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Judges Chapter 18

Dan seeks new territory

18:1 In those days [there was] no king in Israel and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance to stay in; for to that day [all their] inheritance had not fallen to them among the tribes of Israel.

18:2 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 to them, Go, search the land who when they came to mount Ephraim, to the house of Micah, they lodged there.
18:3 When they [were] by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man the Levite and they turned in there, and said to him, Who brought ya’ll here ? and what makes you in this [place]? and what have you here ?
18:4 And he said to them, This and thus dealeth Micah with me, and has hired me, and I am his priest.
18:5 And they said to him, Ask counsel, we pray ya’ll , of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous.
18:6 And the priest said to them, Go in peace before the LORD [is] your way wherein ya’ll go.
18:7 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.
18:8 And they came to their brethren to Zorah and Eshtaol and their brethren said to them, What [say ] ya’ll ?
18:9 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] ya’ll still ? be not idle to go, [and] to enter to possess the land.
18:10 When ya’ll go, ya’ll shall come to a people secure, and to a large land for God has given it into your hands ; a place where [there is] no want of any thing that [is] in the earth.
18:11 And there went from there of the family of the Danites, out of Zorah and out of Eshtaol, six hundred men appointed with weapons of war.
18:12 And they went up, and pitched in Kirjathjearim, in Judah wherefore they called that place Mahanehdan to this day behold, [it is] behind Kirjathjearim.
18:13 And they passed there to mount Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah.

Micah’s images and priests taken away

18:14 Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said to their brethren, Do ya’ll know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what ya’ll have to do.
18:15 And they turned thitherward, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, [even] to the house of Micah, and saluted him.
18:16 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.
18:17 And the five men that 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 in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men [that were] appointed with weapons of war.
18:18 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 to them, What do ya’ll ?
18:19 And they said to him, Hold your peace, lay your hand upon your mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest [is it] better for ya’ll to be a priest to the house of one man, or that you be a priest to a tribe and a family in Israel ?
18:20 And the priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod noun (in ancient Israel) a sleeveless garment worn by Jewish priests — ORIGIN late Middle English: from Hebrew ‘ēp̱ōḏ., and the teraphim, and the graven image, and went in the midst of the people.
18:21 So they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the cattle and the carriage before them.
18:22 [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.
18:23 And they cried to the children of Dan. And they turned their faces, and said to Micah, What ails ya’ll , that you come with such a company ?
18:24 And he said, ya’ll have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and ya’ll are gone away and what have I more ? and what [is] this [that] ya’ll say to me, What ails ya’ll ?
18:25 And the children of Dan said to him, Let not your voice be heard among us, unless angry fellows run upon ya’ll , and you lose your life, with the lives of your household.
18:26 And the children of Dan went their way and when Micah saw that they [were] too strong for him, he turned and went back to his house.

Laish conquered

18:27 And they took [the things] which Micah had made, and the priest which he had, and came to Laish, to a people [that were] at quiet and secure and they struck them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire.
18:28 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 [lies] by Bethrehob. And they built a city, and dwelt therein.
18:29 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 the first.
18:30 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.
18:31 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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