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Judges



The book of Judges, chapter 18, New English Translation and King James Version

Chapter 18

New English Translation


   The Tribe of Dan Finds an Inheritance
   1 In those days Israel had no king. And in those days the Danite tribe was looking for a place to settle, because at that time they did not yet have a place to call their own among the tribes of Israel. 2 The Danites sent out from their whole tribe five representatives, capable men from Zorah and Eshtaol, to spy out the land and explore it. They said to them, "Go, explore the land." They came to the Ephraimite hill country and spent the night at Micah's house. 3 As they approached Micah's house, they recognized the accent of the young Levite. So they stopped there and said to him, "Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? What is your business here?" 4 He told them what Micah had done for him, saying, "He hired me and I became his priest." 5 They said to him, "Seek a divine oracle for us, so we can know if we will be successful on our mission." 6 The priest said to them, "Go with confidence. The LORD will be with you on your mission."
   7 So the five men journeyed on and arrived in Laish. They noticed that the people there were living securely, like the Sidonians do, undisturbed and unsuspecting. No conqueror was troubling them in any way. They lived far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone. 8 When the Danites returned to their tribe in Zorah and Eshtaol, their kinsmen asked them, "How did it go?" 9 They said, "Come on, let's attack them, for we saw their land and it is very good. You seem lethargic, but don't hesitate to invade and conquer the land. 10 When you invade, you will encounter unsuspecting people. The land is wide! God is handing it over to you - a place that lacks nothing on earth!"
   11 So six hundred Danites, fully armed, set out from Zorah and Eshtaol. 12 They went up and camped in Kiriath Jearim in Judah. (To this day that place is called Camp of Dan. It is west of Kiriath Jearim.) 13 From there they traveled through the Ephraimite hill country and arrived at Micah's house. 14 The five men who had gone to spy out the land of Laish said to their kinsmen, "Do you realize that inside these houses are an ephod, some personal idols, a carved image, and a metal image? Decide now what you want to do." 15 They stopped there, went inside the young Levite's house (which belonged to Micah), and asked him how he was doing. 16 Meanwhile the six hundred Danites, fully armed, stood at the entrance to the gate. 17 The five men who had gone to spy out the land broke in and stole the carved image, the ephod, the personal idols, and the metal image, while the priest was standing at the entrance to the gate with the six hundred fully armed men. 18 When these men broke into Micah's house and stole the carved image, the ephod, the personal idols, and the metal image, the priest said to them, "What are you doing?" 19 They said to him, "Shut up! Put your hand over your mouth and come with us! You can be our adviser and priest. Wouldn't it be better to be a priest for a whole Israelite tribe than for just one man's family?" 20 The priest was happy. He took the ephod, the personal idols, and the carved image and joined the group.
   21 They turned and went on their way, but they walked behind the children, the cattle, and their possessions. 22 After they had gone a good distance from Micah's house, Micah's neighbors gathered together and caught up with the Danites. 23 When they called out to the Danites, the Danites turned around and said to Micah, "Why have you gathered together?" 24 He said, "You stole my gods that I made, as well as this priest, and then went away. What do I have left? How can you have the audacity to say to me, 'What do you want?'" 25 The Danites said to him, "Don't say another word to us, or some very angry men will attack you, and you and your family will die." 26 The Danites went on their way; when Micah realized they were too strong to resist, he turned around and went home.
   27 Now the Danites took what Micah had made, as well as his priest, and came to Laish, where the people were undisturbed and unsuspecting. They struck them down with the sword and burned the city. 28 No one came to the rescue because the city was far from Sidon and they had no dealings with anyone. The city was in a valley near Beth Rehob. The Danites rebuilt the city and occupied it. 29 They named it Dan after their ancestor, who was one of Israel's sons. But the city's name used to be Laish. 30 The Danites worshiped the carved image. Jonathan, descendant of Gershom, son of Moses, and his descendants served as priests for the tribe of Dan until the time of the exile. 31 They worshiped Micah's carved image the whole time God's authorized shrine was in Shiloh.

King James Version


   1 In those days there was no king in Israel: and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwell in; for unto that day all their inheritance had not fallen unto them among the tribes of Israel.
   2 And the children of Dan sent of their family five men from their coasts, men of valour, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land, and to search it; and they said unto them, Go, search the land: who when they came to mount Ephraim, to the house of Micah, they lodged there.
   3 When they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man the Levite: and they turned in thither, and said unto him, Who brought thee hither? and what makest thou in this place? and what hast thou here?
   4 And he said unto them, Thus and thus dealeth Micah with me, and hath hired me, and I am his priest.
   5 And they said unto 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 unto them, Go in peace: before the LORD is your way wherein ye go.
   7 ¶ Then the five men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt careless, after the manner of the Zidonians, quiet and secure; and there was no magistrate in the land, that might put them to shame in any thing; and they were far from the Zidonians, and had no business with any man.
   8 And they came unto their brethren to Zorah and Eshtaol: and their brethren said unto them, What say ye?
   9 And they said, Arise, that we may go up against them: for we have seen the land, and, behold, it is very good: and are ye still? be not slothful to go, and to enter to possess the land.
   10 When ye go, ye shall come unto a people secure, and to a large land: for God hath given it into your hands; a place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth.
   11 ¶ And there went from thence of the family of the Danites, out of Zorah and out of Eshtaol, six hundred men appointed with weapons of war.
   12 And they went up, and pitched in Kirjath-jearim, in Judah: wherefore they called that place Mahaneh-dan unto this day: behold, it is behind Kirjath-jearim.
   13 And they passed thence unto mount Ephraim, and came unto the house of Micah.
   14 ¶ Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, 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 ye have to do.
   15 And they turned thitherward, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, even unto the house of Micah, and saluted him.
   16 And the six hundred men appointed with their weapons of war, which were of the children of Dan, stood by the entering of the gate.
   17 And the five men that went to spy out the land went up, and came in thither, and took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men that were appointed with weapons of war.
   18 And these went into Micah's house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest unto them, What do ye?
   19 And they said unto him, Hold thy peace, lay thine hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest: is it better for thee to be a priest unto the house of one man, or that thou be a priest unto 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 carriage before them.
   22 ¶ And when they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men that were in the houses near to Micah's house were gathered together, and overtook the children of Dan.
   23 And they cried unto the children of Dan. And they turned their faces, and said unto Micah, What aileth thee, that thou comest with such a company?
   24 And he said, Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and ye are gone away: and what have I more? and what is this that ye say unto me, What aileth thee?
   25 And the children of Dan said unto him, Let not thy voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows run upon thee, and thou lose thy life, with the lives of thy household.
   26 And the children of Dan went their way: and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back unto his house.
   27 And they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest which he had, and came unto Laish, unto a people that were at quiet and secure: and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire.
   28 And there was no deliverer, because it was far from Zidon, and they had no business with any man; and it was in the valley that lieth by Beth-rehob. And they built a city, and dwelt therein.
   29 And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born unto Israel: howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first.
   30 ¶ And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land.
   31 And they set them up Micah's graven image, which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.
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