The Danites Seize Laish

William Borden was a wealthy Christian growing up in Chicago as an heir of the Borden milk fortune. When he was in his first year at Yale University he committed himself to reaching the Muslims of North India. He knew that money didn’t mean security so before he left he gave away … More


Two definite things have been made evident in these chapters: the foolish behavior of Micah and the retreat to the north by the tribe of Dan. The tribe of Dan was notoriously restless. When the territory had been allotted to the various groups upon Israel’s arrival in Canaan, they had been restricted to the hill country due to the hostile pressure of the Amorites. Now we find them on their way to the far north in search of a new homeland (vv. 11-12). Upon arriving at Mt. Ephraim they were surprised to find Jonathan (Moses’ grandson) serving as high priest in the house of Micah (v. 13). They invite him to come with them and be their priest which he gladly does bringing an ephod, household idols, a carved image and a molded image. (vv. 14-20).

When the men of Dan departed they took everything he had including his idols and priest (v. 21). Micah and some of his friends pursued them and asked why they had done this but they said, “Don’t let your voice be heard among us” (vv. 22-25). When Micah saw they were too strong for him, he decided to retreat and go back to his house (v. 26). From here the children of Dan went to Laish, to a people quiet and secure, and they struck them with the edge of the sword and burned their city to the ground (v. 27). They rebuilt the city and lived there calling it Dan after the name of their father (vv. 28-29). Now they set up the idols stolen from Micah and probably assumed they were worshiping God through them (vv. 30-31).


My influence will go onto the next generations as it did with Jonathan. What influence am I having on my children and grandchildren. Do they know I desire God to use them more than anything else? Do they see God answer my prayers?  Matt. 6:33 is a good verse to memorize.

Judges 18:12-31 (English Standard Version)

And went up and encamped at Kiriath-jearim in Judah. On this account that place is called Mahaneh-dan to this day; behold, it is west of Kiriath-jearim. And they passed on from there to the hill country of Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah. Then the five men who had gone to scout out the country of Laish said to their brothers, "Do you know that in these houses there are an ephod, household gods, a carved image, and a metal image? Now therefore consider what you will do." And they turned aside there and came to the house of the young Levite, at the home of Micah, and asked him about his welfare. Now the 600 men of the Danites, armed with their weapons of war, stood by the entrance of the gate. And the five men who had gone to scout out the land went up and entered and took the carved image, the ephod, the household gods, and the metal image, while the priest stood by the entrance of the gate with the 600 men armed with weapons of war. And when these went into Micah's house and took the carved image, the ephod, the household gods, and the metal image, the priest said to them, "What are you doing?" And they said to him, "Keep quiet; put your hand on your mouth and come with us and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and clan in Israel?" And the priest's heart was glad. He took the ephod and the household gods and the carved image and went along with the people. So they turned and departed, putting the little ones and the livestock and the goods in front of them. When they had gone a distance from the home of Micah, the men who were in the houses near Micah's house were called out, and they overtook the people of Dan. And they shouted to the people of Dan, who turned around and said to Micah, "What is the matter with you, that you come with such a company?" And he said, "You take my gods that I made and the priest, and go away, and what have I left? How then do you ask me, 'What is the matter with you?'" And the people of Dan said to him, "Do not let your voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows fall upon you, and you lose your life with the lives of your household." Then the people of Dan went their way. And when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his home. But the people of Dan took what Micah had made, and the priest who belonged to him, and they came to Laish, to a people quiet and unsuspecting, and struck 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 dealings with anyone. It was in the valley that belongs to Beth-rehob. Then they rebuilt the city and lived in it. And they named the city Dan, after the name of Dan their ancestor, who was born to Israel; but the name of the city was Laish at the first. And the people of Dan set up the carved image for themselves, and Jonathan the son of Gershom, son of Moses, and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land. So they set up Micah's carved image that he made, as long as the house of God was at Shiloh.

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