Judges 1:19

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This item has been selected by Peter Kirby as a "Featured Con Piece". The status of the claims made here, however, is up for debate.

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And Jehovah was with Judah; and drove out [the inhabitants of] the hill-country; for he could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron. (ASV)


This is the famous "iron chariots defeat the Lord" verse.

Errantists say that this shows that the Lord is not omnipotent. (In contrast to Jeremiah 32:27: "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?")

The response of inerrantists is weak. The verse states clearly "And Jehovah was with Judah" and "he could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley". This clearly tells us that Jehovah supported the Israelites but could not win.


Inerrantists claim that the verse does not say that the Lord could not have defeated the iron chariots; God might have had some reason not to allow the Israelites to win at that time.

Other Inerrantists argue that the translation of this passage is in error. Those making this argument translate the passage as "They drove out the inhabitants of the mountains; but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, for they had iron chariots."


Commenting on "but they could not drive out" the Jewish Sage "Rashi" notes that "Targum Jonathan paraphrases: But after they had sinned, they were unable to drive out the inhabitants of the plain" which shows that some early Jews believed that the conquest failed as a result of sin.

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