Judges 1

Joshua's Charge to Israel's Leaders

23 A long time afterward, when the Lord had given erest to Israel from all their surrounding enemies, and Joshua fwas old and well advanced in years, Joshua gsummoned all Israel, its elders and heads, its judges and officers, and said to them, I am now old and well advanced in years. And you have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations for your sake, hfor it is the Lord your God who has fought for you. Behold, iI have allotted to you as an inheritance for your tribes those nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have already cut off, from the Jordan to the Great Sea in the west. The Lord your God jwill push them back before you and drive them out of your sight. And you shall possess their land, kjust as the Lord your God promised you. Therefore, lbe very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, mturning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left, nthat you may not mix with these nations remaining among you oor make mention of the names of their gods por swear by them or serve them or bow down to them, qbut you shall cling to the Lord your God just as you have done to this day. rFor the Lord has driven out before you great and strong nations. And as for you, sno man has been able to stand before you to this day. 10 tOne man of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the Lord your God uwho fights for you, just as he promised you. 11 vBe very careful, therefore, to love the Lord your God. 12 For if you turn back and cling to the remnant of these nations remaining among you wand make marriages with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, 13 know for certain that xthe Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations before you, ybut they shall be a snare and a trap for you, a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good ground that the Lord your God has given you.

14 And now zI am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that anot one word has failed of all the good things1 that the Lord your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed. 15 But just as all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you have been fulfilled for you, so the Lord will bring upon you ball the evil things, until he has destroyed you from off this good land that the Lord your God has given you, 16 if you transgress the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them. Then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from off the good land that he has given to you.

The Covenant Renewal at Shechem

24 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel cto Shechem and dsummoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel. And ethey presented themselves before God. And Joshua said to all the people, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, Long ago, fyour fathers lived beyond the Euphrates,1 Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and gthey served other gods. hThen I took your father Abraham from beyond the River2 and iled him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. jI gave him Isaac. And to Isaac I gave kJacob and Esau. lAnd I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, mbut Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. nAnd I sent Moses and Aaron, oand I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it, and pafterward I brought you out.

Then pI brought your fathers out of Egypt, and qyou came to the sea. rAnd the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. sAnd when they cried to the Lord, the put darkness between you and the Egyptians uand made the sea come upon them and cover them; vand your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. wAnd you lived in the wilderness a long time. Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan. xThey fought with you, and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you. yThen Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel. zAnd he sent and invited Balaam the son of Beor to curse you, 10 abut I would not listen to Balaam. aIndeed, he blessed you. So I delivered you out of his hand. 11 bAnd you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, cand the leaders of Jericho fought against you, and also cthe Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And I gave them into your hand. 12 And I sent dthe hornet before you, which drove them out before you, the two kings of the Amorites; it was enot by your sword or by your bow. 13 I gave you a land on which you had not labored fand cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.

Choose Whom You Will Serve

14 gNow therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. hPut away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 iAnd if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, jchoose this day whom you will serve, whether hthe gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or kthe gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. lBut as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

16 Then the people answered, Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods, 17 for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. 18 And the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.

19 But Joshua said to the people, You are not able to serve the Lord, for he is ma holy God. He is na jealous God; ohe will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. 20 pIf you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then qhe will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good. 21 And the people said to Joshua, No, but we will serve the Lord. 22 Then Joshua said to the people, You are witnesses against yourselves that ryou have chosen the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. 23 He said, Then sput away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord, the God of Israel. 24 And the people said to Joshua, The Lord our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey. 25 So Joshua tmade a covenant with the people that day, and put in place ustatutes and rules for them at Shechem. 26 And Joshua vwrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And whe took a large stone and set it up there xunder the terebinth that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. 27 And Joshua said to all the people, Behold, ythis stone shall be a witness against us, for zit has heard all the words of the Lord that he spoke to us. Therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God. 28 So Joshua asent the people away, every man to his inheritance.

Joshua's Death and Burial

29 bAfter these things Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being 110 years old. 30 And they buried him in his own inheritance at cTimnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash.

31 dIsrael served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua eand had known all the work that the Lord did for Israel.

32 fAs for the bones of Joseph, which the people of Israel brought up from Egypt, they buried them at Shechem, in the piece of land gthat Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money.3 It became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph.

