who turned around and said to Micah, “What is the matter with you, that you have assembled together?” He said, “You have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and have gone away, and what do I have besides? So how can you say to me, ‘What is the matter with you?’ ” The sons of Dan said to him, “Do not let your voice be heard among us, or else fierce men will fall upon you and you will lose your life, with the lives of your household.” So 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. Then they took what Micah had made and the priest who had belonged to him, and came to Laish, to a people quiet and secure, and struck them with the edge of the sword; and they burned the city with fire. And there was no one to deliver 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. And they rebuilt the city and lived in it. They called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father who was born in Israel; however, the name of the city formerly was Laish. The sons of Dan set up for themselves the graven image; and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land. So they set up for themselves Micah’s graven image which he had made, all the time that the house of God was at Shiloh.

Judges 18:1-31 New Living Translation (NLT)

Now in those days Israel had no king. And the tribe of Dan was trying to find a place where they could settle, for they had not yet moved into the land assigned to them when the land was divided among the tribes of Israel. So the men of Dan chose from their clans five capable warriors from the towns of Zorah and Eshtaol to scout out a land for them to settle in. When these warriors arrived in the hill country of Ephraim, they came to Micah’s house and spent the night there. While at Micah’s house, they recognized the young Levite’s accent, so they went over and asked him, “Who brought you here, and what are you doing in this place? Why are you here?” He told them about his agreement with Micah and that he had been hired as Micah’s personal priest. Then they said, “Ask God whether or not our journey will be successful.” “Go in peace,” the priest replied. “For the LORD is watching over your journey.” So the five men went on to the town of Laish, where they noticed the people living carefree lives, like the Sidonians; they were peaceful and secure. The people were also wealthy because their land was very fertile. And they lived a great distance from Sidon and had no allies nearby. When the men returned to Zorah and Eshtaol, their relatives asked them, “What did you find?” The men replied, “Come on, let’s attack them! We have seen the land, and it is very good. What are you waiting for? Don’t hesitate to go and take possession of it. When you get there, you will find the people living carefree lives. God has given us a spacious and fertile land, lacking in nothing!” So 600 men from the tribe of Dan, armed with weapons of war, set out from Zorah and Eshtaol. They camped at a place west of Kiriath-jearim in Judah, which is called Mahaneh-dan to this day. Then they went on from there into the hill country of Ephraim and came to the house of Micah. The five men who had scouted out the land around Laish explained to the others, “These buildings contain a sacred ephod, as well as some household idols, a carved image, and a cast idol. What do you think you should do?” Then the five men turned off the road and went over to Micah’s house, where the young Levite lived, and greeted him kindly. As the 600 armed warriors from the tribe of Dan stood at the entrance of the gate, the five scouts entered the shrine and removed the carved image, the sacred ephod, the household idols, and the cast idol. Meanwhile, the priest was standing at the gate with the 600 armed warriors. When the priest saw the men carrying all the sacred objects out of Micah’s shrine, he said, “What are you doing?” “Be quiet and come with us,” they said. “Be a father and priest to all of us. Isn’t it better to be a priest for an entire tribe and clan of Israel than for the household of just one man?” The young priest was quite happy to go with them, so he took along the sacred ephod, the household idols, and the carved image. They turned and started on their way again, placing their children, livestock, and possessions in front of them. When the people from the tribe of Dan were quite a distance from Micah’s house, the people who lived near Micah came chasing after them. They were shouting as they caught up with them. The men of Dan turned around and said to Micah, “What’s the matter? Why have you called these men together and chased after us like this?” “What do you mean, ‘What’s the matter?’” Micah replied. “You’ve taken away all the gods I have made, and my priest, and I have nothing left!” The men of Dan said, “Watch what you say! There are some short-tempered men around here who might get angry and kill you and your family.” So the men of Dan continued on their way. When Micah saw that there were too many of them for him to attack, he turned around and went home. Then, with Micah’s idols and his priest, the men of Dan came to the town of Laish, whose people were peaceful and secure. They attacked with swords and burned the town to the ground. There was no one to rescue the people, for they lived a great distance from Sidon and had no allies nearby. This happened in the valley near Beth-rehob. Then the people of the tribe of Dan rebuilt the town and lived there. They renamed the town Dan after their ancestor, Israel’s son, but it had originally been called Laish. Then they set up the carved image, and they appointed Jonathan son of Gershom, son of Moses, as their priest. This family continued as priests for the tribe of Dan until the Exile. So Micah’s carved image was worshiped by the tribe of Dan as long as the Tabernacle of God remained at Shiloh.

