Judges 17 - 18
During the time of the Judges, a man named Micah stole 1,100 pieces of silver from his mother. Then he found out that she had put a curse on whoever took it. So he gave it back.
She said, “Oh, son. I didn’t know it was you. I was going to give it to you anyway. But he refused to keep it. So she took some of it and made an idol for her son to put in his home. With the rest, Micah made some special clothes for worship, and provisions for a priest.
A young man named Jonathan was a Levite from Bethlehem. He left home looking for a place to settle down. He stayed the night in Micah’s house and the two of them became friends. Finally Micah said, “Stay here and I’ll make you the priest for my idol. I’ll give you everything you need—clothes, meals, a place to stay—and I’ll even give you a salary.” Jonathan agreed, and soon he became like one of the family.
At that same time, the tribe of Dan was looking for a permanent place for their people. In all of the years since Joshua, they hadn’t found a place of their own. They decided to send out five soldiers as spies.
The spies camped near Micah’s house, and Jonathan went out to visit with them. They said, “You have a Bethlehem accent. What are you doing here?”
He told them about his job and how well Micah treated him. When they found out that he was a Levite and a priest, they said, “Please, ask God if we’ll be successful.”
He said, “Don’t worry about a thing. The Lord is with you.”
The men left and continued their search. Finally they found a wonderful place, where the people were peaceable and unprotected. The spies went back to their tribe and said, “We’ve found a place for us to live! It’s a good land and the people will be easy to conquer.”
So the people of Dan sent 600 men to conquer the city. When they got to Micah’s house, the five spies said to the others, “The man who owns that house has an idol, clothes for worship, and even a priest. We could use those things in our new city.”
So the 600 men went to Micah’s house. Jonathan came out to greet them. While he stood there, the five spies went into the house and took the idol and all the stuff that went along with it.
Jonathan said, “What are you doing?”
They said, “Shut up and listen carefully. You have a choice. You can stay here and be a priest for one man, or you can come with us and be a priest for a whole tribe. You can tell us what God wants us to do.”
Jonathan thought this sounded like a good opportunity, so he agreed to go with them. He even helped them take all the things of worship from Micah’s home.
When Micah found out what happened, he organized some men and chased after the Danites. As soon as he saw them, he yelled at them. Immediately they stopped, turned, and faced the men following them. They yelled back, “Why are you following us?”
Micah said, “How can you say that? You took my god and my priest. I have nothing left.”
The men from Dan said, “Stop yelling at us or we’ll take something else from you. We’ll take your life and kill your family.”
Micah saw there was nothing he could do. So he turned and went home.
The Danites continued on their military campaign. They attacked the peaceable people and killed them all. They burned down their city and built a new one. They called it Dan, and it became their permanent home.
Jonathan and his descendants were priests for the Danites for hundreds of years. They helped them worship that idol until the Assyrians took them into captivity. Jonathan was the grandson of Moses.