Joshua 10

The Amorite kings

1 The king of Jerusalem was called Adoni-Zedek. He heard how Joshua had taken Ai city, as he had also taken Jericho city. He heard that Joshua had destroyed those cities and their kings. He also heard that the Israelites had made an agreement with the Gibeonites. They promised that they would not attack the Gibeonites. He knew that the Gibeonites now lived among the Israelites.

2 The king and the people of Jerusalem were very afraid, because Gibeon was a great city. It was bigger than Ai, like a city with a king. All its men were brave soldiers. 3 So King Adoni-Zedek asked some other kings to join with him to attack Gibeon. They were Hoham, king of Hebron, Piram, king of Jarmuth, Japhia, king of Lachish and Debir, king of Eglon. 4 Adoni-Zedek said to them, ‘The Gibeonites have made an agreement with Joshua and the Israelites not to fight them. So please come and help me to attack Gibeon.’

5 So the five Amorite kings with their armies met together. They were the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon. They put their soldiers near Gibeon city, and they began to attack it.

6 The Gibeonites sent a message to Joshua at Gilgal. They said, ‘Please sir, do not refuse to help us! Come quickly and save us. All the Amorite kings from the hills have joined together to attack us.’

7 So Joshua took his whole army and they marched up from Gilgal. He had all his best soldiers with him. 8 The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid of them. I will cause you to win against their armies. They will not be strong enough to fight against you.’

9 The Israelite soldiers marched all night from Gilgal. When they reached Gibeon, they quickly attacked the Amorite armies by surprise. 10 The Lord caused the Amorites to become confused when they saw the Israelite army. So the Israelites won a great battle there at Gibeon. They chased their enemies along the road to Beth Horon. They continued to kill the Amorite soldiers as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As the Amorites ran down the hill from Beth Horon, the Lord sent large stones of hail down from the sky. The hail killed them all the way to Azekah. More of the Amorite soldiers died because of the heavy stones of hail, than because the Israelite soldiers killed them.

12 In that way, the Lord caused the Israelites to win against the Amorites. After the battle that day, Joshua stood in front of Israel and he prayed to the Lord. He said,

‘Sun, stand still over Gibeon city.

Moon, stand still over Aijalon valley.’

13 So the sun stood still and the moon stopped moving across the sky. They stayed still while the Israelites punished their enemies. People wrote about this in the Scroll of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky. It did not go down for about a whole day. 14 A day like that had never happened before, and it has not happened since then. The Lord answered the prayer of a man in such a great way! The Lord himself was fighting the battle on behalf of the Israelites!

15 Then Joshua and all the Israelite army went back to their tents at Gilgal.

The Israelites kill the five Amorite kings

16 The five kings had run away from the Israelite soldiers. They had hidden in a cave at Makkedah. 17 Joshua heard that they were hiding there. 18 He said to his men, ‘Take some big stones and cover the front of the cave. Put some men there to watch the cave. 19 But you must continue to chase after your enemies. Do not stop now! Catch them! Do not let them reach their cities where they will be safe. Remember that the Lord your God has caused you to win against them.’

10:18Joshua wanted to wait until his army had finished chasing the Amorites.

20 So Joshua and the Israelites destroyed nearly all of the Amorite armies. But a few of the Amorites escaped and they reached their strong cities. 21 Then the whole Israelite army returned to Joshua at Makkedah. All the people in the land were too afraid to speak against the Israelites.

22 Then Joshua said to his men, ‘Take away the stones to open the cave where the five kings are. Bring them out here to me.’ 23 So they brought the five kings to Joshua. They were the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon. 24 When they had brought the kings to Joshua, he called the men of Israel to meet there. He said to the officers of his army, ‘Put your feet on the necks of these kings.’ They did as he told them.

25 Joshua said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Be very strong and brave. Look at these kings! This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies that you are going to fight.’ 26 Then Joshua killed the five kings with his sword. He hung their bodies on five trees. They remained there until evening time.

27 At sunset, Joshua told his men to take the kings down from the trees. They threw them into the where they had been hiding. They put big stones over the front of the cave. The stones are still there today.

Joshua attacks other cities

10:28Joshua had destroyed the cities that were near to Gilgal. Now he attacked the cities that were far away.

28 That day, Joshua attacked Makkedah city. He took it, together with its king. He destroyed everyone who lived in it. He did not leave anyone alive. He did the same thing to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho.

29 After that, Joshua and his army marched from Makkedah to Libnah. They attacked Libnah city. 30 The Lord gave them power over that city and its king. Joshua destroyed the city and everyone who lived in it. He did not leave anyone alive. They did the same thing to Libnah's king as they had done to the king of Jericho.

31 After this, Joshua and all the Israelite army marched from Libnah to Lachish. They attacked Lachish city from all sides. 32 The Lord gave them power over the city. They fought for two days and then they took the city. They killed everyone who lived in it, as they had done at Libnah. 33 Then Horam, king of Gezer, came to help the people of Lachish. But Joshua's army fought against him and his army. He killed them all, with nobody left alive.

34 Then Joshua and his army marched from Lachish to Eglon. They attacked Eglon city from all sides. 35 They took it on the same day. They killed everyone who lived in that city, as they had done at Lachish.

36 After this, Joshua and all the Israelite army marched up from Eglon to Hebron. They attacked Hebron city. 37 They took the city and they killed its king. They killed all the people who lived there, and the people in the towns near to it. They destroyed the whole city, as they had done at Eglon. They did not leave anyone alive.

38 Then Joshua and his army turned round and they marched to Debir. They attacked Debir city. 39 They took the city, its king and all the towns near to it. They killed everyone who lived there. They did the same thing to Debir and its king as they had done to Hebron, and to Libnah and its king.

40 In that way Joshua took the whole land and all the kings who ruled there. He took the hill country, the Negev in the south, the low hills in the west and the mountains in the east. He killed all the people who lived there. He did not leave anyone alive. The Lord God of Israel had told him to do this. 41 Joshua took the whole region, from Kadesh Barnea in the south to Gaza near the sea. This included all of Goshen, as far as Gibeon in the north. 42 Joshua won all these battles in one long fight. He won against all these kings and their lands. He won because the Lord, Israel's God, was fighting on Israel's behalf.

43 After this, Joshua and all Israel's army went back to their tents at Gilgal.