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3. The great Victory at Gibeon over the five allied Canaanite Kings
a. Investment of Gibeon by the five allied Kings
1Now [And] it came to pass, when Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem had [omit: had] heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed [devoted] it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so had he done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them; 2that they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities [prop. one of the cities of the kingdom], and because it was greater than Ai, and all the 3men thereof were mighty. Wherefore [And] Adoni-zedek 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, 4Come up unto me, and help me, that we may smite Gibeon: for it hath made peace with Joshua and with 5the children of Israel. Therefore, [And] the [omit: 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 [camps], and encamped before Gibeon, and made war against it.
b. Slaughter at Gibeon
6And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand [hands] 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 7against us. So [And] Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour [strong heroes]. 8And the Lord [Jehovah] said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered [given] them into thine 9hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee. Joshua therefore [And Joshua] came upon them suddenly, [:] and went [he went up] from Gilgal all night. 10And the Lord [Jehovah] discomfited [Bunsen: brought into confusion; Knobel: scattered; Fay, De Wette, Zunz: confused] them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter [De Wette: effected a great overthrow among them; Fay, literally: smote them with a great stroke] at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to [the way of the ascent of] Beth-horon,1 and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah. 11And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to [on the descent from] Beth-horon, that the Lord [Jehovah] cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with [the] hail-stones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.
12Then spake Joshua to the Lord [Jehovah] in the day when the Lord [Jehovah] delivered up the Amorites before the children [sons] of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel:
Sun, stand thou [omit: thou] still on Gibeon,
And thou [omit: thou], Moon, in the valley of Ajalon!
13And the sun stood still,
And the moon stayed,
Until the people [nation] had avenged themselves upon their enemies.
Is not this written in the book of Jasher [Fay: the upright (Rechtschaffenen) Luther: pious; De Wette: just [Redlichen]? So [And] the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. 14And there was no day like that before it or [and] after it, that the Lord [Jehovah] hearkened unto the voice of a man; for the Lord [Jehovah] fought for Israel. 15And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.
c. Flight and Destruction of the five Kings
16But [And] these five kings fled and hid themselves in a [the] cave at Makkedah. 17And it was told Joshua, saying: The five kings are found hid in a [the] cave at Makkedah. 18And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave, and set men by it for [omit: for] to keep them: 19And stay ye not, but [omit: but] pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost of them; suffer them not to enter into their cities; for the Lord [Jehovah] your God hath delivered [given] them into your hand.
20And it came to pass, when Joshua and the children of Israel had made an end of slaying [smiting] them with a very great slaughter [stroke], till they were consumed, that the rest which remained of them entered [Fay: but those that remained 21of them escaped and came] into [the] fenced [fortified] cities. [,] And [that2] all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace: none moved 22[Fay, properly: pointed] his tongue against any of the children of Israel. Then said Joshua, Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave. 23And 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 [omit: and] the king of Eglon. 24And 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 [קְצִינִים, leaders] 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. 25And Joshua said to them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong, and of good courage [firm, Joshua 1:6], for thus shall the Lord [Jehovah] do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. 26And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening. 27And 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 [omit: which remain] until this very day.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
The abandonment by Gibeon of the common cause leads Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, beyond doubt the most powerful of the Canaanite kings in Southern Palestine, to call upon the kings of Hebron, Lachish, Jarmuth, and Eglon, to chastise the apostate city. With this demand the princes named yielded compliance (Joshua 10:1-6.10.5). But Joshua, being summoned by the Gibeonites to their assistance, hastens to aid his threatened allies, defeats the Canaanite kings in the famous battle at Gibeon, ever memorable on account of the much disputed standing still of the sun (Joshua 10:6-6.10.15), and pursues and slays the confederates (Joshua 10:16-6.10.27).
a. Investment of Gibeon by the five allied Kings (Joshua 10:1-6.10.5),
Joshua 10:1. אֲדֹנִי־צֶדֶק = Lord of righteousness. Better known than this Adoni-zedek is מַלכִּי־צֶדֶל = King of righteousness (Genesis 14:18; Psalms 110:4; Hebrews 5:6-58.5.10; Hebrews 6:20; Hebrews 7:1; Hebrews 7:10 and often), who was likewise king of Salem (Jerusalem). יְרוּשָׁלַםִ also יְרוּשָׁלַיִם (the latter form here and there in Chronicles, e.g.,1 Chronicles 3:5, also on the coins of the Maccabæan age, while others have also the defective form, Gesen.), abbreviated, שָׁלֵם (Genesis 14:18; Psalms 76:3), from which it is evident that the proper pointing is יְרוּשָׁלֵם, as further, the Aram. יְרוּשְּׁלֵם, Ezra 4:20; Ezra 4:24; Ezra 5:1, and יְרוּשְׁלֶםEzr 5:14; Ezra 6:9, go to show. The Keri perpetuum —ִַ, which is a dual form, is explained (Fürst) as having arisen with reference to the double city (upper and lower), or, without respect to that, from the fact that the later Hebrews understood –ֵם to be an old dual form (still appearing in &שְׁתֵּים שְׁנֵים and the nom. prop &שׁוּנֵם עָנֵים, and had substituted for it the customary –ַיִם
The etymology is doubtful. Gesenius maintains the interpretation, supported by the translation of Saadjas: dwelling of peace. On this view, יְרוּ would be from יָרָה = dwelling or foundation, and שָׁלוֹם שׁלֵם, which is favored by the Greek mode of writing Σόλυμα (Josephus, Ant. i. 10, 12; Paus. 8, 16, 3) and the Latin, Solyma (Mart. 10, 65, 5). Ewald holds the first part of the word to be an abbreviation of יְרוּשׁ = possession, and explains, possession of Shalem.” Hitzig (on Is. p. 1, ff.) goes back to ירוּשָׁה = possession, district, “district or possession of Salem.” More recently he holds, on Psalms 76:3, that ירושׁלם should properly have been written יְרוּאשָׁלֵם which he translates (History of the People of Israel, i. 140) by: “Fear ye God undividedly.” Here it is to be further observed that according to Hitzig’s views שָׁלֵם, in the southern Arabic = a stone, was, with the Amorite יְבוּם, the old Canaanite name of the city [Jebusalem], which David changed into Jerusalem, while Hitzig adds that the city was earlier called Salem (?).
Fürst decides for the old etymology, appealing also to Saadjas on Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 51:17; Isaiah 60:1; Isaiah 62:1; Isaiah 62:6, taking שָׁלֵם, however, = שָׁלוֹם, as an epithet of the most high God, as in אֲבִישָׁלוֹם. Thus ירושׁלב would be equal to יְרוּאֵל, 2 Chronicles 20:16, meaning “foundation (or place, dwelling) of El,” and that as the Peaceful. It is striking that Fürst interprets שָׁלֵם, Genesis 14:18; Psalms 76:3, where it stands alone, without יְרוּ by “hilly place, summit,” from a supposed stem שׁלם, to be high. But it would be more obvious to explain it, in accordance with the meaning given to שׁלם in ירושׁלם, as “place of the Peaceful,” that is, of God.
“The later Arabic name of Jerusalem, el-Kuds or Beit el-Mukaddas, is only a circumlocution like עִיר הקּדֶֹשׁ in the Hebrew (Nehemiah 11:18).” Fürst. On the topography of Jerusalem and its neighborhood, comp. Dr. E. G. Schultz, Jerusalem; W. Krafft, The Topography of Jerusalem; Tobler, Memoranda of Jerusalem, and, Topography of Jerusalem and its Vicinity, as also Menke’s Bible Atlas, map v., where on very carefully drawn side-maps the views of Tobler, Kiepert, Ferguson, Robinson, Krafft, and Sepp, concerning the plan of the city, are delineated.3
Joshua 10:2. It is emphatically mentioned concerning Gibeon that it was a great city, “like one of the cities of the kingdom,” that is, perhaps, like a city in which a king dwelt, like a “royal city.”
Joshua 10:3. Hebron, chaps, Joshua 10:36; Joshua 15:54, Jarmuth, Joshua 15:35, Lachish and Eglon, Joshua 15:39, lie in southern Canaan.
Joshua 10:4. The enterprise is not directly against Joshua, but against Gibeon, because Gibeon has made peace with Joshua and the children of Israel.
Joshua 10:5. The four kings hear the summons, and encamp around Gibeon. The names of the kings are not given here a second time, but the names of the cities over which they ruled, and in the same order as in Joshua 10:3. The former names, however, are significant throughout, for Hoham is probably “whom Jehovah drives,” Piram “the wild ass” (similar designations among the aborigines of N A.), Japhia “splendid,” Debir “the writer,” on which the Lexicons may be consulted.
b. Battle of Gibeon, Joshua 10:6-6.10.15.
Joshua 10:6. The Gibeonites send to Joshua at Gilgal and implore help, and indeed, as the form of their expression indicates, immediate help. Observe the climax; slacken not thy hands (2 Samuel 24:16)—come up to us quickly—and save us—and help us. A very similar tone is adopted by the persecuted Christian congregation, Acts 4:24-44.4.30, especially Joshua 10:27-6.10.29.
