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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Joshua 12

Verses 1-24

In Joshua 9-11 inclusive we have the account of two great campaigns, in which Joshua successively defeats a confederacy of the petty kings of southern Palestine under the king of Jerusalem, and a combination of the northern chiefs under Jabin, king of Hazor. Joshua 12 concludes the narrative of the conquest, with a summary of the successes of Moses on the E. and of Joshua on the W. of Jordan. Critics have been much exercised by the apparent contrast of this narrative of the invasion with that in Judges 1. There we have—in the case of Judah and Simeon at least—independent tribal action. Here there is no word of anything but a general action of Israel, under Joshua’s leadership, resulting (Joshua 11:23) in a conquest of the ’whole land.’ The solution of the difficulty may perhaps be (a) that these chapters give us the account of two grand campaigns complete and successful in themselves, but involving a prolonged guerilla warfare and a number of local enterprises, such as those mentioned in Judges. Or it may be (b) that there is in these rounded accounts of the northern and southern conquests something of historical foreshortening; for we must remember that in Judges 11:18 it is described as a ’long’ war (see on Joshua 11:16-23). Or possibly a combination of these two explanations may give the true solution.

Verses 1-24


A Review of the Victories of Moses and Joshua

This chapter concludes the whole section of the book which deals with the conquest of Canaan. The following chapters narrate the partition of the conquered and some unconquered land. The original account of these conquests is to be found in Numbers 21:21-35, and of the assignment to the 2½ tribes in Numbers 3:2. A fuller description of the territory is given in chapter Numbers 13:1-33;where see notes.

1-6. Moses’ conquests E. of Jordan. Kingdoms of Sihon and Og.

3. Sea of Chinneroth] the OT. name for the Sea of Galilee. Salt sea] the Dead Sea.

7-24. Joshua’s conquests W. of Jordan—thirty-one kings.

7. The N. and S. limits are given as in Joshua 11:17, only in reverse order. On this side Jordan on the west] RV ’beyond Jordan westward.’

9. One] i.e. one king.

21. Taanach.. Megiddo] see on Judges 5:19.

23. The nations] RV ’Goiim.’

24. Tirzah] (probably=Teiasir) NE. of Shechem. It was afterwards the capital of the Northern Kingdom, from the time of Jeroboam (1 Kings 14:17) till the 6th year of Omri, who moved the centre of government to Samaria (1 Kings 16:23).

Verses 1-24


A Review of the Victories of Moses and Joshua

This chapter concludes the whole section of the book which deals with the conquest of Canaan. The following chapters narrate the partition of the conquered and some unconquered land. The original account of these conquests is to be found in Numbers 21:21-35, and of the assignment to the 2½ tribes in Numbers 3:2. A fuller description of the territory is given in chapter Numbers 13:1-33;where see notes.

1-6. Moses’ conquests E. of Jordan. Kingdoms of Sihon and Og.

3. Sea of Chinneroth] the OT. name for the Sea of Galilee. Salt sea] the Dead Sea.

7-24. Joshua’s conquests W. of Jordan—thirty-one kings.

7. The N. and S. limits are given as in Joshua 11:17, only in reverse order. On this side Jordan on the west] RV ’beyond Jordan westward.’

9. One] i.e. one king.

21. Taanach.. Megiddo] see on Judges 5:19.

23. The nations] RV ’Goiim.’

24. Tirzah] (probably=Teiasir) NE. of Shechem. It was afterwards the capital of the Northern Kingdom, from the time of Jeroboam (1 Kings 14:17) till the 6th year of Omri, who moved the centre of government to Samaria (1 Kings 16:23).

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Joshua 12". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/joshua-12.html. 1909.