Joshua 11:1-9 . DIVERS KINGS OVERCOME AT THE WATERS OF MEROM.
9. Joshua did unto them as the Lord bade him--(See Joshua 11:6 ). Houghing the horses is done by cutting the sinews and arteries of their hinder legs, so that they not only become hopelessly lame, but bleed to death. The reasons for this special command were that the Lord designed to lead the Israelites to trust in Him, not in military resources ( Psalms 20:7 ); to show that in the land of promise there was no use of horses; and, finally, to discourage their travelling as they were to be an agricultural, not a trading, people.
11. he burnt Hazor with fire--calmly and deliberately, doubtless, according to divine direction.
13. as for the cities that stood still in their strength--literally, "on their heaps." It was a Phoenician custom to build cities on heights, natural or artificial [HENGSTENBERG].
16. So Joshua took all that land--Here follows a general view of the conquest. The division of the country there into five parts; namely, the hills, the land of Goshen, that is, a pastoral land near Gibeon ( Joshua 10:41 ); the valley, the plains and the mountains of Israel.
17. from the mount Halak--Hebrew, "the smooth mountain."
that goeth up to Seir--an irregular line of white naked hills, about eighty feet high, and seven or eight geographical miles in length that cross the whole Ghor, eight miles south of the Dead Sea, probably "the ascent of Akrabbim" [ROBINSON].
unto Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon--the city or temple of the god of destiny, in Baalbec.
23. Joshua took the whole land--The battle of the take of Merom was to the north what the battle of Beth-horon was to the south; more briefly told and less complete in its consequences; but still the, decisive conflict by which the whole northern region of Canaan fell into the hands of Israel [STANLEY].