Conquest of the Land

The Israelites had entered into a covenant with God. That covenant defined who they were and it defined their relationship with the Lord. It also outlined certain promises which God had given to them.

m The promise of a multiplied nation.

m The promise of a blessing from the Lord.

m The promise of a land.

The nation had been multiplied in Egypt. But now was the time for the promise of the land to be fulfilled. The good news was that God was going to give them the land. The bad news is that He had given it to someone else, first. They would have to fight for that land. Joshua 6-12 relates the account of that fight.

This section is made up of three major campaigns, followed by a summary. The fact that there is such a summary statement seems to indicate that there were other campaigns conducted by Joshua, but that only these three are chosen for this narrative.


Central Campaign


Victory through Faith



Defeat through Sin




Southern Campaign




Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, Eglon

The Sun & Moon Stand Still


Northern Campaign

Hazor, Madon, Shimron, Achshaph

Surprise attack by the Waters of Merom



"There was not a city that made peace"

"It was of the Lord to harden their hearts"



1. The City of Jericho.

As the Jordan River nears the Dead Sea, the river valley widens to a width of about 10 miles. On the western edge of this wide valley lies the ancient city of Jericho.

The site of the Old Testament city is a mound rising up 50 feet above the surrounding bedrock of the southern Jordan valley (Jericho is 825 feet below sea level). It is located about 10 miles to the NNW of the mouth of the Dead Sea and directly west of fords which make it possible to cross the Jordan except during the rainy season.

There is a natural spring known as Ain es-Sultan which originally attracted settlers to this site. This oasis gave the city its nickname, "City of Palm Trees."

The city was fairly small (only 6 acres), but held a strategic position at the hub of four major roads radiating outward to Bethel, Jerusalem, Hebron, and westward to the fords across the Jordan.

Archaeology digs have been conducted by...

a. Austro-German archaeologists Ernst Sellin and Deutsche Orientgesellschaft from 1907-1909.

b. John Garstang from 1930-1936.

He found scarabs of Hatshepsut, Thutmoses 3 and Amenhotep 3 in a cemetery at Jericho, indicating that the city was intact in the period from 1450 to 1400 B.C. (a scarab of Hatshepsut would have been especially rare).

c. Kathleen Kenyon, director of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem from 1952-1958.

She disagreed with the dates assigned by Garstang (her tendency was to deny any correlation between archaeology and the Bible).

The following history was outlined by Garstang for the city of Jericho.




Neolithic occupation (prior to 4500 B.C.). Already at this time the city was defended by a wall 12 feet high and 6 feet wide.


Chalcolithic occupation saw a number of successive cities (4500-3000 B.C.).

City A

3000 B.C.

City B

Founded around 2500 B.C.

Destroyed in 1700 B.C.

City C

Hyksos period.

Larger than its predecessors.

High walls and a moat.

Destroyed around 1500 B.C., presumably by pharaohs of the 18th Dynasty.

City D

Constructed around 1500 B.C.

Double wall system with a space of 12-15 feet between the walls.

Walls were about 30 feet high.

City only comprised about 6 acres.

Evidence of violent destruction - outer wall has fallen down the slope.

City E

Constructed in 860 B.C. (1 Kings 16:34).

The city was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.

The city was eventually abandoned and the New Testament city of the same name was built at a nearby location.

2. Instructions to March around the City.

The first battle within the Promised Land is one which the Lord Himself would fight, completely apart from the strength of the Israelites.

The instructions given to Joshua were limited to marching orders. I can't help but to think that the Israelites might have been tempted to think they were a bit foolish for merely marching around the city each day and then going home. But they obeyed the word of the Lord. This is what obedience is all about. Obeying even when you do not see the reason for it.

3. The Falling of Jericho's Walls.

So the people shouted, and priests blew the trumpets, and it came about, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, that the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20).

No siege engines were needed to take this city. The Lord brought the walls down. Some have speculated that an earthquake was involved (the area is prone to earthquakes). But the passage does not mention any such additional phenomenon. It merely says that the walls fell.

This was no small breach in the wall. These walls fell in such a way so that every Israelite warrior surrounding the city could go straight into the city.

4. The Destruction of the City.

And they burned the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. (Joshua 6:24).

How could a good God do such terrible things to the city of Jericho? Our sensitivities are offended by this account. What is the answer? We must be very careful in judging a different culture by 20th century standards. Life was harsh in those days. The standards were different.

There are several fallacies which we have bought into and which need to be dispelled.

Margaret Mead was an anthropologist who wrote about the nobility of the savages of New Guinea She described them as wonderful, gentle people without guilt or harshness. But this has since been revealed to be completely false. The primitive aborigines were brutal and harsh.

