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Joshua 10

The Sun Stands Still

1 Now Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Ai and totally destroyed[a] it, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and that the people of Gibeon had made a treaty of peace with Israel and had become their allies.
2 He and his people were very much alarmed at this, because Gibeon was an important city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were good fighters.
3 So Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem appealed to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish and Debir king of Eglon.
4 “Come up and help me attack Gibeon,” he said, “because it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.”
5 Then the five kings of the Amorites—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon—joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it.
6 The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: “Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us.”
7 So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men.
8 The LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.”
9 After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise.
10 The LORD threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah.
11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.
12 On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on[b] its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.
14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a human being. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!
15 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.

Five Amorite Kings Killed

16 Now the five kings had fled and hidden in the cave at Makkedah.
17 When Joshua was told that the five kings had been found hiding in the cave at Makkedah,
18 he said, “Roll large rocks up to the mouth of the cave, and post some men there to guard it.
19 But don’t stop; pursue your enemies! Attack them from the rear and don’t let them reach their cities, for the LORD your God has given them into your hand.”
20 So Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely, but a few survivors managed to reach their fortified cities.
21 The whole army then returned safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah, and no one uttered a word against the Israelites.
22 Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring those five kings out to me.”
23 So they brought the five kings out of the cave—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon.
24 When they had brought these kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, “Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came forward and placed their feet on their necks.
25 Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.”
26 Then Joshua put the kings to death and exposed their bodies on five poles, and they were left hanging on the poles until evening.
27 At sunset Joshua gave the order and they took them down from the poles and threw them into the cave where they had been hiding. At the mouth of the cave they placed large rocks, which are there to this day.

Southern Cities Conquered

28 That day Joshua took Makkedah. He put the city and its king to the sword and totally destroyed everyone in it. He left no survivors. And he did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho.
29 Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Makkedah to Libnah and attacked it.
30 The LORD also gave that city and its king into Israel’s hand. The city and everyone in it Joshua put to the sword. He left no survivors there. And he did to its king as he had done to the king of Jericho.
31 Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Libnah to Lachish; he took up positions against it and attacked it.
32 The LORD gave Lachish into Israel’s hands, and Joshua took it on the second day. The city and everyone in it he put to the sword, just as he had done to Libnah.
33 Meanwhile, Horam king of Gezer had come up to help Lachish, but Joshua defeated him and his army—until no survivors were left.
34 Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Lachish to Eglon; they took up positions against it and attacked it.
35 They captured it that same day and put it to the sword and totally destroyed everyone in it, just as they had done to Lachish.
36 Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron and attacked it.
37 They took the city and put it to the sword, together with its king, its villages and everyone in it. They left no survivors. Just as at Eglon, they totally destroyed it and everyone in it.
38 Then Joshua and all Israel with him turned around and attacked Debir.
39 They took the city, its king and its villages, and put them to the sword. Everyone in it they totally destroyed. They left no survivors. They did to Debir and its king as they had done to Libnah and its king and to Hebron.
40 So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded.
41 Joshua subdued them from Kadesh Barnea to Gaza and from the whole region of Goshen to Gibeon.
42 All these kings and their lands Joshua conquered in one campaign, because the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.
43 Then Joshua returned with all Israel 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?

