Now the five [defeated] kings had fled and hidden themselves in the cave at Makkedah.
It was reported to Joshua: "The five kings have been found; they are hiding in the cave at Makkedah."
Joshua said, "Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and station men by it to guard the kings.
But as for the rest of you, don't stay there. Pursue your enemies and attack them from behind. Don't let them enter their cities, for the Lord your God has handed them over to you."
So Joshua and the Israelites finished inflicting a terrible slaughter on them until they were destroyed, although a few survivors ran away to the fortified cities.
The people returned safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah. No one could say a thinga against the Israelites.
Then Joshua said, "Open the mouth of the cave, and bring those five kings to me out of there."
That is what they did. They brought the five kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon to Joshua out of the cave.
When they had brought the kings to him, Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and said to the military commanders who had accompanied him, "Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings." So the commanders came forward and put their feet on their necks.
Joshua said to them, "Do not be afraid or discouraged. Be strong and courageous,b for the Lord will do this to all the enemies you fight."
After this, Joshua struck them down and executed them. He hungc their bodies on five treesd and they were there until evening.
At sunset Joshua commanded that they be taken down from the treesefand thrown into the cave where they had hidden. Then large stones were placed against the mouth of the cave, and the stones are there to this day.
On that day Joshua captured Makkedah and struck it down with the sword, including its king. He completely destroyed itg and everyone in it, leaving no survivors. So he treated the king of Makkedah as he had the king of Jericho.
Joshua and all Israel with him crossed from Makkedah to Libnah and fought against Libnah.
The Lord also handed it and its king over to Israel. He struck it down, putting everyone in it to the sword, and left no survivors in it. He treated Libnah's king as he had the king of Jericho.
From Libnah, Joshua and all Israel with him crossed to Lachish. They laid siege to it and attacked it.
The Lord handed Lachish over to Israel, and Joshua captured it on the second day. He struck it down, putting everyone in it to the sword, just as he had done to Libnah.
At that time Horam king of Gezer went to help Lachish, but Joshua struck him down along with his people, leaving no survivors in it.
Then Joshua crossed from Lachish to Eglon and all Israel with him. They laid siege to it and attacked it.
On that day they captured it and struck it down, putting everyone in it to the sword. He completely destroyed it that day, just as he had done to Lachish.
Next, Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron and attacked it.
They captured it and struck down its king, all its villages, and everyone in it with the sword. Just as he had done at Eglon, he left no survivors. He completely destroyed Hebron and everyone in it.
Finally, Joshua turned toward Debir and attacked it. And all Israel was with him.
He captured it-its king and all its villages. They struck them down with the sword and completely destroyed everyone in it, leaving no survivors. He treated Debir and its king as he had treated Hebron and as he had treated Libnah and its king.
So Joshua conquered the whole region-the hill country, the Negev, the Judean foothills,h and the slopes-with all their kings, leaving no survivors. He completely destroyed every living being, as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded.
Joshua conquered everyone from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza, and all the land of Gosheni as far as Gibeon.
Joshua captured all these kings and their land in one campaign,j because the Lord, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.
Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.