-Now the kings of the more northern areas conspired together to thwart the LORD’s program, but to no avail. Jabin, king of Hazor which is north of the Sea of Galilee, sent for help in an alliance to Jobab, king of Madon, as well as the kings of Shimron (near the Megiddo area) and Achshaph (to the west near the Mediterranean Sea), and the kings of the north who were in the hill country and the Arabah just south of the Sea of Galilee, and the kings on the heights of Dor in the north western edge of the land. In sum, the Canaanite on the east and west, the Amorite northeast of the Dead Sea, the Hittite of the south near the Negev, the Perizzite and the Jebusite of the hill country in proximity of Jerusalem, and the Hivite at the foot of Mount Hermon to the far north of the territory in the land of Mizpeh all came out with their armies to confront Israel at the waters of Merom just north and west of the Sea of Galilee. The Bible says they were very numerous, “as many people as the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots (Joshua 11:1-5).”
-At that time the LORD spoke again with His servant Joshua telling him not to be afraid because of their impressive numbers and alliance. God further revealed that He would deliver them all slain before Israel. Then the LORD told Joshua the strategy. Israel was to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire (Joshua 11:6). Therefore, with this blessing of the God of Heaven and earth, Joshua and all the people of war with him came upon their resistance suddenly at the waters of Merom and attacked them. It happened just as the LORD predicted. Israel was delivered as they defeated their foes, pursuing them all the way northwest to Sidon and Misrephoth-maim and the valley of Mizpeh to the northeast. They struck them down until there was no survivor left to them. Joshua did just as the LORD commanded by hamstringing the horses and burning their chariots with fire. Then, Joshua turned back immediately and captured Hazor striking its king with the sword. This was the head of the northern alliance as a kingdom. Jabin along with everyone else who breathed in Hazor was destroyed by the edge of the sword. Then, the city was burned with fire. In fact, Joshua captured all the cities of these before mentioned kings, and he struck them with the sword for total annihilation just as Moses, the servant of the LORD, commanded (Joshua 11:7-12). However, Israel did not burn any cities that stood on their mounds with the exception of Hazor. All the spoil from these cities including cattle were took as plunder by the sons of Israel. These places were not under a ban. Joshua left nothing undone of all that Moses, by the word of the LORD, commanded (Joshua 11:13-15).
-Verses 16 through 23 give a summary now of all the conquests of Israel. The hill country and all the Negev including Goshen, the lowland, the Arabah, the hill country of Israel and its lowland were now taken. From Mount Halak in the south as far north as Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon at the foot of the highest peak in that region, Mount Hermon. Most of the Mediterranean coast was Israel’s. All the kings were captured and put to death by Joshua and his armies. “Joshua waged war a long time with all these kings.” No city other than the Hivites living in Gibeon offered for peace. Israel took them all in battle because “it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, to meet Israel in battle in order that he (Joshua) might utterly destroy them, that they might receive no mercy, but that he might destroy them, just as the LORD commanded Moses.” The final three verses explain how Joshua cut off the Anakim (`Anaqiy - "long-necked," a tribe of giants, descendants of Anak, which dwelled in southern Canaan) from the hill country by utterly destroying them with their cities in the land with the exception of Gaza, Gath (where Goliath would later be from), and Ashdod. “So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD had spoken to Moses, and Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Thus the land had rest from war (Joshua 11:23).”
-*Application* God will give total victory when we are totally submitted to doing things His way at His discretion. There will be a time of war and a time of peace (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).
Verse to Memorize: Joshua 11:20