Joshua 11:3: The Confederacy of the Northern Kings against Israel, Part 3

Verse 3:[1] 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, (Judg. 3:3) and to the Hivite under (Josh. 13:11) Hermon (Gen. 31:49) in the land of Mizpeh.

[The Canaanites also on the east and west (similarly all interpreters)] (Supply, who were dwelling) on the east, etc. (Vatablus). They that were dwelling near Jordan (that is, on the East) and near the Sea (which denotes the West) were properly called Canaanites: Numbers 13:29 (Masius, Drusius).

The Canaanites properly so called lived part of them on the east near Jordan, and part on the west near the sea, and both are here united.

[The Hivite also that was dwelling near the foot of Hermon] He adds this, lest one should think that the Gibeonites (who also were Hivites[2]) had joined themselves with those enemies (Masius). That Hivites were dwelling on mount Hermon is evident from Judges 3:3 (Masius, Serarius). Now, Hermon is twofold: one is on this side of Jordan, near mount Gilboa; the other is on the other side of Jordan, over against mount Libanus toward the West, which elsewhere is called Baal-Hermon,[3] and Sirion,[4] and Senir.[5] He speaks here of the latter (Bonfrerius, Masius, Serarius). The Hivites are called Kadmonim, or Kadmonites, that is, Easterners,[6] because they occupied mount Hermon, which was the eastern most part of the land of Canaan; whence Hermon is held as the East, and Tabor as the West, Psalm 89:12. And hence the wife of Cadmus is called Harmonia, or Hermione.[7] It is no longer obscure why the Kadmonites are pretended to have been changed into serpents; for they were Hivites, and חויא[8] is serpent to the Syrians (Bochart’s Sacred Geography “Canaan” 1:19:487).

The Hivite under Hermon; that dwelt under Mount Hermon in the north of Canaan, whereby they are differenced from those Hivites who lived in Gibeon; of which before.

[In the land of Maspha, בְּאֶ֖רֶץ הַמִּצְפָּֽה׃] In the land of Mizpeh (Munster, Tigurinus, Pagnine, Montanus, Jonathan, similarly Junius and Tremellius). Now, Mizpeh was fourfold: 1. in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:38; 2. in the tribe of Benjamin, Joshua 18:26; 3. that of the Moabites, 1 Samuel 22:3; 4. that which is conjoined with Gilead, concerning which Genesis 31:49; Judges 10:17 (or Judges 11:29 [Serarius]). And he speaks of that one (Junius). In the region of Mizpeh, that is, a watch-tower:[9] for it is a region situated at the entry of Libanus above Jordan, where scouts were located (Junius). In the land of watch-towers (Syriac); in a more elevated region (Arabic).

Mizpeh; that Mizpeh which was in the northern part of Gilead; of which Genesis 31:49; Judges 11:29. But there were other cities called by that name, which signifying a watching-place, might be easily applied to several places of good prospect. Besides this, there is one Mizpeh of Judah, Joshua 15:38; another of Benjamin, Joshua 18:26; a third in Moab, 1 Samuel 22:3.

[1] Hebrew: הַֽכְּנַעֲנִי֙ מִמִּזְרָ֣ח וּמִיָּ֔ם וְהָאֱמֹרִ֧י וְהַחִתִּ֛י וְהַפְּרִזִּ֥י וְהַיְבוּסִ֖י בָּהָ֑ר וְהַֽחִוִּי֙ תַּ֣חַת חֶרְמ֔וֹן בְּאֶ֖רֶץ הַמִּצְפָּֽה׃

[2] See Joshua 9:3, 7.

[3] See Judges 3:3.

[4] See Deuteronomy 3:9; Psalm 29:6.

[5] See 1 Chronicles 5:23; Song of Solomon 4:8; Ezekiel 27:5.

[6] Genesis 15:19:  “The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites (הַקַּדְמֹנִי)…” קַדְמֹנִי/Kamonite is related to קֶדֶם/east.

[7] Cadmus, in Greek mythology, was from Phœnicia.  Upon the counsel of Athena, Cadmus killed a dragon and sowed its teeth into the earth, which brought forth the Spartes, a fierce people, who killed one another until only five remained.  These five survivors helped Cadmus to build Thebes; but the dragon was sacred to the gods, and they cursed Cadmus for its death.  With the establishment of the government of Thebes, Zeus gave Harmonia to be Cadmus’ bride, but misfortune clung to them.  Cadmus, lamenting the attachment of the gods to the serpent, wished for the life of a serpent, and he and his wife were changed.

[8] חויא has a phonetic similarity to חִוִּי/Hivite.

[9] מִצְפָּה/Mizpeh is related to the verbal root צָפָה, to look out.

