Judges 18

1 The Danites send five men to seek out an inheritance.

3 At the house of Micah they consult with Jonathan, and are encouraged on their way.

7 They search Laish, and bring back news of good hope.

11 Six hundred men are sent to surprise it.

14 In their way they rob Micah of his priest and his consecrated things.

27 They win Laish, and call it Dan.

30 They set up idolatry, wherein Jonathan inherits the priesthood.

no king.The word {mailech,} which generally means a king, is sometimes taken for a supreme ruler, governor, or judge (see Ge 36:31. De 33:5;) and it is probable it should be so understood here, and in the parallel passages.

17:6; 19:1; 21:25

the tribe.

Jos 19:40-48

for unto.


men. Heb. sons. Zorah.

8,11; 13:2,25; 16:31; Ge 42:9; Jos 19:41

to spy.

Nu 13:17; Jos 2:1; Pr 20:18; Lu 14:31


17:1; 19:1,18; Jos 17:15-18

they knew.They knew by his dialect or mode of pronunciation, that he was not an Ephraimite: see the parallel texts.

12:6; Ge 27:22; Mt 26:73

and what hast.

Isa 22:16

hired me.

17:10; Pr 28:21; Isa 56:11; Eze 13:19; Ho 4:8,9; Mal 1:10

Joh 10:12,13; Ac 8:18-21; 20:33; 1Ti 3:3; Tit 1:11; 2Pe 2:3,14,15

Ask counsel.

1Ki 22:5; 2Ki 16:15; Isa 30:1; Eze 21:21; Ho 4:12; Ac 8:10

of God.

14; 17:5,13

Go in peace.

1Ki 22:6,12,15; Jer 23:21,22,32


De 11:12; Ps 33:18; 1Th 3:11

the Lord.As the Levite uses the word Jehovah, and as the Danites succeeded according to the oracle delivered by him, some learned men are of opinion, that the worship established by Micah was not of an idolatrous kind.


Jos 19:47

called Leshem. how they.

27,28; Re 18:7

magistrate. Heb. possessor, or, heir of restraint.

1Sa 3:13; 1Ki 1:6; Ro 13:3; 1Pe 2:14

and had no.In the most correct copies of the LXX. this clause stands thus; [kai logos ouk en autois meta Syrias;] "and they had no transactions with Syria;" evidently reading instead of ['âdâm ] {adam,} man, ['Arâm ] {aram,} Syria; words so nearly similar that the only difference between them is in the [Rêysh,] {raish,} and [Dâleth,] daleth, which in both MSS. and printed books is sometimes indiscernible. Laish was situated on the frontiers of Syria.

Zorah and Eshtaol.

2,11; 13:2; 16:31


Nu 13:30; 14:7-9; Jos 2:23,24

are ye still.

1Ki 22:23

be not.

Jos 18:3; 1Sa 4:9; 2Sa 10:12; Joh 6:27; Heb 6:11,12; 2Pe 1:10,11



God hath.

De 2:29; 4:1; Jos 6:16

where there.

Ex 3:8; De 8:7-9; 11:11,12; Eze 20:6; 1Ti 6:17

appointed. Heb. girded.


Kirjath-jearim.A city of Judah, on the confines of Benjamin; distant nine miles from Ælia or Jerusalem, in going towards Diospolis or Lydda, according to Eusebius.

Jos 15:60; 1Sa 7:1; 1Ch 13:5,6; 2Ch 1:4


13:25; *marg:

mount Ephraim.

2,3; 17:1; 19:1; Jos 24:30,33


1Sa 14:28

in these.

3,4; 17:5

now therefore.

Pr 19:27; Isa 8:19,20

saluted him. Heb. asked him of peace.

Ge 37:14; 43:27; 1Sa 17:22; *marg:

2Ki 4:26; Mt 10:12,13; Lu 10:4-6; Joh 14:27

six hundred.


five men.


the graven.

6:31; 17:4,5; Ex 32:20; 1Sa 4:11; 6:2-9; 2Ki 19:18,19; Isa 46:1,2,7


lay thine.This was the token of silence. These men were evidently very ignorant; and absurdly concluded that they should, by taking Micah's gods, secure the presence and favour of the God of Israel, in their expedition and settlement. They perhaps supposed the piety of their motives, and the goodness of their end, would justify the means. But it was a base robbery of Micah, aggravated by the Levite's ingratitude, and their menaces.

