1. FORMIDABLE FOES
a. What happened to southern Canaan soon after the victory at Beth-horon? Joshua 10:40–43.
“The victory at Beth-horon was speedily followed by the conquest of southern Canaan.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 510.
b. What did the kings of northern Palestine do when they heard of the success obtained by the Hebrew nation? Joshua 11:1–5.
“The tribes of northern Palestine, terrified by 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.”—Ibid.
2. VICTORIES FOR THE FAITHFUL
a. What should we observe from the way the Lord encouraged Joshua and again intervened for His faithful people? Joshua 11:6–8. What can we learn from this?
“Near Lake Merom [Joshua] fell upon the camp of the allies and utterly routed their forces.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 510.
“God will do marvelous things for those who trust in Him. It is because His professed people trust so much to their own wisdom, and do not give the Lord an opportunity to reveal His power in their behalf, that they have no more strength. He will help His believing children in every emergency if they will place their entire confidence in Him and implicitly obey Him.”—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 163.
“The faith of the consecrated worker is to stand every test brought to bear upon it. God is able and willing to bestow upon His servants all the strength they need and to give them the wisdom that their varied necessities demand. He will more than fulfill the highest expectations of those who put their trust in Him.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 242.
b. What was done with the horses and chariots of the conquered army? Why? Joshua 11:9; Psalm 20:7–9.
“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.’”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 510.
c. Unlike at Jericho, what was Israel to do with the doomed cities, livestock, and spoil? How faithful were they in following God’s directions? Joshua 11:10–14.
“One by one the cities were taken, and Hazor, the stronghold of the confederacy, was burned.”—Ibid., p.510.
3. REACHING THE GOAL ASSIGNED
a. What summarizes Joshua’s procedure in the conquest of Canaan? Joshua 11:18, 19.
“The war was continued for several years, but its close found Joshua master of Canaan.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 510, 511.
b. When the Lord had promised to rid Canaan of all the wicked nations that dwelt therein, what plan had He put before the Israelites? Against what danger had He cautioned them? Deuteronomy 7:21, 22.
c. Despite all the bloodshed in these conquests, what was the Almighty’s goal for the overall benefit of humanity? Deuteronomy 7:23–26. What reveals that God also called for a pause in this violent task? Joshua 11:23.
“That which corrupts the body tends to corrupt the soul. It unfits the user for communion with God, unfits him for high and holy service.
“In the Promised Land the discipline begun in the wilderness was continued under circumstances favorable to the formation of right habits. The people were not crowded together in cities, but each family had its own landed possession, ensuring to all the health-giving blessings of a natural, unperverted life.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 280.
“Though the power of the Canaanites had been broken, they had not been fully dispossessed. On the west the Philistines still held a fertile plain along the seacoast, while north of them was the territory of the Sidonians. Lebanon also was in the possession of the latter people; and to the south, toward Egypt, the land was still occupied by the enemies of Israel.
“Joshua was not, however, to continue the war.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 511.
4. A NECESSARY TASK
a. Who had fixed the borders of the land in advance? To whom had the division of the land been entrusted? Numbers 34:1, 2, 13, 17, 18.
“There was another work for the great leader to perform before he should relinquish the command of Israel. The whole land, both the parts already conquered and that which was yet unsubdued, was to be apportioned among the tribes. And it was the duty of each tribe to fully subdue its own inheritance. If the people should prove faithful to God, He would drive out their enemies from before them; and He promised to give them still greater possessions if they would but be true to His covenant.
“To Joshua, with Eleazar the high priest, and the heads of the tribes, the distribution of the land was committed, the location of each tribe being determined by lot. Moses himself had fixed the bounds of the country as it was to be divided among the tribes when they should come in possession of Canaan, and had appointed a prince from each tribe to attend to the distribution.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 511.
b. How was the location of each tribe to be determined, and what rule was to be followed respecting the size of each one? Numbers 26:54–56.
c. What inheritance did the Levites receive? Numbers 18:20, 21; 35:1–3, 7, 8.
“The appointed ministers of the sanctuary, the Levites received no landed inheritance; they dwelt together in cities set apart for their use, and received their support from the tithes and the gifts and offerings devoted to God’s service. They were the teachers of the people, guests at all their festivities, and everywhere honored as servants and representatives of God. To the whole nation was given the command: ‘Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth.’ ‘Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance.’ Deuteronomy 12:19; 10:9.”—Education, pp. 148, 149.
5. NO EXCUSES
a. What claim did the children of Joseph make because of their numbers, and how did Joshua respond? Joshua 14:4, 5; 17:14–18.
“In consideration of their superior numbers, these tribes [Ephraim and Manasseh] demanded a double portion of territory. The lot designated for them was the richest in the land, including the fertile plain of Sharon; but many of the principal towns in the valley were still in possession of the Canaanites, and the tribes shrank from the toil and danger of conquering their possessions, and desired an additional portion in territory already subdued. The tribe of Ephraim was one of the largest in Israel, as well as the one to which Joshua himself belonged, and its members naturally regarded themselves as entitled to special consideration. ‘Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit,’ they said, ‘seeing I am a great people?’ But no departure from strict justice could be won from the inflexible leader.
“His answer was, ‘If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if Mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee.’
“Their reply showed the real cause of complaint. They lacked faith and courage to drive out the Canaanites. . . .
“Being a great people, as they claimed, they were fully able to make their own way, as did their brethren. With the help of God they need not fear the chariots of iron.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 513, 514.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What should give us courage when faced with a foe bigger than we have ever experienced?
2. What “chariots and horses” might I be leaning on too heavily in my life?
3. Although God told Joshua to conquer Canaan, why did He give a pause?
4. What was promised to each tribe if they would be true to the covenant?
5. How was the spirit of Joshua different from those among his tribe?