1. Exposition

What is so startling about Naphtali’s failure?

Judges 1:33 (ESV)

33 Naphtali did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh, or the inhabitants of Beth-anath, so they lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and of Beth-anath became subject to forced labor for them.

Naphtali’s failure to drive out the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh or Beth Anath was that those towns were named after Canaanite deities, Shemesh (god of the sun) and Anath (goddess of war). Pagan religiosity and culture remained completely untouched by the Israelite campaigns.1