The Canaanite on the east, etc. - Those who dwelt on the borders of Jordan, south of the sea of Tiberias.
On the west - Those were the Phoenicians who dwelt on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, from Dor northwards, on the way to Mount Libanus. - Calmet.
The Hivite under Hermon - Mount Hermon was to the east of Libanus and the fountains of Jordan; it is the same with Syrion and Baal Hermon in Scripture.
The land of Mizpeh - There were several cities of this name: one in the tribe of Judah, ( Joshua 15:38;); a second in the tribe of Benjamin, ( Joshua 18:26;); a third beyond Jordan, in the tribe of Gad; and a fourth beyond Jordan, in the tribe of Manasseh, which is that mentioned in the text. See Wells's Geography. Calmet supposes this Mizpeh to be the place where Laban and Jacob made their covenant, and from which circumstance it took its name. See Genesis 31:48, Genesis 31:49.
Hermon - See Deuteronomy 3:9 note.
The land of Mizpeh - or Mizpah,” the land of the watch-tower” The locality is probably identified as a plain stretching at the foot of Hermon southwestward, from Hasbeya, toward the Bahr el Huleh. In a land abounding in striking points of view like Palestine, the name Mizpah was naturally, like “Belle Vue” among ourselves, bestowed on many places. The Mizpeh here mentioned must not be confounded with the Mizpeh of Gilead (Joshua 13:26, and Judges 11:29); nor with the Mizpeh of Judah Joshua 15:38; nor yet with that of Moab 1 Samuel 22:3.
The victory at Beth-horon was speedily followed by the conquest of southern Canaan. “Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale.... And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the Lord God of Israel fought for Israel. And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp at Gilgal.” PP 510.1
The tribes of northern Palestine, terrified at the success which had attended the armies of Israel, now entered into a league against them. At the head of this confederacy was Jabin, king of Hazor, a territory to the west of Lake Merom. “And they went out, they and all their hosts with them.” This army was much larger than any that the Israelites had before encountered in Canaan—“much people, even as the sand that is upon the seashore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many. And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.” Again a message of encouragement was given to Joshua: “Be not afraid because of them: for tomorrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel.” PP 510.2
Near Lake Merom he fell upon the camp of the allies and utterly routed their forces. “The Lord delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them ... until they left them none remaining.” The chariots and horses that had been the pride and boast of the Canaanites were not to be appropriated by Israel. At the command of God the chariots were burned, and the horses lamed, and thus rendered unfit for use in battle. The Israelites were not to put their trust in chariots or horses, but “in the name of the Lord their God.” PP 510.3
One by one the cities were taken, and Hazor, the stronghold of the confederacy, was burned. The war was continued for several years, but its close found Joshua master of Canaan. “And the land had rest from war.” PP 510.4Read in context »