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Caleb (Judges 1)

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CHAPTER 1 Jun. 6 
Judah Takes Their Inheritance
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? 2Yahweh said, Judah shall go up. Behold, I have delivered the land into his hand. 3Judah 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. 4Judah went up and Yahweh delivered the Canaanites and Perizzites into their hand. They killed ten thousand men in Bezek. 5They found Adoni-Bezek in Bezek and fought against him, and they killed the Canaanites and the Perizzites. 6But Adoni-Bezek fled, and they pursued him, caught him and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. 7Adoni-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. 8The men of Judah fought against Jerusalem and took it, putting it to the sword, and set the city on fire. 9Afterwards the men of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites who lived in the hill country, in the South and in the lowland. 10Judah went against the Canaanites who lived in Hebron (the name of Hebron before was Kiriath Arba), and they struck Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai. 11From there he went against the inhabitants of Debir. The name of Debir before was Kiriath Sepher. 12Caleb said, He who strikes Kiriath Sepher and takes it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter as wife. 13Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it; and he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife. 14When 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? 15She 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. 16The 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. 17Judah 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. 18Also Judah took Gaza with its border and Ashkelon with its border and Ekron with its border. 19Yahweh 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. 20They gave Hebron to Caleb, as Moses had promised, and he drove out from there the three sons of Anak. 21The 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.
Failure to Completely Destroy the Canaanites
22The house of Joseph went up against Bethel, and Yahweh was with them. 23The house of Joseph sent to spy out Bethel. The name of the city before was Luz. 24The 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. 25He 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. 26The man went into the land of the Hittites and built a city and called it Luz, which is its name to this day. 27Manasseh 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. 28When Israel had grown strong they put the Canaanites to forced labour and did not utterly drive them out. 29Ephraim didn’t drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, but the Canaanites lived in Gezer among them. 30Zebulun didn’t drive out the inhabitants of Kitron or Nahalol, but the Canaanites lived among them and became subject to forced labour. 31Asher didn’t drive out the inhabitants of Acco, Sidon, Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphik, or Rehob, 32but the Asherites lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land, for they did not drive them out. 33Naphtali 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. 34The Amorites forced the children of Dan into the hill country, for they would not allow them to come down to the valley, 35but 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. 36The border of the Amorites was from the ascent of Akrabbim, from the rock and upward. 


1:1 After the leadership of Moses, there came that of Joshua. When he died, Israel expected that another such leader would be raised up. 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. The same is true in our generation.
1:3 This was effectively a lack of faith that God would give Judah victory; but God still worked through this lower level of faith shown by Judah, and gave them victory (:4). God so thirsts for relationship with us that He is prepared to accept lower levels of faith than the ideal; this shouldn’t elicit from us any sense of personal lack of commitment, but rather inspire us to greater patience with others whose faith isn’t on the highest level it could be.
1:14 We see here a wonderful spiritual ambition; not merely accepting the portion given by God and wondering how ever even this was to be possessed. Rather does Achsah have the ambition to ask for even more territory to possess.
1:21 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).
1:34 God’s grace to His people is reflected in how He records their weaknesses, and always focuses upon their obedience no matter how small. Thus the allotted inheritance of the children of Dan is described as too small for them (Josh. 19:47), although actually "the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the hill country, for they would not allow them to come down to the valley”. 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.