Joshua 11:22
There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained.
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(22) Only in . . . Gath.-Goliath of Gath and his gigantic relatives (1 Samuel 17 and 2 Samuel 21) seem to have been a part of this remnant.

Joshua 11:22. Only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod — These were three cities of the Philistines, into which either some of the Anakims escaped, and there took shelter, or they had been there from ancient time, and the Israelites could not yet expel them. For they did not possess themselves of the country of the Philistines till the time of David, when we find some of these giants still there.

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.Gaza, Gath, Ashdod - See the Joshua 13:3 note. 17. from the mount Halak—Hebrew, "the smooth mountain."

that goeth up to Seir—an irregular line of white naked hills, about eighty feet high, and seven or eight geographical miles in length that cross the whole Ghor, eight miles south of the Dead Sea, probably "the ascent of Akrabbim" [Robinson].

unto Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon—the city or temple of the god of destiny, in Baalbec.

Three cities of the Philistines, to which they retired, and where we find some of them afterwards, 1 Samuel 17:4 2 Samuel 21:16; which may be one reason why the Israelites durst not make an attempt upon these places, though they were a part of their possession.

There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel,.... For those that escaped the sword fled elsewhere, particularly to the following places:

only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod there remained; that is, some of the Anakims or giants; these were three of the five principalities of the Philistines, and were never conquered and possessed by Israel, see Joshua 13:3; of the city of Gaza; see Gill on Amos 1:7; See Gill on Amos 1:8; and See Gill on Zephaniah 2:4; and of Gath; see Gill on Amos 6:2; Ashdod is the same with Azotus; see Gill on Acts 8:40, Mela says (h), the port of Azotus was a mart for the merchandises of Arabia, and was built on such an eminence, that from the top of it, at the fourth watch, might be seen the rising of the sun at the mountain Azotus; see"Who discomfited the right wing, and pursued them unto the mount Azotus.'' (1 Maccabees 9:15)this city held out a siege of twenty nine years against Psammitticus, king of Egypt; see Gill on Isaiah 20:1.

(h) De Situ Orbis, l. 1. c. 10.

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

(m) Out of which came Goliath, 1Sa 17:4.

22. only in Gaza] See above, Joshua 10:41.

in Gath] One of the five royal cities of the Philistines (Joshua 13:3; 1 Samuel 6:17), and the native place of the giant Goliath, who, though doubtless of the old stock of the Anakims (1 Samuel 17:4; 2 Samuel 21:18-20), is called a Philistine, shewing that in David’s time the two races had coalesced and become one. Gath occupied a strong position (2 Chronicles 11:8), on the border of Judah and Philistia (1 Samuel 21:10; 1 Chronicles 18:1) near Shoco and Adullam (2 Chronicles 11:8), and from its strength and resources formed the key of both countries.

and in Ashdod] Ashdod or Azotus (Acts 8:40) was situated about 30 miles from the southern frontier of Palestine, three from the Mediterranean Sea, and nearly midway between Gaza and Joppa. It was assigned to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:47), but was never subdued by the Israelites, and even down to Nehemiah’s age it preserved its distinctiveness of race and language (Nehemiah 13:23-24). It was the city of Dagon (1 Samuel 5:1-7), and against it, as against Gaza, the prophets often direct their denunciations (Jeremiah 25:20; Amos 1:8; Zephaniah 2:4; Zechariah 9:6).

