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Jdg 1:1 After the death of Joshua the children of Israel asked Yahweh, Who should go up for us first against the Canaanites, to fight against them?-
Biblical history is unlike any other national history of a people in that it seems to emphasize the spiritual weakness of Israel. The heroes are nearly all flawed rather than spotlessly glorious- and that, surely, is so as to give us realistic inspiration to rise up to their spirit, knowing how flawed we also are. And yet there's a tendency amongst some of us to idealize these men, in the same way as the Catholic and Orthodox churches portray them as white faced, haloed saints. Judaism has done the same. Despite the evident weaknesses of Samson (and other judges, e.g. Gideon) as revealed in the inspired record, later Jewish commentary sought to idealize them. Take Ecclesiasticus 46:11,12: "The judges too... all men whose hearts were never disloyal, who never turned their backs on the Lord...". Perhaps the psychological basis for this tendency is that we simply don't want to be personally challenged by the fact that heroes of faith were so much like us...

After the leadership of Moses, there came that of Joshua. See on Josh. 23:9. When he died, Israel expected that another such leader would be raised up: “After the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the Lord, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first?”. They expected a man to be named. But instead, they were told that the whole tribe of Judah must go up. The reality would have sunk home- no more charismatic leaders, now the ordinary people must take responsibility.

When faced with the prospect of driving out the tribes, they procrastinated by asking "Who shall go up for us?". They wanted someone else to do the job, just as all religious [rather than spiritual] people want a leader to do their spiritual work for them. God could have responded: 'I have already gone before you, all of you have a duty to go up and possess the land, and to help your brethren. The question of who goes first is totally faithless and irrelevant!'. But He didn't say this. He told Judah to go up first (1:3).

Jdg 1:2 Yahweh said, Judah shall go up. Behold, I have delivered the land into his hand-
The fact we fail to realize our potentials doesn’t mean God quits working with us. Reflect how Judah was given the potential to possess the whole land, and yet they selfishly only focused upon their own inheritance (Jud. 1:2,3). And yet God still worked with them, giving them victory in what battles they did fight (Jud. 1:4). Yet even then, Judah didn’t follow through with the help God was so eager to give them. They took Jerusalem, but later we read that the Jebusites were soon back living there (Jud. 1:8,21). But see on :22.

Gen. 49:8 had prophesied that Judah would defeat their enemies. But this was yet another example of conditional prophecy. For Judah didn't take the whole land, although potentially it was "delivered... into his hand". God had worked through Joshua to subdue all the land, but they had failed to follow up on this. The soldiers of the eastern tribes had been intended to subdue the land for their brethren; but that had not worked out. Now God tries another path; the tribe of Judah were given potential power to subdue the land for the other tribes. But again they failed. The whole Divine-human relationship has been one of tragically missed potentials, and God by all means trying different methods to achieve His purpose- of giving His people the Kingdom.

Just as all the animals and everything in the eretz promised to Abraham was 'delivered into the hands' of Noah (s.w. Gen. 9:2), so the nations of that eretz were delivered into the hands of Israel (s.w. Ex. 6:8; 23:31; Dt. 2:24; 3:2,3; 7:24; 21:10; Josh. 2:24; Jud. 1:2). Tragically, like Adam in Eden [perhaps the same eretz promised to Abraham] and Noah in the new, cleansed eretz, Israel didn't realize this potential. What was delivered into the hand of Joshua (Josh. 2:24) actually wasn't delivered into their hand, because they disbelieved (Jud. 2:23); and this looks ahead to the disbelief of so many in the work of the Lord Jesus, who has indeed conquered the Kingdom for us. They considered the promise of the nations being delivered into their hand as somehow open to question, and only a possibility and not at all certain (Jud. 8:7; Num. 21:2 cp. Num. 21:34). Some like Jephthah (s.w. Jud. 11:32; 12:3), Ehud (Jud. 3:10,28), Deborah (Jud. 4:14), Gideon (Jud. 7:15) did, for a brief historical moment; but as individuals, and their victories were not followed up on. Instead they were dominated by the territory. And so instead, they were delivered into the hands of their enemies within the eretz (s.w. Lev. 26:25; Jud. 13:1).   

