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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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Commentary on The Book of Judges

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1.1–2.5 : The conquest of Canaan completed.

This historical prologue, considered by most scholars to be an ancient document, or derived from one, describes the arduous attempts at conquest by isolated tribes, with the native inhabitants being subjugated rather than exterminated; contrast Josh. chs. 10–11; see Josh. 13.13 n.

1.1–21 : The course of conquests.

Compare Josh. ch. 15 . Many scholars hold that the ancient document ( 1.1–2.5 n. ) has been shaped to enhance Judah, in which territory Jerusalem lay.

1 :

After the death of Joshua is probably added so as to accord with Josh. 24.29 ; it contradicts the ensuing narrative; see 2.6–8 . They enquired of the LORD, probably by using sacred lots; see Exod. 28.15 n.

3 :

Simeon: see Josh. 19.1–9 n.

4 :

Perizzites: see Gen. 13.7; Deut. 7.1 . The location of Bezek is uncertain.

5 :

Adoni-bezek is possibly the same as the Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, of Josh. 10.1–3 .

8 :

Jerusalem is portrayed as captured at a later time by David in 2 Sam. 5.6–9 .

9 :

Negeb: the southern desert. Shephelah: see Josh. 11.2 n.

10 :

Hebron: see Josh. 10.36–37 . According to v. 20 and Josh. 14.6–15 and 15.13–14 , it was given to the clan of Caleb.

11–15 :

This story occurs also in Josh. 15.15–19 .

11 :

Debir: probably the modern Tell Beit Mirsim, southwest of Hebron.

16 :

The Kenites, a nomadic tribe, here mentioned as allies of Judah during the invasion of Canaan, settled among the Amalekites. Because of their aid to Israel, they are spared by Saul (1 Sam. 15.6 ). Amalekites: see Exod. 17.8 n.

17 :

Zephath: a city in the Negeb; Hormah means “destruction.” Some scholars think this reference is the same as the incident in Num. 21.3 .

18 :

Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ekron are three of the five Philistine cities; see Josh. 13.2 n. This account of their capture seems to anticipate 2 Sam. 8.1 ; Sept., however, says specifically that Judah “did not” take them; the negative may have been omitted from the MT by a copyist.

19–21 :

See Josh. 13.13 n.

19 :

The Philistines had a monopoly on iron; see 1 Sam. 13.19–22 .

1.22–29 : Conquests of the Joseph tribes.

See Josh. chs. 16–17 and 13.13 n.

22–26 :

See Josh. 7.2 n.

1.30–36 : The conquests of the Galilee area.

See Josh. chs. 18–19 and 13.13 n.

36 :

Boundary of Edom and Judah; see Num. 34.3–5 .

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