Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 11:21

Then Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab and from all the hill country of Judah and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Anab;   Anakim;   Debir;   Hebron;   War;   Thompson Chain Reference - Anakim;   Giants;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Anakim, the;   Mountains;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Gaza or Azzah;   Giants;   Jabin;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Anak;   Philistia, philistines;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Anab;   Anakim;   Ephraim, Mount;   Giants;   Joshua;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ahimam;   Anab;   Anakim;   Debir (1);   Goliath;   Kirjath Sannah;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Anab;   Anak, Anakim;   Debir;   Gath;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Anab;   Anak, Anakim;   Debir;   Hill, Hill-Country;   Joshua;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Anab ;   Anak, Anakim ;   Debir ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Anakim;   Ephraim;   Journeyings of israel from egypt to canaan;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ahi'man;   A'nab;   An'akim;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Anab;   Anakim;   Criticism (the Graf-Wellhausen Hypothesis);   Debir (2);   Hill;   Joshua, Book of;   Judah (2);   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Anab;   Anakim;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Anab;   Anakim;   Ban;   Debir;   Giants;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Cut off the Anakims - from Hebron, from Debir - This is evidently a recapitulation of the military operations detailed Joshua 10:36-41.

Destroyed - their cities - That is, those of the Anakims; for from Joshua 11:13; we learn that Joshua preserved certain other cities.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 11:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-11.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

At that time - i. e. in course of the “long time” mentioned in Joshua 11:18.

The Anakims - See Numbers 13:22. As it was the report of the spies respecting the Anakims which, above all, struck terror into the Israelites in the wilderness, and caused their faithless complaining and revolt, so the sacred writer goes back here in his story to record pointedly the overthrow of this gigantic and formidable race. They had their chief settlements in the mountains around Hebron Joshua 10:3 or Debir. See Joshua 15:15.

Anab was a city in the mountain district of Judah, lying some distance south of Hebron. It still bears its ancient name.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Joshua 11:21". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-11.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"And Joshua came at that time, and cut off the Anakim from the hill-country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill-country of Judah, and from all the hill-country of Israel: Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, and in Gath, and in Ashdod, did some remain. So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that Jehovah spake unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land had rest from war."

This note on the destruction of the giant Anakim is of interest because it was these very giants that discouraged the ten spies who brought back the evil report to Moses in the wilderness, but Joshua made a quick and final end of the vast majority of them, leaving only a few in the principal cities of the Philistines. Later in Jewish history, one of the descendants of this race, "Goliath of Gath" confronted David and was destroyed by him with a sling-shot to the forehead.

"The land had rest from war ..." (Joshua 11:23). This is true "in the sense that no more great pitched battles were required."[31] A long, long time was required to do the mopping up from this conquest; and the wearisome work "became the oft-neglected responsibility of the individual tribes."[32] Even when the individual tribes got around to "possessing their possessions," by driving out the Canaanites, they soon discovered the device of putting the conquered people to PAYING TRIBUTE instead of DESTROYING them as God had commanded. Joshua 17:13 has this: "When the children of Israel were waxed strong, they put the Canaanites to tribute, but did not utterly drive them out." Francis Schaeffer's comment on this is:

"The people did NOT go on and do what God told them to do for two reasons: (1) They wanted peace at any price; and (2) they wanted wealth. They were practical materialists. For the sake of ease and money, they did NOT go forward and do what God told them to do. Tribute! Tribute! Tribute! They demanded and let the people stay in the land ... Does that sound up to date?"[33]

Copyright Statement
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 11:21". "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

