The Period Of The Judges

 Chapter 1
Failure of Judah     [Judges 1:1-1.20]

 

Scripture

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?
2 And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.
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.
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 men.
5 And they found Adonibezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites.
6 But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes.
7 And Adonibezek 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 died.
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.
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 Kirjatharba:) and they slew Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai.
11 And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher:
12 And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, 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.
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?
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.
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 called Hormah.
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 drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.
20 And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said: and he expelled thence the three sons of Anak.

 

Commentary

After the death of Joshua, the nation of Israel was ruled by judges, or heroic military deliverers, for about 300 years until the united monarchy was established under King Saul. The era of the judges was a time of instability and moral depravity, a dark period when “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (17:6). The judges tried to rally the people against their enemies, but many of the judges were morally weak and the people often turned to idolatry. Along with the well-known judges, there were several minor judges whose battles are not recorded in the Bible: Abimelech, Tola, Jair, Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon.
What began with conquest (vv. 1.1–1.26) soon became compromise (vv. 1.27–1.36) as the defeated tribes gave in to the enemy. IF WE DO NOT DEFEAT THE ENEMY COMPLETELY, THE ENEMY WILL EVENTUALLY DEFEAT US. Israel learned their ways and worshiped their gods, and the Lord had to chasten His people to bring them back. They forgot the warnings of Moses (Deut. 7) and Joshua (Josh. 23).
It has well been said, “The one thing we learn from history is that we do not learn from history.” Read 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1 and take it to heart.
NOTICE: Throughout this passage the names of the 12 tribes are personified; for example, it says in verse 2, Judah shall go up. It is the tribe of Judah that is the subject, not the son of Jacob, whose offspring were the tribe of Judah. 

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 [1]Canaanites  first, to fight against them?

After the death of Joshua and the move of the two and a half tribes to the east side of the Jordan River, the Israelites’ purpose was to attack the remaining Canaanites and wipe them out, but the nation did not function with one great army. Individual tribes fought to claim their inheritance, and often they worked together; but something was definitely lost in the transition. GOD’S PEOPLE MUST ENDEAVOR “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3).
The transition from Moses’ leadership to that of Joshua is one of the most encouraging events in all of Scripture. However, no strong central ruler took over after the death of Joshua (in 1390–1380 B.C.). While the book of Joshua represents the high point of victory for the Israelite tribes, the book of Judges, by contrast, presents the tragic defeat that was the result of compromise with their enemies. Joshua is a picture of the potential of total victory that is available to every child of God, while Judges is a picture of potential defeat which will be experienced every time one fails to totally drive out the enemy. The literary format of Judges is remarkably similar to that of Joshua, in spite of the fact that one book deals almost exclusively with victory, while the other deals almost continually with defeat. Israel is now pictured as settled in the land by the tribal allotments that had been apportioned to them by Joshua. Although the initial conquest was lightning-quick, and decisive, the settlement of the tribal territories was slow and cumbersome. Many pockets of resistance remained; and in time the Israelites settled on a policy of coexistence, rather than total conquest.
The contrast between Joshua and Judges presents a parallel between the unconditional and conditional covenant agreements of God. God had unconditionally guaranteed the land to Abraham and his descendants (Gen 15). However, under Moses, He had established a conditional covenant to determine whether or not they would be blessed in the land they were to possess (Deut 28). The Bible makes it clear that man can do nothing to earn his own salvation; but it is also equally clear that in order to enjoy the salvation that has been given to him as a free gift, he must become obedient to the lordship of Christ. Faith, not obedience, determines one’s salvation. Obedience determines the degree of blessing to be enjoyed by the saved person. There is, therefore, no real contradiction then between Joshua and Judges. The victory reported so decisively in Joshua was a reality for the Israelites. However, their subsequent compromise of coexistence with their enemies led to their losing much of the land which they had initially acquired. The people of Israel owned the land, but they didn’t possess all of it; and therefore they couldn’t enjoy all of it.

Article 1.1: The Limits of Early Israelite Control

The resistance came from their perennial enemies, the Canaanites. The term [1]Canaanites is generally used as a designation for all the aboriginal tribal inhabitants of the Levant (i.e., Palestine). Sometimes a distinction is made between the Canaanites and the Amorites (for a thorough discussion of these peoples see A. R. Millard, “The Canaanites,” and M. Liverani, “The Amorites,” in Peoples of Old Testament Times, and also E. Anati, Palestine Before the Hebrews). The Canaanites were a loosely confederated settlement of various city-states and did not represent a strong unified central government. The Perizzites, Jebusites, and Amorites are generally considered to be related to one another. The Canaanites had already developed their own religious beliefs and practices by this time. Their religion was essentially that of a nature cult based on a pantheon of gods led by El and Baal.
The tribes of Judah and Simeon, who were tribal blood brothers, allied themselves to go to war against the Canaanites and the Perizzites of whom they slew ten thousand men in Bezek. The tribe of Simeon was not assigned a specific territory of its own and was allowed to settle within the portion assigned to Judah [2](see Josh 19:9 ). Thus, the two tribes became virtually inseparable. The location of Bezek is unknown (possibly Khirbet Bezqa near Gezer) and the meaning of the name of its king Adoni-bezek is “lord of Bezek.” He is not to be confused with Adoni-zedek of Joshua 10. Adoni-zedek was previously the king of Jerusalem and was the leader of the southern confederation of Canaanite cities against the Gibeonites. Adoni-bezek, by contrast, was defeated at Bezek and brought to Jerusalem afterwards. The passage indicates that Adoni-bezek had conquered seventy kings, whom he brought under his submission by having their thumbs and their great toes cut off. This may seem strange to the modern reader, but was very significant in the ancient Near East. Physical mutilation disqualified a person from religious or political office [3](see Lev 21:16–24 ). It was also used to render a person militarily impotent. By having his thumb cut off he could no longer handle a weapon effectively. That the defeated kings gathered their meat under my table (Judges 1.7) indicates that they became vassals , servants of the overlord and were allowed to remain alive. In a similar fashion, Adoni-bezek was allowed to remain at Jerusalem until he died.
Afterwards, the tribe of Judah fought against Jerusalem … and set the city on fire. The site of Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world. Its original location was on the Hill of Ophel, south of the area where the Temple would later stand. It is referred to as the city of Salem in [5]Genesis 14:18. It is mentioned in the Tell Mardikh Tablets found at Ebla and in the Tell El-Amarna Tablets as “Urusalim,” one of the most important Canaanite city-states. It is also mentioned in Egyptian texts as early as 1900 B.C. (for a discussion of this important city and its archaeological remains see M. Avi-Yonah, Jerusalem and C. Pfeiffer, Jerusalem Through The Ages). The fact that this passage states that the children of Judah conquered Jerusalem, whereas [6]Joshua 15:63  states that they had not done it “unto this day,” would indicate the antiquity of the date of the book of Joshua. In the Joshua reference the Jebusites are referred to as controlling the city. Some have suggested that the tribe of Judah conquered the city itself, but not the stronghold of the Jebusite tower. [7]Judges 19:10, also indicates that the Jebusites were again in control of the city, which was not permanently conquered and settled by the Israelites until the time of David [8](I Chr 11:4–9 ).