Verse 22. - Only in Gaza. This statement is confirmed by what we afterwards read. In Gath especially (1 Samuel 17:4; 2 Samuel 21:18-22; 1 Chronicles 20:4-8, the last passage preserving the true text, which has become hopelessly corrupt in the second Book of Samuel) we find the race of giants remaining till David's time. But it had almost died out. Goliath and his brethren seem to have been regarded by the Philistines, as much as by the Hebrews, in the light of prodigies. It may be that the race deteriorated in size and strength, when driven from the mountain district. Gaza (Hebrew Azzah, as in Deuteronomy 2:23; 1 Kings 4:24; Jeremiah 25:20) was a stronghold of the Philistines. We first find it mentioned as the border of Canaan in Genesis 10:19. It was the scene of the exploits of Samson, related in Judges 16. It, with Gath, Ekron, Ashdod, and Ashkelon, formed the five Philistine lordships mentioned in Joshua 13:5. Gaza does not appear in the list of cities captured by David, although Gath does. Perhaps the strength of its position (Azzah signifies strength) may have enabled it to resist David and Solomon, whose dominions are said to have extended to, but not to have included, Azzah. We read little more of it in the Old Testament. Jeremiah says that Pharaoh smote it (Joshua 47:1); Amos and Zephaniah threatened it with punishment. It is mentioned in Acts 8:26 as a place of some importance. And it still exists, at about an hour's journey from the sea, and is now called Ghazzeh. (see also note on ver. 41). Gath. Also one of the five Philistine lordships. In David's time it had a king, with whom David took refuge (1 Samuel 21:10; 1 Samuel 27:2). It was afterwards conquered by David (2 Samuel 21:20; 1 Chronicles 18:1; 1 Chronicles 20:6). We find it in Solomon's jurisdiction, though under the government of one of its own royal family (1 Kings 2:39). Rehoboam fortified it (2 Chronicles 11:8). Hazael, the powerful king of Syria, wrested it from Jehoash, and was only bought air from assailing Jerusalem. Uzziah retook it once more (2 Chronicles 26:6). Hezekiah seems to have retained it (2 Kings 18:8). After this we hear no more of it. Modern travellers and commentators have identified it with Beit-Jibrin (the house of the mighty - perhaps a reminiscence of Goliath and his kindred), now Eleutheropolis (so Knobel). Others suppose it to be the Blanche Garde of the Crusaders, or Tell-es-Safieh, an opinion supported, among others, by Mr. J. L. Porter and Lieut. Conder. See, however, the note on Libnah, Joshua 10:29. Ashdod. Later Azotus, now Esdud. Here the ark was carried after the disastrous defeat related in 1 Samuel 4. It was conquered by Uzziah (no doubt it had formerly been reduced by David), who built forts to overawe it (2 Chronicles 26:6), but it fell into the hands of Sargon, king of Assyria, a little later (Isaiah 20:1). It is frequently mentioned by the prophets, and we find that Jonathan, the brother of Judas Maceabaeus, burnt the temple of Dagon there (1 Macc. 10:83, 84). It is mentioned as Azotus in Acts 8:40. Joshua 11:22In Joshua 11:21, Joshua 11:22, the destruction of the Anakites upon the mountains of Judah and Israel is introduced in a supplementary form, which completes the history of the subjugation and extermination of the Canaanites in the south of the land (Joshua 10). This supplement is not to be regarded either as a fragment interpolated by a different hand, or as a passage borrowed from another source. On the contrary, the author himself thought it necessary, having special regard to Numbers 13:28, Numbers 13:31., to mention expressly that Joshua also rooted out from their settlements the sons of Anak, whom the spies in the time of Moses had described as terrible giants, and drove them into the Philistine cities of Gaza, Bath, and Ashdod. "At that time" points back to the "long time," mentioned in Joshua 11:18, during which Joshua was making war upon the Canaanites. The words "cut off," etc., are explained correctly by Clericus: "Those who fell into his hands he slew, the rest he put to flight, though, as we learn from Joshua 15:14, they afterwards returned." (On the Anakim, see at Numbers 13:22.) They had their principal settlement upon the mountains in Hebron (el Khulil, see Joshua 10:3), Debir (see at Joshua 10:38), and Anab. The last place (Anab), upon the mountains of Judah (Joshua 15:50), has been preserved along with the old name in the village of Anb, four or five hours to the south of Hebron, on the eastern side of the great Wady el Khulil, which runs from Hebron down to Beersheba (Rob. Pal. ii. p. 193). "And from all (the rest of) the mountains of Judah, and all the mountains of Israel:" the latter are called the mountains of Ephraim in Joshua 17:15. The two together form the real basis of the land of Canaan, and are separated from one another by the large Wady Beit Hanina (see Rob. Pal. ii. p. 333). They received their respective names from the fact that the southern portion of the mountain land of Canaan fell to the tribe of Judah as its inheritance, and the northern part to the tribe of Ephraim and other tribes of Israel.