Kings of the Amorites—a common designation of the five princes.
Joshua 10:7. Joshua responds to the appeal and hastens marching all night long to reach them (Joshua 10:9), and that with a select portion of the army—גבּוֹרֵי הֶהיִל, Joshua 1:14. The וְ is to be taken as explicative, as Genesis 3:16; comp. also Joshua 14:6.
Joshua 10:8. An encouraging address from Jehovah.
Joshua 10:9. A more particular statement of what has been told (Joshua 10:7).—Suddenly comes he upon them because he has marched the whole night. In the morning he stands before them, when they believe him to be yet at his head-quarters on the Jordan. These rapid marches illustrate the true energy and efficiency of great military commanders. This is perceived also in modern and even the most recent history.4
Joshua 10:10. “Jehovah scattered (וַיְהֻמֵּם) the enemy before Israel. The latter smote them in a great defeat at Gibeon and pursued them northwestward on the way to the ascent (מעֲלֵה ב׳) of Beth-horon. So likewise he followed them in a southwesterly direction and smote them even unto Azekah and Makkedah.” So Knobel. According to his view, therefore, the whole pursuit occurred simultaneously, towards the northwest and the southwest. But that is not the sense of Joshua 10:10-6.10.11. Rather all Israel pursued the enemy in a northwesterly direction towards the pass of Beth-horon, and from thence through the pass down into the plain, where probably Azekah and Makkedah lay. By what means Jehovah discomfited the enemy, or “scattered” them, as Knobel translates, is not told; for the hail comes later. So Jehovah once discomfited the Egyptians, also, Exodus 14:24; and Exodus 23:27 the promise is given that God will always do so with the foes of Israel. In 1 Samuel 7:10 we are told of a tempest which Jehovah brought up when, at Samuel’s prayer, he caused it to thunder against the Philistines, and then it is said: וַיְהֻמֵּם—the same word which is used here. Probably also the storm came on during the battle. It thundered and lightened. Jehovah fought for his people out of the clouds. The enemy trembled and lost heart. They fled. During their flight the storm broke upon them in full fury; hailstones fell on them and of such size that more died from these than were slain by the sword (Joshua 10:11). By a very similar mischance the Austrians were overtaken in 1859 at the battle of Solferino.—We have translated מַעֲלֶה in Joshua 10:10 “ascent” and in Joshua 10:11, “descent.”5 It means both alike, as in 1MMalachi 3:16; 1Ma 3:24, both stand together in reference to this place: ἀνάβασις καὶ κατάβασις Βαιθωρῶν. If “pass” were not so modern it would best express the meaning of this word. This Pass of Beth-horon is still very rocky and rough (Robinson, iii. 59–63), and leads from the mountain down into the western plain, whither Joshua pursued the enemy even to the places lying there, Azekah (Joshua 15:35) and Makkedah (Joshua 15:41).
Joshua 10:11. That by the great stones, not stones literally as rained down (Grotius, Calmet, Ilgen), but hail-stones are to be understood, appears from the second half of the verse, “A hail-storm is meant, in relation to which אֶבֶן בָּרָד occurs also Isaiah 30:30; comp. Ezekiel 13:11; Ezekiel 13:13. Jehovah in contending with his enemies employs the hail also (Job 38:23; Isaiah 32:19) as he did e.g. in Egypt, Exodus 9:19; Exodus 9:25” (Knobel).
The verses which now follow, 12–15, deserve a particularly careful examination, and that (1) in reference to the criticism of the text; (2) as regards their contents. As to the former it is obvious that the whole passage, Joshua 10:12-6.10.15, might be removed from the context entirely, without in the least mutilating the narrative; rather, Joshua 10:16 connects itself with Joshua 10:11 as its proper continuation. It is further manifest that Joshua 10:13 itself refers to another writing as its source, and that the same author cannot possibly have written Joshua 10:15 and Joshua 10:43. For, according to Joshua 10:15 Joshua had returned immediately after the battle at Gibeon into the camp at Gilgal, while in Joshua 10:43 this return takes place only after the completed conquest of southern Canaan.
We have therefore to consider here an inserted passage. Knobel calls it “a fragment from the first document of the Jehovist.” This first document of the Jehovist is, as may have been already perceived from the Introd. (§ 2), according to Knobel’s view, the סֵפֶר הַיָּשָׁר here cited—the “Law-book” as he calls it,—composed in the Northern kingdom. From this first document the whole episode here is taken, as he supposes, except the words, “is it not written in the Sepher Jaschar?” which he explains as an addition of the Jehovist, “who in a thing so unheard of and incredible thought himself bound to quote his authority expressly.” As we have not been able to assent to this view, but are rather obliged, with the whole body of critics, to regard this סֵפֶר הַיָּשָׁר, mentioned only here and 2 Samuel 1:18, as a poetical book, we cannot by any means refer the whole passage to the “Book of the Upright,” but only a part as is afterwards shown. In this assumption that the whole passage, with the exception of the formula of quotations, is taken from the “Book of the Upright,” there agree with Knobel: Hengsten berg in the Evang. Kirchen-Zeitung, 1832, No. 88, ibid. 1868, No. 48; Hävernick, Einl. ii. 1, p. 50, Keil, Comm. p. 255 ff. [Bibl. Comm. ii. 1, 76 ff.]. The latter remarks, at the end of his exposition: “The only plausible consideration which can be brought against this view, and which has been adduced with great emphasis by two anonymous writers in the Evang. Kirchen-Zeitung, 1833, No. 17, p. 135 f., and No. 25 f. p. 197 f. and 211 f., consists in this, that the formula of citation, ‘Is not this written in the Book of the Upright?’ stands in the middle of the passage quoted, while elsewhere this and similar formulas stand either at the beginning of the quotation, as Deuteronomy 21:14-5.21.23, or at the end of it, as generally in the books of Kings and Chronicles. But from both cases it does not follow that this is a rule without exceptions.” Keil labors to prove this, quite fruitlessly, in our opinion; Hengstenberg also, in his second essay, seeks to obviate the striking fact that the citation occurs in the midst of the passage, by assuming that the author has communicated, out of the Book of the Upright, two lyrical fragments, which he separates from each other by the intervening phrase of quotation (ubi sup. p. 580). But, granting that Joshua 10:13-6.10.15Joshua 10:13-6.10.15Joshua 10:13-6.10.15, together with the very prosaic conclusion, “and Joshua returned and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal,” must be a lyrical fragment, would it not then have been more natural for the writer to repeat the formula somewhat in this manner: Is not this also written in the Book of the Upright?—Bleek has left the question unsettled, saying, “How far the quotation here extends, and where the historian resumes, is not quite clear” (Introd. to the O. T. p. 349). Kamphausen on the contrary (Stud. und Kritiken, 1863, p. 866), assumes that the author of Joshua 10:12-6.10.15 was a historian who names expressly the source from which he draws, and plainly distinguishes, the lines which he extracts therefrom from his own prosaic narrative. To the same result must we also come, and for the following reasons: (1.) The fact that the formula of citation here occurs in the midst of the passage, constitutes for us an insuperable objection to referring the whole to the Book of the Upright, since everywhere else, such formula comes in either at the beginning or end of the words cited. (2.) The exclamation which is put in the mouth of Joshua, breathes in every aspect the spirit of Hebrew poetry. It is sublime in its import, rythmical, and strictly observing the parallelism in its form, in its choice of words also poetical (notice &וַיִּדֹּם דּוֹם6); while afterwards the discretion of the historian manifestly comes into play, since he mentions only the sun; lets it stand in the midst of heaven, then continues with the observation that it hasted not to go down almost a whole day; in Joshua 10:14 expounds verbally the poetical language, and concludes, finally, with a wholly prosaic notice.
Verses 13 b–15, accordingly, do not belong to the Book of the Upright.7 But how with verse 12 a? It is possible that these words may have formed the historical introduction in that Book of Heroes, to Joshua’s exclamation, as Exodus 15:1, “Then sang Moses,” etc., but it is also possible that they belong to the same author as Joshua 10:13-6.10.15Joshua 10:13-6.10.15Joshua 10:13-6.10.15, from whom other sections likewise wrought into the body of the history may have been derived. On this see the Introduction.
