March 17

Judges 1:1 — 3:31


1 And after the death of Joshua it came about that the sons of Israel proceeded to inquire of Jehovah, saying: “Who of us will go up first to the Canaanites to fight against them?” 2 To this Jehovah said: “Judah will go up. Look! I shall certainly give the land into his hand.” 3 Then Judah said to Simeon his brother: “Come up with me into my lot and let us fight against the Canaanites, and I myself in turn will go with you into your lot.” Accordingly Simeon went with him.

4 With that Judah went on up and Jehovah gave the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hands, so that they defeated them in Bezek, ten thousand men. 5 When they found Adoni-bezek in Bezek, then they fought against him and defeated the Canaanites and the Perizzites. 6 When Adoni-bezek took to flight, then they went chasing after him and got hold of him and cut off the thumbs of his hands and the great toes of his feet. 7 At this Adoni-bezek said: “There have been seventy kings with the thumbs of their hands and the great toes of their feet cut off picking up food under my table. Just the way I have done, so God has repaid me.” After that they brought him to Jerusalem and he died there.

8 Furthermore, the sons of Judah carried on war against Jerusalem and got to capture it, and they went striking it with the edge of the sword, and the city they consigned to the fire. 9 And afterward the sons of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites inhabiting the mountainous region and the Negeb and the Shephelah. 10 So Judah marched against the Canaanites who were dwelling in Hebron (now the name of Hebron before that was Kiriath-arba), and they went striking down Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai.

11 And they marched on from there against the inhabitants of Debir. (Now the name of Debir before that was Kiriath-sepher.) 12 Then Caleb said: “Whoever strikes Kiriath-sepher and does capture it, why, I will give him Achsah my daughter as a wife.” 13 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, got to capture it. For that he gave him Achsah his daughter as a wife. 14 And it came about that while she was going home, she kept inciting him to ask a field from her father. Then she clapped her hands while upon the ass. At this Caleb said to her: “What do you want?” 15 So she said to him: “Do grant me a blessing, for it is a southern piece of land you have given me, and you must give me Gulloth-maim.” Accordingly Caleb gave her Upper Gulloth and Lower Gulloth.

16 And the sons of the Kenite, whose son-in-law Moses was, came up out of the city of palm trees with the sons of Judah to the wilderness of Judah, which is to the south of Arad. Then they went and took up dwelling with the people. 17 But Judah marched on with Simeon his brother, and they proceeded to strike the Canaanites inhabiting Zephath and to devote it to destruction. Hence the name of the city was called Hormah. 18 After that Judah captured Gaza and its territory and Ashkelon and its territory and Ekron and its territory. 19 And Jehovah continued with Judah, so that he took possession of the mountainous region, but he could not dispossess the inhabitants of the low plain, because they had war chariots with iron scythes. 20 When they gave Caleb Hebron, just as Moses had promised, then he drove out from there the three sons of Anak.

21 And the sons of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites inhabiting Jerusalem; but the Jebusites keep on dwelling with the sons of Benjamin in Jerusalem down to this day.

22 Meantime the house of Joseph itself also went up against Bethel, and Jehovah was with them. 23 And the house of Joseph began to spy on Bethel (incidentally, the name of the city before that was Luz), 24 and the watchers got to see a man going out of the city. So they said to him: “Show us, please, the way to get into the city, and we shall certainly exercise kindness toward you.” 25 Accordingly the man showed them the way to get into the city; and they went striking the city with the edge of the sword, but the man and all his family they let go. 26 Upon that the man went to the land of the Hittites and built a city and called its name Luz. That is its name down to this day.

27 And Manasseh did not take possession of Beth-shean and its dependent towns and Taanach and its dependent towns and the inhabitants of Dor and its dependent towns and the inhabitants of Ibleam and its dependent towns and the inhabitants of Megiddo and its dependent towns, but the Canaanites persisted in dwelling in this land. 28 And it came about that Israel grew strong and proceeded to set the Canaanites to forced labor, and they did not drive them out completely.

29 Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites who were dwelling in Gezer, but the Canaanites continued to dwell in among them in Gezer.

