Joshua 10

1 And when Adoni-bezec king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Gai, and had destroyed it, as he did to Jericho and its king, even so they did to Gai and its king, and that the inhabitants of Gabaon had gone over to Joshua and Israel;
2 then they were greatly terrified by them, for knew that Gabaon a great city, as one of the chief cities, and all its men mighty.
3 So Adoni-bezec king of Jerusalem sent to Elam king of Hebron, and to Phidon king of Jerimuth, and to Jephtha king of Lachis, and to Dabin king of Odollam, saying,
4 Come up hither to me, and help me, and let us take Gabaon; for the Gabaonites have gone over to Joshua and to the children of Israel.
5 And the five kings of the Jebusites went up, the king of Jerusalem, and the king of Chebron, and the king of Jerimuth, and the king of Lachis, and the king of Odollam, they and all their people; and encamped around Gabaon, and besieged it.
6 And the inhabitants of Gabaon sent to Joshua into the camp to Galgala, saying, Slack not thy hands from thy servants: come up quickly to us, and help us, and rescue us; for all the kings of the Amorites who dwell in the hill country are gathered together against us.
7 And Joshua went up from Galgala, he and all the people of war with him, every one mighty in strength.
8 And the Lord said to Joshua, Fear them not, for I have delivered them into thy hands; there shall not one of them be left before you.
9 And when Joshua came suddenly upon them, he advanced all the night out of Galgala.
10 And the Lord struck them with terror before the children of Israel; and the Lord destroyed them with a great slaughter at Gabaon; and they pursued them by the way of the going up of Oronin, and they smote them to Azeca and to Makeda.
11 And when they fled from the face of the children of Israel at the descent of Oronin, then the Lord cast upon them hailstones from heaven to Azeca; and they were more that died by the hailstones, than those whom the children of Israel slew with the sword in the battle.
12 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord, in the day in which the Lord delivered the Amorite into the power of Israel, when he destroyed them in Gabaon, and they were destroyed from before the children of Israel: and Joshua said, Let the sun stand over against Gabaon, and the moon over against the valley of Aelon.
13 And the sun and the moon stood still, until God executed vengeance on their enemies; and the sun stood still in the midst of heaven; it did not proceed to set till the end of one day.
14 And there was not such a day either before or after, so that God should hearken to a man, because the Lord fought on the side of Israel.
16 And these five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave that is in Makeda.
17 And it was told Joshua, saying, The five kings have been found hid in the cave that is in Makeda.
18 And Joshua said, Roll stones to the mouth of the cave, and set men to watch over them.
19 But do not ye stand, but pursue after your enemies, and attack the rear of them, and do not suffer them to enter into their cities; for the Lord our God has delivered them into our hands.
20 And it came to pass when Joshua and all Israel ceased destroying them utterly with a very great slaughter, that they that escaped took refuge in the strong cities.
21 And all the people returned safe to Joshua to Makeda; and no one of the children of Israel murmured with his tongue.
22 And Joshua said, Open the cave, and bring out these five kings out of the cave.
23 And they brought out the five kings out of the cave, the king of Jerusalem, and the king of Chebron, and the king of Jerimuth, and the king of Lachis, and the king of Odollam.
24 And when they brought them out to Joshua, then Joshua called together all Israel, and the chiefs of the army that went with him, saying to them, Come forward and set your feet on their necks; and they came and set their feet on their necks.
25 And Joshua said to them, Do not fear them, neither be cowardly; be courageous and strong, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies, against whom ye fight.
26 And Joshua slew them, and hanged them on five trees; and they hung upon the trees until the evening.
27 And it came to pass toward the setting of the sun, Joshua commanded, and they took them down from the trees, and cast them into the cave into which they fled for refuge, and rolled stones to the cave, till this day.
28 And they took Makeda on that day, and slew the inhabitants with the edge of the sword, and they utterly destroyed every living thing that was in it; and there was none left in it that was preserved and had escaped; and they did to the king of Makeda, as they did to the king of Jericho.
29 And Joshua and all Israel with him departed out of Makeda to Lebna, and besieged Lebna.
30 And the Lord delivered it into the hands of Israel: and they took it, and its king, and slew the inhabitants with the edge of the sword, and every thing breathing in it; and there was not left in it any that survived and escaped; and they did to its king, as they did to the king of Jericho.
31 And Joshua and all Israel with him departed from Lebna to Lachis, and he encamped about it, and besieged it.
32 And the Lord delivered Lachis into the hands of Israel; and they took it on the second day, and they put the inhabitants to death with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed it, as they had done to Lebna.
33 Then Elam the king of Gazer went up to help Lachis; and Joshua smote him and his people with the edge of the sword, until there was not left to him one that was preserved and escaped.
34 And Joshua and all Israel with him departed from Lachis to Odollam, and he besieged it and took it.
35 And the Lord delivered it into the hand of Israel; and he took it on that day, and slew the inhabitants with the edge of the sword, and slew every thing breathing in it, as they did to Lachis.
36 And Joshua and all Israel with him departed to Chebron, and encamped about it.
37 And he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the living creatures that were in it; there was no one preserved: they destroyed it and all things in it, as they did to Odollam.
38 And Joshua and all Israel returned to Dabir; and they encamped about it;
39 and they took it, and its king, and its villages: and he smote it with the edge of the sword, and they destroyed it, and every thing breathing in it; and they did not leave in it any one that was preserved: as they did to Chebron and her king, so they did to Dabir and her king.
40 And Joshua smote all the land of the hill country, and Nageb and the plain country, and Asedoth, and her kings, they did not leave of them one that was saved: and they utterly destroyed every thing that had the breath of life, as the Lord God of Israel commanded,
41 from Cades Barne to Gaza, all Gosom, as far as Gabaon.
42 And Joshua smote, once for all, all their kings, and their land, because the Lord God of Israel fought on the side of Israel.

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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?

Footnotes 11

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 Brenton translation of the Septuagint is in the public domain.