Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 10:16

Now these five kings had fled and hidden themselves in the cave at Makkedah.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Adoni-Zedek;   Amorites;   Captive;   Cave;   Cowardice;   Debir;   Hebron;   Jerusalem;   Makkedah;   Piram;   Prisoners;   War;   Thompson Chain Reference - Caves;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Jerusalem;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Adonizedek;   Makkedah;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Prayer;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Adoni-Zedec;   Cave;   Gibeon;   Hoham;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Makkedah;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Amorites;   Caves;   Hoham;   Japhia;   Joshua, the Book of;   Makkedah;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Adoni-Bezek;   Adoni-Zedek;   Cave;   Israel;   Joshua;   Makkedah;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Adonizedec ;   Eglon ;   Gibeon ;   Jebusites ;   Lachish ;   Makkedah ;   Sun;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Adonizedek;   Journeyings of israel from egypt to canaan;   Lachish;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Adonize'dek;   Makke'dah;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Hoham;   Japhia (1);   Joshua (2);   Joshua, Book of;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Adonizedek;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Caves in Palestine;   Hoham;   Jebusites;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Hid themselves in a cave - It is very likely that this cave was a fortified place among some rocks; for there were many such places in different parts of Palestine.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 10:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-10.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The thread of the narrative, broken by the four intermediate verses, Joshua 10:12-15, is now resumed from Joshua 10:11.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Joshua 10:16". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-10.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"And these five kings fled, and hid themselves in the cave at Makkedah. And it was told Joshua, saying, The five kings are found, hidden in the cave at Makkedah. And Joshua said, Roll great stones to the mouth of the cave, and set men by it to keep them, but stay not ye; pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost of them; suffer them not to enter into their cities: for Jehovah your God hath delivered them into your hand. 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, and the remnant which remained of them had entered into the fortified cities, that all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace: none moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel."

Here we understand that Joshua had established a temporary headquarters at Makkedah, making it highly unlikely that he returned to Gilgal until after the incident of the five kings and their execution had been completed. We have already noted Noth's ridiculous explanation of this incident of the five kings as an etiological exercise in which some "redactor" tried to explain to his generation the mystery of a big cave with large stones in front of it! Such explanations were called absurd by Sizoo (see above), and so they are.

It is especially significant here that the account is realistic, reasonable, and free from exaggeration. Woudstra pointed out that mention is made in Joshua 10:20 of escapees who successfully avoided either capture or death and were able to take refuge in their fortified cities. Such facts as this and many others evoked a comment from Woudstra that, "Such features lend credibility; this is not just an epic, or a saga. It is HISTORY."[31]

After this first decisive victory at Gibeon, the Southern Campaign continued for some time, as related in the balance of this chapter.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Joshua 10:16". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/joshua-10.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But these five kings fled,.... They were not killed by hailstones, nor slain by the sword of the Israelites, but made their escape, being reserved by the providence of God for a more shameful end:

and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah; not in the city of Makkedah, which as yet was not in the hands of Israel, whereas this cave was, as appears by what follows; but it was in some hill, or mountain, near it; in the border of it, as Kimchi expresses it, and where a hill is shown to this day in which it was, as Drusius says.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 10:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-10.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

But these five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah.

A cave — A place of the greatest secrecy; but there is no escaping the eye or hand of God.

At Makkedah — Heb. in Makkedah, not in the city, for that was not yet taken; but in the territory of it.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 10:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-10.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 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 Amos 9:2, Psalms 139:8-10. {See Trapp on "Amos 9:2"} {See Trapp on "Psalms 139:8"} {See Trapp on "Psalms 139:9"} {See Trapp on "Psalms 139:10"}

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 10:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-10.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 16. But these five kings fled That is, the kings mentioned above, in ver. 3. And hid themselves, &c. escaped from the sword of the conqueror; they had eluded the pursuit and the hail, by taking a different road from that of their main army: perhaps too they had prepared, for any event, beasts to carry them off with all dispatch. Be that as it may, they retired into a cavern near Makkedah, (for so the Hebrew particle should be rendered here and in ver. 10.) and there concluded themselves safe. Caves, it seems, dug in the rocks, are very common in those countries; they are places of retreat, and forts, whither the people retire at the time of war and invasion. We find several accounts of them collected by Reland in his Palaest. Sacr. l. iii. p. 648.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 10:16". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/joshua-10.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The

five kings named above, Joshua 10:3.

In a cave, as a place of most secrecy or security; but there is no escaping the eye or hand of God, who here brought them into a net of their own making.

At Makkedah, Heb. in Makkedah; not in the city, for that was not yet taken; but in the territory of it; as in Gibeon, Joshua 10:10.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 10:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-10.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

But these five kings fled, and hid themselves in the cave at Makkedah.’

Taken by surprise from the beginning, totally routed, their armies decimated both by sword and natural catastrophe, and totally exhausted, the five kings who had led their people into disaster took shelter in a cave in the area around the city of Makkedah. Possibly the point is that Makkedah itself refused to accept them. They were fugitives and could present a problem. Makkedah did not want to incite Joshua into attacking them. (If so it did Makkedah little good. But in such situations any attempt to prevent trouble is better than nothing). The site of Makkedah is unknown.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 10:16". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-10.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

THE PURSUIT AND SLAUGHTER OF THE AMORITES, Joshua 10:16-21.

16.The thread of the narrative, broken at the end of Joshua 10:11 by the quotation from the Book of Jasher, is here resumed.

Five kings — See Joshua 10:3.

A cave — Caves still abound in that region. Beth-horon signifies a house of caves. Travellers relate that these hiding places are found in all parts of Palestine. “The rocks are perforated in every direction with ‘caves’ and ‘holes’ and ‘pits,’ crevices and fissures sunk deep in the rocky soil.” — Stanley.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 10:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-10.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 10:16. These five kings — hid themselves in a cave — A place of the greatest secrecy; but there is no escaping the eye or hand of God, who here brought them into a net of their own making. At — Hebrew, in, Makkedah — Not in the city, for that was not yet taken; but in the territory of it.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 10:16". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-10.html. 1857.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

But these five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah.

These five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave (Hebrew, the cave) at Makkedah. The pursuit was continued without interruption to Makkedah, at the foot of the western mountains, where Joshua seems to have halted with the main body of his troops, while a detachment was sent forward to Scour the country in pursuit of the remaining stragglers, a few of whom succeeded in reaching the neighbouring cities. The last act, probably the next day, was the disposal of the prisoners, among whom the five kings (see the note at Joshua 10:37) were consigned to the infamous doom of being slain (Deuteronomy 20:16-17), and then their corpses suspended on five trees until the evening.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 10:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-10.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(16) In a cave.—Literally, in the cave in Makkedah, and so Joshua 10:17.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 10:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But these five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah.
and hid
Psalms 48:4-6; 139:7-10; Isaiah 2:10-12; Amos 9:2; Revelation 6:15
in a cave
Judges 6:2; 1 Samuel 13:6; 24:3,8; Isaiah 2:19-22; 24:21,22; Micah 7:17
Reciprocal: Joshua 10:22 - GeneralJudges 8:12 - took;  Psalm 68:12 - Kings;  Jeremiah 41:9 - because of Gedaliah;  Ezekiel 17:20 - I will spread

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 10:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-10.html.