Now after the death of Joshua

How long after the death of Joshua this happened, we cannot tell; it is probable that it was not long. The enemies of the Israelites, after finding out that their champion is dead, would naturally take advantage of their unsettled state, and make incursions into their country to attempt to recover their lost territory, and so the Israelites were obliged to renew the war. While Joshua lived he directed them, and all the tribes were obedient to him, but when he died he left no successor with the same authority that he had.

the children of Israel asked the Lord
The divine counsel on this, as on other occasions, was sought by consulting the oracle of God for direction—WHICH OF ALL THE TRIBES SHOULD FIRST ATTEMPT TO CLEAR THEIR COUNTRY OF THE CANAANITES, AND TO ANIMATE AND ENCOURAGE THE REST. The people must consult the Oracle of God, the high priest, who, according to JOSEPHUS, was Phinehas; and then they would receive the word of command; for God himself, was their King.

saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first
Joshua had left no successor; therefore every thing relative to the movements of this people must be determined either by whim, or by special direction of the Lord. The question they ask is, Who shall go up first? By this time, we may suppose that there were so many of them that the places they were in possession of began to be too small for them, and they realized that they must thrust out the enemy to make room; now they enquire who should be the first to take up arms. Whether each tribe was determined to be first, and so went all-out for the honor of it, or whether each was afraid of being first, and so endeavored to decline it, is not known; but by common consent the matter was referred to God himself, who is the fittest both to dispose of honors and to allocate work.
They were correct, they needed a leader who would bring all the tribes together, and then lead them into battle. They were also correct in asking God to select such a leader. But we will find that they do not follow God’s instructions to kill all the inhabitants of the land and that will result in continuous suffering and fighting for the people of God.
The weakness of the twelve tribes is revealed from the word go. They asked the Lord what they should do and who should go for them to fight against the Canaanites. The Canaanites were well entrenched in the land because the Israelites failed to drive them out. They were a thorn in Israel’s side during the reigns of Saul and David.

2 And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.

Judah had been assigned the territory west of the Dead Sea and South of Jerusalem (Jebus), the territory known as Judea in NT times (Josh. 15.1-63).
God selected Judah to go up first. He would be the one to take the leadership in warring against the Canaanites in the south. And God promised him success: "I have delivered the land into his hand”, to be possessed by him, and therefore, I will deliver the enemy into his hand. God’s purpose is stated as an accomplished fact. The assurance of success is stated as an inducement to be actively and confidently working to accomplish God’s purpose. Notice: The land in question is not the whole country, but the district assigned for Judah’s inheritance.
And why must Judah be first in this undertaking? Let me give you four reasons:
1. Judah was the most numerous and most powerful tribe, and therefore Judah would be the first to fight. Note: God appoints service according to the strength he has given. Those that are the most able, from them the most work is expected.
2. Judah was first in dignity, and therefore must be first in duty. He it is whom his brethren must praise, and therefore he must lead in perilous services. Let the burden of honour and the burden of work go together.
3. Judah was the kingly tribe [6](Gen 49.8, 9 ). Judah believed God’s promise, obeyed God’s counsel, and even asked the people of the tribe of Simeon to go to war with them. Since Leah had given birth to Simeon and Judah, these tribes were blood brothers [7](Gen 35.23 ). Incidentally Simeon actually had its inheritance within the tribe of Judah [8](Josh 19.1 ).
4. Judah was the one selected by God; and therefore Judah must be the first to fight.
5. Judah was the tribe out of which our Lord was to spring: so that in Judah, Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, went before them. Christ engaged the powers of darkness first, and foiled them, which animates us for our conflicts; and it is in him that we are more than conquerors.
Observe, the service and the success are two-sides of the same coin: "Judah shall go up; let him do his part, and then he shall find that I have delivered the land into his hand.” His service will not bring victory unless God gives success to the undertaking; but God will not give the success unless he vigorously applies himself to the service.
the Lord said, Judah shall go up
The predicted pre-eminence of Judah [9](Ge 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, because 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.

Jacob had declared that the tribes of Simeon and Levi would be scattered in Israel [14](Gen 49.5-7 ). Joshua did not assign a specific territory to Simeon, but allowed the Simeonites to settle in the portion assigned to Judah [15](Josh 19.9 ).
Judah prepares to go up against the enemy, but first he courts his brother and neighbour the tribe of Simeon to join forces with him. In spite of God’s promise of victory (v. 2), Judah sought the assistance of the tribe of Simeon, showing that their faith lacked complete dependence on God’s Word.
At first this looks like a fine sign of cooperation between Judah and Simeon, and it was, but it was also a sign of weakness. The tribe of Judah had no business asking for help to drive the Canaanites out of their particular portion of land. With God’s help they would be able to do it. As a result, the Canaanites were never completely driven out of the land.
Observe here,
1. That the strongest should not despise those that are weaker. For example; our text tells us that Judah, who is more numerous than any of the other tribes desired the assistance of Simeon, who is the least numerous tribe, and yet Judah begs for Simeon’s friendship, and pleads for help from him; the head cannot say to the foot, I have no need of thee, for we are members one of another.
2. That those that crave assistance must be ready to give assistance: Come with me and help with my mission, and then I will go with you to help with your task. It becomes the Israelites to help one another against the [16]Canaanites; and all Christians, even those of different tribes (nationalities, race, religions), should strengthen one another’s hands against the common interests of Satan’s kingdom. Those who help one another in love have reason to hope that God will graciously help them both.
Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me . . ., that we may fight against the Canaanites  – Seeing that these tribes lived within the same territory and that the territory also appears to have Canaanites living there [17](Jos 19:1, 2 ), they had a common interest, and were naturally allied in this enterprise—to eliminate all the Canaanites.

