18 In those days there was no king in Israel,—and in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking for itself an inheritance to dwell in, for there had not fallen to them unto that day in the midst of the tribes of Israel enough for an inheritance.
2 So then the sons of Dan sent out of their family five men out of their bounds—men who were sons of valour—out of Zorah and out of Eshtaol—to spy out the land and to explore it, and they said unto them, Go! explore the land. And they came into the hill country of Ephraim, as far as the house of Micah, and lodged there.
3 They, being by the house of Micah, knew the voice of the young man, the Levite,—so they turned aside there and said to him—Who brought thee in hither? and what art thou doing in this place, and what hast thou here?
4 And he said unto them, Thus and so hath Micah dealt with me, and hath hired me, and I am become his priest.
5 So they said unto him—Ask of God, we pray thee,—that we may know whether the journey on which we are going shall have good success.
6 And the priest said unto them—Go! and prosper,—before Yahweh is your journey on which ye go.
7 So the five men went their way, and entered Laish,—and saw the people who were therein dwelling securely, after the manner of the Zidonians, quietly and securely, and there was no one to reproach them with anything in the land, none to possess himself of dominion, they being far away from the Zidonians, and having no dealings with any one.
8 So they came unto their brethren, in Zorah and Eshtaol,—and their brethren said unto them—Why are ye minded to do nothing?
9 And they said—Arise! and let us go up against them, for we have seen the land, and lo! it is very good,—are ye then minded to do nothing? do not be too slothful to go and enter and take possession of the land.
10 When ye do enter, ye will enter amongst a people secure and the land is of ample bounds,—yea God hath delivered it into your hands,—a place where there is no lack of anything that is in the earth.
11 So there brake up from thence out of the family of the Danites, out of Zorah, and out of Eshtaol six hundred men, begirt with weapons of war.
12 And they went up and encamped in Kiriath-jearim, in Judah,—wherefore they have called that place Mahaneh-dan—unto this day, lo! it is behind Kiriath-jearim.
13 And they passed on from thence unto the hill country of Ephraim,—and came as far as the house of Micah.
14 Then responded the five men who had been to spy out the land of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Know ye that there are in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image,—now, therefore, know what ye will do!
15 So they turned aside thither, and entered into the house of the young man the Levite, the house of Micah,—and asked him of his welfare.
16 Now the six hundred men begirt with weapons of war were standing at the entrance of the gate,—they being of the sons of Dan.
17 Then went up the five men who had been to spy out the land, they came in thither, they took the graven image and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image,—now the priest was standing at the entrance of the gate, with the six hundred men who were begirt with weapons of war.
18 But when these had entered the house of Micah, and taken the graven image and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image, the priest said unto them, What are ye doing?
19 And they said unto him—Hold thy peace, lay thy hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and become to us a father and a priest,—is it better that thou be priest to the house of one man, or that thou be priest to a tribe and to a family in Israel?
20 Then was the heart of the priest glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image,—and came into the midst of the people.
21 So they turned and went their way,—and put the little ones and the cattle and the goods before them.
22 They had gone a good way from the house of Micah, when the men that were in the houses near to the house of Micah were called out and overtook the sons of Dan.
23 And they called unto the sons of Dan, who turned their faces,—and said unto Micah, What aileth thee, that thou hast called out thy neighbours?
24 And he said—My gods which I had made ye have taken away, and the priest, and have departed, and what have I more? How then is it that ye can say unto me, What aileth thee?
25 And the sons of Dan said unto him, Do not let thy voice be heard among us,—lest men embittered in soul fall upon you, and thou gather in thy life and the lives of thy household.
26 And the sons of Dan went on their journey,—and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back unto his house.
27 They, therefore, took what Micah had made, and the priest that he had, and came upon Laish, upon a people quiet and secure, and smote them with the edge of the sword,—the city also burned they with fire.
28 And there was no one to rescue, because it was far from Zidon, and they had no dealings with any one, it being in the vale that pertaineth to Beth-rehob. Then built they the city and dwelt therein,
29 and called the name of the city Dan, by the name of Dan their father, who was born to Israel,—howbeit Laish was the name of the city at the first.
30 And the sons of Dan set up for themselves the graven image,—and Jonathan, son of Gershom, son of Moses, he and his sons became priests to the tribe of the Danites, until the day of the captivity of the land.
31 So they set up for themselves the graven image of Micah which he had made,—[and let it remain] all the days that the house of God was in Shiloh.