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the south, i.e., the Negeb, or land on the southern


and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs,
and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly
destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel

41 And Joshua smote them from Kadesh-barnea
even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even
unto Gibeon.

42 And all these kings and their land did Joshua
take at one time ; because the Lord God of Israel
fought for Israel.

43 And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him,
unto the camp to Gilgal. i

slopes toward the desert ; the vale, i.e., the Sheph-
elah or Philistine plain; the springs, i.e., the
ravines on the borders between the mountain-
country and the Shephelah.

All that breathed, i.e., all the human beings
whom he found. Many escaped to hiding-places,
and afterward came out and fought Israel, as the
Anakim at Hebron and Kirjath-sepher (or Debir),
who reconquered those towns.

As the Lord God of Israel commanded. There
is the foundation of the whole conquest and all
its details. It was not man's doing, and is not to
be so judged.

Yer. 41. Kadesh-harnea is often spoken of as
the limit of Palestine to the south. Some would
put it near the Arabah, south of the Dead Sea,
and others far to the west of the Arabah. We
cannot be sure of its exact site, but may place
it with much probability on a line of latitude at
least twenty miles south of the Dead Sea. G-aza
is a Avell-known site on the Mediterranean, fifty
miles south-west of Jerusalem. Goshen was prob-


ably the name given to the southern portion of the
mountain-region south of Hebron, between Hebron
and the Negeb. It may have some connection
with the Egyptian Goshen. Perhaps Israel gave
it that name in memory of their Egyptian home.
The region here given as conquered by Joshua
in this southern campaign is about eighty miles
from Gibeon southward, and sixty miles from the
Mediterranean to the Dead Sea and Arabah. We
may suppose several months or even a year to have
been spent in this campaign.



1 And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor
had heard tho^e ihinc/s, that he sent to Jobab king of
Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king
of Achshaph,

7. The Conquest of the North.

Ver. 1. Jabin king of Sazor, More than a
century later another king of this name and place
appears (Judg. iv. 2). He made an unsuccess-
ful though formidable attempt to reconstruct the
Canaanitish rule, holding nearly all Israel under
his sway or fear for twenty years.

Razor (as we see by ver. 10) was the chief city
of the north, and hence its king was leader of the
northern confederation or alliance. It is doubtful
where the town stood. Robinson thinks very near
to the Huleh. Knobel puts it fifteen miles farther
west, half-way across the country toward the ladder
of Tyre, at Huzzur, which is more likely. -

Madon cannot be identified. Why its king
should be named, as is the king of Hazor, and
the names of the other kings be suppressed, is only
to be explained by supposing Jabin and Jobab to
be men of remarkable distinction in statesmanship
or war.


2 And to the kings that were on the north of the
mountains, and of the plains south of Cinneroth, and
in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on the west,

Shimron (Shimron-meron in chap. xii. 20) is
identified by the Tahnud with Semmunieh, five
miles west of Nazareth.

Achshaph cannot be identified; but Grove's
suggestion of Haifa on the bay of Akka is a good
one. I would suggest Iksim, near Tantara.

Yee. 2. The kings that ivere on the north of the
mountains. Rather, the kings that luere on the north
in the mountain country^ that is, the kings north of
Joshua's northmost position at Mount Ebal, whose
cities were in the central mountain region of Gal-

And of the plains south of Chinneroth. Rather,
and in the Arahah south of Chinneroth, that is, in
the Glior or Jordan depression,* south of the lake
of Galilee ; for Chinnereth, or Chinneroth, was the
town whence the lake derived its name, and is used
here for the lake itself.

And in the valley. Lit., and in the Shephelali^
i.e., the Philistine plain, referring to the northern
part between the Nahr el-Aujeh and the Nahr

And in the borders of Dor. Rather, and in the
highlands of Dor. From the Nahr Akhdar north-
ward the country between the Carmel range and
the sea is no longer the Shephelah or low plain,
but a region of hills. They are here called from
the city on the coast " the highlands of Dor."


3 A7id to the Canaanite on the east and on the west,
and to the Araorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite,
and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite
under Hennon in the land of Mizpeh.

