Jerusalem Is Captured

Now it came about after the death of Joshua that the sons of Israel (A)inquired of the Lord, saying, “Who shall go up first for us (B)against the Canaanites, to fight against them?” The Lord said, “(C)Judah shall go up; behold, I have handed the land over to him.” Then Judah said to his brother Simeon, “Go up with me into [a]the territory allotted me, and let’s fight the Canaanites; and [b]I in turn will go with you into [c]the territory allotted you.” So Simeon went with him. Judah went up, and (D)the Lord handed over to them the Canaanites and the Perizzites, and they [d]defeated ten thousand men at Bezek. They found Adoni-bezek in Bezek and fought against him, and they [e]defeated the Canaanites and the Perizzites. But Adoni-bezek fled; and they pursued him and caught him, and cut off his [f]thumbs and big toes. And Adoni-bezek said, “Seventy kings with their thumbs and their big toes cut off used to gather up scraps under my table; (E)as I have done, so God has repaid me.” So they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there.

Then the sons of Judah fought against (F)Jerusalem and captured it, and struck it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire. Afterward, the sons of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites living in the hill country, and in the [g]Negev, and in the lowland. 10 (G)So Judah went against the Canaanites who lived in Hebron (the name of Hebron was previously Kiriath-arba); and they struck Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai.

Capture of Other Cities

11 Then (H)from there he went against the inhabitants of Debir (the name of Debir was previously Kiriath-sepher). 12 And Caleb said, “Whoever attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it, I will give him my daughter Achsah as a wife.” 13 Now (I)Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, captured it; so he gave him his daughter Achsah as a wife. 14 Then (J)it happened that when she came to him, she incited him to ask her father for a field. Then later, she dismounted from [h]her donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What [i]do you want?” 15 She said to him, “Give me a blessing: since you have given me the land of the [j]Negev, give me springs of water also.” So Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.

16 Now the [k]descendants of (K)the Kenite, Moses’ father-in-law, went up from the (L)city of palms with the sons of Judah, to the wilderness of Judah which is in the south of (M)Arad; and they went and lived with the people. 17 Then Judah went with his brother Simeon, and they struck the Canaanites living in Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. So the name of the city was called (N)Hormah. 18 And Judah took (O)Gaza with its territory, Ashkelon with its territory, and Ekron with its territory. 19 Now the Lord was with Judah, and they took possession of the hill country; but they could not [l]drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had (P)iron chariots. 20 Then they gave Hebron to Caleb, (Q)as Moses had [m]promised; and he drove out from there (R)the three sons of Anak. 21 (S)But the sons of Benjamin did not drive out the (T)Jebusites who lived in Jerusalem; so the Jebusites have lived with the sons of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day.

22 Likewise the house of Joseph went up against Bethel, and the Lord was with them. 23 The house of Joseph had men spy out Bethel ((U)the name of the city previously was Luz). 24 And the spies saw a man coming out of the city, and they said to him, “Please show us the entrance to the city, and (V)we will treat you kindly.” 25 So he showed them the entrance to the city, and they struck the city with the edge of the sword, (W)but they let the man and all his family go free. 26 Then the man went to the land of the Hittites and built a city, and named it Luz, [n]which is its name to this day.

Places Not Conquered

27 (X)But Manasseh did not take possession of Beth-shean and its villages, or Taanach and its villages, or the inhabitants of Dor and its villages, or the inhabitants of Ibleam and its villages, or the inhabitants of Megiddo and its villages; so (Y)the Canaanites persisted in living in this land. 28 And it came about, when Israel became strong, that they put the Canaanites to forced labor; but they did not drive them out completely.

29 And (Z)Ephraim did not drive out the Canaanites who were living in Gezer; so the Canaanites lived in Gezer among them.

30 Zebulun did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, or the inhabitants of [o]Nahalol; so the Canaanites lived among them and became subject to forced labor.

31 Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco, or the inhabitants of Sidon, or of Ahlab, or of Achzib, Helbah, Aphik, or of Rehob. 32 So the Asherites lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land; for they did not drive them out.

33 Naphtali did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh, or the inhabitants of Beth-anath, but lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land; and the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and Beth-anath became forced labor for them.

