Joshua 10

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

THE DEFENSE OF THE GIBEONITES

INTRODUCTION:

 

We are in the process of looking at the conquest of Canaan which extends from 5:13 - 12:24. The conquest of Canaan is divided into the central campaign, the southern campaign, and the northern campaign.

 

We have seen the introduction of the Divine Commander in 5:13-15.

 

We have also seen the central campaign in chapters 6-8 which consisted of the conquest of Jericho, the defeat at the hands of the men of Ai, and the victory over Ai.

 

We are in the process of looking at the southern campaign, which consists of the alliance with the Gibeonites and the defense of the Gibeonites. In chapter 9 we have seen the alliance with the Gibeonites. This came about as a result of the Gibeonites deceiving the Israelites into thinking that they were from a far country when in reality they were quite close. In this message we are looking at the Israelite defense of the Gibeonites in 10:1-43 as a result of the covenant made by the Israelites in chapter 9.

 

I remind you of the truth of Romans 8:28 and of Psalms 37:23 .

 

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 

Psalms 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

 

What’s true for the individual is also true for the nation.

 

I also remind you of Romans 15:4 .

 

Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

 

I have distributed a map of where the various tribes were located. Keep it handy in this message because I will be pointing out various locations to you. Also, keep this map in your Bible. We will be continuing to use it in the next few weeks.

 

    I.     THE CAUSE OF THE CONFLICT – 10:1-5

 

Joshua 10:1 Now it came to pass, when Adonizedek king of Jerusalem [Jerusalem is located on the map in Judah just south of the N in Benjamin] had heard how Joshua had taken Ai [Ai is located on the map on the border of Ephraim and Benjamin just east of Bethel], and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king [Jericho is located on the map on the border of Ephraim and Benjamin just west of the Jordan River, which runs from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea], so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them [Gibeon is located on the map between the B and E in Benjamin];

 

Remember that God directed all of this.

 

Joshua 10:2 That they [i.e. the king and inhabitants of Jerusalem and other towns] 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 [i.e. all its men] were mighty.

 

Furthermore, the surrender of the Gibeonites completed an arc beginning at Gilgal and extending through Jericho and Ai to a point just a few miles northwest of Jerusalem (Bible Knowledge Commentary). It was evident that Jerusalem was next in line.

 

Joshua 10:3 Wherefore Adonizedek 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,

 

Joshua 10:4 Come up unto me, and help me, that we may smite [i.e. attack] Gibeon: for it hath made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel.

 

Joshua 10:5 Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem [Jerusalem is located on the map on the border of Benjamin and Judah just west of the north end of the Dead Sea], the king of Hebron [located on the map just below the A in Judah], the king of Jarmuth [located on the map in Judah just below the N in Dan], the king of Lachish [located on the map in Judah between the U and D in Judah], the king of Eglon [located on the map in Judah between the J and U in Judah], gathered themselves together, and went up, they and all their hosts [i.e. all their armies], and encamped before Gibeon, and made war against it [i.e. fought against it, attacked it].

 

The combined forces of five Amorite kings were camped in an open field outside Gibeon. An Israelite victory would break the backs of the enemy forces of the entire region (Bible Knowledge Commentary). Of course, the LORD set this up.

 

 

  II.     THE COURSE OF THE CONFLICT – 10:6-15

 

Joshua 10:6 And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal [located on the map in the eastern Benjamin just west of the Jordan River], saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants [i.e. do not forsake your servants, do not abandon your servants]; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for [i.e. because] all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us.

 

Joshua 10:7 So Joshua ascended [i.e. went up (went uphill)] from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour.

 

Joshua 10:8 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not [i.e. do not be afraid of them, do not fear them]: for I have delivered them into thine hand [i.e. I have given them into your hand]; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.

 

Joshua 10:9 Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night [i.e. having marched 25 miles uphill all night].

