Joshua 10:2

2 1he[a] feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were warriors.

Joshua 10:2 Meaning and Commentary

Joshua 10:2

That they feared greatly
The king of Jerusalem and his people, lest they should fall into the hands of the Israelites, and be used as Jericho and Ai, and the kings and inhabitants of them were, and that they would be the next that should fall a sacrifice to them; for Gibeon was fifty furlongs from Jerusalem, as Josephus says F1; and in another place he says F2 but forty, which were but five miles; and if fifty, but little more than six miles; according to Bunting F3, it was but four miles: and what added to their terror was,

because Gibeon [was] a great city;
being a metropolitan city, and having others subject to it; therefore the surrender of that to the Israelites might intimidate other cities, and lead them by example to do the like, and so of bad consequence:

as one of the royal cities;
the Vulgate Latin version omits the note of similitude, and reads, "and one of the royal cities"; and sometimes "caph" or "as" is not a note of likeness, but of reality; yet as we nowhere read of a king of Gibeon, the sense may be, that though it was not a royal seat, it was equal to those that were, and like one, being a metropolitan city: and

because it [was] greater than Ai:
had more inhabitants in it, and perhaps better fortified:

and all the men thereof [were] mighty;
men of strength, courage, and valour, warlike men, and therefore for such a city to yield so easily, and in such a base, mean, and cowardly way, was setting a very bad example.


F1 De Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 19. sect. 1.
F2 Antiqu. l. 7. c. 11. sect. 7.
F3 Travels of the Patriarchs p. 98.

Joshua 10:2 In-Context

1 As soon as Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, heard how Joshua had captured Ai and had devoted it to destruction,doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them,
2 he feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were warriors.
3 So Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent to Hoham king of Hebron, to Piram king of Jarmuth, to Japhia king of Lachish, and to Debir king of Eglon, saying,
4 "Come up to me and help me, and let us strike Gibeon. For it has made peace with Joshua and with the people of Israel."
5 Then the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered their forces and went up with all their armies and encamped against Gibeon and made war against it.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Deuteronomy 11:25

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. One Hebrew manuscript, Vulgate (compare Syriac); most Hebrew manuscripts they
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.