And at that time came Joshua,.... After he had made a conquest of the land, or at the time he made it, as before related:

and cut off the Anakims from the mountains; whither, upon the conquest of the land, they had betaken themselves, and lived in dens and caves: these were giants, so called from Anak the father of them; though these are not to be restrained to his posterity, but include all other giants in the land; and the Targum renders the word by "mighty men"; and as some of them dwelt in mountains, others in cities, as follows:

from Hebron; where the children of Anak dwelt when the spies were sent into the land between forty and fifty years before this; and though the inhabitants of Hebron had been before destroyed by Joshua, these Anakims, who very likely then made their escape, returned and took possession of it after Joshua's departure, and while he was engaged in making other conquests; as we find that after this others of the same race again possessed it, and were in the possession of it after the death of Joshua, when they were slain by the tribe of Judah, Judges 1:10; from Debir: where others of them also had got after the conquest of it; unless we suppose, as I see no great reason to object to it, that these were cut off both at Hebron and Debir, at the time of the taking of them, of which see Joshua 10:36,

from Anab; a city which fell to the lot of the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:50. JeromF7De loc. Heb. fol. 88. C. says, in his time it was a village, near Diospolis or Lydda, about four miles from it to the east, and called Bethoannaba; but he says, that most affirm it to be eight miles from it, and called Bethannaba: Masius conjectures, that it is the same with the city of Nob; for, he says, that travellers in those parts affirm, that the city Nob is called Bethanoba and Bethanopolis:

and from all the mountains of Judah; the hill country of Judea, and the mountains round about Jerusalem:

and from all the mountains of Israel; as those about Samaria, and elsewhere:

Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities; which they had formerly inhabited, or had got into the possession of.

Copyright Statement
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 11:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-11.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities.

At that time — In that war, but in divers years.

The mountain — Or, mountains, the singular number for the plural; these barbarous and monstrous persons either chose to live in the dens or caves, which were frequent in the mountains of those parts, or else they were driven thither by the arms and success of the Israelites.

From Debir — From the territories belonging to these cities, as we have often seen in this history, cities mentioned for the country subject to them.

The mountains of Israel — It doth not follow from hence, that this book was written by some other person long after Joshua's death, even after the division of the Israelites into two kingdoms. of Israel and Judah; but only that this was one of those clauses which were added by Ezra or some other prophet; though that be not necessary: for since it was evident to Joshua, from Genesis 49:10, etc. that the tribe of Judah was to be the chief of all these tribes, and some dawnings of its eminency appeared in that time, in their having the first lot in the land of Canaan, chap15:1, and the largest inheritance, chap19:9, it is no wonder that it is mentioned apart, and distinguished from the rest of the tribes of Israel, though that also be one of them. But how could Joshua utterly destroy these, when Caleb and Othniel destroyed some of them after Joshua's death? chap14:12; Judges 1:10-12. This might be, either1. Because these places being in part destroyed and neglected by the Israelites, were repossessed by the giants, and by them kept 'till Caleb destroyed them. Or rather2. Because this work, though done by the particular valour of Caleb, is ascribed to Joshua as the general of the army, according to the manner of all historians; and therefore it is here attributed to Joshua, though afterwards, that Caleb might not lose his deserved honour, the history is more particularly described, and Caleb owned as the great instrument of it, chap14:6-15 and Judges 1:12-20.

Copyright Statement
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 11:21". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-11.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 11:21 And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities.

Ver. 21. And cut off all the Anakims.] Whom the spies had once represented, and reported insuperable. [Numbers 14:43-45] The lion is not so fierce as he is painted: to faith nothing is impossible.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 11:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-11.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 21, &c. Joshua—cut off the Anakims, &c.— This wild, barbarous, and gigantic people, who were of a different origin from that of the Canaanites, inhabited certain mountains of the country. It would have been dangerous to let them remain, nor were they worthy of such indulgence. Joshua, therefore, marched against them, and crowned his victories by the utter defeat of this nation, which was become as hateful as dangerous. He put to the sword all he could find, and utterly destroyed them, those excepted who fled, or who were now settled at Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod, three cities in the land of the Philistines; where some of them remained in David's time, particularly at Gath; but not at Ascalon, as some have supposed. See Bochart, Canaan, lib. 1: cap. 1.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 11:21". 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

At that time, i.e. in that war; for it cannot be meant of any particular and short time, because the work here related was done in divers times and years.

The Anakims; a race of giants, of which see Numbers 13:33.