Cross References 62

  • 1. ver 3
  • 2. Joshua 12:10; Joshua 15:8,63; Joshua 18:28; Judges 1:7
  • 3. S Joshua 8:1
  • 4. S Deuteronomy 20:16; S Joshua 8:22
  • 5. Joshua 9:3
  • 6. S Joshua 9:15
  • 7. S Genesis 13:18
  • 8. ver 5; Joshua 12:11; Joshua 15:35; Joshua 21:29; Nehemiah 11:29
  • 9. ver 5,31; Joshua 12:11; Joshua 15:39; 2 Kings 14:19; 2 Chronicles 11:9; 2 Chronicles 25:27; 2 Chronicles 32:9; Nehemiah 11:30; Isaiah 36:2; Isaiah 37:8; Jeremiah 34:7; Micah 1:13
  • 10. ver 38; Joshua 11:21; Joshua 12:13; Joshua 13:26; Joshua 15:7,49; Joshua 21:15; Judges 1:11; 1 Chronicles 6:58
  • 11. ver 23,34,36; Joshua 12:12; Joshua 15:39
  • 12. S Joshua 9:15
  • 13. ver 16
  • 14. Numbers 13:29; S Deuteronomy 1:7
  • 15. S Deuteronomy 11:30
  • 16. Joshua 8:1
  • 17. S Deuteronomy 3:2; S Joshua 1:9
  • 18. S Joshua 2:24
  • 19. S Deuteronomy 7:24
  • 20. S Exodus 14:24
  • 21. S Deuteronomy 7:23
  • 22. S Joshua 9:3
  • 23. Joshua 16:3,5; Joshua 18:13,14; Joshua 21:22; 1 Samuel 13:18; 1 Kings 9:17; 1 Chronicles 6:68; 1 Chronicles 7:24; 2 Chronicles 8:5; 2 Chronicles 25:13
  • 24. Joshua 15:35; 1 Samuel 17:1; 2 Chronicles 11:9; Nehemiah 11:30; Jeremiah 34:7
  • 25. ver 16,17,21; Joshua 12:16; Joshua 15:41
  • 26. S Exodus 9:18; Psalms 18:12; Isaiah 28:2,17; Isaiah 32:19; Ezekiel 13:11,13
  • 27. Judges 5:20
  • 28. Amos 2:9
  • 29. Joshua 19:42; Joshua 21:24; Judges 1:35; Judges 12:12; 1 Samuel 14:31; 1 Chronicles 6:69; 1 Chronicles 8:13; 2 Chronicles 11:10; 2 Chronicles 28:18
  • 30. Habakkuk 3:11
  • 31. 2 Samuel 1:18
  • 32. Isaiah 38:8
  • 33. ver 42; S Exodus 14:14; Deuteronomy 1:30; Psalms 106:43; Psalms 136:24; Isaiah 63:10; Jeremiah 21:5
  • 34. ver 43
  • 35. Psalms 68:12
  • 36. Deuteronomy 20:16
  • 37. 2 Chronicles 11:10; Jeremiah 4:5; Jeremiah 5:17; Jeremiah 8:14; Jeremiah 35:11
  • 38. S Deuteronomy 7:24
  • 39. Malachi 4:3
  • 40. 2 Samuel 22:40; Psalms 110:1; Isaiah 51:23
  • 41. S Deuteronomy 31:6
  • 42. S Deuteronomy 21:23; Joshua 8:9,29
  • 43. S Genesis 35:20
  • 44. Deuteronomy 20:16
  • 45. ver 30,32,35,39; Joshua 6:21
  • 46. S Numbers 33:20
  • 47. S ver 3
  • 48. Joshua 12:12; Joshua 16:3,10; Joshua 21:21; Judges 1:29; 2 Samuel 5:25; 1 Kings 9:15; 1 Chronicles 6:67
  • 49. S ver 3
  • 50. S Genesis 13:18; Joshua 14:13; Joshua 15:13; Joshua 20:7; Joshua 21:11; Judges 16:3; Judges 1:10
  • 51. S ver 28
  • 52. S ver 3; Joshua 15:15; Judges 1:11
  • 53. S ver 28
  • 54. S Genesis 12:9; Joshua 12:8; Joshua 15:19,21; Joshua 18:25; Joshua 19:8; 1 Samuel 30:27
  • 55. S Deuteronomy 1:7
  • 56. Deuteronomy 7:24
  • 57. Deuteronomy 20:16-17
  • 58. S Genesis 14:7
  • 59. S Genesis 10:19
  • 60. Joshua 11:16; Joshua 15:51
  • 61. S ver 14
  • 62. ver 15; Joshua 5:9; 1 Samuel 7:16; 1 Samuel 10:8; 1 Samuel 11:14; 1 Samuel 13:12

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verses 28, 35, 37, 39 and 40.
  • [b]. Or "nation triumphed over"

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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