Joshua 11:10, 11: The Taking of Hazor

Verse 10:[1] And Joshua at that time turned back, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms.

[And returning, he took Hazor] He is rightly said to have returned, for far beyond this city in all directions he had pursued his enemies (Masius).

[And he smote the king thereof] Either, he had already previously smitten him in the battle (Malvenda out of Masius); or, Jabin escaped unto his palace out of the hands of those hunting him, and so Joshua returned here, so that he might fall upon the originator of this war, even at that time fearful after his flight (Masius). Or, this was another, whom they recently had appointed into the place of the dead kig (Malvenda out of Masius).

Smote the king thereof; either in the former battle, though it be mentioned here; or rather in his royal city, to which he fled out of the battle.

[Hazor…was holding the supremacy] Understand this of that part of Canaan with which we are concerned (Masius, Lapide, Bonfrerius). That is to say, Joshua attacked it, because it was chief of cities, and therefore the most well-fortified, with which captured the approach to the others would be easier (Bonfrerius). Where kingdoms are small, one of the Kings is wont to be chosen, who might take the lead in war: which histories witness to be done in Japan, Java,[2] and other places of the Orient (Grotius).

The head of all those kingdoms; not of all Canaan, but of all those who were confederate with him in this expedition.


Verse 11:[3] And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe (Heb. any breath[4]): and he burnt Hazor with fire.

[He did not leave in it any remnants] Understand, not that all were pursued, but that of however many were able to be pursued they did not spare any life (Bonfrerius, Masius). For some escaped by flight, either at that time, or previously, who after the death of Joshua recovered strength, and restored the cities, and appointed new Kings for themselves, whom they also called by the names of the former Kings, according to custom. Hence Jabin afflicted Israel, Judges 4 (Lapide out of Masius). Hence the Midianites, cut off by Moses, Numbers 31, grew up again, and were prostrated by Gideon, Judges 6. So also the Hebronites, here in verse 21, compared with Judges 1:10 (Lapide).

There was not any, that is, no human person.

[1] Hebrew: וַיָּ֙שָׁב יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ בָּעֵ֤ת הַהִיא֙ וַיִּלְכֹּ֣ד אֶת־חָצ֔וֹר וְאֶת־מַלְכָּ֖הּ הִכָּ֣ה בֶחָ֑רֶב כִּֽי־חָצ֣וֹר לְפָנִ֔ים הִ֕יא רֹ֖אשׁ כָּל־הַמַּמְלָכ֥וֹת הָאֵֽלֶּה׃

[2] Java is one of the Indonesian islands.

[3] Hebrew: וַ֠יַּכּוּ אֶת־כָּל־הַנֶּ֙פֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֤הּ לְפִי־חֶ֙רֶב֙ הַֽחֲרֵ֔ם לֹ֥א נוֹתַ֖ר כָּל־נְשָׁמָ֑ה וְאֶת־חָצ֖וֹר שָׂרַ֥ף בָּאֵֽשׁ׃

[4] Hebrew: כָּל־נְשָׁמָה.

2 thoughts on “Joshua 11:10, 11: The Taking of Hazor

  1. Jerome, Letter to Agibus: “I commend to you—although she needs no commendation but her own—my holy daughter Theodora, formerly the wife or rather the sister of Lucinius of blessed memory. Tell her that she must not grow weary of the path upon which she has entered, and that she can only reach the Holy Land by toiling through the wilderness. Warn her against supposing that the work of virtue is perfected when she has made her exodus from Egypt. Remind her that she must pass through snares innumerable to arrive at mount Nebo and the River Jordan, that she must receive circumcision anew at Gilgal, that Jericho must fall before her, overthrown by the blasts of priestly trumpets, that Adoni-zedec must be slain, that Ai and Hazor, once fairest of cities, must both fall.”

  2. Matthew Henry: “We have here the same improvement made of this victory as was made of that in the foregoing chapter…. The destruction of Hazor is particularly recorded, because in it, and by the king thereof, this daring design against Israel was laid, Joshua 11:10, 11. The king of Hazor, it seems, escaped with his life out of the battle, and thought himself safe when he had got back into his own city, and Joshua had gone in pursuit of the scattered troops another way. But it proved that that which he thought would be for his welfare was his trap; in it he was taken as in an evil net; there he was slain, and his city, for his sake, burned. Yet we find that the remains of it being not well looked after by Israel the Canaanites rebuilt it, and settled there under another king of the same name, Judges 4:2.”

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