Now it came to pass, when Adonizedek 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;
as he had
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.
Gibeon was situated on an eminence, as its name imports, 40 furlongs north from Jerusalem, according to Josephus.
the royal cities
Heb. cities of the kingdom.
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,
king of Jerusalem
Hebron was situated on an eminence, 20 miles south of Jerusalem, and the same distance north of Beersheba. It is now called El Khalil, "the well-beloved," the usual epithet which the Turks and Arabs apply to Abraham, whose sepulchral cave they still shew; over which St. Helena built a magnificent church. Its original site was on an eminence, at the southern foot of which the present village is pleasantly situated, on which are the remains of an ancient castle, its sole defence.
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.
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.
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.
to the camp
So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour.
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.
Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night.
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 Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah.
And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, 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.
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.
Joshua doubtless acted, on this occasion, by an immediate impulse upon his mind from the Spirit of God. The terms here employed to record the miracle, agree with the accustomed manner in which the the motions of the earth and sun are described in our own day. The sun apparently moves, but really is stationary; while the diurnal movement of the earth on its axis is by us unnoticed, and would not have been known except by astronomical science. The sun appeared to the Israelites over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Ajalon, and there they stayed in their course for "a whole day." Many vain enquiries have been made concerning the way in which this miracle was wrought, and many difficulties and objections have been urged against understanding it literally. But the fact is authenticated by the Divine testimony; and the manner in which it was accomplished lies entirely out of our province, because beyond our comprehension.
Heb. be silent.
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.
or, the upright.
So the sun
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.
for the Lord
And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.
But these five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah.
in a cave
And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave, and set men by it for to keep them:
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.
Heb. cut off the tail.
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.
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.
to the camp
Then said Joshua, Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave.
See on ver
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.
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.
put your feet
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.
And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening.
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.
until this very day
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.
Situated, according to Eusebius, 8 miles east from Eleutheropolis. It was afterwards assigned to the tribe of Judah.
and he did
Then Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, unto Libnah, and fought against Libnah:
This city was situated in the south of Judah, and in the district of Eleutheropolis, according to Eusebius and Jerome. It is probably the Libnah in the neighbourhood of which the Israelites encamped.
as he did
And Joshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him, unto Lachish, and encamped against it, and fought against it:
Lachish was also situated in the south of Judah, seven miles south from Eleutheropolis, according to Eusebius and Jerome. It appears to have been anciently a very strong place; for though the people were panic struck, and the Israelites flushed with success, yet Joshua could not reduce it till the second day; and the king of Assyria afterwards was obliged to raise the siege.
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.
Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining.
Gezer was situated on the confines of Ephraim and Manasseh, between Beth-horon and the sea; and is evidently the village of Gazara mentioned by Eusebius, four miles (north) from Nicopolis or Emmaus.
And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon, and all Israel with him; and they encamped against it, and fought against it:
This town appears to have been no great distance from Lachish, with which it is mentioned, ch. 15:39, as one of the cities given to Judah.
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.
on that day
And Joshua went up from Eglon, and all Israel with him, unto Hebron; and they fought against it:
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.
From ver. 23, we learn that the king of Hebron was one of the five whom Joshua slew and hanged on five trees at Makkedah. This slaying of the king of Hebron, therefore, must either refer to what had already been done, or the Hebronites had set up another, whom Joshua now slew when he took the city.
And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to Debir; and fought against it:
Debir was situated in the south of the tribe of Judah, near Hebron. The expression of Joshua's returning to Debir, probably denotes, that having carried his conquests in the southern parts as far as Gaza, (ver. 41,) which was in the south-west angle of Canaan, he then marched back to besiege Debir.
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.
he left none
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.
all the country
as the Lord
And Joshua smote them from Kadeshbarnea even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon.
all the country
The country of Goshen, mentioned here, seems to have been in the south of Judah; and to have taken its name from the city of Goshen, situated in the same tribe.
And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.
And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.