The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Joshua 11

Jos 11:6

DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THEM, BECAUSE BY THIS TIME TOMORROW I WILL HAND ALL OF THEM OVER TO ISRAEL: "A day now near at hand will see the revelation of God's righteous anger, and then the further and final restoration of His house, when the glory will return embodied in the new rulers that God has promised to Israel. The 'great fury' of God is a necessity created by man's sin -- his pride, cruelty, and corruption of the earth. The classic illustration of what is coming is to be found in the clearing of the land of Palestine by Joshua and the settlement of a purified remnant of Israel in the place of the Canaanites, whose licentious and debased religions had forfeited their right to live. We know more of what the fury of man can do, in the terrible effects of modern war. We know its futility as we realize that there does not exist the power to bring order and peace when destruction has ceased. Apart from the overruling by which the sword of the wicked is made to do the work of God, it is not in man to dispense terrors according to deserts. The striving of the potsherds lacks the elemental basis of justice and righteousness which will never be absent from the fury of God" (PAE 86).

HAMSTRING THEIR HORSES AND BURN THEIR CHARIOTS: These acts would remove the possibility of use in war.

Jos 11:8

MISREPHOTH MAIM: A site on coast near Tyre (LB 303).

Jos 11:11

EVERYONE IN IT THEY PUT TO THE SWORD. THEY TOTALLY DESTROYED...: No partial victory. No half-salvation. No enemy undestroyed.

Jos 11:13

BUILT ON THEIR MOUNDS: The fortified cities on their heights, above plain of Esdraelon. Lit "on their tells".

HAZOR, WHICH JOSHUA BURNED: The city of Hazor lay almost nine miles north of the Sea of Galilee. During the time of Joshua, it was a Canaanite stronghold in northern Palestine. During the conquest of Canaan, as Joshua marched his army northward, he was confronted by a coalition of forces under the leadership of Jabin, king of Hazor. The biblical record declares that the Israelite army resoundingly defeated this confederation and burned Hazor to the ground (Josh 11:1-14). In excavations at Hazor in 1955-1958, and in 1968, Yigael Yadin discovered evidence that this city had been destroyed in the 13th century BC. He identified the ruins with Joshua's conquest.

Yadin's discoveries actually revealed that there were two destructions of Hazor: one in the 13th century BC, and another in the 15th century BC (Avi-Yonah 481,482). This is precisely the picture presented in the OT. In addition to the conquest of Hazor during the time of Joshua in the mid-15th century BC, two hundred years later, in the period of Israel's judges, the Hebrews again engaged the king of Hazor in battle. In the days of Deborah and Barak (c 1258 BC), the armies of Hazor, under Sisera, were decisively defeated by the Israelites (Jdg 4:2...), and, undoubtedly Hazor was destroyed again.

Jos 11:22

GATH: Where Goliath dwelled: 1Sa 17:4; 2Sa 21:18-22.

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