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Jos 10:1 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;
Ver. 1. When Adonizedec king of Jerusalem. ] A glorious name, fitter for Messiah the Prince, - for it signifieth the same in effect with Melchizedek, "which is by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is King of peace," - than Heb 7:2 for such a tyrant. Jdg 1:7 But it is nothing new for that kind of men to affect glorious titles, as did Antiochus Soter, Ptolomeus Euergetes, &c. The great Turk styleth himself at this day, Awlem Penawh, that is, the world’s refuge. a
Had heard that Joshua had taken Ai, &c. ] And that now their turn was not far off -
“ Iam tun res agitur, paries cure proximus ardet. ”
This they hardly, and not till needs must, take notice of: sin and Satan having cast them into a dead lethargy, out of which they are hardly roused.
And were among them. ] Having embraced their religion, and glad to do them service. This caused the devil and his imps to set up their bristles, and to seek their destruction.
a Grand Sign. Serag., 148.
Jos 10:2 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.
Ver. 2. That they feared greatly. ] And great cause they had, considering what supply and shelter the Israelites might have from thence, and how other cities might revolt by their example.
Jos 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,
Ver. 3. Sent unto Hoham king of Hebron. ] "Sic squamae Satan ita cohaerent ut earum opere textili densato quasi loricatus incedat Satan et cataphractus: quod de Faedere Concordiae qua malignantes ecclesiae membra se complexa muniebant et circumvallabant," - elegantissime Lutherus, et vere. Persecutors conspire and complot against God’s people, who may boldly say unto them, as Isaiah 8:9-10 , "Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces: take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; for God is with us: … the enemy is come into the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel." These words Basil bade the persecuted Christians use to the heathen princes, Animo praesenti et intrepido, with an undaunted spirit and well-knit resolution.
Jos 10:4 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.
Ver. 4. That we may smite Gibeon: for it hath made peace with Joshua.] This was the quarrel: and to be revenged upon the Gibeonites, these kings would not care to weaken themselves by wasting their forces upon them: as the bee, for like cause, loseth her sting and becometh a drone, if not her life.
Jos 10:5 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.
Ver. 5. And encamped before Gibeon, and made war against it. ] Opposition is evangelii genius, saith Calvin: and the Church is haeres crucis, the heir of the Cross, saith Luther. "All that will live godly shall suffer persecution." 2Ti 3:12 But Christ, the true Joshua, will rescue and deliver them that call to him for help as these did.
Jos 10:6 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.
Ver. 6. Come up to us quickly. ] Haste, haste, haste, cito, citius, citissime. a little delay may be the loss of all. Charles, king of Sicily, was called Cunctator, for his lingering to his loss.
Jos 10:7 So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour.
Ver. 7. So Joshua ascended from Gilgal. ] Having first consulted with God, and received encouragement from him, as Joshua 10:8 .
Jos 10:8 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.
Ver. 8. Fear them not, &c. ] Joshua, though valiant, had his fears and frailties. Of Charles V, emperor, it is storied, that while he was putting on his armour to go into the battle, his countenance was pale and perplexed: but when the battle was once begun, he was bold as a lion, and did great exploits.
Jos 10:9 Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, [and] went up from Gilgal all night.
Ver. 9. And went up from Gilgal all night. ] He marched all night, and fought all day for these Gibeonites; of whose faithfulness he might well have doubted. They took not so much pains in coming to deceive him as he in going to deliver them. It is the noblest victory to "overcome evil with good."
Jos 10:10 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 Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah.
Ver. 10. And the Lord discomfited them. ] It is he that giveth victory, as the Romans also acknowledged by presenting a palm, in that case, to their Jupiter, so other nations,
Jos 10:11 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.
Ver. 11. The Lord cast down great stones from heaven. ] Huge hailstones that brained the Canaanites, but hurt not the Israelites, that were at the heels of them. See the like in mystery, Rev 16:21 and perhaps it shall be fulfilled upon the antichristian rabble according to the letter.
Jos 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 said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.
