Bible Commentaries
Joshua 11

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Jos 11:1 And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor had heard [those things], that he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph,

Ver. 1. When Jabin king of Hazor had heard those things. ] In policy he should have done this sooner, before the five southern kings had been destroyed. But Jabin was an Epimetheus, a postmaster, wise after the fact; and sped accordingly. God’s holy hand was in it also, that his people might not be over matched or disheartened. Our temptations are in like sort disposed of by Christ, the great Aγωνοθετης .

Verse 2

Jos 11:2 And to the kings that [were] on the north of the mountains, and of the plains south of Chinneroth, and in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on the west,

Ver. 2. South of Cinneroth. ] Afterwards called the lake of Gennesareth, Luk 5:1 and the Sea of Galilee or Tiberias. Joh 6:1

Verse 3

Joshua 11:3 [And to] the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and [to] the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and [to] the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh.

Ver. 3. In the land of Mizpeh. ] Not that Mizpeh of Judah, Jos 15:38 nor that of Benjamin, Jos 18:26 nor Mizpeh of Moab; 1Sa 22:3 but that of Gilead, mentioned in Gen 31:49 Judges 10:3 .

Verse 4

Jos 11:4 And they went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as the sand that [is] upon the sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many.

Ver. 4. They and all their hosts. ] These were, as one said of Carthage, half destroyed, Morientium ferarum ultimi nixus, et violentiores morsus, the last spruntings and bitings of these dying beasts.

And chariots very many. ] Chariots armed with scythes and hooks: concerning which Vegetius saith, that at first they were a terror, and afterwards a scorn.

Verse 5

Jos 11:5 And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.

Ver. 5. And when all these kings were met together. ] Heb., Assembled by appointment, at a set time. Ducunt volentes fata, nolentes trahunt. See Psalms 37:12-13 .

Verse 6

Jos 11:6 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.

Ver. 6. Be not afraid because of them. ] Though many, and mighty, and malicious, and combined. Joshua had his fears and frailties; else what needed this encouragement? a

I will deliver them. ] I am for thee; and how many reckonest thou me at? I am God Almighty; fear not therefore their horses and chariots: I will make thee master of them all.

Thou shalt hough their horses. ] And thereby make them unserviceable; that ye may trust in mine aid alone.

a Si modo victor eras, ad crastina bella pavebas.

Verse 7

Jos 11:7 So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly; and they fell upon them.

Ver. 7. By the waters of Merom suddenly. ] Like a lightbolt. Bajazet, for like cause, was surnamed Gilderun, or lightning: and of two brave Romans Lucan saith that they were

duo fulmina belli.

Verse 8

Jos 11:8 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.

Ver. 8. Who smote them, and chased them unto great Zidon. ] The mother city of Phoenicia: yea, various fled to Africa and there settled, as is gathered by a pillar mentioned by Procopius with this inscription, We are Phoenicians flying from the face of Jesus the son of Nave; as also by the harmony of the Punic dialect with the Hebrew: witness Plautus’s gibberish in "Paenulo," and various words in Augustine.

Misrephothmaim. ] Or, Hot waters, where they boiled salt, or made glass, or bathed.

Verse 9

Jos 11:9 And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him: he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire.

Ver. 9. See Joshua 11:6 .

Verse 10

Jos 11:10 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.

Ver. 10. And smote the king thereof. ] The new king. See Joshua 10:37 .

Verse 11

Jos 11:11 And they smote all the souls that [were] therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying [them]: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire.

Ver. 11. And he burnt Hazor with fire. ] Which yet was rebuilt and reigned in by another Jabin, this man’s nephew haply, who therefore might, in revenge, the more cruelly tyrannise over the Israelites. Jdg 4:2-3 Malice is commonly hereditary, and runs in the blood; and, as we used to say of runnet, the older it is, the stronger.

Verse 12

Jos 11:12 And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, [and] he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded.

Ver. 12. And all the kings of them. ] Herodotus saith of the Thracians, that if they had been all of one mind, or under one king, they had been invincible.

“ εις κοιρανος εστω ” - Homer.

Verse 13

Jos 11:13 But [as for] the cities that stood still in their strength, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only; [that] did Joshua burn.

Ver. 13. That stood still in their strength. ] Heb., On their heap: i.e., that prepared to have stood out a siege, but yet repented and did not; or that had not their walls and bulwarks yet rased and dismantled in the fury of war.

That did Joshua burn. ] For example’s sake to the rest; and for that the king thereof was the author of that war. Jos 11:1

Verse 14

Jos 11:14 And all the spoil of these cities, and the cattle, the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves; but every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, neither left they any to breathe.

Ver. 14. Neither left they any to breathe, ] viz., Upon that air which they had so infected while they filled the land from one end to another with their uncleanness. Ezr 9:11

Verse 15

Jos 11:15 As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.

Ver. 15. As the Lord commanded. ] This is often repeated, to free Joshua from suspicion of inhumanity and cruelty in all these bloody executions. Julius Caesar, and such like conquerors, had no such warrant for his slaughtering a million of men, after three hundred nations vanquished, and three thousand towns taken by him.

Verse 16

Jos 11:16 So Joshua took all that land, the hills, and all the south country, and all the land of Goshen, and the valley, and the plain, and the mountain of Israel, and the valley of the same;

Ver. 16. So Joshua took all that land. ] Here we have Joshua’s victories summed up: who quickly sheathed his sword, but never laid it off, as Seneca saith of Caesar.

Verse 17

Joshua 11:17 [Even] from the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir, even unto Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon under mount Hermon: and all their kings he took, and smote them, and slew them.

Ver. 17. Even from the mount Halak. ] Or, The smooth or bare mountain; not unlike that they call Axylon, by which Manlius marched against the Gallo-Grecians. a

a Non ligni modo quicquam, sed ne spinas quidem habet. - Liv., lib. 38.

Verse 18

Jos 11:18 Joshua made war a long time with all those kings.

Ver. 18. Joshua made war a long time. ] Near seven years, though in few words related. Of him it might be said, as was once of our Alfred,

Si modo victor eras, ad crastina bella pavebas;

Si modo rictus eras (as at Ai ) ad crastina bella parabas.

The Romans’ war with the pirates was finished by Pompey with

incredible swiftness, and in a very short time, saith Augustine; a

but so was not this with the Canaanites. "Slay them not, lest my

people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them

down." Psa 59:11

a Incredibili celeritate confectum. - Aug., De Civ. Dei.

Verse 19

Jos 11:19 There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all [other] they took in battle.

Ver. 19. There was not a city that made peace. ] Hence the war held out so long: they generally stood out to the last man. There is nothing more pertinacious than a strong lust: nothing more obstinate or inexpugnable than those Canaanites.

Verse 20

Jos 11:20 For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, [and] that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.

Ver. 20. For it was of the Lord. ] Punishing them with a judiciary hardness, who were before hardened by the deceitfulness of sin and malice of Satan.

Verse 21

Jos 11:21 And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities.

Ver. 21. And cut off all the Anakims. ] Whom the spies had once represented, and reported insuperable. Num 14:43-45 The lion is not so fierce as he is painted: to faith nothing is impossible.

Verse 22

Jos 11:22 There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained.

Ver. 22. Only in Gaza, &c. ] Three Philistine cities. See 2 Samuel 21:15-22 .

Verse 23

Jos 11:23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.

Ver. 23. And the land rested. ] Peace is the daughter of war; a fair and happy daughter of an ugly and direful mother, as the Romans said of Pompey the Great, εχθορον πατρος φιλτατον τεκνον .

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 11". Trapp's Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.