Joshua 11:18 MEANING

Joshua 11:18
(18) A long time.--See Note on Joshua 14:10. The war seems to have lasted seven years, a long time when compared with the desultory incursions and single campaigns which made up the greater part of ancient warfare, when there were no standing armies.

Verse 18. - A long time. Hebrew, many days. The campaign in southern Israel lasted for weeks, perhaps even months. But the campaign in northern Palestine must have lasted longer. The vast host which gathered at the waters of Merom was destroyed, but the task of capturing the innumerable cities which dotted that region must have been a protracted one. We may, with Josephus, infer from Joshua 14:10 that it occupied five years, or perhaps, with other of the ancient Rabbis, seven years, since the wanderings in the wilderness after the rebellion of the Israelites lasted thirty-eight years.

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.Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. For, though the account of the conquest of them is put together, and lies in a small compass, yet those victories were not obtained at once, or in a few days, as were those of the five kings, and others, related in the preceding chapter, Joshua 10:10; but were the work of some years; Josephus (b) says five years, but the common notion of the Jews is, that Joshua was seven years in subduing the land of Canaan (c); our Bishop Usher (d) thinks it was done in six years; and it may be concluded that it was about six or seven years ere this work was completely finished.

(b) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 1. sect. 19. (c) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 11. p. 31. (d) Annal. Vet. Test. p. 39, 40.

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