4 And Judah went up; and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the [18]Perizzites  into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men.

The combined forces of Judah and Simeon take the field: Judah went up, and Simeon with him, (v. 3). Caleb, is probably commander-in-chief of this expedition; for who else would be so well qualified, having both an old man’s head and a young man’s hand, the experience of age and the vigor of youth? [19](Jos. 14:10, 11). It should seem too, by what follows (v. 10, 11), that he was not yet in possession of his own allotment. It was wonderful for them that they had such a general as Caleb to lead them. Some think that the Canaanites had got together into a body, a formidable body, when Israel consulted about who should go and fight against them, and that they then began to stir when they heard about the death of Joshua, whose name had brought fear to the heart of the Canaanite people.
Whether they invaded the enemy, or the enemy was the one to start the fight, the Lord delivered them into their hand. Although the army of Judah was strong and bold, yet the victory is attributed to God: he delivered the Canaanites into their hand; He gives them the ability to destroy them—He gave them the power to do it, and used the battle to test their obedience to his command, which was to utterly cut them off. Now, we are told how the army of the Canaanites was routed in the field, in or near Bezek. There (Judah’s and Simeon’s) first victory was over the inhabitants of Bezek. God gave them great success. After slaying ten thousand men, they cut off the thumbs and big toes of the king, as he had done to his foes. He should have been put to death, as the Lord had commanded [20](Deut. 7:24), but instead he was only maimed. Then he was taken to Jerusalem, where he later died. This foreshadowed Israel’s disobedience in dealing with the heathen in their land. Rather than completely crushing them, the Israelites only crippled them. Such partial obedience was disobedience and would cost the Jews dearly in the days ahead.

5 And they found Adonibezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites.
6 But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes.

Adoni-bezek is literally the “lord of Bezek”. There have been those that called their lands by their own names [21](Ps. 49:11 ), but here was one (and there has been many others) that called himself by his land’s name.
It is very probable that the different Canaanite tribes were governed by a sort of chieftain, similar to those among the clans of the ancient Scottish Highlanders. Bezek is said by some to have been in the tribe of Judah. Eusebius and St. Jerome mention two villages with this name, not in the tribe of Judah, but about seventeen miles from Shechem. However, the predominate opinion is that this place lay within the domain of Judah, about twelve miles south of Jerusalem.
The lord of Bezek was "found," that is, surprised and routed in a pitched battle, from which he fled; but being taken prisoner, he was treated with a severity that was unusual among the Israelites, for they "cut off his thumbs and great toes." Barbarous acts 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 him for military service forever. They cut off his thumbs, to make him unfit for fighting, and his great toes, so that he would not be able to run away. 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 retribution for his cruel actions against his enemies and even his own people. Justice was served in his case, since he was well known for doing the same thing and worse. The lord of Bezek boasted that he had cut off the thumbs and great toes of seventy other kings.

7 And Adonibezek 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 died.

The maiming of this Canaanite chief did him a great indignity, but it served to extract from him an acknowledgment of the righteousness of God. Here observe:
1. WHAT A GREAT MAN THIS ADONI-BEZEK HAD BEEN; how great as a commander in the field, where armies fled before him; how great at home, where kings were set with the dogs under his table and fought with the dogs over those crumbs that fell from his table; and yet now he is a prisoner, and reduced to the state of extreme misery, and disgrace. Notice how changeable this world is, and how slippery its high places are. Those that are the highest must not be proud, and the strongest should not feel secure, for they do not know how low they may be brought before they die.
2. WHAT DEVASTATION HE HAD MADE AMONG HIS NEIGHBORS: he had totally subdued seventy kings, and made them his prisoners; he was the chief person in his city, and was eventually called a king. We cannot presume that Adoni-bezek had all seventy of these petty princes at once for his slaves; but during his reign, he had successfully deposed and abused seventy, and he treated them according to his barbarous fancy, which was meant to terrorize other kings.
3. IT SEEMS THE CANAANITES HAD BEEN WASTED BY CIVIL WARS, which would very much facilitate the conquest of them by Israel. "Judah,’’ says Dr. Lightfoot, "in conquering Adoni-bezek, did, in effect, conquer seventy kings.’’
4. HOW JUSTLY HE WAS TREATED, SINCE HE WAS TREATED AS HE HAD TREATED OTHERS. Thus the righteous God sometimes, in his providence, makes the punishment suit the sin, and acts with equality in his judgments; the spoiler shall be spoiled, and the treacherous dealer dealt with treacherously, Isa. 33:1. And those that showed no mercy shall have no mercy shown to them ([22]Jam. 2:13 ; [23]Rev. 13:10 , [24]18:6).
5. HOW HONESTLY ADONI-BEZEK ACKNOWLEDGED THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD: As I have done, so God has requited  me. See the power of conscience, when God by his judgments awakens it, how it brings sin to remembrance, and capitulation to the justice of God. He that in his pride had defied God now yields to him, and reflects with as much regret upon the kings under his table as ever he had looked upon them with pleasure when he had them there. He seems to admit that he was dealt with better than he had dealt with his prisoners; for though the Israelites maimed him (according to the law of retaliation, an eye for an eye, so a thumb for a thumb), yet they did not put him under the table to be fed with the crumbs there, because, though the other might well be looked upon as an act of justice, this would have more of the appearance of pride and haughtiness than did become an Israelite.
Threescore and ten kings
Kings here means Chieftains, heads of tribes, or military officers in addition to a monarch. So great a number will not appear strange when it is considered that in ancient times every ruler of a city or large town was called a king. It is not improbable that in that southern region of Canaan, there might, in earlier times, have been even more till a turbulent chief like Adoni-bezek devoured them in his insatiable ambition.
Having their thumbs and their great toes cut off
That this was an ancient mode of treating enemies we learn from Aelian, who tells us that "the Athenians, at the instigation of Cleon, son of Cleaenetus, made a decree that all the inhabitants of the island of Aegina should have the thumb cut off from the right hand, so that they might forever be disabled from holding a spear, yet they might be able to handle an oar." This is considered by Aelian an act of great cruelty; and he wishes to Minerva, the guardian of the city, to Jupiter Eleutherius, and all the gods of Greece, that the Athenians had never done such things. It was a custom among those Romans who did not like a military life, to cut off their own thumbs, with the intention that they might not be capable of serving in the army. Sometimes the parents cut off the thumbs of their children, so that they might not be called into the army. According to Suetonius, a Roman knight, who had cut off the thumbs of his two sons to prevent them from being called to a military life was, by the order of Augustus, publicly sold, both he and his property. Calmet remarks that the Italian language has preserved a term, poltrone, which signifies one whose thumb is cut off, to designate a soldier destitute of courage and valor. We use poltroon to signify a dishonorable fellow. There have been found frequent instances of persons maiming themselves, so that they might be incapacitated for military duty. I have heard of an instance in which a desperate soldier discharged his gun through his hand, so that he might be discharged from his regiment. The cutting off of the thumbs was probably designed for a double purpose:
1.  To incapacitate them for war; and,
2.  To brand them as cowards.
Gathered their meat under my table
I think this was a well-known mode of expression, to signify reducing a person to the lowest servitude; for it is not at all likely that seventy kings, many of whom must have been contemporaries, were placed under the table of the king of Bezek, and fed there; as in the houses of poor persons the dogs are fed with crumbs and offal, under the table of their owners.
So God hath [25]requited me
The king of Bezek seems to have had the knowledge of the true God, and a proper notion of a Divine providence. He now feels himself reduced to that state to which he had cruelly reduced others. Those acts by him were acts of terrible cruelty; the act towards him was an act of retribution and justice.
And there he died
His own people took him to the important Canaanite city of Jerusalem. He continued at Jerusalem in a submissive and degraded condition until the day of his death. We do not know how long he lived after his disgrace.

