Joshua 11

Listen to Joshua 11

Conquests in Northern Canaan

1 When Jabin, king of Hazor, heard of this, he 1sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph,
2 and to the kings who were in the northern hill country, and in the 2Arabah south of 3Chinneroth, and in the lowland, and 4in Naphoth-dor on the 5west,
3 to the Canaanites in the east and the west, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, and the 6Jebusites in the hill country, and the 7Hivites under 8Hermon in the land of 9Mizpah.
4 And they came out with all their troops, a great horde, in number 10like the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots.
5 And all these kings joined their forces and came and encamped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel.
6 And the LORD said to Joshua, 11"Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow at this time I will give over all of them, slain, to Israel. You shall 12hamstring their horses and burn their 13chariots with fire."
7 So Joshua and all his warriors came 14suddenly against them by the waters of Merom and fell upon them.
8 And the LORD gave them into the hand of Israel, who struck them and chased them as far as 15Great Sidon and 16Misrephoth-maim, and eastward as far as the Valley of 17Mizpeh. And they struck them until he left none remaining.
9 And Joshua did to them 18just as the LORD said to him: he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire.
10 And Joshua turned back at that time and captured 19Hazor and struck its king with the sword, for Hazor formerly was the head of all those kingdoms.
11 And they struck with the sword all who were in it, devoting them to destruction;[a]20there was none left that breathed. And he burned Hazor with fire.
12 And all the cities of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua captured, and struck them with the edge of the sword, devoting them to destruction, 21just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded.
13 But none of the cities that stood on mounds did Israel burn, except Hazor alone; that Joshua burned.
14 And all the spoil of these cities and the livestock, the people of Israel took for their plunder. But every man they struck with the edge of the sword until they had destroyed them, and they did not leave any who breathed.
15 22Just as the LORD had commanded Moses his servant, 23so Moses commanded Joshua, 24and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the LORD had commanded Moses.
16 So Joshua took all that land, 25the hill country and all the Negeb and 26all the land of Goshen 27and the lowland 28and the Arabah 29and the hill country of Israel and its lowland
17 30from Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir, as far as 31Baal-gad in the Valley of Lebanon below 32Mount Hermon. And he captured 33all their kings and struck them and put them to death.
18 Joshua made war 34a long time with all those kings.
19 There was not a city that made peace with the people of Israel except 35the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. They took them all in battle.
20 For it was the LORD's doing 36to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be devoted to destruction and should receive no mercy but be destroyed, 37just as the LORD commanded Moses.
21 And Joshua came at that time and cut off 38the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua devoted them to destruction with their cities.
22 There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the people of Israel. Only in Gaza, 39in Gath, and in Ashdod did some remain.
23 So Joshua took the whole land, 40according to all that the LORD had spoken to Moses. 41And Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel 42according to their tribal allotments. And the land had 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.

Cross References 42

  • 1. Joshua 10:3
  • 2. Joshua 3:16; Deuteronomy 1:1
  • 3. Joshua 12:3; Joshua 13:27; Joshua 19:35; Numbers 34:11
  • 4. Joshua 12:23
  • 5. Joshua 17:11; Judges 1:27
  • 6. Joshua 15:63
  • 7. Judges 3:3
  • 8. See Deuteronomy 3:8
  • 9. ver. 8; Genesis 31:49
  • 10. Genesis 22:17; Genesis 32:12; Judges 7:12; 1 Samuel 13:5
  • 11. [Joshua 10:8]
  • 12. ver. 9; 2 Samuel 8:4; 1 Chronicles 18:4; [Genesis 49:6]
  • 13. Joshua 17:16-18; Deuteronomy 20:1; Judges 1:19; Judges 4:3
  • 14. Joshua 10:9
  • 15. Joshua 19:28
  • 16. Joshua 13:6
  • 17. ver. 3
  • 18. ver. 6
  • 19. [Judges 4:2]
  • 20. Joshua 10:40
  • 21. Deuteronomy 20:16, 17
  • 22. Exodus 34:11, 12
  • 23. Deuteronomy 7:2
  • 24. Joshua 1:7
  • 25. Joshua 12:8
  • 26. Joshua 10:41; Joshua 15:51
  • 27. ver. 2
  • 28. ver. 2
  • 29. ver. 21
  • 30. Joshua 12:7
  • 31. Joshua 12:7; Joshua 13:5
  • 32. See ver. 3
  • 33. Joshua 12:7; Deuteronomy 7:24
  • 34. [Joshua 14:7, 10]
  • 35. Joshua 9:3, 7
  • 36. See Exodus 4:21
  • 37. Deuteronomy 20:16, 17
  • 38. Joshua 15:13, 14; Numbers 13:22, 23; Deuteronomy 1:28
  • 39. [1 Samuel 17:4]
  • 40. See Numbers 34:2-12
  • 41. See Joshua 14 - 19; Numbers 26:52-56
  • 42. Joshua 12:7; Joshua 18:10

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. That is, setting apart (devoting) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction); also verses 12, 20, 21

Chapter Summary


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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.