Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 11:16

Thus Joshua took all that land: the hill country and all the Negev, all that land of Goshen, the lowland, the Arabah, the hill country of Israel and its lowland
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Canaanites;   Goshen;   Seir;   War;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Goshen;   Jabin;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Hermon;   Lebanon;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Goshen;   Hill;   Plain;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Arabah;   Canaan;   Goshen;   Joshua, the Book of;   Low Country;   Palestine;   Syria;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Arabah;   Goshen;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Joshua;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Dalmanutha;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Goshen ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Goshen;   Journeyings of israel from egypt to canaan;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Hills;   Palesti'na;   Vale, Valley;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Arabah;   Champaign;   Criticism (the Graf-Wellhausen Hypothesis);   Goshen (1);   Goshen (2);   Hill;   Joshua, Book of;   Judah, Territory of;   Shephelah;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Arabah;   Ban;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The mountain of Israel, and the valley of the same - This place has given considerable trouble to commentators; and it is not easy to assign such a meaning to the place as may appear in all respects satisfactory.

  1. If we consider this verse and the 21st to have been added after the times in which the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were divided, the difficulty is at once removed.
  • The difficulty will be removed if we consider that mountain and valley are put here for mountains and valleys, and that these include all mountains and valleys which were not in the lot that fell to the tribe of Judah. Or,
  • 3. If by mountain of Israel we understand Beth-el, where God appeared to Jacob, afterwards called Israel, and promised him the land of Canaan, a part of the difficulty will be removed. But the first opinion seems best founded; for there is incontestable evidence that several notes have been added to this book since the days of Joshua. See the preface.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 11:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-11.html. 1832.

    Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

    "So Joshua took all that land, the hill-country, and all the South, and all the land of Goshen, and the lowland, and the Arabah, and the hill-country of Israel, and the lowland of the same; from mount Halek, that goeth up to Seir, even unto Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon under mount Hermon: and all their kings he took, and smote them, and put them to death. Joshua made war a long time with all of those kings. There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: they took all in battle. For it was of Jehovah to harden their hearts, to come against Israel in battle, that he might utterly destroy them, that they might have no favor, but that he might destroy them, as Jehovah commanded Moses."

    This summary of Joshua's victories is similar to that in Joshua 11:10, but this one goes much further and, "encompasses the areas conquered in the entire conquest."[26] This paragraph should certainly put an end to the impression that Joshua conquered all of Canaan in just two or three swift campaigns. However, it is clear enough that the THREE decisive campaigns recounted so far, "clearly put an end to the Canaanite political and social system."[27] The war which followed the campaigns thus far described in Joshua is described as a "long" one (Joshua 11:18); and, "the natural inference from Joshua 14:7-10, is that it lasted for SEVEN YEARS."[28] From this, it is plain that, "This and the preceding chapter contain a very condensed account of the wars of Joshua, giving particulars about leading events only."[29]

    This paragraph makes pointed mission of God's hardening the hearts of the Canaanites in order to assure their destruction by Israel (Joshua 11:20). God's judicial hardening of unrepentant sinners is a phenomenon conspicuously evident in both the O.T. and the N.T. God's hardening the hearts of evil men does not exonerate or excuse their wickedness and rebellion. It just means that when a human being has morally rejected God's claim upon his life and persists in a course of wickedness, that God retaliates against that person by "hardening" or "darkening" his heart, thus enabling the wicked one to walk in the way he has chosen without further restraint. Paul mentioned this in Romans, and it appears that a course of wickedness willingly pursued by a sinner will result, even in these present times, in God's disabling, darkening, or hardening his mind (the Biblical "heart"), so that, having already chosen evil, the hardened soul is incapable of intelligent decisions involving morality, and even including many practical considerations. Even a fool, for instance, should have known better than to rush into the Red Sea following Israel's crossing, but Pharaoh, whose heart the Lord had hardened, went right in with his whole army, only to be drowned! Just so, here it seems that the "intelligent" Jabin should already have caught on from the instances of Jericho and Beth-horon that God Himself was helping Israel. Therefore, when this "intelligent" sinner formed his coalition against Israel, he merely proved what a fool he was! Just so, today, there are men with high positions of academic, political, or social power who are BLIND indeed to the simple truth of Christianity. Why? They love evil; they have already elected evil as their preferred course. And God has hardened their hearts! (See 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.)

