Judges 1:11
From there they marched against the inhabitants of Debir (formerly known as Kiriath-sepher).
The Book-TownR. A. Watson, M. A.Judges 1:11
The Public Spirit of CalebA.F. Muir Judges 1:11-15

He offered his daughter to the soldier who should be successful in destroying the inhabitants of Debar. It was of supreme importance that this stronghold should be taken, if the rest of the district was to be peaceably held. But some reward was required in order to stimulate the heroism of his followers to face the hazard and danger of the enterprise. We have here then -

I. AN IDENTIFICATION OF HIMSELF WITH THE INTERESTS OF HIS TRIBE. Caleb was all Edomite, and might have enjoyed his own lot without such special effort or sacrifice. He is evidently deeply interested in the welfare and honour of his adopted tribe. This might be called a signal illustration of public spirit. And yet it is probable that Caleb himself was quite unconscious that there was anything singular in his action. As the greatest blessings to a nation arise from the public spirit of its citizens, so the greatest curses are frequently entailed by the want of it. As in warfare every soldier, however insignificant, is an influence that tells upon the success or failure of the campaign, so in a government, with representative institutions whose action hinds the nation and measures its progress, it is requisite that every citizen should actively interest himself in electing and supporting the legislative authority. The free play of an intelligent, generous, and enthusiastic public criticism will tend to the health of the whole body politic, and vice versa. Even more cogent is the need for public spirit in the church. Its honour and dishonour are ours, its success or failure. And it represents interests of the most tremendous importance. "England expects every man to do his duty" is a sentence of historic importance. Although not called upon to preach, or even to pray in public, the private member of the church ought to regard the affairs of Christ's kingdom with enthusiasm, and be prepared to make great sacrifices for its advancement:

II. HIS PROOF OF THIS IN BESTOWING ONE OF HIS MOST PRECIOUS POSSESSIONS. We do not know much about Achsah, but probably she was very beautiful. Her forethought and carefulness are described in the fourteenth and fifteenth verses. She was his only daughter, born to him in later life (1 Chronicles 2:49). That she was dear to her father we may take for granted. How much a daughter may be to a father history has frequently and strikingly shown. The grief of Jephthah for the consequences of his rash vow is recorded in this very book. Apart from the personal attractions of Achsah, the influence which might be obtained by intermarriage with the family of Caleb is not to be ignored.

III. IT WAS A SACRIFICE WHICH HAD IN IT THE SECURITY FOR ITS OWN REWARD. An offer like this was an appeal to the chivalry of the tribe. It suggested vividly that on account of which the bravery of the warrior is so necessary. The soldier who stormed such a fortress was sure to possess the noble and manly qualities and the religious zeal calculated to make a good husband. So in political and spiritual matters, generous offers and challenges appeal to what is noblest in the nature of men, and secure a loftier and more heroic response. - M.

The name Kirjath-sepher, that is Book-Town, has been supposed to point to the existence of a semi-popular literature among the pre-Judaean inhabitants of Canaan. We cannot build with any certainty upon a name, but there are other facts of some significance. Already the Phoenicians, the merchants of the age, some of whom no doubt visited Kirjath-sepher on their way to Arabia or settled in it, had in their dealings with Egypt begun to use that alphabet to which most languages, from Hebrew and Aramaic on through Greek and Latin to our own, are indebted for the idea and shapes of letters. And it is not improbable that an old-world Phoenician library of skins, palm-leaves or inscribed tablets had given distinction to this town lying away towards the desert from Hebron. Written words were held in half-superstitious veneration, and a very few records would greatly impress a district peopled chiefly by wandering tribes. Nothing is insignificant in the pages of the Bible, nothing is to be disregarded that throws the least light upon human affairs and Divine providence; and here we have a suggestion of no slight importance. Doubt has been east on the existence of a written language among the Hebrews till centuries after the Exodus. It has been denied that the law could have been written out by Moses. This difficulty is now seen to be imaginary, like many others that have been raised. It is certain that the Phcenicians trading in Egypt in the time of the Hyksos kings had settlements quite contiguous to Goshen. What more likely than that the Hebrews, who spoke a language akin to the Phoenicians, should have shared the discovery of letters almost from the first, and practised the art of writing in the days of their favour with the monarchs of the Nile valley? The oppression of the following period might prevent the spread of letters among the people; but a man like Moses must have seen their value and made himself familiar with their use. The importance of this indication in the study of Hebrew law and faith is very plain. Nor should we fail to notice the interesting connection between the Divine lawgiving of Moses and the practical invention of a worldly race. There is no exclusiveness in the providence of God. The art of a people, acute and eager indeed, but without spirituality, is not rejected as profane by the inspired leader of Israel. Egyptians and Phoenicians have their share in originating that culture which mingles its stream with sacred revelation and religion. Letters and religion, culture and faith, must needs go hand in hand.