The culture of Jericho was equally harsh. They would murder their children in religious orgies by throwing their screaming bodies into flames of fire. They were a plague on the landscape.

We are idolaters. We think of a god of our own making and we put him up on a shelf and take him down to worship him once in a while. Spiro Agnew once said, "The vice president is like adding maternity benefits to social security - it's there but you don't need it." We look at God that way. He is there but we don't need Him. And that is blasphemy.

God had given a prophecy of the judgment of the Amorites in Genesis 15:15-16. He said that judgment would be a long time coming because "the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full." God waited until the badness of the people of Canaan had reached its maximum limits.

God told His people to destroy everything in the land because He knew that if they didn't, it wouldn't be long before they were infected with the same sin. Sin is a cancer. It spreads.



If Jericho was a great victory for the Israelites, then Ai marked their first defeat under Joshua's command.

1. The Sin of Achan.

But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the Lord burned against the sons of Israel. (Joshua 7:1).

God had said that everything in Jericho was to be burned as a sacrifice to Him. Nothing was to be taken from it. The entire city was to be a first fruit offering to Him.

But Achan decided to take some of the valuables for himself. Verse 21 says that he took an ornate Babylonian robe along with some silver and gold. By doing so, Achan was transferring his allegiance and his love from Israel to Jericho - from God to gold.

Notice that the passage says that "the anger of the Lord burned against the sons of Israel." The stolen treasures were supposed to be burned as a sacrifice to the Lord. And when the sacrifice was withheld, that "burning anger" which would have been appeased in the sacrifice was now directed toward the people of Israel.

This is a picture of Jesus. HE is the perfect sacrifice who has appeased the anger of God (we call this doctrine "propitiation"). Without the sacrifice of Jesus, we are left to face God's anger.

There is a lesson here. It is a dangerous thing to rob God. Achan was killed for it. And so were Ananias and Saphira in the New Testament. In both cases, their sin was an attempt to rob the Lord and then to hide their sin and lie about it.

2. The City of Ai.

The city of Ai is always found in the Hebrew with the definite article, "the heap" or "the ruin." Joshua 7:2 indicates that Ai was "east of Bethel."

3. Israel's Defeat at Ai.

Ai was so small that it was considered to be not worth the mobilization of the entire force of the Israelites. The spies who went in and observed it advised that only a token force of 2000 to 3000 men would be needed to take the city.

And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six of their men, and pursued them from the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent, so the hearts of the people melted and became as water. (Joshua 7:5).

Instead of fighting the city of Ai by the power of the Lord, they had tried to take the city according to their own strength. This was a mistake.

3. The Prayer of Joshua.

And Joshua said, "Alas, O Lord God, why didst Thou ever bring this people over the Jordan, only to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been willing to dwell beyond the Jordan!" (Joshua 7:7).

These words sound familiar. The Israelites had said the same thing to Moses by the edge of the Red Sea. This time, it is Joshua who is saying it. He was discouraged (remember all those times he had been warned to be strong and courageous?). But at least, in his discouragement, he went to the right One. And the Lord was faithful to answer his prayer.

So the Lord said to Joshua, "Rise up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face? Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived. Moreover, they have also put them among their own things." (Joshua 7:10-11).

Notice the corporate nature of sin. God doesn't single out Achen. He considers the enter nation to be guilty. Here is the principle. Your sin affects others. There is no such thing as a solitary sin.

This is why church discipline is so important. Sin is a cancer that infects the entire body. It must be cut out.

4. The Execution of Justice.

Armed with this information, Joshua used a system of casting lots to determine the guilty party. In this instance, the lot fell upon Achan and a search of his tent revealed the stolen goods.

And Joshua said, "Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day." And all Israel stoned them with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones. (Joshua 7:25).

This punishment seems unduly harsh. This guy and his family are put to death for stealing a few tidbits. The problem is that we have an inadequate view of justice.

Here is the principle. In the midst of the battle, you cannot afford the luxury of leniency. Treason is bad at any time. But it is worse when you are fighting for your life. We are fighting for ETERNAL life.

And they raised over him a great heap of stones that stands to this day, and the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the valley of Achor to this day. (Joshua 7:26).

There is a play on words here. The phrase in verse 25, "Why have you troubled us?" is literally "why have you ACHORED us?" He goes on to say the "the Lord will trouble you this day (ACHOR). And so, the valley was given the name, the Valley of Trouble (ACHOR). This valley is mentioned in a prophecy given by the prophet Hosea. It is a prophecy of HOPE.

