1 After the death of Yehoshua, the Israelites inquired of Hashem, “Which of us shall be the first to go up against the Canaanites and attack them?”
2 Hashem replied, “Let [the tribe of] Yehuda go up. I now deliver the land into their hands.”
ב וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה יְהוּדָה יַעֲלֶה הִנֵּה נָתַתִּי אֶת־הָאָרֶץ בְּיָדוֹ׃
3 Yehuda then said to their brother-tribe Shimon, “Come up with us to our allotted territory and let us attack the Canaanites, and then we will go with you to your allotted territory.” So Shimon joined them.
ג וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוּדָה לְשִׁמְעוֹן אָחִיו עֲלֵה אִתִּי בְגוֹרָלִי וְנִלָּחֲמָה בַּכְּנַעֲנִי וְהָלַכְתִּי גַם־אֲנִי אִתְּךָ בְּגוֹרָלֶךָ וַיֵּלֶךְ אִתּוֹ שִׁמְעוֹן׃
5 At Bezek, they encountered Adoni-bezek, engaged him in battle, and defeated the Canaanites and the Perizzites.
6 Adoni-bezek fled, but they pursued him and captured him; and they cut off his thumbs and his big toes.
ו וַיָּנָס אֲדֹנִי בֶזֶק וַיִּרְדְּפוּ אַחֲרָיו וַיֹּאחֲזוּ אֹתוֹ וַיְקַצְּצוּ אֶת־בְּהֹנוֹת יָדָיו וְרַגְלָיו׃
7 And Adoni-bezek said, “Seventy kings, with thumbs and big toes cut off, used to pick up scraps under my table; as I have done, so Hashem has requited me.” They brought him to Yerushalayim and he died there.
ז וַיֹּאמֶר אֲדֹנִי־בֶזֶק שִׁבְעִים מְלָכִים בְּהֹנוֹת יְדֵיהֶם וְרַגְלֵיהֶם מְקֻצָּצִים הָיוּ מְלַקְּטִים תַּחַת שֻׁלְחָנִי כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי כֵּן שִׁלַּם־לִי אֱלֹהִים וַיְבִיאֻהוּ יְרוּשָׁלִַם וַיָּמָת שָׁם׃
8 The Judites attacked Yerushalayim and captured it; they put it to the sword and set the city on fire.
ח וַיִּלָּחֲמוּ בְנֵי־יְהוּדָה בִּירוּשָׁלִַם וַיִּלְכְּדוּ אוֹתָהּ וַיַּכּוּהָ לְפִי־חָרֶב וְאֶת־הָעִיר שִׁלְּחוּ בָאֵשׁ׃
יא וַיֵּלֶךְ מִשָּׁם אֶל־יוֹשְׁבֵי דְּבִיר וְשֵׁם־דְּבִיר לְפָנִים קִרְיַת־סֵפֶר׃
יב וַיֹּאמֶר כָּלֵב אֲשֶׁר־יַכֶּה אֶת־קִרְיַת־סֵפֶר וּלְכָדָהּ וְנָתַתִּי לוֹ אֶת־עַכְסָה בִתִּי לְאִשָּׁה׃
va-yil-k’-DAH ot-nee-AYL ben k’-NAZ a-KHEE kha-LAYV ha-ka-TON mi-ME-nu va-yi-ten LO et akh-SAH vi-TO l’-i-SHAH
יג וַיִּלְכְּדָהּ עָתְנִיאֵל בֶּן־קְנַז אֲחִי כָלֵב הַקָּטֹן מִמֶּנּוּ וַיִּתֶּן־לוֹ אֶת־עַכְסָה בִתּוֹ לְאִשָּׁה׃
1:13 His younger kinsman, Otniel son of K’naz, captured it
This verse, describing the conquest of Kiryat Sefer, demonstrates Otniel the Kenizzite’s power as a military leader. However, Otniel is more than just a strategic tactician. The classic commentator Rashi (Joshua 15:15) notes that Kiryat Sefer, which means ‘the city of the book,’ gets its name from an incident that occurred after Moshe’s death. Due to the people’s profound sadness, many biblical laws were forgotten. However, Otniel, with his great intellectual prowess, relearns and restores these commandments. Hence, we see that Otniel is not only a great warrior; he is also a great Torah scholar. Similarly, today’s Israeli army has many soldier-scholars who combine “the book and the sword” in their service of God and the Jewish people.2 comments
14 When she came [to him], she induced him to ask her father for some property. She dismounted from her donkey, and Kalev asked her, “What is the matter?”