From the mountain, or, mountains, the singular number for the plural: these barbarous and monstrous persons either chose to live in the dens or caves, which were frequent in the mountains of those parts; or else they were driven thither by the arms and success of the Israelites.

From Debir; either,

1. From the territories belonging to these cities, as we have oft seen in this history, cities mentioned for the country subject to them; for the cities were taken before by Joshua, Joshua 10:36-38. Or,

2. From the cities themselves; and so either the cities were retaken by the giants, which it is not probable that God would permit in Joshua’s time; or he speaks here of that time when he took those places mentioned here and Jos 10, which history he here in part repeats and enlargeth with this memorable circumstance, that, together with the rest, he destroyed also the giants which were in those places.

Anab; a place in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:50.

From all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: it doth not follow from hence, which some conclude, that this book was written by some other person long after Joshua’s death, even after the division of the Israelites into two kingdoms, of Israel and Judah; but only that this was one of those clauses which were added or altered and suited to the style of the present times by Ezra, or some other prophet, though that be not necessary; for since it was evident to Joshua, from Genesis 49:9, &c., that the tribe of Judah was to be the chief of all the tribes, and some dawnings of its eminency appeared in that time, in their having the first lot in the land of Canaan, Joshua 15:1, and the largest inheritance, Joshua 19:9, it is no wonder that it is mentioned apart, and distinguished from the rest of the tribes of Israel, though that also be one of them; even as the daughter of Pharaoh is distinguished from the strange women, 1 Kings 11:1, and Saul from all David’s enemies, Psalms 18:1, and Peter from the disciples, Mark 6:7, though they were each of the same nature and quality with the rest. Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities.

Quest. How could Joshua utterly destroy these, when Caleb and Othniel destroyed some of them after Joshua’s death, Joshua 14:12 Jude 1:10-13.

Answ. This might be, either,

1. Because these places being in part destroyed and neglected by the Israelites, might be repossessed by the giants, either in Joshua’s time, or after his death, and by them kept till Caleb dispossessed and destroyed them. Or rather,

2. Because this work, though done by the particular valour and industry of Caleb, is ascribed to Joshua as the general of the army, according to the manner of all historians; and therefore it is here attributed to Joshua, though afterwards, that Caleb might not lose his deserved honour, the history is more particularly described, and Caleb owned as the great instrument in the achievement of it, Jos 14 Jud 1.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 11:21". 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

21.At that time — During the war, the long time mentioned in Joshua 11:18. The Anakim were a race of giants in Southern Palestine. Some escaped to the Philistines and became the progenitors of Goliath. See references in margin, especially Numbers 13:22; Numbers 13:33. On Hebron and Debir see notes on Joshua 10:3; Joshua 10:38. Anab is probably identical with the place of this name which Dr. Robinson discovered about ten miles south of Hebron. But this could hardly be said to be in the mountains of Judah, where Joshua 15:48; Joshua 15:50, also locates it.

[Mountains of Judah and’ Israel — The words Judah and Israel in this passage do not, as some critics have assumed, betray the hand of a writer who lived after the nation was divided into two rival kingdoms bearing these names. The use of these expressions may easily have grown out of facts existing in Joshua’s time. The tribe of Judah first received its allotment, comprising nearly all Palestine south of Jerusalem, and some time elapsed before the rest of Israel — especially seven of the tribes (Joshua 18:2) — received their allotments. It was therefore perfectly natural at that early time to apply the names here used respectively to the southern and northern parts of the great mountain range of Palestine. The central part of this range, where the sons of Joseph early received their portion, (chaps. 16, 17,) was sometimes called Mount Ephraim. Joshua 17:15.]

