Was Bethel conquered by Joshua (Joshua 12:7, 12, 16) or the house of Joseph (Judges 1:22-29)? And was Gezer conquered or not?
Judges 1 clearly reveals that the house of Joseph was involved in the conquest of the city Bethel. Does that mean Joshua did not participate? Notice Joshua 12:7:
…these are the kings of the country which Joshua and the children of Israel conquered… (12:7)
The house of Joseph has been included in any listing of the children of Israel I’ve seen. Joshua 12:7 and Judges 1:22 agree.
What about Gezer? Joshua 12:12 lists the king of Gezer among the kings that were defeated by Joshua and the children of Israel. However, Judges 1:29 says Nor did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites who dwelt in Gezer; so the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them. (1:29)
Surely we can understand that there is a difference between defeating a king of a region and driving out the inhabitants. The first does not automatically result in the latter. When the king of an area is defeated, a shift in power has taken place, but the people living on the land don’t simply disappear because their king is gone. Joshua led the people of Israel in battle against the king of Gezar, and they defeated him. However, the tribe of Ephraim didn’t finish the job. They did not drive the inhabitants of the land out.
There is no contradiction.
A response to 1001 Bible Contradictions.