Joshua 11:2: The Confederacy of the Northern King against Israel, Part 2

Verse 2:[1] And to the kings that were on the north of the mountains, and of the plains south of (Num. 34:11) Chinneroth, and in the valley, and in the borders (Josh. 17:11; Judg. 1:27; 1 Kings 4:11) of Dor on the west…

[Also to the kings of the North, that were dwelling in the mountains, וְֽאֶל־הַמְּלָכִ֞ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר מִצְּפ֗וֹן בָּהָ֧ר] And unto the kings (supply either that were [Munster, Tirinus], or, that were dwelling [Pagnine with the Vulgate], or, neighboring one another [Syriac]) on the North in the mountain (Montanus), or, mountains (Vatablus) [similarly almost all interpreters]. מִצְּפ֗וֹן בָּהָ֧ר, on the North in the mountain, means, on the North of the mountain; as the valley in Gibeon, that is, the Gibeonite valley.[2] חוֹסֵי בוֹ, they that trust in Him, is similar;[3] it is the same as חוֹסָיו, those trusting of Him. For particles do not hinder construction (Drusius). That, in the mountain, has regard to those Kings that were reigning in Libanus, or unto Libanus; which Josephus also appears to think[4] (Masius).

On the north of the mountains; Hebrew, on the north (which may be the general designation of all the particular places following, that they were in the northern parts of Canaan, as those mentioned Joshua 10, were in the southern parts) in the mountain; either in or near the famous mountain of Lebanon, called the mountain by way of eminency; or in the mountainous country.

[And in the plain toward the south of Chinneroth, וּבָעֲרָבָ֛ה נֶ֥גֶב כִּֽנֲר֖וֹת] Verbatim: and in the plain south of Chinneroth (Montanus); in the plain of the south of Ginnesar (Jonathan); in the fields toward the south of Chinneroth (Munster, Tigurinus). Those that were dwelling in that plain that was south of the sea of Gennesaret. And it appears that that pleasant valley was called the valley of Jezreel,[5] situated between the two mountains of Hermon[6] and Gilboa[7] (Bonfrerius). That, in the mountain, appears to have regard to the Kings in Libanus [as already mentioned], but that, in the plain, to the Lords of upper Galilee. Or, if you prefer, this signifies all the flat places: and those are now divided, 1. into those that were looking toward the south, or Gennesaret (for Gennesaret is South of Libanus); 2. those that were pertaining to the illustrious valley, or royal valley; for this was lower, extending along the bank of the Jordan; 3. those that were lying in the region of Dor, at the foot of Carmel and toward Cæsarea of Palestine (Masius). Others translate it: in the South, and in the plain of Chinneroth (Syriac); and in the fields, in the southern parts of Chinneroth (Junius and Tremellius). In the South of Chinneroth’s, that is, regions situated on both banks of Gennesaret, on both sides of Jordan (Junius). Here is כִּנֲרוֹת/ Chinneroth: The plural termination (־וֹת) is not without emphasis (Drusius). He spoke in the plural, either because of bays, or because of the places adjacent to it (Vatablus): inasmuch as he indicates, not only the plains neighboring and adjacent to the lake of Gennesaret, but also the more remote, abundant in like goodness (Malvenda, Masius out of Kimchi). For that is the language of abundance (Masius). This region was very rich. The plural indicates that there were several and various places of this sort. Genesar means Garden of Princes[8] (Drusius). But the Septuagint translates it, ἀπέναντι Κενερὼθ, over against Keneroth, that is, נֶגֶד, opposite to, instead of נֶגֶב/south (Drusius out of Masius). Now, נֶגֶב/south is set down in the place of מִנֶּגֶב, opposite to, as a little afterwards it is written בְנָפוֹת, in the borders/heights (Masius).

South of Chinneroth; Hebrew, in the plain lying southward from Chinneroth,[9] or the lake of Gennesaret. See Deuteronomy 3:17; Luke 5:1.

[In the fields also (thus Vatablus), וּבַשְּׁפֵלָה[10]] And in the plain (Montanus, Junius and Tremellius, Pagnine, Munster); in the depression (Jonathan); in the flat places, or, in the lower-lying region (Vatablus). [But the Syriac refers it to what precedes, in the plain of Chinneroth, and its fields.]

[And in the regions of Dor near the sea[11] (thus Tigurinus)] מִיָּם, by the sea (Masius), or, westward. Now, they translate בְנָפוֹת as in the tracts (Masius, Drusius, Montanus, Arabic, Junius and Tremellius). Thus Psalm 48:2, יְפֵ֥ה נוֹף֮, beautiful for situation, or, positioned in a pleasant tract of land. And tracts of land, which the Greeks call κλίματα/regions/ascents, the commonality of the Jews calls נוֹפוֹת/tracts. Symmachus translates it, ἀκτὴν, etc., the coast of the sea of Dor, and this is not a poor rendering (Masius). In the borders (Munster). To others it is a proper name, Napheth Dor (thus the Septuagint, Pagnine, Syriac, Arabic). Now, Dor lies westward from Gennesaret, toward the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, between the promontory of Carmel and Palestinian Cæsarea (Masius).

Dor; a place upon the coast of the midland sea.

[1] Hebrew: וְֽאֶל־הַמְּלָכִ֞ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר מִצְּפ֗וֹן בָּהָ֧ר וּבָעֲרָבָ֛ה נֶ֥גֶב כִּֽנֲר֖וֹת וּבַשְּׁפֵלָ֑ה וּבְנָפ֥וֹת דּ֖וֹר מִיָּֽם׃

[2] Isaiah 28:21:  “For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon (כְּעֵ֖מֶק בְּגִבְע֣וֹן), that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.”

