Joshua 11:16
So Joshua took this entire region: the hill country, all the Negev, all the land of Goshen, the western foothills, the Arabah, and the mountains of Israel and their foothills,
Divine Directions for the FightA. B. Mackay.Joshua 11:1-23
Sharing the SpoilW. Seaton.Joshua 11:1-23
Take Heed How Ye HearF. G. Marchant.Joshua 11:1-23
Types of Christian WarfareJ. Parker, D. D.Joshua 11:1-23

I. GOD'S COMMANDMENT IS ENDURING. The commandment to Moses is transmitted to Joshua. God's will is changeless. What is right is right eternally. We must not regard God's laws as obsolete when they are ancient. The precepts of the Bible are not the less binding upon us because they are old (Psalm 119:160; Isaiah 40:8). Nevertheless

(a) what God commands relative to certain circumstances will be modified if those circumstances are changed;

(b) a larger commandment coming later exonerates from the observance of the details of a smaller commandment when these are by their nature preparatory to the larger. Thus the larger Christian law of love frees us from the narrower preparatory law of ordinances (Romans 13:10).


(1) Faithfulness is shown in devotion to God. Moses and Joshua regarded themselves as God's servants. The Christian is not to live for self, but for Christ (Romans 14:8).

(2) This devotion must be exercised in active service. Belief, religious feeling, and acts of worship will not satisfy God. We are called to do His will (Matthew 7:24-27).

(3) Faithful service is obedient service. We must not simply work for God, but work for God in His way, doing His will, and fulfilling His commandments. Self will is fatal to the merit of the most zealous service. Much of our most devoted service is spent in serving God according to our own will instead of simply doing His will (Psalm 40:8; John 6:38).

(4) Perfect fidelity requires obedience in all things. We are tempted to choose our favourite commandments for obedience, and to neglect others. Some are not obvious; we should search for them. Some are difficult; we should seek special strength to do them. Some are dangerous; we should be brave and firm before them. Some are distasteful; we should sacrifice our feelings to God's will.

(5) Perfect fidelity will make us endeavour to secure the fulfilment of God's commandments by others when we cannot accomplish all ourselves. Moses transmitted the commandment to Joshua. We should think more of the execution of the work than of the honour of the agent. Jealousy sometimes leads us to refuse sympathy for a good work if we cannot do it ourselves.

(6) The justifying grace of God in Christ does not free us from the obligation of perfect fidelity. No man is perfectly faithful. As Christians, we are accepted by God, not on account of our fidelity, but for the sake of Christ and through the mercy of God. But the receipt of God's forgiving grace brings upon us the greater obligation to be faithful to Him in the future (Romans 6:1).

(7) The liberty of the gospel does not exonerate us from the duty of fidelity. We are freed from the bondage of the letter of the law that we may obey the spirit of it. We are delivered from the legal servitude of fear that we may serve the better in the "sweet lawlessness of love" (Romans 8:3, 4). - W.F.A.

He left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses.
"This year omissions have distressed me more than anything." So speaks Andrew A. Bonar, concluding one of the years of his life. How many of us are similarly distressed!

I. THE THINGS UNDONE ARE MANY. We have not left undone a duty here or there merely, but we have the painful consciousness of having missed so much that more seems undone than done. Darwin's biographer relates that the great scientist "never wasted a few spare minutes from thinking that it was not worth while to set to work." His golden rule was "taking care of the minutes." And so he became rich and accurate in knowledge. How much more might we have done in the home! We deal negligently with those about us until change or death takes them away I How much more might we have done in the world! We have loitered in the sheepfold to hear the bleating of the sheep, when we ought to have been in the high places of the field. How much more might we have given and taught and toiled in the Church of God! We are always evading manifest obligations, which are also precious privileges. With what fiery energy the bird, the bee, the butterfly, carry out the special commission with which they are entrusted! In nature everything seems to be done that can be done with the granted measure of time, space, material, and energy. But we are conscious of a very different and far less satisfactory state of things in the human sphere. Here inertia, laziness, slipperiness, procrastination, prevail. There are great gaps in our work.

