Joshua 10

Listen to Joshua 10

The Sun Stands Still

1 As soon as Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, heard how Joshua had captured Ai and had devoted it to destruction,[a]1doing to Ai and its king 2as he had done to Jericho and its king, and 3how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them,
2 4he[b] 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 5it 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, 6gathered their forces and went up with all their armies and encamped against Gibeon and made war against it.
6 And the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua 7at the camp in Gilgal, saying, "Do not relax your hand from your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites who dwell in the hill country are gathered against us."
7 So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and 8all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valor.
8 And the LORD said to Joshua, 9"Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. 10Not a man of them shall stand before you."
9 So Joshua came upon them suddenly, having marched up all night from Gilgal.
10 11And the LORD threw them into a panic before Israel, who[c] struck them with a great blow at Gibeon and chased them by the way of 12the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah.
11 And as they fled before Israel, while they were 13going down the ascent of Beth-horon, 14the LORD threw down large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died because of the hailstones than the sons of Israel killed with the sword.
12 At that time Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, 15"Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon."
13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day.
14 16There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD heeded the voice of a man, for 17the LORD fought for Israel.
15 So 18Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to the camp at Gilgal.

Five Amorite Kings Executed

16 These five kings fled and hid themselves in the cave at 19Makkedah.
17 And it was told to Joshua, "The five kings have been found, hidden in the cave at Makkedah."
18 And Joshua said, "Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave and set men by it to guard them,
19 but do not stay there yourselves. Pursue your enemies; 20attack their rear guard. Do not let them enter their cities, for the LORD your God has given them into your hand."
20 When Joshua and the sons of Israel had finished striking them with a great blow 21until they were wiped out, and when the remnant that remained of them had entered into the fortified cities,
21 then all the people returned safe to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah. 22Not a man moved his tongue against any of the people of Israel.
22 Then Joshua said, "Open the mouth of the cave and bring those five kings out to me from the cave."
23 And they did so, and brought those five kings out to him from the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon.
24 And when they brought those kings out to Joshua, Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, "Come near; put your feet on the necks of these kings." Then they came near and put their feet on their necks.
25 And Joshua said to them, 23"Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. 24For thus the LORD will do to all your enemies against whom you fight."
26 And afterward Joshua struck them and put them to death, and he hanged them on five trees. And 25they hung on the trees until evening.
27 But at the time of the going down of the sun, Joshua commanded, and 26they took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had hidden themselves, and they set large stones against the mouth of the cave, which remain to this very day.
28 As for 27Makkedah, Joshua captured it on that day and struck it, and its king, with the edge of the sword. He devoted to destruction every person in it; he left none remaining. And he did to the king of Makkedah 28just as he had done to the king of Jericho.

Conquest of Southern Canaan

29 Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Makkedah to 29Libnah and fought against Libnah.
30 And the LORD gave it also and its king into the hand of Israel. And he struck it with the edge of the sword, and every person in it; he left none remaining in it. And he did to its king 30as he had done to the king of Jericho.
31 Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Libnah to 31Lachish and laid siege to it and fought against it.
32 And the LORD gave Lachish into the hand of Israel, and he captured it on the second day and struck it with the edge of the sword, and every person in it, as he had done to Libnah.
33 Then Horam king of 32Gezer came up to help Lachish. And Joshua struck him and his people, until he left none remaining.
34 Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Lachish to 33Eglon. And they laid siege to it and fought against it.
35 And they captured it on that day, and struck it with the edge of the sword. And he devoted every person in it to destruction that day, as he had done to Lachish.
36 Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to 34Hebron. And they fought against it
37 and captured it and struck it with the edge of the sword, and its king and its towns, and every person in it. He left none remaining, as he had done to Eglon, and devoted it to destruction and every person in it.
38 Then Joshua and all Israel with him turned back to 35Debir and fought against it
39 and he captured it with its king and all its towns. And they struck them with the edge of the sword and devoted to destruction every person in it; he left none remaining. Just as he had done to Hebron and to Libnah and its king, so he did to Debir and to its king.
40 So Joshua struck the whole land, the hill country and the Negeb and the lowland 36and the slopes, and all their kings. He left none remaining, 37but devoted to destruction all that breathed, just as the LORD God of Israel commanded.
41 And Joshua struck them from 38Kadesh-barnea as far as Gaza, and all the country of 39Goshen, as far as Gibeon.
42 And Joshua captured all these kings and their land at one time, 40because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.
43 41Then Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to the camp at Gilgal.

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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?

Cross References 41

  • 1. Joshua 8:22, 26-29
  • 2. See Joshua 6:21, 24
  • 3. Joshua 9:15
  • 4. Deuteronomy 11:25
  • 5. ver. 1; Joshua 9:15
  • 6. Joshua 9:2
  • 7. Joshua 5:10; Joshua 9:6
  • 8. Joshua 8:1, 3
  • 9. Joshua 11:6; Judges 4:14
  • 10. Joshua 1:5
  • 11. Judges 4:15; 1 Samuel 7:10; Psalms 18:14; Isaiah 28:21
  • 12. Joshua 16:3, 5; Joshua 18:13, 14; 1 Kings 9:17; 1 Chronicles 7:24; 2 Chronicles 8:5
  • 13. [See ver. 10 above]
  • 14. [Psalms 18:12-14; Isaiah 30:30; Revelation 16:21]
  • 15. Habakkuk 3:11; [Isaiah 28:21]
  • 16. Isaiah 38:8; [2 Kings 20:11]
  • 17. ver. 42; Joshua 23:3, 10
  • 18. ver. 43
  • 19. ver. 10, 28, 29
  • 20. [Deuteronomy 25:18]
  • 21. Joshua 8:24
  • 22. Exodus 11:7
  • 23. Joshua 1:6, 9; See Deuteronomy 31:6-8
  • 24. Deuteronomy 3:21; Deuteronomy 7:19
  • 25. Joshua 8:29
  • 26. Deuteronomy 21:22, 23
  • 27. ver. 10, 16, 17
  • 28. Joshua 6:21
  • 29. Joshua 21:13
  • 30. [See ver. 28 above]
  • 31. ver. 3
  • 32. Joshua 16:10; Judges 1:29; See 1 Kings 9:15-17
  • 33. ver. 3
  • 34. Joshua 15:13; Judges 1:10; See Joshua 14:13-15
  • 35. See Joshua 15:15-17; Judges 1:11-13
  • 36. Joshua 12:8
  • 37. Deuteronomy 20:16, 17
  • 38. Deuteronomy 9:23
  • 39. Joshua 11:16
  • 40. ver. 14
  • 41. ver. 15

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. That is, set apart (devoted) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction); also verses 28, 35, 37, 39, 40
  • [b]. One Hebrew manuscript, Vulgate (compare Syriac); most Hebrew manuscripts they
  • [c]. Or and he

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.