Jdg 1:3 Judah said to Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my designated portion so that we can fight against the Canaanites, and I likewise will go with you into yours. So Simeon went with him-
Judah refused to believe the promise of :2 that the whole land had been given to him. Instead, Judah chose to willfully misunderstand this as meaning that just their tribal canton had been given into their power. And even then, they thought they needed the human help of Simeon, as Simeon thought too about their inheritance.

Jdg 1:4 Judah went up and Yahweh delivered the Canaanites and Perizzites into their hand. They killed ten thousand men in Bezek-
"Thousand" when used of conflicts often refers not to a literal 1,000 but to a military subdivision. Bezek, 'place of lightning', could mean that God used natural causes, lightning, to destroy these people. For such seems His preferred style in defeating His enemies at the hands of His people, lest they be tempted to think it was their power which had won the victories. He is so sensitive to our temptations, and ever seeks to keep us from pride.

Jdg 1:5 They found Adoni-Bezek in Bezek and fought against him, and they killed the Canaanites and the Perizzites-
"They found" implies he had hidden. This verse summarizes the preceding and following verses. Bezek has not been located as a town; that of 1 Sam. 11:8 is too far north to be the same place. But they buried Adonibezek in Jerusalem (:7), and Adonizedek king of Jerusalem (Josh. 10:1,3) is called Adonibezek in the LXX. It could refer to the same individual.

Jdg 1:6 But Adoni-Bezek fled, and they pursued him, caught him and cut off his thumbs and his great toes-
This kind of humiliation of a vanquished foe was common at the time, but seems inappropriate for God's people acting in faith that any victory was by His grace. This treatment was typically given to those who would later become the servants of the conquerors (Jud. 16:21; 1 Sam. 11:2; 2 Kings 25:7). But Judah's intention was thwarted by the man dying (:7). God did not intend His people to humiliate others, not even their enemies.

Jdg 1:7 Adoni-Bezek said, Seventy kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, scavenged under my table. As I have done, so God has requited me. They brought him to Jerusalem and he died there-
See on :6. He had supposedly vanquished 70 tribal chiefs, probably only rulers of very small areas. He treated them like dogs (cp. Mt. 15:27). We wonder whether this king came to repentance at the very end of his life, and accepted the God of Israel. 

Jdg 1:8 The men of Judah fought against Jerusalem and took it, putting it to the sword, and set the city on fire-
Insofar as Israel followed their Angel, they had success. We repeatedly read that the cities they conquered were 'sent up in flames' (Jud. 1:8; Josh. 6:24; 8:8; 11:11), surely because they were following the Angel who was himself as a devouring pillar of fire (Dt. 9:3). Yet quite naturally we balk at the height of our calling, to follow the Angel. Their victory however was like those of Joshua- not followed up on. For soon the Jebusites were entrenched in Jerusalem (Jud. 1:21). They failed to possess the Kingdom; all they did was prove themselves in the right as having the rightful, Divinely given title to it. And there is a challenge to us here, winning theological victories to prove ourselves right, but not possessing the Kingdom.  

Jdg 1:9 Afterwards the men of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites who lived in the hill country, in the South and in the lowland-
These three areas are how the area of Judah was divided up topographically. Judah had been given the power and potential victory throughout the land, but instead they focused only upon their own place in the Kingdom rather than seeking it for their brethren too (see on :2).

Jdg 1:10 Judah went against the Canaanites who lived in Hebron (the name of Hebron before was Kiriath Arba), and they struck Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai-
We must compare this and :11 with the record of what actually happened in Josh. 15:13-15: "And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he [Joshua] gave Hebron. And Caleb drove out thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak. And he went up thence against the inhabitants of Debir". It was Caleb who took Hebron and went against Debir. But the record here speaks as if the "he" was the tribe of Judah. We would expect to read "they went..." in :11, but the "he" clearly alludes to how it was Caleb who did this. We can conclude therefore that Caleb's victory was assumed by Judah as theirs, in their attempt to show that they had won victories against the local inhabitants within their tribal canton. This attempt to personally claim the spiritual conquests of others is not unknown amongst God's people today.  

Jdg 1:11 From there he went against the inhabitants of Debir. The name of Debir before was Kiriath Sepher-
See on :10. "Now the name of Debir before was Kiriath Sepher" (Josh. 15:15). "Debir" is the word usually translated "oracle", referring to the sanctuary, which was centered around the word of God in the ark. The previous name also means something similar, 'Place of the scroll / books'. It's as if faithful Caleb renamed an idol shrine to a more Yahweh centered name. This confirms the suggestion made on Josh. 15:9,10 that the names associated with pagan worship were renamed by the faithful, but not renamed by the unfaithful. 