33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died, and they buried him at Gibeah, the town of hPhinehas his son, which had been given him in ithe hill country of Ephraim.

Judges Illustration

Judges

The Continuing Conquest of Canaan

After the death of Joshua, the people of Israel ainquired of the Lord, bWho shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them? The Lord said, Judah shall go up; behold, I have given the land into his hand. And Judah said to Simeon his brother, Come up with me into the territory allotted to me, that we may fight against the Canaanites. cAnd I likewise will go with you into the territory allotted to you. So Simeon went with him. Then Judah went up and the Lord gave the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand, and they defeated 10,000 of them at Bezek. They found Adoni-bezek at Bezek and fought against him and defeated the Canaanites and the Perizzites. Adoni-bezek fled, but they pursued him and caught him and cut off his thumbs and his big toes. And Adoni-bezek said, Seventy kings with their thumbs and their big toes cut off dused to pick up scraps under my table. eAs I have done, so God has repaid me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there.

fAnd the men of Judah fought against Jerusalem and captured it and struck it with the edge of the sword and set the city on fire. And afterward the men of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites who lived in gthe hill country, in the Negeb, and in gthe lowland. 10 hAnd Judah went against the Canaanites who lived in Hebron i(now the name of Hebron was formerly Kiriath-arba), and they defeated jSheshai and Ahiman and Talmai.

11 From there they went against the inhabitants of Debir. The name of Debir was formerly Kiriath-sepher. 12 And Caleb said, He who attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it, I will give him Achsah my daughter for a wife. 13 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, kCaleb's younger brother, captured it. And he gave him Achsah his daughter for a wife. 14 When she came to him, she urged him to ask her father for a field. And she 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 set me in the land of the Negeb, give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.

16 And the descendants of the lKenite, Moses' father-in-law, went up with the people of Judah mfrom the city of palms into the wilderness of Judah, which lies in the Negeb near nArad, oand they went and settled with the people. 17 pAnd Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they defeated the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath and devoted it to destruction. So the name of the city was called qHormah.1 18 Judah also rcaptured Gaza with its territory, and Ashkelon with its territory, and Ekron with its territory. 19 pAnd the Lord was with Judah, and he took possession of the shill country, but he could not drive out the inhabitants of the plain because they had tchariots of iron. 20 uAnd Hebron was given to Caleb, as Moses had said. And he drove out from it vthe three sons of Anak. 21 But the people of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites who lived in Jerusalem, wso the Jebusites have lived with the people of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day.

22 The house of Joseph also went up against Bethel, xand the Lord was with them. 23 And the house of Joseph scouted out Bethel. (yNow the name of the city was formerly Luz.) 24 And the spies saw a man coming out of the city, and they said to him, Please show us the way into the city, zand we will deal kindly with you. 25 And he showed them the way into the city. And they struck the city with the edge of the sword, but they let the man and all his family go. 26 And the man went to athe land of the Hittites and built a city and called its name Luz. That is its name to this day.

Failure to Complete the Conquest

27 bManasseh did not drive out the inhabitants 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, for the Canaanites persisted in dwelling in that land. 28 When Israel grew strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not drive them out completely.

29 cAnd Ephraim did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, so the Canaanites lived in Gezer among them.

30 Zebulun did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, or the inhabitants of dNahalol, so the Canaanites lived among them, but became subject to forced labor.

31 eAsher 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, for they did not drive them out.

33 Naphtali did not drive out the inhabitants of fBeth-shemesh, or the inhabitants of Beth-anath, so they lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and of Beth-anath became subject to forced labor for them.

34 gThe Amorites pressed the people of Dan back into the hill country, for they did not allow them to come down to the plain. 35 The Amorites persisted in dwelling in Mount Heres, hin Aijalon, and in Shaalbim, but the hand of the house of Joseph rested heavily on them, and they became subject to forced labor. 36 And the border of the Amorites ran from ithe ascent of Akrabbim, from Sela and upward.

Israel's Disobedience

Now the angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to jBochim. And he said, I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore to give to your fathers. I said, kI will never break my covenant with you, land you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; myou shall break down their altars. But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done? So now I say, nI will not drive them out before you, but they shall become othorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you. As soon as the angel of the Lord spoke these words to all the people of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and wept. And they called the name of that place Bochim.1 And they sacrificed there to the Lord.

