Joshua 11:8

And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them unto great Zidon, and unto Misrephothmaim, and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, until they left them none remaining.

And the Lord delivered them into the hand of Israel,.... The whole host, who either were killed or wounded, or put to flight: it was of the Lord that Israel was directed to make so quick a march, and come upon them so suddenly, and that they were off their guard, and unprovided for them, and so fell into their hands:

who smote them; with the edge of the sword killed and wounded great numbers; and the rest fleeing, they

chased them unto great Zidon; not that there was another Zidon called the less, as Kimchi and Ben Melech thought there seemed to be, and which also Jerom {i} suggests; but this was so called because of its greatness, the large extent of it, and the abundance of wealth and riches in it: Curtius says {k}, it was renowned for its antiquity and the fame of its buildings; and Mela says {l}, that before it was conquered by the Persians, it was the greatest of the maritime cities, though now greatly reduced: Mr Maundrell {m} says of it,

"Sidon is stocked well enough with inhabitants but is very much shrunk from its ancient extent, and more from its splendour, as appears from a great many beautiful pillars that lie scattered up and down the gardens without the present walls:''

it lay, according to Strabo, not more than two hundred furlongs from Tyre {n}, or twenty five miles: it was more ancient than that, which is called the daughter of it: Homer speaks much of Sidon, as the same writer observes, but not a word of Tyre: Josephus {o} thinks it had its name from Sidon, the firstborn of Canaan, and that he built it,

Genesis 10:15; but Justin says {p} it had its name from the plenty of fishes there: and Tzaid in the Chaldee and Syriac languages signifies fishing and a fisherman: hence Bethsaida, a city mentioned in the New Testament, Matthew 11:21, had its name; and Sidon is at this day called Said, and is now in the hands of the Turks: and though it was a part of the land of Canaan, and belonged to the tribe of Asher, never was conquered and possessed by them, but remained an Heathen city to the time of Christ:

and unto Misrephothmaim, or "boilings of water", it seems as if it was a place of hot baths, but the Targum renders it "pits of water", which Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Melech say, were pits into which the salt waters of the sea were drawn, and where they were heated by the sun, and made salt of; and so it is thought this was a place of salt pits, where salt was boiled, either by the heat of the sun or by fire {q}: Junius and Tremellius render the word by "glass furnaces", furnaces in which glass was made; and it is certain, that at Sidon, and near it, within the borders of which this place was, Joshua 13:6; glass was made: Pliny {r} calls Sidon the artificer of glass, or a city where glass was made: and Strabo says {s}, that between Ace and Tyre is a shore which bears glassy sand, but they say it is not melted there, but carried to Sidon to be melted; and some say the Sidonians have a glassy sand fit for melting: Calmet {t} thinks this place is the same with Sarepta, Luke 4:26; which had its name from melting: of what construction the furnaces were in this place cannot be said, no doubt great improvement has been since made {u}:

and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward, and they smote them, until they left them none remaining; the same with the valley of Lebanon; now as Sidon lay northwest and this was eastward, it seems that the armies of the Canaanites, in their consternation and confusion, fled some to the west and some to the east, who were pursued by different bodies of the army of Israel, separated for that purpose.

{i} De loc. Heb. fol. 92. B.
{k} Hist. l. 4. c. 1. 4.
{l} De Situ Orbis, l. 1. c. 12.
{m} Journey from Aleppo, &c. p. 45.
{n} Geograph. l. 16. p. 521.
{o} Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 2.
{p} E Trogo, l. 19. c. 3.
{q} Vid. Adrichom. Theatrum Terrae Sanct. sect. p. 2.
{r} Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 19.
{s} Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 16. p. 521.)
{t} Dictionary on this word.
{u} Vid. Merrett de Fornac. Vitriar. p. 421, &c.