Judges 1:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, "Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Canaanites?"

New Living Translation
After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, "Which tribe should go first to attack the Canaanites?"

English Standard Version
After the death of Joshua, the people of Israel inquired of the LORD, “Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?”

New American Standard Bible
Now it came about after the death of Joshua that the sons of Israel inquired of the LORD, saying, "Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?"

King James Bible
Now 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, to fight against them?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
After the death of Joshua, the Israelites inquired of the LORD, "Who will be the first to fight for us against the Canaanites?"

International Standard Version
Sometime after Joshua had died, the Israelis asked the LORD, "Who is to lead us against the Canaanites in our opening attack against them?"

NET Bible
After Joshua died, the Israelites asked the LORD, "Who should lead the invasion against the Canaanites and launch the attack?"

New Heart English Bible
It happened after the death of Joshua, the children of Israel asked of the LORD, saying, "Who should go up for us first against the Canaanites, to fight against them?"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
After Joshua's death the Israelites asked the LORD, "Who will go first to fight the Canaanites for us?"

JPS Tanakh 1917
AND IT came to pass after the death of Joshua, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying: 'Who shall go up for us first against the Canaanites, to fight against them?'

New American Standard 1977
Now it came about after the death of Joshua that the sons of Israel inquired of the LORD, saying, “Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Now after the death of Joshua, it came to pass that the sons of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first to fight against them?

King James 2000 Bible
Now 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, to fight against them?

American King James Version
Now 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, to fight against them?

American Standard Version
And it came to pass after the death of Joshua, that the children of Israel asked of Jehovah, saying, Who shall go up for us first against the Canaanites, to fight against them?

Douay-Rheims Bible
After the death of Josue the children of Israel consulted the Lord, saying: Who shall go up before us against the Chanaanite, and shall be the leader of the war?

Darby Bible Translation
And it came to pass after the death of Joshua that the children of Israel asked Jehovah, saying, Which of us shall go up against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?

English Revised Version
And it came to pass after the death of Joshua, that the children of Israel asked of the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us first against the Canaanites, to fight against them?

Webster's Bible Translation
Now 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 to fight against them?

World English Bible
It happened after the death of Joshua, the children of Israel asked of Yahweh, saying, "Who should go up for us first against the Canaanites, to fight against them?"

Young's Literal Translation
And it cometh to pass, after the death of Joshua, that the sons of Israel ask at Jehovah, saying, 'Who doth go up for us unto the Canaanite, at the commencement, to fight against it?'
Study Bible
War against Remaining Canaanites
1Now it came about after the death of Joshua that the sons of Israel inquired of the LORD, saying, "Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?" 2The LORD said, "Judah shall go up; behold, I have given the land into his hand."…
Cross References
Numbers 27:21
"Moreover, he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the LORD. At his command they shall go out and at his command they shall come in, both he and the sons of Israel with him, even all the congregation."

Judges 1:27
But Manasseh did not take possession of Beth-shean and its villages, or Taanach and its villages, or the inhabitants of Dor and its villages, or the inhabitants of Ibleam and its villages, or the inhabitants of Megiddo and its villages; so the Canaanites persisted in living in that land.

Judges 2:21
I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died,

Judges 3:1
Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to test Israel by them (that is, all who had not experienced any of the wars of Canaan;
Treasury of Scripture

Now 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, to fight against them?

Judges 1:1 Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children …

now

Joshua 24:29,30 And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, …

asked

Judges 20:18,28 And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God, …

Exodus 28:30 And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the …

Numbers 27:21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel …

1 Samuel 22:9,10 Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of …

1 Samuel 23:9,10 And David knew that Saul secretly practiced mischief against him; …

(1) Now.--The "now" should rather be rendered And, as in Leviticus 1:1, Numbers 1:1, Joshua 1:1, 1Samuel 1:1, 2Samuel 1:1, 2Kings 1:1. The word connects this book with the last, "as a link in the chain of books which relate in unbroken connection the sacred history of the world from the Creation to the Exile" (Bertheau).