 

Joshua 10:10 And the LORD discomfited them [i.e. confounded them (i.e. the combined forces of the five kings), threw them into confusion, routed them] before Israel, and slew them [i.e. killed them] with a great slaughter at Gibeon [located on the map between the B and E in Benjamin], and chased them [i.e. pursued them] along the way [i.e. all along the road] that goeth up to Bethhoron [located on the map in southern Ephraim just north of the border between Dan and Benjamin], and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah [i.e. and struck them down as far as Azekah and Makkedah, which are located on the map in Judah just above the D in Judah].

 

Joshua 10:11 And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron [i.e. and were on the descent of Beth-Horon – Beth Horon is located on the map in southern Ephraim just north of the border of Dan and Benjamin], that the LORD cast down great stones [i.e. large hailstones] from heaven upon them unto Azekah [located on the map in Judah just north of the D in Judah], and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew [i.e. killed] with the sword.

 

Miraculously, none of the hailstones harmed the Israelites.

 

Joshua 10:12 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he [i.e. Joshua] said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

 

Joshua 10:13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed [i.e. stopped], 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 [i.e. delayed going down] about a whole day.

 

Joshua 10:14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto [i.e. listened to, heeded] the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.

 

There is no question that God did in fact cause the sun to stand still in the midst of heaven and not to go down for about a whole day just like the text says, but how He did it is not clear.

 

In his Study Bible Ryrie cites a number of views regarding how the Lord did this.

 

“Views concerning this phenomenon fall into two categories. The first assumes a slowing or suspending of the normal rotation of the earth so that there were extra hours that day (either 12 or 24). God did this so that Joshua’s forces could complete their victory before the enemy had a night for rest and regrouping. The Hebrew for “stood still” (v. 13) is a verb of motion, indicating a slowing or stopping of the rotation of the earth on its axis (which would not affect the earth’s movement around the sun). Verse 14 indicates that this was a unique day in the history of the world. The second category includes views that assume no irregularity in the rotation of the earth. One such view argues for the prolonging of daylight by some sort of unusual refraction of the sun’s rays. Thus, there were more daylight hours but not more hours in the day. Another view supposes a prolonging of semi-darkness to give Joshua’s men relief from the blazing summer sun, accomplished by God’s sending an unusual summer hailstorm. This view takes stood still in verse 13 to mean “be still” or “cease,” indicating that the sun was clouded by the storm and no extra hours were added to the day.”

 

The fact is that although we do not know how God accomplished this, we know that He accomplished it. It demonstrates once again that our God can do anything that is consistent with His nature; and it gives us confidence that He can meet our needs, too, regardless of how difficult they appear to be. It does not matter that we do not know how God did this.

 

Joshua 10:15 And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.

Back to the battle – we see –

 III.     THE CULMINATION OF THE CONFLICT – 10:16-43

 

Joshua 10:16 But these five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah.

 

Joshua 10:17 And it was told Joshua, saying, The five kings are found hid [i.e. have been found hidden] in a cave at Makkedah.

 

Joshua 10:18 And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon [i.e. against] the mouth of the cave, and set men by it for to keep them [i.e. to guard them]:

 

Joshua 10:19 And stay ye not [i.e. and don’t stay there, and don’t stop there], but pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost of them [i.e. attack them from the rear, attack their rear guard]; suffer them not [i.e. do not allow them] to enter into their cities: for the LORD your God hath delivered them into your hand.

 

Joshua 10:20 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 [i.e. that those who escaped entered into fortified cities].

 

Joshua 10:21 And all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace: none moved his tongue [i.e. no one uttered a word] against any of the children of Israel.

 

Joshua 10:22 Then said Joshua, Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave.

 

Joshua 10:23 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.

 

Joshua 10:24 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.

 

 

Joshua 10:25 And Joshua said unto them, Fear not [i.e. do not be afraid], nor be dismayed [i.e. nor be discouraged], be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.

 

Joshua 10:26 And afterward Joshua smote them [i.e. struck them], and slew them [i.e. and killed them], and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening.

 

Joshua 10:27 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 [i.e. against] the cave’s mouth, which remain until this very day.

