Joshua 11:8
And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them to great Zidon, and to Misrephothmaim, and to the valley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, until they left them none remaining.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(8) Misrephoth-maim is thought to be the same with Zarephath or Sarepta, now Sarafend, near Sidon.

Joshua 11:8. Great Zidon — A great city in the northwest part of Canaan, upon the sea. Misrephoth-maim — A place not far from Zidon, supposed to be so called from the salt or glass which they made there. Valley of Mizpeh — Under mount Hermon, as appears by comparing this with verses

3 and 17, where it seems to be called the valley of Lebanon. This lay on the east, as Zidon did on the west; and so it seems they fled several ways, and the Israelites also divided themselves into two bodies, one pursuing east, and the other west.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.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.

8. they left none remaining—of those whom they overtook. All those who fell into their hands alive were slain. Zidon, a great and famous city in the north-west part of Canaan, and upon the sea.

Misrephoth-maim, a place not far from Zidon, supposed to be so called from the salt or glass which they made there. The valley of Mizpeh, under Mount Hermon, as appears by comparing this with Joshua 11:3,17, where it seems to be called the valley of Lebanon. This lay on the east, as Zidon did on the west; and so it seems they fled several ways, and the Israelites also divided themselves into two bodies, one pursuing east, and the other west. And the Lord delivered them into the hand of Israel,.... The whole host, who either were killed or wounded, or put to flight: it was of the Lord that Israel was directed to make so quick a march, and come upon them so suddenly, and that they were off their guard, and unprovided for them, and so fell into their hands:

who smote them; with the edge of the sword killed and wounded great numbers; and the rest fleeing, they

chased them unto great Zidon; not that there was another Zidon called the less, as Kimchi and Ben Melech thought there seemed to be, and which also Jerom (i) suggests; but this was so called because of its greatness, the large extent of it, and the abundance of wealth and riches in it: Curtius says (k), it was renowned for its antiquity and the fame of its buildings; and Mela says (l), that before it was conquered by the Persians, it was the greatest of the maritime cities, though now greatly reduced: Mr Maundrell (m) says of it,"Sidon is stocked well enough with inhabitants but is very much shrunk from its ancient extent, and more from its splendour, as appears from a great many beautiful pillars that lie scattered up and down the gardens without the present walls:''it lay, according to Strabo, not more than two hundred furlongs from Tyre (n), or twenty five miles: it was more ancient than that, which is called the daughter of it: Homer speaks much of Sidon, as the same writer observes, but not a word of Tyre: Josephus (o) thinks it had its name from Sidon, the firstborn of Canaan, and that he built it, Genesis 10:15; but Justin says (p) it had its name from the plenty of fishes there: and Tzaid in the Chaldee and Syriac languages signifies fishing and a fisherman: hence Bethsaida, a city mentioned in the New Testament, Matthew 11:21, had its name; and Sidon is at this day called Said, and is now in the hands of the Turks: and though it was a part of the land of Canaan, and belonged to the tribe of Asher, never was conquered and possessed by them, but remained an Heathen city to the time of Christ:

and unto Misrephothmaim, or "boilings of water", it seems as if it was a place of hot baths, but the Targum renders it "pits of water", which Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Melech say, were pits into which the salt waters of the sea were drawn, and where they were heated by the sun, and made salt of; and so it is thought this was a place of salt pits, where salt was boiled, either by the heat of the sun or by fire (q): Junius and Tremellius render the word by "glass furnaces", furnaces in which glass was made; and it is certain, that at Sidon, and near it, within the borders of which this place was, Joshua 13:6; glass was made: Pliny (r) calls Sidon the artificer of glass, or a city where glass was made: and Strabo says (s), that between Ace and Tyre is a shore which bears glassy sand, but they say it is not melted there, but carried to Sidon to be melted; and some say the Sidonians have a glassy sand fit for melting: Calmet (t) thinks this place is the same with Sarepta, Luke 4:26; which had its name from melting: of what construction the furnaces were in this place cannot be said, no doubt great improvement has been since made (u):

and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward, and they smote them, until they left them none remaining; the same with the valley of Lebanon; now as Sidon lay northwest and this was eastward, it seems that the armies of the Canaanites, in their consternation and confusion, fled some to the west and some to the east, who were pursued by different bodies of the army of Israel, separated for that purpose.

