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Judges 1Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Judah’s Leadership against the Canaanites

After the death of Joshua, the Israelites inquired of the Lord, “Who will be the first to fight for us against the Canaanites?”

The Lord answered, “Judah is to go. I have handed the land over to him.”

Judah said to his brother Simeon, “Come with me to my territory, and let us fight against the Canaanites. I will also go with you to your territory.” So Simeon went with him.

When Judah attacked, the Lord handed the Canaanites and Perizzites over to them. They struck down 10,000 men in Bezek. They found Adoni-bezek in Bezek, fought against him, and struck down the Canaanites and Perizzites.

When Adoni-bezek fled, they pursued him, seized him, and cut off his thumbs and big toes. Adoni-bezek said, “Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off used to pick up scraps[a] under my table. God has repaid me for what I have done.” They brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there.

The men of Judah fought against Jerusalem and captured it. They put the city to the sword and set it on fire. Afterward, the men of Judah marched down to fight against the Canaanites who were living in the hill country, the Negev, and the Judean foothills.[b] 10 Judah also marched against the Canaanites who were living in Hebron (Hebron was formerly named Kiriath-arba). They struck down Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai. 11 From there they marched against the residents of Debir (Debir was formerly named Kiriath-sepher).

12 Caleb said, “Whoever strikes down and captures Kiriath-sepher, I will give my daughter Achsah to him as a wife.” 13 So Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s youngest brother, captured it, and Caleb gave his daughter Achsah to him as his wife.

14 When she arrived, she persuaded Othniel[c] to ask her father for a field. As she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her,[d] “What do you want?” 15 She answered him, “Give me a blessing. Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me springs of water also.” So Caleb gave her both the upper and lower springs.[e]

16 The descendants of the Kenite, Moses’ father-in-law, had gone up with the men of Judah from the City of Palms[f] to the Wilderness of Judah, which was in the Negev of Arad. They went to live among the people.

17 Judah went with his brother Simeon, struck the Canaanites who were living in Zephath, and completely destroyed the town. So they named the town Hormah. 18 Judah captured Gaza and its territory, Ashkelon and its territory, and Ekron and its territory.[g] 19 The Lord was with Judah and enabled them to take possession of the hill country, but they could not drive out the people who were living in the valley because those people had iron chariots.[h]

20 Judah gave Hebron to Caleb, just as Moses had promised. Then Caleb drove out the three sons of Anak who lived there.[i]

Benjamin’s Failure

21 At 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.

Success of the House of Joseph

22 The house of Joseph also attacked Bethel, and the Lord was with them. 23 They sent spies to Bethel (the town was formerly named Luz). 24 The spies saw a man coming out of the town and said to him, “Please show us how to get into town, and we will treat you well.” 25 When he showed them the way into the town, they put the town to the sword but released the man and his entire family. 26 Then the man went to the land of the Hittites, built a town, and named it Luz. That is its name to this day.

Failure of the Other Tribes

27 At that time Manasseh failed to take possession of Beth-shean[j] and its villages,[k] or Taanach and its villages, or the residents of Dor and its villages, or the residents of Ibleam[l] and its villages, or the residents of Megiddo and its villages; the Canaanites refused to leave[m] this land. 28 When Israel became stronger, they made the Canaanites serve as forced labor but never drove them out completely.

29 At that time Ephraim failed to drive out the Canaanites who were living in Gezer, so the Canaanites have lived among them in Gezer.[n]

30 Zebulun failed to drive out the residents of Kitron or the residents of Nahalol, so the Canaanites lived among them and served as forced labor.

31 Asher failed to drive out the residents of Acco[o] or of Sidon, or Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphik, or Rehob. 32 The Asherites lived among the Canaanites who were living in the land, because they failed to drive them out.

33 Naphtali 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.

34 The Amorites forced the Danites into the hill country and did not allow them to go down into the valley. 35 The Amorites refused to leave[p] Har-heres, Aijalon, and Shaalbim. When the house of Joseph got the upper hand,[q] the Amorites[r] were made to serve as forced labor. 36 The territory of the Amorites extended from the Ascent of Akrabbim, that is from Sela upward.


  1. Judges 1:7 Lit toes are gathering
  2. Judges 1:9 Or the Shephelah
  3. Judges 1:14 LXX reads arrived, he pressured her
  4. Judges 1:14 LXX reads . . . field. She grumbled while on the donkey, and she cried out from the donkey, “Into the southland you sent me out,” and Caleb said
  5. Judges 1:15 LXX reads give me redemption of water, and Caleb gave her according to her heart the redemption of the upper and the redemption of the lower
  6. Judges 1:16 = Jericho; Dt 34:3; Jdg 3:13; 2Ch 28:15
  7. Judges 1:18 LXX reads Judah did not inherit Gaza and its borders nor Ashkelon and its borders nor Ekron and its borders nor Azotus and its surrounding lands
  8. Judges 1:19 LXX reads hill country, for they were not able to drive out the residents of the valley because Rechab separated it
  9. Judges 1:20 LXX reads And he inherited from there the three cities of the sons of Anak.
  10. Judges 1:27 LXX reads Beth-shean, which is a Scythian city
  11. Judges 1:27 LXX reads its villages or the fields around it
  12. Judges 1:27 LXX reads Balaam
  13. Judges 1:27 LXX reads Canaanites began to live in
  14. Judges 1:29 LXX reads Gezer, and became forced labor
  15. Judges 1:31 LXX reads Acco, and they became for him forced labor and the residents of Dor
  16. Judges 1:35 Or Amorites determined to live in
  17. Judges 1:35 Lit When the hand of the house of Joseph was heavy
  18. Judges 1:35 LXX reads Joseph became strong on the Amorites, they

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