March 26, 2008

Breadcrumb: Home, by hook or by crook

In Judg. 18, we find out that the tribe of Dan still hasn't come into their inheritance. We can only assume it's still in the hands of non-Israelite heathens. It's been several generations since the conquest of Canaan, and everyone seems to have settled down into complacency. So what's a hard-working-but-homeless tribe to do? The obvious answer is to conquer land from your decadent Israelite brethren. Dan scouts out the land, finds a juicy plum of a city at Laish--careless, quiet, secure, and alone--and sends out 600 men to conquer it. They burn the city to the ground, kill the inhabitants, and rename it "Dan," just to show who's really in charge. And while they're killing their countrymen anyway, they decide to set up a cult to graven images, using the idols they stole from Micah (see yesterday's breadcrumb). Because if you're going to be ostracized from the rest of your kinsmen, you might as well go all out.

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