18Now in those days Israel had no king. And the tribe of Dan was trying to find a place where they could settle, for they had not yet moved into the land assigned to them when the land was divided among the tribes of Israel.H3117H4428H3478H3117H7626H1839H1245H5159H3427H3117H5159H5307H8432H7626H3478 2So the men of Dan chose from their clans five capable warriors from the towns of Zorah and Eshtaol to scout out a land for them to settle in. When these warriors arrived in the hill country of Ephraim, they came to Micah's house and spent the night there.H1121H1835H7971H4940H2568H582H7098H1121H2428H6881H847H7270H776H2713H559H3212H2713H776H935H2022H669H1004H4318H3885 3While at Micah's house, they recognized the young Levite's accent, so they went over and asked him, "Who brought you here, and what are you doing in this place? Why are you here?"H1004H4318H5234H6963H5288H3881H5493H559H935H1988H6213 4He told them about his agreement with Micah and that he had been hired as Micah's personal priest.H559H2090H2090H6213H4318H7936H3548 5Then they said, "Ask God whether or not our journey will be successful."H559H7592H430H3045H1870H1980H6743 6"Go in peace," the priest replied. "For the LORD is watching over your journey."H3548H559H3212H7965H5227H3068H1870H3212 7So the five men went on to the town of Laish, where they noticed the people living carefree lives, like the Sidonians; they were peaceful and secure. The people were also wealthy because their land was very fertile. And they lived a great distance from Sidon and had no allies nearby.H2568H582H3212H935H3919H7200H5971H7130H3427H983H4941H6722H8252H982H3423H6114H776H3637H1697H7350H6722H1697H120 8When the men returned to Zorah and Eshtaol, their relatives asked them, "What did you find?"H935H251H6881H847H251H559 9The men replied, "Come on, let's attack them! We have seen the land, and it is very good. What are you waiting for? Don't hesitate to go and take possession of it.H559H6965H5927H7200H776H3966H2896H2814H6101H3212H935H3423H776 10When you get there, you will find the people living carefree lives. God has given us a spacious and fertile land, lacking in nothing!"H935H935H5971H982H7342H776H430H5414H3027H4725H4270H1697H776 11So 600 men from the tribe of Dan, armed with weapons of war, set out from Zorah and Eshtaol.H5265H4940H1839H6881H847H8337H3967H376H2296H3627H4421 12They camped at a place west of Kiriath-jearim in Judah, which is called Mahaneh-dan to this day.H5927H2583H7157H3063H7121H4725H4265H3117H310H7157 13Then they went on from there into the hill country of Ephraim and came to the house of Micah.H5674H2022H669H935H1004H4318 14The five men who had scouted out the land around Laish explained to the others, "These buildings contain a sacred ephod, as well as some household idols, a carved image, and a cast idol. What do you think you should do?"H6030H2568H582H1980H7270H776H3919H559H251H3045H3426H1004H646H8655H6459H4541H3045H6213 15Then the five men turned off the road and went over to Micah's house, where the young Levite lived, and greeted him kindly.H5493H935H1004H5288H3881H1004H4318H7592H7965 16As the 600 armed warriors from the tribe of Dan stood at the entrance of the gate,H8337H3967H376H2296H3627H4421H1121H1835H5324H6607H8179 17the five scouts entered the shrine and removed the carved image, the sacred ephod, the household idols, and the cast idol. Meanwhile, the priest was standing at the gate with the 600 armed warriors.H2568H582H1980H7270H776H5927H935H3947H6459H646H8655H4541H3548H5324H6607H8179H8337H3967H376H2296H3627H4421 18When the priest saw the men carrying all the sacred objects out of Micah's shrine, he said, "What are you doing?"H935H4318H1004H3947H6459H646H8655H4541H559H3548H6213 19"Be quiet and come with us," they said. "Be a father and priest to all of us. Isn't it better to be a priest for an entire tribe and clan of Israel than for the household of just one man?"H559H2790H7760H3027H6310H3212H1961H1H3548H2896H3548H1004H259H376H3548H7626H4940H3478 20The young priest was quite happy to go with them, so he took along the sacred ephod, the household idols, and the carved image.H3548H3820H3190H3947H646H8655H6459H935H7130H5971 21They turned and started on their way again, placing their children, livestock, and possessions in front of them.H6437H3212H7760H2945H4735H3520H6440 22When the people from the tribe of Dan were quite a distance from Micah's house, the people who lived near Micah came chasing after them.H7368H1004H4318H582H1004H4318H1004H2199H1692H1121H1835 23They were shouting as they caught up with them. The men of Dan turned around and said to Micah, "What's the matter? Why have you called these men together and chased after us like this?"H7121H1121H1835H5437H6440H559H4318H2199 24"What do you mean, 'What's the matter?'" Micah replied. "You've taken away all the gods I have made, and my priest, and I have nothing left!"H559H3947H430H6213H3548H3212H559 25The men of Dan said, "Watch what you say! There are some short-tempered men around here who might get angry and kill you and your family."H1121H1835H559H6963H8085H4751H5315H582H6293H622H5315H5315H1004 26So the men of Dan continued on their way. When Micah saw that there were too many of them for him to attack, he turned around and went home.H1121H1835H3212H1870H4318H7200H2389H6437H7725H1004 27Then, with Micah's idols and his priest, the men of Dan came to the town of Laish, whose people were peaceful and secure. They attacked with swords and burned the town to the ground.H3947H4318H6213H3548H935H3919H5971H8252H982H5221H6310H2719H8313H5892H784 28There was no one to rescue the people, for they lived a great distance from Sidon and had no allies nearby. This happened in the valley near Beth-rehob. Then the people of the tribe of Dan rebuilt the town and lived there.H5337H7350H6721H1697H120H6010H1050H1129H5892H3427 29They renamed the town Dan after their ancestor, Israel's son, but it had originally been called Laish.H7121H8034H5892H1835H8034H1835H1H3205H3478H199H8034H5892H3919H7223 30Then they set up the carved image, and they appointed Jonathan son of Gershom, son of Moses, as their priest. This family continued as priests for the tribe of Dan until the Exile.H1121H1835H6965H6459H3083H1121H1647H1121H4519H1121H3548H7626H1839H3117H1540H776 31So Micah's carved image was worshiped by the tribe of Dan as long as the Tabernacle of God remained at Shiloh.H7760H4318H6459H6213H3117H1004H430H7887
New Living Translation (NLT). Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. More details.