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.

Here we have the conquest and destruction of Jerusalem, but it is spoken of as if it was done in earlier times; in Joshua’s time, and only repeated on the occasion of Adoni-bezek’s dying there, and therefore we emphasize the past tense, "they HAD fought against Jerusalem,” and put this expression in quotes; but the original speaks of it as a thing done at the present, and this seems to be the most probable because it is said to be done by the children of Judah in particular, not by all Israel in general, whom Joshua commanded. Joshua indeed conquered and slew Adoni-zedec, king of Jerusalem (Jos. 10), but there is no mention of his taking the city; probably, while he was pursing his conquests elsewhere, this Adoni-bezek, a neighbouring prince, got possession of it; however, after Israel conquered the forces of Adoni-bezek in the field, the city fell into their hands, and they slew the inhabitants, except those Jebusites (see Article 1.2) who retreated into the castle (strong hold or fortress on Mount Zion) and held out there until David’s time [26](2 Sam. 5:6, 7 ). Joshua ordered them to set the city on fire, as a token of how deeply they detested the idolatry that infected it. Yet they probably did not completely destroy it, but left enough of the city to provide convenient habitations for those they left to take possession of it. The reality is that only the lower city was taken, but the citadel remained in Jebusite hands; the city was captured but not occupied. The capture of this important city ranks among the early successes in the war of invasion [27](Jos 15:63 ).The body of Adoni-bezek was put on display in Jerusalem, in order to inspire terror far and wide in the people who remained in the land God had given to the tribes of Israel.

Article 1.2: JEBUSITES [JEBB you sites] (descendants of Jebus)
JEBUSITES [JEBB you sites] (descendants of Jebus) — the name of the original inhabitants of the city of JEBUS, their name for ancient Jerusalem (Judg. 19:10–11; 1 Chr. 11:4–6). They were descended from the third son of Canaan. Gen. 10:16; 1 Chron. 1:14. The actual people first appear in the invaluable report of the spies. Num. 13:29. When Jabin organized his rising against Joshua, the Jebusites joined him. Josh. 11:3. “Jebus, which is Jerusalem,” lost its king in the slaughter of Beth-horn, Josh. 10:1, 5, 26; was sacked and burned by the men of Judah, Judges 1:21, and its citadel finally scaled and occupied by David. 2 Sam. 5:6. After this they emerge from the darkness but once, in the person of Araunah the Jebusite, “Araunah the king,” who
appears before us in true kingly dignity in his well-known transaction with David. 2 Sam. 24:23; 1 Chron. 21:24, 25.When the Israelites invaded Palestine under the leadership of Joshua, the Jebusites were ruled by Adoni-Zedek (Josh. 10:1, 3), one of five Amorite kings who resisted the Hebrew conquest. These five kings were defeated and slain by Joshua (Josh. 10:16–27). But the Jebusites were not driven out of Jebus (Jerusalem).
After David was anointed king, he led his army against the Jebusites. His military commander, Joab, apparently entered the city through an underground water shaft and led the conquest (2 Sam. 5:6–9; 1 Chr. 11:4–8). David then made this former Jebusite stronghold, now called the “City of David,” the capital of his kingdom.

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 [28]valley .
10 And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron: (now the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba:) and they slew Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai.
11 And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher:
12 And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, 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.
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?
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 [29]nether  springs.

God had given the Israelites Palestine, but the land was already occupied, therefore, they must remove the current inhabitants; actually, God told them to kill every one who lived there. And so there is a new war with the Canaanites under the direction of Caleb. We have here (vv. 9-15) a further account of that glorious and successful campaign which Judah and Simeon made. The place allotted to Judah was pretty well cleared of the Canaanites, yet not entirely. Those that dwelt in the mountain (the mountains that were round about Jerusalem) were driven out (v. 9). The territories of the tribe of Judah lay in the most [30]southern  part of the Promised Land, which was very mountainous, though towards the west it had many fine plains. In some of the cities of the plains the Canaanites had fought and were prepared to fight against Judah; but the expedition headed there was for the purpose of finally expelling them. But probably this is a recap of what is related in [31]Joshua 10:36 ; [32]11:21 ; [33]15:13 . Israel first took the hill country and held it the longest. The foothills, lying between the hill country and the coast were the scene of constant fighting between Israel and the Canaanites.
When the children of Israel settled in the Promised Land, they were subject to the influence and temptations of the Canaanite religion. It was a degrading religion, and they soon lapsed into idolatry and apostasy . Religious prostitution and the sacrifice of infants to Molech were among the degrading practices that confronted them in their new home. They often forgot their covenant with God at Mount Sinai. When they lapsed into idolatry, God chastened them by delivering them over to their enemies. When in a spirit of repentance, they prayed for mercy, help came in the person of a ‘Judge’ who was raised up by God to save His people from their oppressors. The periods of Israel’s faithfulness to God were of short duration, however. The pattern of [34]apostasy, defeat, repentance, prayer for deliverance, and victory through a Spirit-endowed Judge is frequently repeated. A series of such episodes forms the major portion of the book of Judges.