Having dealt with the criticism of the text, we proceed (2) to a consideration of the meaning of the passage, which especially needs to be exegetically settled. Joshua 10:12, אָז, pointedly “at that time,” as Genesis 12:6, Joshua 14:11, in contrast with עתָּה; LXX. τότε, Vulg. tunc. This אָז is more closely defined by בְּיוֹם תֵּת וגו׳, “in the day when Jehovah delivered up,” etc. The battle at Gibeon is intended. The promise, Deuteronomy 1:7-5.1.8, is to be remembered. On this day, Joshua spake to Jehovah, .… and he said in the sight of Israel. We should have expected rather, “in the ears of Israel.” The same kind of expression is used in Numbers 20:8, in a passage which probably has the same author as ours, and in Deuteronomy 31:7. Quite correctly לעיני פ׳ is used, Genesis 23:11; Genesis 23:18; Exodus 4:30. Here it is to be taken = coram, as the Vulgate translates, correctly as to the sense. Then follows what Joshua said. שֶׁמֶשׁ, as also יָרֵחַ, is without the article, according to the usage of poetry, as Job 16:18, אֶרֶץ (O earth), while in prose the article in this case is more common to distinguish the noun in some manner (Ewald, Lehrg. § 327). דּוֹם, Imp. Kal from דָּמם, prop., to be dumb with astonishment, then to be silent, then to rest, to be quiet, to keep still, as one who is silent does. So Psalms 4:5; 1 Samuel 14:9; Job 31:34; Lamentations 2:18; Job 30:27. Knobel remarks also that הֶחֱרִישׁ, Genesis 34:5; Exodus 14:14, is used in the same way of rest, inactivity. “Sun, stand still on Gibeon,” is accordingly, = keep thyself quiet and inactive, stand still. Keil indeed will not grant this, but translates דָּמַם here and 1 Samuel 14:9, by “wait.” But both here and there עָמַד stands immediately parallel to דָּמַם, and עמד means unquestionably to stand, stand still, remain standing, for which 1 Samuel 20:38 may be superfluously compared. Besides, how can the sun wait, without standing still. It is better, therefore, to translate poetically, with force and boldness, “stand still,” than tamely “Sun, wait at Gibeon and moon in the Valley of Ajalon.” So also the LXX., Στήτω ὁ ἥλιος κατὰ Γαβεών, κὰι ἡ σηλήνη κατὰ φάραγγα Αιλών; and the Vulgate: “Sol contra Gabaon ne movearis et luna contra vallem Ajalon!” Quite erroneous is the attempt of Dr. Barzilai in the brochure, Un Errore di Trente Secoli (Trieste, 1868), to translate the שֶׁמֶשׁ דּוֹם by “Sun, be silent, cease to shine!” by which an eclipse of the sun would be made out of his standing still. Zöckler, in a treatise (Beweis des Glaubens, iv. p. 250), remarks on this: “The untenableness of this explanation appears not only from the fact that דָּמם, ‘to be silent’ (as well as its synonym ההרישׁ, in Genesis 34:5; Exodus 14:14), according to 1 Samuel 14:9, may very well signify in general, the holding in, or ceasing from any activity, and particularly resting from any movement, the holding still or standing of a moving body (comp. also Psalms 4:5; Job 31:34; Lamentations 2:18), while its application to the self-concealment of a luminous body, can be supported by no example,—but furthermore also from the connection with what follows. This, as definitely as is possible, presents the actual standing still of the sun, as the result of the mighty injunction of Joshua, the believing warrior.”
The Valley of Ajalon lies to the west of Gibeon. Knobel says on this, at Joshua 19:42 : “Ajalon, in whose vale Joshua bade the moon stand still (Joshua 10:12), allotted to the Levites (Joshua 21:24; 1 Chronicles 6:54), often mentioned in the wars with the Philistines (1 Samuel 14:31; 1 Chronicles 8:13), fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:10), taken from Ahaz by the Philistines (2 Chronicles 28:18), lying, according to the Onom., s. v. “Ajalon,” two miles east of Nicopolis; at the present day, a village Jalu, Jalo, in a fertile region on the north side of a mountain ridge, from which one overlooks the beautiful and wide basin Merdj Ibn Omeir stretching away to the north. Rob. iii. 63, 64; Later Bibl Res. 145, Tobler, Dritte Wanderung, p. 188 f.” To this position of Ajalon, westward from Gibeon, where Joshua joined battle with the Amorites, the place of the moon suits well. It stood in the west, near its setting, over Ajalon, and was still visible although the sun was shining. Let the two heavenly bodies stand where they stood and there would continue to be day; and if there continued to be day there would still be a possibility of completely destroying the foe. And that was precisely Joshua’s wish, that they might stand where they stood in order that he might annihilate the enemy. Hengstenberg (ubi sup. p. 558) will not allow this, but explains that the “simultaneous appearance of the sun and moon” was “something entirely unusual, which ought not to be so readily taken for natural.” This joint apparition, however, is not very unusual; on the contrary it may be witnessed in a clear sky at any time, during the moon’s first quarter, in the afternoon, and during the last quarter, in the forenoon: and indeed, from what is kindly communicated to me by the astronomer Mädler, it may be seen, in the much clearer southern heavens, early in the afternoon, during the moon’s first quarter, and until late in the forenoon during her third.
Knobel, for his part, supposes that “the separate mention of the sun and moon on Gibeon and Ajalon has, in the poetical parallelism, as e.g. in Hosea 5:8; Amos 1:5; Micah 3:12; Zechariah 9:10; Zechariah 9:17, no significance.” That, however, is questionable, in view of the fact that the assignment of the two heavenly bodies to their respective positions suits so perfectly to the place of Joshua, and the more so because it is to us very doubtful whether the names in Hosea 5:8, Amos 1:5, Zechariah 9:10, are connected merely for the sake of the parallelism, which we admit only as to Micah 3:12. But if the sun and moon simultaneously stood still in the heavens, and so that the sun rested over Gibeon east of the field of battle, and the moon over Ajalon in the west, the battle must have been going on in the morning, and Joshua have uttered his invocation at this time, perhaps toward midday. So it is understood also by Keil, Knobel, and Zöckler, who writes (ubi sup.): “The mention of the moon with the sun in Joshua 10:13 is to be explained simply from the circumstance that it also was yet visible in the sky, and that the prayer, directed toward a prolongation of the day, could only be fully expressed, positively as well as negatively, if it at the same time called for the delay of the night, or, which is the same thing, a standing still of the planet which governed the night (Genesis 1:16).”
Gibeon and Ajalon are named as stations of the sun and moon, because Joshua when he engaged in the battle was probably west of Gibeon, in a place from which he saw the sun shining in the east over that city, and the moon in the far west over Ajalon.
As the probable hour of the conflict we may infer, partly from this situation and partly from the sun standing still “in the midst of the heaven” (Joshua 10:13), that it was in the middle part of the day, and probably still in the forenoon, hardly the late afternoon as Corn. a Lapide, Clericus, J. D. Mich. et al. have supposed. Hitzig also decides in favor of the forenoon: “As Saul upon the king of Ammon, Joshua fell on the Amorites early in the morning. When, soon after, the battle took a favorable turn, the sun had already risen and stood over Gibeon behind the combatants, while in the far west, the moon had not yet gone down” (ubi sup. p. 102). Most recently of all A. Hengstenberg in Bochum has also published a contribution (Beweis des Glaubens, vol. v. pp. 287, 288) toward the explanation of our passage, in which he agrees with Zöckler in regard to the question at what time of day the battle was fought and Joshua uttered his call to the sun. Ewald, on the contrary (Gesch. d. v. Israel, 2, p. 325, 326), thinks of the afternoon. In regard, further, to the relation between the hail-storm mentioned Joshua 10:11 and Joshua’s exclamation, we must remember that the author of the “Book of the Upright,” knew nothing of this hail-storm,8 but the writer who gave the Book of Joshua its present form, inserted not only the supposed citation (Joshua 10:12-6.10.13 a.) but the whole passage (Joshua 10:12-6.10.15) into the midst of the history of the pursuit, so that he appears certainly to have conceived of the hailstorm as a preceding event.
Joshua 10:13. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed until the nation had avenged themselves on their enemies. Joshua’s wish is fulfilled. The heavenly bodies pause in their course and stand still. When once we remember that the poet says this, the same poet who has previously put in Joshua’s mouth this grand, poetical exclamation, reminding us of Agamemnon’s wish (Il. 2, 413 ff.), we have found the key to Joshua 10:13, the most striking parallel to which is Judges 6:20. When it is there said that the stars out of their courses (ממסלוֹתם) fought against Sisera, no one, so far as we know, has ever supposed that this poetical trope was to be literally understood. Rather it is there, as here, the heavenly powers, nay Jehovah himself (Joshua 10:14) who fights for Israel. It is not “an unheard of, astronomico-mechanical miracle” with which we here have to do, but “the most glorious typical occurrence, which illustrates how all nature, heaven and earth, is in league with the people of God, and helps them to victory in their battles of the kingdom” (Lange, Com. on Gen. pp. 86, 87).
