Dividing the spoils after a war or battle was a very common practice. Livestock, precious metals, clothing, and even people could be taken as spoils. These things were considered gifts from the victor’s gods. In the case of the Israelites, they were considered gifts from the Lord. All gifts were to be shared with allies no matter how much or how little they helped in winning the victory.
A manslayer was a person who unintentionally took another person’s life. Such a person could flee to a “city of refuge” (20:1–6) for safety until his case was heard. The term “manslayer” corresponds to the modern use of the term “manslaughter” for unintentional killing.
Bethlehem? There are actually two places called Bethlehem in the Bible. The town where Ruth lived and where Jesus was born was about 5 miles (8 km) south of Jerusalem. The one mentioned in 19:15 was about 7 miles (11 km) northwest of Nazareth, the town where Jesus spent his childhood years.
Megiddo was the site of many important OT battles. It was a walled city that guarded the main road that linked Egypt and Syria. Its setting made Megiddo a strategic military stronghold. In John’s visions in Revelation, Megiddo represents the global combat zone where the final battle between Christ and Satan will be fought. The word Armageddon means “Mount Megiddo” (Zech. 12:11; Rev. 16:16).
Anakim were apparently a race of very tall people, descended from Anak. After the Israelites conquered Canaan, many of the Anakim took up residence with the Philistines. Because of this, many assume that Goliath was descended from the Anakim.
Mount Hermon (13:5) represented the northern boundary of the Promised Land. At over 9,000 feet (2,743 m), its snowy peak and thick forests were home to leopards and lions.
How long did it take to conquer Canaan? Though the brevity of Joshua’s account may make it seem like a swift military campaign, the conquest of Canaan probably took about seven years.