20 For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, that [Israel] might [a]destroy them utterly, and that without favor and mercy, as the Lord commanded Moses.
21 Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim [large in stature] from the hill country: from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah and the hill country of Israel. Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities.
22 None of the Anakim were left in the land of the Israelites; only in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod [of Philistia] did some remain.
Joshua 11:20“Infidels say that it seems wholly inconsistent with what we should suppose to be the merciful character of God that He should thus command whole nations to be destroyed by the sword... [But] when we see juries in our own country bringing in a verdict of guilty, the judge pronouncing the sentence of death, and that sentence executed, we do not complain that there is anything unjust in the act. These Canaanites are proved to have polluted and stained the land with [intolerable] crimes; it was merely the holy Judge [the Lord] pronouncing the sentence on flagrant criminals and [Joshua] the righteous governor executing that sentence to the letter. It was not an act of arbitrary or private revenge, but the execution of the sentence of retributive justice, and as such had perhaps as great mercy to the innocent as justice to the guilty” (John Cumming, cited by James C. Gray and George M. Adams, Bible Commentary).
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