"Then I will give her vineyards from there,

And the valley of Achor as a door of hope.

And she will sing there as in the days of her youth,

As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt." (Hosea 2:15).

God is talking about the same place. He promises to make the Valley of Achor a Valley of Hope. There is a lesson here. It is that there is no sin that is so horrible that God cannot take it and make it into a Valley of Hope.

5. Second Campaign at Ai.

Now the Lord said to Joshua, "Do not fear or be dismayed. Take all the people of war with you and arise, go up to Ai; see, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land." (Joshua 8:1).

We are given more details on the military strategy of the taking of Ai than any other battle in Canaan. Joshua's plans are careful and detailed.

There is a reason for this. It is because Joshua knew that it is always harder to reclaim lost ground. Once you have been defeated, it is always harder to win that victory.

When I was a lot younger, I used to be able to do handstands on a high bar. One of the most impressive parts was a dismount in which I would bring my legs over the bar and then fall backwards, swinging out and doing a flip in the air before landing on my feet.

I was doing this on a tree one day when I overcompensated and landed flat on my back. It was a rather high tree and I hit hard enough to knock the wind out of me. It hurt and it hurt badly. I want you to know that I was never able to do that flip again. I would get ready for it and then I would freeze. Why? Because it is always harder to reclaim lost ground.

The generally accepted archaeological site for Ai is a very small fort. It was just a little military outpost. When the spies had checked it out, they had suggested that Joshua only send in a few troops (Joshua 7:3).

Even now, Joshua didn't really need 30,000 men to take Ai. He could have taken himself and two toddlers and it would have been enough. But in Joshua 8:1, the Lord tells him, "Take all the people of war with you." Why? Because it is always harder to reclaim lost ground.

So Joshua rose with all the people of war to go up to Ai; and Joshua chose 30,000 men, valiant warriors, and sent them out at night.

And he commanded them, saying, "See, you are to ambush the city from behind it. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready. Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. And it will come about when they come out to meet us as at the first, that we will flee before them.

"And they will come out after us until we have drawn them away from the city, for they will say, `They are fleeing from before us as at the first.' So we will flee before them.

"And you shall rise from your ambush and take possession of the city, for the Lord your God will deliver it into your hand." (Joshua 8:3-7).

The taking of Ai was to be through a carefully laid trap. It would involve a pretended rout in which the enemy would be tricked into pursuit while a much larger force would come in from behind and take the undefended city.

6. Altar at Ebal.

Then Joshua built an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal" (Joshua 8:30).

We would think that this is a bad time for prayer of revival. They were involved in a major military campaign. They are surrounded by enemies. But this really is the best time.

a. The necessity for definition.

...Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the sons of Israel... (Joshua 8:31).

The great danger of the church is that, as we become involved in our society, that we become like our society. God tells His people that they are different. He gives them a new identity.

You are not like the world. Go down to Shechem and you will find an altar there. It will remind you of who you are.

b. The necessity of remembering.

Have your noticed how many times Joshua has said, "These stones are here to this day" (4:9; 4:21-22; 7:25; 8:29)? In each case, the stones were there to remind you of what God had done. God knows that we will forget unless there are reminders. That is why we have the Lord's Supper. It is a reminder to us of what God has done.

c. The necessity of rededication.

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics says that things run down. This takes place in every area of life. It works in life itself. You get older and your body begins to break down. If you have owned a car, then you know that things run down. Cars break down.

Commitments run down, too. You will always tend to take the point of least resistance as your commitment runs down. You cannot run your spiritual engine on yesterday's gasoline.

d. The necessity of reaffirmation.

You need to constantly reaffirm the truths that we hold. In a society which bombards you with all sorts of ungodly thinking, you need to tell yourself and remind yourself what you believe.

e. The necessity of emotion.

Sometimes we neglect the emotional content of our faith. But God created emotions. We are to worship the Lord with our heart as well as with our mind. Christianity is not merely an intellectual exercise. If you have never been excited about God, then you probably have never met Him.

The Mountains of Ebal and Gerizim faced one another. Between them lay an ancient well which had been excavated by Jacob - it was known as Jacob's Well. It would be here that Jesus would one day spend an afternoon talking to a Samaritan woman.

And all Israel with their elders and officers and their judges were standing on both sides of the ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, the stranger as well as the native. Half of them stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the Lord had given command at first to bless the people of Israel. (Joshua 8:33).

This was a solemn memorial. Half of the people standing on Mount Gerizim. Half of them standing on Mount Ebal. One side reading the blessings of the covenant. The other side reading the curses of the covenant (see the instructions given in Deuteronomy 27:11-14).