Here, while on the verge of taking the war to the people who lived in the valleys, the men of Judah failed, and thus spoiled the influence which their example up till now might have had on the rest of the tribes, who followed them in this instance of their cowardice, rather than in all the other instances of their courage. The people that lived in the valleys had iron chariots, and therefore it was thought unsafe to attack them: but didn’t Israel have God on their side, whose chariots are thousands of angels (Ps. 68:17 ), before whom these iron chariots would be like stubble to the fire? Is it true that God expressly promised by the oracle (v. 2) to give them success against the Canaanites in this very expedition, and therefore they would have been successful even against those iron chariots. Yet they suffered from their fears, which prevailed against their faith; they could not trust God if they were under any disadvantages, and therefore they dare not face the iron chariots, but shamefully withdrew their forces, when with one bold stroke they might have completed their victories; and their cowardess eventually led to deadly consequence.
And then, Caleb, with the help of the tribe of Judah took possession of Hebron, which, though given to him by Joshua ten or twelve years before (as Dr. Lightfoot computes), but because he was employed in public service, for the settling of the tribes, which he preferred before his own private interests, it seems he did not until now make himself master of it. He was so very content serving others, while he left himself to be served last; few are like-minded, for all seek their own, [36](Phil. 2:20, 21 ).
The capture of Hebron, which became the early Judean capital, is credited here to Judah, but Joshua 14 and 15 tell us that Caleb was the one responsible for the conquest of this city. There is no discrepancy here, since Caleb was from the tribe of Judah. These verses (9, 10) probably refer to Caleb’s conquest of the city (see v. 20) and not to a subsequent expedition after Joshua’s death, even as the capture of Kirjath Sepher by Othniel is repeated in verses 11–15, although it took place previously [37](Josh. 15:16–19 ). Hebron was located about twenty miles south of Jerusalem in the highest mountains of Judah. The patriarchal burial ground was located there (Gen 23). It had been assigned earlier to Caleb [38](Num 14:24 ) in anticipation of his subsequent conquest, which is also related in Joshua 15. It was previously called Kirjath-arba, meaning “fourfold city” or “tetrapolis.” It was the home of the giant-like Anakim. The names of Sheshai … Ahiman … Talmai are of Aramaean origin; they were descendents of the great Anak whose people had frightened ten of the twelve Jewish spies who were the first to explore the land [39](Num. 13.22, 28 ).
Next, Caleb turned his attention to the city of [40]Debir, which was formerly known as Kirjathsepher (“city of books” or “scribes”). Cundall suggests Caleb’s interest in this area may have come from his original assignment as a spy to reconnoiter this territory. Debir was eleven miles southwest of Hebron and has been identified in archaeological excavations as Tell Beit Mirsim. Caleb promised to give his daughter Achsah to be the wife of the man who would take the city. His nephew Othniel, who would later become the first judge, accepted the challenge and conquered the city, and wins the lady (v. 13), and by his wife’s interest and influence with her father gains a very good inheritance for himself and his family, v. 14, 15.
Othniel, undoubtedly was chosen as a judge because of his relationship to Caleb. Nepotism was prevalent even in that day. If he had been the son-in-law of Joe Doakes, he probably would never have been a judge. Many men today occupy positions of prominence, not because of their ability, but because of a certain relationship or circumstance.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
The bravery of Othniel and the leadership of the tribe of Judah appear again in the invasion described in chapter 3. His wife’s request for the springs of water was extremely important since they were in a very arid region near the Negev. Discoveries in this area have revealed many water shafts, or wells, that could provide adequate water for those living in the area.
Springs—basins or pockets of subterranean water.

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.

The reference to the Kenite refers to the nomadic people who later settled among the Amalekites. "The Kenite," was probably descended from the people of that name [41](Nu 24:21, 22 ). The Kenites are also associated with the Midianites (Ex 18), indicating their constantly nomadic condition. They were related to the Israelites through Moses’ marriage to Zipporah [42](Ex 2:21 ). As a rule, they remained in a favorable relationship with the Israelites while preserving their identity, until even as late as the time of David. In Judges 4 the Israelite defender, Jael, is married to Heber the Kenite. The Kenites continued to dwell with the children of Judah, though they never were truly converted.
The city of palm trees commonly refers to Jericho, though this has been questioned by some. Most Hebrew scholars suggest that the phrase dwelt among the people be amended to read “dwelt among Amalek.” Arad is normally identified with Tell ’Arad, seventeen miles south of Hebron. The remainder of this section describes the conquest by the tribes of Judah and Simeon over Zephath, which was renamed Hormah, meaning “devotion to destruction.” Next, they conquered Gaza … Askelon … Ekron, which later formed part of the Philistine pentapolis, though at this time, prior to the arrival of the main body of Philistines in this area, they were still under Canaanite control. Verse 19 indicates that Judah was able to conquer the hill country but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley where the use of their chariots of iron neutralized the Israelite attack. It would be many years until the Israelites acquired a knowledge of ironworking, giving the Canaanites a superior advantage in this skill which they had learned from the Hittites. Verse 21 notes that the children of Benjamin were not able to drive out the Jebusites who inhabited Jerusalem. Since Benjamin and Judah formed a common tribal border near Jerusalem, it is not unusual for this reference to include the Benjamites. The text also notes that the Jebusites still held the city “unto this day” (i.e., the time when this book was written.)  Thus, the initial victory of the men of Judah against Jerusalem was already lost, and the city reverted back to Jebusite control. It would never permanently come under Israelite conquest until it was taken by David and Joab [43](II Sam 5:6–9 ).
The children of the Kenite, Moses' father-in-law
— For an account of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, see Exodus 18:1-27; [48]Numbers 10:29, etc.
The city of palm trees—This seems to have been some place near Jericho, which is expressly called the city of palm trees, [44]Deuteronomy 34:3; and though destroyed by Joshua, it might have some suburbs remaining where these harmless people had taken up their residence. The Kenites, the descendants of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, were always attached to the Israelites: they remained with them, says Calmet, during their wanderings in the wilderness, and accompanied them to the Promised Land. They received there a lot with the tribe of Judah, and remained in the city of palm trees during the life of Joshua; but after his death, not contented with their portion, or molested by the original inhabitants, they united with the tribe of Judah, and went with them to attack Arad. After the conquest of that country, the Kenites established themselves there, and remained in it till the days of Saul, where they mingled with the Amalekites. When this king received a commandment from God to destroy the Amalekites, he sent a message to the Kenites to depart from among them, as God would not destroy them with the Amalekites. From them came Hemath, who was the father of the house of Rechab, [45]1 Chronicles 2:55 , and the Rechabites, of whom we have a remarkable account; [46]Jeremiah 35:1 , etc.

