Judges 18:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 18:9, NIV: They answered, 'Come on, let's attack them! We have seen the land, and it is very good. Aren't you going to do something? Don't hesitate to go there and take it over.

Judges 18:9, ESV: They said, “Arise, and let us go up against them, for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good. And will you do nothing? Do not be slow to go, to enter in and possess the land.

Judges 18:9, KJV: And they said, Arise, that we may go up against them: for we have seen the land, and, behold, it is very good: and are ye still? be not slothful to go, and to enter to possess the land.

Judges 18:9, NASB: And they said, 'Arise, and let’s go up against them; for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good. And will you sit still? Do not hesitate to go, to enter, to take possession of the land.

Judges 18:9, NLT: The men replied, 'Come on, let's attack them! We have seen the land, and it is very good. What are you waiting for? Don't hesitate to go and take possession of it.

Judges 18:9, CSB: They answered, "Come on, let's attack them, for we have seen the land, and it is very good. Why wait? Don't hesitate to go and invade and take possession of the land!

What does Judges 18:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Dan, one of the tribes that was allotted land in Canaan (Numbers 3:5–10), is feeling cramped. This is because they failed to fully control their assigned territory (Judges 1:34–36). Rather than complete that conquest, they send advance scouts to look for other territory they can take. That leads the "spies" to an area called Laish, occupied by a peaceful group of Sidonians and rich in natural resources. These people are repeatedly referred to as "unsuspecting" (Judges 18:7, 10). This means they are unprepared for war and would be seen as an easy target.

Perhaps some of the Danites hearing this report objected to moving so far away. The location in question would have been several days' journey, even for scouts. It's not a nearby territory. Yet the five scouts are insistent. They say it's time for their tribe to get up, go, and attack. They know the land is good and beautiful. The scouts see no reason to hesitate. Now is the best time to act.

The scenario is a perverse echo of the days when the Israelites first came to the Promised Land. They too sent spies in to scout the territory. Those spies also returned with reports that the land was good. In that case, though, most of the scouts said Israel could never defeat the people of Canaan (Numbers 13:25—14:10). They were wrong, since God had given that land to His people and would bless their efforts to take it. Perhaps the memory of that story motivated these spies to be especially positive about the opportunity to possess a new land. And yet, the tribe of Dan is now enthusiastic about taking land they have not been given, which is not meant to be theirs, at all.