Judges 1:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 1:28, NIV: When Israel became strong, they pressed the Canaanites into forced labor but never drove them out completely.

Judges 1:28, ESV: When Israel grew strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not drive them out completely.

Judges 1:28, KJV: And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.

Judges 1:28, NASB: And it came about, when Israel became strong, that they put the Canaanites to forced labor; but they did not drive them out completely.

Judges 1:28, NLT: When the Israelites grew stronger, they forced the Canaanites to work as slaves, but they never did drive them completely out of the land.

Judges 1:28, CSB: When Israel became stronger, they made the Canaanites serve as forced labor but never drove them out completely.

What does Judges 1:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Most of the tribes of Israel failed to entirely remove the Canaanites from their allotted territories (Judges 1:17–21). The writer of Judges is listing these tribes and the places where Canaanites remained living in the land. The Israelites seem to simply have lacked the will or the trust in God to destroy the Canaanites as God had commanded (Deuteronomy 20:16–18).

Here, Scripture notes that Israel could have destroyed the Canaanites, eventually. They were not defeated in battle—they simply stopped short of a complete victory. The people of Israel willfully chose not to follow through on God's command. As the nation took root, the people thrived. They began to outnumber the Canaanites in some places. When they became strong enough to purge evil Canaanite culture from the land, however, they chose instead to enslave the people. They used the Canaanites for labor instead of destroying them. Harsh though this may seem, later chapters show the terrible suffering Israel experienced as a result.