Judges 1International Children’s Bible (ICB)
The Men of Judah Fight the Canaanites
1 Joshua died. Then the people of Israel prayed to the Lord. They said, “Who will be first to go and fight for us against the Canaanite people?”
2 The Lord said to them, “The tribe of Judah will go. I have given them the power to take this land.”
3 The men of Judah asked for help from the men of Simeon, their relatives. The men of Judah said, “Come and help us fight the Canaanites for our land. If you do, we will go and help you fight for your land.” So the men of Simeon went with them.
4 The Lord gave the men of Judah the victory over the Canaanites and the Perizzites. The men of Judah defeated l0,000 men at the city of Bezek. 5 There they found Adoni-Bezek, the ruler of the city, and fought him. The men of Judah defeated the Canaanites and the Perizzites. 6 So Adoni-Bezek ran away. But the men of Judah chased him. When they caught him, they cut off his thumbs and big toes.
7 Then Adoni-Bezek said, “I cut off the thumbs and big toes of 70 kings. And those kings had to eat scraps that fell from my table. Now God has paid me back for what I did to them.” The men of Judah took Adoni-Bezek to Jerusalem, and he died there.
8 Then the men of Judah fought against Jerusalem and captured it. They used their swords to kill the people of Jerusalem. And they burned the city.
9 Later, they went down to fight against more of the Canaanites. Some of the Canaanites lived in the mountains. Others lived in the dry country to the south. And still others lived in the western mountain slopes. 10 Then the men of Judah went to fight against the Canaanites in the city of Hebron. (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba.) The men of Judah defeated the descendants of Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai.
Caleb and His Daughter
11 Then the men of Judah left Hebron. They went to the city of Debir to fight against the people there. (Debir used to be called Kiriath Sepher.) 12 Before attacking the city, Caleb said, “I want a man to attack and capture the city of Kiriath Sepher. I will give him Acsah, my daughter, as a wife.” 13 Caleb had a younger brother named Kenaz. Kenaz had a son named Othniel. Othniel captured the city of Kiriath Sepher. So Caleb gave his daughter Acsah to Othniel to be his wife. 14 When Acsah came to Othniel, he told her to ask her father for some land. So she got down from her donkey, and Caleb said, “What do you want?”
15 Acsah answered Caleb, “Do me a favor. You have put me in the dry land of southern Judah. Give me some land with springs of water.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs of water.
Fights with the Canaanites
16 The Kenite people left Jericho, the city of palm trees. They went with the men of Judah. The Kenites went to the Desert of Judah to live with the people there. This was in southern Judah near the city of Arad. (The Kenites were from the family of Moses’ father-in-law.)
17 Some Canaanite people also lived in the city of Zephath. So the men of Judah and the men of Simeon, their relatives, defeated those Canaanites. They completely destroyed the city. So they called the city Hormah.[a] 18 The men of Judah captured Gaza, Ashkelon and Ekron and all the lands around them.
19 The Lord was on the side of the men of Judah. They took the land in the mountains. But they could not force out the people living on the plain. This was because those people had iron chariots. 20 As Moses had promised, Hebron was given to Caleb. Caleb forced out the three sons of Anak. 21 But the people of Benjamin could not make the Jebusite people leave Jerusalem. Since that time the Jebusites have lived with the Benjaminites in Jerusalem.
22 The men of Joseph went to fight against the city of Bethel. The Lord was on their side. 23 They sent some spies to Bethel. (Bethel used to be called Luz.) 24 The spies saw a man coming out of the city. They said to him, “Show us a way into the city. If you help us, we will be kind to you.” 25 The man showed the spies the way into the city. The men of Joseph killed the people in Bethel. But the man who helped them and his family were allowed to go free. 26 He went to the land where the Hittite people lived, and he built a city. He named the city Luz, and it is called that today.
27 There were Canaanites living in the cities of Beth Shan, Taanach, Dor, Ibleam, Megiddo and the small towns around them. The people of Manasseh did not force those people out of their towns. The Canaanites were determined to stay there. 28 Later, the people of Israel grew strong. They forced the Canaanites to work as slaves for them. But the Israelites did not make all the Canaanites leave their land. 29 There were Canaanites living in Gezer. And the people of Ephraim did not make all of those Canaanites leave their land. So the Canaanite people continued to live in Gezer with the people of Ephraim. 30 Some Canaanites lived in the cities of Kitron and Nahalol. The people of Zebulun did not make them leave their land. They stayed and lived with the people of Zebulun. But Zebulun made them work as slaves.
31 The people of Asher did not make the Canaanites leave the cities of Acco, Sidon, Ahlab, Aczib, Helbah, Aphek and Rehob. 32 The people of Asher did not make them leave their land. So the Canaanites continued to live with the people of Asher. 33 The people of Naphtali did not make the people leave the cities of Beth Shemesh and Beth Anath. So the people of Naphtali continued to live with the Canaanites in those cities. Those people worked as slaves for the people of Naphtali. 34 The Amorites forced the Danites back into the mountains. The Amorites would not let them come down to live in the plain. 35 The Amorites were determined to stay in Mount Heres, Aijalon and Shaalbim. But the Israelites grew stronger. Then they made the Amorites work as slaves for them. 36 The land of the Amorites was from Scorpion Pass to Sela and beyond it.
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