Joshua 11:1-12:24

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016




Before we begin, I want to remind you of two verses in the New Testament.


II Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.


Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.


Joshua has already completed the southern campaign against the inhabitants of Canaan. We move on to the northern campaign.

We see –



The kings of the north mounted a great coalition of military might, but they didn’t stand a chance against the Israelites because the LORD was fighting for Israel. The kings of the north had no hope of winning because God had doomed them to complete destruction and annihilation because of their gross sin.


Joshua 11:1 And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor [Hazor is located on the map in Naphtali straight north of the Sea of Galilee to the right of the T in Naphtali] had heard those things, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon [Madon is located on the map in Naphtali straight west of the Sea of Galilee between the N and A in Naphtali], and to the king of Shimron [Shimron is located on the map in Zebulon just above the B in Zebulon], and to the king of Achshaph [Achshaph is located on the map in Asher between the S and H in Asher],


News of Joshua’s victories in the south prompted the kings of the city-states in the areas of Galilee and westward to form a coalition. This alliance was led by the king of Hazor, a city . . . 10 mi north of the Sea of Galilee. (Ryrie Study Bible)


In addition, Hazor sent –

Joshua 11:2 And to the kings that were on the north of the mountains, and of the plains south of Chinneroth [i.e. another name for the Sea of Galilee], and in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on the west [Dor is located on the map on the Mediterranean coast straight west of Issachar],


Hazor also sent –

Joshua 11:3 And to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh [Mount Hermon is located in the northwest portion of Eastern Manasseh a little more than one inch from the top of the map. It is printed in red ink on this map.].


Joshua 11:4 And they went out, they and all their hosts [i.e. armies] with them, much people, even as the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many.


Joshua 11:5 And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched [i.e. encamped] together at the waters of Merom [not listed on the map but located between Kadesh and Iron about where the second A is in Naphtali], to fight against Israel.


Waters of Merom – Evidently not Lake Huleh [i.e. the little lake straight north of the Sea of Galilee - Dr. Q.], but an area of copious springs between Huleh and the Sea of Galilee, about 10 mi . . . west. Here the armies of the northern coalition massed (Ryrie Study Bible).

Next, we see –

  II.     THE CONFLICT – 11:6-15


Joshua 11:6 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them: for to morrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hough [i.e. cut, hamstring] their horses, and burn their chariots with fire.


Joshua was commanded to cripple the enemies’ horses and burn their chariots, rather than capture them. In this way the Israelites would not put their trust in horses and chariots (Ryrie Study Bible).


They crippled the horses by cutting the leg tendons. As a result, their horses were lame. They cut the Achilles Tendons.


Joshua 11:7 So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly; and they fell upon them [i.e. the Israelites attacked the forces of the northern coalition].


Joshua 11:8 And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them [i.e. attacked them, defeated them], and chased them unto great Zidon [another name for Sidon, located on the Mediterranean coast one inch from the top of the map], and unto Misrephothmaim [located on the map on the Mediterranean coast of Asher to the left of the E in Asher], and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward [not listed on the map but located about one third of the way between Dan and Kadesh, east of the I in Naphtali]; and they smote [i.e. attacked them, defeated them] them, until they left them none remaining.


Joshua 11:9 And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him [i.e. told him, directed him]: he houghed [cut, hamstrung] their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire.


The horses were hamstrung because the Canaanites used horses in their worship and also because God did not want the Israelites to trust in horses for victory in war. David wrote,


Psalms 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.


Joshua 11:10 And Joshua at that time turned back, and took [i.e. captured] Hazor [Hazor is located on the map in Naphtali straight north of the Sea of Galilee to the right of the T in Naphtali], and smote the king thereof [i.e. and struck its king] with the sword: for Hazor beforetime [i.e. formerly] was the head of all those kingdoms [i.e. the northern coalition which fought against Joshua and the Israelites at the waters of Merom].


Joshua 11:11 And they smote all the souls [i.e. struck all the people] that were therein [i.e. in Hazor] with the edge of the sword, utterly [i.e. completely, totally] destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire.


Joshua 11:12 And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take [i.e. capture], and smote [i.e. struck] them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly [i.e. completely, totally] destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded.