Article 1.3: Kenite
KEN´ITE, THE, and KEN´ITES (smiths), They inhabited the rocky and desert region between southern Palestine and the mountains of Sinai, east of the Gulf of Akabah. They were a branch of the larger nation of Midian—from the fact that Jethro, who in Exodus (see 2:15, 16; 4:19, etc.) is represented as dwelling in the land of Midian, and as priest or prince of that nation, is in Judges (1:16; 4:11) as distinctly said to have been a Kenite. The important services rendered by the sheikh of the Kenites to Moses during a time of great pressure and difficulty were rewarded by the latter with a promise of firm friendship between the two peoples. They seem to have accompanied the Hebrews during their wanderings, Num. 24:21, 22; Judges 1:16; comp. 2 Chron. 28:15; but, the wanderings of Israel over, they forsook the neighborhood of the towns and betook themselves to freer air—to “the wilderness of Judah, which is to the south of Arad.” Judges 1:16. But one of the sheikhs of the tribe, Heber by name, had wandered north instead of south. Judges 4:11. The most remarkable development of this people is to be found in the sect or family of the Rechabites.

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 called Hormah.
18 Also Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof.

In the eastern part of Simeon’s territory, they destroyed the Canaanites in Zephath, and they changed its name to Hormah. They added this city to some other cities close by, which they had destroyed some time ago [47](Num. 21:2, 3 ). And this perhaps was the complete fulfillment of the vow they made that they would utterly destroy these cities of the Canaanites in the south. In the western part they took Gaza, Askelon, and Ekron, cities of the Philistines; they gained possession of these cities, but, since they didn’t destroy the inhabitants, the Philistines, in the long run took back the cities, and proved persistent enemies to the Israel of God.
The Kenites gained a settlement in the tribe of Judah, choosing it there rather than in any other tribe, because it was the strongest, and there they hoped to be safe and peaceful. These were the descendents of Jethro, who either went with Israel when Moses invited them [48](Num. 10:29 ) or met them about the same place when they came up from their wanderings in the wilderness thirty-eight years later. Then they went with them to Canaan, because Moses promised them that they would fare as Israel fared [49](Num. 10:32 ). At first they had settled themselves in the city of palm-trees, that is, Jericho. But afterwards they relocated into the wilderness of Judah, either out of their fondness for that place, or out of their affection for that tribe, which perhaps had been kind to them in a particular way. Judah showed respect for the Kenites, by allowing them to settle where they pleased; being a quiet people, who, wherever they were, were content with a little. They were not mistreated by Israel, and they did not mistreat anyone. Blessed are the meek, for thus they shall inherit the earth.

19 And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

Strange! Were the iron chariots too strong for the Omnipotence of the Almighty? All of this verse is improperly translated. The first clause, The Lord was with Judah should terminate the 18th verse, and this gives the reason for the success of this tribe: The Lord was with Judah, and therefore he slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, etc., etc. Here then, we should place a period: the remaining part of the verse either refers to a different time, or to the rebellion of Judah against the Lord, which caused him to withdraw his support. Therefore the Lord was with Judah, and these were the effects of his protection, victory after victory; but afterwards, when the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Balaam, etc., God was no longer with them, and their enemies were left to be thorns in their side, as God himself had said would happen. This is the twist given to the verse by Jonathan ben Uzziel: "And the WORD of Jehovah was in the support of the house of Judah, and they extirpated the inhabitants of the mountains; but afterwards, WHEN THEY SINNED, they were not able to extirpate the inhabitants of the plain country, because they had chariots of iron." The war was made by the Lord, whose omnipotent aid would have ensured their success in every encounter, whether on the mountains or the plains, with foot soldiers or cavalry. It was distrust, the lack of a simple and firm reliance on the promise of God, that made them afraid of the iron chariots [50](see Jos 11:4-9 ). They were now left to their own strength, and their adversaries prevailed against them.
 
20 And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said: and he expelled thence the three sons of Anak.

And Hebron was given to Caleb; this whole transaction is explained by [51]Joshua 14:12 .
sons of Anak—Anak was an early inhabitant of central Canaan near Hebron, from whom came the entire group of unusually tall people called the Anakim [52](Deut 2.10 ). They frightened the ten spies ([53]Num. 13.33; Deut 9.2), but were finally driven out of the land by Caleb ([54]Josh 14.12-15; [55]15.13, [56]14; 21:11

General Notes

[1] Canaanites: The term is sometimes used for all the inhabitants of Canaan without regard to racial origin. The area occupied by the Canaanites at this time is delineated in Judges 1.

 

[2] (Josh 19.9) Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them.”

 

[3] (Lev 21:16–24) 16And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 17Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. 18For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, 19Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, 20Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken; 21No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God. 22He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy. 23Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the LORD do sanctify them. 24And Moses told it unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel.” Perfect animals were required for sacrifice. Also, a priest was to be without blemish in order to offer the bread of his God (vs. 17). Flat nose speaks of a deformed or mutilated face; superfluous speaks of other abnormal bodily parts. Various other features (vss. 19–21a) could disqualify one born to the priesthood from actually offering the sacrifices (vs. 21b), but he could eat of the priest’s portion (vs. 22).

 

[4](vassals) dependent landholder in feudal society: somebody who gave loyalty and homage to a feudal lord and received the right to occupy the lord's land and be protected by him.

