Judges 1 (New International Reader's Version)

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Israel Fights Against the Canaanites Who Are Still Left

1 Joshua died. After that, the people of Israel spoke to the Lord. They asked him, "Who will go up first and fight for us against the people of Canaan?" 2 The LORD answered, "The tribe of Judah will go. I have handed the land over to them." 3 Then the men of Judah spoke to their fellow Israelites, the men of Simeon. They said, "Come up with us. Come into the territory Joshua gave us. Help us fight against the people of Canaan. Then we'll go with you into your territory." So the men of Simeon went with them. 4 When the men of Judah attacked, the LORD helped them. He handed the Canaanites and Perizzites over to them. They struck down 10,000 men at Bezek. 5 Judah found Adoni-Bezek there. They fought against him. They struck down the Canaanites and Perizzites. 6 But Adoni-Bezek ran away. Judah chased him and caught him. Then they cut off his thumbs and big toes. 7 Adoni-Bezek said, "I cut off the thumbs and big toes of 70 kings. I made them pick up scraps under my table. Now God has paid me back for what I did to them." The men of Judah brought Adoni-Bezek to Jerusalem. That's where he died. 8 The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem and took it. They set the city on fire. They killed its people with their swords. 9 After that, the men of Judah went down to fight against the people of Canaan who were living in the central hill country. They also fought against those who were living in the Negev Desert and the western hills. 10 Then the men of Judah marched out against the Canaanites who were living in Hebron. The men of Judah won the battle over Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai. Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba. 11 From Hebron they marched out against the people who were living in Debir. It used to be called Kiriath Sepher. 12 Caleb said, "I will give my daughter Acsah to be married. I'll give her to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher." 13 Othniel captured it. So Caleb gave his daughter Acsah to him to be his wife. Othniel was the son of Kenaz. He was Caleb's younger brother. 14 One day Acsah came to Othniel. She begged him to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb spoke to her. He said, "What can I do for you?" 15 She replied, "Do me a special favor. You have given me some land in the Negev Desert. Give me springs of water also." So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs. 16 Moses' father-in-law was a Kenite. His family went up from Jericho. They went up with the people of Judah to the Desert of Judah. They went there to live among its people. Those people were living in the Negev Desert near Arad. Jericho was also known as The City of Palm Trees. 17 The men of Judah went with their fellow Israelites, the men of Simeon. They attacked the people of Canaan who were living in Zephath. They set the city apart to the LORD in a special way to be destroyed. That's why the city was called Hormah. 18 The men of Judah took Gaza, Ashkelon and Ekron. They also took the territory that was around each of those cities. 19 The LORD was with the men of Judah. They took over the central hill country. But they weren't able to drive the people out of the flatlands. That's because those people used chariots that had some iron parts. 20 Moses had promised to give Hebron to Caleb. So Hebron was given to Caleb. He drove the three sons of Anak out of it. 21 But the people of Benjamin failed to drive out the Jebusites who were living in Jerusalem. So they live there with the people of Benjamin to this very day. 22 The men of Joseph attacked Bethel. The LORD was with them. 23 They sent men to Bethel to check it out. It used to be called Luz. 24 Those who were sent saw a man coming out of the city. They said to him, "Show us how to get into the city. If you do, we'll see that you are treated well." 25 So he showed them how to get in. The men of Joseph killed the people in the city with their swords. But they spared the man from Bethel. They also spared his whole family. 26 Then he went to the land of the Hittites. He built a city there. He called it Luz. That's still its name to this very day. 27 But the tribe of Manasseh didn't drive out the people of Beth Shan. They didn't drive out the people of Taanach, Dor, Ibleam and Megiddo. And they didn't drive out the people of the settlements that are around those cities either. That's because the people of Canaan had made up their minds to continue living in that land. 28 Later, Israel became stronger. Then they forced the people of Canaan to work hard for them. But Israel never drove them out completely. 29 The tribe of Ephraim didn't drive out the Canaanites who were living in Gezer. So they continued to live there among them. 30 The tribe of Zebulun didn't drive out the Canaanites who were living in Kitron and Nahalol. So they remained among them. But Zebulun forced the Canaanites to work hard for them. 31 The tribe of Asher didn't drive out the people who were living in Acco and Sidon. They didn't drive out the people of Ahlab, Aczib, Helbah, Aphek and Rehob. 32 So the people of Asher lived among the Canaanites who were in the land. 33 The tribe of Naphtali didn't drive out the people who were living in Beth Shemesh and Beth Anath. So the people of Naphtali lived among the Canaanites who were in the land. The people of Beth Shemesh and Beth Anath were forced to work hard for them. 34 The Amorites made the people of Dan stay in the central hill country. They didn't let them come down into the flatlands. 35 The Amorites made up their minds to stay in Mount Heres. They also stayed in Aijalon and Shaalbim. But the power of the tribes of Joseph grew. Then the Amorites were forced to work hard for them. 36 The border of the Amorites started at Scorpion Pass. It went to Sela and even past it.
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