(i) De loc. Heb. fol. 92. B. (k) Hist. l. 4. c. 1. 4. (l) De Situ Orbis, l. 1. c. 12. (m) Journey from Aleppo, &c. p. 45. (n) Geograph. l. 16. p. 521. (o) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 2.((p) E Trogo, l. 19. c. 3.((q) Vid. Adrichom. Theatrum Terrae Sanct. sect. p. 2.((r) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 19. (s) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 16. p. 521.) (t) Dictionary on this word. (u) Vid. Merrett de Fornac. Vitriar. p. 421, &c.

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

(e) Which signifies hot waters, or according to some, brine pits.

8. and chased them] The rout was complete, and the fugitives seem to have divided into three parts—

(a) unto great Zidon] One party took the road north-west over the mountains above the gorge of the Leontes “to Sidon,” or, as it is distinguished here and in Joshua 19:28, “the great Sidon,” as being the metropolis of Phœnicia. This it had ceased to be before the reign of David, by which time its sister city Tyre had eclipsed it in splendour, and taken the first place amongst the cities of Phœnicia. At the present day Sidon, Saida, is again larger than Tyre. The former contains 5000 or 6000 inhabitants and many large houses built of stone, whereas the present Sur is nothing but a market town, the houses of which are little more than huts.

(b) unto Misrephoth-maim] A second party took the road, west, and south-west, to Mizrephoth-maim, which is interpreted either (i) as “the warm springs,” or (ii) “the salt-pits,” or (iii) “the smelting-pits by the waters,” the glass-houses, of which there were several in the neighbourhood of Sidon.

(c) and unto the valley of Mizpeh] A third party fled eastward unto the Buka’a or “valley” of Mizpeh at the foot of Hermon. The eastward direction is spoken of in reference to Sidon.

