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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 Kirjathjearim, in Judah: wherefore they called that place Mahanehdan unto this day: behold, it is behind Kirjathjearim.

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 Bethrehob. 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.

Commentary for Judges 18

The Danites seek to enlarge their inheritance, and rob Micah.

- The Danites determined to take Micah's gods with them. Oh the folly of these Danites! How could they imagine those gods should protect them, that could not keep themselves from being stolen! To take them for their own use, was a double crime; it showed they neither feared God, nor regarded man, but were lost both to godliness and honesty. What a folly was it for Micah to call those his gods, which he had made, when He only is to be worshipped by us as God, that made us! That is put in God's place, which we are concerned about, as if our all were bound up in it. If people will walk in the name of their false gods, much more should we love and serve the true God!

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Judges 18

  • Glenn
    The events of Israel and of the world as a whole were known of God when He prepared for us atonement and a way of escape through Jesus; Yeshua, the Messiah, the saviour, the one true King. God's love is so great the he prepares so well in advance that we cannot begin to fathom the greatness of that love. Romans 8:29
  • Yvonne Raetz for verse 31
    My first reaction is to throw up my hands and say, "How could you insult our precious one true living God in this way? " So quickly they forget God 's Commandments.
  • Insight 777 for verse 18
    I think the ephod is a laptop computer carried in a linen pocket and the teraphim is the internet. The stones of the ephod are the lighted keyboard. It is hinged, it is girdled when it sits in a mans lap and it is a breastplate because it sits in front of the mans chest when open. The threads of color and gold is the technology that creates the hard drive. GOD KNOWS THE ENDING FROM THE BEGINNING. Angels have superior technology than ancient man. Do you think that angels have technology inferior to what you are using right now? Artists have incorrectly portrayed angels as men with white bird like wings and an ephod as a type of apron that priests wear. These are in error. These false images mislead people even today. Angels do not have bird wings and an ephod is a laptop computer. The HISTORY OF ISRAEL HAS HAS BEEN CREATED TO SHOW MAN WHAT HAPPENS IN THE END OF DAYS. God wants mankind to realize the Bible is truth and more truth is revealed towards the end of days because men in the past could not understand the technology of today.
  • Mary M
    Anything humans put before God is considered an idol not just hand made golden images such as Micah's. Some people idolize, their jobs, cars, homes, and even other people. God commands us to not put anything before Him or worship anything other than Him.
  • Evans Achieng
    The tribe of Dan started going astray this early.its for this reason that they lost in the the 144 000 lot.

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Bible Trivia

What did the Levite who lived with Micah say to the five men from the tribe of Dan who asked about a word from the Lord?
  • The Lord has not sent you to this place, return to the land you have come from
  • You will take the land of Ephraim to be your inheritance
  • As you have taken from your own brethren, so it will be taken from you
  • Go in peace; for your way is before Jehovah