Judges 1:1-8 (The Message)

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1 A time came after the death of Joshua when the People of Israel asked God, "Who will take the lead in going up against the Canaanites to fight them?" 2 And God said, "Judah will go. I've given the land to him." 3 The men of Judah said to those of their brother Simeon, "Go up with us to our territory and we'll fight the Canaanites. Then we'll go with you to your territory." And Simeon went with them. 4 So Judah went up. God gave them the Canaanites and the Perizzites. They defeated them at Bezek - ten military units! 5 They caught up with My-Master-Bezek there and fought him. They smashed the Canaanites and the Perizzites. 6 My-Master-Bezek ran, but they gave chase and caught him. They cut off his thumbs and big toes. 7 My-Master-Bezek said, "Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off used to crawl under my table, scavenging. Now God has done to me what I did to them." They brought him to Jerusalem and he died there. 8 The people of Judah attacked and captured Jerusalem, subduing the city by sword and then sending it up in flames.
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