Yehoshua perek 11
When the kings living up north heard that all the powerful and mighty kingdoms that had tied to destroy the Jews were all defeated and destroyed, they stood in shock and awe and feared the worst. They knew all too well that they were next in line and decided to unite their combined forces before they, too, would suffer the same end.
Yovin the King of Chatzor organized the surrounding kings of the north to join him in battle. He made a pact with the surrounding kings which included Yovov the king of Modon, and the king of Shimron, the king of Achshof, including all the other kings who resided both in the north, in the plains, in the south, and in the west. This included the Emori, Chiti, Prusi, and Yevusi who all dwelled in the mountains. Also the Chti who dwelled at the foot of the Chermon mountain from where one has a beautiful view of the entire surroundings. Their army was now more numerous than the grains of sand at the seashore and their weapons included iron chariots as well as many mighty warriors on horseback. They all gathered together at the waters of Mayrom to do battle against the Jewish invaders.
“Do not fear them,” Hashem reassured Yehoshuah. “Tomorrow they will all be dead. However, when you capture their horses you must cripple them by cutting off the bottom part of their feet so they will never be able to be used in war again. You must also burn their chariots,” Hashem commanded him. Hashem wanted the Yidden to know that they would have absolutely no need for all these weapons and that He would be doing the fighting for them. In no way were they to ever put their faith and trust in the power of horses or chariots as unfortunately we often do.
Yehoshuah and his army came upon their enemy in a surprise attack as they were banked around the waters of Mayrom. Despite the unbelievable odds, Hashem delivered their enemies into their hands. They decimated their mighty warriors and gave chase to those who tried to flee, following them all the way Tzido Rabba, Misrefos Mayim, and Bikas Mitzpeh toward the east. They smote them down to the very last man, women, and child, leaving no living soul.
Yehoshuah now did as Hashem has commanded him, crippling their horses and burning their chariots. He then went back to capture their capital city of Chatzor as well as killing its king Kavin. He killed all its inhabitance and set the city afire burning it down to the ground.
Yehoshuah then went on to capture the other cities as well as their kings, completely decimating them as he had been commanded by Moshe the servant of Hashem. However, the only city which he burned was the capital city of Chatzor which had been the one who had organized the attack against the Jews. The Jews now plundered all the cities, taking all the gold and silver as well as the other treasures that they found there for themselves.
One by one, Yehosuah continued to do battle with the rest of the country’s many inhabitance. None of the tribes made any peace pact with the Jews except for the Givonim. That’s because Hashem strengthened their heart to fight the Jews so that they all ultimately be destroyed.
Yehoshua went on to destroy the giants who lived in the mountains as well as those living in Chevron, Devir, Anov, and in the mountains of Yehuda and the other surrounding mountains. There were no giants left except for those living in Azo, Gas, and Ashdot which lie next to the shores of the Mediterranean sea.
This perek gives us a summary of all the territory that the yidden captured both during the days of Moshe as well as in the days of Yehoshuah. This included…..
Yehoshuah had now reached a ripe old age, yet, there were still many parts of the country that had not been captured. This included much of the land down south and the land of the five Pelishti tribes. These were the Azosi, Ashdodi, Giti, Ekroni and the Avim.
The many wars went on for a period of seven years until Yehoshuah was commanded to start dividing the land among the Shevotim. This process took seven more years. The tribes of Reuven , Gad and part of Shevet Menashe had already received their territory on the other side of the Yarden. The former territory of Sichon which is on the Golan Heights was divided up between Reuven and Gad. Half of Shevet Menashe received the land of Og the King of Bashan who Moshe had killed some years earlier. This area is one of the most beautiful and scenic parts of the entire country and was recaptured by Israel toward the end of the Six-Day-War in June of 1967.
The Kohanim and leviyim received 48 cities which were scattered throughout the country. These cities were special cities known as the orei miklat – cities of haven for those who killed someone accidentally. Anyone who had accidentally killed someone could seek haven there from the blood-relatives who may have tried to avenge the murder. As long as one was in one of these cities, no person was permitted to kill him.
The division of the land was done by drawing lots in conjunction with the use of the Urim v’Tumim whose letters would light up. When they saw that the lots and the Urim V’tumim results matched, it was convincing evidence that this wasn’t just pot chance or luck but rather a heavenly message and therefore there could be no complaints and arguments.
Kalaiv reminded Yehoshuah of Moshe’s promise to him for not being influenced by the ten spies. He had been promised to recieve the city of Chevron containing the Meoras HaMachpela the holy buriel place of our Avos andImous While the city itself was an ir miklat, – a city of refuge, – the surrounding fields and mountains were given to Kalaiv who was the prince of Shevet Yehuda. The rest of the territory was given to Shevet Yehuda, who also received land down south as well as the city of Yerushalayim which they still were not able to capture at that time because of Avrhom’s promise to the Yevusi many centuries before.
Even though Kolev was now eighty five years old, he still had his youthful strength and was able to drive out the mighty giants who lived there. More about this later on.
The Shevet of Efrayim received the city of Shilo where the Mishkan would be set up and remain standing for 369 years. This city was destroyed in the time of Eli HaKohen. Today it has been rebuilt and is a beautiful place to visit. They even point out the place which they believe was where the Mishkan once stood. Their beautiful shul is built very similar to the way the Mishkan once looked and they have a beautiful large model of the Mishkan so that one can learn all about it.