11In thosedaysthere was noking of Israel; and 2in thosedays the tribe of the Danites was seeking an inheritance for themselves to live in, for until that dayaan inheritance had not bbeen allotted to them as a possessionamong the tribes of Israel.
So the sons of Dansent from their familyfivemen out of their wholenumber, cvaliantmen from 3Zorah and Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to search it; and they said to them, "Go, search the land." And they came to 4the hillcountry of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodgedthere.
When they were near the house of Micah, they recognized the voice of the youngman, the Levite; and they turnedasidethere and said to him, "Whobrought you here? And what are you doing in this place? And what do you have here?"
He said to them, "Thus and so has Micahdone to me, and he has hired me and 5I havebecome 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 priestsaid to them, "Go in peace; your way in which you are goingdhas the LORD'Sapproval."
Then the fivemendeparted and came to 6Laish and saw the peoplewho were in it living in security, after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and secure; for there was noerulerhumiliating them for anything in the land, and they were far from the Sidonians and hadnodealings with anyone.
When they came back to their brothers at Zorah and Eshtaol, their brotherssaid 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 verygood. And will you fsitstill? Do not delay to go, to enter, to possess the land.
"When you enter, you will come to a securepeople with a spaciousland; for God has given it into your hand, 7a placewherethere is nolack of anything that is on the earth."
Then from the family of the Danites, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, sixhundredmenarmed with weapons of warset out.
They went up and camped at Kiriath-jearim in Judah. Therefore they called that placeg8Mahaneh-dan to thisday; behold, it is hwest of Kiriath-jearim.
They passed from there to the hillcountry of Ephraim and came to the house of Micah.
Then the fivemen who went to spy out the country of Laishsaid to their kinsmen, "Do you know that there are in thesehouses9an ephod and ihouseholdidols and a gravenimage and a moltenimage? Now therefore, considerwhat you should do."
They turnedasidethere and came to the house of the youngman, the Levite, to the house of Micah, and asked him of his welfare.
The sixhundredmenarmed with their weapons of war, who were of the sons of Dan, stood by the entrance of the gate.
Now the fivemen who went to spy out the landwent up and enteredthere, and took10the gravenimage and the ephod and jhouseholdidols and the moltenimage, while the prieststood by the entrance of the gate with the sixhundredmenarmed with weapons of war.
When thesewent into Micah'shouse and took the gravenimage, the ephod and khouseholdidols and the moltenimage, the priestsaid to them, "What are you doing?"
They said to him, "Be silent, 11put your handover your mouth and come with us, and be to us 12a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be a priest to the house of oneman, or to be priest to a tribe and a family in Israel?"
The priest'sheart was glad, and he took the ephod and lhouseholdidols and the gravenimage and wentamong the people.
Then they turned and departed, and put the littleones and the livestock and the valuables in front of them.
When they had gonesomedistance from the house of Micah, the menwho were in the housesnearMicah'shouseassembled and overtook the sons of Dan.
They cried to the sons of Dan, who turnedmaround and said to Micah, "What is the matter with you, that you have assembledtogether?"
He said, "You have taken away my godswhich 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 Dansaid to him, "Do not let your voice be heardamong us, orelsenfiercemen will fall upon you and you will olose your life, with the lives of your household."
So the sons of Danwent on their way; and when Micahsaw that they were toostrong for him, he turned and wentback to his house.
Then they tookwhatMicah had made and the priestwhohadbelonged to him, and came to 13Laish, to a peoplequiet and secure, and struck them with the edge of the sword; and they burned the city with fire.
And there was noone to deliver them, because it was far from Sidon and they hadnodealings with anyone, and it was in the valleywhich is near 14Beth-rehob. And they rebuilt the city and lived in it.
2915They called the name of the cityDan, after the name of Dan their fatherwho was born in Israel; however, the name of the cityformerly was Laish.
The sons of Danset up for themselves 16the gravenimage; and Jonathan, the son of 17Gershom, the son of pManasseh, 18he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danitesuntil the day of the captivity of the land.
So they set up for themselves Micah'sgravenimagewhich he had made, all the time that the 19house of God was at Shiloh.