Jdg 1:12 Caleb said, He who strikes Kiriath Sepher and takes it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter as wife-
We wonder why Caleb himself didn't take Kiriath Sepher. Perhaps, at 85 years old, the strength he had boasted of was not quite as he had imagined, and he was exhausted or weak after the conquest of Hebron. Or maybe he wished to ensure his daughter married someone who had the same spiritual ambition and faith which he had. And such men were apparently in deficit, as Othniel his brother (Josh. 15:17) was the only one to come forward for the challenge. As Caleb was then 85, Othniel would unlikely have been a very young man, looking to marry a young woman.

Jdg 1:13 Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it; and he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife-
As noted above, Caleb was then 85, so Othniel was not a young man at all; and Achsah was presumably a virgin. So valiant young, faithful men were apparently not to be found.  For surely they were the kind of candidate Caleb was looking for.

Caleb was head of a household within the tribe of Judah. It could be argued that he was directly related to Judah through Hezron and Pharez (1 Chron. 2:5,18,25). But "Kenizzite" (also Num. 32:12) could refer to the Gentile tribe of Gen. 15:19; or to a man called Kenaz, memorialized by Caleb naming his son with that same name (1 Chron. 4:15). And Jud. 1:13 could mean that Caleb's father was called Kenaz. Caleb means "dog", and this is apparently alluded to when he is commended for faithfully following Yahweh, as a dog would follow its master (Num. 14:24). The genealogies are constructed in such a way that they don't preclude Caleb having been a Gentile who was fully accepted into the tribe of Judah. Perhaps the note at :16 about the descendants of the Kenites coming to live with Caleb's family is included to clarify the point that Caleb was a Kenite or Kenizzite.  

Jdg 1:14 When she came, she got him to ask her father for a field, and she alighted from off her donkey and Caleb said to her, What would you like?-
Examples of spiritual ambition are inspirational; just as soldiers inspire each other by their acts of bravery. Achsah followed her father Caleb’s spiritual ambition in specifically asking for an inheritance in the Kingdom (Josh. 14:12; 15:18); and this in turn inspired another woman to ask for an inheritance soon afterwards (Josh. 17:4). And so it ought to be in any healthy congregation of believers. Ponder the parallel between Is. 51:1 and 7: “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord… hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness”. To know God’s righteousness is to seek / follow it; of itself, it inspires us to ambitiously seeking to attain it.

Jdg 1:15 She said to him, Give me a blessing, for that you have set me in the land of the South; give me also springs of water. Then Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs-
The idea of being given a blessing is of receiving an inheritance, as in Josh. 14:13 AV: “And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb… Hebron for an inheritance”. "A south land" presumably refers to Debir, which was apparently without a good water supply. Debir is on a hill, and there is a valley at the foot of the hill with springs. The territory made presumably been conquered by Caleb and was his own- but he gave away what he had conquered.    

Jdg 1:16 The descendants of the Kenite, Moses’ father-in-law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the men of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which is in the south of Arad, and they went and lived with those people-
This note may be inserted at this point to support the idea that Caleb was also a Kenite / Kenizzite. See on :13. "These people" may refer to the people of Caleb, which would make sense if Caleb was ethnically related to them. LXX "with the people of Amalek" would corroborate with the connection between the Amalekites and Kenizzites made in 1 Sam. 15:6; Num. 24:20-22.

Jdg 1:17 Judah went with Simeon his brother and they attacked the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed the town. The name of the town was Hormah-
Hormah ["devoted"] was the Canaanite Zephath ["watchtower"]. The strength of the Canaanites was devoted to Yahweh, and they were supportive of David when on the run from Saul (1 Sam. 30:30). What was taken from the world was devoted to Yahweh by the faithful Israelites involved in this area. And that is an abiding principle. 