The standing still of the sun and moon is no more to be understood literally than that fighting of the stars down out of their courses, or the melting down of the mountains (Isaiah 34:3 : Amos 9:13; Micah 1:3), the rending of the heavens (Psalms 18:10), or the skipping of Lebanon (Psalms 29:6), the clapping of hands by the trees in the field (Isaiah 55:12), the leaping of the mountains and hills (Psa 114:46), the bowing of the heavens (Psalms 18:10). It is the language of poetry which we have here to interpret, and poetry, too, of the most figurative, vehement kind, which honors and celebrates Joshua’s confidence in God in the midst of the strife; that “unique assurance of victory on the part of Joshua” (Lange, ubi sup.) which the Lord would not suffer to be put to shame. In this the most positive interpreters (Keil, Kurtz, both Hengstenbergs), however they may differ as to the particulars, and to textual criticism, are perfectly at one, against a literal apprehension of the passage. Nor can Habakkuk 3:11, be adduced in favor of a literal interpretation of the passage. For if it is said, Habakkuk 3:11, “Sun, moon, זְבֻלָה עָמַד,” this is not to be translated as Hengstenberg (ubi sup.) and Keil, on the one side, and Hitzig (Kl. Propheten), on the other have shown, “The sun, and moon remain in their habitation,” but rather: “The sun, the moon enter into a habitation,” i.e as we should say: “into the shade,” namely, “behind the stratum of clouds” or, “they are darkened.” “The friendly lights grow pale, while on the other hand, there shines for the enemies of God and his people, another, an ungenial light, which brings destruction, the lightning, God’s spears and arrows” (Hengstenberg). This passage has therefore nothing at all to do with the one before us. And when Jesus Sirach in his enumeration of the exploits of Joshua, asks (Josh 46:4), Οὐχὶ ἐν χειρὶ αὐτοῦ ; he makes out of the standing still of the sun, a going back, something like Isaiah 38:8, and speaks at the same time of lengthening one day into two. He is not therefore correct in his representation of the occurrence. The same is true of Josephus (Ant. v. 1, 17), when he speaks only of an increase, i.e. lengthening in general of the day.
Is not this written in the Book of the Upright?i.e. “Lo, this stands written in that book and may there be read expressly. On הֲלֹא for הִנֵּח comp. Numbers 22:37; Deuteronomy 11:30. So very often in citations; 1 Kings 11:41; 1Ki 14:29; 1 Kings 15:7; 1 Kings 15:23; 1Ki 15:31; 1 Kings 16:3; 1 Kings 16:20; 1 Kings 16:27 and often” (Knobel).
And the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.בְּחֲצִי here used of place, in Judges 16:3 of time; in the middle, a more precise designation of the sun’s standing, which is omitted in the poetical part of this episode.
And hastened not to go down. The verb אוּץ is used once besides in our book (Joshua 17:15), and in the sense “to be narrow,” and again in Exodus 5:13, where the Egyptian task-masters are spoken of, in the sense of “to oppress.” It is not employed in poetry alone, as Zöckler (ubi sup.) maintains, in order to support his view that these verses also, at least to the close of Joshua 10:14, breathe “a poetically exalted” strain. Or should Exodus 5:13 also be regarded as a poetical passage? A certain elevation is, indeed, not to be denied to the narrative here, but that we find also in places, like Joshua 8:0, which yet is unquestionably prose.
About a whole day.תָּמִים, elsewhere commonly of moral integrity, is used in the original sense, “complete,” “entire,” in Leviticus 3:9; Leviticus 25:30, in the latter passage of time, namely, of the year שָׁנָה הְמימָה, as here of the day יוֹם תָּמִים Plainly, the author of this verse understands the poetical citation from the Book of the Upright, literally, which does not hinder us from going back to the original sense, as we have done above. That he, like all the Scripture writers, thought of an “anti-Copernican” system, as Zöckler expresses it, or as we might more correctly say, that he spoke of what was immediately perceptible, is evident without discussion. We think with Zöckler (p. 250) “it is lost labor to put upon the expressions of holy Scripture concerning the magnitudes and movements of the heavenly bodies, a heliocentric sense, by allegorical artifices, since the childishly simple view of the universe, which perceives in the earth the fixed centre, must necessarily have possessed the Biblical writers also as children of their time.”
Joshua 10:14. And there was no day like that before it and after it (&לִפָנָיו ואַחרָיו) that Jehovah hearkened (לִשְׁמֹעַ) unto the voice of a man; for Jehovah fought for Israel. The war was not merely a war of men, Jehovah himself rather was its leader, as was promised the Israelites, Exodus 14:14, by Moses. Comp. Deuteronomy 1:29-5.1.30; Deuteronomy 3:22; Deuteronomy 20:1; Deuteronomy 20:3-5.20.4; Deuteronomy 31:6. Hence Jehovah is called precisely אִישׁ מִלְחָמָה, “man of war” (Luther: der rechte Kriegsmann), Exodus 15:3. He has heard the call of Joshua and held the sun still in his course (of the moon nothing more is said), and so, according to the view of the author of13 b–15, has performed an objective astronomical miracle, of which the poet from whom the quotation is made, had no thought, and of which we, following him (the poet) have no thought.9
Joshua 10:15 b. Hengstenberg would refer this prosaic statement still entirely to the poetry (which Zöckler does not do), and quotes in support of this (Exodus 15:19) the close of Moses’ song of triumph, which is also found Exodus 14:22. It is not found, however, in precisely the same words (in the latter passage בא, in the former the more graphic הלךְ), nor with the same arrangement of the words, which in Exodus 15:19 has the rythmical cadence. We cannot, therefore, allow force to this example, but believe, rather, that to this, certainly if to any of the vers. (13 b–15) the “words of Maurer apply: Quœ ante formulam citandi leguntur, sunt poesis; quœ post pura puta prosa.”
Keil’s View of Joshua 10:12-6.10.15, added by the Translator.
[As representing a somewhat different theological position, the following comments of Keil on this passage, may, as well as from their character in other respects, be profitably cited here.
“This wonderful victory was celebrated by Israel in a war-song which was preserved in the Book of the Pious. Out of this book the author of the Book of Joshua inserted here the passage which commemorated the wonderful work of Jehovah toward Israel and toward his enemies, the Amorites, for the glorification of his own name. For, that we have in Joshua 10:12-6.10.15 a poetical extract from the סֵפֶר הַיָּשָׁר is universally acknowledged. This insertion and the reference to this writing is analogous to the quotation from the Book of the Wars of the Lord (Numbers 21:14), and the lyrical strophes woven into the historical narrative. The object is not to confirm the historical report by reference to an older authority, but only to render more vivid to future generations, the striking impression which those wonders of the Lord had made upon the congregation.”
Keil’s account of the Book of the Pious is the same as that of Fay and most others. He distinctly assumes, however, what doubtless should be understood by all, that this progressively accumulated anthology of pious hymns in praise of the covenant God was interspersed with explanatory historical notices. Thus there is no difficulty in supposing Joshua 10:15 also to have been copied from this poetical book. Keil then proceeds: “The citation from it proves itself at once to have been taken from a song, by the poetical form of the language and by the parallelism of the members. The quotation begins, however, not with וַיֹּאמֶר, Joshua 10:12 b, but with בַּיוֹמ תֵּת, Joshua 10:12 a, and to it belong also Joshua 10:13-6.10.14, so that the reference to the source of the quotation is inserted in the middle of it. Such formulas are generally met with, indeed, elsewhere either at the beginning of the passage adduced, as Numbers 21:14; Numbers 21:27; 2 Samuel 1:18, or at the close of it, as generally in the books of Kings and Chronicles. But it does not follow that such position was a rule without exceptions, especially since the reference to sources in the books of Kings has a quite different sense, the citations being not documentary proofs of the occurrences before reported, but references to writings in which more complete accounts might be found concerning fragmentarily communicated facts. In Joshua 10:13 also the poetical form of the discourse leaves no doubt that Joshua 10:13-6.10.14 still contain words of the ancient poet, not a prosaic comment of the historian on the poetic expressions which he had quoted. Only Joshua 10:15 presents a pure historical statement which is repeated (Joshua 10:43) at the end of the narrative of this victory and war. And this literal repetition of Joshua 10:15 in Joshua 10:43, and still more the fact that the statement that Joshua returned with all the people into the camp to Gilgal anticipates the historical order of events, and that in a very striking manner, renders it highly probable, if not altogether certain, that Joshua 10:15 also is taken from the Book of the Pious.”.…
Keil’s conception of the circumstances and progress of the battle, and of the position of the parties in reference to the standing still of the sun and moon, agrees in every important point with that of Fay.
“How then shall we make real to ourselves this wonderful occurrence? An actual standing still of the sun at some place in the heavens, about the zenith, is not clearly expressed. If one were disposed to insist on the וַיַּעֲמוֹד, “the sun stood (held his position) in the midst of the heavens,” which is added as if in explanation of וַיִּדּוֹם in such a way that it must express a miraculous obstruction of the course of the sun, this would hardly be consistent with the phrase לֹא אָץ לָבוֹא, “it hastened not to go down,” for this strictly taken, means only, as several of the Rabbins long ago remarked, a more tardy progress of the sun. Plainly intimated in Joshua 10:12-6.10.13 is so much only, that at Joshua’s word the sun remained standing almost a day longer in the heavens. To this is added (Joshua 10:14), “That there was no such day before and afterward, that Jehovah hearkened to the voice of a man; for Jehovah fought for Israel.” This expression, again, should not be too hardly pressed, as the analogous utterances, “there was none like him,” etc. 2 Kings 18:5; 2 Kings 23:25, show. They convey only the thought, a day like this which God so marvelously lengthened has not been before nor since. So much therefore lies unambiguously in the words, that the singer of the ancient song, and after him also the author of our Book of Joshua, who inserted these words into his narrative, was convinced10 of a wonderful prolongation of that day. Here, however, it is carefully to be observed that it is not said, that God did at Joshua’s request increase the length of that day by about a whole day, or cause the sun to stand still for nearly a whole day, but only that God hearkened to the voice of Joshua, i.e. did not let the sun go down until Israel had avenged themselves upon their enemies. The difference is not unimportant. For a marvelous prolongation of that day took place not only if, through the exertion of God’s Almighty power, the course of the sun or his going down was delayed for many hours, or the day lengthened from say twelve to eighteen or twenty hours, but also on the supposition that the day appeared to Joshua and to Israel wonderfully lengthened, the work accomplished on that day being so great that it would without supernatural help have required two days.
