Joshua and Judges: Joshua's southern campaign, part 3; Jos 10.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: Joshua's southern campaign, part 3; Jos 10.  


Announcements / opening prayer:


JOS 10:12 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,


"O sun, stand still at Gibeon,

And O moon in the valley of Aijalon."


JOS 10:13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,

Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies.


Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.


JOS 10:14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.


JOS 10:15 Then Joshua and all Israel with him returned to the camp to Gilgal.


The structure of JOS 10:12-15 makes it very likely that this was a part of a song. As we know, there is something very powerful stirred up in the soul when the mighty acts of God are put to music and sung with proper measure, meter, and rhythm.


Since vs. 15 is a part of the quote from the song in the book of Jashar, which is an injection into the historical narrative of the book of Joshua. We cannot conclude that Joshua and the army returned to Gilgal directly after this battle. It would be unimaginable that he did return to Gilgal and then return here to pursue the fleeing Amorites. They do not return to Gilgal until they pursued them on this unique day of 24 hour sunlight and then over a period of weeks conquered all of their land. The actual return of Joshua and the army to Gilgal is in vs. 43.


JOS 10:16 Now these five kings had fled and hidden themselves in the cave at Makkedah.


JOS 10:17 And it was told Joshua, saying, "The five kings have been found hidden in the cave at Makkedah."


JOS 10:18 And Joshua said, "Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and assign men by it to guard them,


JOS 10:19 but do not stay there yourselves; pursue your enemies and attack them in the rear. Do not allow them to enter their cities, for the Lord your God has delivered them into your hand."


The five kings fled and hid themselves in the cave that was a Makkedah. When they were discovered there, Joshua ordered large stones to be rolled before the entrance to the cave, and men to be placed there to watch, whilst the others pursued the enemy without ceasing, and smote their rear, and prevented their entering into their cities. He himself remained at Makkedah (v. 21).


JOS 10:20 And it came about when Joshua and the sons of Israel had finished slaying them with a very great slaughter, until they were destroyed, and the survivors who remained of them had entered the fortified cities,


JOS 10:21 that all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace. No one uttered a word against any of the sons of Israel.


Just after the announcement of the final plague upon Egypt, the death of the first born sons, who represent the strength and bloom of the whole race of the Egyptians, Moses confidently states:


EXO 11:7

'But against any of the sons of Israel a dog shall not even bark, whether against man or beast, that you may understand how the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.'


This phrasing of EXO 11:7 is the same as JOS 10:21. Literally EXO 11:7 states that not a dog will point its tongue at Israel and JOS 10:21 literally states that no one pointed their tongue at the sons of Israel. The dog points its tongue or its muzzle to growl before it bites; such is the imagery here. None of the surrounding peoples dared to come to the aid of the five kings and their land because Jehovah had put terror in their hearts by His faithful strengthening of His people.


If we stand firm in faith in God's plan and promises, eventually our enemies will flee. There will be more enemies after them, but our understanding of how to deal with them will be steadfast.


We now turn to the day after the battle.


JOS 10:22 Then Joshua said, "Open the mouth of the cave and bring these five kings out to me from the cave."


JOS 10:23 And they did so, and brought these five kings out to him from the cave: the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon.


JOS 10:24 And it came about when they brought these kings out to Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, "Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings." So they came near and put their feet on their necks.


This is not an act of barbarity. We know that the acts of the Canaanites were far more severe, but still that is not the reason for Joshua's stern command.


The leaders are commanded to execute the Amorite kings in order to bolster their courage and resolve. War isn't a pretty business.


We fight the good fight of faith and we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. We know that the battle is the Lord's as is vengeance. In the case of actual war, when evil forces seek to kill God's people, or in our recent history, God's client nation, the military must fight and kill as unto the Lord. Joshua's leaders must know this and so Joshua leads brilliantly here.


What Joshua has learned must be understood by the leaders. The leader is to go ahead and lead the way and not just point the way. There are still many more enemies to vanquish.


He is training them to be strong and definitive in their execution of God's command. God does not give us commands and expect that we fulfill them halfheartedly or only partially. What is commanded must be done and done in the right way, in the right motivation. God is perfect and His commands are perfect. The leader must train his people to do the same and to not perform their duties partially but fully and completely in the joy of knowing that it is the Lord whom they serve when they are serving others.


What was taught to Joshua must be understood by those who serve under him.


JOS 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."


JOS 8:1 Now the Lord said to Joshua, "Do not fear or be dismayed.


JOS 10:25 Joshua then said to them, "Do not fear or be dismayed! Be strong and courageous, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies with whom you fight."


Courage and strength must not just lie within the leader alone, but also in those who serve with him.


And so now, Joshua emphasizes this foundation of virtue to those who lead the tribes under him.


JOS 10:25 Joshua then said to them, "Do not fear or be dismayed! Be strong and courageous, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies with whom you fight."


JOS 10:26 So afterward Joshua struck them and put them to death, and he hanged them on five trees; and they hung on the trees until evening.


JOS 10:27 And it came about at sunset that Joshua commanded, and they took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had hidden themselves, and put large stones over the mouth of the cave, to this very day.


These kings are accursed of God and so are hung on a tree and in following the command, they are taken down and buried the next day.


DEU 21:22 "And if a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree,


DEU 21:23 his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance."


 It is true that all men are accursed of God as fallen creatures.


2PE 2:14

having eyes full of adultery and that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children;


Yet as we know, Christ took the curse due to us upon Himself and set us free from judgment. This was an aspect of the Messiah that most of the Jews of the first century had forgotten, especially of the leading intellectuals. The Messiah was to become a curse for us. When Christ was hung on a cross, those Jews applied Due 21:23 to Him and concluded that no matter what proofs He might have given in His life that He was accursed of God and so could not qualify as Messiah. What they missed, among many other things, is that Jesus did not become accursed at all, but rather took upon Himself the curse that was to fall on us. He was not a sinner, but took the judgment of all sins. He is a substitute who suffered the unknowable agony of spiritual death and judgment so that we would never have to.


GAL 3:13-14

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us —  for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" —  in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.


The five kings are buried in the cave that they hid in and stones were put over the mouth of the cave.


JOS 10:27 And it came about at sunset that Joshua commanded, and they took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had hidden themselves, and put large stones over the mouth of the cave, to this very day.


The grave of the five kings at Makkedah became a testimony to what happens to the power of the world when it chooses to oppose God and His people.


Stand still and hold your ground while wearing the full armor of God and the Lord will fight for you. All who oppose Him and His people inevitably will bear the burden of such an end as this. The Christian needs patience and perseverance, both of which stem from faith applied. He will maintain his peace while he does so.


Any who escaped would have run to the nearest fortified town, but this was only a temporary respite.


Those who oppose God and His people may seem to get away with it, but judgment is only a matter of time.