1. Exposition

What is the theological purpose of the narrator in this verse?

Judges 1:27 (ESV)

27 Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shean and its villages, or Taanach and its villages, or the inhabitants of Dor and its villages, or the inhabitants of Ibleam and its villages, or the inhabitants of Megiddo and its villages, for the Canaanites persisted in dwelling in that land.

While Joshua 17:12 notes that the Manassites were not able to occupy these towns, here it says that Manasseh did not drive out the people. The narrator here wants to suggest that Israel’s failure was inexcusable, more due to lack of desire than lack of ability.1

The repeated formula, did not drive out (Judges 1:21, Judges 1:27, Judges 1:29–31, Judges 1:33) intends to communicate that this was an intentional failure to wipe out the population.2