Judges 18

1 In those days there was no king in Israel. And in those days the tribe of the Danites sought for them an inheritance to dwell in, for to that day [their] inheritance had not fallen to them among the tribes of Israel.

2 And the sons of Dan sent of their family five men from their whole number, men of valor, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land, and to search it. And they said to them, Go, search the land. And they came to the hill-cou

3 When they were by 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 thee here? And what are thou doing in this place? And what have thou here?

4 And he said to them, Thus and thus has Micah dealt with me, and he has hired me, and I have become his priest.

5 And they said to him, Ask counsel, we pray thee, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous.

6 And the priest said to them, Go in peace. Your way is before LORD in which ye go.

7 Then the five men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people that were in it, how they dwelt in security, according to the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and secure, for there was none in the land possessing authority, that mi

8 And they came to their brothers to Zorah and Eshtaol. And their brothers said to them, What [say] ye?

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 ye idle? Be not slothful to go and to enter in to possess the land.

10 When ye go, ye 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 on the earth.

11 And there set forth from there of the family of the Danites, out of Zorah and out of 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 Mahaneh-dan, to this day. Behold, it is behind Kiriath-jearim.

13 And they passed from there to the hill-country of Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah.

14 Then the five men who went to spy out the country of Laish, answered and said to their brothers, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? Now therefore consider what y

15 And they turned aside there, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, even to the house of Micah, and asked him of his welfare.

16 And the six hundred men girded with their weapons of war, who were of the sons of Dan, stood by the entrance of the gate.

17 And the five men who went to spy out the land went up, and came in there, and took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. And the priest stood by the entrance of the gate with the six hundred men g

18 And when these went into Micah's house, and fetched the graven image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image, the priest said to them, What do ye?

19 And they said to him, Hold thy peace, lay thy hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for thee to be priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and a family in Israel?

20 And the priest's heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven 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 Micah, the men who were in the houses near to Micah's house were gathered together, and overtook the sons of Dan.

23 And they cried out to the sons of Dan. And they turned their faces, and said to Micah, What troubles thee that thou come with such a company?

24 And he said, ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and have gone away, and what have I more? And how do ye then say to me, What troubles thee?

25 And the sons of Dan said to him, Let not thy voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows fall upon you, and thou lose thy life, with the lives of thy household.

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

27 And they took that which Micah had made, and the priest whom he had, and came to Laish, to a people quiet and secure, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and they burnt the city with fire.

28 And there was no deliverer because it was far from Sidon, and they had no dealings with any man, and it was in the valley that lays by Beth-rehob. And they built the city, and dwelt in it.

29 And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father who was born to Israel. However the name of the city was Laish at first.

30 And the sons of Dan set up for themselves the graven image. And Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, he 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 them Micah's graven image which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.