Judges 18:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 18:14, NIV: Then the five men who had spied out the land of Laish said to their fellow Danites, 'Do you know that one of these houses has an ephod, some household gods and an image overlaid with silver? Now you know what to do.'

Judges 18:14, ESV: 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.”

Judges 18:14, KJV: Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what ye have to do.

Judges 18:14, NASB: Then the five men who went to spy out the country of Laish said to their kinsmen, 'Do you know that there are in these houses an ephod and household idols, and a carved image and a cast metal image? Now then, consider what you should do.'

Judges 18:14, NLT: The five men who had scouted out the land around Laish explained to the others, 'These buildings contain a sacred ephod, as well as some household idols, a carved image, and a cast idol. What do you think you should do?'

Judges 18:14, CSB: The five men who had gone to scout out the land of Laish told their brothers, "Did you know that there are an ephod, household gods, and a carved image and a silver idol in these houses? Now think about what you should do."

What does Judges 18:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The tribe of Dan—or at least a portion of it—is migrating in a large group from their former homeland (Judges 18:11–13). Their destination is a town called Laish, in the northern part of the Promised Land. The five men who first scouted out the new home have led the people to the home of Micah, where they had stopped previously (Judges 17:1–5, 13; 18:1–5).

What's presented here is an example of a "loaded question." This is when someone asks with the intent of getting a specific response, and not because they really want the information. These people from Dan were convinced to make their journey because Laish is said to be defenseless. They are marching to attack a peaceful people, unprovoked, and take their land. The same men who recommended that plan are asking about the riches kept in Micah's home.

There's no question what the five scouts have in mind. Their "question" is something like saying, "How many of you six hundred armed men know about the rich man's home full of expensive goods over there?" Their obvious intent is for the Danite warriors to begin their conquest early—by robing Micah of his wealth. The tribe is in a warlike mindset; stealing resources when it would benefit the war effort was part of that attitude. This open act of robbery fits this book's repeated reminder that Israel was lawless and out of control during this era in her history (Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25).