Job 21:5; 29:9; 40:4,5; Pr 30:32; Mic 7:16

a father.

17:10; 2Ki 6:21; 8:8,9; 13:14; Mt 23:9


17:10; Pr 30:15; Isa 56:11; Eze 13:19; Ho 4:3; Ac 20:33; Php 3:19

2Pe 2:3,15,16

went.He was glad of his preferment among the Danites; and went into the crowd, that he might not be discovered by Micah or his family.

and put.These men were so confident of success, that they removed their whole families, household goods, cattle, and all.

the carriage.{Kevoodah,} from {kavad,} to be heavy, denotes the luggage or baggage.



What aileth.

Ge 21:17; 1Sa 11:5; 2Sa 14:5; 2Ki 6:28; Ps 114:5; Isa 22:1

comest. Heb. art gathered together.

what have.

17:13; Ps 115:8; Isa 44:18-20; Jer 50:38; 51:17; Eze 23:5

Hab 2:18,19; Ac 19:26; Re 17:2

angry. Heb. bitter of soul.

1Sa 30:6; 2Sa 17:8; Job 3:5; 27:2; *marg:




they smote.

De 33:22; Jos 19:47


Jos 11:11

And there.

2Sa 14:6; *marg:

Ps 7:2; 50:22; Da 3:15-17

far from.Probably the people of Laish were originally a colony of the Zidonians; who being an opulent people, and in possession of a strong city, lived in a state of security, not being afraid of their neighbours. In this the Leshemites imitated them, though they appear not to have had the same reason for their confidence; and though they might naturally expect help from their countrymen, yet as they lived at a considerable distance from Sidon, the Danites saw they could strike the blow before the news of the invasion could reach that city.

1,7; Jos 11:8; Isa 23:4,12


Nu 13:21


2Sa 10:6


20:1; Ge 14:14; Jos 19:47; 2Sa 17:11; 1Ki 12:29,30; 15:20

who was.

Ge 30:6; 32:28Laish, or Dan, was situated at the northern extremity of the land of Canaan, in a beautiful and fertile plain, at the foot of mount Lebanon, on the springs of Jordan, and, according to Eusebius, four miles from Cæsarea Philippi, or Paneas, now Banias, (with which some have confounded it,) towards Tyre. Burckhardt says, that the source of the river El Dhan, or Jordan, is at an hour's distance from Banias, which agrees with Eusebius.

set up.

Ex 20:4; Le 26:1; De 17:2-7; 27:15; 31:16,29; Jos 19:40-48

Ps 78:58-61God had graciously performed his promise, in putting these Danites in possession of that which fell to their lot, obliging them thereby to be faithful to him who had been so to them; they inherited the labour of the people, that they might observe his statues. Ps 105:44, 45. But the first thing they do after they are settled is to break his laws, by setting up the graven image, attributing their success to that idol, which, if God had not been infinitely patient, would have been their ruin. Thus a prosperous idolater goes on to offend, imputing this his power unto his God. Instead of Manasseh, some would read Moses; as it is found in some MSS., in the Vulgate and in the concessions of the most intelligent Jews. But Bp. Patrick takes this to be an idle conceit of the Rabbins, and supposes this Jonathan to be of some other family of the Levites. Yet Kimchi acknowledges, that the Jews, deeply concerned for the honour of their lawgiver, to whom they thought it would be a great dishonour to have a grandson who was an idolater, suspended the letter, [Nûwn,] {noon,} over the word [Môsheh "] Moses, thus [Menashsheh ,] as it is found in the Hebrew Bibles; which, by means of the points, they have changed into Manasseh.


13:1; 1Sa 4:2,3,10,11; Ps 78:60-62

the land.Houbigant contends, that, instead of {haäretz,} "the land," we should read {haäron,} "the ark;" for the [Vâv,] {wav,} and [Nûwn, {noon final,} might easily be mistaken for [Tsâdêy,] {tzadday final;} which is the only difference between the two words. This conjecture is the more likely, as the next verse tells us, that Micah's graven image continued at Dan "all the time that the house of God was at Shiloh;" which was till the ark was taken by the Philistines.

all the time.

19:18; 21:21; Jos 18:1; 1Sa 1:3; 4:4; Jer 7:12
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