Joshua 11:13 But as for the cities that stood still in their strength [i.e. stood on their mounds], Israel burned none of them, save [i.e. except] Hazor only; that did Joshua burn.


Strength refers to a hill or mound of accumulated debris from earlier towns and is called a tell.


Joshua 11:14 And all the spoil [i.e. plunder] of these cities, and the cattle [i.e. livestock], the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves; but every man they smote [i.e. they struck] with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, neither left they any to breathe.


Joshua 11:15 As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.


The key to victory in the north was that the Israelites completely obeyed the LORD.


Remember Joshua 1:8


Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.


11:16 - 12:24

We see –

    I.     THE CONQUERED AREAS – 11:16-23


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;


Joshua 11:17 Even from the mount Halak [the southern limit of Joshua’s conquests - It is off the map at the south.], that goeth up to Seir [i.e. Edom], even unto Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon under mount Hermon [the northern limit of Joshua’s conquests. Baalgad is not shown on this map but it is located near Mount Hermon]: and all their kings he took, and smote them [i.e. struck them], and slew them [i.e. and killed them]. [It means from the extreme southern end to the extreme northern end of Palestine.]


Halak was about 23 mi southeast of Beer-sheba in the south. [it is so far south that it does not show at the bottom of this map] Hermon is about 40 mi northeast of the Sea of Galilee in the north. Joshua had subdued the whole land (Ryrie Study Bible). [Mount Hermon is located in the northwest portion of Eastern Manasseh one inch from the top of the map. It is printed in red ink on this map.]


Joshua 11:18 Joshua made war a long time with all those kings.


Joshua 11:19 There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all other they took in battle.


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 [i.e. totally, completely], and that they might have no favour [i.e. mercy], but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.


Joshua 11:21 And at that time came Joshua, and cut off [i.e. destroyed] the Anakims [the descendants of Anak – they were giants who had terrified the 12 spies 40 years earlier] – Joshua cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron [located on the map between the A and H of Judah], from Debir [located on the map south of the D in Judah], from Anab [located on the map south of Debir], and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly [i.e. totally, completely] with their cities.


Joshua 11:22 There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod [these are Philistine cities], there remained [i.e. there still remained some of these giants].


Joshua 11:23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.

In addition to the conquered areas, we see –

  II.     THE CONQUERED KINGS – 12:1-24 


There was the victory over Sihon and Og –

            A.  On the East Side of the Jordan River – 12:1-6


Joshua 12:1 Now these are the kings of the land, which the children of Israel smote [i.e. defeated], and possessed their land on the other side Jordan toward the rising of the sun [i.e. on the east side of the Jordan], from the river Arnon [i.e. the southern border of Reuben] unto mount Hermon [located on the map in the extreme northwestern portion of Eastern Manasseh], and all the plain on the east [i.e. the plain on the east side of the Jordan River]: [i.e. the land occupied by the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Eastern Manasseh]


Before we move on to verses 2-5, note the location of the Tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Eastern Manasseh on the east side of the Jordan River. In the middle of Gad (between the G and A in Gad) is a river. It is the Jabbok River. Everything south of the Jabbok River in Gad and in Reuben had been ruled over by Sihon, king of the Amorites. Everything in Gad and Eastern Manasseh north of the Jabbok River had been ruled over by Og, king of Bashan.


Joshua 12:2 Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon [Heshbon is located on the map in northern Reuben on the border with Gad], and ruled from Aroer [located on the map at the southern end of Reuben between the U and B in Reuben], which is upon the bank of the river Arnon [the southern border of Reuben], and from the middle of the river [i.e. from the middle of the River Arnon], and from half Gilead [i.e. the eastern portion of Gad], even unto the river Jabbok [the Jabbok River goes east and west through the middle of Gad between the G and A of Gad], which is the border of the children of Ammon; [i.e. Sihon’s territory was now occupied by Reuben and the southern half of Gad from the Jordan River to the land of Ammon.]


