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Because keeping prisoners is very expensive resource wise. Also, this wasn't a war to steal loot or create a vassal, it was a war of supplantation- to come in and replace the cannanites. You can't keep them prisoner because they might regroup.


From Hidabroot. Rabbi Menashe Yisrael explains that Yehoshua was compared to the moon, however the Shoftim after him were compared to the stars. Just like stars do not get their light from the moon, or from each other, so too Yehoshua did not shine a light upon a new leader. שאילתך, היה מקום לשאול, גם בנוגע לתקופת השופטים, למה לא התנבאה דבורה למי למסור ...

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