Through the Bible – Day 83

Bible text(s)

Israel captures only part of the land

The tribes of Judah and Simeon fight the Canaanites

1After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, “Which of our tribes should attack the Canaanites first?”

2“Judah!” the LORD answered. “I'll help them take the land.”

3The people of Judah went to their relatives, the Simeon tribe, and said, “Canaanites live in the land God gave us. Help us fight them, and we will help you.”

Troops from Simeon came to help Judah. 4-5Together they attacked an army of ten thousand Canaanites and Perizzites at Bezek, and the LORD helped Judah defeat them. During the battle, Judah's army found out where the king of Bezek was, and they attacked there. 6Bezek tried to escape, but soldiers from Judah caught him. They cut off his thumbs and big toes, 7and he said, “I've cut off the thumbs and big toes of seventy kings and made those kings crawl around under my table for scraps of food. Now God is paying me back.”

The army of Judah took the king of Bezek along with them to Jerusalem, where he died. 8They attacked Jerusalem, captured it, killed everyone who lived there, and then burnt it to the ground.

9Judah's army fought the Canaanites who lived in the hill country, the Southern Desert, and the foothills to the west. 10After that, they attacked the Canaanites who lived at Hebron, defeating the three clans called Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai. At that time, Hebron was called Kiriath-Arba.

11From Hebron, Judah's army went to attack Debir, which at that time was called Kiriath-Sepher. 12Caleb told his troops, “The man who captures Kiriath-Sepher can marry my daughter Achsah.”

13Caleb's nephew Othniel captured Kiriath-Sepher, so Caleb let him marry Achsah. Othniel was the son of Caleb's younger brother Kenaz. 14Straight after the wedding, Achsah started telling Othniel that he ought to ask her father for a field. She went to see her father, and while she was getting down from her donkey, Caleb asked, “What's bothering you?”

15She answered, “I need your help. The land you gave me is in the Southern Desert, so please give me some spring-fed ponds for a water supply.”

Caleb gave her a couple of small ponds named Higher Pond and Lower Pond.

16The people who belonged to the Kenite clan were the descendants of the father-in-law of Moses. They left Jericho with the people of Judah and settled near Arad in the Southern Desert of Judah not far from the Amalekites.

17Judah's army helped Simeon's army attack the Canaanites who lived at Zephath. They completely destroyed the town and renamed it Hormah.

18-19The LORD helped the army of Judah capture Gaza, Ashkelon, Ekron, and the land near those towns. They also took the hill country. But the people who lived in the valleys had iron chariots, so Judah was not able to make them leave or to take their land.

20The tribe of Judah gave the town of Hebron to Caleb, as Moses had told them to do. Caleb defeated the three Anakim clans and took over the town.

The Benjamin tribe does not capture Jerusalem

21The Jebusites were living in Jerusalem, and the Benjamin tribe did not defeat them or capture the town. That's why Jebusites still live in Jerusalem along with the people of Benjamin.

The Ephraim and Manasseh tribes capture Bethel

22-23The Ephraim and Manasseh tribes were getting ready to attack Bethel, which at that time was called Luz. And the LORD helped them when they sent spies to find out as much as they could about Bethel. 24While the spies were watching the town, a man came out, and they told him, “If you show us how our army can get into the town, we will make sure that you aren't harmed.” 25The man showed them, and the two Israelite tribes attacked Bethel, killing everyone except the man and his family. The two tribes made the man and his family leave, 26so they went to the land of the Hittites, where he built a town. He named the town Luz, and that is still its name.

Israel does not get rid of all the Canaanites

27-28Canaanites lived in the towns of Beth-Shan, Taanach, Dor, Ibleam, Megiddo, and all the villages nearby. The Canaanites were determined to stay, and the Manasseh tribe never did get rid of them. But later on, when the Israelites grew more powerful, they made slaves of the Canaanites.

29The Ephraim tribe did not get rid of the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, so the Canaanites lived there with Israelites all around them.

30The Zebulun tribe did not get rid of the Canaanites who lived in Kitron and Nahalol, and the Canaanites stayed there with Israelites around them. But the people of Zebulun did force the Canaanites into slave labour.

31-32The Asher tribe did not get rid of the Canaanites who lived in Acco, Sidon, Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphik, and Rehob, and the Asher tribe lived with Canaanites all around them.

33The Naphtali tribe did not get rid of the Canaanites who lived in Beth-Shemesh and Beth-Anath, but they did force the Canaanites into slave labour. The Naphtali tribe lived with Canaanites around them.

34The Amorites were strong enough to keep the tribe of Dan from settling in the valleys, so Dan had to stay in the hill country.

35The Amorites on Mount Heres and in Aijalon and Shaalbim were also determined to stay. Later on, as Ephraim and Manasseh grew more powerful, they forced those Amorites into slave labour.

The Amorite-Edomite border

36The old Amorite-Edomite border used to go from Sela through Scorpion Pass into the hill country.

