And it came to pass, at the time of the going down of the
Which was the time fixed by the law of God for taking down bodies that were hanged, ( Deuteronomy 21:23 ) ;
[that] Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees;
not from, any respect to them, but that they might not defile the land, as dead bodies in a ceremonial sense did, ( Deuteronomy 21:23 ) ; and this Joshua was the more careful of, as they were just entered into it, and were taking possession of it:
and they cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid;
so that what had been their hiding place now became their grave; and according to the Samaritan Chronicle F17, the trees also on which they were hanged were cast in with them;
and laid great stones in the cave's mouth:
not as a monumental pile, as in the instances of Achan and the king of Ai, ( Joshua 7:26 ) ( 8:29 ) ; but to prevent their carcasses being dragged out, and eaten by wild beasts, as some think; or that they might not be taken out, and buried in a more honourable manner:
[which remain] until this very day;
when Joshua was grown old, the writer of this book.
F17 Apud Hottinger. Smegma. p. 511.