(Judg. 1:20) Were the sons of Anak killed or driven out?

CLAIM: Judges 1:10 explains that Judah “struck” the sons of Anak; however, verse 20 explains that they were merely driven out. Which is true?

RESPONSE: The Hebrew word for “struck” is nakah (pronounced nuh-HAH). It can be translated as “slew” (Judg. 9:44) or “struck down” (Judg. 3:29). However, it doesn’t always carry the connotation of exterminated –simply defeated. For instance, the Jews were “defeated,” but they were not exterminated (Judg. 3:13). Judges 1 is very similar to Joshua 15:13-19. Some argue that these are describing two separate attacks on the sons of Anak. One earlier and one later. Since Judges is not written in chronological order, this is possible.