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.