Ver. 12. Then spake Joshua to the Lord. ] He first prayed, and then laid his commands on sun and moon to stand still, and not stir, till he had achieved a full victory, Hereupon one crieth out, O admirabilem piarum precum vim ac potentiam quibus etiam caelestia cedunt! O fidem heroicam, cuius virtutem ipsa astra sentiunt! quos non hostes terreret, feriret, fugaret illa manus quae victoriae suae trophaea etiam in ipsis caeli orbibus figit? O the power of prayer! O the force of faith! How could that hand do less than confound his enemies, which had set trophies of victory in the very celestial orbs?
Jos 10:13 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.
Ver. 13. And the sun stood still. ] Heb., Was silent. The whole body of the movable heaven stopped its course, and made a halt. Neither need it offend us that there is no record of this miracle in heathen histories; for Diodorus Siculus confesseth, that all heathen antiquities before the Theban and Trojan wars are either fabulous narrations, or little better.
Is not this written in the book of Jasher? ] Which Jerome a will have to be Genesis: but it seemeth rather to have been some civil history or continued chronicle, such as are amongst us the Chronicles of England, which is now lost, as are also some other books, 1 Chronicles 29:29 ; 2 Chronicles 12:15 ; 2Ch 9:29 and was therefore, we may be sure, no part of the holy canon: God, by his providence, taking care and course that no one hair of that sacred head should fall to the ground. This book of Jasher, or the upright, together with Solomon’s Physics, 1Ki 4:32-33 the book of his Acts, 1Ki 11:41 the books of Nathan and Gad, 1Ch 29:29 of Shemaiah, 2Ch 12:15 of Jehu, 2Ch 20:34 the books of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel and Judah, &c., were not testamentary or canonical: and are now taken away, not because they contained matter either above human capacity, or else corrupt and unsound, as Origen b determineth: but rather, as Augustine c hath it, we are to know, that although they were both pious and profitable, yet were they written out of a historical diligence for more plentiful knowledge; not by divine inspiration, for the authority of religion.
a In Ezek. xviii.
b Prolog. in Cant., ad finem.
c De Civ. Dei, lib. xviii, cap. 38.
Jos 10:14 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.
Ver. 14. And there was no day llke that. ] No, not Hezekiah’s long day, when the sun went backward ten degrees in the dial of Ahaz. Our forefathers had a long Sunday, as they called it, when King Edgar ordained that the Sabbath should be solemnised from Saturday nine of the clock till Monday morning. a The Jews likewise, in sanctifying the Sabbath, used to add, de profano ad sacrum, &c.
That the Lord hearkened to the voice of a man. ] So he did when at the cry of blind Bartimaeus, Jesus stood still, Mar 10:49 that Sun of righteousness. Mal 4:2
a Act. and Mon.
Jos 10:15 And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.
Ver. 15. And Joshua returned, ] viz., After he had finished all that is related in this whole chapter, as in Joshua 10:43 . Some render it, Itaque reditum adornabat Ioshua.
Jos 10:16 But these five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah.
Ver. 16. But these five kings fled, and hid themselves. ] But their covering was too short; divine vengeance discovered them, and brought out to condign punishment. Nemo scelus gerit in pictore, qui non idem Nemesin in tergo. See Amo 9:2 Psalms 139:8-10 . See Trapp on " Amo 9:2 " See Trapp on " Psa 139:8 " See Trapp on " Psa 139:9 " See Trapp on " Psa 139:10 "
Jos 10:17 And it was told Joshua, saying, The five kings are found hid in a cave at Makkedah.
Ver. 17. In a cave at Makkedah. ] In the confines and country adjacent, and belonging to this city.
Jos 10:18 And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave, and set men by it for to keep them:
Ver. 18. Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave. ] Where now, as in a trap, the mice might well gnaw, but get out they could not.
Jos 10:19 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.
Ver. 19. Smote the hindmost of them. ] Heb., Caudate eos, cut off the tail, fall upon the rear.
Jos 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.
Ver. 20. Entered into their fenced cities. ] Which yet could not long secure them: their preservation was but a reservation.
Jos 10:21 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.
Ver. 21. None moved his tongue, &c. ] No dead dog durst once bark at them: their condition was very quiet, without any disturbance of man or beast. See Exo 11:7 Job 5:23 . "Iniquity shall" one day "stop her mouth." Job 5:16
Jos 10:22 Then said Joshua, Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave.