30 Zebulun did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron and the inhabitants of Nahalol, but the Canaanites continued to dwell in among them and came to be subject to forced labor.

31 Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco and the inhabitants of Sidon and Ahlab and Achzib and Helbah and Aphik and Rehob. 32 And the Asherites continued to dwell in among the Canaanites inhabiting the land, because they did not drive them out.

33 Naphtali did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and the inhabitants of Beth-anath, but they continued to dwell in among the Canaanites inhabiting the land; and the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and of Beth-anath became theirs for forced labor.

34 And the Amorites kept pressing the sons of Dan into the mountainous region, for they did not allow them to come down into the low plain. 35 So the Amorites persisted in dwelling in Mount Heres and in Aijalon and Shaalbim. But the hand of the house of Joseph got to be so heavy that they were forced into task work. 36 And the territory of the Amorites was from the ascent of Akrabbim, from Sela upward.

2 Then Jehovah’s angel went up from Gilgal to Bochim and said: “I proceeded to bring YOU up out of Egypt and to bring YOU into the land about which I swore to YOUR forefathers. Furthermore, I said, ‘Never shall I break my covenant with YOU. 2 And for YOUR part, YOU must not conclude a covenant with the inhabitants of this land. Their altars YOU should pull down.’ But YOU have not listened to my voice. Why have YOU done this? 3 So I, in turn, have said, ‘I shall not drive them away from before YOU, and they must become snares to YOU, and their gods will serve as a lure to YOU.’”

4 And it came about that as soon as Jehovah’s angel had spoken these words to all the sons of Israel, the people began to raise their voices and weep. 5 Hence they called the name of that place Bochim. And they proceeded to sacrifice there to Jehovah.

6 When Joshua sent the people away, then the sons of Israel went their way, each to his inheritance, to take possession of the land. 7 And the people continued to serve Jehovah all the days of Joshua and all the days of the older men who extended their days after Joshua and who had seen all of Jehovah’s great work that he did for Israel. 8 Then Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Jehovah, died at the age of a hundred and ten years. 9 So they buried him in the territory of his inheritance in Timnath-heres in the mountainous region of Ephraim, on the north of Mount Gaash. 10 And all that generation too were gathered to their fathers, and another generation began to rise after them that did not know Jehovah or the work that he had done for Israel.

11 And the sons of Israel fell to doing what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah and serving the Baals. 12 Thus they abandoned Jehovah the God of their fathers who had brought them out of the land of Egypt and went following other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were all around them and they began bowing down to them, so that they offended Jehovah. 13 Thus they abandoned Jehovah and took up serving Baal and the Ashtoreth images. 14 At this Jehovah’s anger blazed against Israel, so that he gave them into the hands of the pillagers, and they began to pillage them; and he proceeded to sell them into the hand of their enemies round about, and they were no longer able to stand before their enemies. 15 Everywhere that they went out, the hand of Jehovah proved to be against them for calamity, just as Jehovah had spoken and just as Jehovah had sworn to them; and they got to be in very sore straits. 16 So Jehovah would raise up judges, and they would save them out of the hand of their pillagers.

17 And even to their judges they did not listen, but they had immoral intercourse with other gods and went bowing down to them. They quickly turned aside from the way in which their forefathers had walked by obeying the commandments of Jehovah. They did not do like that. 18 And when Jehovah did raise up judges for them, Jehovah proved to be with the judge, and he saved them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for Jehovah would feel regret over their groaning because of their oppressors and those who were shoving them around.

19 And it occurred that when the judge died they would turn around and act more ruinously than their fathers by walking after other gods to serve them and bow down to them. They did not refrain from their practices and their stubborn behavior. 20 Finally Jehovah’s anger blazed against Israel and he said: “For the reason that this nation have overstepped my covenant that I commanded their forefathers and have not listened to my voice, 21 I too, for my part, shall not drive out again from before them a single one of the nations that Joshua left behind when he died, 22 in order by them to test Israel, whether they will be keepers of Jehovah’s way by walking in it just as their fathers kept it, or not.” 23 Accordingly Jehovah let these nations stay by not driving them out quickly, and he did not give them into Joshua’s hand.

