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Joshua 10:1-27

Israel Defeats an Amorite Coalition

10:1 Adoni-Zedek, king of Jerusalem, 1  heard how Joshua captured Ai and annihilated it and its king as he did Jericho 2  and its king. 3  He also heard how 4  the people of Gibeon made peace with Israel and lived among them. 10:2 All Jerusalem was terrified 5  because Gibeon was a large city, like one of the royal cities. It was larger than Ai and all its men were warriors. 10:3 So 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: 10:4 “Come to my aid 6  so we can attack Gibeon, for it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.” 10:5 So the five Amorite kings (the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon) and all their troops gathered together and advanced. They deployed their troops and fought against Gibeon. 7 

10:6 The men of Gibeon sent this message to Joshua at the camp in Gilgal, “Do not abandon 8  your subjects! 9  Rescue us! Help us! For all the Amorite kings living in the hill country are attacking us.” 10  10:7 So Joshua and his whole army, including the bravest warriors, marched up from Gilgal. 11  10:8 The Lord told Joshua, “Don’t be afraid of them, for I am handing them over to you. 12  Not one of them can resist you.” 13  10:9 Joshua attacked them by surprise after marching all night from Gilgal. 14  10:10 The Lord routed 15  them before Israel. Israel 16  thoroughly defeated them 17  at Gibeon. They chased them up the road to the pass 18  of Beth Horon and struck them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. 10:11 As they fled from Israel on the slope leading down from 19  Beth Horon, the Lord threw down on them large hailstones from the sky, 20  all the way to Azekah. They died – in fact, more died from the hailstones than the Israelites killed with the sword.

10:12 The day the Lord delivered the Amorites over to the Israelites, Joshua prayed to the Lord before Israel: 21 

“O sun, stand still over Gibeon!

O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon!”

10:13 The sun stood still and the moon stood motionless while the nation took vengeance on its enemies. The event is recorded in the Scroll of the Upright One. 22  The sun stood motionless in the middle of the sky and did not set for about a full day. 23  10:14 There has not been a day like it before or since. The Lord obeyed 24  a man, for the Lord fought for Israel! 10:15 Then Joshua and all Israel returned to the camp at Gilgal.

10:16 The five Amorite kings 25  ran away and hid in the cave at Makkedah. 10:17 Joshua was told, “The five kings have been found hiding in the cave at Makkedah.” 10:18 Joshua said, “Roll large stones over the mouth of the cave and post guards in front of it. 26  10:19 But don’t you delay! Chase your enemies and catch them! 27  Don’t allow them to retreat to 28  their cities, for the Lord your God is handing them over to you.” 29  10:20 Joshua and the Israelites almost totally wiped them out, but some survivors did escape to the fortified cities. 30  10:21 Then the whole army safely returned to Joshua at the camp in Makkedah. 31  No one 32  dared threaten the Israelites. 33  10:22 Joshua said, “Open the cave’s mouth and bring the five kings 34  out of the cave to me.” 10:23 They did as ordered; 35  they brought the five kings 36  out of the cave to him – the kings of Jerusalem, 37  Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon. 10:24 When they brought the kings out to Joshua, he 38  summoned all the men of Israel and said to the commanders of the troops who accompanied him, “Come here 39  and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came up 40  and put their feet on their necks. 10:25 Then Joshua said to them, “Don’t be afraid and don’t panic! 41  Be strong and brave, for the Lord will do the same thing to all your enemies you fight. 10:26 Then Joshua executed them 42  and hung them on five trees. They were left hanging on the trees until evening. 10:27 At sunset Joshua ordered his men to take them down from the trees. 43  They threw them into the cave where they had hidden and piled large stones over the mouth of the cave. (They remain to this very day.) 44 

1 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

2 map For location see Map5 B2; Map6 E1; Map7 E1; Map8 E3; Map10 A2; Map11 A1.

3 tn Heb “as he had done to Jericho and to its king, so he did to Ai and to its king.”

4 tn Heb “and how.”

