Judges 1:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 1:8, NIV: The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem also and took it. They put the city to the sword and set it on fire.

Judges 1:8, ESV: And the men of Judah fought against Jerusalem and captured it and struck it with the edge of the sword and set the city on fire.

Judges 1:8, KJV: Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.

Judges 1:8, NASB: Then the sons of Judah fought against Jerusalem and captured it, and struck it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.

Judges 1:8, NLT: The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem and captured it, killing all its people and setting the city on fire.

Judges 1:8, CSB: The men of Judah fought against Jerusalem, captured it, put it to the sword, and set the city on fire.

What does Judges 1:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After defeating the city of Bezek, Judah's soldiers attack the Canaanite-occupied city of Jerusalem. Again, the Lord gives Judah success. This time, the Israelites leave nobody alive, striking down all with the sword and even burning the city.

Scholars speculate that after Jerusalem was defeated and wiped out by Judah, the people known as the Jebusites moved in and took over the town. Later in Israel's history, King David will finally take Jerusalem from the Jebusites (2 Samuel 5:6–9) before making it Israel's capital. Alternatively, the reference to Jerusalem might mean the surrounding area. Prior campaigns there were difficult (Joshua 15:63) and the tribe of Benjamin would later struggle to secure the area (Judges 1:21). It's possible this battle was against a lesser city or fortification on what is now called Mount Zion.

Although Jerusalem was technically in the territory of the tribe of Benjamin, it may have been considered on the border between Judah and Benjamin at this time. It's possible that the men of Judah burned only part of the city and that they did not hold the city for long.