Joshua 10

Gibeonites under attack

1 Jerusalem's King Adoni-zedek heard that Joshua had captured Ai and had wiped it out as something reserved for God. Joshua did the same thing to Ai and its king that he had done to Jericho and its king. He also heard that the population of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were living among them.
2 Adoni-zedek and his people were very afraid, because Gibeon was a large city, like one of the royal cities. It was larger than Ai. All its men were soldiers.
3 So Jerusalem's King Adoni-zedek sent word to Hebron's King Hoham, Jarmuth's King Piram, Lachish's King Japhia, and Eglon's King Debir:
4 "Come up and help me. We will strike at Gibeon, because it has made peace with Joshua and with the Israelites."
5 Then the five kings of the Amorites gathered. These were the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon. They went up with all their armies, camped against Gibeon, and attacked it.
6 The people of Gibeon sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: "Don't desert your servants! Come to us quickly. Rescue us! Help us! All the Amorite kings from the highlands have assembled together against us."
7 So Joshua went up from Gilgal with the entire army and all the bravest soldiers.

The LORD fights for Israel

8 Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Don't be afraid of them. I have given them into your power. Not a single one of them can stand up against you."
9 Joshua quickly attacked them, having come up overnight from Gilgal.
10 Then the LORD threw them into a panic before Israel. Joshua struck a mighty blow against them at Gibeon. He chased them on the way up to Beth-horon and struck them down as far as Azekah and Makkedah.
11 When they were fleeing from Israel and were on the slope of Beth-horon, the LORD threw down large stones from the sky all the way to Azekah. So they died. More died from the hailstones than the Israelites killed with the sword.
12 On the day the LORD gave the Amorites into the power of Israel, Joshua spoke to the LORD in the presence of the Israelites: “Sun, stand still at Gibeon! and Moon, at the Aijalon Valley!”
13 The sun stood still and the moon stood motionless until a nation took revenge on its enemies. Isn't this written in the Jashar scroll? So the sun stood motionless in the middle of the sky. For a whole day, it was in no hurry to go down.
14 There hasn't been a day like it before or since, when the LORD responded to a human voice. The LORD fought for Israel.
15 Then Joshua along with all Israel came back to the camp at Gilgal.

Israel executes five kings

16 Then those five kings fled and hid in the cave at Makkedah.
17 It was reported to Joshua, "The five kings have been found, hidden in the cave at Makkedah."
18 Joshua said, "Roll large stones over the mouth of the cave. Station some men by it to guard them,
19 but don't you stay there. Chase after your enemies and attack them from the rear. Don't let them enter their cities, because the LORD your God has given them into your power."
20 Joshua and the Israelites finished dealing them a stunning blow until they were finished off. Some survivors among them escaped into the fortified cities.
21 Then the whole people came back safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah. Not a single person threatened the Israelites.
22 Joshua said, "Open up the mouth of the cave. Bring those five kings out of the cave to me."
23 They did so. They brought the five kings out of the cave to him: the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon.
24 When they brought these kings out to Joshua, Joshua called for every Israelite. He said to the military commanders who had gone out with him, "Come forward. Put your feet on the necks of these kings." So they went forward and put their feet on their necks.
25 Then Joshua said to them, "Don't be afraid or terrified. Be brave and strong, because this is how the LORD will deal with all the enemies you fight."
26 Next, Joshua struck them down. He put them to death and then hanged them on five trees. They were hanging on the trees until evening.
27 At sundown, Joshua gave an order, and they took them down from the trees. They threw them into the cave where they had hidden themselves, and they set large stones over the mouth of the cave. The stones are still there to this very day.

Victories in the south

28 On that day, Joshua captured Makkedah. With a sword, he struck it and its king without mercy. He wiped them out, treating everyone in the city as something reserved for God. He left no survivors. He did to the king of Makkedah exactly as he had done to the king of Jericho.
29 Then Joshua along with all Israel moved on from Makkedah to Libnah. They attacked Libnah.
30 The LORD also gave it and its king into the power of Israel. With a sword, he struck it and everyone in it without mercy. He left no survivors in it. He did to its king exactly as he had done to the king of Jericho.
31 Joshua along with all Israel moved on from Libnah to Lachish. They camped near it and attacked it.
32 The LORD gave Lachish into the power of Israel. Joshua captured it on the second day. With a sword, he struck it and everyone in it without mercy, just exactly as he had done to Libnah.
33 Then Gezer's King Horam came up to help Lachish. But Joshua struck him and his people down, until no survivors were left.
34 Joshua along with all Israel moved on from Lachish to Eglon. They camped against it and attacked it.
35 They captured it on the same day and struck it down without mercy. On that day, he wiped out everyone in it as something reserved for God, just exactly as he had done to Lachish.
36 Joshua along with all Israel went up from Eglon to Hebron and attacked it.
37 They captured it and struck it down without mercy, along with its king, all its towns, and everyone in it. He left no survivors, just exactly as he had done to Eglon. He wiped out the city and everyone in it as something reserved for God.
38 Joshua along with all Israel turned back to Debir and attacked it.
39 He captured it along with its king and all its cities. They struck them down without mercy and wiped out everyone in it as something reserved for God. He left no survivors. Exactly as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir and its king—exactly as he had done to Libnah and its king.
40 So Joshua struck at the whole land: the highlands, the arid southern plains, the lowlands, the slopes, and all their kings. He left no survivors. He wiped out everything that breathed as something reserved for God, exactly as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded.
41 Joshua struck them down from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza, and the whole land of Goshen as far as Gibeon.
42 Joshua captured all these kings and their land all at the same time. This was because the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.
43 Then Joshua along with all Israel came back to the camp at Gilgal.

