Bible study 211 – Judges 1

Now that Joshua is dead, each tribe is supposed to drive away all the remaining Canaanites from their lands. But the northern tribes don’t do much; they just settle in the towns they have already taken from the enemy, and let the Canaanites keep on living as forced laborers.

Not so the valiant tribe of Judah and their allies of Simon. They take up arms and drive out all the Baal-worshippers from their lands. In fact, they do their job so meticulously that they defeat Hebron, which has already been defeated thoroughly twice before. After the third conquest, just to be on the safe side, Caleb defeats it a fourth time in the same chapter. Debir is only given a second ethnic cleansing. (To be fair, the part with Caleb is just a literal repetition of a part of Joshua 15, which someone plainly copy-pasted into Judges. Clearly just sloppy editing.)

They also try to help the tribe of Benjamin with the native Jebusites in Jerusalem by putting the city to the sword and burning it; but later in the same chapter the Jebusites are still there, so I guess they can’t have burned it very thoroughly.

Moses’ Midian father-in-law is also mentioned, although his name has changed again, this time to Hobab (who, confusingly, according to Numbers was also his brother-in-law).

Judges 1:6
Adoni-bezek fled; but they pursued him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and big toes.

Full text.


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