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.