Judges 18



1 In those days there was no king in Israel; and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought for itself an inheritance in which to dwell; for even·​·to that day an inheritance had not fallen to it in the midst of the tribes of Israel.

2 And the sons of Dan sent from their family five men from their borders*, men that were sons of valor, from Zorah and from Eshtaol to spy·​·out the land, and to search· her ·out; and they said to them, Go, search·​·out the land; and they came to Mount Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and passed·​·the·​·night there.

3 They were by the house of Micah and they recognized the voice of the lad, the Levite; and they turned·​·aside there, and said unto him, Who brought· thee ·in hither? and what doest thou in this place? and what hast thou here?

4 And he said to them, As thus and as this is Micah doing with me, and he hired me and I am to him for a priest.

5 And they said unto him, Ask, we pray thee, of God, that we may·​·know, whether our way which we go shall prosper.

6 And the priest said unto them, Go in peace; before Jehovah is your way in which you Go.

7 And the five men went and came to Laish, and saw the people that were therein, dwelling securely as the judgment of the Zidonians, quiet and secure; and there was none possessing any thing restraining in the land to humiliate them; and they were far from the Zidonians, and they had no thing with man.

8 And they came to their brothers to Zorah and Eshtaol, and their brothers said unto them, What have you?

9 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· you ·silent? Be not slothful to go, to come·​·in to possess the land.

10 When you come, you shall come to a people who are·​·secure, and to a land broad in spaces; for God has given her into your hand; a place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth.

11 And there journeyed thence of the family of the Danites, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, six hundred men girded with weapons of war.

12 And they went·​·up and encamped in Kiriath-jearim, in Judah; therefore they called that place Machaneh-dan until this day; behold it is behind Kiriath-jearim.

13 And they passed thence unto Mount Ephraim, and came even·​·to the house of Micah.

14 And the five men, who went to spy·​·out the land of Laish, answered and said to their brothers, Do you know that there·​·is in these houses an ephod and teraphim, and a carved image and a molten image? And now know what you will do.

15 And they turned·​·aside thither, and came to the house of the lad, the Levite, the house of Micah, and asked him for peace.

16 And the six hundred men, girded with their arms of war, stood·​·up by the entrance of the gate; they were from the sons of Dan.

17 And the five men going to spy·​·out the land went·​·up, and came·​·in thither; they took the carved image and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood·​·up at the entrance of the gate, and the six hundred men girded with the weapons of war.

18 And these came·​·into the house of Micah, and took the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. And the priest said to them, What are you doing?

19 And they said to him, Be·​·silent; set thy hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us for a father and for a priest; is it better for thee to be a priest for the house of one man, or that thou be a priest for a tribe and a family in Israel?

20 And in the heart of the priest it was·​·good, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the carved image, and came into the midst of the people.

21 And they turned and went, and they set the infant and the livestock and what was heavy before them.

22 When they were far from the house of Micah, the men who were in the houses which were by the house of Micah, were called·​·up, and stuck close to the sons of Dan.

23 And they called to the sons of Dan. And they turned· their faces ·around, and said unto Micah, What ails thee, that thou hast been called·​·up?

24 And he said, The gods which I made, you have taken, and the priest; and you are gone; and what have I more? And what is this that you say unto me, What hast thou?

25 And the sons of Dan said unto him, Let not thy voice be heard with us, lest men bitter of soul fall on thee and thou gather thy soul and the soul of thy house.

26 And the sons of Dan went their way; and Micah saw that they were too strong for him, and he turned and returned unto his house.

27 And they took what Micah had made, and the priest whom he had, and came unto Laish, unto a people quiet and secure; and they smote them with the mouth of the sword, and burnt·​·up the city with fire.

28 And there was no rescuer, because it was far from Zidon, and they had no word with any man; and it was in the valley which is by Beth-rehob; and they built the city and dwelt there.

29 And they called the name of the city, Dan, by the name of Dan, their father, who was·​·born to Israel; nevertheless the name of the city was Laish at the first.

30 And the sons of Dan raised·​·up for themselves the graven image; and Jehonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danite until the day of the exile of the land.

31 And they set up for themselves the graven image of Micah, which he made, all the days that the house of God was in Shiloh.

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Thanks to the Kempton Project for the permission to use this New Church translation of the Word.