Joshua 11:8

8 And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them unto great Zidon,[a] and unto Misrephothmaim, and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, until they left them none remaining.

Joshua 11:8 Meaning and Commentary

Joshua 11:8

And the Lord delivered them into the hand of Israel
The whole host, who either were killed or wounded, or put to flight: it was of the Lord that Israel was directed to make so quick a march, and come upon them so suddenly, and that they were off their guard, and unprovided for them, and so fell into their hands:

who smote them;
with the edge of the sword killed and wounded great numbers; and the rest fleeing, they

chased them unto great Zidon;
not that there was another Zidon called the less, as Kimchi and Ben Melech thought there seemed to be, and which also Jerom F9 suggests; but this was so called because of its greatness, the large extent of it, and the abundance of wealth and riches in it: Curtius says F11, it was renowned for its antiquity and the fame of its buildings; and Mela says F12, that before it was conquered by the Persians, it was the greatest of the maritime cities, though now greatly reduced: Mr Maundrell F13 says of it,

``Sidon is stocked well enough with inhabitants but is very much shrunk from its ancient extent, and more from its splendour, as appears from a great many beautiful pillars that lie scattered up and down the gardens without the present walls:''

it lay, according to Strabo, not more than two hundred furlongs from Tyre F14, or twenty five miles: it was more ancient than that, which is called the daughter of it: Homer speaks much of Sidon, as the same writer observes, but not a word of Tyre: Josephus F15 thinks it had its name from Sidon, the firstborn of Canaan, and that he built it, ( Genesis 10:15 ) ; but Justin says F16 it had its name from the plenty of fishes there: and Tzaid in the Chaldee and Syriac languages signifies fishing and a fisherman: hence Bethsaida, a city mentioned in the New Testament, ( Matthew 11:21 ) ( Mark 6:45 ) ( 8:22 ) ( Luke 9:10 ) ( 10:13 ) ( John 1:44 ) ( 12:21 ) , had its name; and Sidon is at this day called Said, and is now in the hands of the Turks: and though it was a part of the land of Canaan, and belonged to the tribe of Asher, never was conquered and possessed by them, but remained an Heathen city to the time of Christ:

and unto Misrephothmaim,
or "boilings of water", it seems as if it was a place of hot baths, but the Targum renders it "pits of water", which Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Melech say, were pits into which the salt waters of the sea were drawn, and where they were heated by the sun, and made salt of; and so it is thought this was a place of salt pits, where salt was boiled, either by the heat of the sun or by fire F17: Junius and Tremellius render the word by "glass furnaces", furnaces in which glass was made; and it is certain, that at Sidon, and near it, within the borders of which this place was, ( Joshua 13:6 ) ; glass was made: Pliny F18 calls Sidon the artificer of glass, or a city where glass was made: and Strabo says F19, that between Ace and Tyre is a shore which bears glassy sand, but they say it is not melted there, but carried to Sidon to be melted; and some say the Sidonians have a glassy sand fit for melting: Calmet F20 thinks this place is the same with Sarepta, ( Luke 4:26 ) ; which had its name from melting: of what construction the furnaces were in this place cannot be said, no doubt great improvement has been since made F21:

and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward, and they smote them, until
they left them none remaining;
the same with the valley of Lebanon; now as Sidon lay northwest and this was eastward, it seems that the armies of the Canaanites, in their consternation and confusion, fled some to the west and some to the east, who were pursued by different bodies of the army of Israel, separated for that purpose.


F9 De loc. Heb. fol. 92. B.
F11 Hist. l. 4. c. 1. 4.
F12 De Situ Orbis, l. 1. c. 12.
F13 Journey from Aleppo p. 45.
F14 Geograph. l. 16. p. 521.
F15 Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 2.
F16 E Trogo, l. 19. c. 3.
F17 Vid. Adrichom. Theatrum Terrae Sanct. sect. p. 2.
F18 Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 19.
F19 Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 16. p. 521.)
F20 Dictionary on this word.
F21 Vid. Merrett de Fornac. Vitriar. p. 421

Joshua 11:8 In-Context

6 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them: for to morrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire.
7 So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly; and they fell upon them.
8 And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them unto great Zidon, and unto Misrephothmaim, and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, until they left them none remaining.
9 And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him: he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire.
10 And Joshua at that time turned back, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. great Zidon: or, Zidonrabbah