5 tn This statement is subordinated to v. 1 in the Hebrew text, which reads literally, “When Adoni-Zedek…they feared greatly.” The subject of the plural verb at the beginning of v. 2 is probably the residents of Jerusalem.

6 tn Heb “Come up to me and help me.”

7 tn Heb “and they camped against Gibeon and fought against it.”

8 tn Heb “do not let your hand drop from us.”

9 tn Heb “your servants!”

10 tn Heb “have gathered against us.”

11 tn Heb “And Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the brave warriors.”

12 tn Heb “I have given them into your hand.” The verbal form is a perfect of certitude, emphasizing the certainty of the action.

13 tn Heb “and not a man [or “one”] of them will stand before you.”

14 tn Heb “Joshua came upon them suddenly, all the night he went up from Gilgal.”

15 tn Or “caused to panic.”

16 tn Heb “he.” The referent is probably Israel (mentioned at the end of the previous sentence in the verse; cf. NIV, NRSV), but it is also possible that the Lord should be understood as the referent (cf. NASB “and He slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon”), or even Joshua (cf. NEB “and Joshua defeated them utterly in Gibeon”).

17 tn Heb “struck them down with a great striking down.”

18 tn Or “ascent.”

19 tn Heb “on the descent of.”

20 tn Or “heaven” (also in v. 13). The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.

21 tn Heb “Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day the Lord placed the Amorites before the sons of Israel and he said in the eyes of Israel.” It is uncertain whether the phrase “before the sons of Israel” modifies the verb “placed” (as in the present translation, “delivered the Amorites over to the Israelites”) or the verb “spoke” (“Joshua spoke to the Lord before the sons of Israel in the day the Lord delivered over the Amorites”).

22 tn Heb “Is it not written down in the Scroll of the Upright One.” Many modern translations render, “the Scroll [or Book] of Jashar,” leaving the Hebrew name “Jashar” (which means “Upright One”) untranslated.

sn The Scroll of the Upright One was apparently an ancient Israelite collection of songs and prayers (see also 2 Sam 1:18).

23 tn Heb “and did not hurry to set [for] about a full day.”

24 tn Heb “listened to the voice of.”

25 tn Heb “these five kings.”

26 tn Heb “and appoint by it men to guard them.”

27 tn Heb “But [as for] you, don’t stand still, chase after your enemies and attack them from the rear.”

28 tn Or “enter into.”

29 tn Heb “has given them into your hand.” The verbal form is a perfect of certitude, emphasizing the certainty of the action.

30 tn Heb “When Joshua and the sons of Israel finished defeating them with a very great defeat until they were destroyed (now the survivors escaped to the fortified cities).” In the Hebrew text the initial temporal clause (“when Joshua…finished”) is subordinated to v. 21 (“the whole army returned”).

31 tn Heb “all the people returned to the camp, to Joshua [at] Makkedah [in] peace.”

32 tc Heb “No man.” The lamed (ל) prefixed to אִישׁ (’ish, “man”) is probably dittographic (note the immediately preceding יִשְׂרָאֵל [israel] which ends in lamed, ל); cf. the LXX.

33 tn Heb “no man sharpened [or perhaps, “pointed”] his tongue against the sons of Israel.” Cf. NEB “not a man of the Israelites suffered so much as a scratch on his tongue,” which understands “sharpened” as “scratched” (referring to a minor wound). Most modern translations understand the Hebrew expression “sharpened his tongue” figuratively for opposition or threats against the Israelites.

34 tn Heb “these five kings.”

35 tn Heb “they did so.”

36 tn Heb “these five kings.”

37 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

38 tn Heb “Joshua.” The translation has replaced the proper name with the pronoun (“he”) because a repetition of the proper name here would be redundant according to English style.

39 tn Or “Draw near.”

40 tn Or “drew near.”

41 tn Or perhaps “and don’t get discouraged!”

42 tn Heb “struck them down and killed them.”

43 sn For the legal background of the removal of the corpses before sundown, see Deut 21:22-23.

44 tn Heb “to this very day.” The words “They remain” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

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