 

In verses 28-40 Joshua now used lightning-like raids against key cities in the southern part of Canaan, west of the Dead Sea. Makkedah was about 20 mi (32 km) SW of Jerusalem (v. 28).

 

Joshua 10:28 And that day Joshua took Makkedah [locate on the map in Judah just above the U and D of Judah], and smote it [i.e. struck Makkedah] with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof [i.e. of Makkedah] he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls that were therein [i.e. in Makkedah]; he let none remain: and he did to the king of Makkedah as he did unto the king of Jericho.

Starting in verse 29 and going through verse 39, the same thing said about Makkedah is also said about Libnah [located on the map in Judah south west of Makkedah, just above the U and D in Judah], Lachish [located on the map in Judah between the U and D in Judah], Eglon [located on the map in Judah just below the J and U in Judah], Hebron [located on the map in Judah just below the A in Judah], and Debir [located on the map in Judah just below the D in Judah]. In addition, we see in verse 33 the mention of Horam king of Gezer.

Go to verse 33.

 

Joshua 10:29 Then Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, unto Libnah [located on the map in Judah south west of Makkedah, just above the U and D in Judah], and fought against Libnah:

Joshua 10:30 And the LORD delivered it also, and the king thereof [i.e. of Libnah], into the hand of Israel; and he smote it [i.e. struck Libnah] with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein [i.e. in Libnah]; he let none remain in it; but did unto the king thereof [i.e. the king of Libnah] as he did unto the king of Jericho.

Joshua 10:31 And Joshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him, unto Lachish [located on the map in Judah between the U and D in Judah], and encamped against it, and fought against it:

Joshua 10:32 And the LORD delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the second day, and smote it [i.e. struck Lachish] with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein [i.e. in Lachish], according to all that he had done to Libnah.

 

Joshua 10:33 Then Horam king of Gezer [located on the map in the southwest corner of Ephraim on the border with Dan] came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him [i.e. struck him] and his people, until he had left him none remaining.

 

Joshua 10:34 And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon [located on the map in Judah just below the J and U in Judah], and all Israel with him; and they encamped against it [i.e. against Eglon], and fought against it:

Joshua 10:35 And they took it on that day, and smote it [i.e. struck Eglon] with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein [i.e. in Eglon] he utterly destroyed that day, according to all that he had done to Lachish.

Joshua 10:36 And Joshua went up from Eglon, and all Israel with him, unto Hebron [located on the map in Judah just below the A in Judah]; and they fought against it:

Joshua 10:37 And they took it [i.e. captured Hebron], and smote it [i.e. struck Hebron] with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof [i.e. the king of Hebron], and all the cities thereof [i.e. of Hebron], and all the souls that were therein [i.e. in Hebron]; he left none remaining, according to all that he had done to Eglon; but destroyed it utterly, and all the souls that were therein [i.e. in Hebron].

Joshua 10:38 And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to Debir [located on the map in Judah just below the D in Judah]; and fought against it:

Joshua 10:39 And he took [i.e. captured] it, and the king thereof [i.e. of Debir], and all the cities thereof [i.e. of Debir]; and they smote them [i.e. struck them] with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed all the souls that were therein [i.e. in Debir]; he left none remaining: as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir, and to the king thereof [i.e. of Debir]; as he had done also to Libnah, and to her king.

Go to verse 40.

 

In verses 40-43 we find a general statement of the thoroughness of the Southern Campaign before the Israelites returned to their camp in Gilgal.

 

Joshua 10:40 So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale [i.e. of the lowland], 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.

 

Joshua 10:41 And Joshua smote them [i.e. struck them] from Kadeshbarnea [does not show on this map but is located about 60 miles straight south of Gaza] even unto Gaza [located on the map by the P in Philistines], and all the country of Goshen [not shown on the map but located somewhere between Gaza and Gibeon], even unto Gibeon [located on the map between the B and E in the name Benjamin].

 

Goshen is not the Goshen found in Egypt but another one located in southern Canaan.

 

Joshua 10:42 And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.

 

Joshua 10:43 And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.

This marks the end of the southern campaign.