Jdg 1:18 Also Judah took Gaza with its border and Ashkelon with its border and Ekron with its border-
LXX says the opposite, "and Judah did not dispossess...". But that is perhaps an attempt to reconcile this statement with the reality that these Philistine areas remained in Philistine hands (Jud. 3:3). But Jud. 1:18 says that "Judah took Gaza with its border and Ashkelon with its border and Ekron with its border". I suggest the answer is that their victory was like those of Joshua- not followed up on. And like the victory over Jerusalem recorded in Jud. 1:8, soon after which the Jebusites were soon again entrenched in Jerusalem (Jud. 1:21). They failed to possess the Kingdom; all they did was prove themselves in the right as having the rightful, Divinely given title to it. And there is a challenge to us here, winning theological victories to prove ourselves right, but not possessing the Kingdom.    

Jdg 1:19 Yahweh was with Judah and drove out the inhabitants of the hill country, for he could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley because they had chariots of iron-

The inhabitants of the valley had been defeated by Joshua. But Judah would not 'drive them out'. "Drive out" is s.w. "possess". We must note the difference between the  Canaanite peoples and their kings being "struck" and their land "taken" by Joshua-Jesus; and the people of Israel permanently taking possession. This is the difference between the Lord's victory on the cross, and our taking possession of the Kingdom. Even though that possession has been "given" to us. The word used for "possession" is literally 'an inheritance'. The allusion is to the people, like us, being the seed of Abraham. The Kingdom was and is our possession, our inheritance- if we walk in the steps of Abraham. But it is one thing to be the seed of Abraham, another to take possession of the inheritance; and Israel generally did not take possession of all the land (Josh. 11:23 13:1; 16:10; 18:3; 23:4). The language of inheritance / possession is applied to us in the New Testament (Eph. 1:11,14; Col. 3:24; Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Pet. 1:4 etc.). Israel were promised: "You shall possess it" (Dt. 30:5; 33:23). This was more of a command than a prophecy, for sadly they were "given" the land but did not "possess" it. They were constantly encouraged in the wilderness that they were on the path to possessing the land (Dt. 30:16,18; 31:3,13; 32:47), but when they got there they didn't possess it fully.

Jdg 1:20 They gave Hebron to Caleb, as Moses had promised, and he drove out from there the three sons of Anak-
As discussed on :10, it was Caleb who had taken Hebron. But then Judah made out that they were so righteously granting it to him, as if they had won the victory. It was in any case given to Caleb by God through Moses and Joshua, not by them. 

Jdg 1:21 The children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites who inhabited Jerusalem, but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day-
Josh. 15:63 says that "As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah couldn’t drive them out; but the Jebusites live with the children of Judah at Jerusalem to this day". It seems that as Jerusalem was on the border between Judah and Benjamin, they both had the opportunity to possess Jerusalem, but both chose not to. See on :19. As explained on :8, Judah defeated the king of Jerusalem. But they failed to possess his territory. They failed to possess the Kingdom; all they did was prove themselves in the right as having the rightful, Divinely given title to it. And there is a challenge to us here, winning theological victories to prove ourselves right, but not possessing the Kingdom.  

Jdg 1:22 The house of Joseph went up against Bethel, and Yahweh was with them-
This term "house of Joseph" presumably refers to Ephraim and eastern Manasseh, but the term is used to describe a Benjamite in 2 Sam. 19:16,20. God's intention was that each family within each tribe had a specific inheritance, from which they drove out the local inhabitants and lived there with His blessing. But it seems that contrary to this intention, they often moved to other tribes, ever seeking for a better deal some place other than that which God intended for them.  

"Yahweh was with them" is LXX "And Judah was with them", reflecting the one Hebrew letter difference between the two words Yahweh and Judah in the original. In this case, we would have some evidence that some in Judah saw the potential of :2, that all the land, for all the tribes, had been given into the possibility of Judah to conquer for them. 

Jdg 1:23 The house of Joseph sent to spy out Bethel. The name of the city before was Luz-
Although Luz was called Bethel (Gen. 35:6; Jud. 1:23), Josh. 16:2 implies a difference between them. Perhaps Luz was the city, and "Bethel" refers specifically to the altar of Jacob there. But Keil suggests Bethel refers to the "southern range of mountains belonging to Bethel, from which the boundary ran out to the town of Luz, so that this town, which stood upon the border, was allotted to the tribe of Benjamin (Josh. 18:22)". 

