It is not clear as to what the mechanism God uses to harden hearts is; allowing such or in someway forcing such. It would be easy not knowing why God would want such for us to have difficaulty with this passage. With such passages it is best to give God the bennefit of our doubt and seek through for a more understandable why.
Why? Hearts tend to harden or soften on their own given situations whether reasonably our unreasonably. These peoples hearts had been hard and continue to be unreasonably hard to this day. Perhaps God knowing that their hearts would not soften (or only temporarily) set in motion the final hardening (atleast for this time). Neither do we know the demonic warfare occurring behind the scenes that God may have been cleansing out of the area.
Hopefully we can sense what a thurrough route God caused in this land of Canaan given the numbers and armourment and alliances against Israel. One loss only is reported and that caused by a covetous foot soilder in Ai. There should be no doubt at that time nor this that the one real and true living God is in action and wants this to occur.
Not only do we have the miraculous victory of God over the previous inhabitants of this land, we have the miraculous sustaining of the Israelites in this land for several centuries despite their frequent bends toward idolotry and corruption. Gods work is spotlighted throughout on the center of the world's stage.
The spys were sent early just weeks after the red sea. Caleb was forty then. The wilderness to Jordan crossing 38 or so years. By my count the taking of Canann was approximately 7 years by Calebs math.
Divided by tribe by lot. The levites having cities but not land. An early form of seperation of church and state? An early attempt to sanctify the priesthood from the corruption and entanglements of state?
The immediate thing that stands out in these passages is that not all the Canaanites were driven out as had been commanded, some were subjegated. We also see that there were still battles to be waged individually by some of the tribes in order to secure their allotment.
And so begins a completely new stage in each of their lives. They have never known there own land and for the past forty plus years been provided for miraculously in the wilderness. Frame of mind and attitudes can quickly change as some squander their inheritance or become in indebted. Some would even have to flee to cities of refuge as setup here.
2012 - pBiblx2 Field Wise Bible System Version 2.0.9d - GPL3