Judah Takes the Lead
After Joshua died, the Israelites asked the Lord, “Who should lead the invasion against the Canaanites and launch the attack?” The Lord said, “The men of Judah should take the lead. Be sure of this! I am handing the land over to them.” The men of Judah said to their relatives, the men of Simeon, “Invade our allotted land with us and help us attack the Canaanites. Then we will go with you into your allotted land.” So the men of Simeon went with them.
The men of Judah attacked, and the Lord handed the Canaanites and Perizzites over to them. They killed ten thousand men at Bezek. They met Adoni-Bezek at Bezek and fought him. They defeated the Canaanites and Perizzites. When Adoni-Bezek ran away, they chased him and captured him. Then they cut off his thumbs and big toes. Adoni-Bezek said, “Seventy kings, with thumbs and big toes cut off, used to lick up food scraps under my table. God has repaid me for what I did to them.” They brought him to Jerusalem, where he died. The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem and captured it. They put the sword to it and set the city on fire.
Later the men of Judah went down to attack the Canaanites living in the hill country, the Negev, and the lowlands. The men of Judah attacked the Canaanites living in Hebron. (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba.) They killed Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai. From there they attacked the people of Debir. (Debir used to be called Kiriath Sepher.) Caleb said, “To the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher I will give my daughter Acsah as a wife.” When Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, captured it, Caleb gave him his daughter Acsah as a wife.
One time Acsah came and charmed her father so she could ask him for some land. When she got down from her donkey, Caleb said to her, “What would you like?” She answered, “Please give me a special present. Since you have given me land in the Negev, now give me springs of water.” So Caleb gave her both the upper and lower springs.
Now the descendants of the Kenite, Moses’ father-in-law, went up with the people of Judah from the City of Date Palm Trees to Arad in the desert of Judah, located in the Negev. They went and lived with the people of Judah.
The men of Judah went with their brothers the men of Simeon and defeated the Canaanites living in Zephath. They wiped out Zephath. So people now call the city Hormah. The men of Judah captured Gaza, Ashkelon, Ekron, and the territory surrounding each of these cities.
The Lord was with the men of Judah. They conquered the hill country, but they could not conquer the people living in the coastal plain, because they had chariots with iron-rimmed wheels. Caleb received Hebron, just as Moses had promised. He drove out the three Anakites. The men of Benjamin, however, did not conquer the Jebusites living in Jerusalem. The Jebusites live with the people of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this very day.
When the men of Joseph attacked Bethel, the Lord was with them. When the men of Joseph spied out Bethel (it used to be called Luz), the spies spotted a man leaving the city. They said to him, “If you show us a secret entrance into the city, we will reward you.” He showed them a secret entrance into the city, and they put the city to the sword. But they let the man and his extended family leave safely. He moved to Hittite country and built a city. He named it Luz, and it has kept that name to this very day.
The men of Manasseh did not conquer Beth Shan, Taanach, or their surrounding towns. Nor did they conquer the people living in Dor, Ibleam, Megiddo or their surrounding towns. The Canaanites managed to remain in those areas. Whenever Israel was strong militarily, they forced the Canaanites to do hard labour, but they never totally conquered them.
The men of Ephraim did not conquer the Canaanites living in Gezer. The Canaanites lived among them in Gezer.
The men of Zebulun did not conquer the people living in Kitron and Nahalol. The Canaanites lived among them and were forced to do hard labour.
The men of Asher did not conquer the people living in Acco or Sidon, nor did they conquer Ahlab, Aczib, Helbah, Aphek, or Rehob. The people of Asher live among the Canaanites residing in the land because they did not conquer them.
The men of Naphtali did not conquer the people living in Beth Shemesh or Beth Anath. They live among the Canaanites residing in the land. The Canaanites living in Beth Shemesh and Beth Anath were forced to do hard labour for them.
The Amorites forced the people of Dan to live in the hill country. They did not allow them to live in the coastal plain. The Amorites managed to remain in Har Heres, Aijalon, and Shaalbim. Whenever the tribe of Joseph was strong militarily, the Amorites were forced to do hard labour. The border of Amorite territory ran from the Scorpion Ascent to Sela and on up.