Judges 18:1-31 King James Version (KJV)

In those days there was no king 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 fallen unto them among the tribes of Israel. And the children of Dan sent of their family five men from their coasts, men of valour, from Zorah, 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 Micah, they lodged there. When they were by the house of Micah, they knew 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? 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, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous. And the priest said unto them, Go in peace: before the LORD is your way wherein ye go. Then the five men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt careless, after the manner of the Zidonians, quiet and secure; and there was no magistrate 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. 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 still? 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 large 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 Kirjath-jearim, in Judah: wherefore they called that place Mahaneh-dan unto this day: behold, it is behind Kirjath-jearim. And they passed thence unto mount Ephraim, and came unto the house of Micah. Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what ye have to do. And they turned thitherward, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, even unto the house of Micah, and saluted him. 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 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. 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? And they said unto him, Hold thy peace, lay 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? And the priest's heart was glad, 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 carriage before them. 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. 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: and 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 angry fellows run upon thee, and thou lose thy life, 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 they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest which he had, and came unto Laish, unto a people that were at quiet and secure: and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire. And there was no deliverer, because it was far from Zidon, and they had no business with any man; and it was in the valley that lieth by Beth-rehob. And they built a city, and dwelt therein. And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born unto Israel: howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first. And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, 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 land. And they set them up Micah's graven image, which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.

Judges 18:1-31 New Century Version (NCV)

At that time Israel did not have a king. And at that time the tribe of Dan was still looking for a land where they could live, a land of their own. The Danites had not yet been given their own land among the tribes of Israel. So, from their family groups, they chose five soldiers from the cities of Zorah and Eshtaol to spy out and explore the land. They were told, “Go, explore the land.” They came to the mountains of Ephraim, to Micah’s house, where they spent the night. When they came near Micah’s house, they recognized the voice of the young Levite. So they stopped there and asked him, “Who brought you here? What are you doing here? Why are you here?” He told them what Micah had done for him, saying, “He hired me. I am his priest.” They said to him, “Please ask God if our journey will be successful.” The priest said to them, “Go in peace. The LORD is pleased with your journey.” So the five men left. When they came to the city of Laish, they saw that the people there lived in safety, like the people of Sidon. They thought they were safe and had plenty of everything. They lived a long way from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone else. When the five men returned to Zorah and Eshtaol, their relatives asked them, “What did you find?” They answered, “We have seen the land, and it is very good. We should attack them. Aren’t you going to do something? Don’t wait! Let’s go and take that land! When you go, you will see there is plenty of land—plenty of everything! The people are not expecting an attack. Surely God has handed that land over to us!” So six hundred Danites left Zorah and Eshtaol ready for war. On their way they set up camp near the city of Kiriath Jearim in Judah. That is why the place west of Kiriath Jearim is named Mahaneh Dan to this day. From there they traveled on to the mountains of Ephraim. Then they came to Micah’s house. The five men who had explored the land around Laish said to their relatives, “Do you know in one of these houses there are a holy vest, household gods, an idol, and a statue? You know what to do.” So they stopped at the Levite’s house, which was also Micah’s house, and greeted the Levite. The six hundred Danites stood at the entrance gate, wearing their weapons of war. The five spies went into the house and took the idol, the holy vest, the household idols, and the statue. The priest and the six hundred men armed for war stood by the entrance gate. When the spies went into Micah’s house and took the image, the holy vest, the household idols, and the statue, the priest asked them, “What are you doing?” They answered, “Be quiet! Don’t say a word. Come with us and be our father and priest. Is it better for you to be a priest for one man’s house or for a tribe and family group in Israel?” This made the priest happy. So he took the holy vest, the household idols, and the idol and went with the Danites. They left Micah’s house, putting their little children, their animals, and everything they owned in front of them. When they had gone a little way from Micah’s house, the men who lived near Micah were called out and caught up with them. The men with Micah shouted at the Danites, who turned around and said to Micah, “What’s the matter with you? Why have you been called out to fight?” Micah answered, “You took my gods that I made and my priest. What do I have left? How can you ask me, ‘What’s the matter?’ ” The Danites answered, “You should not argue with us. Some of our angry men might attack you, killing you and your family.” Then the Danites went on their way. Micah knew they were too strong for him, so he turned and went back home. Then the Danites took what Micah had made and his priest and went on to Laish. They attacked those peaceful people and killed them with their swords and then burned the city. There was no one to save the people of Laish. They lived too far from Sidon, and they had no dealings with anyone else. Laish was in a valley near Beth Rehob. The people of Dan rebuilt the city and lived there. They changed the name of Laish to Dan, naming it for their ancestor Dan, one of the sons of Israel. The people of Dan set up the idols in the city of Dan. Jonathan son of Gershom, Moses’ son, and his sons served as priests for the tribe of Dan until the land was captured. The people of Dan set up the idols Micah had made as long as the Holy Tent of God was in Shiloh.

