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The Blue Letter Bible

Judges 18 :: New Living Translation (NLT)

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Idolatry in the Tribe of Dan
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:1 - Now 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:2 - So 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:3 - While 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?”
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:4 - He told them about his agreement with Micah and that he had been hired as Micah’s personal priest.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:5 - Then they said, “Ask God whether or not our journey will be successful.”
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:6 - “Go in peace,” the priest replied. “For the LORD is watching over your journey.”
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:7 - So 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.[fn] The people were also wealthy because their land was very fertile. And they lived a great distance from Sidon and had no allies nearby.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:8 - When the men returned to Zorah and Eshtaol, their relatives asked them, “What did you find?”
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:9 - The 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:10 - When you get there, you will find the people living carefree lives. God has given us a spacious and fertile land, lacking in nothing!”
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:11 - So 600 men from the tribe of Dan, armed with weapons of war, set out from Zorah and Eshtaol.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:12 - They camped at a place west of Kiriath-jearim in Judah, which is called Mahaneh-dan[fn] to this day.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:13 - Then they went on from there into the hill country of Ephraim and came to the house of Micah.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:14 - The 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?”
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:15 - Then the five men turned off the road and went over to Micah’s house, where the young Levite lived, and greeted him kindly.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:16 - As the 600 armed warriors from the tribe of Dan stood at the entrance of the gate,
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:17 - the 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:18 - When the priest saw the men carrying all the sacred objects out of Micah’s shrine, he said, “What are you doing?”
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:19 - “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?”
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:20 - The young priest was quite happy to go with them, so he took along the sacred ephod, the household idols, and the carved image.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:21 - They turned and started on their way again, placing their children, livestock, and possessions in front of them.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:22 - When 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:23 - They 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?”
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:24 - “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!”
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:25 - The 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.”
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:26 - So 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:27 - Then, 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:28 - There 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:29 - They renamed the town Dan after their ancestor, Israel’s son, but it had originally been called Laish.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:30 - Then they set up the carved image, and they appointed Jonathan son of Gershom, son of Moses,[fn] as their priest. This family continued as priests for the tribe of Dan until the Exile.
Unchecked Copy BoxJdg 18:31 - So Micah’s carved image was worshiped by the tribe of Dan as long as the Tabernacle of God remained at Shiloh.
NLT Footnotes
The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
Mahaneh-dan means “the camp of Dan.”
As in an ancient Hebrew tradition, some Greek manuscripts, and Latin Vulgate; Masoretic Text reads son of Manasseh.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Full copyright information is provided here. Visit the New Living Translation website.

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