(R. A. Watson, M. A.)

Abednego, Achsah, Adonibezek, Ahiman, Amalekites, Amorites, Anak, Anath, Arad, Arba, Asher, Asherites, Benjamin, Benjamites, Caleb, Canaanites, Dan, Danites, Debir, Edomites, Hittites, Hobab, Israelites, Jebusites, Joseph, Joshua, Kenaz, Manasseh, Naphtali, Naphtalites, Othniel, Perizzites, Rehob, Sheshai, Simeon, Simeonites, Talmai, Zebulun, Zidon
Acco, Achzib, Ahlab, Aijalon, Akrabbim, Aphik, Arad, Ashkelon, Beth-anath, Bethel, Beth-shan, Beth-shemesh, Bezek, Debir, Dor, Ekron, Gaza, Gezer, Gibeah, Hebron, Helbah, Hormah, Ibleam, Jerusalem, Kiriath-arba, Kiriath-sepher, Kitron, Luz, Megiddo, Mount Heres, Nahalol, Negeb, Rehob, Sela, Shaalbim, Sidon, Taanach, Zephath
Beforetime, Debir, Earlier, Formerly, Inhabitants, Kiriath, Kiriath-sepher, Kir'iath-se'pher, Kirjathsepher, Kirjath-sepher, Sepher, Thence
1. The acts of Judah and Simeon
4. Adonibezek justly requited
8. Jerusalem taken
10. Hebron taken
11. Othniel has Achsah to wife for taking of Debir
16. The Kenites dwell in Judah
17. Hormah, Gaza, Askelon, and Ekron taken
21. The acts of Benjamin
22. Of the house of Joseph, who take Bethel
30. Of Zebulun
31. Of Asher
33. Of Naphtali
34. Of Dan

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Judges 1:1-20

     7266   tribes of Israel

Judges 1:11-15

     4293   water

The Historical Books.
1. In the Pentateuch we have the establishment of the Theocracy, with the preparatory and accompanying history pertaining to it. The province of the historical books is to unfold its practiced working, and to show how, under the divine superintendence and guidance, it accomplished the end for which it was given. They contain, therefore, primarily, a history of God's dealings with the covenant people under the economy which he had imposed upon them. They look at the course of human events on the
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

The Coast of the Asphaltites, the Essenes. En-Gedi.
"On the western shore" (of the Asphaltites) "dwell the Essenes; whom persons, guilty of any crimes, fly from on every side. A nation it is that lives alone, and of all other nations in the whole world, most to be admired; they are without any woman; all lust banished, &c. Below these, was the town Engadda, the next to Jerusalem for fruitfulness, and groves of palm-trees, now another burying-place. From thence stands Massada, a castle in a rock, and this castle not far from the Asphaltites." Solinus,
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Beth-El. Beth-Aven.
Josephus thus describes the land of Benjamin; "The Benjamites' portion of land was from the river Jordan to the sea, in length: in breadth, it was bounded by Jerusalem and Beth-el." Let these last words be marked, "The breadth of the land of Benjamin was bounded by Jerusalem and Beth-el." May we not justly conclude, from these words, that Jerusalem and Beth-el were opposite, as it were, in a right line? But if you look upon the maps, there are some that separate these by a very large tract of land,
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

"Tsippor is the greatest city of Galilee, and built in a very strong place." "Kitron (Judg 1:29,30) is Tsippor: and why is it called Tsippor? Because it is seated upon a mountain as Tsippor, a bird." "Sixteen miles on all sides from Tsippor was a land flowing with milk and honey." This city is noted in Josephus for its warlike affairs; but most noted in the Talmudists for the university fixed there, and for the learning, which Rabbi Judah the Holy brought hither, as we have said before. He sat in
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

