Judges 1, 2
1 After Joshua died, the descendants of Israel asked of the Lord, saying, “Who shall be first to go up for us to fight against the Canaanites?” 2 And the Lord said, “Judah shall go up. Indeed, I have delivered the land into his hand.”
3 So Judah said to Simeon his brother, “Come up with me to my allotted territory, so that we can stand in battle formation against the Canaanites; and I will go with you to your allotted territory.” And Simeon went with him. 4 Then Judah went up, and the Lord delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand; and they killed ten thousand men at Bezek. 5 And they overtook Adoni-Bezek in Bezek, and stood in formation against him; and they slaughtered the Canaanites and the Perizzites. 6 Then Adoni-Bezek fled, and they pursued him and caught him and cut off his thumbs and big toes. 7 And Adoni-Bezek said, “Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off used to gather the things under my table; God has repaid me for what I have done.” They then brought him to Jerusalem, where he died.
Judah Defeats Jerusalem and Hebron
8 Now the sons of Judah fought against Jerusalem, and captured it by striking it with the edge of the sword and setting the city on fire. 9 Afterward the sons of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites who dwelt in the mountains, in the plains of the South. 10 Then Judah went against the Canaanites who dwelt in Hebron, and Hebron—previously called Kirjath Arba—went out against them. And they struck Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, descendants of Enak.
Othniel Captures Debir
11 From there they went up against the inhabitants of Debir—previously called Kirjath Sepher, the City of Letters. 12 Then Caleb said, “Whoever attacks the City of Letters and takes it, to him I will give my daughter Achsah as wife.” 13 And Othniel the younger son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it; so Caleb gave him his daughter Achsah as wife. 14 And it came to be at the reception, Othniel urged her to ask her father for a field; and she complained and cried out from her donkey, “You have delivered me into a southern land.” And Caleb responded to her, “What is your request?” 15 So Achsah said to him, “Give me a blessing; since you have delivered me into a southern land, give me the water as well.” And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs, as was the desire of her heart.
The Efforts of Judah and Benjamin
16 Now the sons of the Kenite, Moses’ father-in-law, went up from the City of Palms with the sons of Judah into the desert of Judah, in the south of Judah, at the descent of Arad; and they went and dwelt with the people. 17 And Judah went with his brother Simeon, and they attacked the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath and utterly destroyed them. So the city was called Accursed. 18 And Judah did not inherit Gaza nor her coasts, nor Ashkelon with its territory, nor Accaron nor her coasts, nor Ekron with its territory. 19 The Lord was with Judah, and he inherited the mountain; for they could not completely destroy the inhabitants of the lowland, because Rechab prevented it. 20 And they gave Hebron to Caleb, as Moses had said, and after this he inherited the three cities of the sons of Anak. 21 But the sons of Benjamin did not secure the Jebusites who dwelt in Jerusalem; so the Jebusites dwell with the sons of Benjamin in Jerusalem until this day.
The Conquest of Bethel
22 And the sons of Joseph also went up to Bethel, and the Lord was with them. 23 Then they set up camp and spied on Bethel—previously named Luz. 24 And when the spies looked, they noticed a man leaving the city and they seized him and said to him, “Show us the entrance to the city and we will be merciful to you.” 25 And he showed them the entrance to the city, and they struck the city with the edge of the sword, but they let the man and his family leave. 26 And the man escaped to the land of the Hittites, where he built a city he called Luz. This is its name to this day.
Campaigns Left Undone
27 However, Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth Shean, a city of Scythians, nor her towns and suburbs, nor Taanach and her suburbs, nor the inhabitants of Dor and its suburbs, nor the inhabitants of Balak and its daughters, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and its suburbs and its daughters, nor the inhabitants of Jeblaham and its suburbs and its daughters; indeed, the Canaanites began to dwell in this land. 28 And when Israel became strong, they put the Canaanites under forced labor, but they did not drive them out completely.
29 Ephraim did not drive out the Canaanites who dwelt in Gezer; so the Canaanites dwelt in the midst of them in Gezer and paid taxes. 30 Nor did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Domana; so the Canaanites dwelt in the midst of them and paid taxes.
31 Nor did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Acco, though they did pay taxes to them, nor the inhabitants of Dor, nor the inhabitants of Sidon, nor the inhabitants of Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Nai, or Ereo. 32 So Asher dwelt in the midst of the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land; for he was not able to drive them out.
