Joshua 10 & 11

10 Now it came about when Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had captured Ai, and had utterly destroyed it (just as he had done to Jericho and its king, so he had done to Ai and its king), and that the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were within their land, that 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 mighty. Therefore Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent word to Hoham king of Hebron and to Piram king of Jarmuth and to Japhia king of Lachish and to Debir king of Eglon, saying, “Come up to me and help me, and let us attack Gibeon, for it has made peace with Joshua and with the sons of Israel.” So 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 together and went up, they with all their armies, and camped by Gibeon and fought against it.

Then the men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal, saying, “Do not abandon your servants; come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites that live in the hill country have assembled against us.” So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him and all the valiant warriors. The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands; not one of them shall stand before you.” So Joshua came upon them suddenly by marching all night from Gilgal. 10  And the Lord confounded them before Israel, and He slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and pursued them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled from before Israel, while they were at the descent of Beth-horon, the Lord threw large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died; there were more who died from the hailstones than those whom the sons of Israel killed with the sword.

12 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,

“O sun, stand still at Gibeon,
And O moon in the valley of Aijalon.”
13  So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies.

Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. 14 There was no day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.

15 Then Joshua and all Israel with him returned to the camp to Gilgal.

16 Now these five kings had fled and hidden themselves in the cave at Makkedah. 17 It was told Joshua, saying, “The five kings have been found hidden in the cave at Makkedah.” 18 Joshua said, “Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and assign men by it to guard them, 19 but do not stay there yourselves; pursue your enemies and attack them in the rear. Do not allow them to enter their cities, for the Lord your God has delivered them into your hand.” 20 It came about when Joshua and the sons of Israel had finished slaying them with a very great slaughter, until they were destroyed, and the survivors who remained of them had entered the fortified cities, 21 that all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace. No one uttered a word against any of the sons of Israel.

22 Then Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring these five kings out to me from the cave.” 23 They did so, and brought these 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 When they brought these kings out to Joshua, Joshua called for 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.” So they came near and put their feet on their necks. 25 Joshua then said to them, “ Do not fear or be dismayed! Be strong and courageous, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies with whom you fight.” 26 So afterward Joshua struck them and put them to death, and he hanged them on five trees; and they hung on the trees until evening. 27 It came about at [n]sunset that Joshua gave a command, and they took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had hidden themselves, and put large stones over the mouth of the cave, to this very day.

28 Now Joshua captured Makkedah on that day, and struck it and its king with the edge of the sword; he utterly destroyed it and every person who was in it. He left no survivor. Thus he did to the king of Makkedah just as he had done to the king of Jericho.

29 Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Makkedah to Libnah, and fought against Libnah. 30 The Lord gave it also with its king into the hands of Israel, and he struck it and every person who was in it with the edge of the sword. He left no survivor in it. Thus he did to its king just as he had done to the king of Jericho.

31 And Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Libnah to Lachish, and they camped by it and fought against it. 32 The Lord gave Lachish into the hands of Israel; and he captured it on the second day, and struck it and every person who was in it with the edge of the sword, according to all that he had done to Libnah.

33 Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish, and Joshua [r]defeated him and his people until he had left him no survivor.

34 And Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Lachish to Eglon, and they camped by it and fought against it. 35 They captured it on that day and struck it with the edge of the sword; and he [s]utterly destroyed that day every person who was in it, according to all that he had done to Lachish.

36 Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron, and they fought against it. 37 They captured it and struck it and its king and all its cities and all the persons who were in it with the edge of the sword. He left no survivor, according to all that he had done to Eglon. And he [t]utterly destroyed it and every person who was in it.

38 Then Joshua and all Israel with him returned to Debir, and they fought against it. 39 He captured it and its king and all its cities, and they struck them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed every person who was in it. He left no survivor. Just as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir and its king, as he had also done to Libnah and its king.

40 Thus Joshua struck all the land, the hill country and the Negev and the lowland and the slopes and all their kings. He left no survivor, but he utterly destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded. 41 Joshua struck them from Kadesh-barnea even as far as Gaza, and all the country of Goshen even as far as Gibeon. 42 Joshua captured all these kings and their lands at one time, because the Lord, the God of Israel, fought for Israel. 43 So Joshua and all Israel with him returned to the camp at Gilgal.

