Judges 18 (New American Standard)

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Danites Seek Territory

1 1In those days there was no king of Israel ; and 2in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking an inheritance for themselves to live in, for until that day aan inheritance had not bbeen allotted to them as a possession among the tribes of Israel. 2 So the sons of Dan sent from their family five men out of their whole number, cvaliant men 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 hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there. 3 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 ?" 4 He said to them, "Thus and so has Micah done to me, and he has hired me and 5I have become his priest." 5 They said to him, "Inquire of God, please, that we may know whether our way on which we are going will be prosperous." 6 The priest said to them, "Go in peace ; your way in which you are going dhas the LORD'S approval." 7 Then the five men departed and came to 6Laish and saw the people who were in it living in security, after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and secure ; for there was no eruler humiliating them for anything in the land, and they were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone. 8 When they came back to their brothers at Zorah and Eshtaol, their brothers said to them, "What do you report?" 9 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 fsit still ? Do not delay to go, to enter, to possess the land. 10 "When you enter, you will come to a secure people with a spacious land ; for God has given it into your hand, 7a place where there is no lack of anything that is on the earth." 11 Then from the family of the Danites, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, six hundred men armed with weapons of war set out. 12 They went up and camped at Kiriath-jearim in Judah. Therefore they called that place g8Mahaneh-dan to this day ; behold, it is hwest of Kiriath-jearim. 13 They passed from there to the hill country of Ephraim and came to the house of Micah.

Danites Take Micah's Idols

14 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 9an ephod and ihousehold idols and a graven image and a molten image ? Now therefore, consider what you should do." 15 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. 16 The six hundred men armed with their weapons of war, who were of the sons of Dan, stood by the entrance of the gate. 17 Now the five men who went to spy out the land went up and entered there, and took 10the graven image and the ephod and jhousehold 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. 18 When these went into Micah's house and took the graven image, the ephod and khousehold idols and the molten image, the priest said to them, "What are you doing ?" 19 They said to him, "Be silent, 11put your hand over 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 one man, or to be priest to a tribe and a family in Israel ?" 20 The priest's heart was glad, and he took the ephod and lhousehold idols and the graven image and went among the people. 21 Then they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the livestock and the valuables in front of them. 22 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. 23 They cried to the sons of Dan, who turned maround and said to Micah, "What is the matter with you, that you have assembled together ?" 24 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?' " 25 The sons of Dan said to him, "Do not let your voice be heard among us, or else nfierce men will fall upon you and you will olose your life, with the lives of your household." 26 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. 27 Then they took what Micah had made and the priest who had belonged to him, and came to 13Laish, to a people quiet and secure, and struck them with the edge of the sword ; and they burned the city with fire. 28 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 14Beth-rehob. And they rebuilt the city and lived in it. 29 15They 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. 30 The sons of Dan set up for themselves 16the graven image ; and Jonathan, the son of 17Gershom, the son of pManasseh, 18he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land. 31 So they set up for themselves Micah's graven image which he had made, all the time that the 19house of God was at Shiloh.
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