…………………….A BIBLE STUDY…………………….
Today we will turn to the Old Testament and study the entire
Book of Judges, and I am sure you will find this study to be very
interesting indeed. You see, the people wanted a man to lead them
so they elected a human leader. God had led them before this time
but they wanted someone human instead. Needless to say this did
not please God at all.
You will note references to Josephus in the notes below verses,
in today’s study, Josephus was the Jewish Historian of the times, and
is often referred to when studying the Bible in greater detail. Also, you
will find references to “The Septuagint” which is the oldest translation
of the Hebrew Old Testament. The word “Septuagint” means (The 70)
a reference to the seventy Books found in it.
Judges, Chapter 1
1:1 Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?
Now after the death Joshua – probably not a long period;
because the Canaanites seem to have taken advantage
of the demise of the Hebrew leader to attempt recovering
their lost position, and the Israelites were obliged to renew
2 And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land
into his hand.
The Lord said, Judah shall go up. The predicted
pre-eminence (Genesis 49:8)was thus conferred
upon Judah by divine direction; and its appointment
to take the lead in the ensuing hostilities was of great
importance, as the measure of success by which its
arms were crowned would animate the other tribes
to make similar attempts against the Canaanites within
their respective territories.
3 And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that
we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy
lot. So Simeon went with him.
Judah said unto Simeon … Come up with me. Being
conterminous tribes (Joshua 19:1-2), they had a
common interest, and were naturally associated in this
4 And Judah went up; and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the
Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand
Bezek. This place lay within the allotted domain of Judah.
According to Eusebius and Jerome (‘Onomast.’,) it was
near Beth-shan, as was another town of the same name
(1 Samuel 11:8 ).
5 And they found Adoni-bezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and
they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites.
Adoni-bezek – i.e., lord of Bezek; i.e., they surprised
and routed him [Septuagint], in a pitched battle, where
he fled; but being taken prisoner, be was treated with a
severity unusual among the Israelites, because they “cut
off his thumbs and his big toes.” Barbarities of various
kinds were commonly practiced on prisoners of war in
ancient times; and the object of this particular mutilation
of the hands and feet was to disable them for military
service ever after. The infliction of such a horrid cruelty
on this Canaanite chief would have been a foul stain on
the character of the Israelites, if there were not reason for
believing it was done by them as an act of retributive justice;
and as such it was regarded by Adonibezek himself, whose
conscience read his atrocious crimes in their punishment.
6 But Adoni-bezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and
cut off his thumbs and his great toes.
7 And Adoni-bezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and
their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done,
so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he
Threescore and ten kings. So great a number will not
appear strange, when it is considered that, anciently,
every ruler of a city or large town was called a king. It
is not improbable that, in the large region of Canaan
called the Negeb, or “south country,” there might in
earlier times have been many rulers, until a turbulent
chief like Adoni-bezek devoured them in his insatiable
8 Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken
it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.
Now the children of Judah had fought against
Jerusalem, and had taken it. The capture of the
important city Jerusalem, which ranks among the
early incidents of the war of invasion (Joshua 15:63,)
is here noticed to account for its being in the
possession of the Judahites. It appears, however,
that it was only the southern part of the city that the
men of Judah succeeded in taking. The fortress, as
well as the northern part, remained in the possession
of the Jebusites (Judges 1:21: cf. 2 Samuel 5:6.)
The sequel of this chapter, together with the whole of
the next, is occupied with a general review of the
proceedings subsequent to the invasion, so as to be a
suitable introduction to the ensuing history.
9 And afterward the children of Judah went down to fight against the
Canaanites, that dwelt in the mountain, and in the south, and in the valley.
10 And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron: (now the
name of Hebron before was Kirjath-arba:)and they slew Sheshai, and
Ahiman, and Talmai.
Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron.
[The Septuagint adds the following clause:-kai exeelthe
Chebroon ex enantias, ‘and Hebron came out to oppose
them;’ intimating that a pitched battle was fought, which
ended in the total defeat of the inhabitants.]