Images for Joshua 10

Joshua 10 Commentary

Chapter 10

Five kings war against Gibeon. (1-6) Joshua succours Gibeon The sun and moon stand still. (7-14) The kings are taken, their armies defeated, and they are put to death. (15-27) Seven other kings defeated and slain. (28-43)

Verses 1-6 When sinners leave the service of Satan and the friendship of the world, that they make peace with God and join Israel, they must not marvel if the world hate them, if their former friends become foes. By such methods Satan discourages many who are convinced of their danger, and almost persuaded to be Christians, but fear the cross. These things should quicken us to apply to God for protection, help, and deliverance.

Verses 7-14 The meanest and most feeble, who have just begun to trust the Lord, are as much entitled to be protected as those who have long and faithfully been his servants. It is our duty to defend the afflicted, who, like the Gibeonites, are brought into trouble on our account, or for the sake of the gospel. Joshua would not forsake his new vassals. How much less shall our true Joshua fail those who trust in Him! We may be wanting in our trust, but our trust never can want success. Yet God's promises are not to slacken and do away, but to quicken and encourage our endeavours. Notice the great faith of Joshua, and the power of God answering it by the miraculous staying of the sun, that the day of Israel's victories might be made longer. Joshua acted on this occasion by impulse on his mind from the Spirit of God. It was not necessary that Joshua should speak, or the miracle be recorded, according to the modern terms of astronomy. The sun appeared to the Israelites over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Ajalon, and there they appeared to be stopped on their course for one whole day. Is any thing too hard for the Lord? forms a sufficient answer to ten thousand difficulties, which objectors have in every age started against the truth of God as revealed in his written word. Proclamation was hereby made to the neighbouring nations, Behold the works of the Lord, and say, What nation is there so great as Israel, who has God so nigh unto them?

Verses 15-27 None moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel. This shows their perfect safety. The kings were called to an account, as rebels against the Israel of God. Refuges of lies will but secure for God's judgment. God punished the abominable wickedness of these kings, the measure of whose iniquity was now full. And by this public act of justice, done upon these ringleaders of the Canaanites in sin, he would possess his people with the greater dread and detestation of the sins of the nations that God cast out from before them. Here is a type and figure of Christ's victories over the powers of darkness, and of believers' victories through him. In our spiritual conflicts we must not be satisfied with obtaining some important victory. We must pursue our scattered enemies, searching out the remains of sin as they rise up in our hearts, and thus pursue the conquest. In so doing, the Lord will afford light until the warfare be accomplished.

Verses 28-43 Joshua made speed in taking these cities. See what a great deal of work may be done in a little time, if we will be diligent, and improve our opportunities. God here showed his hatred of the idolatries and other abominations of which the Canaanites had been guilty, and shows us how great the provocation was, by the greatness of the destruction brought upon them. Here also was typified the destruction of all the enemies of the Lord Jesus, who, having slighted the riches of his grace, must for ever feel the weight of his wrath. The Lord fought for Israel. They could not have gotten the victory, if God had not undertaken the battle. We conquer when God fights for us; if he be for us, who can be against us?

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary


This chapter treats of the combination of five kings against the Gibeonites, Jos 10:1-5; and of the application of the Gibeonites to Joshua, for assistance, in virtue of the league between them, which was granted, Jos 10:6-9; of the slaughter of the army by the kings of Israel, and chiefly by hailstones from heaven, Jos 10:10,11; and of the standing still of the sun, and of the moon, while vengeance was taken on them, Jos 10:12-14; and of the five kings being hid in a cave, and of the usage of them when taken, Jos 10:15-27; and of the taking of Makkedah, Libnah, Lachish, Eglon, Hebron, and Debir, Jos 10:28-39; which finished the conquest of the southern part of the land, Jos 10:40-43.

Joshua 10 Commentaries

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