II. THE THINGS UNDONE ARE OFTEN THE THINGS OF THE GREATEST CONSEQUENCE. Emerson speaks of "the science of omitting." A very necessary and much-neglected science. "The artist," says Schiller, "may be known rather by what he omits." The master of literary style is best recognised by his tact of omission. The orator declares his genius as much by what he leaves out as by what he puts into his discourses. And in life the science of omission must have a large place. Life on its moral side, in its highest sense, becomes complete and successful by exclusion: if we are to make anything of it, we must reject much. When, however, an artist understands the science of omission, he leaves out the trivial, the vulgar, the irrelevant. Pater, speaking of Watteau, the French artist, says, "Sketching the scene to the life, but with a kind of grace, a marvellous tact of omission in dealing with the vulgar reality seen from one's own window." Yes, leaving out the vulgar features and commonplace detail. But the defect in our moral life is that in our science of omission we too often leave out the primary, the highest, the essential. The trivial, the fugitive, the inferior, the accidental, are given a place in our life, whilst the large, the noble, the precious, and the supreme are excluded. It is thus with us in questions of character. The weightier matters are more difficult, and we evade them. It is thus with matters of duty. We shirk the calls demanding courage, diligence, sacrifice, and content ourselves by doing abundantly the things which are more immediately connected with our pride, our interest, or our pleasure. Here we are often condemned. Great principles are left out of our character, because they are difficult to acquire and maintain; great duties are ignored, because they mean heroism and suffering; great opportunities are forfeited, because they demand promptitude and resolution; great works are declined, because they involve consecration and sacrifice.

III. THE THINGS UNDONE ARE THINGS FOR WHICH WE MUST BE HELD RESPONSIBLE. We are often deeply concerned, as, indeed, we ought to be, with the things we have done amiss; but we are less troubled by the things left undone. Yet the negative side is as really sin as is the positive side. In these modern days it is rather fashionable for men of a certain type to stand quite aside from an active career. They are deeply impressed by the seriousness of life, by its difficulties, its mysteries; they decline, as far as may be, its relationships, its obligations, its trials, its honours, its sorrows. They will tell you that they have no gifts, no calling, no opportunity. But, however disguised, these lives are slothful and guilty. But most of us have somewhat of this slothful temper. True, we gloss with mild names this skirking of duty. We call it expediency, standing over, modesty, deliberation, forgetfulness, oversight; but it ought to be called sloth, hypocrisy, cowardice, sin. How much undone for God, for man, for our own perfecting! And as for the future, let us put into life more purpose, passion, and will. Let us be more definite, prompt, unflinching. Let us be at once more enthusiastic and more methodical.

(W. L. Watkinson.)

It was of
We must not suppose, of course, that God stepped in to produce, in the case of these Canaanites, a result which would not have accrued to them by the working out of the natural laws which He had instituted. God loved them as He loves the world. They were included in the propitiation of Christ. They might have been saved, as Rahab was. And when it is said that God hardened their hearts, we must understand that their hearts became hardened by sinning against their light, in accordance with that great principle which God has established, that if a man resists his convictions of right he becomes more inveterate in his sinful ways. God is thus said to do what is done by the working out of the laws of that moral universe which He has constituted. It is clear that the Canaanites knew that God was with Israel. Rahab said (Joshua 2:10, 11). And the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:10). There is no doubt, then, that throughout the land there had gone forth the fame of God; and when the kings flung their hosts in battle against Israel it was as it has always been (Psalm 2:2).

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

I remember one day, in our natural history class, the professor explained to us how sponges became flints. He had all his specimens arranged along his table. He took the soft sponge, elastic and flaccid, that could bend any way — beautifully soft and fine. Then he took the next one; it was not so flexible: and he went on, each one only a little more flinty than the former, till he had the flint. That had been a sponge; though now its heart was so hard that you could strike fire from it with a steel. The sponge will become flint. There are little silicious particles that gather in the soft sponge; and by and by the silex is deposited in the interstices of the sponge; and on it goes till the silica has the victory, and the sponge becomes flint. A wonderful sermon from science. I have had companions like that — young men with hearts, oh, so soft I at their first revival. Impressions went home to them; they had tears and anxiety; yet, as years have passed, the hardness of heart has increased, as with one whom I met recently, who, since then, has bolted to America with a heart of flint instead of a soft heart. As the days went by, hardness increased; the silicious particles of rejection of Christ multiplied in number, till the man became a reprobate. Perhaps you are in that position. As I am preaching from the presence of God it has no effect. You are hearing it, but it is going in at the one ear and out at the other. See to it that the judicial hardening of your heart does not overtake you, and you learn by experience the despair of a lost soul.

(J. Robertson.)

So Joshua took the whole land.

II. THEIR MOST SIGNAL VICTORIES ARE EVER INCOMPLETE. The whole land, yet not the whole (Joshua 8:1).


1. According to all that the Lord said unto Moses." This clause serves also to limit and explain the former. God had specially told Moses that the whole land should not be conquered too suddenly (Exodus 23:29, 30).

IV. THE INHERITANCE THUS GIVEN BY GOD SHOULD BE THE INHERITANCE OF ALL GOD'S PEOPLE. "Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes."


