Judges 1:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 1:23, NIV: When they sent men to spy out Bethel (formerly called Luz),

Judges 1:23, ESV: And the house of Joseph scouted out Bethel. (Now the name of the city was formerly Luz.)

Judges 1:23, KJV: And the house of Joseph sent to descry Bethel. (Now the name of the city before was Luz.)

Judges 1:23, NASB: The house of Joseph had men spy out Bethel (the name of the city previously was Luz).

Judges 1:23, NLT: They sent men to scout out Bethel (formerly known as Luz).

Judges 1:23, CSB: They sent spies to Bethel (the town was formerly named Luz).

What does Judges 1:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The "house of Joseph" is a reference to the tribe of Ephraim, one of Joseph's two sons (Genesis 48:1–6). The other is Manasseh, who will be noted later in this passage (Judges 1:27).

Ephraim has come up with a plan to conquer the city of Bethel, known to the Canaanites as Luz. They will follow the pattern set by Israel's destruction of the city of Jericho with its enormous walls. That plan began by sending spies to Jericho. Ephraim does the same, sending a group to scout out Bethel/Luz. This plan has a fatal flaw, however: it disobeys God's command to eliminate all the wicked Canaanites (Deuteronomy 20:16–18).