1. The Deception of the Gibeonites.

The city of Gibeon was the next in line from Ai and Bethel. It would be the next to fall if the Israelites continued their westward march. And so, the people of Gibeon came up with a plan. They determined to deceive the Israelites.

They had several of their ambassadors dress up in their oldest clothes and they gathered some moldy bread and they set out for the Israelite camp, all of five miles away.

When they arrive, they told a yarn about how their clothes and the food had been new at the outset of their journey and, on this basis, they negotiated a peace treaty with Israel. The Israelites, for their part "did not ask for the counsel of the Lord" (Joshua 9:14).

When they found out how they had been deceived, the Israelites realized that they were under obligation to keep their oath.

But Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar of the Lord, to this day, in the place which He would choose. (Joshua 9:27).

2. The Battle of Gibeon.

It was not long before this new treaty between Gibeon and Israel brought a swift retaliation from the kings of southern Canaan.

Now it came about when Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had captured Ai, and had utterly destroyed it (just as he had done to Jericho and its king, so he had done to Ai and its king), and that the inhabitants of Gideon had made peace with Israel and were within their land, that he feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were mighty. (Joshua 10:1-2).

The kings of the south determine to make an example of Gibeon for having entered into an alliance with the Israelites.

The cities of Gibeon sent messengers to Joshua, asking that they honor their covenant and come to their aid. Joshua responds by making a forced all-night march and attacking this federation.

And it came about as they fled from before Israel, while they were at the descend of Beth-horon, that the Lord threw large stones from heaven on them, as far as Azekah, and they died; there were more who died from the hailstones than those whom the sons of Israel killed with the sword. (Joshua 10:11).

This Amorite League was thrown into a panic by the unexpected appearance of the Israelites in their rear and they fled westward down the pass of Beth-horon before turning southward. As they retreated, they were confronted with an even more terrifying enemy - great stones falling from the sky.

However, later in the same verse there is a slightly different phrase. It is translated "hailstones." The question is whether the "large stones" mentioned in the first part of the verse are the same as the "stones of hail" described at the end of the verse.

Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,

"O sun, stand still at Gibeon,
And O moon in the valley of Aijalon."
So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies.

Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. (Joshua 10:12-13).

There have been several different interpretations offered for this passage.

    1. Poetical Interpretation:

Both the command and its fulfillment are seen as poetical language consisting in an appeal for renewed strength and vigor for the warriors of Israel.

On the other hand, if the sun literally set leaving only the light of the moon, then the call for the moon's light to assist them would make sense.

Joshua's prayer was answered by an icy hailstorm which both cooled the attackers and destroyed many of the enemy.

An obvious problem with this interpretation is that the moon is also said to have stayed. There would be no reason for this since the moon gives off no heat.

    1. Literal Interpretation:

The passage explains the words of Joshua by saying that "the sun stopped in the middle of the sky, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day." The phrase "the sun stopped" can carry the idea of standing still.

Furthermore, the passage goes on to explain its terms by describing how that the sun "did not hasten to go down for about a whole day" (literally, "did not hurry to go for a complete day").

If we adopt the literal interpretation, then we are still left with another question: Is this a localized phenomenon, or was it caused by a stopping of the rotation of the entire planet?

Such a phenomenon would have resulted in a long afternoon, a long evening, a long night, depending upon what part of the world the observer stood.

No matter which interpretation we choose, it should be recognized that this was seen as an unprecedented miracle.

And there was no day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel. (Joshua 10:14).

You cannot believe the Bible without also believing in miracles. Many people want to take the miracles out of the Bible.

Philosophers have said that the supernatural cannot take place. And so, they have tried to define miracles out of existence. But that doesn't make miracles go away. Reality has nothing to do with public opinion.

There is a great debate on the date of the book of Daniel. The critics want to date it in the 2nd century B.C. Why? Because it clearly predicts things that did not happen until the 2nd century B.C. They have already decided that there is no such thing as predictive prophecy. Since Daniel records prophecy and since there is no such thing as prophecy, then Daniel could not have written this prophecy and it must have been written after the fact.

Question: Do you live a supernatural life? If you woke up one morning to find that God had left, how would it affect your life? What is it in your life that can only be explained in the terms of the supernatural? Sometimes we get what we expect. We don't expect to receive power from God and so we don't.

God intervenes in history. You look at your present situation and you ask, "Why doesn't He intervene now?"

God intervenes when a great promise has been made. God has given promises and He will move heaven and earth to fulfill those promises. God is very concerned about His good name. He does not want His name blemished by an unfulfilled promise.