11 Then it came about, when Jabin king of Hazor heard of it, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon and to the king of Shimron and to the king of Achshaph, and to the kings who were of the north in the hill country, and in the Arabah—south of Chinneroth and in the lowland and on the heights of Dor on the west— to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Jebusite in the hill country, and the Hivite at the foot of Hermon in the land of Mizpeh. They came out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots. So all of these kings having agreed to meet, came and encamped together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow at this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel; you shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.” So Joshua and all the people of war with him came upon them suddenly by the waters of Merom, and attacked them. The Lord delivered them into the hand of Israel, so that they defeated them, and pursued them as far as Great Sidon and Misrephoth-maim and the valley of Mizpeh to the east; and they struck them until no survivor was left to them. Joshua did to them as the Lord had told him; he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire.

10 Then Joshua turned back at that time, and captured Hazor and struck its king with the sword; for Hazor formerly was the head of all these kingdoms. 11  They struck every person who was in it with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them; there was no one left who breathed. And he burned Hazor with fire. 12 Joshua captured all the cities of these kings, and all their kings, and he struck them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed them; just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded. 13 However, Israel did not burn any cities that stood on their mounds, except Hazor alone, which Joshua burned. 14  All the spoil of these cities and the cattle, the sons of Israel took as their plunder; but they struck every man with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them. They left no one who breathed. 15 Just as the Lord had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses.

16 Thus Joshua took all that land: the hill country and all the Negev, all that land of Goshen, the lowland, the Arabah, the hill country of Israel and its lowland 17 from Mount Halak, that rises toward Seir, even as far as Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon at the foot of Mount Hermon. And he captured all their kings and struck them down and put them to death. 18 Joshua waged war a long time with all these kings. 19 There was not a city which made peace with the sons of Israel except the Hivites living in Gibeon; they took them all in battle. 20  For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, to meet Israel in battle in order that he might utterly destroy them, that they might receive no mercy, but that he might destroy them, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

21 Then Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab and from all the hill country of Judah and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. 22 There were no Anakim left in the land of the sons of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod some remained. 23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Thus the land had rest from war.

Observation – what does it say?

  • The king of Jerusalem heard Joshua attacked Ai
  • Joshua had utterly destroyed Ai and Jericho and their Kings
  • When the king of Jerusalem heard is that Gibeon had been a treaty with Joshua he summoned the surrounding kings to attack Gibeon
  • Gibeon was a great city
  • Gibeon was like one of the royal cities
  • Gideon was greater than Ai
  • All of the men of Gibeon were mighty
  • The king of Jerusalem attacked Gibeon  because they had made peace with Joshua and the sons of Israel
  • The Kings surrounded Gibeon and fought against it
  • The men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua that they needed his helped
  • The Gibeonites reminded Joshua they were his servants and he owed them his protection
  • Joshua and all the soldiers when up to fight against the kings surrounding Gibeon
  • The Lord told Joshua not to fear, he had given kings to Joshua.
  • The Lord confounded the kings and their soldiers before Israel
  • There was a great slaughter at Gibeon.
  • The army’s fled before Israel and Israel pursued them.
  • While the armies were fleeing god sent hail storm and kill many of them.
  • The number of soldiers killed by God’s storm was greater than the number of soldiers killed by the swords of Israel
  • Joshua prayed a  prayer while the Israeli army was fighting the Amorites
  • Joshua’s prayer was that the sun would stand still at Gideon and the moon stand still in the valley of Aijalon.
  • The sun did stand still in in the middle of the day
  • The prayer record the Gideon is written and poetic language
  • There was no day like today the of the slaughter of the Amorites before or since
  • On that day The Lord listened to the voice of the man
  • The Lord fought for Israel.
  • After the battle Joshua and Israel returned to their camp at Gilgal
  • While the armies were fleeing the five Kings hid themselves in a cave
  • Kings were found and their location reported to Joshua
  • Joshua told those who reported the king’s location were to roll big stones in front of the cave, set the guard, and then continue the pursuit of the armies.
  • Joshua told them to pursue the armies and do not let them enter their fortified cities
  • The slaughter of the armies was very great and only a few were able to reach their cities
  • Joshua had the kings brought from the caves.
  • Joshua had the chiefs of the army of Israel to put their feet on the necks of the kings
  • The chiefs of the army put their feet on the necks of the kings
  • Joshua told that them to be strong and courageous because the Lord would fight for them and against their enemies
  • Joshua struck the kings down and hung them on five different trees
  • There were five kings total
  • At sunset Joshua give the command to cut the kings down from the trees and bury them in the mouth of the caves where they had hidden
  • That same day Joshua captured Makkedah and  struck it with a sword and killed it’s king
  • And when the city captured there were no survivors
  • Joshua did to the king Makkedah just as he had done to the king of Jericho
  • Joshua turn south and fights in several cities killing all the inhabitants and their kings
  • Joshua struck all the land, the hill country and Negev the lowland and the slopes have all their kings.
  • Joshua left no survivors, as the Lord had commanded
  • Joshua captured all the kings in the land because the Lord God of Israel fought for Israel
  • After capturing the southern part of the land Joshua and all Israel returned to Gilgal.
  • The northern kingdoms formed a coalition against Israel
  • The northern kingdom’s came out against Israel the number of soldiers was so great it was like the scent of the seashore.
  • The chariots and many horses
  • The Lord told Joshua not to be afraid because the next day He was going to slay them before Israel
  • Joshua was to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots
  • Joshua and the people of war team of the northern kingdoms very quickly and defeated them.
  • The northern kingdoms fled in retreat and Israel pursued
  • Joshua did as the Lord commanded hamstrung the horses and burned the chariots
  • Joshua then turn back and captured Hazor
  • Hazor was the former head of all the kingdom’s the Joshua just defeated
  • Joshua burned Hazor down
  • Joshua captured all the cities and destroyed the Kings just as Moses had commanded
  • The only city Israel burned that stood on its mound was Hazor
  • Joshua did  everything that Moses had commanded
  • There was nothing the Lord commanded Moses Joshua had not done.
  • Joshua took the whole land and gave it as an inheritance to Israel
  • The land was divided by tribes of Israel
  • The land had the rest of war