[3] Psalm 2:12b:  “…Blessed are all they that put their trust in him (כָּל־ח֥וֹסֵי בֽוֹ׃).”

[4] Antiquities 5:1:18.

[5] Jezreel was in the Tribe of Issachar.

[6] Hermon is the great mountain of the southern portion of the Anti-Libanus.  It marks the northern border of Israel.

[7] Gilboa is a mountain-ridge at the south-eastern end of the valley of Jezreel.

[8] גִּינֵיסַר/Ginesar sounds like גני שרים, Garden of Princes.

[9] Hebrew: וּבָעֲרָבָ֛ה נֶ֥גֶב כִּֽנֲר֖וֹת.

[10] שְׁפֵלָה/lowland is related to the verbal root שָׁפֵל, to be low.

[11] Hebrew: וּבְנָפ֥וֹת דּ֖וֹר מִיָּֽם׃.

Joshua 11:1: The Confederacy of the Northern King against Israel, Part 1

[1450 BC] Verse 1:[1] And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor had heard those things, that he (Josh. 10:3) sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king (Josh. 19:15) of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph…

[When Jabin had heard] Jabin called them to arms, because he obtained the supremacy in those regions, as it will be said in verse 10 (Masius, Bonfrerius). Hazor was the chief city of all Canaan (Lapide). Consider here the goodness of God, by which the affairs of His Church are guided; and thus He leads human weakness by the hand, as it were. He does not suffer new enemies to mobilize themselves until they have properly renewed their strength and courage in the camp (Masius).

[King of Azor, חָצוֹר] Hazor. A city in upper Galilee, or Galilee of the Gentiles, not far from Kadesh[2] (Drusius out of Masius). In the place of which Nasor is read in 1 Maccabees 11:67;[3] but, that it is to be read Ἀζὼρ/Azor, Josephus teaches us, when he recounts this history[4] (Drusius). It was in the tribe of Naphtali, as one may gather from Joshua 19:36 (Bonfrerius).

Hazor, the chief city of all those parts, Joshua 11:10. Had heard those things: this was a remarkable instance of the wisdom and goodness of Divine Providence, which so governed the minds and hearts of the Canaanites, that they were not at all united under one king, but divided amongst many petty kings; and next, that these did not all unanimously join their counsels and forces together to oppose the Israelites at their first entrance, which their own wisdom and interest obliged them to do; but quietly suffered the destruction of their brethren, thereby preparing the way for their own.

[King of Shimron] All understand Samaria (Malvenda, thus Masius, Drusius). But see 1 Kings 16:24. For, if it was thus named after Shemer at that time, how is it here called Shimron, since Shemer was not yet born (Drusius, Bonfrerius)? Moreover, Samaria was in the tribe of Ephraim; but this Shimron was in the tribe of Zebulon, as it is indicated in Joshua 19:15. Therefore, this was the other city (Bonfrerius, Serarius); which afterwards is called Shimron-meron, Joshua 12:20 (Junius, Bonfrerius).

Shimron, called Shimron-meron, Joshua 12:20.

[To the king of Achshaph] It was the border of the Asherites toward the North, or rather the North-west, above Hazor. Some locate this near Ptolemais:[5] but that is called Achzib,[6] not Achshaph (Masius).

Achshaph, a place in the tribe of Asher, the furthest part of the land toward the north and west.

[1] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֕י כִּשְׁמֹ֖עַ יָבִ֣ין מֶֽלֶךְ־חָצ֑וֹר וַיִּשְׁלַ֗ח אֶל־יוֹבָב֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ מָד֔וֹן וְאֶל־מֶ֥לֶךְ שִׁמְר֖וֹן וְאֶל־מֶ֥לֶךְ אַכְשָֽׁף׃

[2] There was a Kadesh about seventeen miles north of the Sea of Galilee in Naphtali, and another immediately south of that same Sea in Issachar.

[3] 1 Maccabees 11:67:  “As for Jonathan and his host, they pitched at the water of Gennesar, from whence betimes in the morning they gat them to the plain of Nasor.”

[4] Antiquities of the Jews 5:6.

[5] In Phœnicia.

[6] Achzib was in the Tribe of Asher, just south of Tyre.

Joshua 11 Outline

The other kings and cities of Canaan gather themselves together to fight against Israel, 1-5. God encourages Joshua, promising him victory, 6. The Canaanites destroyed; their cities taken; Hazor burnt; the Anakims cut off, 7-21; those in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod excepted, 22, 23.

Joshua 10:41-43: The Southern Campaign, Part 2

Verse 41:[1] And Joshua smote them from Kadesh-barnea even unto (Gen. 10:19) Gaza, (Josh. 11:16) and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon.