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

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

Ver. 3. And to should be omitted. The enu-
meration of this verse is in apposition with the
foregoing. The Canaanite on east and west Avere
the inhabitants of the Shephelah, the Ghor and
the heights of Dor already referred to ; and the
Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, and Jebusites in
the mountains were the inhabitants of the moun-
tains already referred to ; while the Hivite heiieath
Hermon in the land of Mizpeh was the population
of the extreme north of Galilee, where the moun-
tain-region of Galilee begins to change into the
lofty ranges of Lebanon. The lofty country be-
tween the Leontes and the Jordan would exactly
suit this description, as beneath Hermon, and as a
land of 3Iizpeh (outlook). The Girgashite is omit-
ted in this enumeration. (See note on chap. ix. 1.)

Ver. 5. The waters of Mero^n have been gener-
ally supposed to be the same as Lake Semechonitis,
or the Huleh, but Keil suggests that they are the
waters of Wady Tawham, wliich flow down from
the present village of Meiron, a few miles west of
Safed, into the lake of Galilee. There is another
*' Maron " ten miles west of the Huleh, which has


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.

equal claims. Eusebius puts Merom at twelve
miles from Samaria and near Dotlian. This would
agree with the southern border of the great plain
of Esdraelon ; and as this was the natural spot to
check an army advancing from the south, I am
inclined to place this battle-field of Jabin in the
neighborhood of Megiddo, and to make the waters
of Merom identical with the w^aters of Megiddo
(Judges V. 19). This was the spot where the
second Jabin was overcome by Barak, and where
Josiah fought his fatal battle with Necho (2 Ki.
xxiii. 29). In such a spot they could use chariots,
but in the other sites assumed it w^ould be almost

Ver. 6. Be not afraid. This is the fourth time
that by these words God directly encouraged his
faithful servant: first, when he succeeded to
Moses' responsibility (chap. i. 6, 7, 9) ; secondly,
when after Achan's sin and its sad results a new
movement was to be made (chap. viii. 1) ; thirdly,
when the southern alliance was formed against
Israel (chap. x. 8) ; and now, fourthly, when the
northern alliance is formed. We may add as anal-
ogous the w^ords given by God in his appearance
as a warrior to Joshua before the capture of Jeri-
cho (chap. vi. 2), although this special formula is
not ujed. (See note on chap. i. 6.)


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.

8 And the Lord delivered them into the hand of
Israel, who smote them, and chased them unto great
Zidon, and unto Misrephoth-maim, and unto the val-

Tliou shalt hough their horses. To " hough " is
to "hamstring." But this Hebrew word " akar '' is
used in 2 Sam. viii. 4, and in 1 Chron. xviii. 4, of
chariots (" horses " are inserted in the English ver-
sion), and in Zeph. ii. 4, it is used (in a paronomasia
it is true) of the city of Ekron. In the passage in
Gen. xlix. 6, if we read shur instead of shor (as
is done by some, and as seems to be the most prob-
able reading), the word akar is used of a wall. The
word seems to be of the same stock with achar
(compare the roots kanan and chanan, and many
other examples), and the primary idea appears to
be "to strike " or "to smite." Proof is wanting
that the ordinary translation of " hough " is a cor-
rect one. It Avould have been a difficult and
useless task to hamstring an enemy's horse in
battle, when a blow on the head or body would
be easy and efficacious. And, moreover, there
would have been a cruelty in it utterly at war with
the kindly care enjoined upon the Jews in the law
with respect to dumb animals (Deut. xxv. 4).

Ver. 7. TJiei/ fell upon them. With the same
suddenness and (as we think) at the same place
where Gideon fell upon the Midianites two centu-
ries later (Judg. vii. 21).

Ver. 8. Unto great Zidon, and unto Blisrephoth"


ley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, until
they left them none remaining.

9 And Joshua did unto them as the Lord bade him:
he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with

10 "^ And Joshua at that time turned back, and
took llazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword:
for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those king-

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

maim, and unto the valley of ^lizpeh eastward,
Zidon, or Sidon, is called " great," as being at this
time the chief of the coast cities. Tyre afterward
attained to the headship. Sidon is eighty-five
miles from our supposed site of the battle. The
flight of the Canaanites would be into the plain of
Akka, and then along the coast northward.