    Despite the truth that much fighting remained to be done, "The battles of Beth-horon and Merom and their aftermath were decisive, and the power of the Canaanites to resist the invaders was shattered. All organized resistance was broken down."[30]

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    Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
    Bibliographical Information
    Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Joshua 11:16". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/joshua-11.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    So Joshua took all that land,.... The whole land of Canaan, described as follows, both as to the southern and northern parts of it:

    the hills; the hill country of Judea, of which see Luke 1:39,

    and all the south country; where lived the five kings; and those of other places, the account of the taking of which we have in the preceding chapter, Joshua 10:40,

    and all the land of Goshen; see Joshua 10:41,

    and the valley, and the plain; the low places and campaign fields which lay between the hills and mountains; particularly all the plain and campaign country near Eleutheropolis, towards the north and west, Jerom says, in his day, was called "Sephela", or "the vale"F1De loc. Heb. fol. 94. M. :

    and the mountain of Israel, and the valley of the same; by which may be meant Jerusalem, situated on a mountain, and is so called, Ezekiel 17:23; and its valley may be the valley of Hinnom or of Jehoshaphat, as they were after called, which were near it: some think the hill of Samaria or the mountains about that are meant.

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    The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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    Bibliographical Information
    Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 11:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-11.html. 1999.

    Geneva Study Bible

    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 i mountain of Israel, and the valley of the same;

    (i) That is, Samaria.
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    Bibliographical Information
    Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 11:16". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-11.html. 1599-1645.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    So Joshua took all that land — Here follows a general view of the conquest. The division of the country there into five parts; namely, the hills, the land of Goshen, that is, a pastoral land near Gibeon (Joshua 10:41); the valley, the plains and the mountains of Israel, i.e., Carmel, rests upon a diversity of geographical positions, which is characteristic of the region.

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    These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
    This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
    Bibliographical Information
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 11:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-11.html. 1871-8.

    Wesley's Explanatory Notes

    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;

    All that land — Of Canaan, whose parts here follow.

    The hill — Or, the mountain, that is, the mountainous country, namely, of Judea. A considerable part of Judea was called the hilly or the mountainous country, Luke 1:39,65.

    The south country — That is, not only the mountainous part, but all the country of Judea, which lay in the southern part of Canaan, and often comes under the name of the south.

    The vale — The low countries.

    The plain — The fields or campaign grounds.

    The mountain of Israel — The mountains or mountainous country of Israel.

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    These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
    Bibliographical Information
    Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 11:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-11.html. 1765.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    Joshua 11:16 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;

    Ver. 16. So Joshua took all that land.] Here we have Joshua’s victories summed up: who quickly sheathed his sword, but never laid it off, as Seneca saith of Caesar.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 11:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-11.html. 1865-1868.

    Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

    Ver. 16. So Joshua took, &c. and the mountain of Israel, and the valley of the same As this mountain of Israel with its valley, are in ver. 21 set in opposition to the mountains of Judah, some judicious interpreters conclude, that those mountains are here intended which were in the lot of Ephraim. But may it not be insisted, with the learned Pelican, that the singular is here put for the plural, and that by the mountain and valley of Israel, are to be understood all the mountains and all the vallies of the country, those excepted, which were included in the tribe of Judah? The whole country betwixt the Mediterranean and the Jordan, is, properly, nothing more than a chain of mountains. The sea-coast lies on a level: we meet there only with mount Carmel: the banks of the Jordan are so likewise.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 11:16". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/joshua-11.html. 1801-1803.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    All that land, of Cannaan, whose parts here follow. The hill, or, the mountain, i.e. the mountainous country, to wit, of Judea, as may seem,

    1. Because in the following enumeration he begins in the south parts, where there was an eminent mountain, Numbers 13:17.

    2. Because a considerable part of Judea was called the hilly or the mountainous country, Luke 1:39,65, which is not likely to be omitted in this particular description of the land; the rather because Hebron, one of the places taken by Joshua, Joshua 10:36,37 was in the mountain of Judah, Joshua 20:7.

    3. Because this is here distinguished from the mountain of Israel, and therefore most likely to be the mountain of Judah, especially if you compare this with Joshua 10:21, where having mentioned the mountain in general, from which Joshua cut off the Anakims, he comes to particularize, and names only two, all the mountain of Judah, and all the mountain of Israel. All the south country, i.e. not only the mountainous part, but all the country of Judea, which lay in the southern part of Canaan, and oft comes under the name of the south, as Numbers 13:22,29 21:1 Joshua 10:40 18:5, &c. the land of Goshen; of which see Joshua 10:41. The vale; the low countries.