[From Kadesh-barnea] It was in the extreme, Southern portion of the land, Joshua 15:3; Numbers 34:4 (Bonfrerius); Deuteronomy 1:19. The Chaldean generally renders it, רקם־גיאה, Rekem-Geah; that is, Rekem lofty, celebrated, etc.[2] Evidently he meant to signify Petra (which is called Rekem, Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities 4:5), a noble city of Arabia, to which Kadesh-Barnea was adjacent, as Eusebius testifies[3] (Masius).

Kadesh-barnea lay in the south of Canaan, Numbers 34:4; Deuteronomy 1:19; Joshua 15:3.

[Unto Gaza] It was almost in the South-Western corner (Bonfrerius). Thus this description, from Kadesh-Barnea to Gaza, marks a great part of the Southern border of Canaan, as we shall show afterwards (Masius).

Gaza was in the south-west of Canaan. So he here signifies that Joshua did in this expedition subdue all those parts which lay south and west from Gilgal.

[Goshen] Not of Egypt, but another, concerning which Joshua 11:16; 15:51 (Malvenda out of Junius, similarly Vatablus). It was set in the mountainous places of Judea, Joshua 15. It appears to have been celebrated for the goodness of the surrounding fields (Masius).

Goshen; not that Goshen in Egypt, but another in Judah, Joshua 11:16; 15:51.


Verse 42:[4] And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, (Josh. 10:14) because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.

[With one assault (thus Symmachus in Masius), פַּ֣עַם אֶחָ֑ת] With one turn (Munster, Pagnine, Montanus); one time (Vatablus, Tigurinus, similarly the Septuagint, Jonathan); in a single, uninterrupted battle (Vatablus), that is, with one expedition (Junius and Tremellius, Vatablus), once and together (Arabic). Translate it, with one assault, with one, continuous operation; there was not much delay anywhere by a long siege (Masius).

[God fought] Hence it happened that the Israelites conquered in so small an interval, that they were not even able to consider briefly, if they were not enemies, but friends. He alleges here the manifest reason why no one ought to take away confidence from this otherwise incredible narrative, or to arrogate such deeds to the valor of the soldiers (Masius).


Verse 43:[5] And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.

[And he returned] This was placed in the fifteenth verse. But I do not doubt that its proper home is here. Therefore, it is not rightly omitted here also by the Septuagint translators: For it is not now able to appear superfluous: for it signifies that the army, laden with great spoil, returned to the camp, so that briefly they might refresh their bodies, visit their wives and children, deposit the spoil in their houses, and then prepare themselves for a new expedition (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּכֵּ֧ם יְהוֹשֻׁ֛עַ מִקָּדֵ֥שׁ בַּרְנֵ֖עַ וְעַד־עַזָּ֑ה וְאֵ֛ת כָּל־אֶ֥רֶץ גֹּ֖שֶׁן וְעַד־גִּבְעֽוֹן׃

[2] גיאה signifies lofty, proud, or ruler.

[3] In his Onomasticon.

[4] Hebrew: וְאֵ֙ת כָּל־הַמְּלָכִ֤ים הָאֵ֙לֶּה֙ וְאֶת־אַרְצָ֔ם לָכַ֥ד יְהוֹשֻׁ֖עַ פַּ֣עַם אֶחָ֑ת כִּ֗י יְהוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל נִלְחָ֖ם לְיִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

[5] Hebrew: וַיָּ֤שָׁב יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל עִמּ֔וֹ אֶל־הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֖ה הַגִּלְגָּֽלָה׃

Joshua 10:40: The Southern Campaign, Part 1

Verse 40:[1] So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel (Deut. 20:16, 17) commanded.

[All the hill country, etc.] The entire region, according to the diverse conditions and situations of the places, he distributed into four parts (Bonfrerius out of Masius). The plains are set over against the mountainous places; shaded valleys over against the arid (Masius).

[And the south (thus Munster, Tigurinus, Pagnine, similarly Junius and Tremellius, Syriac), וְהַנֶּגֶב[2]] Of the south (Montanus, Jonathan). By this word, through metalepsis,[3] they understand land arid and sterile, because of the excessive heat of the Sun (Malvenda out of Bonfrerius). Thus the word is taken in Joshua 15:19;[4] Judges 1:15; Psalm 126:4[5] (Malvenda). Moreover, that נֶגֶב properly signifies arid places, the Chaldean tongue plainly shows,[6] which arose from the Hebrew (Masius).

[And of Asedoth (thus the Septuagint, Pagnine), Ashdod[7] (Syriac), וְהָאֲשֵׁדוֹת] Effusions (Montanus). Well-watered places, or, rather, valleys, which are rightly set over against the South and arid land; for those are characterized by soil rich and fertile, since they receive sufficient moisture from the mountains, and are not afflicted with lasting heat, because of the shade of the mountains; whence they are commonly called shaded and green pleasant places by the Poets (Masius). And river-valleys (Tigurinus); a descending [place] (Munster). And declivities, that is, a region that is in the declivities of mountains (Vatablus). And the watering of descents (Junius), by descents (Junius and Tremellius); the descent of waters (Dutch). Certainly אֶשֶׁד is הַנְּחָלִים, an effusion of torrents, or rivers, Numbers 21:14, 15[8] (Drusius). Flowings, of which sort hills pour forth: thus the Jews (Masius). Effusion, or extension, or projection, of the elevated place (Jonathan in Masius). He understands those places that are called ὑπώρειαι by the Greeks, that is, where mountains and hills extend themselves to the plains. This opinion agrees with the context, and with Deuteronomy 3:17.[9] Such places are generally more fertile and more well-cultivated (Masius).

