Joshua 11:16
So 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;
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Joshua 11:16. All that land — Of Canaan, whose parts here follow. The hill — Or, the mountain, that is, the mountainous country, namely, of Judea. A considerable part of Judea was called the hilly or the mountainous country, Luke 1:39; Luke 1:65. The south country — That is, not only the mountainous part, but all the country of Judea, which lay in the southern part of Canaan, and often comes under the name of the south. The vale — The low countries. The plain — The fields, or campaign grounds. The mountain of Israel — It is very uncertain whether the mountainous country of Israel, in general, be meant by this expression, or whether a particular place be not rather intended. Many think it probable that Beth-el is meant, where God appeared to Jacob as he went to Padan-Aram, and promised to give him this land, (Genesis 28:11,) and where he dwelt, by God’s direction, after his return; where God appeared to him again, repeated the same promise, and changed his name from Jacob to Israel, Genesis 35:1; Genesis 35:9-10.11:15-23 Never let the sons of Anak be a terror to the Israel of God, for their day to fall will come. The land rested from war. It ended not in a peace with the Canaanites, that was forbidden, but in a peace from them. There is a rest, a rest from war, remaining for the people of God, into which they shall enter, when their warfare is accomplished. That which was now done, is compared with what had been said to Moses. God's word and his works, if viewed together, will be found mutually to set each other forth. If we make conscience of our duty, we need not question the performance of the promise. But the believer must never put off his armour, or expect lasting peace, till he closes his eyes in death; nay, as his strength and usefulness increase, he may expect more heavy trials; yet the Lord will not permit any enemies to assault the believer till he has prepared him for the battle. Christ Jesus ever lives to plead for his people, and their faith shall not fail, however Satan may be permitted to assault them. And however tedious, sharp, and difficult the believer's warfare, his patience in tribulation may be encouraged by the joyfulness of hope; for he will, ere long, rest from sin and from sorrow in the Canaan above.Render: "But the cities standing each on its own hill" (compare Jeremiah 30:18). The meaning is simply that, with the exception of Hazor, Joshua did not burn the cities, but left them standing, each on its former site. This site is spoken of as a hill, because such was the ordinary site chosen for cities in Canaan (compare Matthew 5:14). 16. So Joshua took all that land—Here follows a general view of the conquest. The division of the country there into five parts; namely, the hills, the land of Goshen, that is, a pastoral land near Gibeon (Jos 10:41); the valley, the plains and the mountains of Israel, i. e., Carmel, rests upon a diversity of geographical positions, which is characteristic of the region. All that land, of Cannaan, whose parts here follow. The hill, or, the mountain, i.e. the mountainous country, to wit, of Judea, as may seem,

1. Because in the following enumeration he begins in the south parts, where there was an eminent mountain, Numbers 13:17.

2. Because a considerable part of Judea was called the hilly or the mountainous country, Luke 1:39,65, which is not likely to be omitted in this particular description of the land; the rather because Hebron, one of the places taken by Joshua, Joshua 10:36,37 was in the mountain of Judah, Joshua 20:7.

3. Because this is here distinguished from the mountain of Israel, and therefore most likely to be the mountain of Judah, especially if you compare this with Joshua 10:21, where having mentioned the mountain in general, from which Joshua cut off the Anakims, he comes to particularize, and names only two, all the mountain of Judah, and all the mountain of Israel. All the south country, i.e. not only the mountainous part, but all the country of Judea, which lay in the southern part of Canaan, and oft comes under the name of the south, as Numbers 13:22,29 21:1 Joshua 10:40 18:5, &c. the land of Goshen; of which see Joshua 10:41. The vale; the low countries.

The plain; the fields or champaign grounds.

The mountain of Israel; either,

1. Some one particular and eminent mountain, possibly the hill of Samaria, mentioned 1 Kings 16:24; or rather,

2. The mountains or mountainous country of Israel. See the second note on this verse. The vale of the same, i.e. of Israel. So Joshua took all that land,.... The whole land of Canaan, described as follows, both as to the southern and northern parts of it:

the hills; the hill country of Judea, of which see Luke 1:39,

and all the south country; where lived the five kings; and those of other places, the account of the taking of which we have in the preceding chapter, Joshua 10:40,

and all the land of Goshen; see Joshua 10:41,

and the valley, and the plain; the low places and campaign fields which lay between the hills and mountains; particularly all the plain and campaign country near Eleutheropolis, towards the north and west, Jerom says, in his day, was called "Sephela", or "the vale" (a):

and the mountain of Israel, and the valley of the same; by which may be meant Jerusalem, situated on a mountain, and is so called, Ezekiel 17:23; and its valley may be the valley of Hinnom or of Jehoshaphat, as they were after called, which were near it: some think the hill of Samaria or the mountains about that are meant.

