Judges, Chapter 1

- ד נ י -

The Conquests of Judah and Ephraim

The tribe of Judah, who had previously helped the tribe of Simeon conquer its inheritance, now ask the same grace in return. The two tribes soon conquer the Judean Hills, Jerusalem, Hebron, and the plains next to Philistia. However, they refrain from any clashes in the lowlands, where the locals possess an advantageous weapon—chariots made of iron. Though the Judahites don’t have the upper hand in that area, their territorial expansion is far greater than that of the other tribes. The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh conquer Bethel, thanks to the help of a Canaanite man. The other tribes, however, have little success. The Book of Judges blames the tribe of Benjamin for failing to drive the Jebusites out of Jerusalem. Judah’s conquest is a remarkable example of determination and courage. This tribe was the first to choose its inheritance and is also the first to defeat its local enemies (see Joshua 15). They set a high standard for the rest of the tribes.

“Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot” (Judges 1:3)

“And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron” (Judges 1:19)

“And the spies saw a man come forth out of the city, and they said unto him, Shew us, we pray thee, the entrance into the city, and we will Shew thee mercy” (Judges 1:24)

Stability is achieved when we remain constant in our spiritual work, regardless of the volatility and disorder surrounding us.