The Lord chooses judges for Israel

The LORD's angel speaks to Israel

1The LORD's angel went from Gilgal to Bochim and gave the Israelites this message from the LORD:

I promised your ancestors that I would give this land to their families, and I brought your people here from Egypt. We made an agreement that I promised never to break, 2and you promised not to make any peace treaties with the other nations that live in the land. Besides that, you agreed to tear down the altars where they sacrifice to their idols. But you didn't keep your promise.

3And so, I'll stop helping you defeat your enemies. Instead, they will be there to trap you into worshipping their idols.

4The Israelites started crying loudly, 5and they offered sacrifices to the LORD. From then on, they called that place “Crying”.

Israel stops worshipping the LORD

6-9Joshua had been faithful to the LORD. And after Joshua sent the Israelites to take the land they had been promised, they remained faithful to the LORD until Joshua died at the age of one hundred and ten. He was buried on his land in Timnath-Heres, in the hill country of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash. Even though Joshua was gone, the Israelites were faithful to the LORD during the lifetime of those men who had been leaders with Joshua and who had seen the wonderful things the LORD had done for Israel.

10After a while the people of Joshua's generation died, and the next generation did not know the LORD or any of the things he had done for Israel. 11-13The LORD had brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and they had worshipped him. But now the Israelites stopped worshipping the LORD and worshipped the idols of Baal and Astarte, as well as the idols of other gods from nearby nations.

The LORD was so angry 14-15with the Israelites that he let other nations raid Israel and steal their crops and other possessions. Enemies were everywhere, and the LORD always let them defeat Israel in battle. The LORD had warned Israel he would do this, and now the Israelites were miserable.

The LORD chooses leaders for Israel

16From time to time, the LORD would choose special leaders known as judges. These judges would lead the Israelites into battle and defeat the enemies that made raids on them. 17In years gone by, the Israelites had been faithful to the LORD, but now they were quick to be unfaithful and to refuse even to listen to these judges. The Israelites would disobey the LORD, and instead of worshipping him, they would worship other gods.

18When enemies made life miserable for the Israelites, the LORD would feel sorry for them. He would choose a judge and help that judge rescue Israel from its enemies. The LORD would be kind to Israel as long as that judge lived. 19But afterwards, the Israelites would become even more sinful than their ancestors had been. The Israelites were stubborn—they simply would not stop worshipping other gods or following the teachings of other religions.

The LORD lets enemies test Israel

20The LORD was angry with Israel and said:

The Israelites have broken the agreement I made with their ancestors. They won't obey me, 21so I'll stop helping them defeat their enemies. Israel still had a lot of enemies when Joshua died, 22and I'm going to let those enemies stay. I'll use them to test Israel, because then I can find out if Israel will worship and obey me as their ancestors did.

23That's why the LORD had not let Joshua get rid of all those enemy nations straight away.

1-2And the LORD had another reason for letting these enemies stay. The Israelites needed to learn how to fight in war, just as their ancestors had done. Each new generation would have to learn by fighting 3the Philistines and their five rulers, as well as the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who lived in the Lebanon Mountains from Mount Baal-Hermon to Hamath Pass.

4Moses had told the Israelites what the LORD had commanded them to do, and now the LORD was using these nations to find out if Israel would obey. 5-6But they refused. And it was because of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites who lived all around them. Some of the Israelites married the people of these nations, and that's how they started worshipping foreign gods.

Judges 1:1-3:6CEVOpen in Bible reader

The birth of Jesus

1About that time Emperor Augustus gave orders for the names of all the people to be listed in record books. 2These first records were made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

3Everyone had to go to their own home town to be listed. 4So Joseph had to leave Nazareth in Galilee and go to Bethlehem in Judea. Long ago Bethlehem had been King David's home town, and Joseph went there because he was from David's family.

5Mary was engaged to Joseph and travelled with him to Bethlehem. She was soon going to have a baby, 6and while they were there, 7she gave birth to her firstborn son. She dressed him in baby clothes and laid him on a bed of hay, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The shepherds

8That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep. 9All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord's glory flashed around them. The shepherds were frightened. 10But the angel said, “Don't be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. 11This very day in King David's home town a Saviour was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. 12You will know who he is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay.”

13Suddenly many other angels came down from heaven and joined in praising God. They said:

14“Praise God in heaven!

Peace on earth to everyone

who pleases God.”

15After the angels had left and gone back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let's go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about.” 16They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and they saw the baby lying on a bed of hay.

17When the shepherds saw Jesus, they told his parents what the angel had said about him. 18Everyone listened and was surprised. 19But Mary kept thinking about all this and wondering what it meant.

20As the shepherds returned to their sheep, they were praising God and saying wonderful things about him. Everything they had seen and heard was just as the angel had said.

21Eight days later Jesus' parents did for him what the Law of Moses commands. And they named him Jesus, just as the angel had told Mary when he promised she would have a baby.

Luke 2:1-21CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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