Joshua 12:3 And from the plain to the sea of Chinneroth on the east, and unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea on the east [the plain on the eastern side of the Jordan River from the sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea], the way [i.e. on the road] to Bethjeshimoth [located on the map in Reuben at the north end of the Dead Sea]; and from the south, under Ashdothpisgah [i.e. and southward below the slopes of Pisgah]: [Pisgah is Mount Nebo and is located in northern Reuben]


Joshua 12:4 And the coast [i.e. territory] of Og king of Bashan, which was of the remnant of the giants, that dwelt at Ashtaroth [Ashtaroth is located on the map in Eastern Manasseh straight east of the north end of the Sea of Galilee] and at Edrei [Edrei is located on the map in the southern end of Eastern Manasseh],


Joshua 12:5 And reigned in mount Hermon, and in Salcah, and in all Bashan, unto the border of the Geshurites and the Maachathites, and half Gilead, the border of Sihon king of Heshbon. [i.e. all of Eastern Manasseh and the northern half of Gad]


We read about Israel’s victories over Sihon and Og in Numbers 21:21-35 .


Numbers 21:21-2621 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, saying, 22 Let me pass through thy land: we will not turn into the fields, or into the vineyards; we will not drink of the waters of the well: but we will go along by the king’s high way, until we be past thy borders. 23 And Sihon would not suffer [i.e. allow, permit] Israel to pass through his border: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness: and he came to Jahaz, and fought against Israel. 24 And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from Arnon unto Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon: for the border of the children of Ammon was strong. 25 And Israel took all these cities: and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the villages thereof. 26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto Arnon.


Numbers 21:31-3531 Thus Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites. 32 And Moses sent to spy out Jaazer, and they took the villages thereof, and drove out the Amorites that were there. 33 And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan [Bashan is the northern portion of Eastern Manasseh]: and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he, and all his people, to the battle at Edrei [located on the map in middle of the southern portion of Eastern Manasseh]. 34 And the LORD said unto Moses, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon. 35 So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive: and they possessed his land.


Back to Joshua 12:6

Joshua 12:6 Them [the people of the kingdoms of Sihon and Og] did Moses the servant of the LORD and the children of Israel smite [i.e. defeat, conquer]: and Moses the servant of the LORD gave it [their territory or their land] for a possession unto the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh.


There were also the victories –

            B.  On the West Side of the Jordan River – 12:7-24


Joshua 12:7 And these are the kings of the country which Joshua and the children of Israel smote [i.e. defeated, conquered] on this side Jordan on the west, from Baalgad [the northern limit of Joshua’s conquests. Baalgad is not shown on this map but it is located near Mount Hermon] in the valley of Lebanon even unto the mount Halak [Mount Halak is located off the map in the extreme portion of southern Israel going to Edom], that goeth up to Seir [i.e. the land of Edom]; which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel for a possession according to their divisions; [the territories include all Israel on the west side of the Jordan River, the Sea of Galilee, and the Dead Sea from north to south.]


Joshua 12:8 In the mountains, and in the valleys [i.e. in the lowlands], and in the plains [i.e. in the Jordan plain], and in the springs [i.e. in the slopes], and in the wilderness, and in the south country [i.e. the Negev]; the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites:


                        1.   The Kings in Southern Canaan – 12:9-16


Verses 9-16 list sixteen kings the Israelites killed in their central and southern campaigns.


Skip down to verse 17.


Joshua 12:9 The king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one;

Joshua 12:10 The king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one;

Joshua 12:11 The king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one;

Joshua 12:12 The king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one;

Joshua 12:13 The king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one;

Joshua 12:14 The king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one;

Joshua 12:15 The king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one;

Joshua 12:16 The king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one;


                        2.   The Kings in Northern Canaan – 12:17-24


Verses 17-24 list 15 kings killed in the northern campaign, making a total of 31 kings killed in the conquest of Canaan.


Joshua 12:17 The king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one;

Joshua 12:18 The king of Aphek, one; the king of Lasharon, one;

Joshua 12:19 The king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one;

Joshua 12:20 The king of Shimronmeron, one; the king of Achshaph, one;

Joshua 12:21 The king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one;

Joshua 12:22 The king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam of Carmel, one;

Joshua 12:23 The king of Dor in the coast of Dor, one; the king of the nations of Gilgal, one;

Joshua 12:24 The king of Tirzah, one: all the kings thirty and one.


All of these victories were accomplished through the power of the living God as His people trusted in Him (Ryrie Study Bible).