1 In those days there was no king in Yisra'el: and in those days the tribe of the Dani sought them an inheritance to dwell in; for to that day [their] inheritance had not fallen to them among the tribes of Yisra'el.
2 The children of Dan sent of their family five men from their whole number, men of valor, from Tzor`ah, and from Eshta'ol, to spy out the land, and to search it; and they said to them, Go, search the land. They came to the hill-country of Efrayim, to the house of Mikhah, and lodged there.
3 When they were by the house of Mikhah, they knew the voice of the young man the Levite; and they turned aside there, and said to him, Who brought you here? and what do you in this place? and what have you here?
4 He said to them, Thus and thus has Mikhah dealt with me, and he has hired me, and I am become his Kohen.
5 They said to him, Ask counsel, we pray you, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous.
6 The Kohen said to them, Go in shalom: before the LORD is your way wherein you go.
7 Then the five men departed, and came to Layish, and saw the people who were therein, how they lived in security, after the manner of the Tzidonim, 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 Tzidonim, and had no dealings with any man.
8 They came to their brothers to Tzor`ah and Eshta'ol: and their brothers said to them, What [say] you?
9 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 still? don't be slothful to go and to enter in to possess the land.
10 When you go, you shall come to a people secure, and the land is large; for God has given it into your hand, a place where there is no want of anything that is in the eretz.
11 There set forth from there of the family of the Dani, out of Tzor`ah and out of Eshta'ol, six hundred men girt with weapons of war.
12 They went up, and encamped in Kiryat-Ye`arim, in Yehudah: therefore they called that place Machane-Dan, to this day; behold, it is behind Kiryat-Ye`arim.
13 They passed there to the hill-country of Efrayim, and came to the house of Mikhah.
14 Then the five men who went to spy out the country of Layish answered, and said to their brothers, Do you know that there is in these houses an efod, and terafim, and an engraved image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what you have to do.
15 They turned aside there, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, even to the house of Mikhah, and asked him of his welfare.
16 The six hundred men girt with their weapons of war, who were of the children of Dan, stood by the entrance of the gate.
17 The five men who went to spy out the land went up, and came in there, and took the engraved image, and the efod, and the terafim, and the molten image: and the Kohen stood by the entrance of the gate with the six hundred men girt with weapons of war.
18 When these went into Mikhah's house, and fetched the engraved image, the efod, and the terafim, and the molten image, the Kohen said to them, What do you?
19 They said to him, Hold your shalom, lay your hand on your mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a Kohen: is it better for you to be Kohen to the house of one man, or to be Kohen to a tribe and a family in Yisra'el?
20 The Kohen's heart was glad, and he took the efod, and the terafim, and the engraved image, and went in the midst of the people.
21 So they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the cattle and the goods before them.
22 When they were a good way from the house of Mikhah, the men who were in the houses near to Mikhah's house were gathered together, and overtook the children of Dan.
23 They cried to the children of Dan. They turned their faces, and said to Mikhah, What ails you, that you come with such a company?
24 He said, you have taken away my gods which I made, and the Kohen, and are gone away, and what have I more? and how then say you to me, What ails you?
25 The children of Dan said to him, "Don't let your voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows fall on you, and you lose your life, with the lives of your household."
26 The children of Dan went their way: and when Mikhah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his house.
27 They took that which Mikhah had made, and the Kohen whom he had, and came to Layish, to a people quiet and secure, and struck them with the edge of the sword; and they burnt the city with fire.
28 There was no deliverer, because it was far from Tzidon, and they had no dealings with any man; and it was in the valley that lies by Beit-Rechov. They built the city, and lived therein.
29 They called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born to Yisra'el: however the name of the city was Layish at the first.
30 The children of Dan set up for themselves the engraved image: and Yonatan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moshe, he and his sons were Kohanim to the tribe of the Dani until the day of the captivity of the land.
31 So they set them up Mikhah's engraved image which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.