A massive coalition assembles. An epic battle ensues. Israel owns the Promised Land.
VERSE 1. When Jabin king of Hazor heard of it, he sent to Jobab king of Madon, to the king of Shimron, to the king of Achshaph,
The kings in northern Canaan were alarmed by Joshua’s crushing victories in the south.
Jabin king of Hazor. He assembles a massive coalition of forces in the northern part of the Promised Land.
VERSE 2. and to the kings who were on the north, in the hill country, in the Arabah south of Chinneroth, in the lowland, and in the heights of Dor on the west,
VERSE 3. to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite in the hill country, and the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpah.
VERSE 4. They went out, they and all their armies with them, many people, even as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots.
as the sand that is on the seashore. This is a massive coalition of forces.
A first-century Jewish historian named Josephus speculated that this northern confederacy included 300,000 infantry soldiers, 10,000 cavalry troops, and 20,000 chariots.
VERSE 5. All these kings met together; and they came and encamped together at the waters of Merom, to fight with Israel.
The odds against Israel seem overwhelming. How can Joshua hope to win this battle?
This section reminds us of the epic battle of Armageddon.
VERSE 6. The LORD said to Joshua, “Don’t be afraid because of them; for tomorrow at this time, I will deliver them up all slain before Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.”
Don’t be afraid because of them. The Bible often tells us to not be afraid.
I will deliver them up all slain before Israel. The battle is the LORD’s. He will cause tiny Israel to triumph over this massive coalition.
hamstring their horses. This means to cut the tendons of the legs. It is a terrible thing to do to an animal.
VERSE 7. So Joshua came suddenly, with all the warriors, against them by the waters of Merom, and attacked them.
Joshua came suddenly. Joshua did not wait for the battle to come to him. He took the initiative.
Joshua rushes toward the enemy. And attacks them.
VERSE 8. The LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, and they struck them, and chased them to great Sidon, and to Misrephoth Maim, and to the valley of Mizpah eastward. They struck them until they left them no one remaining.
they left them no one remaining. Joshua exterminates the entire coalition.
VERSE 9. Joshua did to them as the LORD told him. He hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire.
VERSE 10. Joshua turned back at that time, and took Hazor, and struck its king with the sword: for Hazor used to be the head of all those kingdoms.
took Hazor. It was Jabin king of Hazor who had assembled the massive coalition of forces in the northern part of the Promised Land.
Now the massive coalition is annihilated. And Hazor itself is annihilated.
VERSE 11. They struck all the souls who were in it with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them. There was no one left who breathed. He burned Hazor with fire.
There was no one left who breathed. Joshua exterminates Hazor.
VERSE 12. Joshua captured all the cities of those kings, with their kings, and he struck them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded.
utterly destroyed them. Joshua exterminates the enemy.
VERSE 13. But as for the cities that stood on their mounds, Israel burned none of them, except Hazor only. Joshua burned that.
VERSE 14. The children of Israel took all the plunder of these cities, with the livestock, as plunder for themselves; but every man they struck with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them. They didn’t leave any who breathed.
They didn’t leave any who breathed. Joshua exterminates the enemy. They are erased from human history.
VERSE 15. As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua. Joshua did so. He left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.
He left nothing undone. Joshua completed everything the LORD God had commanded. That is a remarkable achievement!
Most people act upon only a tiny percent of what they are called to do. But Joshua did it all. One hundred percent.
Can you live your life so this will be etched on your gravestone? You can!
VERSE 16. So Joshua captured all that land, the hill country, all the South, all the land of Goshen, the lowland, the Arabah, the hill country of Israel, and the lowland of the same;
Joshua captured all that land. Now the Promised Land is theirs.
VERSE 17. from Mount Halak, that goes up to Seir, even to Baal Gad in the valley of Lebanon under Mount Hermon. He took all their kings, struck them, and put them to death.
made war a long time. Reading these chapters, it might seem to us that the war was quick. However, it lasted a long time.
Victory in battle is rarely easy. Or quick.
VERSE 19. There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. They took all in battle.
except the Hivites. They are the one group Israel made peace with.
VERSE 20. For it was of the LORD 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 the LORD commanded Moses.
that he might utterly destroy them. They were not to be negotiated with. They were to be exterminated.
VERSE 21. 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.
the Anakim. These are the giants who had terrified the spies 40-some years earlier.
But now Joshua mows them down.
VERSE 22. There were none of the Anakim left in the land of the children of Israel. Only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, did some remain.
some remain. A few Anakim remained. They were in the remote cities of Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod.
One of their descendants will be Goliath, who will fight David.
VERSE 23. So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD spoke to Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Then the land had rest from war.
Joshua took the whole land. Joshua leads Israel into the Promised Land. He works authentic miracles. He conquers the land.
Joshua fulfilled everything the LORD God called him to do. He is a great hero of the faith.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.