After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, "Who will be the first to go up and fight for us against the Canaanites?"
The LORD answered, "Judah is to go; I have given the land into their hands."
Then the men of Judah said to the Simeonites their brothers, "Come up with us into the territory allotted to us, to fight against the Canaanites. We in turn will go with you into yours." So the Simeonites went with them.
When Judah attacked, the LORD gave the Canaanites and Perizzites into their hands and they struck down ten thousand men at Bezek.
It was there that they found Adoni-Bezek and fought against him, putting to rout the Canaanites and Perizzites.
Adoni-Bezek fled, but they chased him and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and big toes.
Then Adoni-Bezek said, "Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off have picked up scraps under my table. Now God has paid me back for what I did to them." They brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there.
The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem also and took it. They put the city to the sword and set it on fire.
After that, the men of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites living in the hill country, the Negev and the western foothills.
They advanced against the Canaanites living in Hebron (formerly called Kiriath Arba) and defeated Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai.
From there they advanced against the people living in Debir (formerly called Kiriath Sepher).
And Caleb said, "I will give my daughter Acsah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher."
Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Acsah to him in marriage.
One day when she came to Othniel, she urged him to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, "What can I do for you?"
She replied, "Do me a special favor. Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me also springs of water." Then Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.
The descendants of Moses' father-in-law, the Kenite, went up from the City of Palms with the men of Judah to live among the people of the Desert of Judah in the Negev near Arad.
Then the men of Judah went with the Simeonites their brothers and attacked the Canaanites living in Zephath, and they totally destroyed the city. Therefore it was called Hormah.
The men of Judah also took Gaza, Ashkelon and Ekron--each city with its territory.
The LORD was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had iron chariots.
As Moses had promised, Hebron was given to Caleb, who drove from it the three sons of Anak.
The Benjamites, however, failed to dislodge the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the Benjamites.
Now the house of Joseph attacked Bethel, and the LORD was with them.
When they sent men to spy out Bethel (formerly called Luz),
the spies saw a man coming out of the city and they said to him, "Show us how to get into the city and we will see that you are treated well."
So he showed them, and they put the city to the sword but spared the man and his whole family.
He then went to the land of the Hittites, where he built a city and called it Luz, which is its name to this day.
But Manasseh did not drive out the people of Beth Shan or Taanach or Dor or Ibleam or Megiddo and their surrounding settlements, for the Canaanites were determined to live in that land.
When Israel became strong, they pressed the Canaanites into forced labor but never drove them out completely.
Nor did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites living in Gezer, but the Canaanites continued to live there among them.
Neither did Zebulun drive out the Canaanites living in Kitron or Nahalol, who remained among them; but they did subject them to forced labor.
Nor did Asher drive out those living in Acco or Sidon or Ahlab or Aczib or Helbah or Aphek or Rehob,
and because of this the people of Asher lived among the Canaanite inhabitants of the land.
Neither did Naphtali drive out those living in Beth Shemesh or Beth Anath; but the Naphtalites too lived among the Canaanite inhabitants of the land, and those living in Beth Shemesh and Beth Anath became forced laborers for them.
The Amorites confined the Danites to the hill country, not allowing them to come down into the plain.
And the Amorites were determined also to hold out in Mount Heres, Aijalon and Shaalbim, but when the power of the house of Joseph increased, they too were pressed into forced labor.
The boundary of the Amorites was from Scorpion Pass to Sela and beyond.
The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, "I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land that I swore to give to your forefathers. I said, 'I will never break my covenant with you,
and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.' Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this?
Now therefore I tell you that I will not drive them out before you; they will be [thorns] in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you."
When the angel of the LORD had spoken these things to all the Israelites, the people wept aloud,
and they called that place Bokim. There they offered sacrifices to the LORD.
After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to his own inheritance.
The people served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel.
Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten.
And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.
Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals.
They forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the LORD to anger
because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.
In his anger against Israel the LORD handed them over to raiders who plundered them. He sold them to their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist.
Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the LORD was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.
Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.
Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their fathers had walked, the way of obedience to the LORD's commands.
Whenever the LORD raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the LORD had compassion on them as they groaned under those who oppressed and afflicted them.
But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and said, "Because this nation has violated the covenant that I laid down for their forefathers and has not listened to me,
I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died.
I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their forefathers did."
The LORD had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua.
These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan
(he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience):
the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath.
They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the LORD's commands, which he had given their forefathers through Moses.
The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs.
The anger of the LORD burned against Israel so that he sold them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram Naharaim, to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years.
But when they cried out to the LORD, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, who saved them.
The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, so that he became Israel's judge and went to war. The LORD gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him.
So the land had peace for forty years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died.
Once again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and because they did this evil the LORD gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel.
Getting the Ammonites and Amalekites to join him, Eglon came and attacked Israel, and they took possession of the City of Palms.
The Israelites were subject to Eglon king of Moab for eighteen years.
Again the Israelites cried out to the LORD, and he gave them a deliverer--Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite. The Israelites sent him with tribute to Eglon king of Moab.
Now Ehud had made a double-edged sword about a foot and a half long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing.
He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab, who was a very fat man.
After Ehud had presented the tribute, he sent on their way the men who had carried it.
At the idols near Gilgal he himself turned back and said, "I have a secret message for you, O king." The king said, "Quiet!" And all his attendants left him.
Ehud then approached him while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his summer palace and said, "I have a message from God for you." As the king rose from his seat,
Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king's belly.
Even the handle sank in after the blade, which came out his back. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it.
Then Ehud went out to the porch; he shut the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.
After he had gone, the servants came and found the doors of the upper room locked. They said, "He must be relieving himself in the inner room of the house."
They waited to the point of embarrassment, but when he did not open the doors of the room, they took a key and unlocked them. There they saw their lord fallen to the floor, dead.
While they waited, Ehud got away. He passed by the idols and escaped to Seirah.
When he arrived there, he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went down with him from the hills, with him leading them.
"Follow me," he ordered, "for the LORD has given Moab, your enemy, into your hands." So they followed him down and, taking possession of the fords of the Jordan that led to Moab, they allowed no one to cross over.
At that time they struck down about ten thousand Moabites, all vigorous and strong; not a man escaped.
That day Moab was made subject to Israel, and the land had peace for eighty years.