1In those days there was no king in Israel; and in those days the tribe of Dan sought for itself an inheritance to inhabit, because no inheritance had fallen to it until that day in the midst of the tribes of the children of Israel.
2And the sons of Dan sent from their families five men of valor, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to search it; and they said to them, Go and search out the land. And they came as far as the mount of Ephraim to the house of Micah and they lodged there,
3in the house of Micah, and they recognized the voice of the young man the Levite, and turned in thither; and said to him, Who brought thee in hither? and what doest thou in this place? and what hast thou here?
4And he said to them, Thus and thus did Micah to me, and he hired me, and I became his priest.
5And they said to him, Inquire now of God, and we shall know whether our way will prosper, on which we are going.
6And the priest said to them, Go in peace; your way in which ye go, is before the Lord.
7And the five men went on, and came to Laish; and they saw the people in the midst of it dwelling securely, at ease as is the manner of the Sidonians, and there is no one perverting or shaming a matter in the land, no heir extorting treasures; and they are far from the Sidonians, and they have no intercourse with anyone.
8And the five men came to their brethren to Zorah and Eshtaol, and said to their brethren, Why sit ye here idle?
9And they said, Arise, and let us go up against them, for we have seen the land, and, behold, it is very good, yet ye are still: delay not to go, and to enter in to possess the land.
10And whensoever ye shall go, ye shall come in upon a people secure, and the land is extensive, for God has given it into your hand; a place where there is no want of anything that the earth affords.
11And there departed thence of the families of Dan, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, six hundred men, girded with weapons of war.
12And they went up, and encamped in Kiriath-jearim in Judah; therefore it was called in that place the camp of Dan, until this day: behold, it is behind Kiriath-jearim.
13And they went on thence to the mount of Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah.
14And the five men who went to spy out the land of Laish answered, and said to their brethren, Ye know that there is in this place an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven and a molten image; and now consider what ye shall do.
15And they turned aside there, and went into the house of the young man, the Levite, even into the house of Micah, and asked him how he was.
16And the six hundred men of the sons of Dan who were girded with their weapons of war stood by the door of the gate.
17And the five men who went to spy out the land went up, and entered into the house of Micah, and the priest stood.
18And they took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image; and the priest said to them, What are ye doing?
19And they said to him, Be silent, lay thy hand upon thy mouth, and come with us, and be to us a father and a priest: is it better for thee to be the priest of the house of one man, or to be the priest of a tribe and house for a family of Israel?
20And the heart of the priest was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and the molten image, and went in the midst of the people.
21So they turned and departed, and put their children and their property and their baggage before them.
22They went some distance from the house of Micah, and, behold, Micah and the men in the houses near Micah’s house, cried out, and overtook the children of Dan.
23And the children of Dan turned their face, and said to Micah, What is the matter with thee that thou hast cried out?
24And Micah said, Because ye have taken my graven image which I made, and my priest, and are gone; and what have I remaining? and what is this that ye say to me, Why criest thou?
25And the children of Dan said to him, Let not thy voice be heard with us, lest angry men run upon thee, and take away thy life, and the lives of thy house.
26And the children of Dan went their way; and Micah saw that they were stronger than himself, and he returned to his house.
27And the children of Dan took what Micah had made, and the priest that he had, and they came to Laish, to a people quiet and secure; and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burned the city with fire.
28And there was no deliverer, because the city is far from the Sidonians, and they have no intercourse with men, and it is in the valley of the house of Rehob; and they built the city, and dwelt in it.
29And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born to Israel; and the name of the city was Laish before.
30And the children of Dan set up the graven image for themselves; and Jonathan son of Gershom son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan till the time of the carrying away of the nation.
31And they set up for themselves the graven image which Micah made, all the days that the house of God was in Shiloh; and it was so in those days that there was no king in Israel.