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 Jericho2 and its king.3 He also heard how4 the people of Gibeon made peace with Israel and lived among them. 10:2 All Jerusalem was terrified5 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 aid6 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 abandon8 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 routed15 them before Israel. Israel16 thoroughly defeated them17 at Gibeon. They chased them up the road to the pass18 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 from19 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 obeyed24 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 kings25 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 to28 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 one32 dared threaten the Israelites.33 10:22 Joshua said, “Open the cave’s mouth and bring the five kings34 out of the cave to me.” 10:23 They did as ordered;35 they brought the five kings36 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, he38 summoned all the men of Israel and said to the commanders of the troops who accompanied him, “Come here39 and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came up40 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 them42 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
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