Judges 1

Israel fights the Canaanites

1 After Joshua had died, the Israelites asked God for a new leader. They were fighting the Canaanites. They wanted to know who should fight the enemy. 2 God told them to send the people of Judah first. 3 The men of Judah asked their cousins, the men of Simeon, to help them. They agreed to go together. They would fight for lands for the tribes of Judah and of Simeon. 4 At Bezek, the Lord helped them to kill 10,000 Canaanites and Perizzites. 5 They found Adoni-Bezek there (the king of Bezek). 6 He ran away. They followed him and cut off his thumbs and big toes.

7 Adoni-Bezek said, ‘God punished me because I did this to 70 other kings.’ The Israelites took him back to Jerusalem. Adoni-Bezek died there. 8 The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem. They took and burnt the city and killed the people.

9 After this the men of Judah fought the Canaanites in the hills and in the Negev.

10 They attacked the people of Hebron, that used to be called Kiriath Arba, and beat Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai.

11 Then they fought the people who lived in Debir. It was called Kiriath Sepher at that time. 12 Caleb asked his big family to attack Kiriath Sepher. He promised to give his daughter to the one who took the city. His daughter was called Acsah. 13 Othniel, the son of Caleb's brother Kenaz, beat Kiriath Sepher. So Caleb gave Acsah to him as a wife. 14 Othniel told Acsah to ask her father for a field. She got off her donkey. Caleb saw her, and asked what she wanted.

15 She replied, ‘Father, please give me water for the land that you gave me.’ So Caleb gave her more land. This contained two pools of water.

16 The Kenites were the brothers of Moses' wife. They left Jericho to live with the men of Judah in the desert called Negev, near Arad. 17 Then the men of Judah went with the people of Simeon to attack Zephath. They destroyed the city. They called it Hormah (this means destroyed).

18 The men of Judah also won Gaza, Ashkelon and Ekron in the fight. They won the cities and all their land. 19 The Lord helped the men of Judah. They won all the hill country. They could not take the flat country. The people there had iron chariots to help them. 20 Caleb received Hebron as Moses had promised. He sent away the 3 sons of Anak. 21 The people of Benjamin could not send away the Jebusites. The Jebusites lived in Jerusalem. (Jerusalem had been called Jebus.) The Jebusites and Benjamites now live there together.

1:21God chose Moses to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt, and into a land that he would give them. But Moses died before they arrived, because God would not let him go in (Deuteronomy 34:5). Caleb and Joshua were the two men who had told the truth about the land that God had given to the Israelites. They said that it was a good country. And they said that God could help them to get into it. They were the only two men of their age who were still alive. They left Egypt when they were old enough to fight. The grown men who had left Egypt died in the desert because they did not believe God (Genesis 13:5-14:24).

22 The Lord helped the people of Joseph (tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh) to attack Bethel. (Bethel was called Luz at first.) 23 Some Israelite men went to look at the city. They wanted to discover its secrets. 24 They found a man who was leaving the city. They told him that he would be safe. But they said, ‘You must tell us how to get into the city’. 25 So he showed them. The two tribes killed all the people there, but saved that man's family. 26 Then the man went to the land of the Hittites. He built a city there, and called it Luz. It is still there. 27 But the men of Manasseh could not send away the people of 5 cities. These were Beth Shan, Taanach, Dor, Ibleam and Megiddo. The Canaanites who lived there fought bravely. They wanted to continue to live there. 28 When Israel became strong, they made the Canaanites their servants. They never sent all the people out of the land. 29 The people of Ephraim did not send the Canaanites out of Gezer. These Canaanites continued to live among the people of Ephraim. 30 Nor did Zebulun send the Canaanites from Kitron or Nahalol. But they did make them become their servants.

31 Nor did Asher send away the people of Acco, Sidon, Ahlab, Aczib, Helbah, Aphek or Rehob. 32 Because of this, the people of Asher lived in the land with the Canaanites.

33 The people of Naphtali did not send away the Canaanites who lived in Beth Shemesh or Beth Anath. They too lived with the Canaanites in the land. The Canaanites of Beth Shemesh and Beth Anath became their servants. 34 The Amorites did not let the people of Dan take the cities and valleys for themselves. The people of Dan stayed in the hill country.

35 The Amorites also owned Mount Heres, Aijalon and Shaalbim. But when the people of Joseph became strong, they made the Amorites their servants. 36 The land of the Amorites was between the Scorpion Pass and Sela, and other places.