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Bible Commentaries

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

Joshua 11

Verse 1

XI.

JOSHUA’S NORTHERN CAMPAIGN.

(1) Jabin king of Hazor seems to have been in northern Palestine what Adonizedec, king of Jerusalem, was in the south. For the strength of this monarchy see the story in Judges 4:5. From its formidable character when it recovered strength in the days of the judges, we may gather some notion of what it was at first.

Hazor is identified as Jebel Hadîrah, near Kedes, in Upper Galilee.

Madon, perhaps Madîn, west of the Sea of Galilee.

Shimron is identified as Simûnieh, west of Nazareth.

Verse 2

(2) Chinnerothi.e., Ginizer, the Gennesaret of the New Testament.

Dor is identified as Tantûra.

Verse 3

(3) The land of Mizpeh is thought to be the plain El-Bukei’a, west of Hermon.

Verse 5

(5) The waters of Merom.—The most northerly of the three lakes on the course of the Jordan.

Verse 6

(6) Thou shalt hough their horses.—See Note on Joshua 11:9, and observe that the command of Jehovah is the authority for the act.

Verse 7

(7) Suddenly.—On this occasion, as in the former campaign which began at Gibeon, Joshua surprised his adversaries by the rapidity of his movements.

Verse 8

(8) Misrephoth-maim is thought to be the same with Zarephath or Sarepta, now Sarafend, near Sidon.

Verse 9

(9) He houghed their horses.—In what particular way this was done we are not informed; we cannot, therefore, be certain whether it was done so as to destroy the lives of the horses, or merely to make them useless for purposes of warfare.

Verse 13

(13) The cities that stood still in their strength.—Literally, that stood on their mounds (“quæerant in collibus et in tumulis sitæ.”—Vulg.). Comp. Joshua 11:20. We may fairly suppose that Jericho and Ai committed themselves to hostile measures against Israel, though they were not able to send forth armies against Joshua before they were attacked. Those who “stood still in their strength” are those who remained absolutely neutral in the war. “The men of Jericho fought against you” (Joshua 24:11).

Verse 17

(17) The mount Halak is marked as unknown in Conder’s Biblical Gazetteer. But “the smooth hill which goeth up to Seir,” may very possibly be the salt hill now called Khasur-Usdum, which has a glacier-like appearance, and forms a sufficiently striking object to be mentioned as a boundary-mark.

Baal-gad has by some been identified with Baal-hermon, afterwards Paneas, and Caesarea Philippi. Others think it is still unknown.

Verse 18

(18) A long time.—See Note on Joshua 14:10. The war seems to have lasted seven years, a long time when compared with the desultory incursions and single campaigns which made up the greater part of ancient warfare, when there were no standing armies.

Verse 20

(20) It was of the Lord to harden their hearts . . . that he might destroy them.—Or rather to strengthen their hearti.e., render them obstinate. These words go to prove what has been said elsewhere, that the conquest of Canaan was not intended to be a massacre of the unresisting inhabitants.

Verse 21

(21) Anab is identified with Anâb, west of Debir. The death of Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the three sons of Anak, the chiefs of the Anakim, is recorded in Judges 1:10.

Verse 22

(22) Only in . . . Gath.-Goliath of Gath and his gigantic relatives (1 Samuel 17:0 and 2 Samuel 21:0) seem to have been a part of this remnant.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ebc/joshua-11.html. 1905.