Judges 18:1-31 New International Version (NIV)

In those days Israel had no king. And in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking a place of their own where they might settle, because they had not yet come into an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. So the Danites sent five of their leading men from Zorah and Eshtaol to spy out the land and explore it. These men represented all the Danites. They told them, “Go, explore the land.” So they entered the hill country of Ephraim and came to the house of Micah, where they spent the night. When they were near Micah’s house, they recognized the voice of the young Levite; so they turned in there and asked him, “Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? Why are you here?” He told them what Micah had done for him, and said, “He has hired me and I am his priest.” Then they said to him, “Please inquire of God to learn whether our journey will be successful.” The priest answered them, “Go in peace. Your journey has the LORD’s approval.” So the five men left and came to Laish, where they saw that the people were living in safety, like the Sidonians, at peace and secure. And since their land lacked nothing, they were prosperous. Also, they lived a long way from the Sidonians and had no relationship with anyone else. When they returned to Zorah and Eshtaol, their fellow Danites asked them, “How did you find things?” They answered, “Come on, let’s attack them! We have seen the land, and it is very good. Aren’t you going to do something? Don’t hesitate to go there and take it over. When you get there, you will find an unsuspecting people and a spacious land that God has put into your hands, a land that lacks nothing whatever.” Then six hundred men of the Danites, armed for battle, set out from Zorah and Eshtaol. On their way they set up camp near Kiriath Jearim in Judah. This is why the place west of Kiriath Jearim is called Mahaneh Dan to this day. From there they went on to the hill country of Ephraim and came to Micah’s house. Then the five men who had spied out the land of Laish said to their fellow Danites, “Do you know that one of these houses has an ephod, some household gods and an image overlaid with silver? Now you know what to do.” So they turned in there and went to the house of the young Levite at Micah’s place and greeted him. The six hundred Danites, armed for battle, stood at the entrance of the gate. The five men who had spied out the land went inside and took the idol, the ephod and the household gods while the priest and the six hundred armed men stood at the entrance of the gate. When the five men went into Micah’s house and took the idol, the ephod and the household gods, the priest said to them, “What are you doing?” They answered him, “Be quiet! Don’t say a word. Come with us, and be our father and priest. Isn’t it better that you serve a tribe and clan in Israel as priest rather than just one man’s household?” The priest was very pleased. He took the ephod, the household gods and the idol and went along with the people. Putting their little children, their livestock and their possessions in front of them, they turned away and left. When they had gone some distance from Micah’s house, the men who lived near Micah were called together and overtook the Danites. As they shouted after them, the Danites turned and said to Micah, “What’s the matter with you that you called out your men to fight?” He replied, “You took the gods I made, and my priest, and went away. What else do I have? How can you ask, ‘What’s the matter with you?’ ” The Danites answered, “Don’t argue with us, or some of the men may get angry and attack you, and you and your family will lose your lives.” So the Danites went their way, and Micah, seeing that they were too strong for him, turned around and went back home. Then they took what Micah had made, and his priest, and went on to Laish, against a people at peace and secure. They attacked them with the sword and burned down their city. There was no one to rescue them because they lived a long way from Sidon and had no relationship with anyone else. The city was in a valley near Beth Rehob. The Danites rebuilt the city and settled there. They named it Dan after their ancestor Dan, who was born to Israel—though the city used to be called Laish. There the Danites set up for themselves the idol, and Jonathan son of Gershom, the son of Moses, and his sons were priests for the tribe of Dan until the time of the captivity of the land. They continued to use the idol Micah had made, all the time the house of God was in Shiloh.

