Joshua 11:22, 23: Joshua Takes the Entire Land, Part 6

Verse 22:[1] There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in (1 Sam. 17:4) Gath, (Josh. 15:46) and in Ashdod, there remained.

[He left none…in the land, etc.] Either, because he killed all; or, if any escaped the sword, they took refuge with the Philistines (Bonfrerius).

[Gaza and Gath and Ashdod] These three were maritime cities (Masius, Bonfrerius). [Concerning these things, see more, if you wish, in Masius.]

Gaza…Gath…Ashdod: Three cities of the Philistines, to which they retired, and where we find some of them afterwards, 1 Samuel 17:4; 2 Samuel 21:15, 16; which may be one reason why the Israelites durst not make an attempt upon these places, though they were a part of their possession.


[1445 BC] Verse 23:[2] So Joshua took the whole land, (Num. 34:2, etc.) according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel (Num. 26:53; Josh. 14-19) according to their divisions by their tribes. (Josh. 14:15; 21:44; 22:4; 23:1; 11:18) And the land rested from war.

[He took the whole land] Synecdochically, that is, the greatest part (Malvenda out of Masius); the better part, and, as it were, all (Lapide, Drusius): or, all upon which he made war (Lapide, Bonfrerius): or, all, that is, land of every sort, plains, mountains, fields, slopes, etc. (Drusius out of Masius): or, all he conquered so far, so that no one might raise arms (Masius, Bonfrerius): or, he took all the land, that is, he subdued (Grotius). Procopius writes, The Wars of Justinian “The Vandal War” 2:7, Near the town of Tingis[3] in Numidia there were two columns, on which in the language of the Phœnicians these words were inscribed: WE FLEE FROM THE FACE OF THE ROBBER JOSHUA, THE SON OF NAVE (Malvenda).

The whole land, synecdochically, that is, the greatest and the best part of it, for some parts and places are expressly excepted in the following history.

[He delivered it…according to their parts and tribes; that is to say, according their to parts, that is, according to their Tribes (Lapide),כְּמַחְלְקֹתָ֖ם לְשִׁבְטֵיהֶ֑ם] According to, or by, their distributions (Montanus, Syriac) to their tribes (Montanus), or, in their tribes (Syriac), or, by the tribes (Junius and Tremellius), or, unto the tribes (Lapide).

From war; from actual war; so far that they could now quietly survey, and distribute, and possess the land.

[1] Hebrew: לֹֽא־נוֹתַ֣ר עֲנָקִ֔ים בְּאֶ֖רֶץ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל רַ֗ק בְּעַזָּ֛ה בְּגַ֥ת וּבְאַשְׁדּ֖וֹד נִשְׁאָֽרוּ׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיִּקַּ֙ח יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ אֶת־כָּל־הָאָ֗רֶץ כְּ֠כֹל אֲשֶׁ֙ר דִּבֶּ֣ר יְהוָה֮ אֶל־מֹשֶׁה֒ וַיִּתְּנָהּ֩ יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ לְנַחֲלָ֧ה לְיִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל כְּמַחְלְקֹתָ֖ם לְשִׁבְטֵיהֶ֑ם וְהָאָ֥רֶץ שָׁקְטָ֖ה מִמִּלְחָמָֽה׃

[3] That is, Tangier, in northwestern Morocco.