(a) De loc. Heb. fol. 94. M.

So 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 {i} mountain of Israel, and the valley of the same;

(i) That is, Samaria.

16–20. General Retrospect of the Conquest of Palestine

16. So Joshua took] The sacred writer pauses to survey and sum up the conquests of the Israelitish leader.

the hills] The country is contemplated under a sevenfold division, (i) the cities; (ii) the south country; (iii) the land of Goshen (comp. Joshua 10:41); (iv) the valley; (v) the plain; (vi) the mountain of Israel; (vii) the valley of the same.Verse 16. - All that land. Rather, "all this land ;" the land, that is, which has been spoken of in all the previous narrative. It must not be pressed to mean the utter destruction of all the Canaanites, and the undisturbed possession of the country. The hills. The mountain country of Judah, in the south. The same word is translated "mountain" immediately afterwards, to the confusion of the sense, which contrasts the mountains of Israel with the mountains of Judah (see ver. 21). This would seem at first sight to lead to the conclusion that the Book of Joshua was composed after the jealousy between Judah and the rest of Israel had sprung up in the time of David (see 2 Samuel 19:41-48). But Dr. Edersheim has suggested another explanation. Judah, he says (see Joshua 14:6; Joshua 15:1), entered upon their inheritance, while the other tribes were still in Gilgal. In the same way Mount Ephraim is so called because it was given to that tribe, and occupied by them shortly after. While as the remaining seven tribes remained without their inheritance (Reuben and Gad as well as Manasseh and Ephraim being now provided for), the rest of the mountains were known as the mountains of Israel. This explanation is ingenious, but hardly satisfactory. Ephraim (see Judges 8:1, 2; Judges 12:1) early acquired a preponderance over the other tribes. We should therefore expect a threefold division of the mountain district, the mountains of Judah, of Joseph, and of Israel, especially as Ephraim was the next after Judah to enter upon its inheritance. The internal evidence seems to prove that the Book of Joshua was written by one of the tribe of Judah, or by a Levite residing within the borders of that tribe. Perhaps this affords the best explanation, but is quite possible that the whole mountain district of Palestine is here meant. The south. The Negeb, or dry country (see Joshua 10:40). The valley. The Shephelah, or lowlands (see note on Joshua 9:1). This must have extended from Gaza northward to Joppa, while the Shephelah of Israel mentioned immediately below must be the lowland tract from Joppa to Mount Carmel. The plain. The Arabah (see note on Joshua 3:16). And the valley of the same. Rather, his (i.e., Israel's) lowland. After destroying the foe, and returning from the pursuit, Joshua took Hazor, smote its king and all the inhabitants with the edge of the sword, and burned the town, the former leader of all those kingdoms. He did just the same to the other towns, except that he did not burn them, but left them standing upon their hills. על־תּלּם העמחות (Joshua 11:13) neither contains an allusion to any special fortification of the towns, nor implies a contrast to the towns built in the valleys and plains, but simply expresses the thought that these towns were still standing upon their hill, i.e., upon the old site (cf. Jeremiah 30:18 : the participle does not express the preterite, but the present). At the same time, the expression certainly implies that the towns were generally built upon hills. The pointing in תּלּם is not to be altered, as Knobel suggests. The singular "upon their hill" is to be taken as distributive: standing, now as then, each upon its hill. - With Joshua 11:15, "as Jehovah commanded His servant Moses" (cf. Numbers 33:52.; Deuteronomy 7:1., Deuteronomy 20:16), the account of the wars of Joshua is brought to a close, and the way opened for proceeding to the concluding remarks with reference to the conquest of the whole land (Joshua 11:16-23). דּבר הסיר לא, he put not away a word, i.e., left nothing undone.
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