1 In those days there was no king in Israel. And in those days the tribe of Dan sought them an inheritance to dwell in, for unto that time there fell none inheritance unto them among the tribes of Israel. 2 And the children of Dan sent of their kindreds five men of activity, out of their coasts, even out of Zorah and Eshtaol, to view the land and search it out, and said unto them, "Go and search out the land." And they came to mount Ephraim, even to the house of Micah and lodged there. 3 And when they were come unto the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man the Levite, and 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 to be his priest."
5 And they said unto him, "Ask of God, I pray thee, that we may know whether the way which we go, shall be prosperous or no."
6 And the priest said unto them, "Go in peace, for the way which ye go is before the LORD."
7 Then the five men departed and came to Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt careless, and after the manner of the Sidonians: still, and without casting of perils, and that no man made any trouble in the land or usurped any dominion, and how they were far from the Sidonians and had no business with any nation.
8 And they came unto their brethren, to Zorah, and Eshtaol. And their brethren said unto them, "What tidings bring you?"
9 And they said, "Up, and let us go unto them, for we have seen the land, that it is very good. Haste therefore and be not slothful to depart and go and conquer the land. 10 When ye be come, ye shall come unto a people that casteth no perils, and unto a large country: for God hath given into your hands a place wherein is no lack of anything that is in the world." 11 And there departed thence of the kindred of the Danites, out of Zorah and Eshtaol, six hundred men appointed with instruments of war. 12 And they went and pitched in Kiriathjearim in Judah. Wherefore the place is called Mahanahdan unto this day, which is on the back side of Kiriathjearim. 13 And they went thence unto mount Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah.
14 Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, "Know ye not that there is in these houses an ephod and images; and a graven image and an image of metal? Now therefore consider what ye have to do." 15 And they turned thitherward and came to the house of the young man the Levite in the house of Micah, and saluted him peaceably. 16 And the six hundred men girded with weapons of war, which were of the children of Dan, stood in the entering of the gate. 17 And the five men that went to spy out the land, went in thither and took the carved image and the ephod, the graven image, and the image of metal. And the priest stood in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men that were armed unto battle,
18 while the other went to Micah's house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod, the graven image and the image of metal. Then said the priest unto them, "What do ye?"
19 And they answered him, "Hold thy peace, and put thine hand upon thy mouth, and come with us, and be unto us a father and a priest. Whether is it better for thee to be a priest? Unto the house of one man, or to be priest unto a tribe or a kindred in Israel?" 20 And the priest was glad and took the ephod and the images, and the graven image, and went with the people. 21 And they turned and departed, and put the children, the cattle and their costly things before them.
22 When they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men that were in the houses that were by Micah's house, made an outcry, and followed after the children of Dan and called unto them. 23 And they turned their faces, and said unto Micah, "What aileth thee, that thou makest an outcry?"
24 And he said, "Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and also the priest, and go your ways with them! And what have I more? How then say ye 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 all thine household too." 26 And so the children of Dan went their ways. And when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back unto his house again.
27 And they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest which he had, and went unto Laish, even unto a people that were at rest and without mistrust, and smote them with the edge of the sword and burnt the city with fire. 28 And there was no man to help, because it was far from Sidon, and they had no meddling with any other nation. And the city stood in the valley that lieth by Bethrehob. And they built the city and dwelt therein. 29 And called it Dan, after the name of Dan their father which was born unto Israel. Howbeit in very deed the name of the city was Laish at the beginning.
30 And the children of Dan set them up the graven image. And Jonathan the son of Gershon, the son of Manasseh and his sons were the priests unto the tribe of the Danites, until they were carried away out of the land captive. 31 And they set them up the carved image which Micah made, all the while that the house of God was in Shiloh.