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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 10

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1 WHEN King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had captured and destroyed Ai, dealing with Ai and its king as he had dealt with Jericho and its king, and also that the inhabitants of Gibeon had come to terms with Israel and were living among them, 2he was a 10:2 he was: so Syriac; Heb. they were. greatly alarmed; for Gibeon was a large place, like a royal city: it was larger than Ai, and its men were all good fighters. 3So King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem sent this message to King Hoham of Hebron, King Piram of Jarmuth, King Japhia of Lachish, and King Debir of Eglon: 4‘Come up and assist me to attack Gibeon, because it has come to terms with Joshua and the Israelites.’

5The five Amorite kings, the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon, advanced with their united forces to take up position for the attack on Gibeon. 6The Gibeonites sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: ‘Do not abandon your slaves; come quickly to our relief. Come and help us, for all the Amorite kings in the hill-country have joined forces against us.’ 7When Joshua went up from Gilgal followed by his whole force, all his warriors, 8the LORD said to him, ‘Do not be afraid; I have delivered these kings into your hands, and not one of them will be able to withstand you.’ 9After a night march from Gilgal, Joshua launched a surprise assault on the five kings, 10and the LORD threw them into confusion before the Israelites. Joshua utterly defeated them at Gibeon; he pursued them down the pass of Beth-horon and kept up the attack as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11As they fled from Israel down the pass, the LORD hurled great hailstones at them out of the sky all the way to Azekah, and they perished: more died from the hailstones than were slain by the swords of the Israelites.

12On that day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites into the hands of Israel, Joshua spoke with the LORD, and in the presence of Israel said:

‘Stand still, you sun, at Gibeon; you moon, at the vale of Aijalon.’

13The sun stood still and the moon halted until the nation had taken vengeance on its enemies, as indeed is written in the Book of Jashar b 10:13 Book of Jashar: or Book of the Upright. . The sun stayed in mid-heaven and made no haste to set for almost a whole day. 14Never before or since has there been such a day as that on which the LORD listened to the voice of a mortal. Surely the LORD fought for Israel! 15Then Joshua returned with all the Israelites to the camp at Gilgal.

16The five kings fled and hid in a cave at Makkedah, 17and Joshua was told that they had been found hiding there. 18Joshua replied, ‘Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and post men there to keep watch over the kings. 19But you yourselves must not stay. Keep up the pursuit, attack your enemies from the rear and do not let them reach their towns; the LORD your God has delivered them into your hands.’

20When Joshua and the Israelites had completed the work of slaughter and everyone had been put to the sword—all except a few survivors who escaped into the fortified towns—21the whole army returned c 10:21 returned: so Gk; Heb. adds to the camp. safely to Joshua at Makkedah; not one of the Israelites suffered so much as a scratch d not one … scratch: Heb. adds on his tongue; or no one raised his voice against the Israelites. .

22Joshua gave the order: ‘Open up the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings to me.’ 23This was done; the five kings, the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon, were taken from the cave 24and brought to Joshua. When he had summoned all the Israelites he said to the commanders of the troops who had served with him, ‘Come forward and put your feet on the necks of these kings.’ They did so, 25and Joshua said to them, ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged; be strong and resolute; for the LORD will do this to every enemy whom you fight.’ 26He fell on the kings and slew them; then he hung their bodies on five gibbets, where they remained hanging till evening. 27At sunset they were taken down on Joshua's orders and thrown into the cave in which they had hidden; large stones were piled against its mouth, where they remain to this very day.

28On that same day Joshua captured Makkedah and put both king and people to the sword, destroying under the ban both them and every living thing in the city. He left no survivor, and he dealt with the king of Makkedah as he had dealt with the king of Jericho. 29Then Joshua with all the Israelites marched on from Makkedah to Libnah and attacked it. 30The LORD delivered the city and its king to the Israelites, and they put its people and every living thing in it to the sword; they left no survivor there, and dealt with its king as they had dealt with the king of Jericho. 31From Libnah Joshua and all the Israelites marched on to Lachish, where they took up their positions against it and attacked it. 32The LORD delivered Lachish into their hands; they took it on the second day and put every living thing in it to the sword, as they had done at Libnah.

33Meanwhile King Horam of Gezer had advanced to the relief of Lachish; but Joshua attacked him and his army until not a survivor was left to him. 34From Lachish Joshua and all the Israelites marched on to Eglon, took up their positions against it, and attacked it; 35that same day they captured it and put its inhabitants to the sword, destroying every living thing in it as they had done at Lachish. 36From Eglon Joshua and all the Israelites advanced to Hebron and attacked it. 37They captured it and put its king to the sword together with every living thing in it and in all its villages; as at Eglon, he left no survivor, destroying it and every living thing in it. 38Then Joshua and all the Israelites wheeled round towards Debir and attacked it. 39They captured the king, the city, and all its villages, put them to the sword, and destroyed every living thing; they left no survivor. They dealt with Debir and its king as they had dealt with Hebron and with Libnah and its king.

40So Joshua conquered the whole region—the hill-country, the Negeb, the Shephelah, the watersheds—and all its kings. He left no survivor, destroying everything that drew breath, as the LORD the God of Israel had commanded. 41Joshua's conquests extended from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza, over the whole land of Goshen, and as far as Gibeon. 42All these kings he captured at the same time, and their country with them, for the LORD the God of Israel fought for Israel. 43Then Joshua returned with all the Israelites to the camp at Gilgal.

Notes:

a 10:2 he was: so Syriac; Heb. they were.

b 10:13 Book of Jashar: or Book of the Upright.

c 10:21 returned: so Gk; Heb. adds to the camp.

d not one … scratch: Heb. adds on his tongue; or no one raised his voice against the Israelites.

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