Joshua 11:9
And Joshua did to them as the LORD bade him: he hamstrung their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire.
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(9) He houghed their horses.—In what particular way this was done we are not informed; we cannot, therefore, be certain whether it was done so as to destroy the lives of the horses, or merely to make them useless for purposes of warfare.

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.

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. No text from Poole on this verse. And Joshua did unto them as the Lord bade him,.... Namely, in the following instances:

he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire; not consulting his own worldly interest or that of the people of Israel, but the command of God, which he carefully obeyed, and reserved none for himself or them, as David in another case afterwards did; see 2 Samuel 8:4.

And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him: he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire.
9. he houghed their horses] “he kuttide the sinewis at the knee,” Wyclif. The command, to render the horses useless, was intended to lead Israel not to place its confidence in horses and chariots (Psalm 20:7; Psalm 147:10), and wisely incapacitated them from extending their conquests beyond the borders of Canaan. See Deuteronomy 17:16."Namely, with the Canaanites on the east and west, the Amorites" and other tribes dwelling upon the mountains (vid., Joshua 3:10), and "the Hivites under the Hermon in the land of Mizpah," i.e., the country below Hasbeya, between Nahr Hasbany on the east, and Merj. Ayn on the west, with the village of Mutulleh or Mtelleh, at present inhabited by Druses, which stands upon a hill more than 200 feet high, and from which there is a splendid prospect over the Huleh basin. It is from this that it has derived its name, which signifies prospect, specula, answering to the Hebrew Mizpah (see Robinson, Bibl. Res. p. 372).
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