Joshua 11

Listen to Joshua 11
1 When King Jabin of Hazor heard what had happened, he sent messages to the following kings: King Jobab of Madon; the king of Shimron; the king of Acshaph;
2 all the kings of the northern hill country; the kings in the Jordan Valley south of Galilee ; the kings in the Galilean foothills ; the kings of Naphoth-dor on the west;
3 the kings of Canaan, both east and west; the kings of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites in the hill country, and the Hivites in the towns on the slopes of Mount Hermon in the land of Mizpah.
4 All these kings came out to fight. Their combined armies formed a vast horde. And with all their horses and chariots, they covered the landscape like the sand on the seashore.
5 The kings joined forces and established their camp around the water near Merom to fight against Israel.
6 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them. By this time tomorrow I will hand all of them over to Israel as dead men. Then you must cripple their horses and burn their chariots.”
7 So Joshua and all his fighting men traveled to the water near Merom and attacked suddenly.
8 And the LORD gave them victory over their enemies. The Israelites chased them as far as Greater Sidon and Misrephoth-maim, and eastward into the valley of Mizpah, until not one enemy warrior was left alive.
9 Then Joshua crippled the horses and burned all the chariots, as the LORD had instructed.
10 Joshua then turned back and captured Hazor and killed its king. (Hazor had at one time been the capital of all these kingdoms.)
11 The Israelites completely destroyed every living thing in the city, leaving no survivors. Not a single person was spared. And then Joshua burned the city.
12 Joshua slaughtered all the other kings and their people, completely destroying them, just as Moses, the servant of the LORD, had commanded.
13 But the Israelites did not burn any of the towns built on mounds except Hazor, which Joshua burned.
14 And the Israelites took all the plunder and livestock of the ravaged towns for themselves. But they killed all the people, leaving no survivors.
15 As the LORD had commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua. And Joshua did as he was told, carefully obeying all the commands that the LORD had given to Moses.
16 So Joshua conquered the entire region—the hill country, the entire Negev, the whole area around the town of Goshen, the western foothills, the Jordan Valley, the mountains of Israel, and the Galilean foothills.
17 The Israelite territory now extended all the way from Mount Halak, which leads up to Seir in the south, as far north as Baal-gad at the foot of Mount Hermon in the valley of Lebanon. Joshua killed all the kings of those territories,
18 waging war for a long time to accomplish this.
19 No one in this region made peace with the Israelites except the Hivites of Gibeon. All the others were defeated.
20 For the LORD hardened their hearts and caused them to fight the Israelites. So they were completely destroyed without mercy, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
21 During this period Joshua destroyed all the descendants of Anak, who lived in the hill country of Hebron, Debir, Anab, and the entire hill country of Judah and Israel. He killed them all and completely destroyed their towns.
22 None of the descendants of Anak were left in all the land of Israel, though some still remained in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod.
23 So Joshua took control of the entire land, just as the LORD had instructed Moses. He gave it to the people of Israel as their special possession, dividing the land among the tribes. So the land finally 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.

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Hebrew in the Arabah south of Kinnereth.
  • [b]. Hebrew the Shephelah; also in 11:16 .
  • [c]. The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering; also in 11:12, 20, 21 .
  • [d]. Hebrew the Shephelah, the Arabah.

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