The Siege of Gibeon. 1Now when Adonizedek, king of Jerusalem, heard that Joshua had captured Ai and put it under the ban, and had done to that city and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king,a and that the inhabitants of Gibeon had made their peace with Israel, remaining among them, 2there was great fear abroad, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, greater even than Ai, and all its men were warriors. 3So Adonizedek, king of Jerusalem, sent to Hoham, king of Hebron, Piram, king of Jarmuth, Japhia, king of Lachish, and Debir, king of Eglon, with this message: 4“Come and help me attack Gibeon, for it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.”b 5The five Amorite kings, of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon,* gathered with all their forces, and marched against Gibeon to make war on it. 6Thereupon, the Gibeonites sent an appeal to Joshua in his camp at Gilgal: “Do not abandon your servants. Come up here quickly and save us. Help us, because all the Amorite kings of the mountain country have joined together against us.”c
Joshua’s Victory. 7So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with all his army and all his warriors. 8The LORD said to Joshua: Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your power. Not one of them will be able to withstand you. 9After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua made a surprise attack upon them, 10and the LORD threw them into disorder before Israel. The Israelites inflicted a great slaughter on them at Gibeon and pursued them down the Beth-horon slope, attacking them as far as Azekah and Makkedah.
11While they fled before Israel along the descent of Beth-horon, the LORD hurled great stones from the heavens* above them all the way to Azekah, killing many.d More died from these hailstones than the Israelites killed with the sword. 12It was then, when the LORD delivered up the Amorites to the Israelites, that Joshua prayed to the LORD, and said in the presence of Israel:
Sun, stand still at Gibeon,
Moon, in the valley of Aijalon!
13The sun stood still,
the moon stayed,
while the nation took vengeance on its foes.e
This is recorded* in the Book of Jashar. The sun halted halfway across the heavens; not for an entire day did it press on. 14Never before or since was there a day like this, when the LORD obeyed the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel. 15Then Joshua and all Israel returned to the camp at Gilgal.
Execution of Amorite Kings. 16The five kings who had fled hid in the cave at Makkedah. 17When Joshua was told, “The five kings have been found, hiding in the cave at Makkedah,” 18he said, “Roll large stones to the mouth of the cave and post guards over it. 19But do not remain there yourselves. Pursue your enemies, and harry them in the rear. Do not allow them to reach their cities, for the LORD, your God, has delivered them into your power.”
20Once Joshua and the Israelites had finally inflicted the last blows in this very great slaughter, and the survivors had escaped from them into the fortified cities, 21all the army returned to Joshua and the camp at Makkedah in victory; no one uttered a sound against the Israelites. 22Then Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring me those five kings from the cave.” 23They did so; they brought out to him from the cave the five kings, of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon. 24When they brought the five kings out to Joshua, he summoned all the army of Israel and said to the commanders of the soldiers who had marched with him, “Come forward and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” They came forward and put their feet upon their necks. 25f Then Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dismayed, be firm and steadfast. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies against whom you fight.” 26g Thereupon Joshua struck and killed the kings, and hanged them on five trees, where they remained hanging until evening. 27At sunset Joshua commanded that they be taken down from the trees and be thrown into the cave where they had hidden; over the mouth of the cave large stones were placed, which remain until this very day.
Conquest of Southern Canaan. 28h Makkedah, too, Joshua captured and put to the sword at that time. He put the city, its king, and every person in it under the ban, leaving no survivors. Thus he did to the king of Makkedah what he had done to the king of Jericho. 29Joshua then passed on with all Israel from Makkedah to Libnah, and attacked it, 30and the LORD delivered it, with its king, into the power of Israel. He put it to the sword with every person there, leaving no survivors. Thus he did to its king what he had done to the king of Jericho. 31Joshua next passed on with all Israel from Libnah to Lachish, where they set up a camp during the attack. 32The LORD delivered Lachish into the power of Israel, so that on the second day Joshua captured it and put it to the sword with every person in it, just as he had done to Libnah. 33At that time Horam, king of Gezer, came up to help Lachish, but Joshua defeated him and his people, leaving him no survivors. 34From Lachish, Joshua passed on with all Israel to Eglon; encamping near it, they attacked it 35and captured it the same day, putting it to the sword. On that day he put under the ban every person in it, just as he had done at Lachish. 36From Eglon, Joshua went up with all Israel to Hebron, which they attacked 37and captured. They put it to the sword with its king, all its cities, and every person there, leaving no survivors, just as Joshua had done to Eglon. He put it under the ban and every person in it. 38Then Joshua and all Israel turned back to Debir and attacked it, 39capturing it with its king and all its cities. They put them to the sword and put under the ban every person in it, leaving no survivors. Thus he did to Debir and its king what he had done to Hebron, as well as to Libnah and its king.
40i Joshua conquered the entire land; the mountain regions, the Negeb, the Shephelah, and the mountain slopes, with all their kings. He left no survivors, but put under the ban every living being, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded. 41Joshua conquered them from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza, and all the land of Goshen* to Gibeon. 42All these kings and their lands Joshua captured all at once, for the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel. 43Thereupon Joshua with all Israel returned to the camp at Gilgal.
* [10:5] Hebron…Eglon: these four cities were to the south and southwest of Jerusalem.
* [10:11] Great stones from the heavens: the hailstones mentioned in the next sentence.
* [10:13] This is recorded: the reference is to the preceding poetic passage. Evidently the Book of Jashar, like the Book of the Wars of the Lord (Nm 21:14), recounted in epic style the exploits of Israel’s early heroes. The sun halted: lit., “the sun stood”; this obscure passage may suppose a longer than natural day caused when the sun stopped moving across the sky, or it may refer to the sun stopping its light-giving function, perhaps through an eclipse. In any case it was seen as a sign that God fought Israel’s battle (v. 42; cf. Ex 14:14).
* [10:41] Goshen: a town and its surrounding district at the southern end of the Judean mountains (cf. 11:16; 15:51); not to be confused with the land of Goshen in northeastern Egypt (Gn 45:10).
a. [10:1] Jos 6:21, 24; 8:26–29.
e. [10:13] Sir 46:4; Is 28:21.
g. [10:26–27] Jos 8:29; Dt 21:22–23.