[Everything that was able to breathe] Hebrew: every soul,[10] namely, human (Bonfrerius, Junius). [See what things are on verse 28.[11]]

All that breathed, that is, all mankind, by a synecdoche; for they reserved the cattle for their own uses.

[Just as the Lord had commanded] This is added to mitigate the severity of such a slaughter in the eyes of posterity. Not with private hatreds (for they had not been provoked by any injury), or with a desire for rule, or with a lust for plunder, did they this; but they followed the commands of God, who had for so long patiently endured the increasing impiety of those, but now was coming utterly to destroy them. And hence it was done, that the spirits of the soldiers were not giving in to any mercy, but with one uninterrupted movement were assailing all with indiscriminate slaughter; namely, because they were advancing, not their own, but the cause of God, and were ministers of the vengeance of God (Masius).

As the Lord God of Israel commanded: this is added for the vindication of the Israelites, whom God would not have to suffer in their reputation for executing his commands; and therefore he acquits them of that implacable hatred and heinous cruelty which they might be thought guilty of, and ascribes it to himself and his own just indignation against this most wicked people.

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּכֶּ֣ה יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ אֶת־כָּל־הָאָ֡רֶץ הָהָר֩ וְהַנֶּ֙גֶב וְהַשְּׁפֵלָ֜ה וְהָאֲשֵׁד֗וֹת וְאֵת֙ כָּל־מַלְכֵיהֶ֔ם לֹ֥א הִשְׁאִ֖יר שָׂרִ֑יד וְאֵ֤ת כָּל־הַנְּשָׁמָה֙ הֶחֱרִ֔ים כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוָּ֔ה יְהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

[2] נֶגֶב/south-country, appears to be derived from a verbal root, נגב, to be dry or parched.

[3] By metalepsis, reference is made to one things by means of another thing only weakly related to it.

[4] Joshua 15:19:  “Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land (אֶ֤רֶץ הַנֶּ֙גֶב֙); give me also springs of water.  And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs.”  So also Judges 1:15.

[5] Psalm 126:4:  “Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south (כַּאֲפִיקִ֥ים בַּנֶּֽגֶב׃).”

[6] In the Chaldean, נֶגֶב, dry soil or south-country, is derived from a verbal root, נגב, to be dry.

[7] Here, אֲשֵׁדָה/foundation/mountain-slope is being related to אַשְׁדּוֹד/Ashdod, a Philistine city in the south-west.

[8] Numbers 21:14, 15:  “Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord, What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks (וְאֶת־הַנְּחָלִים) of Arnon, and at the stream of the brooks (וְ֙אֶשֶׁד֙ הַנְּחָלִ֔ים) that goeth down to the dwelling of Ar, and lieth upon the border of Moab.”

[9] Deuteronomy 3:17:  “The plain also, and Jordan, and the coast thereof, from Chinnereth even unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, under Ashdoth-pisgah (אַשְׁדֹּ֥ת הַפִּסְגָּ֖ה, or, the slopes of Pisgah) eastward.”

[10] Hebrew: כָּל־הַנְּשָׁמָה.

[11] Joshua 10:28:  “And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls that were therein (וְאֶת־כָּל־הַנֶּ֙פֶשׁ֙ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֔הּ); he let none remain:  and he did to the king of Makkedah as he did unto the king of Jericho.”

Joshua 10:38, 39: The Taking of Debir

Verse 38:[1] And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to (see Josh. 15:15; Judg. 1:11) Debir; and fought against it…

[And thence returning to Debir] As if he had previously besieged it, or had been there. Perhaps, being about to besiege Hebron, he journeyed by it; afterwards he returned to it (Drusius out of Munster). With the southern part left untouched, he directed his course towar Gilgal (Junius). But Debir was to Hebron toward the South and West, as we shall say on Joshua 15:15 (Malvenda). He returned, with the cities of the Philistines left untouched (for he had already rushed out with weapons raised toward Gaza) to Debir (Masius).

And Joshua returned…to Debir: He is said to return thither, not as if he had been there before, but because having gone as far westward and southward as he thought fit, even as far as Gaza, Joshua 10:41, he now returned towards Gilgal, which lay northward and eastward from him, and in his return fell upon Debir: see on Joshua 15:15.


Verse 39:[2] And he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof; and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining: as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir, and to the king thereof; as he had done also to Libnah, and to her king.