3 Now these are the nations that Jehovah let stay so as by them to test Israel, that is, all those who had not experienced any of the wars of Canaan; 2 it was only in order for the generations of the sons of Israel to have the experience, so as to teach them war, that is, only those who before that had not experienced such things: 3 The five axis lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, even the Sidonians and the Hivites inhabiting Mount Lebanon from Mount Baal-hermon as far as to the entering in of Hamath. 4 And they kept serving as agents to test Israel so as to know whether they would obey Jehovah’s commandments that he had commanded their fathers by means of Moses. 5 And the sons of Israel dwelt in among the Canaanites, the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. 6 And they proceeded to take their daughters as wives for themselves, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and they took up serving their gods.

7 So the sons of Israel did what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes, and they were forgetful of Jehovah their God and went serving the Baals and the sacred poles. 8 At this Jehovah’s anger blazed against Israel, so that he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim the king of Mesopotamia; and the sons of Israel continued to serve Cushan-rishathaim eight years. 9 And the sons of Israel began to call to Jehovah for aid. Then Jehovah raised a savior up for the sons of Israel that he might save them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, the younger brother of Caleb. 10 The spirit of Jehovah now came upon him, and he became the judge of Israel. When he went out to battle, then Jehovah gave Cushan-rishathaim the king of Syria into his hand so that his hand overpowered Cushan-rishathaim. 11 After that the land had no disturbance for forty years. Eventually Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

12 And once again the sons of Israel went doing what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes. At that Jehovah let Eglon the king of Moab grow strong against Israel, because they did what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes. 13 Furthermore, he gathered against them the sons of Ammon and Amalek. Then they went and struck Israel and took possession of the city of palm trees. 14 And the sons of Israel continued to serve Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years. 15 And the sons of Israel began to call to Jehovah for aid. So Jehovah raised up for them a savior, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a left-handed man. In time the sons of Israel sent tribute by his hand to Eglon the king of Moab. 16 Meanwhile Ehud made a sword for himself, and it had two edges, its length being a cubit. Then he girded it underneath his garment upon his right thigh. 17 And he proceeded to present the tribute to Eglon the king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man.

18 And it came about that when he had finished presenting the tribute, he at once sent the people away, the bearers of the tribute. 19 And he himself turned back at the quarries that were at Gilgal, and he proceeded to say: “I have a secret word for you, O king.” So he said: “Keep silence!” With that all those who were standing by him went on out from him. 20 And Ehud came to him as he was sitting in his cool roof chamber that he had to himself. And Ehud went on to say: “A word of God I have for you.” At that he rose up from his throne. 21 Then Ehud thrust in his left hand and took the sword off his right thigh and plunged it into his belly. 22 And the handle kept going in also after the blade so that the fat closed in over the blade, for he did not draw the sword out of his belly, and the fecal matter began to come out. 23 And Ehud proceeded to go out through the air hole, but he closed the doors of the roof chamber behind him and locked them. 24 And he himself went out.

And his servants came and began looking, and there the doors of the roof chamber were locked. So they said: “He is just easing nature in the cool interior room.” 25 And they kept waiting until they were ashamed, and, look! there was no one opening the doors of the roof chamber. At this they took the key and opened them, and, look! their lord was fallen to the earth dead!

26 As for Ehud, he escaped while they were lingering, and he himself passed by the quarries and made his escape to Seirah. 27 And it came about that when he got there he began blowing the horn in the mountainous region of Ephraim; and the sons of Israel began going down with him out of the mountainous region, he being at their head. 28 Then he said to them: “Follow me, because Jehovah has given YOUR enemies, the Moabites, into YOUR hand.” And they went following him and got to capture the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites, and they did not allow anybody to pass over. 29 And at that time they went striking down Moab, about ten thousand men, every one robust and every one a valiant man; and not a single one escaped. 30 And Moab came to be subdued on that day under Israel’s hand; and the land had no further disturbance for eighty years.

31 And after him there proved to be Shamgar the son of Anath, and he went striking down the Philistines, six hundred men, with a cattle goad; and he too got to save Israel.