Joshua 13:1 seems to contradict Joshua 11:15. Can you please explain how these 2 passages can be reconciled? Thank you!

Answer:

One verse states that Joshua did all that was commanded of Moses. The other verse states that as Joshua grew only, a large part of the land remained unconquered. How do these two verses go together?

One possibility, based on Judges 3:1, is that although Joshua did everything he could in obeying the instructions given him by Moses, this was nonetheless insufficient to conquer the land, the reason being that God wished to leave behind some of the nations of Canaan, who would present the nation of Israel with a spiritual trial.

Another possibility is that although at the time of 11:15 (the first verse) Joshua had not strayed at all from the instructions he was given, he was later found somewhat failing in conquering the remaining parts of the land. Malbim writes, based on Chazal, that he believed that he would not die until the conquest of the land was complete, and he was therefore not diligent in completing the conquest.

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