To decide between these two views is not easy, nay, if we go to the bottom of the matter, is impossible. [And no more necessary, it might be added, viewing the account as poetry, than to try to discover the exact proportion between David’s glorious hyperboles in Psalms 18:0 and the actual events of the deliverance which he there celebrates.—Tr.] When we cannot measure the length of the day by the clock, we may, especially in the crowd of business or work, with extraordinary facility be deceived in regard to its length. But the Israelites had neither sun-dials nor any clocks, and amid the tumult of the conflict hardly would Joshua, or any other one engaged in the strife, have repeatedly noticed the shadow of the sun, and inquired after its changes in reference to a tree, for example, or other such object, so as to perceive from its possibly remaining stationary and unaltered, for some hours, that the sun had actually stood still. Under these circumstances it was quite impossible for the Israelites to decide whether that day was really, or only in their conception, longer than other days.
Besides this we must take into account the poetical character of our passage. When David praises the wondrous deliverance which he had experienced at the hand of the Lord, in the words: “In my distress I called upon the Lord .… and he heard my voice out of his heaven, .… and he bowed the heaven and came down, …… he stretched his hand out of the height, took me and drew me out of many waters” (Psalms 18:7-19.18.17), who imagines that these words are to be understood literally, of an actual descent of God out of heaven and stretching out of. his hand to draw David out of the water? Or who will take the words of Deborah: “Out of heaven was the battle waged, the stars out of their courses fought against Sisera,” in a literal sense? The truth of such expressions lies in the subjective field of the religious intuition, not in the rigorous interpretation of the words. In a similar way may the verses before us be understood without prejudice thereby to their real import, if that day had been merely subjectively prolonged to the religious apprehension of Israel.
But if the words had expressed even an objectively real and miraculous extension of that day, we should still have had no valid ground for doubting the truth of this statement of facts. All objections which have been raised against the fact or the possibility of such a miracle, appear, on a closer examination of the matter, nugatory. Thus, that the annals of the other peoples of the earth give no report at all of a miracle which must have extended over the whole earth, loses all importance when we perceive that no annals at all of other nations of that period are extant, and that it is extremely doubtful whether the miracle would have extended far beyond the bounds of Palestine [!] 11 Again, the appeal to the unchangeableness of the movement of the heavenly bodies fixed by eternally unalterable laws, is not suited to show the impossibility of such a miracle. The eternal laws of nature are nothing more than modes of manifestation, or phenomena, of God’s creative power, the proper nature of which no mortal has yet found out. May not then the Almighty Creator and Preserver of nature and all her powers, be able also so to direct and control the powers of nature according to his own will that they should contribute to the realization of his ends in salvation? Finally, the objection also that the sudden arrest of the revolution of the earth upon its axis, must have demolished all the work of human hands upon its surface, and hurled from its orbit the earth itself and her attendant the moon, proves nothing, since it is forgotten in all this, that the almighty hand of God which not only created the stars but also lent to them and to all worlds the power to run their course with regularity, so long as this world stands, that that hand which bears, upholds, controls all things in heaven and on earth, is not too short, to guard against such ruinous consequences.
To this may still be added that even the most rigorous apprehension of the words does not compel us, with the fathers and older theologians, to suppose a miraculous obstruction of the sun in his course, but only an optical pause of the sun, i.e. a miraculous arrest of the revolution of the earth on its axis, which would have appeared to the observer as a standing still of the sun. Knobel is entirely wrong when he pronounces this view of the fact contrary to the text. For the Scriptures speak of things of the visible world according to their appearance, as we also still speak of the rising and setting of the sun, although we have no doubt of the revolution of the earth about the sun. Such an optical stand-still of the sun, however, or rather merely a longer standing and visibility of the sun in the horizon, might be effected through God’s omnipotence in an astronomical phenomenon unknown to us and wholly incomprehensible by natural philosophy, without interfering with the general laws of the rotation of the heavenly bodies. Only we must not, surely, reduce this exertion of the divine power to a mere unusual refraction of the light, or a storm of lightning lasting through the whole night, as has been variously attempted.” Bibl. Com. ii. 1, p. 76–81.]
Having thus treated of this difficult passage in reference to the criticism of the text, and also to the purport of it, it remains for us still to glance at the history of its interpretation.
Although Jesus Sirach and Josephus had, even in their day, betrayed a disposition in the passages above cited, to change the phraseology of our verse, in the sense of a not entirely literal conception of it, still the overwhelming majority of ancient Jewish and Christian interpreters understand here an objective, astronomical miracle, an actual standing still of the sun. So Justin Martyr in Dial. cum Tryph.; Ephraem Syr.; Tertullian, De Jejunio, i. 10; Jerome c. Jovin. i. 11; Chrysost. Hom. 27 in Epist. ad Hebr.; Augustine, De Civit. Dei, xvi. 8 ; Theodoret, the Rabbins, Serarius, Masius, C. a Lapide, Calvin, Osiander, et mult. al. Exceptions are (the Ev. Kirchen-Zeitung, ubi sup. p. 555), Maimonides and Rabbi Levi ben Gersom, who advocate the non-literal view. “The wish of Joshua,” explains the latter, “aims only at this, that that one day and night might be long enough for the overthrow of the so numerous forces of the enemy. It was the same as if he had said: Grant, Almighty Father, that before sun and moon go down, thy people may take vengeance on this multitude of thy foes. The miracle of that day was, that at the prayer of a man God effected so great a defeat in so short a time.” How tenaciously the Roman curia, on the contrary, in their Jesuitically inspired proceedings against Galileo (1633), held fast to the opposite view, is well known.
As however the Copernican system nevertheless found adherents, and indeed, even among orthodox Protestant theologians out of opposition to Rome, these thought to help themselves by the assumption of an optical pause of the sun (statio optica), that is, they assumed that the earth was hindered by God in its revolution on its axis, by which a lengthening of the day was produced. So Lilienthal, Gute Sache, v. p. 167 ff.; Mosheim apud Calmet, p. 45 ff.; Bastholm, Jüdische Geschichte, ii. p. 31 ff.; Zimmermann, Scriptura Copernizans, i. 1, p. 228. In recent times this view is maintained by Baumgarten (Herzog’s Realencyk. vii. 40) According to this writer, Joshua, in the full confidence of being the dispenser of divine vengeance against the corrupt Canaanites, called, as nigh threatened to overtake them, to the heavenly luminaries, and the day was by nearly its full length, “prolonged through the apparent pause of the heavenly bodies which govern day and night, but through the actual pause of the globe in its diurnal revolution.” Such an exorbitant miracle came to pass because “the destination of Israel was something infinitely transcending, in its dignity and significance, the entire natural order of things.” This relation between Israel and the “system of the universe” Joshua apprehended in a “moment of daring faith,” “assumed the immediate realization of the same,” and Jehovah “sealed this venture of faith by his work and word;” and it is for us “simply to believe, that this was done.”
The editor of the Encyklopädie has made on this representation the very apposite remark, “That, however, theologians of a strictly positive tendency are of a different view in this respect is well known.”
Grotius and Clericus are to be regarded as precursors of the rationalizing interpretation. They imagined extraordinary refractions of the light of the sun already set; for, as Grotius supposes, it was not impossible for God solis cursum morari, aut etiam post solis occasum ejus speciem in nube supra horizontem extanti per repercussum ostendere. Spinoza, also (Tract. Theol. Polit. ii. pp. 22 and 6, p. 78 ed. Hamb. 1670), adopted substantially this opinion. J. D. Michaelis and Schultz resort to the supposition of lightning that lasted through the whole night; Hess combined lightning with the light of the sun and moon, so that there was no night, so to speak, between this and the following day (F. F. Hess, Geschichte Josua, i. p. 140 f.). Others otherwise; but truly laughable is the attempt of Ritter (in Henke’s Magazin, vi. 1), to make the expression “sun” and “moon” represent the signals or standards which Joshua had ordered to remain there where they chanced to stand in Gibeon and Ajalon. This insipidity reminds one, as Zöckler has rightly observed, of the famous Tavern for the Whale, and similar absurdities of a spiritless, jejune exegesis.12
In recent times the more advanced study of textual criticism has led to the poetical understanding of the passage—in our view the only correct one, which is favored not only in general by Maurer, Ewald (Gesch. ii. p. 326), Hitzig and von Lengerke, but also as has been shown above by theologians of quite positive principles, the two Hengstenbergs, Keil, Kurtz, and others. Not less decidedly have Lange and Zöckler adopted this view. How far we differ from one and another of these, specially in regard to the criticism of the text, will appear from the foregoing explanation. But that men like Knak, Frantz, and Straube have again brought prominently forward as a “matter of faith,” the assumption of an actual standing still of the sun, which, under the universal prevalence of the Ptolemaic astronomy was a quite natural view, although by no means required by the text in Joshua 10:12-6.10.13; that they believe themselves called to defend this against the “pseudodoxy of the natural sciences,” we regard as indicating a lamentable confusion of ideas, resting on a total want of scientific sense, and under the injurious influence of which the true “matter of faith” is likely to suffer much.
