During the battle the five kings escaped and hid in a cave at Makkedah.
When Joshua heard that they had been found,
he issued this command: “Cover the opening of the cave with large rocks, and place guards at the entrance to keep the kings inside.
The rest of you continue chasing the enemy and cut them down from the rear. Don’t give them a chance to get back to their towns, for the LORD your God has given you victory over them.”
So Joshua and the Israelite army continued the slaughter and completely crushed the enemy. They totally wiped out the five armies except for a tiny remnant that managed to reach their fortified towns.
Then the Israelites returned safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah. After that, no one dared to speak even a word against Israel.
Then Joshua said, “Remove the rocks covering the opening of the cave, and bring the five kings to me.”
So they brought the five kings out of the cave—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon.
When they brought them out, Joshua told the commanders of his army, “Come and put your feet on the kings’ necks.” And they did as they were told.
“Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged,” Joshua told his men. “Be strong and courageous, for the LORD is going to do this to all of your enemies.”
Then Joshua killed each of the five kings and impaled them on five sharpened poles, where they hung until evening.
As the sun was going down, Joshua gave instructions for the bodies of the kings to be taken down from the poles and thrown into the cave where they had been hiding. Then they covered the opening of the cave with a pile of large rocks, which remains to this very day.
That same day Joshua captured and destroyed the town of Makkedah. He killed everyone in it, including the king, leaving no survivors. He destroyed them all, and he killed the king of Makkedah as he had killed the king of Jericho.
Then Joshua and the Israelites went to Libnah and attacked it.
There, too, the LORD gave them the town and its king. He killed everyone in it, leaving no survivors. Then Joshua killed the king of Libnah as he had killed the king of Jericho.
From Libnah, Joshua and the Israelites went to Lachish and attacked it.
Here again, the LORD gave them Lachish. Joshua took it on the second day and killed everyone in it, just as he had done at Libnah.
During the attack on Lachish, King Horam of Gezer arrived with his army to help defend the town. But Joshua’s men killed him and his army, leaving no survivors.
Then Joshua and the Israelite army went on to Eglon and attacked it.
They captured it that day and killed everyone in it. He completely destroyed everyone, just as he had done at Lachish.
From Eglon, Joshua and the Israelite army went up to Hebron and attacked it.
They captured the town and killed everyone in it, including its king, leaving no survivors. They did the same thing to all of its surrounding villages. And just as he had done at Eglon, he completely destroyed the entire population.
Then Joshua and the Israelites turned back and attacked Debir.
He captured the town, its king, and all of its surrounding villages. He completely destroyed everyone in it, leaving no survivors. He did to Debir and its king just what he had done to Hebron and to Libnah and its king.
So Joshua conquered the whole region—the kings and people of the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills, and the mountain slopes. He completely destroyed everyone in the land, leaving no survivors, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded.
Joshua slaughtered them from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza and from the region around the town of Goshen up to Gibeon.
Joshua conquered all these kings and their land in a single campaign, for the LORD, the God of Israel, was fighting for his people.
Then Joshua and the Israelite army returned to their camp at Gilgal.