Judges 1:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 1:2, NIV: The LORD answered, 'Judah shall go up; I have given the land into their hands.'

Judges 1:2, ESV: The LORD said, “Judah shall go up; behold, I have given the land into his hand.”

Judges 1:2, KJV: And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.

Judges 1:2, NASB: The LORD said, 'Judah shall go up; behold, I have handed the land over to him.'

Judges 1:2, NLT: The LORD answered, 'Judah, for I have given them victory over the land.'

Judges 1:2, CSB: The Lord answered, "Judah is to go. I have handed the land over to him."

What does Judges 1:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Joshua has died (Joshua 24:29–31), and a new era in God's relationship with His people Israel has begun. The Israelites no longer have a single national leader to direct them. Instead, as a people under covenant with God, they are meant to directly follow God's will in all things.

The mission before them now is clear and simple: Each tribe is to take full possession of their own territories, clearing out the remaining Canaanites from the land God has promised to them. If they are faithful to obey God and worship Him only, He will grant them continued success in defeating their enemies. Even before Joshua, the people had been told about the deep evil of the Canaanite culture, and how crucial it was not to take on their customs (Deuteronomy 7:1–5; 9:4).

Israel's campaigns after Joshua's death start well. They have asked God which of the tribes should go up first against the Canaanites. The Lord answers directly: Judah (Genesis 49:8–9) should lead the way. God has given the land belonging to the tribe of Judah into Judah's hand. In other words, Yahweh is promising yet another impressive series of victories over Israel's enemies.