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The account of the holy war is continued in this Chapter; and in this is concluded the conquest of Canaan. In the former is related to us, the carrying on of the war in the Southern provinces of Canaan: in this, of the Northern. The kings of the North, like those of the South, join in confederacy against Joshua. The Lord encourages Joshua. He conquers them all, and destroys the Anakims.
It is astonishing what fear possessed the minds of the nations, at the victories of Joshua. And doth not equal fear take possession of the minds of God's enemies now, when they behold the distinguishing victories of Jesus, by his grace on the hearts of sinners? What Moses sung concerning temporal mercies, surely the man of God meant yet more pointedly in the prospect of eternal mercies! See Exodus 15:14 .
A goodly number truly if numbers could avail. And here we find cavalry also joined with them. Josephus, if I mistake not, makes the army of Canaan to consist at this time of 300, 000 foot, and 10, 000 horse, and chariots very many. But what saith God concerning such? Deuteronomy 32:30 . And is it not so now in our spiritual warfare? If our eyes were opened to discern spiritual things, we should behold around the servants of Jesus, when their enemies are most numerous and powerful, what the prophet ' s servant saw, when at the prophet's prayer the Lord opened his eyes! 2 Kings 6:15 .
I beg the Reader to remark with me on this verse, how gracious the Lord is to his servants, in the repeated communications of his assured love and favor. Joshua had been told by his God, that he would certainly be with him, and that he should certainly conquer all his enemies. But yet you see the merciful and gracious Lord, will again remind him of his promise. Oh, thou dear Lord of thy people, how precious are thy constant communications of grace, and how much do' thy fearful, unbelieving people need them, and to be receiving fresh supplies, upon every fresh occasion, out of thy fulness, and grace for grace. Thus you see, that a life of faith upon our all-precious Jesus, is a receiving life. John 1:16 . I hope the spiritual Reader will not fail to observe with me, that Joshua was a type of our Almighty Joshua in his spiritual encounter with his enemies. God the Father promised to support the human nature of Jesus, with suited strength for every emergency. Compare Hebrews 5:7-8 , with Psalms 89:19 .
If we read these wars with a spiritual eye, (and unless we do this, the mere historical relation will only leave us where it found us) we shall discover much instruction couched under those commands of our God, in the universal destruction of the foe, and all that appertaineth to him. The holy war admits of no accommodation. Our eye cannot spare, neither can we pity, whatever is in enmity with our God, or our own souls. The followers of our Joshua must covet none of the chariots, nor horses of the enemy. That is a sweet testimony the Holy Ghost hath given the church, (the Lord grant that both Writer and Reader may feel the same influence) when he saith that the man of God esteemed the very reproach of Christ, greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt. Hebrews 11:26 .
As Hazor was the ringleader of this war, for so we read in the opening of the chapter, Joshua directed his special vengeance on him. This Hazor is a remarkable place in scripture, for it contained the enemy to God's church and people, for we find another Jabin of this kingdom, rising up to afflict Israel; see Judges 4:2 . Perhaps as we read in the 13th verse, that Israel spared the strong cities of Hazor, this became a snare to their children after. For so the Lord hath said: Exodus 20:5 . But let not the Reader overlook what is said of Joshua's uprightness, he left nothing undone of all the Lord's commands. Oh! it is lovely to behold souls zealous for the honour of their Lord, and to have respect unto all his precepts. Psalms 119:128 .
These verses sum up the account of the whole conquests of all the northern parts of Canaan. If we compute the different periods, it should seem that it took no less a time than five or six years to subjugate and destroy the Canaanites. A lively representation of the long and toilsome war which the true Israelite hath to encounter, after he hath passed over the Jordan of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, before that he rests from the war. Blessed be our Joshua, there is a rest, and there is a promise of that rest, when the Canaanites shall be no more in the land. Zechariah 14:21 . I only detain the Reader with one observation more on this chapter, and which is, just to call his attention to the faithfulness of God in his promises. The Lord had said, he would drive out the nations before his people, and he would give his people their land to inherit. And now we see the , fulfillment of the Lord's promises. Oh! what a blessed thing it is, to have to do with this faithful God! see those scriptures. Genesis 13:14-17; Genesis 13:14-17 ; Deuteronomy 7:9; Deuteronomy 7:9 . But Reader! do not rest in the contemplation of the latter of these promises; carry on your thoughts to the spiritual fulfillment of the whole in Christ Jesus, for it is in Him that all the promises of God are yea and amen. And what a precious thought is it to the holy warrior in Christ Jesus, that victory over all his enemies, is sure in the blood of the Lamb. Revelation 12:11 .
BEHOLD, my soul, in those wars of Joshua, the lively similitude of the victories thy Joshua hath accomplished, in the attainment of the heavenly Canaan. How did Jesus wade through difficulties, and contend with principalities and powers, in the accomplishment of thy salvation! Oh! thou great Captain of the Lord's host, may I look beyond the Joshua of the camp of Israel, to behold thee to whom Joshua ministered, and of whom he was but the type; and view thee shadowed out, by all, that he accomplished, in thy victories, resurrection, and glory. Thou, thou art the standard and ensign thy Father lifted up for his people 's conquest, in all ages of thy church. This was the holy war, which thou didst maintain in thy Father's name, with hell, death, and the grave. And now, having triumphed openly over them all, and nailed them to thy cross, thou art our everlasting banner, by whom we triumph, and in whose name we are more than conquerors, and shall finally inherit the heavenly Canaan. Dearest Jesus, may this be my confidence when, like the Hazor kings, all my foes join in confederacy against me, that thou wilt go before me and subdue all things to thyself: and not only break down the force of the enemies from without, but break down within all the strong holds of sin, and the lusts of the flesh; and make my soul strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Joshua 11". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Easter