New Defender's Study Bible Notes
11:2 Chinneroth. This was an older name for the Sea of Galilee and for one of the towns on its shore.
11:3 the Jebusite. The Jebusites were in and around Jerusalem, whereas Hermon was a mountain in the northern edge of Canaan. This northern confederation thus covered a wide geographical range and many city states, so that a very large army was arrayed against Joshua.
11:6 hough their horses. God did not want His people to come to rely on horses and war chariots in the future, as they might be tempted to do if they merely captured them as booty (Deuteronomy 17:16). Accordingly, Joshua did “hamstring” all the captured horses and burn the chariots (Joshua 11:9).
11:11 burnt Hazor. Archaeological studies have shown that Hazor was indeed the largest and strongest of the Canaanite cities at this time (Joshua 11:10), but that it had been destroyed several times and then rebuilt. Although the armies and occupants of these northern cities were all slain, evidently many who escaped or who had lived in the nearby villages did survive and were able to rebuild and continue to harass Israel for centuries. Hazor, along with Jericho and Ai, were the only cities destroyed by Joshua. The other conquered cities were simply taken over and occupied by the Israelites. (Joshua 11:13-14). Archaeological evidence has indeed confirmed that Hazor was destroyed and burned at a time corresponding to Joshua’s invasion of Canaan.
11:20 harden their hearts. The Lord did not want them to seek peace treaties with Israel, as Gibeon had done, so constrained them to aggressively fight against Israel (Joshua 11:5).
11:20 destroy them utterly. Many skeptics and liberals have charged Joshua (and God) with unnecessary cruelty and bloodthirstiness, for visiting such utter destruction on all these Amorites (or Canaanites). But it should be remembered that they had already had many centuries to repent of their extreme wickedness and cruelty (note Genesis 15:16), and had only grown worse. It was merciful for God to command their destruction before they could (as they would, and did) contaminate others. At least their infants, who had not yet committed these sins, and had not yet rejected the true God as their parents had, would be spared future lives of licentious evil and cruelty by dying young.
11:22 none of the Anakims. All the giant Anakims, who had so frightened the earlier generation of Israelites (Numbers 13:31-33), were as easily defeated by Joshua as the other Canaanites, with the exception of those along the lower seacoast, nearest Egypt.
11:22 in Gath. Gath was one of just three cities where some of the families of giants among the Anakim survived, and it was from Gath that Goliath, the giant killed by David over three hundred years later, had come (I Samuel 17:4).