|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 8. - Read Fought against Jerusalem, and took it, and smote it. It is the continuation of the narrative of the exploits of Judah and Simeon in conquering their respective lots.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it,.... Which accounted for their carrying Adonibezek thither. This they had done in the times of Joshua; for when the king of that place was taken and slain by Joshua, it seems that he and Israel went and fought against the city, and took that in which the tribe of Judah had a principal concern; so Kimchi and Ben Gersom interpret it; but Jarchi and Abarbinel are of opinion, that now from Bezek they went up to Jerusalem, and fought against it, and took it; and so others think, because only the children of Judah are mentioned, and not all Israel, who fought together in Joshua's time; nor is there any mention made of its being taken in his time, and yet it seems plain that it was inhabited in part by the children of Judah, Joshua 15:63; some therefore have thought that it was twice taken; that after Joshua had taken it, he and the children of Israel being employed in making conquests in other parts of the land, the Jebusites repossessed it, from whence they were now again in part driven, not wholly; and Josephus says (k), the lower part was taken, and all the inhabitants killed, but the upper part was hard to be taken, because of the strength of the walls, and the nature of the place:
and smitten it with the edge of the sword; the "inhabitants of it", so far as they got possession of it:
and set the city on fire; some part of it only, for in some part of it dwelt the children of Judah, and in another part the Jebusites.
(k) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 2. sect. 2.)
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it—The capture of this important city, which ranks among the early incidents in the war of invasion (Jos 15:63), is here noticed to account for its being in the possession of the Judahites; and they brought Adoni-bezek thither [Jud 1:7], in order, probably, that his fate being rendered so public, might inspire terror far and wide. Similar inroads were made into the other unconquered parts of Judah's inheritance [Jud 1:9-11]. The story of Caleb's acquisition of Hebron is here repeated (Jos 15:16-19). [See on Jos 15:16.]
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