11 And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name
of Debir before was Kirjath-sepher:
Debir. Its Canaanite name was Kirjath-sannah -(7153)
meaning, [city of palm] (Joshua 15:49,)And Kirjath-sepher
– i.e., [city of book.] Its site is not certainly known. The
story of the acquisition of this place is here repeated
(see Joshua 15:16-19,)with a few important variations.
12 And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjath-sepher, and taketh it, to him will
I give Achsah my daughter to wife.
13 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it: and he
gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.
Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.
14 And it came to pass, when she came to him, that she moved him to ask
of her father a field: and she lighted from off her ass; and Caleb said unto her,
What wilt thou?
When she came to him, [Septuagint] – at her entrance,
namely, into his tent; or, as she was about to start for his
And she lighted from off her ass. [The Septuagint] has:
she complained and cried from the donkey.
15 And she said unto him, Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a south
land; give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs
and the nether springs.
Give me also springs of water, [Septuagint,] states a free
flow of water]. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and
the nether springs, and Caleb gave her, according to the
wish of her heart, the copious current of the higher and
16 And the children of the Kenite, Moses’ father in law, went up out of the
city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah,
which lieth in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt among the people.
17 And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew the Canaanites that
inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. And the name of the city was
And the name of the city was called Hormah. This name
was not now given for the first time. On their early journey
toward Canaan the Israelites had attempted to penetrate
the mountainous region where Zephath was situated, and
they were repulsed (Numbers 14) but on arriving at
Kadesh they overthrew it, and called the place Hormah.
On their departure from that neighborhood the native tribes
resumed possession of it; and although Joshua made an
effective attack upon the king (Joshua 0:40-42; 12:14,)
its final subjugation was not accomplished until after his
death, by the confederate arms of Judah and Simeon, who,
in pursuance of the Israelite vow to doom it to destruction,
sank the old name Zephath in the therefore permanent
18 Also Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast
thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof.
19 And the LORD was with Judah; and he drove out the inhabitants of the
mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because
they had chariots of iron.
The Lord was with Judah; and he drove out the
inhabitants of the mountain. The war was of the
Lord, whose omnipotent power would have ensured
their success in every encounter, whether on the
mountains or the plains, with foot soldiers or cavalry.
It was distrust-the want of a simple and firm reliance
on the promise of God-that made them afraid of the
iron chariots. It has been alleged from this passage,
by many skeptical writers, that the Israelites regarded
the God of Israel as a local deity, who was superior to
the gods of their enemies in some, but not in all,
instances. The allegation is groundless; for the proper
antecedent to “he drove” is not “the Lord” (Yahweh)
but Judah. And thus there is no absurdity in the statement;
for, although “the Lord” did greatly aid the arms of Judah,
He might be pleased, in perfect consistency, to withhold
that aid in cases where they showed a want or weakness
20 And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said: and he expelled thence
the three sons of Anak.
21 And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that
inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin
in Jerusalem unto this day.
The children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites
that inhabited Jerusalem. Judah had expelled the people
from their part of Jerusalem (Judges 1:8.)The border
of the two tribes ran through the city. Israelites and natives
must have been closely intermingled.
22 And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Bethel: and the LORD
was with them.
The house of Joseph – the tribe of Ephraim, as
distinguished from Manasseh (Judges 1:27.)
23 And the house of Joseph sent to descry Bethel. (Now the name of the
city before was Luz.)
24 And the spies saw a man come forth out of the city, and they said unto
him, Shew us, we pray thee, the entrance into the city, and we will shew
25 And when he shewed them the entrance into the city, they smote the
city with the edge of the sword; but they let go the man and all his family.
26 And the man went into the land of the Hittites, and built a city, and
called the name thereof Luz: which is the name thereof unto this day.
The spies …said …Show us …the entrance into
the city – i.e., the avenues to the city, and the
weakest part of the walls.