Alter the death of Joshua.--In these first words we are met by a difficulty, for there can be little reasonable doubt that most, at any rate, of the events narrated from this verse to Judges 2:5 took place before the death of Joshua, whose death and burial are accordingly mentioned in Judges 2:8-9. For (1) the whole passage (Judges 1:1 to Judges 2:5) evidently describes the first movements of the Israelites after their establishment on the western side of the Jordan. (See Joshua 18:1-3; Joshua 21:43; Joshua 22:32; Joshua 24:28.) (2) It is inconceivable that the Israelites should have remained inactive during the long life of Joshua, who attained the age of 110 years. (3) The events in Judges 1:10-36 are evidently identical with those in Joshua 12:9-24; Joshua 12:14; Joshua 12:19 (4) The angel's message (Judges 2:1-5) and the subsequent notices (6-18) are closely parallel with, and sometimes verbally the same as, those in Joshua 24:24-33. That these should be records of different and yet most closely analogous series of circumstances is all but impossible. Various ways of accounting for the difficulty have been suggested. (1) Some suppose that many events narrated or touched upon in the Book of Joshua (especially Judges 15:14-19; Judges 15:16-17, &c.) are narrated by anticipation. (2) Clericus arbitrarily supplies the words, "After the death of Joshua the Canaanites recovered strength, but in his lifetime the children of Israel." (3) Schmidt renders the verbs as pluperfects: "It came to pass after the death of Joshua, the children of Israel had consulted Jehovah," &c. (4) A more recent conjecture is that the name "Joshua" has here crept in by an error of the scribes. If we read, "After the death of Moses," all becomes clear and coherent; and if the book, in its original form, possibly began at Judges 3:7, with the words, "And it came to pass, after the death of Joshua, that the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord," &c., the clerical error may have been caused by the addition of prefatory matter to the book at the same time that the appendix (Judges 17-21) was added. It is in favour of the possibility of this suggestion that there are close resemblances between the style and the allusions of the preface, or perhaps we may say of the two prefaces (Judges 1:1 to Judges 2:10; Judges 2:11-23), and the style and allusions of the last five chapters: e.g., in the references to Judah, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem (Judges 1:1-21; Judges 1:19; Judges 20:18), Dan (Judges 1:34; Judges 18:1-31) and the Twelve Tribes (passim); the consultations of the Lord by Urim (Judges 1:1-2; Judges 20:26-28); the silence as to the existence of Judges; and the recurrence of various phrases, such as "set on fire," and "with the edge of the sword" (Judges 1:8; Judges 20:48), "unto this day" (Judges 1:21; Judges 19:30), "give his daughter to wife" (Judges 1:12; Judges 21:1; Judges 21:14; Judges 21:18), &c. (5) On the other hand, the conjecture can only be regarded as possible, since it is not supported by a single MS. or suggested by any ancient commentator. It is perhaps simpler to suppose that the book originally began with the words, "Now after the death of Joshua," and that this beginning was left unaltered as a general description of the book when the prefatory matter and appendix were attached to it.

The children of Israel.--Mainly, it would seem, the western tribes.

Asked the Lord.--The phrase is peculiar, meaning, literally, enquired in Jehovah (as we find it in the LXX.). The usual construction is "Shaal eth-Jehovah" ("asked the Lord"). This phrase (shaal be) is only found again in. Judges 20:23-27. Rabbi Tanchum (whose commentary on this book has been edited by Schnurrer and Haarbrcker) says that the phrase implies the consultation of Jehovah through the high priest by means of the Urim and Thummim. "To ask of Elohim" occurs in Judges 18:5; Judges 20:18. Similarly in Greek, "to ask God" (Xen. Mem. viii. 3) means to consult an oracle. If the narrative of this chapter be retrospective, the high priest must have been Eleazar, the son of Aaron (Joshua 14:1); if not, it must have been his son Phinehas (Joshua 24:33), as Josephus seems to imply (Jos. Antt. v. 2, 1). On this method of inquiring of God, in the absence of any authoritative declaration on the part of a prophet, see Numbers 27:21, Joshua 9:14. On the Urim and Thummim, which was not the jewelled "breastplate of judgment," but something which was put "in it," see Exodus 28:30. It is probably useless to inquire as to the method by which the will of God was revealed by the Urim and Thummim. The words mean "lights and perfections," or something closely resembling those conceptions. The Rabbis were themselves ignorant as to the exact nature of the Urim and Thummim, and the mode in which they were used. One favourite theory is that adopted by Milton, when he speaks of Aaron's breastplate as having been "ardent with gems oracular." It identifies the Urim with the twelve gems, and supposes that the answers of God were spelt out by a mystic light which gleamed over these gems. But not to dwell on the fact that the names of the tribes did not contain all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, this explanation is not consistent with the distinction made between the breastplate which was on the ephod, and the Urim and Thummim that were placed inside it (Exodus 28:30). Another theory supposes that the mind of the high priest was abstracted from earthly things by gazing on the gems until the will of God was revealed to him. A third regards the Urim and Thummim as cut and uncut gems, kept in the folds of the breastplate, and used almost like lots. These are but theories, and in all probability the exact truth, which has now been forgotten for thousands of years, will never be discovered.

