Chapter 7

  1. And there was a man of Mount Ephraim whose name was Micah. And he said unto his mother, The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you, about which you cursed and spoke of also in my ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it. And his mother said, Blessed be you of the Lord, my son. And when he had restored the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, his mother said, I had wholly dedicated the silver unto the Lord from my hand for my son, to make an engraved image and a molten image. Now therefore I will restore it unto you. Yet he restored the money unto his mother, and his mother took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to the founder, who made thereof an engraved image and a molten image; and they were in the house of Micah. And the man Micah had a house of gods, and made an ephod and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest. In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
  2. And there was a young man out of Bethlehem-Judah of the family of Judah who was a Levite, and he sojourned there. And the man departed out of the city, from Bethlehem-Judah, to sojourn where he could find a place. And he came to Mount Ephraim, to the house of Micah, as he journeyed. And Micah said unto him, Where do you come from? And he said unto him, I am a Levite of Bethlehem-Judah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a place. And Micah said unto him, Dwell with me, and be unto me a father and a priest, and I will give you ten shekels of silver by the year, and a suit of apparel, and your provisions. So the Levite went in. And the Levite was content to dwell with the man, and the young man was unto him as one of his sons. And Micah consecrated the Levite, and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah. Then said Micah, Now I know that the Lord will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest.
  3. In those days there was no king in Israel, and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought themselves an inheritance to dwell in; for unto that day, all their inheritance had not fallen unto them among the tribes of Israel. And the children of Dan sent of their family five men from their borders, men of valor 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. When they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man, the Levite, and they turned in there and said unto him, Who brought you here? And what do you make in this place? And what do you have here? And he said unto them, Thus and thus deals Micah with me, and has hired me, and I am his priest. And they said unto him, Ask counsel, we pray you, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous. And the priest said unto them, Go in peace; before the Lord is your way wherein you go.
  4. Then the five men departed and came to Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelled careless after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and secure, and there was no magistrate in the land that might put them to shame in anything. And they were far from the Sidonians, and had no business with any man. And they came unto their brethren, to Zorah and Eshtaol, and their brethren said unto them, What do you say? 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 you still? Be not slothful to go and to enter, to possess the land. When you go, you shall come unto a people secure and to a large land, for God has given it into your hands, a place where there is no lack of anything that is in the earth.
  5. And there went from there of the family of the Danites, out of Zorah and out of Eshtaol, six hundred men appointed with weapons of war. And they went up and pitched in Kiriath-Jearim, in Judah; wherefore, they called that place Mahaneh-Dan unto this day. Behold, it is behind Kiriath-Jearim. And they passed from there unto Mount Ephraim and came unto the house of Micah. Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Do you know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and an engraved image, and a molten image? Now therefore consider what you have to do. And they turned aside there, and came to the house of the young man, the Levite, even unto the house of Micah, and saluted him. And the six hundred men appointed with their weapons of war, who were of the children of Dan, stood by the entering of the gate. And the five men that went to spy out the land went up, and came in there, and took the engraved 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 — 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 are you doing? And they said unto him, Hold your peace, lay your hand upon your mouth and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be a priest unto the house of one man, or that you be a priest unto a tribe and a family in Israel? And the priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the engraved image, and went in the midst of the people.
  6. So they turned and departed, and put the little ones, and the cattle, and the valuables before them. 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, and they cried unto the children of Dan. And they turned their faces and said unto Micah, What ails you, that you come with such a company? And he said, You have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and you have gone away; and what have I more? And what is this that you say unto me, What ails you? And the children of Dan said unto him, Let not your voice be heard among us, lest angry men run upon you and you lose your life, with the lives of your household. 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.
  7. And they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest whom 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 burned the city with fire. 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 Bethrehob. And they built a city and dwelled therein. And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born unto Israel. Nevertheless, the name of the city was Laish at the first. And the children 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. And they set them up Micah’s engraved image which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.