and they smote them] But wherever they fled, they were hotly pursued by the Israelites, who captured their cities one by one, put the inhabitants to death, and carried away the booty and cattle.Verse 8. - And the Lord delivered them (see Joshua 10:42). The issue of every battle is in God's hands. The natural man attributes it to human skill. The spiritual man, whether under the law or under the gospel, acknowledges the truth that "there is no restraint to the Lord, to save by many or by few" (1 Samuel 14:6). But if victory should ever side with numbers, if God appears not to "defend the right," it is that anxiety and sorrow may chasten the hearts of its upholders, lead them to "crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts," and so conduct them to a final victory when they are fitted to resist the intoxication of prosperity. Many a lesson in history has taught us that immediate success is by no means a blessing, even to those who are in the main fighting for a good cause. Great Zidon. So called, not to distinguish it from any other city, but to mark (so also Joshua 19:28) its importance as the capital of Phoenicia. This expression, "great Zidon," marks the early date of the Book of Joshua. In Homer's Iliad, Sidon is represented as the great home of the arts, though the historian Justin tells us that, even when Homer wrote, her superiority had passed to Tyre (see II. 6:290, 23. 743; Odyssey 4:618, 13:285, 15:425. Homer speaks of it as "well peopled," famous for "much brass" and the like (see Kenrick's 'Phoenicia'). In later years, Tyre, known only to the Book of Joshua as "the strong (literally, 'fortified') city." Tyre (Joshua 19:29) outstripped her rival, and from the time of David till that of Alexander the Great, in spite of her destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, retained her pre-eminence (see the vivid description of Tyre in Ezekiel 26, 27.). Sidon, now called Saida, is still a commercial city of some importance, whereas Tyre is, or was, a few years ago, little better than a collection of huts. This is not difficult to explain. The pre-eminence of Tyre was due to her military strength in a time of warlike enterprise, that of Sidon to natural, position. "This ancient city of Phoenicia, 'the eldest born of Canaan'" (see Genesis 10:15), "stood on the northwest slope of a small promontory which runs into the sea, and its original harbour was formed by three low ridges of rocks, with narrow openings between them parallel to the shore in front of the city. On these islands there are remains of massive substructions, the work of the ancient Phoenicians. There is a spacious but unprotected bay on the south of the promontory .... No traces of the ancient city can be seen on the mainland, but at a short distance to the north are sepulchral grottoes, which probably mark the necropolis." The plain of Sidon is prolonged as far as Sarepta, the Zarephath of the Old Testament, eight miles to the south, which stands on a rising ground near the sea, and shows the remains of ancient walls (Kenrick, 'Phoenicia,' pp. 17, 18). Misrephoth Maim. Literally, burnings of waters. Kimchi conjectures that these were hot springs, whereas Jarchi more reasonably supposes them to have been salt pits, in which the water was evaporated and the salt left. Masius, whom most modern commentators follow, thinks that glass houses, of which there were several near Sidon ("constat enim eas apud Sidonem fuisse plurimas"), are meant. But it is difficult to translate the Hebrew with him and Gesenins, "burning near waters," and the idea of some that water stands here for glass is absurd. Knobel regards it as equivalent to water-heights, i.e., cliffs rising from the sea, and derives the word from an Arabic root, saraph, to be high. The LXX. renders it by a proper name. Symmachus, "from the sea," reading מִיַּם for מַיִם. The Chaldee has "fossas aquarum." Misrephoth Maim (see Joshua 13:6) was not far from Sidon. Valley. The word here, Bik'a, signifies an open, wide valley between mountains (see ver. 17). Sometimes, as in Genesis 11:2, it is equivalent to plain. Jabin also allied himself with the kings of the north "upon the mountains," i.e., the mountains of Naphtali (Joshua 20:7), and "in the Arabah to the south of Chinnereth" (Joshua 19:35), i.e., in the Ghor to the south of the sea of Galilee, and "in the lowland," i.e., the northern portion of it, as far down as Joppa, and "upon the heights of Dor." The town of Dor, which was built by Phoenicians, who settled there on account of the abundance of the purple mussels (Steph. Byz. s. v. Δῶρος), was allotted to the Manassites in the territory of Asher (Joshua 17:11; cf. Joshua 19:26), and taken possession of by the children of Joseph (1 Chronicles 7:29). It was situated on the Mediterranean Sea, below the promontory of Carmel, nine Roman miles north of Caesarea, and is at the present time a hamlet called Tantura or Tortura, with very considerable ruins (Wilson, The Holy Land, ii. 249, and V. de Velde, Journey, i. p. 251). The old town was a little more than a mile to the north, on a small range of hills, which is covered with ruins (Ritter, Erdk. xvi. pp. 608-9; V. de Velde, Mem. p. 307), and on the north of which there are rocky ranges, with many grottos, and houses cut in the rock itself (Buckingham, Syria, i. pp. 101-2). These are "the heights of Dor," or "the high range of Dor" (Joshua 12:23; 1 Kings 4:11).
Joshua 11:8 Interlinear
Joshua 11:8 Parallel Texts

Joshua 11:8 NIV
Joshua 11:8 NLT
Joshua 11:8 ESV
Joshua 11:8 NASB
Joshua 11:8 KJV

Joshua 11:8 Bible Apps
Joshua 11:8 Parallel
Joshua 11:8 Biblia Paralela
Joshua 11:8 Chinese Bible
Joshua 11:8 French Bible
Joshua 11:8 German Bible

Bible Hub

Joshua 11:7
Top of Page
Top of Page