Israel Fails to Force Out the Canaanites
1 After Joshua’s death the Israelites asked the Lord, “Who will go first to fight the Canaanites for us?”
2 The Lord answered, “Judah’s troops will go first. I am about to hand the Canaanites over to you.”
3 The tribe of Judah said to the tribe of Simeon, “Come with us into the territory given to us when we drew lots, and together we will fight the people of Canaan. Then we’ll go with you into your territory.” So the tribe of Simeon went along with Judah.
Judah Attempts to Force Out the Canaanites
4 Judah’s troops went into battle, and the Lord handed the Canaanites and Perizzites over to them. They defeated 10,000 men at Bezek. 5 At Bezek they also caught up with Adoni Bezek. They fought him and defeated the Canaanites and Perizzites. 6 Adoni Bezek fled. Judah’s troops chased him, caught him, and cut off his thumbs and big toes. 7 Adoni Bezek said, “Seventy kings who had their thumbs and big toes cut off used to pick up food under my table. God has paid me back for what I did to them.” Judah’s troops brought Adoni Bezek to Jerusalem, where he died.
8 The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem and captured it. They killed everyone there and set the city on fire. 9 After that, the men of Judah went to fight the Canaanites who lived in the mountains, the Negev, and the foothills. 10 Then they went to fight the Canaanites who lived at Hebron. (In the past Hebron was called Kiriath Arba.) There they killed Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai.
11 From there Judah’s troops went to fight the people living at Debir. (In the past Debir was called Kiriath Sepher.) 12 Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Achsah as a wife to whoever defeats Kiriath Sepher and captures it.” 13 Then Othniel, son of Caleb’s younger brother Kenaz, captured it. So Caleb gave him his daughter Achsah as a wife. 14 When she came to Othniel, she persuaded him to ask her father for a field. When she got down from her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What do you want?”
15 She answered, “Give me a blessing. Since you’ve given me some dry land, also give me some springs.” 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 into the desert of Judah. There they lived with the people of Judah in the Negev near Arad.
17 The tribe of Judah went to fight along with the tribe of Simeon, their close relatives. They defeated the Canaanites who lived in Zephath and claimed it for the Lord by destroying it. So the city was called Hormah [Claimed for Destruction]. 18 Judah also captured Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ekron with their territories. 19 The Lord was with the men of Judah so that they were able to take possession of the mountains. But they could not force out the people living in the valley who had chariots made of iron. 20 As Moses had promised, Hebron was given to Caleb, who forced out the three sons of Anak.
21 The men of Benjamin did not force out the Jebusites who lived in Jerusalem. The Jebusites still live with the tribe of Benjamin in Jerusalem today.
22 The descendants of Joseph also went into battle against Bethel, and the Lord was with them. 23 They sent men to spy on Bethel. (In the past the city was called Luz.) 24 The spies saw a man coming out of the city. They told him, “Show us how we can get into the city, and we’ll treat you kindly.” 25 He showed them. So they got into the city and killed everyone there. But they let that man and his whole family go free. 26 The man went to the land of the Hittites. There he built a city and called it Luz. The city still has that name today.
27 Now, the tribe of Manasseh did not force out the people of Beth Shean, Taanach, Dor, Ibleam, and Megiddo or their villages. The Canaanites were determined to live in this land. 28 When the Israelites were strong enough, they made the Canaanites do forced labor. But they did not force all of them out.
29 The tribe of Ephraim did not force out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer. So the Canaanites continued to live with them in Gezer.
30 The tribe of Zebulun did not force out those who lived at Kitron or Nahalol. So the Canaanites continued to live with them and were made to do forced labor.
31 The tribe of Asher did not force out those who lived at Acco or Sidon, Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphek, or Rehob. 32 So the tribe of Asher continued to live with the Canaanites because they did not force them out.
33 The tribe of Naphtali did not force out those who lived at Beth Shemesh or Beth Anath. So they continued to live with the Canaanites. But the people of Beth Shemesh and Beth Anath were made to do forced labor.
34 The Amorites forced the tribe of Dan into the mountains and would not let them come down into the valley.
35 The Amorites were determined to live at Har Heres, Aijalon, and Shaalbim. But when the tribes of Joseph became stronger, they made the Amorites do forced labor. 36 The territory of the Amorites extended from the Akrabbim Pass—from Selah northward.