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Judah Takes the Lead

1:1 After Joshua died, the Israelites asked1 the Lord, “Who should lead the invasion against the Canaanites and launch the attack?”2 1:2 The Lord said, “The men of Judah should take the lead.3 Be sure of this! I am handing the land over to them.”4 1:3 The men of Judah said to their relatives, the men of Simeon,5 “Invade our allotted land with us and help us attack the Canaanites.6 Then we7 will go with you into your allotted land.” So the men of Simeon went with them.

1:4 The men of Judah attacked,8 and the Lord handed the Canaanites and Perizzites over to them. They killed ten thousand men at Bezek. 1:5 They met9 Adoni-Bezek at Bezek and fought him. They defeated the Canaanites and Perizzites. 1:6 When Adoni-Bezek ran away, they chased him and captured him. Then they cut off his thumbs and big toes. 1:7 Adoni-Bezek said, “Seventy kings, with thumbs and big toes cut off, used to lick up10 food scraps11 under my table. God has repaid me for what I did to them.”12 They brought him to Jerusalem,13 where he died. 1:8 The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem and captured it. They put the sword to it and set the city on fire.

1:9 Later the men of Judah went down to attack the Canaanites living in the hill country, the Negev, and the lowlands.14 1:10 The men of Judah attacked the Canaanites living in Hebron. (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba.) They killed Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai. 1:11 From there they attacked the people of Debir.15 (Debir used to be called Kiriath Sepher.) 1:12 Caleb said, “To the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher I will give my daughter Acsah as a wife.” 1:13 When Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother,16 captured it, Caleb17 gave him his daughter Acsah as a wife.

1:14 One time Acsah18 came and charmed her father19 so she could ask him for some land. When she got down from her donkey, Caleb said to her, “What would you like?” 1:15 She answered, “Please give me a special present.20 Since you have given me land in the Negev, now give me springs of water.” So Caleb gave her both the upper and lower springs.21

1:16 Now the descendants of the Kenite, Moses’ father-in-law, went up with the people of Judah from the City of Date Palm Trees to Arad in the desert of Judah,22 located in the Negev.23 They went and lived with the people of Judah.24

1:17 The men of Judah went with their brothers the men of Simeon25 and defeated the Canaanites living in Zephath. They wiped out Zephath.26 So people now call the city Hormah.27 1:18 The men of Judah captured Gaza, Ashkelon, Ekron, and the territory surrounding each of these cities.28

1:19 The Lord was with the men of Judah. They conquered29 the hill country, but they could not30 conquer the people living in the coastal plain, because they had chariots with iron-rimmed wheels.31 1:20 Caleb received32 Hebron, just as Moses had promised. He drove out the three Anakites. 1:21 The men of Benjamin, however, did not conquer the Jebusites living in Jerusalem.33 The Jebusites live with the people of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this very day.34


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