34 Then the Amorites [p]forced the sons of Dan into the hill country, for they did not allow them to come down to the valley; 35 yet the Amorites persisted in living on Mount Heres, in Aijalon and Shaalbim; but when the [q]power of the house of Joseph [r]grew strong, they became forced labor. 36 The border of the Amorites ran from the (AA)ascent of Akrabbim, from Sela and upward.

Israel Rebuked

Now (AB)the angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to (AC)Bochim. And he said, “(AD)I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, ‘(AE)I will never break My covenant with you, and as for you, (AF)you shall not make a covenant with the inhabitants of this land; (AG)you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not [s]obeyed Me; what is this thing that you have done? Therefore I also said, ‘(AH)I will not drive them out from you; but they will [t]become (AI)like thorns in your sides, and their gods will be a snare to you.’” Now when the angel of the Lord spoke these words to all the sons of Israel, the people raised their voices and wept. So they named that place [u]Bochim; and there they sacrificed to the Lord.

Joshua Dies

(AJ)When Joshua had dismissed the people, the sons of Israel went, each one to his inheritance, to take possession of the land. The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who [v]survived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the Lord which He had done for Israel. Then Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110. And they buried him in the territory of (AK)his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 10 All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and another generation rose up after them who (AL)did not know the Lord, nor even the work which He had done for Israel.

Israel Serves the Baals

11 Then the sons of Israel did (AM)evil in the sight of the Lord and [w]served the (AN)Baals, 12 and (AO)they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and they followed other gods from the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them; so they provoked the Lord to anger. 13 They abandoned the Lord and (AP)served Baal and the Ashtaroth. 14 (AQ)Then the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and He handed them over to plunderers, and they plundered them; and (AR)He sold them into the hands of their enemies around them, so that they could no longer stand [x]against their enemies. 15 Wherever they went, the hand of the Lord was against them for [y]evil, as the Lord had spoken and (AS)just as the Lord had sworn to them, so that they were severely distressed.

16 (AT)Then the Lord raised up judges [z]who saved them from the hands of those who plundered them. 17 Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they [aa]committed infidelity with other gods and bowed down to them. They turned aside quickly from the way (AU)in which their fathers had walked in obeying the commandments of the Lord; they did not do the same as their fathers. 18 And when the Lord raised up judges for them, (AV)the Lord was with the judge and saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was (AW)moved to pity by their groaning because of those who tormented and oppressed them. 19 But it came about, when the judge died, that they would turn back and act more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them and bow down to them; they did not abandon their practices or their obstinate ways. 20 (AX)So the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and He said, “Because this nation has violated My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not listened to My voice, 21 (AY)I in turn will no longer drive out from them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died, 22 in order to (AZ)test Israel by them, whether they will keep the way of the Lord to walk in it as their fathers [ab]did, or not.” 23 So the Lord allowed those nations to remain, not driving them out quickly; and He did not hand them over to Joshua.

Idolatry Leads to Servitude

(BA)Now these are the nations that the Lord left, to test Israel by them (that is, all the Israelites who had not [ac]experienced any of the wars of Canaan; only in order that the generations of the sons of Israel might [ad]be taught war, [ae]those who had not [af]experienced it previously). These nations are: the five governors of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians, and (BB)the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as [ag]Lebo-hamath. They were left to (BC)test Israel by them, to find out if they would [ah]obey the commandments of the Lord, which He had commanded their fathers [ai]through Moses. (BD)The sons of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and (BE)they took their daughters for themselves as wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.

So the sons of Israel did (BF)what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and they (BG)forgot the Lord their God and (BH)served the Baals and the [aj]Asheroth. Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, so that He sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim, king of [ak]Mesopotamia; and the sons of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim for eight years.

The First Judge Frees Israel

But the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised up a deliverer for the sons of Israel to set them free, (BI)Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10 And (BJ)the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel. When he went to war, the Lord handed over to him Cushan-rishathaim king of [al]Mesopotamia, so that [am]he prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim. 11 Then the land was at rest for forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

12 Now the sons of Israel again (BK)did evil in the sight of the Lord. So (BL)the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord. 13 And he gathered to himself the sons of Ammon and Amalek; and he went and [an]defeated Israel, and they took possession of (BM)the city of the palm trees. 14 And the sons of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab for eighteen years.

Ehud Kills Eglon

15 But when the sons of Israel (BN)cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for them, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man. And the sons of Israel sent tribute by [ao]him to Eglon the king of Moab. 16 Now Ehud made himself a sword which had two edges, a cubit in length, and he strapped it on his right thigh under his cloak. 17 Then he presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18 And it came about, when he had finished presenting the tribute, that Ehud sent away the people who had carried the tribute. 19 But he himself turned back from the idols which were at Gilgal, and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” And the king said, “Silence!” And all who were attending him left him. 20 Then Ehud came to him while he was sitting in his cool roof chamber alone. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” And he got up from his seat. 21 Then Ehud reached out with his left hand and took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly. 22 The hilt of the sword also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade because he did not pull the sword out of his belly; and [ap]the refuse came out. 23 Then Ehud went out into the [aq]vestibule, and shut the doors of the roof chamber behind him, and locked them.

24 When he had left, [ar]the king’s servants came and looked, and behold, the doors of the roof chamber were locked; and they said, “(BO)Undoubtedly he is [as]relieving himself in the cool room.” 25 So they waited [at]until it would have been shameful to wait longer; but behold, he did not open the doors of the roof chamber. So they took the key and opened them, and behold, their master had fallen to the [au]floor dead.

26 Now Ehud escaped while they were hesitating, and he passed by the idols and escaped to Seirah. 27 And [av]when he arrived, (BP)he blew the trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim; and the sons of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he was [aw]leading them. 28 Then he said to them, “Pursue them, for the Lord has handed your enemies the Moabites over to you.” So they went down after him and took control of (BQ)the crossing places of the Jordan opposite Moab, and did not allow anyone to cross. 29 They struck and killed about ten thousand Moabites at that time, all robust and valiant men; and no one escaped. 30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land was at rest for eighty years.

Shamgar Saves Israel

31 Now after him came (BR)Shamgar the son of Anath, who struck and killed six hundred Philistines with an [ax]oxgoad; and he also saved Israel.


  1. Judges 1:3 Lit my lot
  2. Judges 1:3 Lit I, even I
  3. Judges 1:3 Lit your lot
  4. Judges 1:4 Lit struck them
  5. Judges 1:5 Lit struck
  6. Judges 1:6 Lit thumbs of his hands and his feet
  7. Judges 1:9 I.e., South country
  8. Judges 1:14 Lit the
  9. Judges 1:14 Lit to you, an ancient idiom
  10. Judges 1:15 I.e., South country
  11. Judges 1:16 Lit sons
  12. Judges 1:19 Or dispossess
  13. Judges 1:20 Lit spoken
  14. Judges 1:26 Lit it
  15. Judges 1:30 Perhaps same as Nahalal
  16. Judges 1:34 Lit pushed
  17. Judges 1:35 Lit hand
  18. Judges 1:35 Lit was heavy
  19. Judges 2:2 Lit listened to My voice
  20. Judges 2:3 Some ancient mss become adversaries to you and
  21. Judges 2:5 I.e., weepers
  22. Judges 2:7 Lit prolonged days after
  23. Judges 2:11 Or worshiped
  24. Judges 2:14 Lit before
  25. Judges 2:15 Or misfortune
  26. Judges 2:16 Lit and they
  27. Judges 2:17 I.e., against God
  28. Judges 2:22 Lit kept
  29. Judges 3:1 Lit known
  30. Judges 3:2 Lit know, to teach them
  31. Judges 3:2 Lit only those
  32. Judges 3:2 Lit known
  33. Judges 3:3 Or the entrance of Hamath
  34. Judges 3:4 Lit listen to
  35. Judges 3:4 Lit by the hand of
  36. Judges 3:7 I.e., wooden symbols of a female deity (Asherah)
  37. Judges 3:8 Heb Aram-naharaim
  38. Judges 3:10 Heb Aram
  39. Judges 3:10 Lit his hand was strong
  40. Judges 3:13 Lit struck
  41. Judges 3:15 Lit his hand
  42. Judges 3:22 Meaning of the Heb uncertain, but perhaps excrement
  43. Judges 3:23 Meaning uncertain
  44. Judges 3:24 Lit his
  45. Judges 3:24 Lit covering his feet; a euphemism referring to a squatting position
  46. Judges 3:25 Lit until shaming
  47. Judges 3:25 Lit earth
  48. Judges 3:27 Lit it happened
  49. Judges 3:27 Lit before them
  50. Judges 3:31 I.e., a spiked stick for driving livestock

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