Joshua 11:5: The Confederacy of the Northern Kings against Israel, Part 5

Verse 5:[1] And when all these kings were met together (Heb. assembled by appointment[2]), they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.

[And they assembled (thus Pagnine, Montanus, Septuagint, similarly Munster, Tigurinus), וַיִּוָּעֲדוּ[3]] By appointment, or agreement, they assembled (Masius, Junius and Tremellius). It could be translated, by pacts, or solemn engagements, they were bound to one another. For יָעַד also signifies to enter into an agreement, and both Aquila and Symmachus render it, ὡμολόγησαν, they entered into an agreement. With the Chaldean, I translate it, they gathered at the appointed time (Masius). And agreeing upon a place (they encamped) (Syriac). And, conspiring, they came (Arabic).

[Near the waters of Merom, מֵ֣י מֵר֔וֹם] Thus they are called, either, 1. because they were in the upper tract of the Israelites toward Tabor,[4] where the King of Shimron-Meron had dominion: for which reason the elevated places are called the Merom of the field by Deborah[5] (Junius). Or, 2. because here the lake was above the other of Gennesaret (Serarius). But where the waters of Merom might have been, I do not yet quite understand (Masius). [Therefore others rush to help at this point.] It is a lacus/lake (thus read, not locus/place) of Jordan, that which lies between its spring and the lake of Gennesaret, and the lake is called Semechonitis (Serarius, Bonfrerius); concerning which see Josephus’ Jewish Wars 4:1. Which, when the melted snow flows down from Libanus, is full; but in summer is nearly dries up. Here they assembled, because near this lake was situated Hazor, the King of which was governing the other kings (Bonfrerius).

The waters of Merom; a lake made by the river Jordan in the northern part of it, which was in the territory of the king of Shimron, or Shimron-meron, and near Hazor, Jabin’s royal city, and almost in the middle of these confederate kings.

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּוָּ֣עֲד֔וּ כֹּ֖ל הַמְּלָכִ֣ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה וַיָּבֹ֜אוּ וַיַּחֲנ֤וּ יַחְדָּו֙ אֶל־מֵ֣י מֵר֔וֹם לְהִלָּחֵ֖ם עִם־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיִּוָּעֲדוּ.

[3] יָעַד, to appoint, in the Niphal signifies to gather by appointment.

[4] מֵרוֹם/Merom may be related to the verb, רוּם, to be high.  Mount Tabor was just south-west of the Sea of Galilee.

[5] Judges 5:18:  “Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field (מְרוֹמֵ֥י שָׂדֶֽה׃).”

1 thought on “Joshua 11:5: The Confederacy of the Northern Kings against Israel, Part 5

  1. King David, Psalm 27:1-6: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. 3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. 4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.”

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