Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 8:19

The men in ambush rose quickly from their place, and when he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it, and they quickly set the city on fire.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ambush;   Armies;   Strategy;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Sieges;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ai;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ambush;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Arms;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ai;   Hand;   Joshua, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ai;   Israel;   Joshua;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ai, Hai ;   Ambush, Ambushment;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Ai;   Journeyings of israel from egypt to canaan;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ai;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Set the city on fire - See on Joshua 8:8; (note).

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 8:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-8.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the ambush arose quickly out of their place,.... As soon as the sentinels set in proper places observed the signal, and gave them notice of it, which was the stretching out of the spear, as appears by what follows:

and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand; and the spear in his hand; from whence it is plain, that though the Lord is said to bid Joshua do this now, he had orders from him for it before and the ambush must have been made acquainted with it before they were sent away; and this was only a renewal of the order from the Lord, and which pointed out the proper time, the very crisis, when it should be stretched out:

and they entered into the city; without any difficulty, the gates being open:

and took it; took possession of it, and the strong holds in it:

and hasted and set the city on fire; that is, they made haste to set some houses on fire as the signal to the army of Israel to return.

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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 8:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-8.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire.

Set the city on fire — Not all of it, as appears from verse28, and because then they had lost that prey which God had allowed them; but part of it, enough to raise a smoke, and give notice to their brethren of their success.

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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 8:19". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-8.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 8:19 And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire.

Ver. 19. And the ambush arose quickly, and they ran, and hasted.] For they knew that opportunities are headlong, and once past they cannot be recovered. Armies as well as courts have their cito, cito Alexander being asked how in so short a time he had overrun so great a part of the habitable world, answered, Mηδεν αναβαλλομενος, by making no delays.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 8:19". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-8.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 19. And the ambush arose quickly, &c.— Some find it difficult to understand how they could perceive Joshua stretch out his standard, as they must have been at a very great distance, and among the neighbouring mountains. Masius answers, that they were divinely informed of it. We may add, that, Joshua having settled with them respecting this signal, they had posted persons to observe it, and inform them either by sound of trumpet, or otherwise. On their entrance into Ai, finding no resistance, they set fire to some houses in it, so situated that the smoke might be most easily discerned by the army.

REFLECTIONS.—We may here observe, 1. The conduct and prudence, the courage and caution, of the general. The ambush is regulated by his orders; he is by night in the valley, probably to choose the proper place for their concealment, perhaps to be alone with God in prayer for success. Not dismayed at the former defeat, he advances with confidence; by retiring secures the victory, and when the prey is in the net, lifts up that spear which never rested from slaughter, whilst one man remained alive. Note; (1.) To spend part of the night in prayer is highly needful, when the next morning leads to the field of battle. (2.) The Lord Jesus Christ, by yielding for a moment in his humiliation, triumphed thus more gloriously, when, on a resurrection-day, he turned back upon his enemies, and led captivity captive. (3.) They who have drawn the sword against their spiritual enemies, must cast away the scabbard, and only expect rest and victory in the grave. 2. The infatuation of Israel's enemies. Intoxicated by success, they kept neither scouts to discover the ambush behind them, nor feared to advance to meet the approaching armies of Israel. When shouting already for anticipated victory, on the feint made to retire, lo, the flames ascend behind them; their foes halt, face about, and attack with fury irresistible; whilst they, dismayed, have neither power to fight, nor opportunity to fly. Note; (1.) The prosperity of fools destroys them. (2.) The enemies of God's people often promise themselves to glut their fury in their destruction, when they are only madly advancing to their own ruin. (3.) Security, and self-confidence in an evil way, are among the direst symptoms of a reprobate mind, and the surest presages of eternal misery. (4.) The triumphing of the wicked is but for a moment: in death, they shall lie down and perish for ever.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 8:19". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/joshua-8.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

i.e. Not all of it, as appears both from Joshua 8:28, and because then they had lost that prey which God had allowed them; but some part of it, enough to raise a smoke, and give notice to their brethren of their success.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 8:19". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-8.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

And the ambush arose quickly from their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand, and entered into the city, and took it. And they speedily set the city on fire.’

The ambush had been there waiting hidden for over a day. They were no doubt relieved to see the signal and acted immediately. They charged the ‘city’, overwhelmed it, and then quickly set part of it on fire to alert Joshua that they had succeeded.

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Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 8:19". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-8.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

19.And set the city on fire — Not only for its destruction, but also for a signal to the army which was feigning a retreat to turn upon their pursuers, whose place of safety was now cut off. In Joshua 8:28 the burning of the city occurs after the pillage, but that is to be understood of the completion and consequence of what the ambush had begun.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 8:19". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-8.html. 1874-1909.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

spear = a short javelin. First occurrence of Hebrew. kidon.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 8:19". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-8.html. 1909-1922.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Joshua href="/desk/?q=jos+8:6-8&sr=1">Joshua 8:6-8

Reciprocal: Joshua 8:2 - lay thee;  Judges 20:37 - the liers in wait hasted

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 8:19". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-8.html.