Why did God tell Joshua to hamstring horses?

Joshua 11:6

The LORD said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid of them, because by this time tomorrow I will hand all of them over to Israel, slain. You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots."


One reason for God's command could have been to keep the Israelites from using the horses and chariots in their future battles and then attributing their success to having the horses and chariots, instead of attributing it to God. The Israelites probably didn't have any horses at the time:

Armies with cavalry would obviously have an advantage over armies that didn't.

Throughout Israel's history, God wanted them to trust in him, not in themselves or their military strength1. He deliberately used a weak, small army to show his power on other occasions, most notably with Gideon (Judges 7:2-8).


Footnotes

1. Joshua 24:12, Isaiah 30:15-16, 31:1, Psalms 33:16-19 (Back to article)


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