Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 11:20

For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, to meet Israel in battle in order that he might utterly destroy them, that they might receive no mercy, but that he might destroy them, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Heart;   Predestination;   War;   Thompson Chain Reference - Destruction;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Heart, Character of the Unrenewed;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Jabin;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Hardening, Hardness of Heart;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Joshua;   Predestination;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Anathema;   Canaan;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Favour;   Heart;   Joshua;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Journeyings of israel from egypt to canaan;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Criticism (the Graf-Wellhausen Hypothesis);   Harden;   Joshua, Book of;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Ban;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

It was of the Lord to harden their hearts - They had sinned against all the light they had received, and God left them justly to the hardness, obstinacy, and pride of their own hearts; for as they chose to retain their idolatry, God was determined that they should be cut off. For as no city made peace with the Israelites but Gibeon and some others of the Hivites, Joshua 11:19, it became therefore necessary to destroy them; for their refusal to make peace was the proof that they wilfully persisted in their idolatry.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 11:20". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-11.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

See the marginal references.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Joshua 11:20". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-11.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts,.... As he hardened the hearts of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, that his power might be displayed in their destruction:

that they should come against Israel battle; and so fall in it:

that he might destroy them utterly; for their abominable wickedness, idolatry, incest, &c. they had been guilty of:

and that they might have no favour; which they would have had, had they made peace as the Gibeonites did; or that they might not pray and make supplication, the Lord not giving them a spirit of supplication, but an hard heart, as GussetiusF6Comment. Ebr. p. 272. observes the words may be interpreted, though he seems to prefer the former, sense:

but that he might destroy them, as the Lord commanded Moses; Deuteronomy 7:1.

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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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 11:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-11.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

For it was of the LORD to l harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, [and] that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.

(l) That is, to give them over to themselves: and therefore they could not but rebel against God and seek their own destruction.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 11:20". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-11.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.

To harden their hearts — It was the design of God's providence not to soften their hearts to a compliance with the Israelites, but to give them up to their own animosity, pride, confidence and stubbornness; that so their abominable and incorrigible wickedness might be punished, and that the Israelites might not be mixed with them, but be entire among themselves in the possession of the land.

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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 11:20". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-11.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 11:20 For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, [and] that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.

Ver. 20. For it was of the Lord.] Punishing them with a judiciary hardness, who were before hardened by the deceitfulness of sin and malice of Satan.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 11:20". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-11.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 20. For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts He hardened them in the same sense that he had hardened the heart of Pharaoh. Instead of inspiring them with a greater terror than that wherewith they were stricken, instead of giving them any respite, instead of opening their eyes through the agency of his Almighty Grace, he left them to the working of their own passions, Wisdom of Solomon 10:11. Unworthy the assistance of that grace, by reason of their enormous disorders, and their perverse obstinacy in guilt, that which should naturally have softened only hardened them. God therefore, enraged at their incorrigible wickedness, abandoned them to themselves, and to a corruption which, through their own fault, drew them into utter ruin. In this sense it is that God hardened them, or rather, that, being left by him, they hardened themselves, so as to venture, after all that had happened, to come against Israel in battle, that he (Israel) might destroy them. Deuteronomy 7:2; Deuteronomy 20:16-17; Deuteronomy 20:20. See Waterland's Scrip. Vind. part 2: p. 58. This forsaking them was really a punishment of the Canaanites for their crimes, and especially because they had refused peace. The text says as much; at least it is certain that the Hebrew particle כי ki may be so translated in this place, as well as in many others; 1 Samuel 2:25. 1 Kings 12:25. See Noldius in כי, sect. 8.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 11:20". 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

It was the design of God’s providence not to soften their hearts to a compliance with the Israelites, but to give them up to their own animosity, pride, confidence, and stubbornness; that so both their abominable and incorrigible wickedness might be severely punished and that the Israelites might not be mixed with them, but be entire among themselves in the possession of the land. Compare Deuteronomy 2:30, and for the phrase, Exodus 7:13 9:12 14:17.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 11:20". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-11.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

For it was of YHWH to harden their hearts, that they might come against Israel to battle, that he might destroy them utterly (devote them), that they might have no favour but that he might destroy them, as YHWH commanded Moses.’

This indeed was within YHWH’s purpose. The offer of peace was made because it was humane, but the wickedness of their hearts was such that it was better that they were destroyed. And this was what YHWH had commanded Moses (Deuteronomy 7:2). The hardening of their hearts was an indication that in the end YHWH was seen as over all things, even men’s thoughts. But He would not have hardened their hearts if they had not hardened their own hearts.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 11:20". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-11.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

20.It was of the Lord to harden their hearts — It is a Hebraism to ascribe to direct divine agency the results of human perverseness, as in the case of Pharaoh. These nations had filled the cup of their iniquity, (Genesis 15:16,) and their idolatry and crimes demanded punishment. God therefore leaves them to judicial blindness and infatuation, and uses Israel as the rod of his anger to destroy them utterly. So their hardened hearts and consequent destruction were but the certain outcome, according to Divine arrangement, of their own, as of every sinner’s, free and wilful sinning. But we are not to understand, with Calvin, a miraculous operation of God, urging them on to blind fury. Their own self-induced perversity was a sufficient power for this.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 11:20". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-11.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Hardened. This hardening of their hearts, was their having no thought of yielding or submitting: which was a sentence or judgment of God upon them, in punishment of their enormous crimes. (Challoner) --- God might indeed by his all-powerful grace have changed their hearts, but their crimes caused him to withhold that grace; and thus they were suffered to shut their eyes to their true interest. (Calmet) --- They alone therefore were the cause of their own obduracy, which God only did not prevent, Exodus vii. (Worthington)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 11:20". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-11.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

of the LORD. Because they were the descendants of the Nephilim; and it was as necessary for the Sword to destroy these, as the Flood those.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 11:20". "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

For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.

For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts ... The Canaanite kings, with their people, although they had been informed of the miraculous passage through the Red Sea, and afterward through the Jordan, as well as of the sudden demolition of the walls of Jericho, were still determined to resist the progress of the God-favoured people. Greater obduracy or more inveterate enmity can hardly be conceived. Thus they were ripened for destruction.

That they should come against Israel in battle, that he (i:e., Israel) might destroy them. Their destruction is here distinctly ascribed to their obduracy. The reason assigned for their resistance is, that "it was of the Lord to harden their hearts ... that they might have no favour, but that he (Israel) might destroy them" - that is, God, in righteous judgment, gave them up to hardness of heart, as a punishment of their former guilt, and as a preparation for a still greater punishment (see Jamieson's 'Sacred History,' 2:, p; 163).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 11:20". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-11.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(20) It was of the Lord to harden their hearts . . . that he might destroy them.—Or rather to strengthen their heart—i.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.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 11:20". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.
it was
Exodus 4:21; 9:16; Deuteronomy 2:30; Judges 14:4; 1 Samuel 2:25; 1 Kings 12:15; 22:20-23; 2 Chronicles 25:16; Isaiah 6:9,10; Romans 9:18,22,23
as the Lord
12-15; Deuteronomy 20:16,17
Reciprocal: Numbers 21:1 - then;  Deuteronomy 20:11 - tributaries;  Joshua 6:25 - Rahab;  Joshua 8:17 - a man;  Joshua 10:1 - how the;  Joshua 19:36 - Hazor;  Judges 4:7 - And I;  Esther 9:2 - as sought;  Psalm 46:8 - desolations;  Isaiah 63:17 - and hardened;  John 12:40 - hardened;  Romans 2:5 - But after

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 11:20". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-11.html.