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׃

1 thought on “Joshua 10:41-43: The Southern Campaign, Part 2

  1. Matthew Henry: “The great success of this expedition. The spoil of these cities was now divided among the men of war that plundered them; and the cities themselves, with the land about them, were shortly to be divided among the tribes, for the Lord fought for Israel, Joshua 10:42. They could not have gotten the victory if God had not undertaken the battle; then we conquer when God fights for us; and, if he be for us, who can be against us?”

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