We will show thee mercy. The Israelites might
employ these means of getting possession of a
place which was divinely appropriated to them:
they might promise life and rewards to this man,
though he and all the Canaanites were doomed to
destruction (Joshua 2:12-14;)but we may assume
that the promise was suspended on his embracing
the true religion, or quitting the country, as he did. If
they had seen him to be firmly opposed to either of
these alternatives, they would not have constrained
him, by promises any more than by threats, to betray
his countrymen. But if they found him disposed to be
serviceable, and to aid the invaders in executing the
will of God, they might promise to spare him.
27 Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shean and her
towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns,
nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo
and her towns: but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.
Neither did Manasseh drive out …The same course of
subjugation was carried on in the other tribes to a partial
extent, and with varying success. Many of the natives, no
doubt, during the progress of this exterminating war saved
themselves by flight, and became, it is thought, the first
colonists in Greece, Italy, and other countries. But a large
portion made a stout resistance, and retained possession
of their old abodes in Canaan. In other cases, when the
natives were vanquished, avarice led the Israelites to spare
the idolaters, contrary to the express command of God; and
their disobedience to His orders in this matter involved them
in many troubles which this book describes.
28 And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites
to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.
When Israel was strong … they put the Canaanites
to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out. Josephus
(‘Antiquities,’ b. v., ch. vii.)gives a full commentary on
this passage. ‘Contenting themselves with the tributes
which were paid to them, the Israelites grew effeminate,
as to fighting any more against their enemies; but applied
themselves to the cultivation of their lands, which producing
them great plenty and riches, they neglected the regular
disposition of their settlement, and indulged themselves in
luxuries and pleasures.’
29 Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the
Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.
Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt
in Gezer – a town and petty kingdom (Joshua 12:12)
situated in the southern border of Ephraim, westward
(1 Chronicles 7:28)between the lower Beth-heron and
the Mediterranean (Joshua 16:3.)
30 Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants
of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries.
Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of
Kitron = Katta [Septuagint, Kedroon], as may be
inferred from its association with Nahalol here and
(Joshua 19:15.)It is supposed to be identified with
Sepphoris, now Seffurieh.
Nor the inhabitants of Nahalol, [Septuagint, Doomana]
31 Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants
of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of
Ahlab, [Septuagint, Dalaf] – supposed (Reland, ‘Palaestina,’
pp, 813-817)to be Gushe Halab, the Greek Giscala which
has been identified by Robinson with el-Jish, near Safed, in
the mountainous region northwest of the sea of Galilee
(‘Biblical Researches,’ iii., p. 368).
Achzib, [Septuagint, Aschazees] – afterward Ecdippa
(Josephus, ‘Jewish Wars,’ b. i., ch. xiii., sec. 4.)now
Es-zib, a small hamlet situated on a rising ground close
to the seaside (Porter, ‘Handbook,’ p. 389).
Helbah, [Septuagint, Chebda] – probably situated on the
plain of Phoenicia; but not yet ascertained.
Aphik = Aphek [Septuagint, Nai, or Nafek]. It must not be
confounded with Aphik, now Tik, east of Jordan.
32 But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the
land: for they did not drive them out.
33 Neither did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh, nor the
inhabitants of Beth-anath; but he dwelt among the Canaanites, the
inhabitants of the land: nevertheless the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and
of Beth-anath became tributaries unto them.
34 And the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain: for they
would not suffer them to come down to the valley:
35 But the Amorites would dwell in mount Heres in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim:
yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became
36 And the coast of the Amorites was from the going up to Akrabbim, from
the rock, and upward.
Well, that concludes our study of Chapter 1. Next week we
will move on to Chapter 2, as we will do the entire Book of Judges in this
study. Now have a Blessed Day, and a Wonderful Weekend, and may dy
God Bless You! Amen.
With our Love and Prayers,
Dr. Lowell & Judy Mason