1 In those days there is no king in Israel, and in those days the tribe of the Danite is seeking for itself an inheritance to inhabit, for that hath not fallen to it unto that day in the midst of the tribes of Israel by inheritance. 2And the sons of Dan send, out of their family, five men of them, men, sons of valour, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to traverse the land, and to search it, and they say unto them, ‘Go, search the land;’ and they come into the hill-country of Ephraim, unto the house of Micah, and lodge there. 3They are with the household of Micah, and they have discerned the voice of the young man, the Levite, and turn aside there, and say to him, ‘Who hath brought thee hither? and what art thou doing in this place? and what to thee here?’ 4And he saith unto them, ‘Thus and thus hath Micah done to me; and he hireth me, and I am to him for a priest.’ 5And they say to him, ‘Ask, we pray thee, at God, and we know whether our way is prosperous on which we are going.’ 6And the priest saith to them, ‘Go in peace; over-against Jehovah is your way in which ye go.’
7 And the five men go, and come in to Laish, and see the people which is in its midst, dwelling confidently, according to the custom of Zidonians, quiet and confident; and there is none putting to shame in the land in any thing, possessing restraint, and they are far off from the Zidonians, and have no word with any man. 8And they come in unto their brethren, at Zorah and Eshtaol, and their brethren say to them, ‘What—ye?’ 9And they say, ‘Rise, and we go up against them, for we have seen the land, and lo, very good; and ye are keeping silent! be not slothful to go—to enter to possess the land. 10When ye go, ye come in unto a people confident, and the land is large on both hands, for God hath given it into your hand, a place where there is no lack of anything which is in the land.’ 11And there journey thence, of the family of the Danite, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, six hundred men girded with weapons of war. 12And they go up and encamp in Kirjath-Jearim, in Judah, therefore they have called that place, ‘Camp of Dan,’ till this day; lo, behind Kirjath-Jearim. 13And they pass over thence to the hill-country of Ephraim, and come in unto the house of Micah.
14 And the five men, those going to traverse the land of Laish, answer and say unto their brethren, ‘Have ye known that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and graven image, and molten image? and now, know what ye do.’ 15And they turn aside thither, and come in unto the house of the young man the Levite, the house of Micah, and ask of him of welfare,— 16(and the six hundred men girded with their weapons of war, who are of the sons of Dan, are standing at the opening of the gate),— 17yea, the five men, those going to traverse the land, go up—they have come in thither—they have taken the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image—and the priest is standing at the opening of the gate, and the six hundred men who are girded with weapons of war— 18yea, these have entered the house of Micah, and take the graven image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image; and the priest saith unto them, ‘What are ye doing?’ 19and they say to him, ‘Keep silent, lay thy hand on thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us for a father and for a priest: is it better thy being a priest to the house of one man, or thy being priest to a tribe and to a family in Israel?’ 20And the heart of the priest is glad, and he taketh the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and goeth into the midst of the people, 21and they turn and go, and put the infants, and the cattle, and the baggage, before them. 22They have been far off from the house of Micah—and the men who are in the houses which are near the house of Micah have been called together, and overtake the sons of Dan, 23and call unto the sons of Dan, and they turn round their faces, and say to Micah, ‘What—to thee that thou hast been called together?’ 24And he saith, ‘My gods which I made ye have taken, and the priest, and ye go; and what to me more? and what is this ye say unto me, What—to thee!’ 25And the sons of Dan say unto him, ‘Let not thy voice be heard with us, lest men bitter in soul fall upon you, and thou hast gathered thy life, and the life of thy household;’ 26and the sons of Dan go on their way, and Micah seeth that they are stronger than he, and turneth, and goeth back unto his house.
27 And they have taken that which Micah had made, and the priest whom he had, and come in against Laish, against a people quiet and confident, and smite them by the mouth of the sword, and the city have burnt with fire, 28and there is no deliverer, for it is far off from Zidon, and they have no word with any man, and it is in the valley which is by Beth-Rehob; and they build the city, and dwell in it, 29and call the name of the city Dan, by the name of Dan their father, who was born to Israel; and yet Laish is the name of the city at the first. 30And the sons of Dan raise up for themselves the graven image, and Jonathan son of Gershom, son of Manasseh, he and his sons have been priests to the tribe of the Danite, till the day of the removal of the people of the land. 31And they appoint for them the graven image of Micah, which he had made, all the days of the house of God being in Shiloh.