    The plain; the fields or champaign grounds.

    The mountain of Israel; either,

    1. Some one particular and eminent mountain, possibly the hill of Samaria, mentioned 1 Kings 16:24; or rather,

    2. The mountains or mountainous country of Israel. See the second note on this verse. The vale of the same, i.e. of Israel.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 11:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-11.html. 1685.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    16.Took all that land — The whole land of Canaan.

    Hills’ south country’ Goshen’ valley — Comp. Joshua 10:40-41, notes.

    The plain — The Arabah, the valley of the Jordan and the Dead Sea.

    The mountain of Israel — The northern part of the great mountain range which runs through Palestine from north to south. Compare note on Joshua 9:1. In Joshua 11:21 this phrase is used in contrast with mountains of Judah, the southern part of the same range.

    Valley of the same — That is, valley of Israel, not merely the plain of Philistia, but that of Jezreel also.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 11:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-11.html. 1874-1909.

    Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

    Joshua 11:16. All that land — Of Canaan, whose parts here follow. The hill — Or, the mountain, that is, the mountainous country, namely, of Judea. A considerable part of Judea was called the hilly or the mountainous country, Luke 1:39; Luke 1:65. The south country — That is, not only the mountainous part, but all the country of Judea, which lay in the southern part of Canaan, and often comes under the name of the south. The vale — The low countries. The plain — The fields, or campaign grounds. The mountain of Israel — It is very uncertain whether the mountainous country of Israel, in general, be meant by this expression, or whether a particular place be not rather intended. Many think it probable that Beth-el is meant, where God appeared to Jacob as he went to Padan-Aram, and promised to give him this land, (Genesis 28:11,) and where he dwelt, by God’s direction, after his return; where God appeared to him again, repeated the same promise, and changed his name from Jacob to Israel, Genesis 35:1; Genesis 35:9-10.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 11:16". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-11.html. 1857.

    George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

    So. Here follows a recapitulation of the victories of Josue. --- Israel, or of Ephraim, which was the chief tribe of the kingdom of Israel: after the commencement of which, this seems to have been inserted; (Calmet) or having designated the southern parts by the name of Juda, (ver. 21,) the more northern countries are called the mountain of Israel, which refers particularly to Samaria, or Bethel, which might receive the appellation of Israel, among his descendants, from the vision of the ladder, with which that patriarch was favoured. (Haydock)

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    Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 11:16". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-11.html. 1859.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    the hills = the hill country,

    valley = the low country.

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    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 11:16". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-11.html. 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    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;

    So Joshua took all that land. Here follows a general view of the conquest. The division of the country there into five parts-namely, the hills, the land of Goshen - i:e., a pastoral land near Gibeon (Joshua 10:41) - the valley, the plains, the mountains of Israel - i:e. Carmel,-rests upon a diversity of geographical positions which is characteristic of the region.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 11:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-11.html. 1871-8.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    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;
    all that land
    Genesis 15:18-21; Numbers 34:2-13; Deuteronomy 34:2,3
    hills
    9:1; 12:8
    the land
    10:41
    the mountain
    21; Ezekiel 17:23; 36:1-3,8
    Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 1:7 - in the plain;  Joshua 15:51 - Goshen

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    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 11:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-11.html.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    16.So Joshua took all that land, etc In the uninterrupted series of victories, when the land, of its own accord, spewed out its old inhabitants, to give free possession to the Israelites, it was visibly manifest, as is said in the Psalm, (Psalms 44:3)

    “They got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them; but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou had a favor unto them.”

    The design of enumerating the places and districts is to let us know that the work which God had begun he continued to carry on without interruption. But it is a mistake to suppose: as some do, that by the name Israel a certain mountain is meant. For it will be plain, from the end of the chapter, (Joshua 11:21) that the term is applied indiscriminately to the mountainous part of Israel and Judah. There is therefore an enlarge in the enumeration, because the mountains of the ten tribes are tacitly compared with the mountains of Judah. Accordingly, an antithesis is to be understood. In the other mountain (Joshua 11:17) the surname is ambiguous. Some understand it to mean division, as if it had been cut in two; (115) others to mean smooth, as it was destitute of trees, just as a head is rendered smooth by baldness. As the point is uncertain, and of little importance, the reader is at liberty to make his choice.

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    Calvin, John. "Commentary on Joshua 11:16". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-11.html. 1840-57.