Judges 18:1-31 Amplified Bible (AMP)

In those days there was no king in Israel; and in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking an inheritance [of land] for themselves to live in, for until then an inheritance had not been allotted to them as a possession among the tribes of Israel. So the sons of Dan sent from the total number of their [extended] family five brave men from Zorah and Eshtaol, to scout the land and to explore it; and they said to them, “Go, explore the land.” They came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there. When they passed near Micah’s house, 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?” And he said to them, “Micah has done this and that for me, and he has hired me and I have become his priest.” And they said to him, “Please ask of God, so that we may know whether our journey on which we are going will be successful.” The priest said to them, “Go in peace; the journey on which you are going is acceptable to the LORD.” Then the five men went on and came to Laish and saw the people who were there, [how they were] living securely in the style of the Sidonians, quiet and peaceful; and there was no oppressive magistrate in the land humiliating them in anything, and they were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone. The five men came back [home] to their brothers at Zorah and Eshtaol, and their brothers said to them, “What do you have to report?” They said, “Arise, let us go up against them; for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good (fertile). Will you sit still and do nothing? Do not hesitate to go, to enter, to take possession of the land. When you enter, you will come to people [feeling] safe and secure with a spacious land [widely extended on all sides]; for God has given it into your hands—a place where there is no lack of anything that is on the earth.” Then from the [tribal] family of the Danites, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, six hundred men armed with weapons of war set out. They went up and camped at Kiriath-jearim in Judah. Therefore they have called that place Mahaneh-dan to this day; it is west of Kiriath-jearim. They went on from there to the hill country of Ephraim and came to Micah’s house. Then the five men who had gone to scout the country of Laish said to their relatives, “Do you know that there are in these houses an ephod, teraphim, an image [of silver-plated wood], and a cast image [of solid silver]? Now therefore, consider what you should do.” So they turned in that direction and came to the house of the young Levite, at the home of Micah, and asked him how he was doing. Now the six hundred men armed with their weapons of war, who were of the sons of Dan, stood at the entrance of the gate. Now the five men who had gone to scout the land went up and entered the house and took the image [of silver-plated wood], the ephod, the teraphim, and the cast image [of solid silver], while the priest stood by the entrance of the gate with the six hundred men armed with weapons of war. When these [five men] went into Micah’s house and took the [plated] image, the ephod, the teraphim, and the cast image, the priest asked them, “What are you doing?” They said to him, “Keep quiet, 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 house of one man, or to be a priest to a tribe and family in Israel?” The priest’s heart was glad [to hear that], and he took the ephod, the teraphim, and the image, and went among the people. So they turned and left, and they put the children, the livestock, and the valuables and supplies in front of them. When they had gone some distance from the house of Micah, the men who were [living] in the houses near Micah’s house assembled [as a militia] and overtook the sons of Dan. They shouted to the Danites, who turned and said to Micah, “What is your reason for assembling [against us]?” He said, “You have taken away my gods which I have made, and the priest, and have gone away; what else do I have left? How can you say to me, ‘What is your reason?’ ” The sons of Dan said to him, “Do not let your voice [of complaint] be heard among us, or else angry men will assault you and you will lose your life, along with the lives of [everyone in] your household.” Then the Danites went on their way; and Micah saw that they were too strong for him, so he turned and went back to his house. They took the [idolatrous] things that Micah had made, and his priest, and they came to Laish, to a people who were quiet and secure; and they struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire. And there was no one to rescue them because it was far from Sidon and they had no dealings with anyone. It was in the valley which belongs to Beth-rehob. And they rebuilt the city and lived in it. They named the city Dan, after Dan their forefather who was born to Israel (Jacob); however, the original name of the city was Laish. The [tribe of] the sons of Dan set up the image [of silver-plated wood] for themselves; and Jonathan the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity and exile from the land. So they set up for themselves Micah’s [silver-plated wooden] image which he had made, and kept it throughout the time that the house (tabernacle) of God was at Shiloh.

