Joshua 11:10
And 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.
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Joshua 11:10. The king — In his royal city, to which he fled out of the battle. Head of those kingdoms — Not of all Canaan, but of all those who were confederate with him in this expedition.11:10-14 The Canaanites filled up the measure of their iniquity, and were, as a judgment, left to the pride, obstinacy, and enmity of their hearts, and to the power of Satan; all restraints being withdrawn, while the dispensations of Providence tended to drive them to despair. They brought on themselves the vengeance they justly merited, of which the Israelites were to be executioners, by the command the Lord gave to Moses.One portion of the defeated host fled north-westward toward Zidon; the other northeastward up the Ard el Huleh.

Zidon, as the metropolis of various subject towns and territories, appears Joshua 19:28 to have been afterward assigned to Asher, but was not, in fact, conquered by that tribe Judges 1:31. It is mentioned in Egyptian papyri of great antiquity, and by Homer, and was in the most ancient times the capital of Phoenicia. In later times it was eclipsed by Tyre (compare 2 Samuel 5:11). The prophets frequently couple Tyre and Sidon together, as does also the New Testament (Isaiah 23:2, Isaiah 23:4,Isaiah 23:12; Jeremiah 27:3; Jeremiah 47:4; Matthew 11:22; Matthew 15:21, etc.).

Both the site and signification of Misre-photh-maim are uncertain. Some have thought it identical with "Zarephath which belongeth to Zidon" 1 Kings 17:9, the Sarepta of the New Test. The name is explained by some (see the margin) as meaning hot springs; by others as salt pits; i. e. pits where the sea water was evaporated for the sake of its salt; and again by others as "smelting factories near the waters." Some, tracing the word to quite another root, render it "heights of waters," or copious springs.

9. Joshua did unto them as the Lord bade him—(See Jos 11:6). Houghing the horses is done by cutting the sinews and arteries of their hinder legs, so that they not only become hopelessly lame, but bleed to death. The reasons for this special command were that the Lord designed to lead the Israelites to trust in Him, not in military resources (Ps 20:7); to show that in the land of promise there was no use of horses; and, finally, to discourage their travelling as they were to be an agricultural, not a trading, people. Smote the king thereof; either in the former battle, though it be mentioned here; or rather in his royal city, to which he fled out of the battle.

The head of all those kingdoms; not of all Canaan, but of all those who were confederate with him in this expedition. And Joshua at that time turned back and took Hazor,.... After he had chased the Canaanites to the places mentioned, he returned to Hazor, near to which Joshua first fell upon them, but through the pursuit he was led on many miles beyond it: Bunting says (w), it was thirty two miles from Sidon:

and smote the king thereof with the sword; who, very probably, upon the surprise at the waters of Merom, fled to his capital for safety; but that being taken by Joshua, he was slain by him with the sword:

for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms; before mentioned, Joshua 11:1; but not of all the land of Canaan: Jerom (x) says, it was the metropolis of all the kingdoms of the Philistines; and though they were not now subject to it, and had kings of their own, yet it appears that the king of this place was in great authority, and regard was paid unto him; and this seems to be the reason why Joshua hasted to take this city, slay the king of it, and burn it with fire, because it had been the principal in this war, and might, if not prevented, raise new troubles; wherefore, as a precaution to that, and to deter the rest, he hastened the conquest and destruction of it.

(w) Travels, p. 96. (x) De loc. Heb. fol. 88. B.

And 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.
10. turned back] Far over the western hills Joshua pursued the flying hosts before he “turned back,” and took Hazor, and because of its prominence as the chief city of these petty northern kingdoms, burned it with fire.Verse 10. - Turned back. From his march toward Sidon. For Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms (see note on ver. 1). These came out with their armies, a people as numerous as the sand by the sea-shore (vid., Genesis 22:17, etc.), and very many horses and chariots. All these kings agreed together, sc., concerning the war and the place of battle, and encamped at Merom to fight against Israel. The name Merom (Meirm in the Arabic version) answers to Meirm, a village whose name is also pronounced Meirm, a celebrated place of pilgrimage among the Jews, because Hillel, Shammai, Simeon ben Jochai, and other noted Rabbins are said to be buried there (see Robinson, Pal. iii. p. 333), about two hours' journey north-west of Szafed, upon a rocky mountain, at the foot of which there is a spring that forms a small brook and flows away through the valley below Szafed (Seetzen, R. ii. pp. 127-8; Robinson, Bibl. Res. pp. 73ff.). This stream, which is said to reach the Lake of Tiberias, in the neighbourhood of Bethsaida, is in all probability to be regarded as the "waters of Merom," as, according to Josephus (Ant. v. 1, 18), "these kings encamped at Berothe (de. Bell. Jude 20.6, and Vit. 37, 'Meroth'), a city of Upper Galilee, not far from Kedese."

(Note: The traditional opinion that "waters of Merom" is the Old Testament name for the Lake of Samochonitis, or Huleh, is not founded upon any historical evidence, but is simply an inference of Hadr. Reland (Pal. Ill. p. 262), (1) from the statement made by Josephus (Ant. v. 5, 1), that Hazor was above the Lake of Somochonitis, it being taken for granted without further reason that the battle occurred at Hazor, and (2) from the supposed similarity in the meaning of the names, viz., that Samochonitis is derived from an Arabic word signifying to be high, and therefore means the same as Merom (height), though here again the zere is disregarded, and Merom is arbitrarily identified with Marom.)

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