Judges - Chapter 18
1 In those days there was no king in Israel. Now in those days the tribe of Dan was in search of a territory to live in, for until then no territory had fallen to them among the tribes of Israel.
2 From their clan the Danites sent five brave men from Zorah and Eshtaol to reconnoitre the country and explore it. They said to them, 'Go and explore the country.' The five men came to the highlands of Ephraim, as far as Micah's house, and spent the night there.
5 They replied, 'Then consult God, so that we may know whether the journey we are on will lead to success.'
7 The five men then left and, arriving at Laish, saw that the people living there had an untroubled existence, according to the customs of the Sidonians, peaceful and trusting, that there was no lack or shortage of any sort in the territory, that they were a long way away from the Sidonians and that they had no contact with the Aramaeans.
9 they said, 'Up! we must go against them, since we have looked at the country and it is excellent, though you take no action! Waste no time in setting out and taking possession of the country.
14 The five men who had been to reconnoitre the country then spoke to their brothers. 'Do you know', they said, 'that in these houses there is an ephod, some domestic images, a carved statue and an idol cast in metal? So now work out what you have got to do!
17 the five who had been to reconnoitre the country went on into the house and took the carved statue, the ephod, the domestic images and the idol cast in metal; meanwhile the priest remained at the threshold of the gate with the six hundred men equipped for war.
19 'Be quiet,' they replied. 'Put your hand over your mouth and come with us, and become our father and priest. Are you better off as domestic priest to one man, or as priest to a tribe and clan in Israel?'
20 The priest was delighted; he took the ephod, the domestic images and the carved statue, and went off among the people.
23 As they shouted after the Danites, the latter, turning about, said to Micah, 'What is the matter with you, that you are shouting like this?'
24 He replied, 'You have taken away my god, which I have had made, and the priest as well. You are going away, and what have I got left? And now you ask me, "What is the matter?" '
25 The Danites said, 'Let us hear no more from you, or quick-tempered men may set about you, and this might cost you your life and the lives of your family!'
28 There was no one to come to the rescue, since it was a long way from Sidon and had no contact with the Aramaeans. It lay in the valley running towards Beth-Rehob. They rebuilt the town and settled in it
29 and called it Dan, from the name of Dan their ancestor who had been born to Israel; originally, however, the town had been called Laish.
30 The Danites erected the carved statue for themselves. Jonathan son of Gershom, son of Moses, and his sons after him were priests for the tribe of Dan till the day when the inhabitants of the country were carried away into exile.
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 15
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