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Bible Commentaries
Joshua 11

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-23

Joshua 11:1 . Hazor, then the metropolis of a powerful kingdom, Jeremiah 49:28, is situate on Lake Merom, forty miles north of the sea of Galilee. Jabin with all the allies, 300,000 infantry, and 20,000 horse, according to Josephus, came southward to meet the Israelites, and Joshua hasted to meet him. This second general battle as good as completed the conquest of Canaan. The ill directed hosts were soon thrown into disorder, and probably destroyed one another. The Israelites fought under the assurance of victory, and the allies in utter despair.

Joshua 11:6 . Burn their chariots with fire. Evander, in Virgil, is made to say that under the very walls of Prænste, I mowed down the ranks, and set fire to heaps of shields.

Cùm primam aciem Præneste sub ipsâ Stravi, scutorumque incendi victor acervos. ÆN. 8:561.

Joshua 11:9 . He houghed their horses; cut the hamstrings that they might not escape.

Joshua 11:21 . Joshua cut off the Anakims; men from eight to more than nine feet in stature. See Genesis 6:4.


The first object which strikes us here is, that God sent on all the hardened kings a spirit of infatuation, for instead of seeking means, like Gibeon, to save their lives, or to humble themselves by fasting and prayer, they leagued for their own destruction. It is even now the same with men who have long resisted grace, and completely hardened their own hearts by a vast course of crimes. Their whole conversation and deportment afford sad indications of their being abandoned by grace.

God, before the general battle, encouraged and instructed Joshua how to fight with the iron chariots of the Canaanites, viz. by cutting the hamstrings of their horses on coming to close contact. So in the hard conflicts we have to sustain with the world, Christ has instructed us to be wise as serpents, and bold as lions: and by bidding us, as Joshua, not to be afraid, he gives us the pledge of victory. Encouraged by these promises, the true Hercules proceeded to conquer the whole country from Halak in the south, to the passes of mount Lebanon in the north.

Nor did he stop here; he proceeded, being guided by Caleb, chap. Joshua 15:14, to exterminate the lurking giants, who had occasioned the fears and the unbelief of the Israelites at Kadesh, when the Lord sentenced them to fall in the wilderness. Into all their caves and strongholds he pursued them; and with the arm of God’s avenging power, cut them off. Christian, here, in the valiant Joshua, and the faithful Caleb, is a pattern for you to follow. Oh this unbelief, this fear of man, this distrust of the Lord’s faithfulness and power! You can have no inward rest, no giving to God your whole heart, while these lurking giants are suffered to survive.

How encouraging is the remark, that Caleb’s faith at Kadesh, when he said, “Let us go up at once and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it,” was realized in actual victories. The tall sons of Anakim, who in the eve of unbelief, annihilated the ten spies to grasshoppers, fell beneath the swords of the valiant ones. Oh that we had faith (and we want not fine examples) simply to believe the promises of full salvation; for the Lord will surely take away the heart of stone, and give us a heart of flesh. Then we should quietly enjoy the promised rest. Our will would be lost in the will of God, and we should live in the glorious light of his countenance.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 11". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/joshua-11.html. 1835.
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