1 thought on “Joshua 11:22, 23: Joshua Takes the Entire Land, Part 6

  1. Matthew Henry: ‘The conquest of the Anakims at last, Joshua 11:21, 22. Either this was done as they met with them where they were dispersed, as some think, or rather it should seem the Anakims had retired to their fastnesses, and so were hunted out and cut off at last, after all the rest of Israel’s enemies. The mountains of Judah and Israel were the habitations of those mountains of men; but not their height, nor the strength of their caves, nor the difficulty of the passes to them, could secure, no, not these mighty men, from the sword of Joshua. The cutting off of the sons of Anak is particularly mentioned because these had been such a terror to the spies forty years before, and their bulk and strength had been thought an insuperable difficulty in the way of the reducing of Canaan, Numbers 13:28, 33. Even that opposition which seemed invincible was got over. Never let the sons of Anak be a terror to the Israel of God, for even their day will come to fall. Giants are dwarfs to Omnipotence; yet this struggle with the Anakims was reserved for the latter end of the war, when the Israelites had become more expert in the arts of war, and had had more experience of the power and goodness of God. Note, God sometimes reserves the sharpest trials of his people by affliction and temptation for the latter end of their days. Therefore let not him that girds on the harness boast as he that puts it off. Death, that tremendous son of Anak, is the last enemy that is to be encountered; but it is to be destroyed, 1 Corinthians 15:26. Thanks be to God, who will give us the victory….

    The end and issue of this long war. The Canaanites were rooted out, not perfectly (as we shall find after in the book of Judges), but in a good measure; they were not able to make any head either, (1.) So as to keep the Israelites out of possession of the land: Joshua took all that land, Joshua 11:16, 17. And we may suppose the people dispersed themselves and their families into the countries they had conquered, at least those that lay nearest to the headquarters at Gilgal, until an orderly distribution should be made by lot, that every man might know his own. Or, (2.) So as to keep them in action, or give them any molestation (Joshua 11:23): The land rested from war. It ended not in a peace with the Canaanites (that was forbidden), but in a peace from them. There is a rest, a rest from war, remaining for the people of God, into which they shall enter when their warfare is accomplished.

    That which was now done is here compared with that which had been said to Moses. God’s word and his works, if viewed and considered together, will mutually illustrate each other. It is here observed in the close, 1. That all the precepts God had given to Moses relating to the conquest of Canaan were obeyed on the people’s part, at least while Joshua lived. See how solemnly this is remarked (Joshua 11:15): As the Lord commanded Moses his servant, by whose hand the law was given, so did Moses command Joshua, for Moses was faithful, as a lawgiver, to him that appointed him; he did his part, and then he died: but were the commands of Moses observed when he was in his grave? Yes, they were: So did Joshua, who was, in his place, as faithful as Moses in his. He left nothing undone (Hebrew, he removed nothing) of all that the Lord commanded Moses. Those that leave their duty undone do what they can to remove or make void the command of God, by which they are bound to do it; but Joshua, by performing the precept, confirmed it, as the expression is, Deuteronomy 27:26. Joshua was himself a great commander, and yet nothing was more his praise than his obedience. Those that rule others at their will must themselves be ruled by the divine will; then their power is indeed their honour, and not otherwise. The pious obedience for which Joshua is here commended respects especially the command to destroy the Canaanites, and to break down their altars and burn their images, Deuteronomy 7:2-5; Exodus 23:24; 34:13. Joshua, in his zeal for the Lord of hosts, spared neither the idols nor the idolaters. Saul’s disobedience, or rather his partial obedience, to the command of God, for the utter destruction of the Amalekites, cost him his kingdom. It should seem Joshua himself gives this account of his most careful and punctual observance of his orders in the execution of his commission, that in all respects he had done as Moses commanded him; and then it intimates that he had more pleasure and satisfaction in reflecting upon his obedience to the commands of God in all this war, and valued himself more upon that, than upon all the gains and triumphs with which he was enriched and advanced. 2. That all the promises God had given to Moses relating to this conquest were accomplished on his part, Joshus 11:23. Joshua took the whole land, conquered it, and took possession of it, according to all that the Lord said unto Moses. God had promised to drive out the nations before them (Exodus 33:2; 34:11), and to bring them down, Deuteronomy 9:3. And now it was done. There failed not one word of the promise. Our successes and enjoyments are then doubly sweet and comfortable to us when we see them flowing to us from the promise (this is according to what the Lord said), as our obedience is then acceptable to God when it has an eye to the precept. And, if we make conscience of our duty, we need not question the performance of the promise.’

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