As a curiosity we may refer in conclusion to the notion of Jean d’ Espagne, a French theologian, mentioned by Starke, who makes out that this miracle took place in the year 2555 from the creation of the world. But that is the year 7×365. “Now a year has 365 days, and the number seven has in God’s Word much mystery. Thus the number of the year 2555 makes 365 week-years, [Wochenjahre, years each of which contains a week of years]. So also year-weeks [Yahrwochen, weeks whose days are years] are to be understood (Daniel 9:24). Thus the sun after completing 365 year-weeks in his course here kept miraculously a day of rest. This time of 365 days when it has passed 365 times gives us a year of years” etc.
c. Flight and Destruction of the Five Kings. (Joshua 10:16-6.10.27). Joshua 10:16 ff. contain the continuation of Joshua 10:1-6.10.11. The hail-storm had inflicted terrible injury on the Amorites. Many died from the hail, more than were slain by the sword of the Israelites. But the five kings sought to secure their own persons, and hid themselves in the cave at Makkedah. When Joshua heard of this, he caused a stone to be rolled before the mouth of the cave and set a guard over it, but he himself drives forward to effect a complete discomfiture of the enemy, and in this succeeds. Not until this is done does he have the five kings brought forward, and, after a ceremony expressive of their total subjection, hung on trees, and their corpses thrown into the cave.
Joshua 10:16. Hid themselves in the cave at Makkedah. Many such caves were found in the lime and chalk rocks of Palestine. In David’s history the cave of Adullam is often mentioned (1 Samuel 22:1 ff.; 2 Samuel 23:13; 1 Chronicles 11:15). In the history of the crusades also (W. Tyrius, De Bello Sacro, 15, 6; 18, 19; 11, et sœp.), caves are mentioned. Judges 20:47, the cave at Rimmon is spoken of, which could contain 600 men in its spacious recess. These caves are large and dry, and branch out also into chambers (Robinson ii. 175, 352 ff., 395–398. Von Schubert, iii. 30). They were thus admirably fitted for places of refuge, in times of danger, as in the case before us. [See Dict. of the Bible, art. Caves].
Joshua 10:17. נֶחְבִּאִים for נֶחְבָּאִים from a sing. נחְבֶּא after the manner of verbs לה׳. Gesen. § 75, Rem. 21, (a) (Knobel).
Joshua 10:19. Smite the hindmost of them (their rear). זִנַּבְתֶּם from זִנַּב (Kal זָנַב), prop. “to hurt the tail,” figuratively, to disturb the rearguard of the enemy (Deuteronomy 25:18). In Greek also οὐρά, οὐραγία is = rear-guard.
Joshua 10:20-6.10.21. Most of the enemy were left on the field; only a few escaped into the fortified towns, where they were concealed only for a short time, as we learn from Joshua 10:27-6.10.43. Those that remained הַשְּׁרִידִים, elsewhere פָּלִיט Joshua 8:22; Genesis 14:13; Jeremiah 44:28; Ezekiel 6:8. The apodosis begins not with והשׂרידים, but with וַיָּשֻׁבוּ Joshua 10:21, as Maurer correctly shows. How Keil could imagine that it begins not until Joshua 10:23, it is difficult to perceive. For the rest cf. Joshua 3:15-6.3.16, where the construction is altogether the same, and Joshua 2:5 where it is similar.—בּשָׁלוֹם, LXX. ὑγιεῖς, Vulg.: Sani et integro numero, in good condition.
None pointed against the children of Israel, against one of them his tongue. The whole proverbial expression we read Exodus 11:7 : “against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move (point) his tongue, against man or beast,” where dog is given as the subject. Here the subject is wanting unless we suppose with Maurer that the ל in לְאישׁ is an error in copying, from the preceding ישּׂראל, and to be rejected, which would then leave אישׁ as the subject. We think it more simple to supply the subject in an indefinite, euphemistic sense, and take לאישׁ as a more precise limitation of לבני, which is favored by the specification in Exodus 11:7, למֵאִישׁ וִעַד בְּהֵמָה. Wholly false is the LXX. καὶ οὐκ ἔγρυξε τῶν υἱῶν I. (!) οὐδεὶς τῇ γλώσσῃ αὐτο͂υ, while the Vulg. rightly hits the sense: nullusque contra filios Israel mutire ausus est. The meaning is, no one ventured to do any harm to any of the children of Israel, comp. Jdt 11:13.
Joshua 10:22-6.10.23. At Joshua’s command the cave is now opened, and the kings brought before him.
Joshua 10:24. Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings. This demand for a contemptuous humiliation of the conquered leaders of the enemy is addressed by Joshua to the leaders of the men of war, to his field officers, who also respond thereto. The ceremony indicates “entire subjugation,” and was practiced, according to Knobel, by the Greek emperors also. Constant. Porphyrog. De Ceremoniis Aulœ Byzant. 2, 19; Bynæus, De Calceis Hebr. p. 318). We may compare Psalms 60:10. הֶהָֽלִבוּא for אֶשֶֽׁר־הָֽלְבוּ, comp. Isaiah 28:12 on the form of the verb; Ges. § 109; Ewald, § 331 b. on the use of the art. for pron. rel.
Joshua 10:25. Here Joshua says the same to his warriors which the Lord had said to him (Joshua 1:7; Joshua 1:9).
Joshua 10:26. Joshua kills the kings, doubtless with the sword, and then hangs up their bodies in contempt on five trees, cf. Deuteronomy 21:22; Num 25:4; 2 Samuel 4:12. The one suspended, was as is known, considered accursed, and might not remain hanging over night, Deuteronomy 21:23; Galatians 3:13; John 19:31. In like manner Joshua had done to the king of Ai, Joshua 8:29. “The hanging of a living man is a Persian punishment (Ezra 6:11). Under the Herods this mode of execution occurs among the Jews also, Josephus, Ant. xvi. 11, 6 (unless strangling is here intended), as well as in Egypt during the Roman age, Philo ii. 529. See Winer, ii. 11 s. v. Lebensstrafen.
DOGMATICAL AND ETHICAL
1. The Biblical view of the universe is like that of all antiquity, the geocentric; the earth stands still, the sun moves. So it appears according to natural, unaided observation, and we have only come to a different apprehension as the result of modern scientific researches. This result we cheerfully accept without forfeiture of our faith, for the only dogmatical question is whether God made the world or not (Hebrews 11:3), but not at all whether the earth revolves about the sun or the sun about the earth. In that question, whether God made the world, and in particular, whether He created it out of nothing, a religious interest is involved, that the origin of the cosmos should not be referred to blind chance but to an intelligent Creator of heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1). But how, on the supposition that God has created all things, the universe is constituted, whether so that the earth moves about the sun or the sun about the earth, this question is of no religious moment to us, but is relegated rather to the science of astronomy, which has finally answered it in the sense of Copernicus and Galileo. Comp. on this the instructive article of Dr. F. Pfaff on the Copernican system and its opponents, Beweis d. Glaube, vol. v. pp. 278–287). [Whewell’s History of the Inductive Sciences, book v. Joshua 3:0, sect. Joshua 4:0 : The Copernican System opposed on Theological grounds.—Tr.].
2. With this foundation principle clear in mind, it is self-evident that those render poor service to the “cause of faith” who feel themselves obliged to uphold as a matter of faith what has nothing to do with faith, but is a matter of science. Conversely, however, it needs to be said also that the Bible as a book of religion, cannot reasonably be thought less of because it favors the geocentric scheme. So does Homer also, e.g. whom, nevertheless, in his poetic worth no one has ever thought of disparaging on that account, while it has always belonged to the tactics of those who opposed the Bible to assail it first on the side of the natural sciences, that they might next impugn its religious authority.
3. On the very recent strife in the Berlin Church, in the course of which our passage Joshua 10:12-6.10.15 has been much ventilated, it belongs not to our design to speak.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
Joshua’s fidelity to his covenant with the oppressed Gibeonites crowned with a glorious victory: (1) Picture of the oppression of Gibeon by the five Canaanite kings. (2) How Joshua goes up at the call of the Gibeonites and smites the enemy. (3) How he pursues them and holds judgment upon them.—Gibeon’s need, Joshua’s faithfulness, God’s help.—If men come to us for help in time of need God gives the courage to render aid.—True courage comes alone from God.—As God once fought for Israel so He still fights for his own. “Sun, stand still on Gibeon, and moon in the valley of Ajalon!” A believing word of Joshua, God’s contending hero: (1) Spoken under what circumstances? (2) How intended? (3) How answered?—The Lord hears when we call upon Him in faith.—The great day at Gibeon.—It was great, (1) through the mighty strife of the combatants; (2) through the courageous faith of the general; (3) through the victory which God gave.—How the memory of Joshua lived still in song, and through song was glorified.—The cowardice of the Canaanite kings contrasted with the boldness of Joshua.—He that has no good conscience hides himself.—The judgment of Joshua upon the five kings (1) destructive to them; (2) encouraging to Israel.
