Adoni-Zedek was the king of Jerusalem. He heard that Joshua had taken Ai. He found out that the city had been set apart to the LORD in a special way to be destroyed. He heard that Joshua had done to Ai and its king the same thing he had done to Jericho and its king. Adoni-Zedek heard that the people of Gibeon had made a peace treaty with Israel. He also found out that they were living among the people of Israel.
References for Joshua 10:1
The things he heard alarmed him and his people very much. That's because Gibeon was an important city. It was like one of the royal cities. It was larger than Ai. All of its men were good soldiers.
So Adoni-Zedek, the king of Jerusalem, made an appeal to Hoham, the king of Hebron. He appealed to Piram, the king of Jarmuth. He appealed to Japhia, the king of Lachish. He also made an appeal to Debir, the king of Eglon.
"Come up and help me attack Gibeon," he said. "Its people have made peace with Joshua and the people of Israel."
The kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon gathered their armies together. Those five Amorite kings moved all of their troops into position to fight against Gibeon. Then they attacked it.
Joshua was in the camp at Gilgal. The people of Gibeon sent a message to him there. It said, "Don't desert us. We serve you. Come up to us quickly! Save us! Help us! All of the Amorite kings from the central hill country have gathered their armies together to fight against us."
So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his whole army. The army included all of his best fighting men.
The LORD said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid of them. I have handed them over to you. Not one of them will be able to fight against you and win."
Joshua marched all night from Gilgal. He took the Amorite armies by surprise.
The LORD threw them into a panic as Israel marched toward them. Then Israel won a great battle over them at Gibeon. They chased them along the road that goes up to Beth Horon. They struck them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah.
The Amorites ran away as Israel marched toward them. They ran down the road from Beth Horon to Azekah. As they ran, the LORD threw large hailstones down on them from the sky. The hailstones killed more of them than the swords of the men of Israel did.
So the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel. On that day Joshua spoke to the LORD while the people of Israel were listening. He said, "Sun, stand still over Gibeon. Moon, stand still over the Valley of Aijalon."
So the sun stood still. The moon stopped. They didn't move again until the nation won the battle over its enemies. You can read about it in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky. It didn't go down for about a full day.
There has never been a day like it before or since. It was a day when the LORD listened to a mere man. You can be sure that the LORD was fighting for Israel!
Joshua and his whole army returned to the camp at Gilgal.
The five Amorite kings had run away. They had hidden in the cave at Makkedah.
References for Joshua 10:16
Joshua was told that the five kings had been found. He was also told that they were hiding in the cave at Makkedah.
He said, "Roll some large rocks up to the opening of the cave. Put some men there to guard it.
But keep on going! Chase your enemies. Attack them from behind. Don't let them get back to their cities. The LORD your God has handed them over to you."
So Joshua and the men of Israel completely destroyed them. They killed almost every one of them. But a few escaped. They went back to their cities that had high walls around them.
Then Israel's whole army returned safely to Joshua. He was in the camp at Makkedah. No one in the land dared to say anything against the people of Israel.
Joshua said, "Open up the cave. Bring those five kings out to me."
So Joshua's men brought the five kings out of the cave. They were the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon.
The men brought them to Joshua. Then he sent for all of the men of Israel. He spoke to the army commanders who had come with him. He said, "Come here. Put your feet on the necks of these kings." So they came forward and placed their feet on the necks of the kings.
Joshua said to them, "Don't be afraid. Don't lose hope. Be strong and brave. This is what the LORD will do to all of the enemies you are going to fight."
Joshua struck the five kings down and killed them. He stuck a pole through each of their bodies. Then he set the poles up where people could see the bodies. He left them there until evening.
At sunset Joshua ordered his men to take the bodies down. So they took them down and threw them into the cave where the kings had been hiding. They placed large rocks at the opening of the cave. And the rocks are still there to this very day.
That day Joshua took Makkedah. He killed its people and their king with the sword. He totally destroyed everyone in it. He didn't leave anyone alive. He did to the king of Makkedah the same thing he had done to the king of Jericho.
Joshua moved on from Makkedah to Libnah. Israel's whole army went with him. They attacked Libnah.
References for Joshua 10:29
The LORD also handed that city and its king over to Israel. Joshua destroyed the city. He and his men killed everyone in it with their swords. He didn't leave anyone alive there. He did to its king the same thing he had done to the king of Jericho.
Joshua moved on from Libnah to Lachish. Israel's whole army went with him. The men took up their battle positions. Then Joshua attacked Lachish.
The LORD handed it over to Israel. Joshua took the city on the second day of the battle. He destroyed the city. He and his men killed everyone in it with their swords. He had done the same thing to Libnah.
While all of that was happening, Horam had come up to help Lachish. He was the king of Gezer. But Joshua won the battle over him and his army. No one was left alive.
Joshua moved on from Lachish to Eglon. Israel's whole army went with him. They took up their battle positions. Then they attacked Eglon.
They captured it that same day. They totally destroyed everyone in it with their swords. They had done the same thing to Lachish.
Joshua went up from Eglon to Hebron. Israel's whole army went with him. Then they attacked Hebron.
They took the city. They destroyed it and its villages. They killed all of its people and their king with their swords. They didn't leave anyone alive. They totally destroyed the city and everyone in it. They had done the same thing at Eglon.
Joshua turned back and attacked Debir. Israel's whole army went with him.
They took the city, its king and its villages. They totally destroyed everyone in Debir with their swords. They didn't leave anyone alive. They did to Debir and its king the same thing they had done to Libnah and its king. They had also done the same thing to Hebron.
So Joshua brought the whole area under his control. That included the central hill country and the Negev Desert. It included the western hills and the mountain slopes. It also included all of the kings in that whole area. Joshua didn't leave anyone alive. He totally destroyed everyone who breathed. He did just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded.
Joshua brought everyone from Kadesh Barnea to Gaza under his control. He also brought everyone from the whole area of Goshen to Gibeon under his control.
He won the battle over all of those kings and their lands. He did it in one campaign. That's because the Lord, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.
Then Joshua returned to the camp at Gilgal. Israel's whole army went with him.