Pastoral Commentary for Judges 1
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
Although great victories had been won under Joshua's leadership, there were still areas of the Promised Land waiting to be conquered. Judah and Simeon fought together to claim their allotted territory. One of the kings named Adoni-Bezek learned a costly lesson about "what goes around, comes around" when the Israelites did to him what he had done to 70 other kings that he had previously conquered. Although the LORD was with them at this time, the Israelites failed to dislodge and drive out all of the Canaanites and other people living in the territories that the LORD had given to them. Some continued to live among the Israelites, although they were pressed into forced labor. The repeated refrain in the first chapter of Judges is "neither did [pick your tribe] drive out the [pick your pagan neighbor]." Ten times in this single chapter the failure of Israel to drive out the Canaanites and other pagans living among them is chronicled. This failure would ultimately prove to be their spiritual downfall. It led to them doing exactly what Joshua had warned them not to do.