Who shall go up for us . . .?--At the solemn investiture of Joshua, as the successor of Moses, Moses is directed to "set him before Eleazar the priest," who was "to ask consent for him after the judgment of Urim before the Lord: at his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in" (Numbers 27:18-21).

Verse 1. - After the death of Joshua. The events narrated in chs. 1. and Deuteronomy 2:1-9 all occurred before the death of Joshua, as appears by Judges 2:8, 9, and by a comparison of Joshua 14:6-15 and Joshua 15:13-20. The words, and it came to pass after the death of Joshua, must therefore be understood (if the text is incorrupt) as the heading of the whole book, just as the Book of Joshua has for its heading, "Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass." Asked the Lord. The same phrase as Judges 18:5; Judges 20:18, where it is rendered asked counsel of. So also Numbers 27:21, where a special direction is given to Joshua to make such inquiries as that mentioned in this verse before Eleazar the priest, through the judgment of Urim and Thummim (cf. 1 Samuel 23:10, 12). A still more common rendering of the Hebrew phrase in the A.V. is "to inquire of God" (see, e.g. Judges 20:27, 28; 1 Samuel 22:13, 15; 1 Samuel 23:2, 4; 1 Samuel 28:6, and many other places). Such inquiries were made

(1) by Urim and Thummin,

(2) by the word of the Lord through a prophet (1 Samuel 9:9), or

(3) simply by prayer, (Genesis 25:22), and improperly of false gods (2 Kings 1:2, 16), of teraphim, and semi-idolatrous priests (Judges 18:5, 14). Now after the death of Joshua,.... With the account of which the preceding book is concluded, and therefore this very properly follows after that; though Epiphanius (b) places the book of Job between them:

it came to pass that the children of Israel asked the Lord; that is, the heads of them who gathered together at Shiloh, where the tabernacle was; and standing before the high priest, either Eleazar, or rather Phinehas his son, Eleazar being in all probability dead, inquired by Urim and Thummim:

saying, who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them? for they had no commander in chief, Joshua leaving no successor, though the Samaritan Chronicle (c) pretends he did; one Abel, a son of Caleb's brother, of the tribe of Judah, on whom the lot fell, out of twelve of the nine tribes and a half, to whom Joshua delivered the government of the nation, and crowned him: but this inquiry was not for any man to go before them all as their generalissimo, but to know what tribe should first go up, and they were desirous of having the mind of God in it, when they might expect to succeed; which to do, at their first setting out, would not only be a great encouragement to them to go on, but strike dread and terror into their enemies; and this is to be understood of the Canaanites who remained unsubdued, that dwelt among them, and in cities, which though divided to them by lot, they were not in the possession of; and these being troublesome neighbours to them, and besides the Israelites daily increasing, needed more room and more cities to occupy, and more land to cultivate.

(b) De Mensur. & Ponder. c. 13. (c) Apud Hottinger. Smegma, p. 522. THE BOOK OF JUDGES. Commentary by Robert Jamieson

CHAPTER 1

Jud 1:1-3. The Acts of Judah and Simeon.

1. Now after the death of Joshua—probably not a long period, for the Canaanites seem to have taken advantage of that event to attempt recovering their lost position, and the Israelites were obliged to renew the war.

the children of Israel asked the Lord—The divine counsel on this, as on other occasions, was sought by Urim and Thummim, by applying to the high priest, who, according to Josephus, was Phinehas.

saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first—The elders, who exercised the government in their respective tribes, judged rightly, that in entering upon an important expedition, they should have a leader nominated by divine appointment; and in consulting the oracle, they adopted a prudent course, whether the object of their inquiry related to the choice of an individual commander, or to the honor of precedency among the tribes.1:1-8 The Israelites were convinced that the war against the Canaanites was to be continued; but they were in doubt as to the manner in which it was to be carried on after the death of Joshua. In these respects they inquired of the Lord. God appoints service according to the strength he has given. From those who are most able, most work is expected. Judah was first in dignity, and must be first in duty. Judah's service will not avail unless God give success; but God will not give the success, unless Judah applies to the service. Judah was the most considerable of all the tribes, and Simeon the least; yet Judah begs Simeon's friendship, and prays for aid from him. It becomes Israelites to help one another against Canaanites; and all Christians, even those of different tribes, should strengthen one another. Those who thus help one another in love, have reason to hope that God will graciously help both. Adoni-bezek was taken prisoner. This prince had been a severe tyrant. The Israelites, doubtless under the Divine direction, made him suffer what he had done to others; and his own conscience confessed that he was justly treated as he had treated others. Thus the righteous God sometimes, in his providence, makes the punishment answer the sin.
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