Joshua Chapter 10

At this point, the Israelites were near the land of the Gibeonites, where they had made peace with the people and taken them as servants. They had already taken the area of Jericho and Ai, and the kings of the land had gathered together to fight against them. This chapter begins:

1 Now it came to pass, when Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem had heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them;
2 That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty.
3 Wherefore Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent unto Hoham king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and unto Debir king of Eglon, saying,
4 Come up unto me, and help me, that we may smite Gibeon: for it hath made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel.
5 Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon, gathered themselves together, and went up, they and all their hosts, and encamped before Gibeon, and made war against it.

The fact that Gibeon, a large and royal city, had given in to the Israelites, was a disheartening thing to Adoni-zedek of Jeresalem. In fear, he called for the neighboring Amorite kings to send their armies to him, so that they could fight the city of Gibeon for making peace with Israel. They sent their armies and began to fight Gibeon.

6 And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us.
7 So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour.

The Gibeonites, fearing the Amorite kings, asked Joshua and the Israelites for help to defeat the Amorites, so Joshua took his army towards Gibeon.

8 And the Lord said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.
9 Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night.
10 And the Lord discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Beth-horon, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah.
11 And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Beth-horon, that the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.

Joshua, turned to the Lord, and had the assurance of the Lord that He was on their side, and that the Israelites would be able to conquer the Amorites. Joshua led the army quickly in the night, and they were able to destroy many of the Amorites in Gibeon. Those who tried to get away, were chased to Azekah, where the Lord helped Israel by sending great hailstones from heaven, which destroyed the fleeing Amorites.

12 Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.
13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel.

Joshua prayed to the Lord and called the sun and moon to stand still. Then the Lord listened and fought for Israel, in a manner that had not been done before. In Helaman 12 we read the following:

13 Yea, and if he say unto the earth—Move—it is moved.
14 Yea, if he say unto the earth—Thou shalt go back, that it lengthen out the day for many hours—it is done;
15 And thus, according to his word the earth goeth back, and it appeareth unto man that the sun standeth still; yea, and behold, this is so; for surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun.

It seems like there would have been nothing quite like a miracle of stopping the sun and moon from their typical movement, or stopping the earth, so that the sun and moon appear to stop moving. This is a testimony builder for me, that the God of Israel was indeed the one true and living God.

It is interesting hear that the book of Jasher is mentioned. This is one of many occasions in the scriptures, when the book of a prophet is mentioned, which is lost to us today. I look forward to the time, when all the books will be revealed, because I think the evidences of truth in the gospel, will be too great to be ignored.

15 And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.
16 But these five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah.
17 And it was told Joshua, saying, The five kings are found hid in a cave at Makkedah.
18 And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave, and set men by it for to keep them:
19 And stay ye not, but pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost of them; suffer them not to enter into their cities: for the Lord your God hath delivered them into your hand.
20 And it came to pass, when Joshua and the children of Israel had made an end of slaying them with a very great slaughter, till they were consumed, that the rest which remained of them entered into fenced cities.
21 And all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace: none moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel.
22 Then said Joshua, Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave.
23 And they did so, and brought forth those five kings unto him out of the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon.
24 And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them.
25 And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the Lord do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.
26 And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening.
27 And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave’s mouth, which remain until this very day.

The Israelites returned to camp and the five Amorite kings went into hiding in a cave. Joshua learned where they were hiding and had the cave opening covered with great stones, to keep them in. Then, the army was to go after the enemy armies and destroy them before they could return to their cities. All this was done, with the knowledge that God had delivered their enemies into their hands. The Israelites destroyed the enemies and returned to their camp. The five kings were then brought to Joshua and he had his captains bring the kings low and place a foot on their necks, to show their submission to the Israelites. Then, he had them killed and hung on trees for the remainder of the day. When evening came, the bodies were put back in the cave and stones were placed in front of the mouth of the cave.

28 And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain: and he did to the king of Makkedah as he did unto the king of Jericho.
29 Then Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, unto Libnah, and fought against Libnah:
30 And the Lord delivered it also, and the king thereof, into the hand of Israel; and he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain in it; but did unto the king thereof as he did unto the king of Jericho.

The Israelites took over the land of Makkedah, and destroyed it and all its people. Then the city of Libnah was delivered into their hands and they destroyed it as well.

31 And Joshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him, unto Lachish, and encamped against it, and fought against it:
32 And the Lord delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the second day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein, according to all that he had done to Libnah.

The Israelites fought against Lachish and they were victorious on the second day, destroying it completely.

33 Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining.

Next, they destroyed the army of Gezer, and their king, Horam, who had joined the fight against Lachish.

34 And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon, and all Israel with him; and they encamped against it, and fought against it:
35 And they took it on that day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein he utterly destroyed that day, according to all that he had done to Lachish.
36 And Joshua went up from Eglon, and all Israel with him, unto Hebron; and they fought against it:
37 And they took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof, and all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining, according to all that he had done to Eglon; but destroyed it utterly, and all the souls that were therein.

After this, the Israelites moved onto a place called Eglon and then to Hebron, which they destroyed also.

38 And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to Debir; and fought against it:
39 And he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof; and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining: as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir, and to the king thereof; as he had done also to Libnah, and to her king.

They fought next against Debir and destroyed its cities and king.

40 So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel commanded.
41 And Joshua smote them from Kadesh-barnea even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon.
42 And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the Lord God of Israel fought for Israel.
43 And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.

Under the command of the Lord, many cities and kings were destroyed. This they were able to do, because the Lord fought for Israel and delivered the nations into their hands. Once they were done, they returned to the camp in Gilgal.

In the destruction of these cities and kings, Joshua and the Israelites were following the commandment of the Lord. In Deuteronomy 20, we read the following:

17 But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee:
18 That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the Lord your God.

The purpose for this destruction, is explained in these verses. They had to destroy and, in a way cleanse, the land, so that the other nations would not teach the Israelites to commit the sins and abominations that were a part of their everyday lifestyles. It would have been easy, and eventually was easy, for the Israelites to fall into the ways of the nations around them. The Lord wanted them to have the best foundation possible for settling in the promised land and being His people. There are times in our lives, when we will need to dispel fear or get rid of the destructive temptations around us. If we leave any hint of them, it will be easy for us to fall back in the habits of turning to them and the ways of men, instead of turning to the Lord. This process is not easy, just as fighting these people was not an easy task for the Israelites. They could not have been victorious without the help of the Lord. When we have fear or temptations creep into our lives, we need to have the Lord on our side as we fight our battles. When we follow this counsel, we can find great blessings of peace and happiness from our choice to draw closer to God.

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I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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