And the Lord sold them
Delivered them into a state of bondage and slavery, where they were like men sold for slaves, see ( Judges 3:8 ) ;
into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor;
there was a city of this name, and a king of it of the same name, as here, in the times of Joshua, which city was taken and burnt by him, and its king slain, ( Joshua 11:1 Joshua 11:10 Joshua 11:11 ) ; and either the country about it is here meant, as Jericho in the preceding chapter is put for the country adjacent to it; or this city had been rebuilt, over which reigned one of the posterity of the ancient kings of it, and of the same name; or Jabin was a name common to the kings of Canaan, as Pharaoh to the Egyptian kings; and by Canaan is meant, not the land of Canaan in general, but a particular part of it inhabited by that, or some of that nation or tribe, which was peculiarly so called:
the captain of whose host [was] Sisera;
Jabin maintained a standing army to keep the people of Israel in subjection, the general of which was Sisera, of whom many things are after said:
which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles;
not Jabin, as many understand it, for he had his royal seat and residence in Hazor; but Sisera his general, and where the army under his command was. This place had its name either because it was built by same of various nations, or inhabited by workmen of different countries; or rather it was a wood originally, as the name signifies, to which many of the seven nations of the Canaanites fled from before Joshua, and hid and sheltered themselves, and in process of time built strong towers and fortresses in it, and became numerous and powerful; and so the Targum paraphrases the words,
``and he dwelt in the strength of the towers of the people;''and in other times, as Strabo relates F23, the northern parts of the land of Canaan, as those were where Hazor and Harosheth were, were inhabited by a mixed people, Egyptians, Arabians, and Phoenicians; such were they, he says, that held Galilee, Jericho, Philadelphia, and Samaria.
F23 Geograph. l. 16. p. 525.