Starke: Whoever, in spiritual conflicts, will have the true Joshua for a helper, must not trust to his own powers but to the power of Christ, and freely come before him, Philippians 4:13.—He who would do his neighbor a favor, should not delay it long, but act quickly, for the speediness of a gift doubles its value [bis dat qui cito dat], while a benefit delayed loses its thanks and becomes useless, 2 Corinthians 9:7.—On the successful progress of a cause, one ought not to give glory to himself but to God, for He is the workman, we only the tools.—From God’s power no man can either climb too high or creep too low; He knows easily how to find us, Amos 9:2, Psalms 139:7.—Pious Christian, God will one day for thee also lay thy enemies at thy feet; therefore, up, contend, conquer! Revelation 2:26-66.2.27; Revelation 3:9; Revelation 3:12; Romans 16:20.
Cramer: It is strange to the world that we will not keep with them: therefore those who turn to God must be attacked and suffer persecution. 1 Peter 4:4; Mat 10:36; 2 Timothy 3:12.—God has various artillery with which He contends for his people against their enemies, Judges 5:20. Let no one faint, therefore, with God’s help.… The tyrants who were so wild, fierce, and unrestrainable, God can presently tame.
Hedinger: The iniquity of the ungodly of itself hastens to its punishment, and there is no rod so good for a wicked man as his own.—It is well to be concerned lest one make God angry, but when one has made Him angry it is useless care to try to escape his judgment. Even if we should run out of the world we should only find his wrath so much the greater.
Lange: If a man has once gained a real victory over his spiritual foes he must boldly follow it up without indolent delay, and faithfully reap the fruits of the success given him.
Gerlach: Holy Scripture speaks, in regard to things of the visible world, and which concern not the affairs of God’s kingdom, according to natural appearances, precisely as we speak of the sun rising and setting, although we have no doubt of the revolution of the earth.
[Joshua 10:11.—This sentence is properly parenthetical: As they fled before Israel (they were on the descent from Beth-horon) that Jehovah, etc.—Tr.]
[Verses 20 and 21 might well be translated and connected thus: And it came to pass when .… till they were consumed, and those that had escaped of them had fled, and were come into the fortified cities, that all the people returned, etc.—Tr.]
[A particularly valuable article on Jerusalem will be found in Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible. On the topography the additions to the Am. ed. are indispensable. The Recovery of Jerusalem (see Intr. p 37) is now reprinted in N. Y.—Tr.]
[If Sadowa and the other events of the Austrian campaign were so commemorated by the author, what would he have said of the progress from Weissenberg to Sedan, and Paris, and——in 1870.—Tr.]
[The remark which follows is true and appropriate concerning מַעֲלֶה, which, however, is not repeated in Joshua 10:11. מוֹרָד is used there.—Tr.]
[Might we not add also גוֹי Joshua 10:13, which is unusual for עָם in reference to the Hebrews?—Tr.]
 [The unhesitating confidence of our author in this conclusion seems hardly borne out by his reasons. The cautious judgment of Bleek, above quoted, seems more consistent with all the facts. We think the poetic spirit resounds through the whole of Joshua 10:13-6.10.14, to say nothing of the more satisfactory dogmatic bearing of Hengstenberg’s view, to be noticed hereafter.
Stanley, in his very interesting presentation of the great battle of Gibeon (Jewish Church, 1st series, lect. xi.), gives this whole section poetically arranged, as follows. It will be seen that here again he blends the LXX. and the Hebrew text too much as if they were of like authority:—
“Then spake Joshua unto Jehovah,
In the day ‘that God gave up the Amorite
Into the hand of Israel,’ (LXX.)
When he discomfited them in Gibeon,
And they were discomfited before the face of Israel,’ (LXX.)”
And Joshua said:—
“ ‘Be thou still, O sun, upon Gibeon,
And thou moon upon the Valley of Ajalon.’
And the sun was still,
And the moon stood,
Until ‘the nation’ (or, LXX., until God) had avenged them upon their enemies.
And the sun stood in ‘the very midst’ of the heavens,
And hasted not to go down for a whole day,
And there was no day like that before it or after it,
That Jehovah heard the voice of a man,
For Jehovah fought for Israel.
And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp in Gilgal.”—Tr.]
[That is, strictly, gives no indication of such knowledge in this passage.—Tr.]
[Without dwelling on the palpable difficulty, not to say impossibility, of reconciling such a judgment with any satisfactory conception of the inspiration of the writer of our book, is not that judgment inconsistent with the natural probabilities concerning the authorship? That is, would not the reviser or compiler of the Book of Joshua know, as well as we, that he was introducing in verses 12, 13, a highly impassioned and hyperbolical passage of poetry? If so how could he, more than we, go on to interpret it as prosaic history? We think this indicates at once that the interpretation is not his, is nobody’s cool interpretation, but only a continuation of the lyrical strain. Not all the grammatical objections of our author to this view combined can stand against this one consideration.—Tr.]
[Considering what is afterward truly said of the fervid poetical character of this whole passage, this statement appears quite unwarranted. Unless David and Deborah and Habakkuk were convinced of the actual reality of what they assert in the form of fact, there seems no reason at all for assuming that either the original composer of the song or he who inserted it in the Book of the Upright or he who copied it into the Book of Joshua, believed there had been un actual extension of that day.—Tr.]
 [Compare Matt. Henry’s (from this point of view) more national representation:—
“And he (Joshua) believed God’s particular favor to Israel above all people under the sun; else he could not have expected, that, to favor them upon an emergency with a double day, he should (which must follow of course) amuse and terrify so great a part of the terrestrial globe with a double night at the same time; it is true he causeth the sun to shine upon the just and upon the unjust, but this once the unjust shall wait for it beyond the usual time, while, in favor to righteous Israel, it stands still.”—Tr.]
[The note of the learned Whiston, translator of Josephus, is curiously accommodating: “Whether this lengthening of the day, by the standing still of the sun and moon, were physical and real, by the miraculous stoppage of the diurnal motion of the earth for about half a revolution, or whether only apparent, by aerial phosphori imitating the sun and moon as stationary so long, while clouds and the night hid the real ones, and this parhelion, or mock sun, affording sufficient light for Joshua’s pursuit and complete victory (which aerial phosphori in other shapes have been unusually common of late years), cannot now be determined; philosophers and astronomers will naturally incline to this latter hypothesis,” etc. Ad. Ant. v. 1, 16.]
4. The Conquest of Southern Palestine
28And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed [devoted], them and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain [left none remaining, as in Joshua 10:33; Joshua 10:37; Joshua 10:39, Joshua 11:8, etc.]: and he did to the king of Makkedah as he did [had done] unto the king of Jericho.
29Then [And] Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, unto Libnah, and fought against Libnah: 30and the Lord [Jehovah] 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 [left] none remain [remaining] in it; but [and, comp. Joshua 10:28] did unto the king thereof as he did [had done] unto the king of Jericho.
31And Joshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him, unto Lachish, and encamped against it, and fought against it: 32And the Lord [Jehovah] delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which [who] 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.
33Then [At that time] Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had [omit: had] left him none, remaining.
34And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon, and all Israel with him: and they encamped against it, and fought against it. 35And 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 [devoted] that day, according to all that he had done to Lachish.
36And Joshua went up from Eglon, and all Israel with him, unto Hebron; and they fought against it: 37And 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 [and] destroyed it utterly [devoted it], and all the souls that were therein.
38And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to Debir; and fought against it: 39And 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 [devoted] 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, [and] as he had done also [omit: also] to Libnah, and to her king.
40So [And] Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs,13 and all their kings: he left none remaining, but [and] utterly destroyed [devoted] all that breathed, as the Lord [Jehovah] God of Israel commanded. 41And Joshua smote them from Kadesh-barnea even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon. 42And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time; because the Lord [Jehovah] God of Israel fought for Israel. 43And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
After the brilliant victory at Gibeon, Joshua, without special difficulty, conquered the whole of southern Palestine west of the Jordan. Particularly named are the cities Makkedah (Joshua 10:28), Libnah (Joshua 10:29), Lachish (Joshua 10:31), Eglon (Joshua 10:34), Hebron (Joshua 10:36), and Debir (Joshua 10:38-6.10.39). With Joshua 10:40 the special enumeration of conquered cities ceases. We are then summarily informed that Joshua smote the whole land, the mountains, the south-land, the lowlands, and the foot-hills, from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza, and the whole land of Goshen unto Gibeon (Joshua 10:40-6.10.41). This success attended him because God fought for Israel Joshua 10:42). After completing the campaign Joshua returned to the camp at Gilgal on the Jordan (Joshua 10:43). At this point, perhaps, we may most conveniently remark that when Hitzig (ubi sup. p. 103) holds all Joshua’s professed activity, after Gibeon, to be mere romance and no history, we, for reasons developed in the Introd. § 3, must decidedly differ with him.