Jdg 1:24 The spies saw a man come out of the city and they said to him, Please show us the entrance into the city and we will deal kindly with you-
They were perhaps seeking to emulate Joshua's victory over Jericho, and the preservation of Rahab (Josh. 6:23). The word translated “keep” in Ex. 23:20 is that translated “spies” here. The spies were the keepers in the way of Israel, to bring them in to the land. And yet the Angel at the exodus was their ‘keeper’ to bring them into the land. The spies were working in harmony with their Angels; and thus they succeeded. Israel’s guardian Angel was to “keep” them in the way (Ex. 23:20), clearly echoing how the Angels kept the way to the tree of life in Eden. The same Hebrew word for “keep” occurs very often in Exodus in the context of Israel being told to keep God’s commands; but their freewill effort was to be confirmed by the Angel keeping them in the way of obedience. They were to “keep” themselves in the way (Dt. 4:9 and many others; s.w. “take heed”, “observe” etc.), but the Angel would keep them in it. This mutuality is developed in Ex. 23:21, where having said the Angel will keep them, Israel are told “Beware of him, and obey his voice”. “Beware” translates the same Hebrew word as “keep”. The Angel would keep them., but they were to keep to the Angel. This is an example of how we are intended to have a mutual relationship with our guardian Angel, leading to Him strengthening us in the one way.

Jdg 1:25 He showed them the entrance into the city and they put the city to the sword, but they let the man go and all his family-
The conquests of Joshua were nearly all as a result of the local inhabitants coming against him. Even the men of Jericho are described as proactively fighting against Israel (Josh. 24:11). These later conflicts are a result of not having possessed the land as God intended, and so they seem to feature Israel now attacking the local peoples. This was it seems not God's ideal intention; His intention was that those peoples came against Israel and were therefore defeated.

Jdg 1:26 The man went into the land of the Hittites and built a city and called it Luz, which is its name to this day-
I would consider the book of Joshua to have largely been written by Joshua, under Divine inspiration, although edited [again under Divine inspiration] for the exiles. And the book of Judges likewise. For the exiles too were set to reestablish God's Kingdom in the land and to inherit it again as the Israelites first did. The phrase "to this day" occurs several times in Joshua / Judges, and appears to have different points of historical reference (Josh. 4:9; 5:9; 6:25; 7:26; 8:28,29; 9:27; 10:27; 13:13; 14:14; 15:63; 16:10; 22:3; 23:8,9; Jud. 1:26; 6:24; 10:4; 15:19; 18:12). I would explain this by saying that the book was edited a number of times and the remains of those edits remain in the text. For God's word is living and made relevant by Him to every generation.

Jdg 1:27 Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth Shean, Taanach, Dor, Ibleam or Megiddo and their surrounding settlements; the Canaanites continued to dwell in that land-
In the list of cities given to the Levites,  "Bileam" meaning 'not of the people', is called Ibleam, Jud. 1:27; 2 Kings 9:27, and in Josh. 21:25, Gath-rimmon. Perhaps it is called "Bileam" in 1 Chron. 6:70 because it continues the theme that the tribes of Israel may have somehow manipulated the lots so that they gave less valuable cities to the Levites, or even cities which weren't theirs, thereby breaking the foundation principle of 2 Sam. 24:24.

Dor was in Asher (Josh. 11:1,2; 12:23; 17:11; Jud. 1:27,28). Taanach was within either Issachar or Asher (Josh. 17:11,12,25; Jud. 5:19). But these towns were also given to Ephraim (1 Chron. 7:29). As each Israelite was promised some personal inheritance in the land, rather than some blanket reward which the while nation received, so we too have a personal reward prepared. But the precise nature of that reward is as it were negotiable by us now, according to our spiritual ambition. Just as Caleb chose Hebron and secured it for himself.

Jdg 1:28 When Israel had grown strong they put the Canaanites to forced labour and did not utterly drive them out-
For "forced labour", see on :30. For "drive out", see on :19. To 'grow strong' can be a technical term for having military superiority (s.w. 1 Kings 20:22; 2 Chron. 17:1; 21:4).

Jdg 1:29 Ephraim didn’t drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, but the Canaanites lived in Gezer among them-
Living together meant that there was a reconciliation of cultures between them. If the Israelites had been truly devoted to Yahweh's ways in practice, such reconciliation would not have been practicable; or we would be reading that the Canaanites accepted Yahweh. But the opposite happened. We read that the Israelites 'dwelt among' the Canaanites in some areas and vice versa, and this would have been as a result of making a covenant with those "inhabitants of this land" (Jud. 2:2), which in turn abrogated their exclusive covenant with Yahweh.