Ver. 22. bring out those five kings. ] So shall Christ one day say of all, whether kings or prisoners, lords or rag-a-muffins, that will not have him to reign over them. Those that will not now obey that sweet voice, "Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden," shall then have no other voice to obey but "Go, ye cursed," &c.
Jos 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.
Ver. 23. See Trapp on " Jos 10:22 "
Jos 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.
Ver. 24. Put your feet upon the necks of these kings. ] Not as proudly insulting over them, as that pope did over the emperor at Venice; but to show that he had quite subdued them, as Christ also hath all our spiritual enemies, Rom 8:37 and will tread Satan himself under our feet shortly. Rom 16:20 What, then, though that old serpent shoot his sting into our heel, and make us halt, as that martyr said? yet let us go on, though halting, to heaven, whence the devil is cast down. Rev 12:9
Jos 10:25 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.
Ver. 25. Fear not, nor be dismayed, &c. ] To the like sense saith the Captain of our salvation to his spiritual soldiers, "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." 1Co 16:13
For thus shall the Lord do, ] sc., If you do not the work of the Lord deceitfully or slothfully. Jer 48:10
Jos 10:26 And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening.
Ver. 26. Hanged them on five trees. ] See Joshua 8:26 .
Jos 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 the cave’s mouth, [which remain] until this very day.
Ver. 27. They took them down. ] See Joshua 8:29 .
Jos 10:28 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.
Ver. 28. And the king thereof he utterly destroyed. ] Because his sins had done much harm: (1.) By imitation, for Magnates magnetes; ( 2.) By imputation, for plectunter Achivi.
Jos 10:29 Then Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, unto Libnah, and fought against Libnah:
Ver. 29. Then Joshua passed, &c. ] Like a wise general he pursueth his victories; which if Hannibal had done after the battle at Cannae, he might have taken Rome, which afterwards he would have done but could not. Hence one said of him, Vincere scis Hannibal, victoria uti nescis: Hannibal knew how to get a victory, but not how to use it.
Jos 10:30 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.
Ver. 30. But did unto the king thereof. ] See Joshua 10:28 .
Jos 10:31 And Joshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him, unto Lachish, and encamped against it, and fought against it:
Ver. 31. And Joshua passed. ] See Joshua 10:29 .
Jos 10:32 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.
Ver. 32. On the second day, ] viz., After he had besieged it. For Joshua took towns faster than did Timotheus the Athenian, into whose toils they were said to come while he slept, till such time as he began to sacrifice to his own net; for then he lost them again as fast. a
a Plut., in Syll.
Jos 10:33 Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining.
Ver. 33. Then Horam king of Gezer. ] Whereof read 1 Chronicles 14:16 . It lay near to Lachish, and sped the worse for its neighbourhood: as did Hamath for Damascus. Zec 9:2
Jos 10:34 And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon, and all Israel with him; and they encamped against it, and fought against it:
Ver. 34. On that day. ] Venit, vidit, vicit. See Joshua 10:28-29 .
Jos 10:35 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.
Ver. 35. See Trapp on " Jos 10:34 "
Jos 10:36 And Joshua went up from Eglon, and all Israel with him, unto Hebron; and they fought against it:
Ver. 36. Unto Hebron. ] See more of this victory in Joshua 14:13-15 ; Jos 15:13
Jos 10:37 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.
Ver. 37. And the king thereof. ] The new king for the old king was hanged among those five that came up against Gibeon. Joshua 10:5 ; Joshua 10:23 ; Jos 10:26 He might have as short a reign as had Marius in Rome, whom one day saw an emperor, the next day he ruled, and the third day he was slain by a soldier, with the same sword which himself had made when he was a cutler.
Jos 10:38 And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to Debir; and fought against it:
Ver. 38. To Debir. ] Formerly called Kirjathsepher. Jdg 1:12
Jos 10:39 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.
Ver. 39. All the souls, ] i.e., All the people: the cattle they had for a prey.
Jos 10:40 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.
Ver. 40. As the Lord God of Israel commanded. ] It was not therefore cruelty, but obedience, to slay so many thousands. There is a pious cruelty, saith one. And Magna quidem est in ilia severitate pietas per quam tollitur peccandi libertas, saith another: a there is great piety in that severity which taketh away licentious liberty.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 10". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany