Jerusalem Is Captured
1 Now it came about after the death of Joshua, that the [a]sons (descendants) of Israel (Jacob) asked the Lord, “Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?” 2 And the Lord said, “Judah shall go up [first]; behold, I have given the land into his hand.” 3 And [the tribe of the sons of] Judah said to [the tribe of the sons of] Simeon his brother, “Come up with me into my allotted territory, so that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with you into your allotted territory.” So Simeon went with him. 4 Then Judah went up, and the Lord gave the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand, and they struck down in defeat ten thousand men at Bezek. 5 Then they found Adoni-bezek in Bezek and fought against him, and they struck down in defeat the Canaanites and the Perizzites. 6 But Adoni-bezek fled; and they pursued him and caught him and cut off his thumbs and his big toes. 7 Adoni-bezek said, “Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off used to gather up scraps of food under my table; as I have done [to others], so God has repaid me.” So they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there.
8 Then the sons of Judah fought against [Jebusite] Jerusalem and [b]captured it and struck it with the edge of the sword and set the city on fire. 9 Afterward the sons of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites who lived in the hill country, in the Negev (South country) and in the lowland. 10 So Judah went against the Canaanites who lived in Hebron (the name of Hebron formerly was Kiriath-arba); and they defeated Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai.
Capture of Other Cities
11 From there [the tribe of] Judah went against the inhabitants of Debir (the name of Debir formerly was Kiriath-sepher [city of books and scribes]). 12 And Caleb said, “Whoever attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it, I will even give him my daughter Achsah as a wife.” 13 Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, captured it; so he gave him his daughter Achsah as a wife. 14 When she came to Othniel, she persuaded him to [allow her to] ask her father [Caleb] for a field. Then she [rode up to Caleb and] dismounted from her donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” 15 She said to him, “Give me a blessing; since you have given me the land of the Negev (South country), give me springs of water, too.” So Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.
16 The sons of [[c]Jethro] the Kenite, Moses’ father-in-law, went up from the City of Palms (Jericho) with the sons of Judah, to the wilderness of Judah which is in the Negev (South country) near Arad; and they went and lived with the people.(A) 17 Then [the warriors of the tribe of] Judah went with [the warriors of the tribe of] Simeon his brother, and they struck the Canaanites living in Zephath and utterly destroyed it. So the city was called Hormah (destruction). 18 Also [the warriors of] Judah captured Gaza with its territory and Ashkelon with its territory and Ekron with its territory. 19 The Lord was with Judah, and [the tribe of] Judah took possession of the hill country, but they could not dispossess and drive out those inhabiting the valley because they had iron chariots. 20 Then they gave Hebron to Caleb, as Moses had said, and he drove out from there the three sons of Anak.(B) 21 But the sons of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites who inhabited Jerusalem; so the Jebusites have lived with the sons of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day.
22 The [d]house of Joseph also went up against Bethel, and the Lord was with them. 23 The house of Joseph spied out Bethel (now the name of the city was formerly Luz). 24 The spies saw a man coming out of the city and they said to him, “Please show us the entrance to the city and 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, but they let the man and all his family go free. 26 The man went into the [e]land of the Hittites and built a city and named it Luz, which is its name to this day.
Places Not Conquered
27 But [the tribe of] 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 the Canaanites remained in that land. 28 It happened when Israel became strong, that they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but they did not drive them out completely.
29 Neither did [the warriors of] Ephraim drive out the Canaanites who were living in Gezer; so the Canaanites lived in Gezer among them.
30 [The warriors of the tribe of] Zebulun did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron or of Nahalol; so the Canaanites lived among them and were put to forced labor.
31 [The warriors of the tribe of] Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco, or the inhabitants of Sidon, or of Ahlab, or of Achzib, or of Helbah, or of Aphik, or of Rehob. 32 So the Asherites lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land, because they did not drive them out.
33 Neither did [the warriors of] Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh, or the inhabitants of Beth-anath, but they lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land; and the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and of Beth-anath became forced labor for them.
34 Then the [f]Amorites forced the sons of Dan [back] into the hill country, for they would not allow them to come down into the valley; 35 yet the Amorites persisted in living on Mount Heres (the mountain of the sun), in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim; but when the power of the house (descendants) of Joseph became strong and prevailed, they became forced labor. 36 The border of the Amorites ran from the ascent of Akrabbim, from [g]Sela (rock) and upward.
- Judges 1:1 In general, sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites refers to all the people (males and females) of the various tribes descended from the twelve sons (Gen 35:23-26) of Jacob (later renamed Israel by God). In verses concerning things such as warfare or circumcision sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites usually refers only to the males. Tribes of ancient people were identified by the name of their founding ancestor. Therefore, this same general rule applies when referring to individual tribal groups, e.g. sons of Reuben, Reuben, Reubenites and so throughout.
- Judges 1:8 Judah briefly captured Jerusalem, but could not hold and occupy it.
- Judges 1:16 Also called Reuel (Ex 2:18).
- Judges 1:22 I.e. the tribes of the descendants of Manasseh and Ephraim.
- Judges 1:26 I.e. Aram (northern Syria).
- Judges 1:34 Like the other Canaanites, the Amorites probably had iron chariots with which they controlled the valley.
- Judges 1:36 Some scholars identify Sela with Petra in modern day Jordan.