Judges 1:22-26

22 Now the tribes of Joseph attacked Bethel, and the LORD was with them.
23 When they sent men to spy out Bethel (formerly called Luz),
24 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.”
25 So he showed them, and they put the city to the sword but spared the man and his whole family.
26 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.

Judges 1:22 in Other Translations

KJV
22 And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Bethel: and the LORD was with them.
ESV
22 The house of Joseph also went up against Bethel, and the LORD was with them.
NLT
22 The descendants of Joseph attacked the town of Bethel, and the LORD was with them.
MSG
22 The house of Joseph went up to attack Bethel. God was with them.
CSB
22 The house of Joseph also attacked Bethel, and the Lord was with them.

Judges 1:22-26 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JUDGES

The title of this book in the Hebrew copies is Sepher Shophetim, the Book of Judges; but the Syriac and Arabic interpreters call it,

``the Book of the Judges of the Children of Israel;''

and the Septuagint only Judges; so called, not because it was written by them, though some think it was compiled out of annals and diaries kept by them; but it seems to be the work of one person only: the true reason of its name is, because it treats of the judges of Israel, gives an account of their lives and actions, and especially such as concerned their office; which office was different from that of kings, and seems only to have been occasional, and chiefly lay in delivering the people out of the hands of their enemies, when oppressed, distressed, or carried captive by them; in protecting them in the enjoyment of their country, rights, and liberties; in leading out their armies against their enemies when needful; and in settling differences, judging law suits, and administering justice. The government of the nation, during their time, was a theocracy. It is not certain who was the penman of this book; some ascribe it to King Hezekiah, others to Ezra; but the Jewish writers {a} are generally of opinion that it was written by Samuel, which is most likely, who was the last of the judges; and it seems plainly to be written before the times of David, us appears from a speech of Joab, 2Sa 11:21; and from some passages in Ps 68:8,9 Ps 97:5, which seem to refer or allude to Jud 5:4,5; and from Jerusalem being called Jebus, which shows it to be inhabited by the Jebusites in the time of the writer of this book, whereas it was taken out of their hands by David; besides, Samuel himself refers to the annals of this book; 1Sa 12:9-11; and from whose testimonies, as well as from others in the New Testament, there is no doubt to be made of its being genuine and authentic, and written by divine inspiration; as is evident from the use the Apostle Paul, and the author of the epistle to the Hebrews, have made of it, Ac 13:20, Heb 11:32; it is useful as an history, and without which the history of the people of Israel would not be complete; it containing an account of all their judges, excepting the two last, Eli and Samuel, of whom an account is given in the following books, and of some facts incidental to those times, related in an appendix at the end of it, concerning the idol of Micah, and the war of Benjamin; and furnishes out many useful moral observations concerning God's displeasure at sin in his own people Israel, and his corrections for it; and about his providential care of them in raising up for them deliverers in their time of need, as well as points at various virtues and excellencies in great and good men, worthy of imitation. It contains, according to Piscator, Dr. Lightfoot, and others, an history of two hundred ninety and nine years.

\\INTRODUCTION TO JUDGES 1\\

The children of Israel, after Joshua's death, inquiring of the Lord which tribes should first go up against the remaining Canaanites, Judah is ordered to go up, who with Simeon did, Jud 1:1-3; and had success against the Canaanites under Adonibezek, whom they brought to Jerusalem Jud 1:4-8; and against the Canaanites in Hebron, Debir, Zephath, Hormah, Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ekron, Jud 1:9-20; the Benjamites had not such good success as Judah against the Jebusites in Jerusalem, Jud 1:21; nor as the house of Joseph had against Bethel, Jud 1:22-26; nor could the tribes of Manasseh, Ephraim, Zebulun, Asher, and Naphtali, drive out the Canaanites from several places which belonged unto them, though many of them became their tributaries, Jud 1:27-33; and as for the Amorites, they were too powerful for the tribe of Dan, though some of them became tributaries to the house of Joseph, Jud 1:34-36.

{a} T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 14. 2.

Judges 1:22-26 In-Context

20 As Moses had promised, Hebron was given to Caleb, who drove from it the three sons of Anak.
21 The Benjamites, however, did not drive out the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the Benjamites.
22 Now the tribes of Joseph attacked Bethel, and the LORD was with them.
23 When they sent men to spy out Bethel (formerly called Luz),
24 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.”
25 So he showed them, and they put the city to the sword but spared the man and his whole family.
26 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.
27 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.
28 When Israel became strong, they pressed the Canaanites into forced labor but never drove them out completely.

Cross References 7

  • 1. Judges 10:9
  • 2. S Joshua 7:2
  • 3. S Genesis 28:19
  • 4. S Genesis 47:29; Joshua 2:12,14
  • 5. Joshua 6:25
  • 6. S Deuteronomy 7:1; Ezekiel 16:3
  • 7. S Genesis 28:19
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