The Danites Search for New Territory

Let’s imagine dialogue between Abraham and God. “Abraham, this is God speaking. I want you to leave everything and go to the land I will show you.” “Where’s that?""It’s 1500 miles from here in a place called Canaan.” “Never heard of it.” &q … More


The Danites search for living space (vv. 1-11). Their tribe was pressed for lack of space, They had  been assigned territory that was occupied by the Philistines. Even though they had a military force of 64,000 men (Num. 26:43) they were unable to occupy the territory allocated to them (Josh. 19:41-46). Their failure to drive out the Ammorites wasn’t due to lack of power but to lack of faith. Remember that Sampson the strongest man came from Dan the weakest tribe.

This chapter begins with the fact there was no king in Israel (v. 1). It was a time of utter confusion. There was no leadership. In desperation, the Danites decided to seek a more secure location. The sending of five men to spy out the land was a common Israelite tactic (v. 2). The northward journey took them about 100 miles which was beyond the region occupied by the Israelites, into a small fertile valley occupied by the people of Phoenicia (vv. 3-7). The spies found that they had no strong cental government and it was far removed from the Phoenicians of Zidon itself. This made it an ideal place for the Danites to conquer. When the spies returned to their camp in Zorah and Eshtaol they said it would be easy for them to go and conquer this land (vv. 8-10). Therefore, six hundred men were sent out as a war party to take the land (v. 11).


The failure of the tribe of Dan to drive out the Ammorites was not due to lack of power but to lack of faith. This is a warning to me that I should never decide to do something different than what God instructs me to do even though there seems to be easier solutions to the problem.

Judges 18:1-11 (English Standard Version)

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