Joshua 11

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.
2 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.
3 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.
4 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.
5 All of those kings gathered their armies together to fight against Israel. They set up camp together at the Waters of Merom.
6 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."
7 So Joshua and his whole army attacked them suddenly. They fought against them at the Waters of Merom.
8 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.
9 Joshua did to them what the LORD had directed him to do. He cut the legs of their horses. He burned up their chariots.
10 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.
11 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.
12 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.
13 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.
14 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.
15 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.
16 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.
17 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.
18 He fought battles against all of those kings for a long time.
19 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.
20 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.
21 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.
22 There weren't any Anakites left alive in Israel's territory. But a few were left alive in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod.
23 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.

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


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