33 Nor did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, nor the inhabitants of Beth Anath; but Naphtali dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh and Beth Anath paid taxes to them.
34 And the Amorites forced the sons of Dan into the mountains, for they would not allow them to come down to the valley. 35 And the Amorites began to dwell in the mountain of the myrtle-grove, where there were bears and foxes; yet the hand of the house of Joseph was heavy upon the Amorite, and he came to pay tribute to them. 36 Now the boundary of the Amorites went upward from the Ascent of Akrabbim, from the Rock.
The Place of Weeping
1 Then the Angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to the place of weeping, and to Bethel and to the house of Israel, and said to them, “Thus says the Lord: I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land I promised your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you. 2 And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; nor shall you worship their gods, but you will destroy their graven images and you shall tear down their altars.’ But you did not obey My voice, for you did these things. 3 Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you, and they shall become as snares, and their gods shall be a cause for stumbling for you.’ ” 4 When the Angel of the Lord spoke these words to all the sons of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and wept. 5 And they called that place the Place of Weeping; and there they made a sacrifice to the Lord.
Death of Joshua
6 And when Joshua had dismissed the people, each man went to his inheritance to take possession of his land. 7 So the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who saw every great deed the Lord did for Israel. 8 Now Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at one hundred and ten years old. 9 And they buried him within the border of his inheritance at Timnath Heres, on Mount Ephraim, on the north side of Mount Gaash. 10 And when all that generation were laid with their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord, nor the work He had done for Israel.
Israel Follows False Gods
11 Then the sons of Israel did evil before the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; they followed other gods from among the gods of the nations all around them, and they bowed down to them. They provoked the Lord to anger. 13 They forsook Him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 And the Lord was enraged with anger at Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers, who ravaged them and sold them into the hands of their enemies all around. As a result they could no longer stand before their enemies. 15 Whenever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for calamity, as the Lord had spoken, and as the Lord had sworn to them. He greatly distressed them.
16 Nevertheless, the Lord raised up judges and the Lord saved them from the hand of those who plundered them. 17 But even so, they would not listen to their judges, but instead they played the harlot with other gods and bowed down to them. They turned quickly from the way in which their fathers had walked in obeying the commandments of the Lord; they did not do so. 18 And the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved by their groaning because of those who besieged them and harassed them. 19 And when the judge was dead, they went back to their former ways and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, serving them, and bowing down to them. They did not reject their pursuits nor their stubborn ways.
20 Then the Lord was enraged with anger at Israel; and He said, “Because this nation set aside My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not heeded My voice, 21 therefore I will not drive away from your presence any more of the men Joshua the son of Nun left in the land.” And the Lord left them, 22 to test Israel by them, to see whether they would keep the ways of the Lord, to walk in them and keep them as their fathers did. 23 Therefore the Lord left those nations without driving them out immediately; and He did not deliver them into the hand of Joshua.
1 A psalm for Asaph.
How good God is to Israel,
To the upright in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet were almost shaken;
My steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was jealous of the lawless
When I beheld the peace of sinners.
4 For there is no upward gaze at their death
Nor steadfastness in their chastening.
5 They are not in difficulties as other men,
And they shall not be chastened with other men.
6 For this reason arrogance mastered them;
They clothed themselves with their wrongdoing and ungodliness;
7 Their wrongdoing shall go forth as from fatness;
They passed through to their heart’s intent.
8 They thought and spoke in evil;
They spoke in wrongdoing to the height.
9 They set their mouth against heaven,
And their tongue passed through the earth.
10 For this reason my people shall return here;
Days of fullness shall be found in them.
11 They said, “How does God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are sinners, and they prosper;
They possess wealth in this age.
13 And I said, “Surely in vain have I kept my heart righteous,
And washed my hands with the innocent.”
14 For all day long I was scourged,
And my reproof persisted through the night.
1 Wrath destroys even men of discernment;
But a humble answer turns away anger,
And a grievous word stirs up wrath.
2 The tongue of the wise understands good things,
But the mouth of those without discernment proclaims evil things.
3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place;
They keep watch over both the evil and the good.
4 The healing of the tongue is a tree of life,
And the one who guards it will be filled with the Spirit.
5 A son without discernment treats the instruction of his father with contempt,
But the one who guards his commandments is more astute.
1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.
3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.
6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Glory in the Highest
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
11 “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 “And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”
16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.
18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
Circumcision of Jesus
21 And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
Jesus Presented in the Temple
22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord
23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”),
24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”