The Campaign Against the Cities in the North 1
Jabin was the king of Hazor. He heard about the battles Israel had won. So he sent a message to Jobab. Jobab was the king of Madon. Jabin sent the same message to the kings of Shimron and Acshaph.
He also sent it to a lot of other kings. Some ruled in the mountains in the north. Some ruled in the Arabah Valley south of Kinnereth. Others ruled in the western hills. Still others ruled in Naphoth Dor in the west.
Jabin sent the same message to the people of east Canaan and west Canaan. He sent it to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites and Jebusites. They lived in the central hill country. He also sent it to the Hivites who lived below Mount Hermon in the area of Mizpah.
Those kings marched out with all of their troops. They had a large number of horses and chariots. It was a huge army. The fighting men were as many as the grains of sand on the seashore.
All of those kings gathered their armies together to fight against Israel. They set up camp together at the Waters of Merom.
The LORD spoke to Joshua. He said, "Do not be afraid of them. By this time tomorrow I will hand all of them over to Israel. All of them will be killed. You must cut the legs of their horses. You must burn up their chariots."
So Joshua and his whole army attacked them suddenly. They fought against them at the Waters of Merom.
The LORD handed them over to Israel. Israel won the battle over them. They hunted them down all the way to Greater Sidon. They chased them to Misrephoth Maim. They chased them to the Valley of Mizpah in the east. Not one of them was left alive.
Joshua did to them what the LORD had directed him to do. He cut the legs of their horses. He burned up their chariots.
At that time Joshua turned back. He captured Hazor. He killed its king with his sword. Hazor was the most important city in all of those kingdoms.
The army of Israel killed everyone in Hazor with their swords. Its people had been set apart to the LORD in a special way to be destroyed. Israel's army didn't spare anything that breathed. Then Joshua burned up the city.
Joshua took all of those royal cities and their kings. He and his men killed everyone in those cities with their swords. He totally destroyed them. He did just as Moses, the servant of the Lord, had commanded.
Many cities were built on top of earlier cities that had been destroyed. Israel didn't burn up any of those except Hazor. Joshua burned it up.
The army of Israel kept for themselves the livestock and everything else they took from those cities. But they killed all of the people with their swords. They completely destroyed them. They didn't spare anyone who breathed.
The LORD had commanded his servant Moses to do all of those things. Moses had passed that command on to Joshua. And Joshua carried it out. He did everything the LORD had commanded Moses.
So Joshua took the whole land. He took the central hill country and the whole Negev Desert. He took the whole area of Goshen. He took the western hills. He took the Arabah Valley. He took the mountains of Israel and the hills around them.
He took the area that begins at Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir. The area ends at Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon. Joshua captured the kings who ruled over that whole land. He struck them down and killed them.
He fought battles against all of those kings for a long time.
Only the Hivites who lived in Gibeon made a peace treaty with the people of Israel. No other city made a treaty with them. So Israel captured all of those cities in battle.
The LORD himself made the hearts of their people stubborn. He made them go to war against Israel so he could totally destroy them. He wanted to wipe them out. He didn't show them any mercy. The LORD had commanded Moses to destroy the people of Canaan.
At that time Joshua went and destroyed the Anakites. They lived all through the hill country of Judah and Israel. They lived in Hebron, Debir and Anab. Joshua totally destroyed the Anakites and their towns.
There weren't any Anakites left alive in Israel's territory. But a few were left alive in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod.
So Joshua took the whole land, just as the LORD had directed Moses. Joshua gave the land to Israel as their very own. He divided it up and gave each tribe its share. Then the land had peace and rest.