Judah’s Leadership against the Canaanites
1After the death of Joshua,1:1 Jos 1:1; 24:29–31 the Israelites inquired of the Lord,1:1 Jdg 20:23,27; 1Sm 10:22; 23:2,4; 28:6 “Who will be the first to fight for us against the Canaanites?”
2The Lord answered, “Judah1:2 Gn 29:35; 49:8–12 is to go.1:1–2 Jdg 20:18 I have handed the land over to him.”1:2 Gn 35:12; Ex 6:8
3Judah said to his brother Simeon, “Come with me to my allotted territory, and let’s fight against the Canaanites. I will also go with you to your allotted territory.” So Simeon went with him.
4When Judah attacked, the Lord handed the Canaanites and Perizzites1:4 Gn 13:7; Dt 7:1; Jos 3:10; Ezr 9:1 over to them. They struck down ten thousand men in Bezek.1:4 1Sm 11:8
5They found Adoni-bezek in Bezek, fought against him, and struck down the Canaanites and Perizzites.
6When Adoni-bezek fled, they pursued him, caught him, and cut off his thumbs and big toes.1:6 2Sm 4:12
7Adoni-bezek said, “Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off used to pick up scraps1:7 Lit toes cut off are gathering under my table. God has repaid me for what I have done.” They brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there.
8The men of Judah fought against Jerusalem, captured it, put it to the sword, and set the city on fire.
9Afterward, the men of Judah marched down to fight against the Canaanites who were living in the hill country, the Negev, and the Judean foothills.1:9 Or the Shephelah
10Judah also marched against the Canaanites who were living in Hebron1:10 Gn 13:18; 23:2 (Hebron was formerly named Kiriath-arba1:10 Gn 23:2; 35:27; Jos 14:15). They struck down Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai.1:10 Nm 13:22; Jos 15:13–14
11From there they marched against the residents of Debir1:11 Jos 10:38–39; 11:21; 15:7; 21:15; 1Ch 6:58 (Debir was formerly named Kiriath-sepher).
12Caleb1:12 Nm 13:6,13; 14:6,24,30,38; 26:65; 32:12 said, “Whoever attacks and captures Kiriath-sepher, I will give my daughter Achsah1:12 1Ch 2:49 to him as a wife.”
13So Othniel1:13 Jdg 3:9,11; 1Ch 4:13 son of Kenaz, Caleb’s youngest brother, captured it, and Caleb gave his daughter Achsah to him as his wife.
14When she arrived, she persuaded Othniel to ask her father for a field. As she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What do you want?”
15She answered him, “Give me a blessing. Since you have given me land in the Negev,1:15 Gn 12:9; 13:1,3; Nm 13:17,22,29; 2Sm 24:7; Ps 126:4 give me springs also.” So Caleb gave her both the upper and lower springs.1:11–15 Jos 15:15–19
16The descendants of the Kenite, Moses’s father-in-law,1:16 Ex 2:18; 3:1; 4:18; 18:1–12; Nm 10:29 had gone up with the men of Judah from the City of Palms1:16 = Jericho; Dt 34:3; Jdg 3:13; 2Ch 28:151:16 Dt 34:3; Jdg 3:13; 2Ch 28:15 to the Wilderness of Judah, which was in the Negev of Arad.1:16 Nm 21:1; 33:40; Jos 12:14 They went to live among the people.
17Judah went with his brother Simeon, struck the Canaanites who were living in Zephath, and completely destroyed the town. So they named the town Hormah.1:17 Nm 21:3; Dt 1:44
18Judah captured Gaza and its territory, Ashkelon and its territory, and Ekron and its territory.
19The Lord was with1:19 Gn 39:2,21; Jos 6:27; Jdg 2:18; 1Sm 18:12 Judah and enabled them to take possession of the hill country, but they could not drive out1:19 Jos 15:63 the people who were living in the plain because those people had iron chariots.1:19 Jos 17:16,18; Jdg 4:3,13
20Judah gave Hebron to Caleb, just as Moses had promised.1:20 Dt 1:36; Jos 14:9 Then Caleb drove out the three sons of Anak1:20 Nm 13:22 who lived there.
Benjamin’s Failure
21At the same time the Benjaminites did not drive out the Jebusites who were living in Jerusalem. The Jebusites have lived among the Benjaminites in Jerusalem to this day.1:21 Jos 15:63
Success of the House of Joseph
22The house of Joseph also attacked Bethel, and the Lord was with1:22 Gn 39:2,21; Jos 6:27; Jdg 2:18; 1Sm 18:12 them.
23They sent spies to Bethel (the town was formerly named Luz1:23 Gn 28:19; 35:6; 48:3).
24The spies saw a man coming out of the town and said to him, “Please show us how to get into town, and we will show you kindness.”1:24 Jos 2:12,14; 2Sm 9:1,3,7
25When he showed them the way into the town, they put the town to the sword but released the man and his entire family.
26Then the man went to the land of the Hittites, built a town, and named it Luz. That is its name still today.
Failure of the Other Tribes
27At that time Manasseh failed to take possession of Beth-shean1:27 Jos 17:11,16; 1Sm 31:10,12; 2Sm 21:12 and Taanach1:27 Jos 21:25; Jdg 5:19 and their surrounding villages, or the residents of Dor,1:27 Jos 11:2; 12:23; 17:11; 1Kg 4:11 Ibleam,1:27 Jos 17:11; 2Kg 9:27 and Megiddo1:27 Jdg 5:19; 1Kg 9:15; 2Kg 23:29–30 and their surrounding villages; the Canaanites were determined to stay in this land.1:27 Jdg 1:35; Hs 5:11
28When Israel became stronger, they made the Canaanites serve as forced labor but never drove them out completely.1:27–28 Jos 17:12–13
29At that time Ephraim failed to drive out the Canaanites who were living in Gezer, so the Canaanites have lived among them in Gezer.1:29 Jos 16:10
30Zebulun failed to drive out the residents of Kitron or the residents of Nahalol,1:30 Jos 19:15; 21:35 so the Canaanites lived among them and served as forced labor.
31Asher failed to drive out the residents of Acco or of Sidon, or Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphik, or Rehob.
32The Asherites lived among the Canaanites who were living in the land, because they failed to drive them out.
33Naphtali did not drive out the residents of Beth-shemesh or the residents of Beth-anath. They lived among the Canaanites who were living in the land, but the residents of Beth-shemesh and Beth-anath served as their forced labor.
34The Amorites1:34 Ex 3:8; Nm 13:29; 21:31; Jos 2:10 forced the Danites into the hill country and did not allow them to go down into the valley.
35The Amorites were determined to stay in Har-heres, Aijalon,1:35 Jos 10:12; 1Sm 14:31; 1Ch 8:13; 2Ch 28:18 and Shaalbim. When the house of Joseph got the upper hand, the Amorites were made to serve as forced labor.
36The territory of the Amorites extended from the Scorpions’ Ascent,1:36 Nm 34:4; Jos 15:3 that is from Sela1:36 2Kg 14:7; Is 16:1 upward.