1 In those days no king [was] in Israel. And in those days the tribe of the Danites looked for an inheritance for them to live in. For to that day it had not fallen to them by inheritance among the tribes of Israel.
2 And the sons of Dan sent from their family five men from their borders, men of war, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to search it. And they said to them, Go, search the land. And when they came to Mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, they stayed there.
3 When they [were] at 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 you here? And what are you doing in this [place]? And what have you here?
4 And he said to them, This is how Micah deals with me, and has hired me, and I am his priest.
5 And they said to him, We pray you, Ask counsel of God so that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous.
6 And the priest said to them, Go in peace. Your way in which you go [is] before the LORD.
7 And the five men departed and came to Laish, and saw the people in it, how they lived carelessly, as the Sidonians do, quiet and secure. And there [was] no judge in the land who might put them to shame in a thing. And they were far from the Sidonians, and had no business with [any] man.
8 And they came to their brothers, to Zorah and Eshtaol. And their brothers said to them, What do you [say] ?
9 And they said, Arise, so that we may go up against them. For we have seen the land, and, behold, [it is] very good. And will you sit quietly? Do not be too lazy to go; enter to possess the land.
10 When you go, you shall come to a people feeling safe, and to a large land. For God has given it into your hands, a place where [there is] no lack of anything in the earth.
11 And six hundred men of the family of the Danites moved from there, out of Zorah and out of Eshtaol, girded with weapons of war.
12 And they went up and pitched in Kirjath-jearim, in Judah. Therefore, they called that place A Camp of Dan to this day. Behold, [it is] behind Kirjath-jearim.
13 And they passed from there to Mount Ephraim and came to the house of Micah.
14 Then the five men who went to spy out the country of Laish answered and said to their brothers, Did you know that there is in these houses an ephod, and household gods, and an engraved image and a molten image? And now consider what you have to do.
15 And they turned in that way, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, to the house of Micah, and greeted him.
16 And the six hundred men of the sons of Dan, girded with their weapons of war, stood by the entrance of the gate.
17 And the five men who went up to spy out the land came in there, and took the engraved image and the ephod and the household gods, and the molten image. And the priest stood the entrance of the gate with the six hundred men who [were dressed with weapons of war.
18 And these went into Micah's house and brought out [the] carved image, the ephod, and the household gods, and the molten image. And the priest said to them, What are you doing?
19 And they said to him, Be quiet, lay your hand on your mouth and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest. [Is it] better for you to be a priest to the house of one man, or that you be a priest to a tribe and a family in Israel?
20 And the priest's heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the household gods, and the carved image, and went in the midst of the people.
21 And they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the cattle and the valuables before them.
22 They had gone far away from the house of Micah, and the men in the houses near Micah's house had been called together and had overtaken the sons of Dan.
23 And [they] cried to the sons of Dan. And they turned their faces and said to Micah, What [ails] you, that you have been called together?
24 And he said, You have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and you have gone away. And what more do I have? And what [is] this you say to me, What [ails] you?
25 And the sons of Dan said to him, Do not let your voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows run upon you and you lose your life with the lives of your household.
26 And the sons of Dan went their way. And when Micah saw that they [were] too strong for him, he turned and went back to his house.
27 And they took [the things] which Micah had made, and the priest whom he had, and came to Laish, to a people quiet and feeling safe. And [they] struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire.
28 And [there was] no deliverer, because it [was] far from Sidon, and they had no business with [any] man. And it [was] in the valley that lies by Beth-rehob. And they built a city and lived in it.
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.
30 And the sons of Dan set up the engraved 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 up Micah's engraved image for themselves, the image which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.