[1] Hebrew: וַיָּ֧שָׁב יְהוֹשֻׁ֛עַ וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל עִמּ֖וֹ דְּבִ֑רָה וַיִּלָּ֖חֶם עָלֶֽיהָ׃

[2] Hebrew: וַֽיִּלְכְּדָ֞הּ וְאֶת־מַלְכָּ֤הּ וְאֶת־כָּל־עָרֶ֙יהָ֙ וַיַּכּ֣וּם לְפִי־חֶ֔רֶב וַֽיַּחֲרִ֙ימוּ֙ אֶת־כָּל־נֶ֣פֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֔הּ לֹ֥א הִשְׁאִ֖יר שָׂרִ֑יד כַּאֲשֶׁ֙ר עָשָׂ֜ה לְחֶבְר֗וֹן כֵּן־עָשָׂ֤ה לִדְבִ֙רָה֙ וּלְמַלְכָּ֔הּ וְכַאֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָׂ֛ה לְלִבְנָ֖ה וּלְמַלְכָּֽהּ׃

Joshua 10:34-37: The Taking of Eglon and Hebron

Verse 34:[1] And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon, and all Israel with him; and they encamped against it, and fought against it…

Eglon, a city of Judah, Joshua 15:39.


Verse 35:[2] And they took it on that day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein he utterly destroyed that day, according to all that he had done to Lachish.

[On the same day] Namely, on which they had besieged it (Malvenda out of Junius).

On that day on which they first attempted it.

[In the mouth of the sword] What is a mouth to man, by which he devours food, that is the edge to a sword, whereby it consumes whom it strikes (Lapide).


Verse 36:[3] And Joshua went up from Eglon, and all Israel with him, unto (see Josh. 14:13; 15:13; Judg. 1:10) Hebron; and they fought against it…

Hebron: Which though they took and killed all its inhabitants, yet they did not keep it; and therefore when Joshua and his army had forsaken it, and were returned to Gilgal, it seems the giants and other Canaanites being burnt out, or driven away from their former seats, planted and fortified themselves there; which made it necessary for Caleb to take it a second time, as is recorded Joshua 15:14; Judges 1:10. Or this is the same story, and the same conquest of Hebron, which is here generally related, and afterwards repeated, and more particularly described, Joshua 15:13, 14.


Verse 37:[4] And they took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof, and all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining, according to all that he had done to Eglon; but destroyed it utterly, and all the souls that were therein.

[He took it] That is, Hebron. Objection: But it is narrated that this city was taken afterwards by Caleb, and that giants were cast out, Joshua 15:14; Judges 1:10. Response: In this expedition, Joshua passed over rapidly this region; he did not entirely destroy it. And so whom he pursued he destroyed; otherwise he was not meticulously scouring all hiding places. For this gleaning, as it were, was left to the courage of each Tribe. It was not useful that the land should be left altogether devoid of inhabitants, Exodus 23:29. Therefore, perhaps in the meantime the giants, a mountain-roving race, were in hiding in their caves; or they escaped unto their own countrymen of the cities of Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod.[5] Therefore, it is not strange, if the inhabitants of Hebron, a people savage and strong, should revive and regain their strength (Masius). With the citizens killed, it is likely that those very places were occupied again by other Canaanites [many of whom appear to have been already driven from their seats] and giants. And, since in the following chapters all the giants, besides those that were in the cities of the Philistines, are said to have been killed, it is necessary that these, that were killed by Caleb, Joshua 15, came from elsewhere, from the cities of the Philistines (Bonfrerius). See further discussion on Joshua 15:14 (Serarius).

[And the king thereof] Objection: But he was killed previously, verses 23 and 26. Response: Either, 1. another King was appointed to the place of the slain King (Masius, Vatablus, Serarius, Bonfrerius). For, with the coming of a hostile army, another King was quickly appointed by the citizens (Kimchi in Masius). Or, 2. he repeats the execution of the King, because he is reviewing the general overthrow brought upon the city of Hebrew (Lapide, similarly Masius, Bonfrerius).

The king thereof; either him mentioned before, verse 23, whose death is here repeated in this account of the general destruction of all the inhabitants of that place, or his heir or successor.

[And all the towns] I translate it, municipalities, or municipal cities (Masius out of Kimchi).

All the cities thereof which were subject to its jurisdiction; this being, it seems, a royal city, as Gibeon was, verse 2, and having cities under it as that had, Joshua 9:17.

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּעֲבֹ֣ר יְ֠הוֹשֻׁעַ וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל עִמּ֛וֹ מִלָּכִ֖ישׁ עֶגְלֹ֑נָה וַיַּחֲנ֣וּ עָלֶ֔יהָ וַיִּֽלָּחֲמ֖וּ עָלֶֽיהָ׃

[2] Hebrew: וַֽיִּלְכְּד֜וּהָ בַּיּ֤וֹם הַהוּא֙ וַיַּכּ֣וּהָ לְפִי־חֶ֔רֶב וְאֵת֙ כָּל־הַנֶּ֣פֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֔הּ בַּיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא הֶחֱרִ֑ים כְּכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂ֖ה לְלָכִֽישׁ׃

[3] Hebrew: וַיַּ֣עַל יְ֠הוֹשֻׁעַ וְכָֽל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל עִמּ֛וֹ מֵעֶגְל֖וֹנָה חֶבְר֑וֹנָה וַיִּֽלָּחֲמ֖וּ עָלֶֽיהָ׃

