Judges 18:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 18:2, NIV: So the Danites sent five of their leading men from Zorah and Eshtaol to spy out the land and explore it. These men represented all the Danites. They told them, 'Go, explore the land.' So they entered the hill country of Ephraim and came to the house of Micah, where they spent the night.

Judges 18:2, ESV: So the people of Dan sent five able men from the whole number of their tribe, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to explore it. And they said to them, “Go and explore the land.” And they came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there.

Judges 18:2, KJV: And the children of Dan sent of their family five men from their coasts, men of valor, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land, and to search it; and they said unto them, Go, search the land: who when they came to mount Ephraim, to the house of Micah, they lodged there.

Judges 18:2, NASB: So the sons of Dan sent from their family five men out of their whole number, valiant men from Zorah and Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to explore it; and they said to them, 'Go, explore the land.' And they came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and stayed overnight there.

Judges 18:2, NLT: So the men of Dan chose from their clans five capable warriors from the towns of Zorah and Eshtaol to scout out a land for them to settle in. When these warriors arrived in the hill country of Ephraim, they came to Micah's house and spent the night there.

Judges 18:2, CSB: So the Danites sent out five brave men from all their clans, from Zorah and Eshtaol, to scout out the land and explore it. They told them, "Go and explore the land."They came to the hill country of Ephraim as far as the home of Micah and spent the night there.

What does Judges 18:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The tribe of Dan has decided to expand their territory. Their current settlements lay around the towns of Zorah and Eshtaol. For years, they have existed in the hill country of the lot apportioned for their tribe (Joshua 19:40–46). This has been an uneasy, contentious time because they failed to remove the original pagan nations living there (Judges 1:34–36). The Amorites, in particular, held considerable power in that area.

Before moving, the people of Dan must identify a good region into which they can expand. They identify five strong men to serve as scouts. They will seek good, usable locations which can be taken by force. It's clear they are willing to take land designated for other tribes as their own since they have failed to claim their own allotment (Judges 18:1).

The scouts travel north into Ephraim and eventually come to the home of Micah (Judges 17:1–5). It's possible Micah ran a kind of lodging house for travelers. That would explain how both the young Levite man (Judges 17:7–13) and these five Danite scouts ended up staying with him.