Judges 1:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 1:17, NIV: Then the men of Judah went with the Simeonites their fellow Israelites and attacked the Canaanites living in Zephath, and they totally destroyed the city. Therefore it was called Hormah.

Judges 1:17, ESV: And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they defeated the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath and devoted it to destruction. So the name of the city was called Hormah.

Judges 1:17, KJV: And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. And the name of the city was called Hormah.

Judges 1:17, NASB: Then Judah went with his brother Simeon, and they struck the Canaanites living in Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. So the name of the city was called Hormah.

Judges 1:17, NLT: Then Judah joined with Simeon to fight against the Canaanites living in Zephath, and they completely destroyed the town. So the town was named Hormah.

Judges 1:17, CSB: Judah went with his brother Simeon, struck the Canaanites who were living in Zephath, and completely destroyed the town. So they named the town Hormah.

What does Judges 1:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

As Judah works its way through their territory to clear it of Canaanites (Judges 1:4–11), they now join forces with the fighting men of Simeon. Judah and Simeon are described as brothers. As sons of Jacob and Leah, these ancestors of the two tribes were full brothers and closely connected (Genesis 35:23).

The combined forces of Judah and Simeon attack and destroy the people of the city of Zephath. They fully follow God's mandate about devoting the local Canaanites to destruction (Deuteronomy 20:16–18). They tear the city down completely and rename the place Hormah, which means "destruction." This was God's intended outcome for every encounter Israel had with the Canaanites.

Why did God want Israel to utterly destroy the people of Canaan? It went beyond merely wanting to keep the Israelites away from foreign gods. The people of Canaan were guilty of great evil, and God sent His people Israel to execute His wrath on them (Deuteronomy 7:1–5). Deuteronomy 9:5 puts it this way: "Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out from before you."