Joshua 11

Northern Kings Defeated

1 When Jabin king of Hazor heard of this, he sent word to Jobab king of Madon, to the kings of Shimron and Akshaph,
2 and to the northern kings who were in the mountains, in the Arabah south of Kinnereth, in the western foothills and in Naphoth Dor on the west;
3 to the Canaanites in the 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.
4 They came out with all their troops and a large number of horses and chariots—a huge army, as numerous as the sand on the seashore.
5 All these kings joined forces and made camp together at the Waters of Merom to fight against Israel.
6 The LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, because by this time tomorrow I will hand all of them, slain, over to Israel. You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots.”
7 So Joshua and his whole army came against them suddenly at the Waters of Merom and attacked them,
8 and the LORD gave them into the hand of Israel. They defeated them and pursued them all the way to Greater Sidon, to Misrephoth Maim, and to the Valley of Mizpah on the east, until no survivors were left.
9 Joshua did to them as the LORD had directed: He hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots.
10 At that time Joshua turned back and captured Hazor and put its king to the sword. (Hazor had been the head of all these kingdoms.)
11 Everyone in it they put to the sword. They totally destroyed[a] them, not sparing anyone that breathed, and he burned Hazor itself.
12 Joshua took all these royal cities and their kings and put them to the sword. He totally destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded.
13 Yet Israel did not burn any of the cities built on their mounds—except Hazor, which Joshua burned.
14 The Israelites carried off for themselves all the plunder and livestock of these cities, but all the people they put to the sword until they completely destroyed them, not sparing anyone that breathed.
15 As the LORD commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did it; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.
16 So Joshua took this entire land: the hill country, all the Negev, the whole region of Goshen, the western foothills, the Arabah and the mountains of Israel with their foothills,
17 from Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir, to Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon. He captured all their kings and put them to death.
18 Joshua waged war against all these kings for a long time.
19 Except for the Hivites living in Gibeon, not one city made a treaty of peace with the Israelites, who took them all in battle.
20 For it was the LORD himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
21 At that time Joshua went and destroyed the Anakites from the hill country: from Hebron, Debir and Anab, from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua totally destroyed them and their towns.
22 No Anakites were left in Israelite territory; only in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod did any survive.
23 So Joshua took the entire land, just as the LORD had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then 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 52

  • 1. Jdg 4:2,7,23; Psalms 83:9
  • 2. ver 10; Joshua 12:19; Joshua 15:23,25; Joshua 19:36; Judges 4:2,17; 1 Samuel 12:9; 1 Kings 9:15; 2 Kings 15:29; Nehemiah 11:33; Jeremiah 49:28,33
  • 3. Joshua 19:15
  • 4. Joshua 12:20; Joshua 19:25
  • 5. ver 16; S Deuteronomy 1:1; Joshua 12:1; Joshua 18:18; Joshua 12:3
  • 6. S Numbers 34:11; Deuteronomy 3:17; Joshua 19:35; 1 Kings 15:20
  • 7. Joshua 12:23; Joshua 17:11; Judges 1:27; 1 Kings 4:11; 1 Chronicles 7:29
  • 8. S Joshua 3:10
  • 9. Numbers 13:17
  • 10. S Exodus 3:8; Deuteronomy 7:1; Judges 3:3,5; 1 Kings 9:20
  • 11. S Deuteronomy 3:8
  • 12. ver 8; S Genesis 31:49; Joshua 15:38; Joshua 18:26; Judges 11:11; Judges 20:1; Judges 21:1; 1 Samuel 7:5,6; 1 Kings 15:22; 2 Kings 25:23
  • 13. S Genesis 12:2; Judges 7:12; 1 Samuel 13:5
  • 14. Judges 5:19
  • 15. ver 7
  • 16. S Joshua 2:24; Joshua 10:8
  • 17. S Genesis 49:6; 2 Samuel 8:4
  • 18. ver 9
  • 19. S Genesis 10:15; S Judges 18:7
  • 20. Joshua 13:6
  • 21. Isaiah 3:25; Jeremiah 41:2; Jeremiah 44:18
  • 22. S Deuteronomy 7:2
  • 23. Deuteronomy 20:16-17
  • 24. S Numbers 31:10
  • 25. Numbers 33:50-52; Deuteronomy 7:2
  • 26. S Deuteronomy 20:16; Numbers 31:11-12
  • 27. Exodus 34:11; Deuteronomy 7:2; S Joshua 1:7
  • 28. Numbers 13:17
  • 29. S Deuteronomy 1:7
  • 30. S Joshua 10:41
  • 31. S Genesis 14:6; S Numbers 24:18; S Deuteronomy 33:2
  • 32. Joshua 13:5
  • 33. S Deuteronomy 3:25; Joshua 12:7
  • 34. Deuteronomy 3:9; Joshua 12:8
  • 35. Deuteronomy 7:24
  • 36. S Joshua 9:1
  • 37. S Joshua 9:3
  • 38. S Joshua 9:15
  • 39. S Exodus 4:21; S Exodus 14:17; Romans 9:18
  • 40. Deuteronomy 7:16; Judges 14:4
  • 41. S Numbers 13:22,33; Deuteronomy 9:2
  • 42. S Joshua 10:3
  • 43. Joshua 15:50
  • 44. S Genesis 10:19
  • 45. Joshua 12:17; Joshua 19:13; 1 Samuel 5:8; 1 Samuel 17:4; 1 Kings 2:39; 2 Kings 14:25; 1 Chronicles 8:13; Amos 6:2
  • 46. Joshua 15:47; 1 Samuel 5:1; Isaiah 20:1
  • 47. Joshua 21:43-45; Nehemiah 9:24
  • 48. S Deuteronomy 1:38; Deuteronomy 12:9-10; S Deuteronomy 25:19; S Joshua 13:7
  • 49. S Numbers 26:53
  • 50. Psalms 105:44
  • 51. S Exodus 33:14
  • 52. Joshua 14:15

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verses 12, 20 and 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

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.