Interpretation – what does it mean?

In these two chapters of Joshua the Lord fights the battles of Israel. And God brings about great victory to Joshua in the sons of Israel.  It would be a mistake to understand this section of scripture to mean God is going to fight your battles and you will be victorious as a result.  This is a story about how God fulfilled His promise to the nation of Israel. In Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, God describes the inhabitants of the land as wicked.  God has also promised this land to the children of Israel as an inheritance. To assume God will help you overcome all your battles is simply to miss the message. This is not a story about you. This is not even a story about the children of Israel. This is a story about God. To ask the question what is your Jericho, or what is your Ai, is to completely miss the message.  This story is more about how you can get God to do what you what or think you need.  This is the story of the sovereignty of God.  We are like the way the bible describes the inhabitants of the land, wicked.  We are rebellious.  And God has every right to wipe us out, just as He had every right to wipe out the inhabitants of the land. This is a story about God not about us.  This is a story about how God keeps his promises. That’s the good news, God keeps His promises.  And, that’s also the bad news, God keeps his promises.  These two chapters outline God fulfilling his promise to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, and the entire nation of Israel.  God does not promise you victory in this life, he promises your victory over sin and death because of the sacrifice that He has made.  He promises in romans chapter 8, “That neither death, nor life, nor angels, the principality’s, more powers, nor things present, or things to come, nor Heights, nor doeth, nor any other creature, should be able to separatists from the love of god, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  In other words, God has promised that those who belong to Him, He will never abandon and nothing, nothing can separate us from his love.

Misinterpretation of Chapter 10 verses 12-14 in history have given the church a black eye that it suffers from today. The issue is this. In the time of Galileo, The church denied the fact that the earth revolved around the sun. This section of scripture was sighted a text proving that the sun revolved around the earth. Verse 13 says, “And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day” The sun stood still not the earth proving that the sun revolved around the earth.

This misinterpretation is a classical problem I see committed today. First let me say I take the bible literally. By literally I mean in the since in which it was written. Poetry is interpreted as poetry. History is interpreted as history. Didactic is interpreted as instruction. So, not all scripture is to be taken in a wooden sense. Second, the bible was written as things appeared. It is not intended to teach astronomy, physics, calculus, or other scientific concept. All truth is God’s truth and must harmonize. But be careful in reading the bible read it as it is intended.

Application – How does it work?

We live in a postmodern world. Our society denies the ability to know truth. As a result there is the claim; the world does not make sense. That statement is true, but incomplete. The world does not make sense without Christ. Once our lives are aligned with grace and mercy of God the world makes sense. We realize it is not about us. It is about Him. Then realizing what he has done for us in condescending to become a man and paying a debt we could not pay make eternally grateful and changes our lives to live it for Him. God promised us a savior. He kept that promise

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