A Nation's Struggle for a Home and Freedom.
ISRAEL'S VICTORIES OVER THE CANAANITES.--Josh. 2-9; Judg. 1, 4, 5. Parallel Readings. Hist. Bible II,1-4.1. Prin. of Politics X. That the leaders took the lead in Israel, That the people volunteered readily, Bless Jehovah! Zebulun was a people who exposed themselves to deadly peril, And Naphtali on the heights of the open field. Kings came, they fought; They fought, the kings of Canaan, At Taanach by the Waters of Megiddo, They took no booty of silver. Prom heaven fought the stars, From their
Charles Foster Kent—The Making of a Nation

The Place of the Old Testament in Divine Revelation
[Sidenote: Advent of the Hebrews] Modern discovery and research have demonstrated that the truth revealed through the Babylonians and with less definiteness through the people of the Nile was never entirely lost. Such a sad waste was out of accord with the obvious principles of divine economy. As the icy chill of ceremonialism seized decadent Babylonia and Egypt, there emerged from the steppes south and east of Palestine a virile, ambitious group of nomads, who not only fell heir to that which
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

The Prophet Jonah.
It has been asserted without any sufficient reason, that Jonah is older than Hosea, Joel, Amos, and Obadiah,--that he is the oldest among the prophets whose written monuments have been preserved to us. The passage in 2 Kings xiv. 25, where it is said, that Jonah, the son of Amittai the prophet, prophesied to Jeroboam the happy success of his arms, and the restoration of the ancient boundaries of Israel, and that this prophecy was confirmed by the event, cannot decide in favour of this assertion,
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Scythopolis. Beth-Shean, the Beginning of Galilee.
The bonds of Galilee were, "on the south, Samaris and Scythopolis, unto the flood of Jordan." Scythopolis is the same with Beth-shean, of which is no seldom mention in the Holy Scriptures, Joshua 17:11; Judges 1:27; 1 Samuel 31:10. "Bethsaine (saith Josephus), called by the Greeks Scythopolis." It was distant but a little way from Jordan, seated in the entrance to a great valley: for so the same author writes, "Having passed Jordan, they came to a great plain, where lies before you the city Bethsane,"
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

The Country of Jericho, and the Situation of the City.
Here we will borrow Josephus' pencil, "Jericho is seated in a plain, yet a certain barren mountain hangs over it, narrow, indeed, but long; for it runs out northward to the country of Scythopolis,--and southward, to the country of Sodom, and the utmost coast of the Asphaltites." Of this mountain mention is made, Joshua 2:22, where the two spies, sent by Joshua, and received by Rahab, are said to "conceal themselves." "Opposite against this, lies a mountain on the other side Jordan, beginning from
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

The Hebrews and the Philistines --Damascus
THE ISRAELITES IN THE LAND OF CANAAN: THE JUDGES--THE PHILISTINES AND THE HEBREW KINGDOM--SAUL, DAVID, SOLOMON, THE DEFECTION OF THE TEN TRIBES--THE XXIst EGYPTIAN DYNASTY--SHESHONQ OR SHISHAK DAMASCUS. The Hebrews in the desert: their families, clans, and tribes--The Amorites and the Hebrews on the left bank of the Jordan--The conquest of Canaan and the native reaction against the Hebrews--The judges, Ehud, Deborah, Jerubbaal or Gideon and the Manassite supremacy; Abimelech, Jephihdh. The Philistines,
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 6

Jews and Gentiles in "The Land"
Coming down from Syria, it would have been difficult to fix the exact spot where, in the view of the Rabbis, "the land" itself began. The boundary lines, though mentioned in four different documents, are not marked in anything like geographical order, but as ritual questions connected with them came up for theological discussion. For, to the Rabbis the precise limits of Palestine were chiefly interesting so far as they affected the religious obligations or privileges of a district. And in this respect
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

For the understanding of the early history and religion of Israel, the book of Judges, which covers the period from the death of Joshua to the beginning of the struggle with the Philistines, is of inestimable importance; and it is very fortunate that the elements contributed by the later editors are so easily separated from the ancient stories whose moral they seek to point. That moral is most elaborately stated in ii. 6-iii. 6, which is a sort of programme or preface to iii. 7-xvi. 31, which constitutes
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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