Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

The Idol Temple at Dan, and Its Priest

While the judges were ruling in Israel, at one time there was living in the mountains of Ephraim, near the road which ran north and south, a man named Micah. His mother, who was dwelling with him, found that some one had stolen from her a large sum of money. Now, the money had been taken by her son Micah, and after a time he said to her:

"Those eleven hundred pieces of silver which you lost, and of which you spoke, are with me; for I took them myself."

And his mother answered, "May the blessing of God rest upon you, my son, for bringing again to me my silver. This money shall be the Lord's. I will give it back to you, to be used in the service of the Lord."

But instead of taking the money to the Tabernacle of the Lord at Shiloh, Micah used it to make two images of silver, one carved and the other cast in metal. These he set up in his house to be worshipped. He appointed one of his sons as a priest, and thus made of his house an idol temple.

One day a man on a journey was passing by Micah's house. Micah saw from his dress that he belonged to the tribe of Levi, from which the priests came. He said to him, "Who are you? From what place do you come?"

The young man said, "I am a Levite, from Bethlehem in the land of Judah, and I am trying to find a place where I can earn my living."

"Stay here with me," said Micah, "and be a priest in my house. I will give you your food, and a place to sleep, and for each year a suit of clothes and ten pieces of silver."

The Levite was well pleased at this, and stayed in Micah's house, and became his priest. And Micah said to himself:

"I am sure that now the Lord will be pleased with me, since I have a house with gods and a Levite as my priest."

Already many in Israel had forgotten that God would not bless those who set up idols when they should worship the Lord God.

The tribe of Dan was living at that time between the country of the Philistines and the tribe of Benjamin, having Judah on the south and Ephraim on the north. The Philistines pressed closely upon them, and they sought some place where they could live with more room and at peace.

They sent out from their tribe-land five men as spies, to go through the country and find some better place for the home of their tribe. These five men walked through the land, and they came to the house of Micah. Micah took them into his house, for it was the custom thus to care for people who were on a journey.

These men from Dan, who were called Danites, had seen Micah's priest before in his earlier home. They knew him, and asked him how he came to be there. The young Levite told them that Micah had hired him to become his priest. He took them into the temple-room and showed them the images and the altar, and he offered a sacrifice and a prayer for them.

Then the five men left Micah's house and went on their way. They walked through all the tribes in the north; and far up among the mountains, near one of the great fountains where the river Jordan begins, they found a little city called Laish. The people of Laish were not Isrealites, but came from the country of Zidon. The Danites saw that their little city was far from Zidon, and that its people were living alone, with none of their own race to help them.

The men of Dan walked back over the mountains to their own people, near the Philistine country; and they brought back an account of their journey through the land. They said:

"We have found a good place, far up in the north, where there is room for us, and a rich soil, and plenty of water. Come with us, and let us that that place for our home."

A harvest field in the time of the judges


So a large part of the tribe of Dan, with their wives and their children, went up toward this place. Among them were six hundred men with shields, and swords, and spears for war. As they came near to Micah's house, one of the five men who had been there before said to them:

"Do you know that in one of these houses there is an altar, and a carved image, and another image, both of silver? Now think what you would better do."

Then the five men came again into Micah's temple while the six hundred soldiers stood outside. They were just about to carry away the silver images when the Levite said to them, "What are you doing?"

And the men said to him, "Never mind what we are doing. Keep still and come with us. Is it not better for you to be a priest to a whole tribe than to one man?"

Then the young priest said no more. He took away all the priestly robes, and the silver ornaments, and the images, and went away with the people of Dan. When Micah came home he found that his temple had been robbed and his images and his priest were taken away.

He gathered some of his neighbors, and they hastened after the people of Dan. When they caught up with them Micah cried out aloud to them. The men of Dan turned, and said to Micah:

"What is the matter with you, that you come after us with a company and make such a noise?"

And Micah answered, "You have taken away my gods which I made, and my priest; and now what is left to me? And you say to me, 'What is the matter?'"

Then the men of Dan said, "Be careful what you say, or you may make some of our men angry, and they will fall on you, and then you will lose your life!"

Micah saw that the men of Dan were too strong for him to fight them, so he went back to his house without his priest and without his images. The Danites went up to the little city of Laish, in the north. They took it, and killed all the people who were living there. Then they built the city again, and changed its name to Dan, the name of the father of their tribe.

There, at Dan, they built a temple, and in it they set up the images, and this Levite became their priest. And the strangest part of all the story is, that this Levite was a grandson of Moses, the man of God and the great prophet. So soon did the people of Israel fall into sin, and so deeply, that the grandson of Moses became the priest in a temple of idols. And at this time the house of God was at Shiloh; yet at Dan during those years and for many years afterward was a temple of idols, and within its walls a line of priests descended from Moses were worshipping and offering sacrifices to images.

And as the temple of idols in Dan was much nearer to the people in the northern part of the land than was the house of the Lord, the Tabernacle at Shiloh, very many of those who lived in the north, went to this idol-temple to worship. So the people of Israel were led away from God to serve idols. This was very displeasing to God.