Dave Burnette's Commentary

Joshua Chapter 11

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Joshua 
Date Penned: (1406-1370 BC)
Overview: A Record of Israel in the Promised Land (c 1-24)
Theme: Conquering the Promised Land (c 5-12)
Message: Joshua Attacks the Northern Kings (v 1-23)

Joshua 11 Commentary

(11-5) A Large Adversary - Two kings of Hazor were named Jabin. The other is mentioned in Judges 4:2. The Jabin of this story was quite powerful because he was able to build an alliance with dozens of kings. By all appearances, Jabin had a clear advantage over Joshua and his outnumbered forces, however, those who honor God can be victorious regardless of the odds.

(11:10-13) Israel Burns Hazor - Victorious invaders usually kept captured cities intact, moving into them and making them centers of commerce and defense. We see this, for example, in Moses' prediction that the Israelites would occupy cities they themselves had not built (Deuteronomy 6:10-12). Joshua, however, burned Hazor. As a former capital of the land, Hazor symbolized the wicked culture that Israel had come to destroy. In addition, its capture and destruction broke the backbone of the federation and weakened the resistance of the people of Canaan.

(11:15) Joshua Follows God's Details - Joshua followed every detail of God's commands to Moses. Completing someone else's project is usually difficult, but Joshua stepped into Moses role, building upon what Moses had started, and brought it to completion. A new person starting a new role usually brings a new style and personality to that position. But the church or any other organization cannot work effectively if every change of personnel means starting from scratch. Wise incoming leaders will step in and continue or complete good work that others have begun.

(11:15) Joshua Follows God's Instruction - Joshua carefully obeyed all the instructions given by God. This theme of obedience is repeated frequently in the book of Joshua. Obedience is one aspect of life that each individual believer can control. We can't always control our perception of circumstances or events because we may not have all the facts. We can't control what other people do or how they treat us. We can, however, control our choice to obey God. Whatever new challenges we may face, the Bible contains relevant instructions that we can choose to ignore or choose to follow.

(11:18) God's Timing - The conquest of much of the land of Canaan seems to have happened quickly (we can read about it in one sitting), but it actually took seven years. We often expect quick changes in our lives and quick victories over sin. But our journey with God is a lifelong process, and the changes and victories may take time. We can grow impatient with God and feel like giving up hope because things are moving too slowly. When we are close to a situation, seeing progress is difficult. But when we look back, we can see that God has never stopped working.

(11:21-22) The Anakims - The Anakims were the tribes of giants the Israelite spies described when they gave their negative report on the Promised Land (Numbers 13-14). This time the people did not let their fear of the giants prevent them from engaging in battle and claiming the land God had promised them.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Doing Our Part

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Joshua with Chapter 11 and we see the Lord again giving Joshua and the nation of Israel victory over the Northern Kings. What catches my attention is this great display of power and domination in the total team effort of the Israel defeating its enemies. Out numbered, out sized and over matched we see the Lord granting victory every step of this 7 years of overtaking this land. In making application we see the Lord giving victory to Israel as individuals due their part in serving the Lord. We as Christians do not have to do it all - but rather - do our obedient part in the work of the Lord. It reminds me of why the Lord established His Church. Now the Body of Christ can Minister to the whole world. As the Body is obedient -  the work of the Lord is accomplished. How about you? Do you see you part in the Body to Minister to others? Let us learn from today's text and do our part, being obedient in the work of the Lord.   


Joshua 11

Joshua 11

 1And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor had heard those things, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph,

 2And to the kings that were on the north of the mountains, and of the plains south of Chinneroth, and in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on the west,

 3And to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh.

 4And they went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many.

 5And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.

 6And the LORD said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them: for to morrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire.

 7So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly; and they fell upon them.

 8And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them unto great Zidon, and unto Misrephothmaim, and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, until they left them none remaining.

 9And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him: he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire.

 10And 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.

 11And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire.

 12And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded.

 13But as for the cities that stood still in their strength, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only; that did Joshua burn.

 14And all the spoil of these cities, and the cattle, the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves; but every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, neither left they any to breathe.

 15As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.

 16So Joshua took all that land, the hills, and all the south country, and all the land of Goshen, and the valley, and the plain, and the mountain of Israel, and the valley of the same;

 17Even from the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir, even unto Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon under mount Hermon: and all their kings he took, and smote them, and slew them.

 18Joshua made war a long time with all those kings.

 19There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all other they took in battle.

 20For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.

 21And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities.

 22There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained.

 23So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.