 

[5] (Genesis 14:18) “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.” Who was Melchizedek? Some have depicted him as a theophany (appearance of God Himself). This, however, is unlikely (see J. Borland, Christ in the Old Testament, pp. 164–174). His name most probably means my king is just. Several factors indicate this is not a theophany. First, the name Zedek is a dynastic title of Jebusite kings as mentioned in the Amarna letters and in the Bible in Joshua 10:1ff. Adoni-zedek in Joshua 10:1 was not a believer. A wicked king demonstrating God’s name is not an accurate guide to spirituality. Second, there is no precedent for theophanies having a permanent place of abode in the Old Testament, and Melchizedek is described as living in Salem. Third, Christ is called a priest after the order of Melchizedek in Psalm 110:4, which makes it preposterous to say He was a priest after His own order. Melchizedek was a believer in the most high God (Yahweh). This is interesting to note, for there were other believers in addition to our limited account in chapters 12–50 of Abram and his descendants. Abram gave tithes (ma˓asēr) something that is well attested elsewhere. Also, the tenth (ma˓asēr) is often, but not invariably, used fora sacred payment and compared with the mekes used for a levy on war spoils (Num 31:28). In Babylonian texts the tithe (es̆irtu, es̆rētu) is used for a levy paid on goods in transit (miksu)—and by the end of the first millennium it was used for a tax on field produce, which does not apply here. See CAD, s.v. “esáirtu,” 4:365 (Wiseman, Bibliotheca Sacra, July-Sept, 1977, pp. 235–236). Evidently, it was also a religious practice, even though the Old Testament does not say that God has yet commanded anyone to do so. Actually, Abram only tithed that which he took in the victory, the tenth of the spoils in Hebrews 7:4; thus, there is no indication this was a regular practice. By so doing, Abram revealed the superiority of Christ’s priesthood according to Hebrews 7:4–10, for Levi was in Abram when Abram tithed. Also, Abram was blessed by Melchizedek, indicating his superiority.

 

[6] (Joshua 15:63) “As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.” Apparently, according to Judges 1:8, 21 and II Samuel 5:6, the Israelites set fire to the lower city of Jerusalem, but the Jebusites maintained the stronghold of Zion. The strategic location of Jerusalem (described by the psalmist as “beautiful for situation,” Ps 48:2) made it difficult to conquer. Unto this day is striking evidence that this book was written prior to David, who conquered the Jebusite city and made it Israel’s capital (II Sam 5:6–10).

 

[7] (Judges 19:10) “But the man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus, which is Jerusalem; and there were with him two asses saddled, his concubine also was with him.

 

[8] (I Chr 11:4–9) “4And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land. 5And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David. 6And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief. 7And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David. 8And he built the city round about, even from Millo round about: and Joab repaired the rest of the city. 9So David waxed greater and greater: for the LORD of hosts was with him.” David’s seven-and-one-half year reign at Hebron (II Sam 2–4) is overlooked by the Chronicler, and attention immediately focuses on the new king of a united monarchy. Except for one omission, the reference to David’s age and his years as king of Hebron (II Sam 5:4–5), and two small additions, this account of David’s call and anointing and his securing Jerusalem for his capital is practically identical to II Samuel 5:1–10. Joab … was chief (vs. 6). In response to David’s challenge and promise of position, David’s nephew (Zeruiah was David’s half sister, cf. II Sam 17:25) was the first to enter the Jebusite city of Jerusalem in order to take it (II Sam 5:8). As a reward he was made captain of the army. Joab had been David’s captain at Hebron, and now he won the right to be over the army of all Israel. Millo (from the verb “to fill”) was probably a part of the wall that was weak and needed to be “filled in.” Joab’s activity in repairing the city is peculiar to the Chronicler’s account.

[9] (Gen 49.8, 9)8Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. 9Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?” Judah, meaning “praise,” was to be praised by his brothers and to become the leader among the tribes. He had been responsible for the sale of Joseph into slavery; and he had committed fornication against his daughter-in-law, Tamar. The phrase, his hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies, was literally fulfilled (Num 2:9; 10:14; Jud 1; 2); his prowess in warfare is a matter of record.

 

[10] (Gen 35.23)The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:”

 

[11] (Josh 19.1)And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah.”

 

[12] (Gen 49.8) Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.”

 

[13] (lot) Since the land of Palestine was allocated among the tribes by the casting of the “lot,” these allotments came to be known as their lots:This then was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families; even to the border of Edom the wilderness of Zin southward was the uttermost part of the south coast”  (Josh. 15:1).

 

[14] (Gen 49.5-7) 5Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. 6O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. 7Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.” Simeon and Levi (vs. 5) are dealt with together in light of their treachery against the men of Shechem in Genesis chapter 34. They are condemned for their cruelty … anger … and self-will (vss. 5–6).

[15] (Josh 19.9) Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them.”

[16] Canaanites: The common enemy of Judah and Simeon was the Canaanites, which is probably used here as a generic term for all the inhabitants of Canaan west of the Jordan River.

[17] (JOS 19.1, 2)1And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah. 2And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, or Sheba, and Moladah.”

[18] Perizzites: Thought to have been an aboriginal people of a different race from the Canaanites. They were settled in Canaan before Abraham arrived (Gen 5.7).

[19] (Jos 14.10, 11) 10And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. 11As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.” Caleb’s statements give a definite clue to the time lapse in the conquest of the land. If forty-five years had passed since Caleb received the promise of an inheritance (vs. 10) and that promise was given to him thirty-eight years before the crossing of the Jordan (cf. Num 14:24), then the actual time of the conquest was approximately seven years. Josephus apparently rounds this number off to five years.

 

[20] (Deut. 7:24) “And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them.”

 

[21] (Ps. 49.11)Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.” Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever. Many look to their families to carry on the tradition of their wealth. These vain trusters in their wealth call their lands after their own names. We all must remember that, although the honor of a man may live on in his family estate bearing his name, nevertheless the man himself abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. Sinful man has no more promise of continuance on the earth than do the animals.”

 

[22] (Jam. 2.13)For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” Mercy is so basic to Christian living that it is impossible for a true believer not to have it. Of course, the extent may vary, but he that shows none will find judgment without mercy.