God intervenes when great faith is present. Remember the story of David and Goliath? The people said, "He is too big to hit." And David replied, "He is too big to miss." Jesus spoke about mountain-moving faith. If you believe, then nothing is impossible.

And it came about when they brought these kings out to Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, "Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings." So they came near and put their feet on their necks. (Joshua 10:24).

This was done to increase the faith of the people. It was a public presentation that God was stronger than the kings of Canaan. Here is the lesson - it is that God is bigger than your problems.

God intervenes when a great cause is attempted. He gears the degree of His intervention to the degree of your commitment.

God intervenes when a great emphasis is needed.

And Joshua captured all these kings and their lands at one time, because the Lord, the God of Israel, fought for Israel. (Joshua 10:42).

Notice why Joshua won. It was because the Lord was on his side. God is doing something with Joshua which will teach us something about God for the next 3000 years. The point is that God does supernatural miracles for HIS benefit, not for yours.

God intervenes when a great grace is manifested.

"The Lord did not set His love on you nor chose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples." (Deuteronomy 7:7).

God didn't choose Israel because they were so wonderful. He chose Israel because HE is so wonderful. It was grace. The same is true of us.



1. The Northern Alliance.

Just as the Amorite Kings of the south had formed an alliance, so also the kings in the area of Galilee also formed an alliance.

The leader of this coalition is said to have been Jabin, king of Hazor. This is not too surprising. Hazor was the largest city in all of Canaan. It had massive ramparts of beaten earth and a heavily protected wall surrounded by a deep ditch.

To make matters worse, the Northern Federation was able to field horse-drawn chariots. These were light chariots with spoked wheels and had an incredible mobility. They were to ancient warfare what the armored tank was to modern warfare.

2. The Battle of Merom.

So Joshua and all the people of war with him came upon them suddenly by the waters of Merom, and attacked them.

And the Lord delivered them into the hand of Israel, so that they defeated them, and pursued them as far as Great Sidon and Misrephoth-maim and the valley of Mizpeh to the east; and they struck them until no survivor was left to them. (Joshua 11:7-8).

Merom was centrally located among the cities of the Northern Federation. Its disadvantage lay in the fact that this was an area of rolling hills and thick forests, thus negating the strength and mobility of their chariot corps.

It seems likely that they had intended to use this area only as a rendezvous for their combined forces (Joshua 11:7 indicates that this was a surprise attack).

3. Destruction of the Chariot Corps.

And Joshua did to them as the Lord had told him; he hamstrung their horses, and burned their chariots with fire. (Joshua 11:9).

God ordered Joshua to destroy the best military weapons he had ever seen. Joshua was a general. When he saw these weapons, his mouth started watering. He said to himself, "Boy, if I had a few hundred of those chariots and horses, there isn't anything I wouldn't be able to do."

But God told his to destroy the chariots and to render the horses useless. This goes against all human logic.

There is a principle here. If you have chariots and horses, you begin to depend upon chariots and horses instead of depending upon the Lord. If you have only God, then you will depend upon God.

"You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the father on the children, and on the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments." (Deuteronomy 5:8-10).

Every god that you have that isn't God, He will destroy. God wants to be your God. If you put anything else in first place, He will destroy it.

4. Joshua's Obedience.

Just as the Lord had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses. (Joshua 11:15).

Joshua is a study in submission. He was successful because he did it God's way. He made it a point to do ALL of the Lord's commands and to leave nothing undone. Even though he was now the leader of Israel he took the commands that had been handed down from Moses and acted upon them.

Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and concerning the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. (Hebrews 11:7).

We are to submit to God's authority. He has set authorities over us... family, church, government.

5. Summary.

Joshua waged war a long time with all these kings. (Joshua 11:18).

It took a long time. Why didn't God wipe them out immediately? He could have, but He didn't. There is a principle here. It takes a long time to win a war. Cults promise a quick way. They promise instant answers. But there are no instant answers in the Christian life.



If we are not careful, we will fall into the trap of thinking that the conquest of the land took place within a very brief period of time. However, a closer look reveals that only a few key battles are recorded and that the conquest of Canaan took many years.

m The territories of the Philistines (Joshua 13:1-13 with Judges 3:1-3).

m Megiddo and the other cities of the Valley of Jezreel (Joshua 17:11 with Judges 1:27).

m Dor, Gezer, and other cities along the Coastal Plain (Joshua 13:4; 16:10; 17:11; Judges 1:27; 1:29).

m Jerusalem (Joshua 15:63; Judges 1:21).

It has been noted that the Israelites had difficulties conquering the cities of the lowlands - possibly due to the fact that these cities often had both high ramparts and iron chariots.

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