(Note: The distinction here made may be explained without difficulty even from the circumstances of Joshua's own time. Judah and the double tribe of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) received their inheritance by lot before any of the others. But whilst the tribe of Judah proceeded into the territory allotted to them in the south, all the other tribes still remained in Gilgal; and even at a later period, when Ephraim and Manasseh were in their possessions, all Israel, with the exception of Judah, were still encamped at Shiloh. Moreover, the two parts of the nation were now separated by the territory which was afterwards assigned to the tribe of Benjamin, but had no owner at this time; and in addition to this, the altar, tabernacle, and ark of the covenant were in the midst of Joseph and the other tribes that were still assembled at Shiloh. Under such circumstances, then, would not the idea of a distinction between Judah, on the one hand, and the rest of Israel, in which the double tribe of Joseph and then the single tribe of Ephraim acquired such peculiar prominence, on the other, shape itself more and more in the mind, and what already existed in the germ begin to attain maturity even here? And what could be more natural than that the mountains in which the "children of Judah" had their settlements should be called the mountains of Judah; and the mountains where all the rest of Israel was encamped, where the "children of Israel" were gathered together, be called the mountains of Israel, and, as that particular district really belonged to the tribe of Ephraim, the mountains of Ephraim also? (Joshua 19:50; Joshua 20:7; also Joshua 24:30.))

Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod were towns of the Philistines; of these Gaza and Ashdod were allotted to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:47), but were never taken possession of by the Israelites, although the Philistines were sometimes subject to the Israelites (see at Joshua 13:3). - With Joshua 11:23, "thus Joshua took the whole land" etc., the history of the conquest of Canaan by Joshua is brought to a close; and Joshua 11:23, "and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel," forms a kind of introduction to the second part of the book. The list of the conquered kings in Joshua 12 is simply an appendix to the first part.

The taking of the whole land does not imply that all the towns and villages to the very last had been conquered, or that all the Canaanites were rooted out from every corner of the land, but simply that the conquest was of such a character that the power of the Canaanites was broken, their dominion overthrown, and their whole land so thoroughly given into the hands of the Israelites, that those who still remained here and there were crushed into powerless fugitives, who could neither offer any further opposition to the Israelites, nor dispute the possession of the land with them, if they would only strive to fulfil the commandments of their God and persevere in the gradual extermination of the scattered remnants. Moreover, Israel had received the strongest pledge, in the powerful help which it had received from the Lord in the conquests thus far obtained, that the faithful covenant God would continue His help in the conflicts which still remained, and secure for it a complete victory and the full possession of the promised land. Looking, therefore, at the existing state of things from this point of view, Joshua had taken possession of the whole land, and could now proceed to finish the work entrusted to him by the Lord, by dividing the land among the tribes of Israel. Joshua had really done all that the Lord had said to Moses. For the Lord had not only promised to Moses the complete extermination of the Canaanites, but had also told him that He would not drive out the Canaanites at once, or "in one year," but only little by little, until Israel multiplied and took the land (Exodus 23:28-30; cf. Deuteronomy 7:22). Looking at this promised, therefore, the author of the book could say with perfect justice, that "Joshua took the whole land according to all that (precisely in the manner in which) the Lord had said to Moses." But this did not preclude the fact, that a great deal still remained to be done before all the Canaanites could be utterly exterminated from every part of the land. Consequently, the enumeration of towns and districts that were not yet conquered, and of Canaanites who still remained, which we find in Joshua 13:1-6; Joshua 17:14., Joshua 18:3; Joshua 23:5, Joshua 23:12, forms no discrepancy with the statements in the verses before us, so as to warrant us in adopting any critical hypotheses or conclusions as to the composition of the book by different authors. The Israelites could easily have taken such portions of the land as were still unconquered, and could have exterminated all the Canaanites who remained, without any severe or wearisome conflicts; if they had but persevered in fidelity to their God and in the fulfilment of His commandments. If, therefore, the complete conquest of the whole land was not secured in the next few years, but, on the contrary, the Canaanites repeatedly gained the upper hand over the Israelites; we must seek for the explanation, not in the fact that Joshua had not completely taken and conquered the land, but simply in the fact that the Lord had withdrawn His help from His people because of their apostasy from Him, and had given them up to the power of their enemies to chastise them for their sins. - The distribution of the land for an inheritance to the Israelites took place "according to their divisions by their tribes." מחלקות denote the division of the twelve tribes of Israel into families, fathers' houses, and households; and is so used not only here, but in Joshua 12:7 and Joshua 18:10. Compare with this 1 Chronicles 23:6; 1 Chronicles 24:1, etc., where it is applied to the different orders of priests and Levites. "And the land rested from war:" i.e., the war was ended, so that the peaceable task of distributing the land by lot could now be proceeded with (vid., Joshua 14:15; Judges 3:11, Judges 3:30; Judges 5:31).

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