The Death of Joshua

When Joshua dismissed the people, the people of Israel went each to his inheritance to take possession of the land. pAnd the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work that the Lord had done for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110 years. And they buried him within the boundaries of qhis inheritance in Timnath-heres, rin the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash. 10 And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.

Israel's Unfaithfulness

11 sAnd the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 tAnd they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. uThey went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and vbowed down to them. wAnd they provoked the Lord to anger. 13 They abandoned the Lord xand served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. 14 ySo the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he zgave them over to plunderers, who plundered them. aAnd he sold them into the hand of their surrounding enemies, bso that they could no longer withstand their enemies. 15 Whenever they marched out, the hand of the Lord was against them for harm, as the Lord had warned, cand as the Lord had sworn to them. And they were in terrible distress.

The Lord Raises Up Judges

16 dThen the Lord raised up judges, ewho saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them. 17 Yet they did not listen to their judges, for fthey whored after other gods and bowed down to them. gThey soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the Lord, and they did not do so. 18 Whenever the Lord raised up judges for them, hthe Lord was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. iFor the Lord was moved to pity by jtheir groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them. 19 But kwhenever the judge died, they turned back and were more corrupt than their fathers, going after other gods, serving them and bowing down to them. They did not drop any of their practices or their stubborn ways. 20 lSo the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he said, Because this people mhave transgressed my covenant that I commanded their fathers and have not obeyed my voice, 21 nI will no longer drive out before them any of the nations that Joshua left when he died, 22 in order oto test Israel by them, whether they will take care to walk in the way of the Lord as their fathers did, or not. 23 So the Lord left those nations, not driving them out quickly, and he did not give them into the hand of Joshua.

pNow these are the nations that the Lord left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan. It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before. These are the nations: qthe five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath. They were for rthe testing of Israel, to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the Lord, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. So the people of Israel lived samong the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. tAnd their daughters they took to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and they served their gods.

Othniel

uAnd the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and vthe Asheroth. Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, wand he sold them into the hand of xCushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. And the people of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years. But when the people of Israel ycried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a zdeliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them, aOthniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. 10 bThe Spirit of the Lord was upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the Lord gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand. And his hand prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim. 11 cSo the land had rest forty years. Then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

Ehud

12 dAnd the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord strengthened Eglon ethe king of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 13 He gathered to himself the Ammonites and the fAmalekites, and went and defeated Israel. And they took possession of gthe city of palms. 14 And the people of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

15 Then the people of Israel hcried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised up for them ha deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, ia left-handed man. The people of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab. 16 And Ehud made for himself a sword with two edges, a cubit1 in length, and he bound it on his right thigh under his clothes. 17 And he presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18 And when Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he sent away the people who carried the tribute. 19 But he himself turned back jat the idols near Gilgal and said, I have a secret message for you, O king. And he commanded, Silence. And all his attendants went out from his presence. 20 And Ehud came to him as he was sitting alone in his kcool roof chamber. lAnd Ehud said, I have a message from God for you. And he arose from his seat. 21 And Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly. 22 And the hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not pull the sword out of his belly; and the dung came out. 23 Then Ehud went out into the porch2 and closed the doors of the roof chamber behind him mand locked them.

24 When he had gone, the servants came, and when they saw that the doors of the roof chamber were locked, they thought, nSurely he is relieving himself in the closet of the cool chamber. 25 And they waited till they were embarrassed. But when he still did not open the doors of the roof chamber, they took the key and opened them, and there lay their lord dead on the floor.

26 Ehud escaped while they delayed, and he passed beyond othe idols and escaped to Seirah. 27 When he arrived, phe sounded the trumpet in qthe hill country of Ephraim. Then the people of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he was their leader. 28 And he said to them, Follow after me, rfor the Lord has given your enemies the Moabites into your hand. So they went down after him and seized sthe fords of the Jordan against the Moabites and did not allow anyone to pass over. 29 And they killed at that time about 10,000 of the Moabites, all strong, able-bodied men; not a man escaped. 30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. tAnd the land had rest for eighty years.

Shamgar

31 After him was uShamgar the son of Anath, who killed 600 of the Philistines vwith an oxgoad, and he also wsaved Israel.