 

[23] (Rev. 13.10) He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”

 

[24] (Rev. 18.6) “Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.” Because Babylon’s sins have accumulated over so long a period of time, and she has been impervious over the centuries to God’s loving entreaties to repent, the Mosaic law of recompense in kind is doubled (cf. Ex 21:23–25). In the light of I Corinthians 6:2, the summons in verses 6–7 could well be addressed to the church. The root of Babylon’s degeneration was her pride, self-security, godlessness, and glorification of wealth and luxury, all directed toward self-exaltation. The Lord God in His omnipotence will be her Judge (cf. Isa 47:9–11).

 

[25] Requited: returned in kind the hurt that I had done to others.

 

[26] (2 Sam. 5.6, 7) 6And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither. 7Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.” The Jebusites were Canaanites still in possession of Jerusalem, at the time of David. They refused to surrender because of their superior fortification. The blind and the lame are mentioned because the defense was considered so effective that the city could be defended by cripples without need for strong soldiers.

 

[27] (Jos 15.63) As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.” Apparently, according to Judges 1:8, 21 and II Samuel 5:6, the Israelites set fire to the lower city of Jerusalem, but the Jebusites maintained the stronghold of Zion. The strategic location of Jerusalem (described by the psalmist as “beautiful for situation,” Ps 48:2) made it difficult to conquer. Unto this day is striking evidence that this book was written prior to David, who conquered the Jebusite city and made it Israel’s capital (II Sam 5:6–10).

 

[28] Valley: should be rendered lowland or Shephelah; the foothills lying between the costal plains and the Judean mountain range. During the period of the Judges the Philistines occupied the costal plain, and the Israelites occupied most of the Judean Mountains. And the Shephelah was the scene of constant fighting between the two.

[29]Nether: lower;located in a low or lower position or under something

[30] Southern: The southern area refers to a specific area known as the Negeb or Negev. This semidesert country begins a few miles south of Hebron. Beersheba serves as the principal city of the Negev as it did in antiquity.

[31] (Joshua 10:36) And Joshua went up from Eglon, and all Israel with him, unto Hebron; and they fought against it:”

 

[32] (Joshua 11:21) And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities.”

 

[33] (Joshua 15:13) And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a part among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the LORD to Joshua, even the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron.”

 

[34] Apostasy: renunciation of faith: the renunciation of a religious or political belief or allegiance; Many of the Israelites turned from God to worship idols and the gods of their neighbors.

[35] (Ps. 68:17) The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.” The chariots of God are thousands upon thousands of angels; and they surround the Almighty God in His holy place, both with reference to the ark of the covenant in the tabernacle on Mount Zion and God’s throne in Heaven.

[36] (Phil. 2:20, 21) 20For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. 21For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s” They are constantly seeking after their own affairs. All without exception were striving after, looking for, and searching for their own things. Paul does not say they are not saved, but they are not so self-sacrificing as Timothy. Some will help only when Christ’s gain is compatible with their own. So few have a genuine dedication to Christ and an unselfish devotion to His church. Not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. It is possible to be an admired and eloquent speaker and yet be a self-seeker, using God’s gifts for personal aggrandizement, and not sincerely. These were not pursuing Christ’s interest and glory, but allowing their own interests to interfere. Therefore the Philippians should appreciate Timothy all the more.

 

[37]  (Josh. 15:16–19) 16And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife. 17And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife. 18And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou? 19Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water.”

 

[38] (Num 14:24) “But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.”

 

[39] (Num. 13.22, 28)22And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.)…28Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.”

 

[40] Debir—the town of Debir was a center for culture for the Canaanite people. It is called the “town of books.” I guess the library was there.

[41] (Nu 24:21, 22)21And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwellingplace, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock. 22Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away captive.”

 

[42] (Ex 2:21) “And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.”

[43](II Sam 5:6–9) 6And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither. 7Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David. 8And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David’s soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house. 9So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward.”

 

[44](Deuteronomy 34:3)And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar.” Looking to the north, he could see the Jordan Valley and the city of Jericho with all of its palm trees.

 

[45](1 Chronicles 2:55)And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab.”

 

[46] (Jeremiah 35:1)The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying.”

[47] (Num. 21.2, 3)  2And Israel vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities. 3And the LORD hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: and he called the name of the place Hormah.”

 

[48] (Num. 10:29) “And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses’ father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the LORD said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel.” At the beginning of the march, Moses attempted to secure the services of his brother-in-law to act as a “wagon-master” guide for the people. It is not certain whether he accepted this offer or not. However, the context of Judges 4:11 would indicate he did not.

 

[49](Num. 10:32) “And it shall be, if thou go with us, yea, it shall be, that what goodness the LORD shall do unto us, the same will we do unto thee.”

 

[50]( Jos 11:4-9)4And they went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many. 5And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel. 6And the LORD said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them: for to morrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire. 7So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly; and they fell upon them. 8And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them unto great Zidon, and unto Misrephothmaim, and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, until they left them none remaining. 9And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him: he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire.”

 

[51](Joshua 14:12) Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.” Caleb, the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite was the one-time spy partner of Joshua (see Num 13:26–33). These two godly men brought back the unpopular, yet proper, report that Israel should invade the Promised Land immediately from Kadesh-barnea. Because of Caleb’s faithfulness to the Lord, Moses swore that day saying, surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and now, forty-five years later, the day had come. Even though Caleb was eighty-five years old, he was yet as strong and capable of being a soldier as on the day this promise was made. He could boldly claim his inheritance, saying give me this mountain.

Caleb’s statements give a definite clue to the time lapse in the conquest of the land. If forty-five years had passed since Caleb received the promise of an inheritance (vs. 10) and that promise was given to him thirty-eight years before the crossing of the Jordan (cf. Num 14:24), then the actual time of the conquest was approximately seven years. Josephus apparently rounds this number off to five years.

 

[52](Deut 2.10) The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims;”

[53](Num. 13.33)A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak!”

[54](Josh 14.12-15)12Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said. 13And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance. 14Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel. 15And the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba; which Arba was a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war.”

 

[55](Josh 15.13, 14) “13And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a part among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the LORD to Joshua, even the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron. 14And Caleb drove thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak.”

 

[56] Josh 21:11)And they gave them the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron, in the hill country of Judah, with the suburbs thereof round about it.”

 

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