Judges 18:1-31 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)

In those days there was no king in Israel. And in those days the tribe of the people of Dan was seeking for itself an inheritance to dwell in, for until then no inheritance among the tribes of Israel had fallen to them. So the people of Dan sent five able men from the whole number of their tribe, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to explore it. And they said to them, “Go and explore the land.” And they came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there. When they were by the house of Micah, they recognized the voice of the young Levite. And they turned aside and said to him, “Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? What is your business here?” And he said to them, “This is how Micah dealt with me: he has hired me, and I have become his priest.” And they said to him, “Inquire of God, please, that we may know whether the journey on which we are setting out will succeed.” And the priest said to them, “Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the LORD.” Then the five men departed and came to Laish and saw the people who were there, how they lived in security, after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and unsuspecting, lacking nothing that is in the earth and possessing wealth, and how they were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone. And when they came to their brothers at Zorah and Eshtaol, their brothers said to them, “What do you report?” They said, “Arise, and let us go up against them, for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good. And will you do nothing? Do not be slow to go, to enter in and possess the land. As soon as you go, you will come to an unsuspecting people. The land is spacious, for God has given it into your hands, a place where there is no lack of anything that is in the earth.” So 600 men of the tribe of Dan, armed with weapons of war, set out from Zorah and Eshtaol, and went up and encamped at Kiriath-jearim in Judah. On this account that place is called Mahaneh-dan to this day; behold, it is west of Kiriath-jearim. And they passed on from there to the hill country of Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah. Then the five men who had gone to scout out the country of Laish said to their brothers, “Do you know that in these houses there are an ephod, household gods, a carved image, and a metal image? Now therefore consider what you will do.” And they turned aside there and came to the house of the young Levite, at the home of Micah, and asked him about his welfare. Now the 600 men of the Danites, armed with their weapons of war, stood by the entrance of the gate. And the five men who had gone to scout out the land went up and entered and took the carved image, the ephod, the household gods, and the metal image, while the priest stood by the entrance of the gate with the 600 men armed with weapons of war. And when these went into Micah’s house and took the carved image, the ephod, the household gods, and the metal image, the priest said to them, “What are you doing?” And they said to him, “Keep quiet; put your hand on your mouth and come with us and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and clan in Israel?” And the priest’s heart was glad. He took the ephod and the household gods and the carved image and went along with the people. So they turned and departed, putting the little ones and the livestock and the goods in front of them. When they had gone a distance from the home of Micah, the men who were in the houses near Micah’s house were called out, and they overtook the people of Dan. And they shouted to the people of Dan, who turned around and said to Micah, “What is the matter with you, that you come with such a company?” And he said, “You take my gods that I made and the priest, and go away, and what have I left? How then do you ask me, ‘What is the matter with you?’” And the people of Dan said to him, “Do not let your voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows fall upon you, and you lose your life with the lives of your household.” Then the people of Dan went their way. And when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his home. But the people of Dan took what Micah had made, and the priest who belonged to him, and they came to Laish, to a people quiet and unsuspecting, and struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire. And there was no deliverer because it was far from Sidon, and they had no dealings with anyone. It was in the valley that belongs to Beth-rehob. Then they rebuilt the city and lived in it. And they named the city Dan, after the name of Dan their ancestor, who was born to Israel; but the name of the city was Laish at the first. And the people of Dan set up the carved image for themselves, and Jonathan the son of Gershom, son of Moses, and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land. So they set up Micah’s carved image that he made, as long as the house of God was at Shiloh.

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