Judges 1:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 1:16, NIV: The descendants of Moses' father-in-law, the Kenite, went up from the City of Palms with the people of Judah to live among the inhabitants of the Desert of Judah in the Negev near Arad.

Judges 1:16, ESV: And the descendants of the Kenite, Moses’ father-in-law, went up with the people of Judah from the city of palms into the wilderness of Judah, which lies in the Negeb near Arad, and they went and settled with the people.

Judges 1:16, KJV: And the children of the Kenite, Moses' father in law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt among the people.

Judges 1:16, NASB: Now the descendants of the Kenite, Moses’ father-in-law, went up from the city of palms with the sons of Judah, to the wilderness of Judah which is in the south of Arad; and they went and lived with the people.

Judges 1:16, NLT: When the tribe of Judah left Jericho--the city of palms--the Kenites, who were descendants of Moses' father-in-law, traveled with them into the wilderness of Judah. They settled among the people there, near the town of Arad in the Negev.

Judges 1:16, CSB: The descendants of the Kenite, Moses's father-in-law, had gone up with the men of Judah from the City of Palms to the Wilderness of Judah, which was in the Negev of Arad. They went to live among the people.

What does Judges 1:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The people of Judah have been conquering their allotted territory in the Promised Land from north to south. They started near Jerusalem and are now approaching the Negeb, the large, desert wilderness at the south end of Israel's and Judah's borders (Judges 1:4–10).

Meanwhile, a group of people who are not Israelites travels to the Negeb to make their own homeland there. These are the descendants of Moses' father-in-law, who was a Midian priest. Scholars speculate that this group was descended from the same Midianites that Moses invited to come to the Promised Land with the Israelites (Numbers 10:29–32).

This group is said to come from the "city of palms." That is one of the names for Jericho, but Bible scholars suggest it is likely also the name for a city called Tamar south of the Dead Sea. If so, this group is claiming their place in the Negeb as Judah's army is securing that area.

The troubling note, though, is that this group settled with the people in the Negeb. Neither they nor Judah drove the local Canaanites out or destroyed them. This is another violation of God's directive to Israel to devote the inhabitants of the land to destruction so that they do not influence Israel to worship other gods (Deuteronomy 20:16–18).