Joshua 10:28. Capture of Makkedah (Joshua 10:10; Joshua 10:16; Joshua 10:21; Joshua 15:41). Instead of אוֹתָם, according to many Codd. and various editions, as well as the analogy of Joshua 10:37, אוֹתָהּ should be read.
He smote them with the edge of the sword, as previously Ai (Joshua 8:24), as afterwards the other cities. This phrase occurs in the present section four times (Joshua 10:28; Joshua 10:30; Joshua 10:32; Joshua 10:35).
He left none remaining, likewise used four times (Joshua 10:28; Joshua 10:30; Joshua 10:33; Joshua 10:40). A complete destruction was effected, for Joshua devoted all that had breath (Joshua 10:40).
Joshua 10:29-6.10.32. Joshua turned from Makkedah, (which is possibly to be sought for in the region of the present Terkumia (Tricomias)), westward toward Libnah, and then from there southeastwardly toward Lachish, both which places are found, though with the mark of interrogation, on Kiepert’s map, but not on that of Van de Velde. [On Menke’s Map (III.) Lachish is placed slightly N. of W. from Libna.—Tr.]
Joshua 10:33. According to the previous agreement (Joshua 9:2) the king of Gezer, later Γαζαρα (2Ma 10:32, Joseph. Ant. viii. 6, 1,) and Γάδαρα (Joseph. Ant. v. 1, 22; xii. 7, 4) and Γαδαρίς (Strabo, 16, p. 759), now goes up to help Lachish. The city has not yet been discovered. Kiepert suspects that it lay northwest of Beth-horon, and so likewise Knobel on Joshua 16:3; Van de Velde has no statement. This king too is destroyed.
Joshua 10:34. Joshua now marches westward [eastward?] from Lachish to Eglon (’́Αγλα), now Adjlan, on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza; invests, takes, and destroys Eglon with all its inhabitants, like Lachish, Libnah, and Makkedah.
Joshua 10:36-6.10.39. Eglon [Lachish?] was the westernmost point of which the bold leader of Israel obtained possession. In a tolerably direct line he marched next upon Hebron, the seat of the patriarchs, familiar in the history of Abraham, and which still lies in a charming region. This, city also he captures like the rest. The fate of Hebron is the same as that of the other Canaanite cities.
Joshua 10:38. וישׁב Joshua now turned, as Exodus 5:22; Numbers 18:9. He turns towards Debir (Joshua 15:15; Joshua 15:49). This Debir, earlier called Kirjath-sepher (Joshua 15:15; Judges 1:11) or Kirjath-sanno (Joshua 15:49), is either, as Rosen supposes (Zeitschrift der D. M. G. xi. p. 50 ff.), followed by von Raumer (p. 184), the same as Idwirban, or Dewirban, three fourths of an hour west of Hebron, or, according to the view of Knobel (p. 435), Thaharijeh, or Dhoherijeh, as Kiepert and Van de Velde write it, an important place, inhabited down even to the present time, the first on the mountain of Judah as one goes toward Hebron from the south, and distant from the latter about five hours,—or, according to Van de Velde (Mem. p. 307), with whom Keil agrees = Dilbeh, on the top of a hill north of the Wady Dilbeh, about two hours south-west of Hebron. It is in favor of one of the two last conjectures that all the cities mentioned Joshua 15:48-6.15.49, among which Debir also stands, lie entirely in the south, while Idwirban or Dewirban is west of Hebron and quite too far north for that group of cities to which it belongs. If we follow Rosen’s opinion as Bunsen has done, ויָּשָׁב must be translated “returned,” as it is by Bunsen. On the position of Thaharijeh, particularly, cf. Rob. i. 311, 12 (edh Dhoherijeh), Ritter, Erdkunde, xvi. [Gage’s Trans, iii. 193, 288, 289, 202, and Joshua 15:15.] To this we shall recur in connection with the conquests which are referred to Caleb, Joshua 14:6 ff; Joshua 15:14 ff. According to Judges 1:10 ff. the city of Hebron and even Debir was captured not until a later period.
Joshua 10:40-6.10.43. No further statement of special conquests is made; there follows rather a comprehensive survey of Joshua’s successes at that time. Joshua smote the whole land. This is then more definitely specialized: (1) הָחָר, the mountain, i.e. the mountain of Judah, which extends southward from Jerusalem. It consists of calcareous limestone, and forms the watershed between the Mediterranean and Dead Seas, rising to the height of three thousand feet; in general an uneven and rocky district, especially in the southern portion, yet not without fruitful and inviting spots. (2.) הַנֶּגֶב, the land of the south, prop., from נגב, which in the Syr., Chald., and Sam. signifies to be dry, the dry, parched land, where the mountain brooks fail in the summer, so that in Psalms 126:4, God is invoked to let them return again (vide Hitzig on this passage). It is the steppe which forms the southern portion of Judæa, a land “intermediate between wilderness and cultivated land,” precisely as the steppes of southern Russia, or the heath-land of North Germany. Because this steppe, this parched and sun-burnt land, lay in the south of Palestine (cf. Joshua 15:2-6.15.4; Joshua 15:21), נֶגֶב comes to mean generally, south, and נֶגְבָּה southward, Numbers 35:5; Exodus 40:24; Joshua 17:9-6.17.10. (3.) The low-landsהַשְּׁפֵלָה (Joshua 11:16; Joshua 15:33) from שָׁפל to be low, the strip of land in southern Palestine accurately indicated on Kiepert’s map as stretching along the sea from Joppa to Gaza (Jeremiah 32:44; Jeremiah 33:13). Much more populous, fertile, and beautiful than the Negeb. (4.) The declivities הָאֲשֵׁדוֹת, out of which the LXX. and Vulg. make a proper name: ’Ασηδώθ, Asedoth. Luther translates, “on the brooks,” [Eng. vers. “the springs”], in accordance with Numbers 21:15, where he renders אֶשֵׁד־הַנְּחָלִים “source of the brooks.” The explanation is this: אֶשֵׁד like אֲשֵׁדָה is to be derived from אָשַׁד, according to the Syriac, to pour, to rush down, = (1.) outpouring; (2.) place upon which something pours out, e.g.אַשְׁדּוֹת הַפִּסגָּה (Deuteronomy 3:17; Deuteronomy 4:49), the place whither the brooks of Mount Pisgah issue, the declivities of Pisgah.14 In our passage the declivities or “foot-hills” are those of the mountain of Judah, which slopes off gradually to the low-land:—the land of Goshen (Joshua 10:41). This is to be carefully distinguished from Goshen in the land of Egypt (Genesis 45:10; Genesis 46:28 and often). Again Joshua 11:16; Joshua 15:51, a city of the same name is mentioned, perhaps the chief city of this region. Knobel derives the name from the Arabic, making it = pectus, lorica. Calmet maintains that the land of Goshen here mentioned is the same as the Egyptian. This needs no refutation.
Joshua 10:41. From Kadesh-barnea unto Gaza,i.e. from the wilderness in which Kadesh-barnea lay (Numbers 13:3; Numbers 13:26; Numbers 20:1; Numbers 27:14, and often) to Gaza in the Shephelah, which is only about one hour from the Mediterranean Sea,—and the whole land of Goshen unto Gibeon, i.e. all the country between Gaza and Gibeon which lay on a line directly northeast from Gaza. Thus Joshua had become master of all southern Palestine between the Jordan valley and the Mediterranean Sea in one direction, and between the heights of Gibeon and the wilderness in the other. Jericho, Ai, Makkedah, Libnah, Lachish, Eglon, Hebron, Debir, had one after the other fallen and been destroyed, and whole districts, like Goshen, had submitted themselves. With the ruins of broken cities, and the bodies of their inhabitants, the land was covered on the mountains, as well as on the slopes, in the lowland, in the desert, on the border of the wilderness as well as on the banks of the Jordan. A divine judgment had fallen on the Canaanites. Jehovah, God of Israel, had Himself fought for his chosen people (Joshua 10:42; Joshua 10:14). And Joshua marches back, to find rest after such mighty exploits, in the camp at Gilgal (Joshua 10:43).
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
Of the extermination of the Canaanites, as well as of the idea of the devotement (חֶרֶם), we have already treated, and do not, therefore, here enter again on the subject. Cf. the Exegetical and Critical on Joshua 2:11; Joshua 6:17; also the Doctrinal and Ethical on Joshua 6:15-6.6.27 [Introd. § 5, p. 21].
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
The section before us being no more than several of the following (chaps. 12, 13, 15, etc.), suited for texts of sermons, while for Bible-classes the exegetical notes will furnish the necessary explanations, we remark here once for all, that on this description of passages in our Book, the Homiletical and Practical comments will be omitted.
[Joshua 10:40.—The geographical definiteness of this statement might be indicated thus: And Joshua smote all the land: the mountain, and the south-country (the Negeb), and the low-land (the Shephelah), and the foot-hills, etc. See Exegetical note.—Tr.]
[We have proposed in the amended translation of this verse to render אֲשֵׁדוֹת, by “foot-hills” which, although not suggested by the etymology of the Hebrew word, seems to convey nearly the intended signification.—Tr.]
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Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 10". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/
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