Jdg 1:30 Zebulun didn’t drive out the inhabitants of Kitron or Nahalol, but the Canaanites lived among them and became subject to forced labour-
One reason why Israel failed to drive out the tribes, and thereby lost the Kingdom, was simply because they wanted to take tribute from them (Josh. 17:13). Ez. 7:19 defines “silver and gold” as Israel’s stumblingblock- moreso than idols. They just so loved wealth. The men of Bethshemesh looked into the ark to see if there were any more jewels left in it (1 Sam. 6:19 cp. 6,15); they trampled upon the supreme holiness of God in their crazed fascination with wealth.

Jdg 1:31 Asher didn’t drive out the inhabitants of Acco, Sidon, Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphik, or Rehob-
According to the definition of Asher's territory in Josh. 19:24-31, these were their border towns. Perhaps they settled down to inherit the territory in the midst of their canton, and just couldn't be bothered to subjugate the peripheral towns. For "drive out", see on :19. Many of the towns which weren't subjugated by the tribes were on the very edges of their tribal cantons. They were therefore literally thorns in their sides (Jud. 2:3).

Jdg 1:32 but the Asherites lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land, for they did not drive them out-
Living among the Canaanites would imply that Asher were a minority amongst a majority. The extent of disobedience to the commands to slay the inhabitants of the land is quite astounding. We read that the Israelites 'dwelt among' the Canaanites in some areas, and this would have been as a result of making a covenant with those "inhabitants of this land" (Jud. 2:2), which in turn abrogated their exclusive covenant with Yahweh.

Jdg 1:33 Naphtali didn’t drive out the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh or Beth Anath, but he lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land who became subject to forced labour-
Living among the Canaanites would imply that Naphtali were a minority amongst a majority. For "forced labour", see on :30. For "drive out", see on :19. The two towns mentioned here were idol sanctuaries, 'house of the sun god' and 'house of Anath', another Canaanite idol. These ought to have been destroyed, and not doing so was tantamount to breaking covenant with Yahweh (Jud. 2:2).

Jdg 1:34 The Amorites forced the children of Dan into the hill country, for they would not allow them to come down to the valley-
Even when God punished Israel, He seems to later almost take the blame for their judgments; thus He says that He left some of the Canaanite nations in the land to teach Israel battle experience (Jud. 3:2 NIV). His grace is so positive about them in the way He writes about them. Yet elsewhere the presence of those remaining nations is clearly linked to Israel's faithlessness, and their survival in the land was actually part of God's punishment of Israel. He almost excuses Israel's apostasy by saying that they had not seen the great miracles of the Exodus (Jud. 2:7). "The portion of the children of Judah was too much for them" (Josh. 19:9) almost implies God made an error in allocating them too much; when actually the problem was that they lacked the faith to drive out the tribes living there. Likewise "the border of the children of Dan went out too little for them" (Josh. 19:47), although actually "the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain: for they would not suffer them to come down to the valley" (Jud. 1:34). When Dan fought against Leshem, this one act of obedience is so magnified in Josh. 19:47 to sound as if in their zeal to inherit their territory they actually found they had too little land and therefore attacked Leshem. But actually it was already part of their allotted inheritance. Yet God graciously comments: "all their inheritance had not fallen unto them among the tribes of Israel" (Jud. 18:1).

Jdg 1:35 but the Amorites continued to dwell in Mount Heres, in Aijalon and in Shaalbim. Yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became subject to forced labour-
For "forced labour", see on :30. Mount Heres is ‘mount of the sun,’ probably the same as Ir-shemesh, ‘city of the sun’, in Josh. 19:41. As noted on :33, these pagan sanctuaries ought to have been destroyed.

Jdg 1:36 The border of the Amorites was from the ascent of Akrabbim, from the rock and upward-
"The rock" may be that at Kadesh of Num. 20:8, or Petra / Sela ["the rock", Obadiah 3]. The point is that the local population drew a boundary line in the area which was supposed to be Israel's, and defended and enforced it. This was how weak Israel were from the beginning.