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Israels Judges

Judges 1
Introduction
The Book of Judges takes its title from the fact that it records the activities of twelve men and
one woman who were designated as judges and raised up by God to deliver Israel from time of
spiritual decline and national disunity. Sadly no one was capable of providing the leadership
Joshua provided during his lifetime. Apparent in the book is the four-fold cycle of rebellion,
retribution, repentance, and restoration that historically troubled Israel. Even though Joshua
is passed God still remained therefore Israel need not experience spiritual decline nor defeat.
Joshua is a book of victory while Judges is a book of defeat. Time and again it is up to God
working through the various judges to deliver the people from the defeat they suffer due to
their rebellion.
***Let us turn now to Judges one where we hear
I. Israels Past Reviewed vv. 1 3
After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, "Who will be the first to go up and fight for
us against the Canaanites?" The LORD answered, "Judah is to go; I have given the land into their
hands." Then the men of Judah said to the Simeonites their brothers, "Come up with us into the
territory allotted to us, to fight against the Canaanites. We in turn will go with you into yours." So the
Simeonites went with them.
Understanding the Word:
1. What is missing from verse one? _________________
2. Rather we see the nation seeking Gods ____________.
3. What was Israels question for God? ______________________________
4. What happened? ___________________________
5. What did this mean? ___________________________________________________________
6. What was Gods answer? _______________________________________________________
7. What did Judah do? ___________________________________________________________
***Second, we hear of
II. Judahs Victories vv. 4 20
When Judah attacked, the LORD gave the Canaanites and Perizzites into their hands and they
struck down ten thousand men at Bezek. It was there that they found Adoni-Bezek and fought against
him, putting to rout the Canaanites and Perizzites. Adoni-Bezek fled, but they chased him and caught
him, and cut off his thumbs and big toes. Then Adoni-Bezek said, "Seventy kings with their thumbs
and big toes cut off have picked up scraps under my table. Now God has paid me back for what I did
to them." They brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there. The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem

also and took it. They put the city to the sword and set it on fire. After that, the men of Judah went
down to fight against the Canaanites living in the hill country, the Negev and the western foothills.
They advanced against the Canaanites living in Hebron (formerly called Kiriath Arba) and defeated
Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai. From there they advanced against the people living in Debir (formerly
called Kiriath Sepher). And Caleb said, "I will give my daughter Acsah in marriage to the man who
attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher." Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, took it; so Caleb
gave his daughter Acsah to him in marriage. One day when she came to Othniel, she urged him to
ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, "What can I do for you?" She
replied, "Do me a special favor. Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me also springs of
water." Then Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs. The descendants of Moses' father-in-law,
the Kenite, went up from the City of Palms with the men of Judah to live among the people of the
Desert of Judah in the Negev near Arad. Then the men of Judah went with the Simeonites their
brothers and attacked the Canaanites living in Zephath, and they totally destroyed the city. Therefore
it was called Hormah. The men of Judah also took Gaza, Ashkelon and Ekroneach city with its
territory. The LORD was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they
were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had iron chariots. As Moses had
promised, Hebron was given to Caleb, who drove from it the three sons of Anak.
Understanding the Word:
1. What resulted when Judah attacked the Canaanites and Perizzites? ____________________
2. How many men were killed at Bezek? ________________________
3. Whom did they find at Bezek? ________________________
4. Who is this king/man? __________________________________________________________
5. How many kings had he mutilated and enslaved? _________________
6. How were the kings mutilated? _________________ & _________________
7. Judah was victorious only because ________________________.
8. Where did they fall short? _________________________________
9. Why? _________________________
***Third, we hear of
III. National Failures vv. 21 35
The Benjamites, however, failed to dislodge the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day
the Jebusites live there with the Benjamites. Now the house of Joseph attacked Bethel, and the
LORD was with them. When they sent men to spy out Bethel (formerly called Luz), the spies saw a
man coming out of the city and they said to him, "Show us how to get into the city and we will see that
you are treated well." So he showed them, and they put the city to the sword but spared the man and
his whole family. He then went to the land of the Hittites, where he built a city and called it Luz, which
is its name to this day. But Manasseh did not drive out the people of Beth Shan or Taanach or Dor or
Ibleam or Megiddo and their surrounding settlements, for the Canaanites were determined to live in
that land. When Israel became strong, they pressed the Canaanites into forced labor but never drove
them out completely. Nor did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites living in Gezer, but the Canaanites

continued to live there among them. Neither did Zebulun drive out the Canaanites living in Kitron or
Nahalol, who remained among them; but they did subject them to forced labor. Nor did Asher drive
out those living in Acco or Sidon or Ahlab or Aczib or Helbah or Aphek or Rehob, and because of this
the people of Asher lived among the Canaanite inhabitants of the land. Neither did Naphtali drive out
those living in Beth Shemesh or Beth Anath; but the Naphtalites too lived among the Canaanite
inhabitants of the land, and those living in Beth Shemesh and Beth Anath became forced laborers for
them. The Amorites confined the Danites to the hill country, not allowing them to come down into the
plain. And the Amorites were determined also to hold out in Mount Heres, Aijalon and Shaalbim, but
when the power of the house of Joseph increased, they too were pressed into forced labor. The
boundary of the Amorites was from Scorpion Pass to Sela and beyond.
Understanding the Word:
1. How did the tribe of Benjamin fail? ________________________________________________
2. What resulted at the time of this writing? ___________________________________________
3. What was the next tribe to experience failure? _______________________________________
4. How did they fail? _______________________________________________________________
5. Ephraim experienced failure because they did not ___________________________________
6. What was Zebuluns failure? _____________________________________________________
7. Asher failed to drive out __________, __________, __________, __________, __________,
__________, and __________.
8. Naphtali failed to drive out _________________ & _________________, but lived __________
______________________________.
9. What did the Amorites do to the Danites? ___________________________________________
10. In time the power of the tribe of Joseph increased and they were able to ________________
____________________________________.
Closing Thoughts:
1. God responded to the peoples plea after Joshua had passed thus showing them He would
lead them Himself. We do not need others to mediate a relationship between us and God. He
will respond to us and be a Father to us.
2. Israel experienced failure by not driving out the occupants of the land from among them.
The influence of these godless people impacted Israel and caused them to rebel against God.
If and when we do not drive out the sin in our lives we too are impacted by it and cause us to
rebel against God. No sin can be tolerated.
3. The tribe of Joseph never allowed the presence of the Canaanites to become accepted and
when they were able they enslaved them. Maybe were not equipped to handle a certain sin
now but when we are able we must confront it and overpower it.
Pray -