Defeating the Northern Cities
1 King Jabin of Hazor heard about everything that had happened. So he decided to call together the armies of several kings. He sent a message to King Jobab of Madon to the king of Shimron, to the king of Acshaph, 2 and to the kings of the north in the hill country and in the desert. Jabin sent the message to the kings of the Kinnereth,* Kinnereth The area near the Sea of Galilee. the Negev, and the western foothills. He also sent the message to the king of Naphoth Dor in the west. 3 Jabin sent the message to the kings of the Canaanites in the east and in the west. He sent the message to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, and Jebusites living in the hill country. He also sent the message to the Hivites living below Mount Hermon near Mizpah. 4 So the armies of all these kings came together. There were many fighting men and many horses and chariots. It was a very large army—it looked as if there were as many men as grains of sand on the seashore.
5 All these kings met together at the small river of Merom. They joined their armies together into one camp and made plans for the battle against Israel.
6 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Don’t be afraid of that army, because I will allow you to defeat them. By this time tomorrow, you will have killed them all. You will cut the legs of the horses and burn all their chariots.”
7 So Joshua and his whole army surprised the enemy and attacked them at the river of Merom. 8 The LORD allowed Israel to defeat them. The army of Israel defeated them and chased them to Greater Sidon, Misrephoth Maim, and the Valley of Mizpah in the east. The army of Israel fought until none of the enemy was left alive. 9 Joshua did what the LORD said to do; he cut the legs of their horses and burned their chariots.
10 Then Joshua went back and captured the city of Hazor and killed its king. (Hazor was the leader of all the kingdoms that fought against Israel.) 11 The army of Israel killed everyone in that city and completely destroyed all the people. There was nothing left alive. Then they burned the city.
12 Joshua captured all these cities and killed all their kings. He completely destroyed everything in these cities—just as Moses, the LORD’S servant, had commanded. 13 But the army of Israel did not burn any cities that were built on hills. The only city built on a hill that they burned was Hazor. This is the city Joshua burned. 14 The Israelites kept for themselves all the things and all the animals they found in the cities. But they killed all the people there. They left no one alive. 15 Long ago the LORD commanded his servant Moses to do this. Then Moses commanded Joshua to do this. So Joshua obeyed God. He did everything that the LORD had commanded Moses.
16 So Joshua defeated all the people in that whole area. He had control over the hill country, the Negev, all the area of Goshen, the western foothills, the Jordan Valley, and the mountains of Israel and all the hills near them. 17 Joshua had control of all the land from Mount Halak near Seir to Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon. He captured all the kings in that land and killed them. 18 Joshua fought against them for many years. 19 Only one city in all the land made a peace agreement with Israel. That was the Hivite city of Gibeon. All the other cities were defeated in war. 20 The LORD made those people feel brave enough to fight against Israel. This was so that Israel could destroy them completely without mercy just as the LORD had commanded Moses to do.
21 The Anakites lived in the hill country in the area of Hebron, Debir, Anab, and Judah. Joshua fought them and completely destroyed all the people and their towns. 22 There were no Anakites left living in the land of Israel. The only Anakites who were left alive were in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod. 23 Joshua took control of the whole land of Israel as the LORD had told Moses long ago. The Lord gave that land to Israel as he promised. And Joshua divided the land among the tribes of Israel. Finally, the fighting ended and there was peace in the land.
*11:2 Kinnereth The area near the Sea of Galilee.