1 After Joshua died, the Israelites asked the Lord, “Which tribe from among us should go first and attack the Canaanites?”
2 “Judah is to go first,” the Lord replied. “I have handed the land over to them.”
The men of Judah said to their relatives of the tribe of Simeon, “Come with us to the land that has been allotted to us, and fight together with us against the Canaanites. Then we'll do the same for you and your allotted land.”*
So the tribe of Simeon joined with them.
The men of Judah attacked the Canaanites and Perizzites, and the Lord handed them over in defeat. They killed ten thousand of the enemy at the town of Bezek. 5
There they confronted Adoni-bezek†
and fought with him, defeating the Canaanites and Perizzites. 6
Adoni-bezek ran away, but they chased after him and captured him, and then cut off his thumbs and big toes.
7 Adoni-bezek said, “I had seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off picking up left-overs from under my table. Now God has paid me back in the same way what I did to them.” They took him to Jerusalem where he died.
The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem and conquered it.‡
They killed the inhabitants with the sword and burned the town down. 9
After this the men of Judah went to fight against the Canaanites living in the hill country, in the Negev, and in the foothills of the lowlands. 10
They attacked the Canaanites who lived Hebron (previously known as Kiriath Arba) and defeated Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai.
11 From there they went on to attack the people living in Debir (previously known as Kiriath Sepher). 12 Caleb announced, “I will give my daughter Acsah in marriage to whoever attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.” 13 Othniel, son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, was the one captured it, so he gave him his daughter Acsah in marriage.
When Acsah came to Othniel, she encouraged him§
to ask her father for a field. As she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What do you want?”
“Please give me a blessing,”*
she replied. “You gave me land that's like the desert, so please give me springs of water as well.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.
16 The descendants of Moses' father-in-law, the Kenite, went with the people of Judah from the city of palms to the wilderness of Judah in the Negev near Arad where they settled among the people.
Then Judah joined Simeon and defeated the Canaanites living in Zephath. They completely destroyed the town, so they named it Hormah.† 18
Judah also captured the towns of Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ekron, each with its surrounding territory.
19 The Lord was with Judah, and they took over the hill country, but they could not drive out the people living on the plain because they had iron chariots.
As Moses had stipulated, Hebron was given to Caleb, who drove out from it the descendants of three sons of Anak. 21
However, Benjamin could not drive out the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so the Jebusites live among the people of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this very day.‡
The descendants of Joseph§
went and attacked the town of Bethel, and the Lord was with them. 23
They sent spies to investigate Bethel, which was previously known as Luz. 24
The spies saw a man leaving the town and told him, “Please show us how to get into town, and we will treat you well.”
25 The man showed them the way into the town, and they killed all the inhabitants except the man and his family, whom they let go. 26 The man moved to the country of the Hittites, and built a town there and called it Luz, which is its name to this day.
27 However, Manasseh didn't drive out the people living in the towns of Beth Shan, Taanach, Dor, Ibleam, Megiddo and their surrounding villages because the Canaanites insisted on living in the land. 28 When the Israelites grew stronger, they made the Canaanites do forced labor, but they never completely drove them out.
29 Ephraim didn't drive out the Canaanites living in the town of Gezer, so the Canaanites went on living there among them.
30 Zebulun didn't drive out the people living in the towns of Kitron and Nahalol, so the Canaanites went on living there among them. However, the Canaanites were made to do forced labor for the people of Zebulun.
31 Asher didn't drive out the people living in the towns of Acco, Sidon, Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphik, and Rehob, 32 so the people of Asher went on living there among the Canaanite inhabitants of the land because they hadn't driven them out.
33 Naphtali didn't drive out the people living in the towns of Beth-shemesh and Beth-anath. So the people of Asher went on living there among the Canaanite inhabitants of the land because they hadn't driven them out. However, the people of Beth-shemesh and Beth-anath were made to do forced labor for the people of Naphtali.
34 The Amorites pushed the people of Dan back into the hill country—they did not let them come down into the lowlands. 35 The Amorites insisted on remaining in Mount Heres, Aijalon, and Shaalbim, but when the tribes of Joseph grew stronger, the Amorites were made to do forced labor. 36 The border with the Amorites ran from Scorpion Pass through Sela and on up from there.