MisrephotTi-inaim is placed by Schultz, Thomson,
and Van de Velde at Ain Mesherfi, near the Ladder
of Tyre.

The valley of Mizpeh would be the beautiful
Merj Ayun between the Leontes and the upper
Jordan (Hasbany). See on ver. 3. Part of the
fugitives passed up along the coast to Sidon.
Another part, on reaching the Ladder of Tyre,
turned north-eastwardly along that mountain-wall,
and passed up to the Hermon region.

Vek. 10. Turned hack from the pursuit to Sidon.

Hazor, (See on ver. 1.)

Ver. 11. Burnt Hazor with fire. Li ver. 13
we are told that Hazor was the only city in the


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 Loud commanded.

13 But as for the cities that stood still in their
strength, Israel burned none of them, save Ilazor
only; that, did Joshua burn.

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

15 ^ As the Lord commanded IMoses his servant,
so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua: he
left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded

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 ;

northern confederacy that Joshua burned. Its
position may have been so strong, or its prestige
may have been so great, that, while the conquest
was in process, it was wise to wipe the city entirely

Ver. 12. As Moses the servant of the Lord
commanded, (Num. xxxiii. 52 ; Deut. vii. 2, xx.
16, 17.)

Ver. 13. That stood still in their strength.
Rather, that stood on their hills. All these towns
were built, for strength and security, on hills.

Ver. 15. The frequent repetition of God's order
is to be carefully noted, as showing that Israel's
action was exceptional and no example to men in
general, performed solely at God's command.

Ver. 16. (See on chap. ix. 1, x. 40, xi. 2.)
Joshua captured, — 1, the mountain country; ;


17 Even from the mount Halak, that goeth up to
Seir, even unto Baal-gad, in the valley of Lebanon
under mount Ilermon: and all their kings he took, and
smote them, and slew them.

18 Joshua made war a long time with all those

2, the Negeb (south of the mountain country) ;

3, Goshen (the southern slopes of the mountains).
See chap. x. 41 ; 4, the Shephelah (Philistine coun-
try) ; 5, the Arabah (Jordan and Dead Sea valley) ;

6, the mountain of Israel (the northern mountains) ;

7, the northern Shephelah (the upper part of the

Ver. 17. The mount Ralah^ that goeth up to Seir,
Rather, the smooth mountain that goeth up to Seir.
Keil's suggestion, that this is the Azazimeh moun-
tain, is a good one. I would, however, take its
southern edge, and not its northern, as the limit of
Israel's conquest. This mountain goes up to Seir,
because its southern face trends north-eastwardly
to the Arabah, where the territory of Seir or Edom

Baal-gad is supposed by Robinson to be Banias,
at the source of the eastern branch of the Jordan,
the same spot known in the New Testament as
Csesarea Philippi. Van de Velde's suggestion of
Bostra or Aisafa, as in the valley of Lebanon, is

Ver. 18. A long time. We may suppose a year
spent in the general subjugation of the south and
a year in the general subjugation of the north,
and then a number of years spent in going over


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.

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.

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.

the same ground more thoroughly. Joshua was
seven years subduing the land, as we see from
chap. xiv. 7, 10. If he entered Palestine at the
age of eighty, and was seven years in subduing
the land, he had twenty-three years of peaceful
old age.

Ver. 20. It was of the Lord to harden their hearts.
God was, as judge, engaged in punishing this people
for their sins. He had withdrawn his grace, and
thus hardened their hearts, as the withdrawing of
the sun's heat hardens the water. The hardening
of their hearts was the beginning of their doom.
(See Deut. ii. 30.) Compare this verse with ver.

Ver. 21. At that time. That is, in the "long
time " of ver. 18, perhaps during the first seven
years after the eisodus.

