Joshua 11

1 When Jabin king of Hazor heard of all this, he sent word to Jobab king of Madon; to the king of Shimron; to the king of Acshaph;
2 to all the kings in the northern mountains; to the kings in the valley south of Kinnereth; to the kings in the western foothills and Naphoth Dor;
3 to the Canaanites both 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 in full force, all their troops massed together - a huge army, in number like sand on an ocean beach - to say nothing of all the horses and chariots.
5 All these kings met and set up camp together at the Waters of Merom, ready to fight against Israel.
6 God said to Joshua: "Don't worry about them. This time tomorrow I'll hand them over to Israel, all dead. You'll hamstring their horses. You'll set fire to their chariots."
7 Joshua, his entire army with him, took them by surprise, falling on them at the Waters of Merom.
8 God gave them to Israel, who struck and chased them all the way to Greater Sidon, to Misrephoth Maim, and then to the Valley of Mizpah on the east. No survivors.
9 Joshua treated them following God's instructions: he hamstrung their horses; he burned up their chariots.
10 Then Joshua came back and took Hazor, killing its king. Early on Hazor had been head of all these kingdoms.
11 They killed every person there, carrying out the holy curse - not a breath of life left anywhere. Then he burned down Hazor.
12 Joshua captured and massacred all the royal towns with their kings, the holy curse commanded by Moses the servant of God.
13 But Israel didn't burn the cities that were built on mounds, except for Hazor - Joshua did burn down Hazor.
14 The People of Israel plundered all the loot, including the cattle, from these towns for themselves. But they killed the people - total destruction. They left nothing human that breathed.
15 Just as God commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did it. He didn't leave incomplete one thing that God had commanded Moses.
16 Joshua took the whole country: the mountains, the southern desert, all of Goshen, the foothills, the valley (the Arabah), and the Israel mountains with their foothills,
17 from Mount Halak, which towers over the region of Seir, all the way to Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon in the shadows of Mount Hermon. He captured their kings and then killed them.
18 Joshua fought against these kings for a long time.
19 Not one town made peace with the People of Israel, with the one exception of the Hivites who lived in Gibeon. Israel fought and took all the rest.
20 It was God's idea that they all would stubbornly fight the Israelites so he could put them under the holy curse without mercy. That way he could destroy them just as God had commanded Moses.
21 Joshua came out at that time also to root out the Anakim from the hills, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, from the mountains of Judah, from the mountains of Israel. Joshua carried out the holy curse on them and their cities.
22 No Anakim were left in the land of the People of Israel, except in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod - there were a few left there.
23 Joshua took the whole region. He did everything that God had told Moses. Then he parceled it out as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribes. And Israel 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.

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