[4] Hebrew: וַיִּלְכְּד֣וּהָ וַיַּכּֽוּהָ־לְפִי־חֶ֠רֶב וְאֶת־מַלְכָּ֙הּ וְאֶת־כָּל־עָרֶ֜יהָ וְאֶת־כָּל־הַנֶּ֤פֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־בָּהּ֙ לֹֽא־הִשְׁאִ֣יר שָׂרִ֔יד כְּכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂ֖ה לְעֶגְל֑וֹן וַיַּחֲרֵ֣ם אוֹתָ֔הּ וְאֶת־כָּל־הַנֶּ֖פֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־בָּֽהּ׃

[5] See Joshua 11:22; 1 Samuel 6:17.

Joshua 10:29-33: The Taking of Libnah and Lachish

Verse 29:[1] Then Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, unto Libnah, and fought against Libnah…

All Israel, to wit, who were with him in this expedition.

[Unto Libnah] The city was in the western part of the Tribe of Judah, which afterwards belonged to the Priests, Joshua 21:13 (Bonfrerius).

Libnah, a city of Judah, Joshua 15:42.


Verse 30:[2] And the LORD delivered it also, and the king thereof, into the hand of Israel; and he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain in it; but did unto the king thereof as he did unto the king of Jericho.

All the souls, that is, the human souls; for all the cattle they had for a prey.


Verse 31:[3] And Joshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him, unto Lachish, and encamped against it, and fought against it…

[From Libnah…unto Lachish] For Joshua was advancing his troops further and further from Jerusalem. But in 2 Kings 19:8 that one progressed from Lachish to Libnah, namely, because he was advancing his troops toward Jerusalem (Masius).


Verse 32:[4] And the LORD delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the second day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein, according to all that he had done to Libnah.

[He took it on the next day] Or, second; namely, after the siege (Masius out of Kimchi, Vatablus, Serarius, Drusius, Junius). Others: on the second day, namely, after the Kings were killed, and Makkedah and Libnah were taken. But, 1. in one day he would not have been able to conquer cities so remote (Malvenda). 2. Neither was so small a time able to be enough for plundering those cities (Masius). Joshua wisely improves the victory, and, with the Kings cut down, seizes all the cities in their consternation; and he pervades after the likeness of lightning (Lapide).

On the second day; either the day after his first laying of the siege, or after the taking of Makkedah and Libnah.


Verse 33:[5] Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining.

[At that time] Because the city was taken on the second day, by his intervention this King appears to have turned the first assault of the siege unto himself (Masius).

[Horam king of Gezer] Gezer was threefold: 1. in the tribe of Ephraim, Joshua 16:3; 2. in Judah, 1 Chronicles 14:16; 3. on the other side of Jordan, 1 Maccabees 5:8[6] (Serarius). I understand here the second, unto which David smote the Philistines; for, that this was near to Lachish is evident from 1 Chronicles 14:16. The nearness of the danger, therefore, roused Horam. But that Ephraimite Gezer was much further away (Masius). Others understand the first (Serarius, Bonfrerius, Eusebius in Serarius). It was in the Southern borders of the Tribe of Ephraim, not very far from Gibeon; as it is evident from this place, and from 2 Samuel 5:25 (where by Geba is to be understood Gibeon) and 1 Chronicles 14:16 (Bonfrerius).

Gezer; either that in Ephraim, of which Joshua 16:3; Judges 1:29; but that seems too remote from the other places; or rather, that in Judah, which was near Lachish, 1 Chronicles 14:16, whose king therefore was more capable, and more obliged to help them for his own sake.

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּעֲבֹ֣ר יְ֠הוֹשֻׁעַ וְכָֽל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל עִמּ֛וֹ מִמַּקֵּדָ֖ה לִבְנָ֑ה וַיִּלָּ֖חֶם עִם־לִבְנָֽה׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיִּתֵּן֩ יְהוָ֙ה גַּם־אוֹתָ֜הּ בְּיַ֣ד יִשְׂרָאֵ֘ל וְאֶת־מַלְכָּהּ֒ וַיַּכֶּ֣הָ לְפִי־חֶ֗רֶב וְאֶת־כָּל־הַנֶּ֙פֶשׁ֙ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֔הּ לֹֽא־הִשְׁאִ֥יר בָּ֖הּ שָׂרִ֑יד וַיַּ֣עַשׂ לְמַלְכָּ֔הּ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָׂ֖ה לְמֶ֥לֶךְ יְרִיחֽוֹ׃

[3] Hebrew: וַיַּעֲבֹ֣ר יְ֠הוֹשֻׁעַ וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל עִמּ֛וֹ מִלִּבְנָ֖ה לָכִ֑ישָׁה וַיִּ֣חַן עָלֶ֔יהָ וַיִּלָּ֖חֶם בָּֽהּ׃

