Joshua 11:5
And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) The waters of Merom.—The most northerly of the three lakes on the course of the Jordan.

Joshua 11:5. These kings — pitched at the waters of Merom — A lake made by the river Jordan in the northern part of it, which was in the territory of the king of Shimron, near Hazor, Jabin’s royal city, and almost in the middle of these confederate kings.11:1-9 The wonders God wrought for the Israelites were to encourage them to act vigorously themselves. Thus the war against Satan's kingdom, carried on by preaching the gospel, was at first forwarded by miracles; but being fully proved to be of God, we are now left to the Divine grace in the usual course, in the use of the sword of the Spirit. God encouraged Joshua. Fresh dangers and difficulties make it necessary to seek fresh supports from the word of God, which we have nigh unto us for use in every time of need. God proportions our trials to our strength, and our strength to our trials. Joshua's obedience in destroying the horses and chariots, shows his self-denial in compliance with God's command. The possession of things on which the carnal heart is prone to depend, is hurtful to the life of faith, and the walk with God; therefore it is better to be without worldly advantages, than to have the soul endangered by them.Waters of Merom - i. e. "the upper waters," the modern Bahr el Huleh, the lake Semechonitis, or Samochonitis of Josephus. This lake occupies the southern half of the Ard el Huleh, a depressed basin some 15 miles long and 3 or 4 miles wide lying between the hills of Galilee on the west and the lower spurs of Hermon on the east. The size of the lake varies with the season, and the northern side of it ends in a large swamp. The shape of the lake is triangular, the point being at the south, where the Jordan, which enters it on the north, again quits it. There is a considerable space of tableland along the southwestern shore, and here probably the troops of Jabin and his confederates were encamped, preparing to move southward when Joshua and his army fell suddenly upon them. 4, 5. they went out, … as the sand that is upon the sea-shore in multitude—The chiefs of these several tribes were summoned by Jabin, being all probably tributary to the kingdom of Hazor. Their combined forces, according to Josephus, amounted to three hundred thousand infantry, ten thousand cavalry, and twenty thousand war chariots.

with horses and chariots very many—The war chariots were probably like those of Egypt, made of wood, but nailed and tipped with iron. These appear for the first time in the Canaanite war, to aid this last determined struggle against the invaders; and "it was the use of these which seems to have fixed the place of rendezvous by the lake Merom (now Huleh), along whose level shores they could have full play for their force." A host so formidable in numbers, as well as in military equipments, was sure to alarm and dispirit the Israelites. Joshua, therefore, was favored with a renewal of the divine promise of victory (Jos 11:6), and thus encouraged, he, in the full confidence of faith, set out to face the enemy.

The waters of Merom; a lake made by the river Jordan in the northern part of it, which was in the territory of the king of Shimron, or Shimron-meron, and near Hazor, Jabin’s royal city, and almost in the middle of these confederate kings. And when all those kings were met together,.... At some certain place, which Jabin had appointed:

they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom: Josephus (a) says it was at Berotha; perhaps it should be Merotha, a city of upper Galilee, not far from Cedesa, the same he elsewhere calls (b) Meroth, These waters are the same with the lake Samachonitis, on which Hazor was situated; so that it was near Jabin where the rendezvous was. This lake is thought (c) to have its name from the Arabic word "Samacha", which signifies high, as Merom does in Hebrew. It was, as Josephus says (d) thirty furlongs broad, and sixty long, and its waters clayish. Jerom says (e), in his time there was here a village called Merrus, twelve miles from the city Sebaste by Dothaim: here the kings and their armies met

to fight against Israel; so that they were the aggressors, which made the war still more lawful.

(a) Ibid. (Antiq. l. 5. c. 1. sect. 8.) (b) De Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 20. sect. 6. (c) Reland. Palestin. Illustrat. tom. 1. p. 262. (d) De Bello Jud. l. 4. c. 1. sect. 1. & l. 3. c. 9. sect. 7. (e) De loc. Heb. fol. 93. D.

And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. at the waters of Merom] i.e. “the Upper Waters;” the uppermost of the three lakes in the Jordan valley, called by the Greeks “Semechonitis,” or Samochonitis (Jos. Ant. 5:5. 1), and by the Arabs “Hûleh.” The lake is formed by the expansion of the descending Jordan, about 7 miles long by 5 in breadth, of a triangular shape, the point being at the south, where the Jordan, which enters it on the north, again quits it. It is surrounded by marshes and numberless streams bordered with thickets of papyrus. For the fullest and most graphic description of this lake, and the surrounding morasses, see Macgregor’s Rob Roy on the Jordan, xii.—xvii.Verse 5. - The waters of Merom. Robinson and the later travellers generally identify this with the Samochonitis (Joseph, Ant. 5:01; Bell. Jud. 3.9.7; 4.1.1), now Huleh. Keil and Delitzseh deny this, but it may be regarded as established, on the authority of Ritter, Vandevelde, Tristram, in short of all who have visited Palestine during the last thirty years. But its name, "the waters of height," would seem to answer to this, the highest of the inland lakes of Palestine. The Jordan runs through it, and it is also the reservoir for numerous other streams. "In the centre of this plain, half morass, half tarn, lies the uppermost lake of the Jordan" - the little lake Phiala excepted - "about seven miles long, and at its greatest width six miles broad, the mountains slightly compressing it at either extremity, surrounded by an almost impenetrable jungle of reeds, abounding in wild fowl, the sloping hills near it scoured by herds of gazelles" (Stanley, 'Sinai and Palestine,' p. 382). All these kings and their country Joshua took "once," i.e., in one campaign, which lasted, however, a considerable time (cf. Joshua 11:18). He was able to accomplish this, because Jehovah the God of Israel fought for Israel (see Joshua 10:14). After this he returned with the army to the camp at Gilgal (Jiljilia; cf. Joshua 10:15).
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