In those days there was no king in Israel
No supreme magistrate, no judge, for it was before the time of the judges, after the death of Joshua and before Othniel the first judge; this is observed before, ( Judges 17:6 ) and here repeated to account for the evil things done by the Danites, their consulting Micah's oracle, taking away his priest and his gods, and setting up his graven image in Dan, by which means idolatry was spread in Israel, and brought on their servitude to Chushanrishathaim, from which Othniel the first judge was their deliverer:
and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance
to dwell in;
that is, a family of them, as in the next verse, not the whole tribe; for as a family is sometimes put for a tribe, ( Joshua 7:17 ) so a tribe for a family, ( Judges 20:12 )
for unto that day [all their] inheritance had not fallen to them among
the tribes of Israel:
we rightly supply the words "all their"; for otherwise an inheritance had fallen to them by lot, as the other tribes. ( Joshua 19:40 ) , but that was not only too little for them, ( Joshua 19:47 ) but all that was allotted to them did not come into their possession, but a part remained unsubdued; and some they had possession of they could not keep, either through the superior strength of the Amorites, or their own sloth and cowardice, or for want of the help of their brethren; see ( Judges 1:34 Judges 1:35 ) .