Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 10:2

that he feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were mighty.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Adoni-Zedek;   Armies;   Cities;   Confederacies;   Jerusalem;   War;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Amorites, the;   Canaanites, the;   Cities;   Gibeonites;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Adonizedek;   Beth-Horon;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Gibeon;   Joshua the son of nun;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Prayer;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Adoni-Zedec;   Gibeon;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ai;   Gibeon;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ai;   Amorites;   Gibeon;   Japhia;   Joshua, the Book of;   Lord;   Mighty Men;   Royal City;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Adoni-Bezek;   Adoni-Zedek;   Israel;   Joshua;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Adonizedec ;   Ai, Hai ;   Gibeon ;   Jebusites ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Adonizedek;   Journeyings of israel from egypt to canaan;   Lachish;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Adonize'dek;   A'i;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Gibeon;   Hoham;   Joshua, Book of;   Palestine;   Royal;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Adonizedek;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Jebusites;   Palestine;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

As one of the royal cities - Not a regal city, but great, well inhabited and well fortified, as those cities which served for the royal residence generally were. It does not appear that the Gibeonites had any king - they seem to have been a small but powerful republic, all the men thereof were mighty, merely governed by their elders: for in their address to Joshua, Joshua 9:11, they mention no king, but simply state that they were sent by their elders and the inhabitants of their country; nor do we any where read of their king; and therefore we may naturally suppose that they had none.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 10:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-10.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

That they feared greatly,.... The king of Jerusalem and his people, lest they should fall into the hands of the Israelites, and be used as Jericho and Ai, and the kings and inhabitants of them were, and that they would be the next that should fall a sacrifice to them; for Gibeon was fifty furlongs from Jerusalem, as Josephus saysF1De Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 19. sect. 1. ; and in another place he saysF2Antiqu. l. 7. c. 11. sect. 7. but forty, which were but five miles; and if fifty, but little more than six miles; according to BuntingF3Travels of the Patriarchs, &c. p. 98. , it was but four miles: and what added to their terror was:

because Gibeon was a great city; being a metropolitan city, and having others subject to it; therefore the surrender of that to the Israelites might intimidate other cities, and lead them by example to do the like, and so of bad consequence:

as one of the royal cities; the Vulgate Latin version omits the note of similitude, and reads, "and one of the royal cities"; and sometimes "caph" or "as" is not a note of likeness, but of reality; yet as we nowhere read of a king of Gibeon, the sense may be, that though it was not a royal seat, it was equal to those that were, and like one, being a metropolitan city: and

because it was greater than Ai: had more inhabitants in it, and perhaps better fortified:

and all the men thereof were mighty; men of strength, courage, and valour, warlike men, and therefore for such a city to yield so easily, and in such a base, mean, and cowardly way, was setting a very bad example.

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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 10:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-10.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

they feared greatly — The dread inspired by the rapid conquests of the Israelites had been immensely increased by the fact of a state so populous and so strong as Gibeon having found it expedient to submit to the power and the terms of the invaders.

as one of the royal cities — Although itself a republic (Joshua 9:3), it was large and well-fortified, like those places in which the chiefs of the country usually established their residence.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 10:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-10.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty.

Thy — That is, he and his people, the king being spoken of verse1, as a publick person representing all his people.

Royal cities — Either really a royal city, or equal to one of the royal cities, though it had no king, but seems to have been governed by elders, chap9:11.

Copyright Statement
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 10:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-10.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 10:2 That they feared greatly, because Gibeon [was] a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it [was] greater than Ai, and all the men thereof [were] mighty.

Ver. 2. That they feared greatly.] And great cause they had, considering what supply and shelter the Israelites might have from thence, and how other cities might revolt by their example.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 10:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-10.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

They feared, i.e. he and his people, the king being spoken of Joshua 10:1, as a public person representing all his people. Or, he and the following kings, Joshua 10:3. But this fear is mentioned, Joshua 10:2, as the cause why he sent to those kings.

As one of the royal cities; either,

1. Really a royal city, the Hebrew particle caph oft signifying the truth of a thing, as Hosea 4:4 5:10, and oft elsewhere. Or,

2. Equal to one of the royal cities, though it had no king, but seems to be governed aristocratically by their elders, Joshua 9:11.

Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 10:2". 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

That they were deeply afraid, for Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai and all its men were mighty men.’

The shock of the capitulation of Gibeon was greater than that of the defeat of Jericho and Ai. The latter were only relatively small, but Gibeon and her confederacy were seen as powerful and militarily effective. Yet they had surrendered without a fight. It provided even greater reason to fear Israel. ‘A great city’, that is one with other cities under it and in confederacy with it. ‘As one of the royal cities’ may refer to the fact that Gibeon, which was ruled by its elders, was as great as the royal cities which had kings. Indeed there was a feeling that Gibeon had betrayed them by joining with Israel.

“They were deeply afraid.” ‘They’, that is Adoni-zedek and his advisers. Terror struck them for they recognised the fate that awaited them and the calibre of the forces they faced.

“All its men were mighty men.” Its army had a reputation for being good fighters. Gibeon is often depicted as cowardly, but some might feel that they were wise. They were right in the path of the victorious Israelite army.

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Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 10:2". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-10.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2.They feared greatly — The loss to the Amorites of so powerful a commonwealth as Gibeon, and its alliance with Joshua, was a sufficient cause of fear, aside from the fact that Joshua, now securely established in this central position, had completely cut off northern from southern Palestine, so that he could conquer each in detail.

As one of the royal cities — It was not a royal capital, but as important. The fact that so large a city, in their immediate vicinity, renowned for bravery, had submitted to the invader without striking a blow, was indeed appalling.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 10:2". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-10.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Cities. Yet we read not of its king, chap. ix. 11. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "It was like a royal metropolis." (Haydock) --- Valiant. Prudence therefore, and not fear, had influenced them to take this step.

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 10:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-10.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

men. Hebrew, plural of ish or "enosh. App-14.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 10:2". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-10.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty.

They feared greatly. The dread inspired by the rapid conquests of the Israelites had been immensely increased by the fact of a state so populous and so strong as Gibeon having found it expedient to submit to the power and the terms of the invaders.

As one of the royal cities. Although itself a republic (Joshua 9:3), it was large and well fortified, like those places in which the chiefs of the country usually established their residence.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 10:2". "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

(2) As one of the royal cities.—One of the cities of the kingdom. Gibeon was afterwards the city of the first king of Israel, Saul (1 Chronicles 8:29-30; 1 Chronicles 8:33).

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 10:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty.
they feared
2:9-13,24; Exodus 15:14-16; Deuteronomy 11:25; 28:10; Psalms 48:4-6; Proverbs 1:26,27; Proverbs 10:24; Hebrews 10:27,31; Revelation 6:15-17
Gibeon
Gibeon was situated on an eminence, as its name imports, 40 furlongs north from Jerusalem, according to Josephus.
the royal cities
Heb. cities of the kingdom.
1 Samuel 27:5; 2 Samuel 12:26
Reciprocal: Joshua 9:1 - all the kings;  Joshua 9:3 - Gibeon;  Joshua 9:17 - Gibeon;  Joshua 10:41 - Gibeon;  Joshua 18:25 - Gibeon;  2 Samuel 2:12 - Gibeon;  1 Kings 3:4 - Gibeon;  1 Chronicles 6:60 - thirteen cities

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 10:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-10.html.