[4] Hebrew: וַיִּתֵּן֩ יְהוָ֙ה אֶת־לָכִ֜ישׁ בְּיַ֣ד יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל וַֽיִּלְכְּדָהּ֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשֵּׁנִ֔י וַיַּכֶּ֣הָ לְפִי־חֶ֔רֶב וְאֶת־כָּל־הַנֶּ֖פֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֑הּ כְּכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂ֖ה לְלִבְנָֽה׃

[5] Hebrew: אָ֣ז עָלָ֗ה הֹרָם֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ גֶּ֔זֶר לַעְזֹ֖ר אֶת־לָכִ֑ישׁ וַיַּכֵּ֤הוּ יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ וְאֶת־עַמּ֔וֹ עַד־בִּלְתִּ֥י הִשְׁאִֽיר־ל֖וֹ שָׂרִֽיד׃

[6] 1 Maccabees 5:6-8:  “Afterward he passed over to the children of Ammon, where he found a mighty power, and much people, with Timotheus their captain.  So he fought many battles with them, till at length they were discomfited before him; and he smote them.  And when he had taken Jazar, with the towns belonging thereto, he returned into Judea.”

Joshua 10:28: The Taking of Makkedah

Verse 28:[1] And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain: and he did to the king of Makkedah (Josh. 6:21) as he did unto the king of Jericho.

[On the same day also he took Makkedah] Question: On which day? Response: The day on which he killed those Kings (Vatablus). The same day on which the Sun stood still. For in verse 32 is found, on the second day (Bonfrerius, thus Tostatus in Serarius). Others: on the following day, or the day after that (Masius, Serarius). Perhaps the sense is, at the same time (Menochius). For it appears difficult that so many town distant from each other were able to be taken so quickly (Menochius out of Serarius); and that so quickly all were destroyed, the spoil was taken, and garrisons were assigned (Serarius). But this is not strange, with the inhabitants especially terrified, and not being capable of fighting back (Bonfrerius). Joshua invades them suddenly, while they are disquieted with the dire news of the defeat, before they might gather themselves and their strength (Masius).

That day, on which the sun stood still, or on which the five kings were hanged. Nor is it strange that so much work was done, and places so far distant taken, in one day, when the day was so long, and the Canaanites struck with such a terror.

[And he smote it…and killed its king, and…the inhabitants,וַיַּכֶּ֣הָ— וְאֶת־מַלְכָּהּ֒ הֶחֱרִ֣ם אוֹתָ֗ם וְאֶת־כָּל־הַנֶּ֙פֶשׁ֙] Verbatim: And he smote it, and its king he killed them,[2] and every soul (Montanus). And he rooted out its king together with every living soul (Munster, similarly Tigurinus). And he killed its king with them (Pagnine, Drusius, Jonathan). That אוֹתָם/them is sometimes used in the place of אִתָּם, with them (Malvenda, Drusius). And also the relationship of the words is clearer, if you take it thus. But I prefer to follow the accents and points, which they call pausing, with Segol (֒) found before הֶחֱרִם, he destroyed, and Rebia (֗) on אוֹתָם/them,[3] and to preserve the proper notion of this. Them and every soul ἀπὸ κοινοῦ, by common usage, are able rightly to be referred to the verb הֶחֱרִם, he destroyed (Masius, similarly Malvenda). And he smote it…and its king: he anathematized (or, devoted to slaughter) them and every soul (Malvenda). And the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls (English). Similarly those, and every soul (Dutch). The inhabitants of which he smote (I would prefer, he smote it, that is, its inhabitants [Piscator]), and with the king thereof (I would prefer, king[4] [Piscator]) he devoted to slaughter; them (that is, the King and his subjects), that is, every soul (Junius and Tremellius). Soul, namely, human, that is man (Piscator, Junius, Masius): for there was other spoil. See Joshua 10:40; 11:11 (Junius, Masius). It is also evident from the antithesis, he left no survivor remaining (Piscator).

[Just as he had done to the king of Jericho] Scripture does not declare this, yet from the example of the other kings they gather that he was hanged (Bonfrerius). That he paid such penalties as were suffered by the King of Ai is indicated in verse 1. He touches upon this cursorily, so that by such a hurried narration the swiftness of the matters conducted might be set before our eyes (Masius).

The king of Jericho was hanged, or otherwise killed, as appears from Joshua 6:2.

[1] Hebrew: וְאֶת־מַקֵּדָה֩ לָכַ֙ד יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא וַיַּכֶּ֣הָ לְפִי־חֶרֶב֮ וְאֶת־מַלְכָּהּ֒ הֶחֱרִ֣ם אוֹתָ֗ם וְאֶת־כָּל־הַנֶּ֙פֶשׁ֙ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֔הּ לֹ֥א הִשְׁאִ֖יר שָׂרִ֑יד וַיַּ֙עַשׂ֙ לְמֶ֣לֶךְ מַקֵּדָ֔ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָׂ֖ה לְמֶ֥לֶךְ יְרִיחֽוֹ׃

[2] Here, its king and them is a double direct object of killed.

[3] Both the Segol (֒) and the Rebia (֗) are strong disjunctive accents.

[4] Latin: regem/king, in the Accusative case, and serving as the Direct Object of the verb.