Judges 1:24 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 1:24, NIV: the spies saw a man coming out of the city and they said to him, 'Show us how to get into the city and we will see that you are treated well.'

Judges 1:24, ESV: And the spies saw a man coming out of the city, and they said to him, “Please show us the way into the city, and we will deal kindly with you.”

Judges 1:24, KJV: And the spies saw a man come forth out of the city, and they said unto him, Shew us, we pray thee, the entrance into the city, and we will shew thee mercy.

Judges 1:24, NASB: And the spies saw a man coming out of the city, and they said to him, 'Please show us the entrance to the city, and we will treat you kindly.'

Judges 1:24, NLT: They confronted a man coming out of the town and said to him, 'Show us a way into the town, and we will have mercy on you.'

Judges 1:24, CSB: The spies saw a man coming out of the town and said to him, "Please show us how to get into town, and we will show you kindness."

What does Judges 1:24 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The tribe of Ephraim has a plan to capture the city of Bethel, also known as Luz. They are eager to reclaim the place because the site is nearly sacred to the people of Israel (Genesis 28:16–22). Bethel means "house of God."

Apparently following a similar plan used against Jericho (Joshua 2:1–7), the people of Ephraim send spies to scout out Bethel, looking for the shortest route possible to get into the city. The spies see a man leaving the city and offer to deal kindly with the man if he will show them the route.

It's true that something similar happened with Jericho. The prostitute Rahab protected the spies. She, however, confessed loyalty to the God of Israel. She was allowed to live when the walls came down, but she and her people were also fully integrated into the people of Israel. It's clear that the people of Ephraim mean to allow this man to live if he will show them the way into the city. However, this man does not claim to follow Israel's God. He becomes a traitor to his people simply to save his own life.