Judges 1: Who Shall Fight for Us?

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 84–85


The first verse of Judges 1 contains the basic question of the book: “Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?” From what we read in the book of Joshua, the answer ought to be clear: the Lord. As President Kimball said in the quotation found above: “The exercise of faith has always appeared to be more difficult than relying on things more immediately at hand.” This certainly seems true for the people in the book of Judges. The Israelites strayed from the faith and looked to mortal men and armies—instead of the Lord—to deliver them.Judges 1 introduces another main idea in the book of Judges by telling us about the groups of people not driven out by the tribes of Israel. Instead of driving out and destroying these peoples, Judges 1 says the Israelites made treaties with them. The chart below shows how this was the first step in leaving God and embracing idolatry.