PDF  MSWord
Then the five men departed and came to Laish. And they saw the people who were in it living securely, in the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and secure; lacking nothing that is in the earth and possessing wealth, and they were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone. Bible

“Then the five men departed and came to Laish.” The Danites moved from the territory allotted to them by Joshua in west-central Israel, to the far north of Israel. They could not move just slightly north, or east, or south because those areas were inhabited by other tribes of Israel. They could have moved south, but that would have almost certainly involved a war with Egypt. So, far to the north seemed logical. Also, it likely helped their situation somewhat that they, as Danites, moved next to the tribal area of Naphtali, and Dan and Naphtali were the two full brothers who were born of Jacob and his wife Rachel’s slave, Bilhah (Gen. 30:1-8). That meant that there would have been less tension between Dan and Naphtali, than if Dan had moved next to another tribe, and Naphtali might have even been inclined to provide some help and support to Dan.

“lacking nothing that is in the earth and possessing wealth.” Other versions take the Hebrew text in a different direction. For example, the JPS has, “for there was none in the land, possessing authority, that might put them to shame in any thing.”

“with anyone.” Some Hebrew manuscripts read “Aram” instead of “Adam,” making the text say that the people of Laish had no dealings with the Syrians to the north.


Commentary for: Judges 18:7