Beginning of the End

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Home at Last

This chapter is based on Joshua 10:40-43; 11; 14 to 22.

The victory at Beth Horon was quickly followed by the conquest of southern Canaan. “Joshua conquered all the land—the mountain country and the South and the lowland. ... All these kings and their land Joshua took at one time, because the Lord God of Israel fought for Israel.” BOE 254.1

Terrified at the success of Israel’s armies, the tribes of northern Palestine now entered into a alliance against them. “So they went out, they and all their armies with them.” This army was much larger than any that the Israelites had come up against before in Canaan—“as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots. And when all these kings had met together, they came and camped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel.” BOE 254.2

Again Joshua received a message of encouragement: “Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow about this time will I deliver all of them slain before Israel.” BOE 254.3

Near Lake Merom he attacked the camp of the allies, and “the Lord delivered them into the hand of Israel, who defeated them and chased them ... until they left none of them remaining.” At the command of God the chariots were burned and the horses lamed, making them unfit for battle. The Israelites were not to put their trust in chariots or horses, but “in the name of the Lord their God.” BOE 254.4

One by one the cities were taken, and Hazor, the stronghold of the enemy alliance, was burned. The war continued for several years, but at its close Joshua was master of Canaan. “Then the land rested from war.” BOE 254.5

The power of the Canaanites had been broken, but they had not been fully driven out. However, Joshua was not to continue the war. The whole land, both the parts already conquered and what was still not defeated, was to be divided among the tribes. Each tribe then had the duty to fully conquer its own inheritance. If the people were faithful to God, He would drive out their enemies in front of them. BOE 254.6

The location for each tribe was determined by casting lots. Moses himself BOE 254.7

had set the borders of the country as it was to be divided among the tribes, and he had appointed a prince from each tribe to oversee the distribution. Forty-eight cities in various parts of the country were assigned to the Levites as their inheritance. BOE 255.1