Anakims. The Anakim were a strong and war-
like race, one branch of which, represented by three
families (Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai), dwelt
in Hebron and the neighboring towns. From
one of their ancestors, Arba, Hebron received


the name of Kirjath-arba, or city of Arba (cbap.
xiv. 15, XV. 13, 14). The Anakim were giants
(Num. xiii. 33), like the Rephaim,* Zuzim, Emim,
and Horim, east of Jordan. Those east of the
Jordan had been destroyed by various nations, Og,
king of Bashan, having been one of the last of
them (Deut. iii. 11), at least of the Rephaim. The
Avim, who formerly dwelt in the Philistine coun-
try, and were destroyed by the Philistines (Deut.
ii. 23), were, probably, also members of this gigan-
tic race. We can only conjecture Avhere, in eth-
nology, to put this race. They may have been a
Cushite or a Turanian people, for different theories
would make these two races to have spread them-
selves very early over the earth.

Hebron, (See on chap. x. 3.)

Dehir. (See on chap. x. 38.)

Anah is ten miles south of Hebron.

The mou7itains ofJudah; the mountains of Israel,
The distinction made in the same range by the
division of the land among the Israelitish tribes.
Long before the division of the people by the two
kingdoms in the time of Rehoboam, we find Judah
and Israel distinguished. (See 1 Sam. xi. 8, and 2
Sam. xxiv. 9.) This distinction probably began at
the first settlement, Judah having received the south
portion of the land in general, out of which Simeon
and Dan were to take their portions afterwards, while
the rest of Israel had not received their parts.

* The name Rephaim, translated " giants," is used sometimes
generically for all these races (Deut. ii. 11, 20).


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.

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 accarding to their divisions
by their tribes. And the land rested from war.

Yer. 22. Gaza, Gath, Ashdod. Three of the
Philistine cities. Gaza and AsJidodare well known,
bearing still their old names, lying on the coast.
Gath is probably the present Tell es-Safieh, ten
miles east of Ashdod. Goliath, who was of Gath,
was perhaps one of this race of Anakim.

Ver. 23. And Joshua gave it for an inheritance
unto Israel according to their divisions hy their
tribes. The details are given afterwards. This
is only a proleptical statement, to close the record
of the conquest.

And the land rested from war. There were local
colhsions, but no general state of war. Special
attacks were made on those cities and strongholds,
which the Israelites had, through a lack of faith,
failed to conquer at the first ; and these desultory
conflicts appear to have lasted many years, until
after Joshua's death. Indeed, we find the Jebu-
sites in Jerusalem attacked and defeated by Israel
only in David's day (2 Sam. v. 7), four hundred
years later.



1 Now these are the kings of the land, which the
children of Israel smote, and possessed their land on
the other side Jordan toward the rising of the sun,
from the river Arnon, unto mount Hermon, and all the
plain on the east:

2 Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Hesh-
bon, and ruled from Aroer, which is upon the bank of
the river Arnon. and from the middle of the river, and
from half Gilead, even unto the river Jabbok, which is
the border of the children of Ammon ;

8. Recapitulation.

Ver. 1. Tlie river Arnon is the present Llojib,
flowing northward on the east of Moab (Judg. xi.
18), and then abruptly turning westward near
Aroer, and entering the Dead Sea about half-way
between its two extremities. It flows through a
deep gorge nearly two miles wide, having very
steep sides or banks. This was Moab's northern
boundary, and hence Israel's southern boundary, on
the east of the Jordan.

Mount Hermon is the southern terminus of the
Anti-Lebanon range, and the highest summit of the
range, being about ten thousand feet in height.
It is visible with its snowy crest over a large part
of Palestine. It was the northern boundary of
Israel on the east of the Jordan.

Vee. 2. Aroer^ a city on the north cliff of the


3 And from the plain to the sea of Cinneroth on the
east, and unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea
on the east, the way to Beth-jeshimoth; and from the
south, under Ashdoth-pisgah :

Arnon gorge, still retaining the old name in its

From the middle of the river. (The " from ''
should be omitted.) This seems to be a reduced
phrase from " the city that is in the midst of xhQ
river" (chap. xiii. 9, 16), and probably refers to
a portion of Aroer, or a dependent city (Ar of
Moab, Num. xxi. 15, Isa. xv. 1) closely connected
with Aroer, at the fork of the Mojib and its main
branch, the Lejum or Enkeileh, three miles from
the present ruins of Aroer. It was thus between
the two parts of the river, and marked the north-
eastern corner of Moab.