יד וַיְהִי בְּבוֹאָהּ וַתְּסִיתֵהוּ לִשְׁאוֹל מֵאֵת־אָבִיהָ הַשָּׂדֶה וַתִּצְנַח מֵעַל הַחֲמוֹר וַיֹּאמֶר־לָהּ כָּלֵב מַה־לָּךְ׃
טו וַתֹּאמֶר לוֹ הָבָה־לִּי בְרָכָה כִּי אֶרֶץ הַנֶּגֶב נְתַתָּנִי וְנָתַתָּה לִי גֻּלֹּת מָיִם וַיִּתֶּן־לָהּ כָּלֵב אֵת גֻּלֹּת עִלִּית וְאֵת גֻּלֹּת תַּחְתִּית׃
16 The descendants of the Kenite, the father-in-law of Moshe, went up with the Judites from the City of Palms to the wilderness of Yehuda; and they went and settled among the people in the Negev of Arad.
19 Hashem was with Yehuda, so that they took possession of the hill country; but they were not able to dispossess the inhabitants of the plain, for they had iron chariots.
יט וַיְהִי יְהֹוָה אֶתּ־יְהוּדָה וַיֹּרֶשׁ אֶת־הָהָר כִּי לֹא לְהוֹרִישׁ אֶת־יֹשְׁבֵי הָעֵמֶק כִּי־רֶכֶב בַּרְזֶל לָהֶם׃
כ וַיִּתְּנוּ לְכָלֵב אֶת־חֶבְרוֹן כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר מֹשֶׁה וַיּוֹרֶשׁ מִשָּׁם אֶת־שְׁלֹשָׁה בְּנֵי הָעֲנָק׃
כב וַיַּעֲלוּ בֵית־יוֹסֵף גַּם־הֵם בֵּית־אֵל וַיהֹוָה עִמָּם׃
24 their patrols saw a man leaving the town. They said to him, “Just show us how to get into the town, and we will treat you kindly.”
כד וַיִּרְאוּ הַשֹּׁמְרִים אִישׁ יוֹצֵא מִן־הָעִיר וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ הַרְאֵנוּ נָא אֶת־מְבוֹא הָעִיר וְעָשִׂינוּ עִמְּךָ חָסֶד׃
25 He showed them how to get into the town; they put the town to the sword, but they let the man and all his relatives go free.
כה וַיַּרְאֵם אֶת־מְבוֹא הָעִיר וַיַּכּוּ אֶת־הָעִיר לְפִי־חָרֶב וְאֶת־הָאִישׁ וְאֶת־כָּל־מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ שִׁלֵּחוּ׃
26 The man went to the Hittite country. He founded a city and named it Luz, and that has been its name to this day.
כו וַיֵּלֶךְ הָאִישׁ אֶרֶץ הַחִתִּים וַיִּבֶן עִיר וַיִּקְרָא שְׁמָהּ לוּז הוּא שְׁמָהּ עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה׃
27 Menashe did not dispossess [the inhabitants of] Beit-Shean and its dependencies, or [of] Taanach and its dependencies, or the inhabitants of Dor and its dependencies, or the inhabitants of Ibleam and its dependencies, or the inhabitants of Megiddo and its dependencies. The Canaanites persisted in dwelling in this region.
28 And when Yisrael gained the upper hand, they subjected the Canaanites to forced labor; but they did not dispossess them.
כח וַיְהִי כִּי־חָזַק יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיָּשֶׂם אֶת־הַכְּנַעֲנִי לָמַס וְהוֹרֵישׁ לֹא הוֹרִישׁוֹ׃
כט וְאֶפְרַיִם לֹא הוֹרִישׁ אֶת־הַכְּנַעֲנִי הַיּוֹשֵׁב בְּגָזֶר וַיֵּשֶׁב הַכְּנַעֲנִי בְּקִרְבּוֹ בְּגָזֶר׃
32 So the Asherites dwelt in the midst of the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land, for they did not dispossess them.
לב וַיֵּשֶׁב הָאָשֵׁרִי בְּקֶרֶב הַכְּנַעֲנִי יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ כִּי לֹא הוֹרִישׁוֹ׃
33 Naftali did not dispossess the inhabitants of Beit Shemesh or the inhabitants of Beth-anath. But they settled in the midst of the Canaanite inhabitants of the land, and the inhabitants of Beit Shemesh and Beth-anath had to perform forced labor for them.
34 The Amorites pressed the Danites into the hill country; they would not let them come down to the plain.
לד וַיִּלְחֲצוּ הָאֱמֹרִי אֶת־בְּנֵי־דָן הָהָרָה כִּי־לֹא נְתָנוֹ לָרֶדֶת לָעֵמֶק׃