Joshua 11

Victories in the north

1 King Jabin of Hazor heard about this. So he sent word to Madon's King Jobab, to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph.
2 He sent word to the kings from the north part of the highlands, in the desert plain south of Chinneroth, in the lowlands, and in Naphoth-dor on the west.
3 He sent word to the Canaanites from east and west, to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, and Jebusites in the highlands, and to the Hivites at the foot of Hermon in the land of Mizpah.
4 They went out with all their battalions as a great army. They were as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore. There were very many horses and chariots.
5 All these kings came together. They came and camped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel.
6 The LORD said to Joshua, "Don't be afraid of them. By this time tomorrow, I will make them all dead bodies in Israel's presence. Cripple their horses! Burn their chariots!"
7 Then Joshua along with the entire army launched a surprise attack against them at the waters of Merom.
8 The LORD gave them into Israel's power. They struck them down. They chased them as far as Great Sidon and Misrephoth-maim, then to the east as far as the Mizpeh Valley. They struck them down until no survivors were left.
9 Joshua dealt with them exactly as the LORD had told him. He crippled their horses and burned their chariots.
10 Joshua turned back at that time. He captured Hazor and struck down its king with the sword. Hazor had been the head of all those kingdoms in the past.
11 They struck down everyone there without mercy, wiping them out as something reserved for God. Nothing that breathed was left. Hazor itself he burned.
12 Joshua captured all these kings and their cities. He struck them down without mercy. He wiped them out as something reserved for God. This was exactly as Moses the LORD's servant had commanded.
13 But Israel didn't burn any of the cities that still are standing on their mounds. Joshua burned only Hazor.
14 The Israelites took all the valuable things from those cities and the cattle as plunder for themselves. But they struck down every person without mercy until they had wiped them out. They didn't let anything that breathed survive.
15 What the LORD had commanded Moses his servant, Moses had commanded Joshua, and Joshua did exactly that. He didn't deviate a bit from any command that the LORD had given Moses.

Summary of Israel’s victories

16 So Joshua took this whole land: the highlands, the whole arid southern plain, the whole land of Goshen, the lowlands, the desert plain, and both the highlands and the lowlands of Israel.
17 He took land stretching from Mount Halak, which goes up toward Seir, as far as Baal-gad at the foot of Mount Hermon in the Lebanon Valley. He captured all their kings. He struck them down and killed them.
18 Joshua waged war against all these kings for a long time.
19 There wasn't one city that made peace with the Israelites, except the Hivites who lived in Gibeon. They captured every single one in battle.
20 Their stubborn resistance came from the LORD and led them to wage war against Israel. Israel was then able to wipe them out as something reserved for God, without showing them any mercy. This was exactly what the LORD had commanded Moses.
21 At that time, Joshua went and wiped out the Anakim from the highlands. He wiped them out from Hebron, from Debir, and from Anab, from the whole highlands of Judah, and the whole highlands of Israel. Joshua wiped them out along with their cities as something reserved for God.
22 The Anakim no longer remained in the land of the Israelites. They survived only in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod.
23 So Joshua took the whole land, exactly as the LORD had promised Moses. Joshua gave it as a legacy to Israel according to their tribal shares. Then the land had a rest from war.

Joshua 11 Commentary

Chapter 11

Divers kings overcome at the waters of Merom. (1-9) Hazor is taken and burned. (10-14) All that country subdued, The Anakims cut off. (15-23)

Verses 1-9 The wonders God wrought for the Israelites were to encourage them to act vigorously themselves. Thus the war against Satan's kingdom, carried on by preaching the gospel, was at first forwarded by miracles; but being fully proved to be of God, we are now left to the Divine grace in the usual course, in the use of the sword of the Spirit. God encouraged Joshua. Fresh dangers and difficulties make it necessary to seek fresh supports from the word of God, which we have nigh unto us for use in every time of need. God proportions our trials to our strength, and our strength to our trials. Joshua's obedience in destroying the horses and chariots, shows his self-denial in compliance with God's command. The possession of things on which the carnal heart is prone to depend, is hurtful to the life of faith, and the walk with God; therefore it is better to be without worldly advantages, than to have the soul endangered by them.

Verses 10-14 The Canaanites filled up the measure of their iniquity, and were, as a judgment, left to the pride, obstinacy, and enmity of their hearts, and to the power of Satan; all restraints being withdrawn, while the dispensations of Providence tended to drive them to despair. They brought on themselves the vengeance they justly merited, of which the Israelites were to be executioners, by the command the Lord gave to Moses.

Verses 15-23 Never let the sons of Anak be a terror to the Israel of God, for their day to fall will come. The land rested from war. It ended not in a peace with the Canaanites, that was forbidden, but in a peace from them. There is a rest, a rest from war, remaining for the people of God, into which they shall enter, when their warfare is accomplished. That which was now done, is compared with what had been said to Moses. God's word and his works, if viewed together, will be found mutually to set each other forth. If we make conscience of our duty, we need not question the performance of the promise. But the believer must never put off his armour, or expect lasting peace, till he closes his eyes in death; nay, as his strength and usefulness increase, he may expect more heavy trials; yet the Lord will not permit any enemies to assault the believer till he has prepared him for the battle. Christ Jesus ever lives to plead for his people, and their faith shall not fail, however Satan may be permitted to assault them. And however tedious, sharp, and difficult the believer's warfare, his patience in tribulation may be encouraged by the joyfulness of hope; for he will, ere long, rest from sin and from sorrow in the Canaan above.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JOSHUA 11

This chapter relates how that the kings of the northern parts of Canaan combine together against Joshua, Jos 11:1-5; and that the Lord encouraged him to fight with them, and did deliver them into his hands, who, with all their people, were smitten by him, Jos 11:6-11; and how that he took their cities, and destroyed the inhabitants of them, and took the spoil of them for a prey, Jos 11:12-15; and so became master of the whole country, both southern and northern, which is described Jos 11:16-20; and the chapter is concluded with an account of his cutting off the Anakim from various parts, which finished the conquest of the whole land, Jos 10:21-23.

Joshua 11 Commentaries