And from half Gilead. Rather, even half Gilead,
Sihon ruled over half the Gilead country to the
river (or torrent) Jabbok, the present Wady Zerka.
Gilead is the high land between Moab and the Sea
of Galilee.

Ver. 3. And from the 'plain to the sea of Chin-
neroth on the east. Rather, and the Arabah to the
sea of Chinneroth (Gennesaret) eastward (of Jor-
dan). Sihon ruled over the Arabah (the Jordan
valley) to the sea of Chinneroth and to the sea of
the Arabah, the Salt Sea, eastward of Jordan.

The way to Beth-jeshimoth^ &c. This quahlies the
last expression. It might be roughly rendered
" Beth-jeshimothwards." That is, the Jordan


4 ^ And the coast of Og king of Bashan, wMc% was
of the remnant of the giants, that dwelt at Ashtaroth
and at Edrei,

valley extended on its western side (in Sihon's
possession) to the Salt Sea, Beth-jeshimoth being
probably at or near the junction of the Jordan and
the sea, and southward (not ''from the south")
around the east corner of the sea to a spot under

Ashdoth-pisgah means " the pourings-out of
Pisgah ; " that is, the torrents which flow down
from the Mount Pisgah on the eastern side of the
Dead Sea, the present Wadys Ghadeimeh, Burr-
hougat, and Ghuweir. The plain extends around
the north-east corner of the sea, so as to include a
strip of land under these gorges. The word Ash-
doth is used in chap. xii. 40, and in ver. 8 of this
chapter, for the ravines which come down from the
mountain country of Judah to the Shephelah or
Philistine plain, and is translated in our version
" springs."

Ver. 4. Ashtaroth, called " Ashteroth-Karnaim "
in Gen. xiv. 5 (if, indeed, it be the same place), is
a few miles west of the Lejah, in the latitude of
Lake Semechonitis, and about thirty-five miles east
of that water. Some think, and with reason, that
this spot (now called Sunamein) is Ashteroth-
Karnaim, and that the Ashtaroth of this text is at
Afineh, on the cliffs of Jebel Hauran, and about ten
miles north-west of Salcah.

Edrei is at the south-west angle of the Lejah.

JOSHUA, CHAP. xn. 121

5 And reigned in mount Hermon, and in Salcah,
and in all Bashan, unto the border of the Geshurites,
and the Maachathites, and half Gilead, the border of
Sihon king of Heshbon.

6 Them did Moses the servant of the Lord, and the
children of Israel smite: and Aloses the servant of the
Lord gave it for a possession unto the Reubenites, and
the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

7 IT And these are the kings of the country which
Joshua and the children of Israel sinote on this side
Jordan on the west, from Baal-gad in the valley of
Lebanon, even unto the mount Halak that goeth up to
Seir; which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel for a
possession according to their divisions;

8 In the mountains, and in the valleys, and in the
plains, and in the springs, and in the wilderness, and

Ver. 5. 3Iount Sermon, (See on ver 1.)

SalcaJi, now Sulkhad, is at the southern edge
of Jebel Hauran, occupjdng a most imposing site.
It is on the same line of latitude with Beth-shean,
and about seventy miles to the east of that place.

Bashan included all the country lying between
the Jordan valley and the eastern desert, north of
the Hieromax and south of Hermon.

The G-eshurites probably occupied the region
between the Lejah and Damascus.

The Maachathites were, no doubt, intimately
connected with the Geshurites, and perhaps jointly
occupied the same territory. It is curious to notice
that David's wife, who was mother to Absalom,
was Maachah, the daughter of the Geshurite king.

Half Gilead, i.e., the northern half, between the
Jabbok (Zerka) and the Hieromax (Yarmuk).

Ver. 7. See on chap. xi. 17.

Ver. 8. Note the exact enumeration. 1. The


in the south country; the Hittites, the Amorites, and
the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the

9 ^ The king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which
is beside Beth-el, one;

10 The king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron,

11 The king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish,

12 The king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one;

1 2 3 4 5 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

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