When Jabin king of Hazor heard of all this, he sent word to Jobab king of Madon; to the king of Shimron; to the king of Acshaph;
to all the kings in the northern mountains; to the kings in the valley south of Kinnereth; to the kings in the western foothills and Naphoth Dor;
to the Canaanites both east and west; to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, and Jebusites in the hill country; and to the Hivites below Hermon in the region of Mizpah.
They came out in full force, all their troops massed together - a huge army, in number like sand on an ocean beach - to say nothing of all the horses and chariots.
All these kings met and set up camp together at the Waters of Merom, ready to fight against Israel.
God said to Joshua: "Don't worry about them. This time tomorrow I'll hand them over to Israel, all dead. You'll hamstring their horses. You'll set fire to their chariots."
Joshua, his entire army with him, took them by surprise, falling on them at the Waters of Merom.
God gave them to Israel, who struck and chased them all the way to Greater Sidon, to Misrephoth Maim, and then to the Valley of Mizpah on the east. No survivors.
Joshua treated them following God's instructions: he hamstrung their horses; he burned up their chariots.
Then Joshua came back and took Hazor, killing its king. Early on Hazor had been head of all these kingdoms.
They killed every person there, carrying out the holy curse - not a breath of life left anywhere. Then he burned down Hazor.
Joshua captured and massacred all the royal towns with their kings, the holy curse commanded by Moses the servant of God.
But Israel didn't burn the cities that were built on mounds, except for Hazor - Joshua did burn down Hazor.
The People of Israel plundered all the loot, including the cattle, from these towns for themselves. But they killed the people - total destruction. They left nothing human that breathed.
Just as God commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did it. He didn't leave incomplete one thing that God had commanded Moses.
Joshua took the whole country: the mountains, the southern desert, all of Goshen, the foothills, the valley (the Arabah), and the Israel mountains with their foothills,
from Mount Halak, which towers over the region of Seir, all the way to Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon in the shadows of Mount Hermon. He captured their kings and then killed them.
Joshua fought against these kings for a long time.
Not one town made peace with the People of Israel, with the one exception of the Hivites who lived in Gibeon. Israel fought and took all the rest.
It was God's idea that they all would stubbornly fight the Israelites so he could put them under the holy curse without mercy. That way he could destroy them just as God had commanded Moses.
Joshua came out at that time also to root out the Anakim from the hills, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, from the mountains of Judah, from the mountains of Israel. Joshua carried out the holy curse on them and their cities.
No Anakim were left in the land of the People of Israel, except in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod - there were a few left there.
Joshua took the whole region. He did everything that God had told Moses. Then he parceled it out as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribes. And Israel had rest from war.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)