1. Rest after severe strife.

2. Rest only through faith and obedience.

3. Rest, but rest which still requires that they watch and pray.

4. Rest, which though but an imperfect pattern, should stand for a sure prophecy of the rest which is perfect, If we really enter into the rest of faith, it will be by that holy Spirit of promise, "which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession."

(F. G. Marchant.)

Amorites, Anakites, Canaanites, Debir, Gad, Gibeon, Hittites, Hivite, Hivites, Israelites, Jabin, Jebusites, Jobab, Joshua, Perizzites, Seir, Shimron, Zidon
Achshaph, Anab, Arabah, Ashdod, Baal-gad, Chinneroth, Debir, Gath, Gaza, Gibeon, Hazor, Hebron, Hermon, Madon, Merom, Misrephoth-maim, Mount Halak, Mount Hermon, Naphoth-dor, Negeb, Seir, Shimron, Sidon, Valley of Lebanon, Valley of Mizpeh
Arabah, Captured, Entire, Foothills, Goshen, Hill, Hill-country, Hills, Joshua, Lands, Low, Lowland, Mountain, Mountains, Negeb, Negev, Plain, Region, South, Taketh, Thus, Valley, Western
1. Diverse kings overcome at the waters of Merom
10. Hazor is taken and burnt
16. All the country taken by Joshua
21. The Anakims cut off
23. The land rests from war

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Joshua 11:16-17

     4254   mountains

Joshua 11:16-23

     5214   attack
     7258   promised land, early history

Caesarea. Strato's Tower.
The Arabian interpreter thinks the first name of this city was Hazor, Joshua 11:1. The Jews, Ekron, Zephaniah 2:4. "R. Abhu saith," (he was of Caesarea,) "Ekron shall be rooted out"; this is Caesarea, the daughter of Edom, which is situated among things profane. She was a goad, sticking in Israel, in the days of the Grecians. But when the kingdom of the Asmonean family prevailed, it overcame her, &c. R. Josi Bar Chaninah saith, What is that that is written, 'And Ekron shall be as a Jebusite?' (Zech
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

The Lake Samochonitis [Or Semechonitis. ]
In the Holy Scriptures it is the 'Water of Merom,' Joshua 11:5. In the Babylonian Talmudists it is 'The Sibbechean sea.' Hence is that, "Jordan ariseth out of the cave of Paneas, and flows into the Sibbechean sea." In the Jerusalem Talmudists, sometimes it is 'The sea of Cobebo,' as we have noted before; and sometimes 'The sea of Samaco'; whence in other languages it is 'Samachonitis.' "The lake Semechonitis is thirty furlongs in breadth, and sixty in length. The fens of it are stretched out unto
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

The First Chaldaean Empire and the Hyksos in Egypt
Syria: the part played by it in the ancient world--Babylon and the first Chaldaean empire--The dominion of the Hyksos: Ahmosis. Some countries seem destined from their origin to become the battle-fields of the contending nations which environ them. Into such regions, and to their cost, neighbouring peoples come from century to century to settle their quarrels and bring to an issue the questions of supremacy which disturb their little corner of the world. The nations around are eager for the possession
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 4

The Lake of Gennesaret; Or, the Sea of Galilee and Tiberias.
Jordan is measured at one hundred and twenty furlongs, from the lake of Samochonitis to that of Gennesaret. That lake, in the Old Testament, is 'The sea of Chinnereth,' Numbers 34:11, &c. In the Targumists, 'The sea of Genesar'; sometimes, 'of Genesor'; sometimes, 'of Ginosar': it is the same also in the Talmudists, but most frequently 'The sea of Tiberiah.' Both names are used by the evangelists; 'the lake of Gennesaret,' Luke 5:1; 'the sea of Tiberias,' John 21:1; and 'the sea of Galilee,' John
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

The Hardening in the Sacred Scripture.
"He hath hardened their heart."-- John xii. 40. The Scripture teaches positively that the hardening and "darkening of their foolish heart" is a divine, intentional act. This is plainly evident from God's charge to Moses concerning the king of Egypt: "Thou shalt speak all that I command thee; and I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply My signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not harken unto you, and I will lay My hand upon Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

The book of Joshua is the natural complement of the Pentateuch. Moses is dead, but the people are on the verge of the promised land, and the story of early Israel would be incomplete, did it not record the conquest of that land and her establishment upon it. The divine purpose moves restlessly on, until it is accomplished; so "after the death of Moses, Jehovah spake to Joshua," i. 1. The book falls naturally into three divisions: (a) the conquest of Canaan (i.-xii.), (b) the settlement of the
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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