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 11:21". "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 11:21. At that time — That is, in the war before mentioned, and probably toward the conclusion of it; after he had left none to oppose him in other places, but only in those mountainous parts which were of difficult access. Joshua cut off the Anakims — “A wild, barbarous, and gigantic people, who were of a different original from that of the Canaanites, and inhabited certain mountains of the country. It would have been dangerous to let them remain, nor were they worthy of such an indulgence. Joshua, therefore, marched against them, and crowned his victories by their utter defeat.” — Dodd. From the mountains — Hebrew, The mountain; but the singular number seems to be put for the plural. From Hebron, &c. — That is, from the territories belonging to these cities. For, as we have often seen in this history, cities are mentioned for the country subject to them. From all the mountains of Judah — All the mountainous country that fell afterward by lot to the tribe of Judah. And from all the mountains of Israel — The mountainous country that was allotted to the rest of the tribes of Israel, to which mountains these people, it is likely, fled for safety. Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities — But how could Joshua be said to have utterly destroyed either the Anakims or their cities, when Caleb and Othniel destroyed some of them after Joshua’s death? Joshua 14:12;

1:10-12. This might be either, 1st, Because these places, though in part destroyed, yet, being neglected by the Israelites, were repossessed by the giants, and by them kept until Caleb destroyed them: or rather, 2d, Because this work, though done by the particular valour of Caleb, is ascribed to Joshua as the general of the army, according to the manner of all historians; and therefore it is here attributed to Joshua; though afterward, that Caleb might not lose his deserved honour, the history is more particularly described, and Caleb owned as the great instrument of it.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 11:21". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-11.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Time. Among his other conquests, after the victory of Gabaon, Josue defeated the Enacim at Hebron, &c. Many of them fled into the country of the Philistines, and afterwards seized an opportunity of re-establishing themselves, so that Caleb had to drive them out afresh, chap. xv. 14. --- Cities, or inhabitants. We have seen that he did not demolish all the cities, which were built on a commanding situation, ver. 13. --- Enacim. Goliah[Goliath] is supposed to have been of this family, being six cubits and a span high, 1 Kings xvii. 4. (Calmet) --- The Phœnicians probably took their name from Enak, bene anak, "sons of Enak;" whence Phœnix might easily be formed. (Bochart) --- Carthage was founded by them, and styled Chadre-Anak, "the dwelling of Anak," (Plautus) as they chose to pass for descendants of that giant, though they were not in reality. Anak means "a chain;" and some have asserted that he wore one, as the kings of the Madianites did when they were vanquished by Gedeon, and the Torquati at Rome, as a mark of honour. But this is uncertain. (Calmet)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 11:21". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-11.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Anakims = the descendants of the second incursion of evil angels (Genesis 6:4) through one, Anak. See App-23and App-23, and notes on Numbers 13:22 and Deuteronomy 1:28.

mountains = hill country.

from Anab. Some codices, with two early printed editions, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "and from Anab".

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 11:21". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-11.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(21) Anab is identified with An

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 11:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities.
the Anakims
14:12-14; 15:13,14; Numbers 13:22,23; Deuteronomy 1:28; 2:21; 9:2; Judges 1:10,11,20; Jeremiah 3:23; 9:23; Amos 2:9
Joshua destroyed
10:42; 24:11,12; Psalms 110:5,6; 149:6-9; Revelation 6:2; 19:11-21
Reciprocal: Joshua 11:2 - on the north;  Joshua 11:16 - the mountain;  Judges 1:9 - afterward;  Ezekiel 6:2 - the mountains;  Luke 1:39 - city

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 11:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-11.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

21.And at that time came Joshua, etc Of the sons of Anak we have spoken elsewhere. They were a race of giants, with the account of whose mighty stature the spies so terrified the people, that they refused to proceed into the land of Canaan. Therefore, seeing they were objects of so much dread, it was of importance that they should be put out of the way, and the people made more alert by their good hopes of success. It would have been exceedingly injurious (119) to keep objects which filled them with alarm and anxiety always present before their minds, inasmuch as fear obscured the glory ascribed to God for former victories, and overthrew their faith, while they reflected that the most difficult of all their contests still awaited them. Therefore, not without cause is it mentioned among the other instances of divine aid, that by purging the land of such monsters, it was rendered a fit habitation for the people. The less credible it seemed that they could be warred against with success, the more illustriously was the divine power displayed.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Joshua 11:21". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-11.html. 1840-57.