“The sun stood still”
When Adonizedek, the king of Jerusalem, had heard these things. Specifically, that Joshua had seized Ai, and had overthrown it. (For just as he had done to Jericho and its king, so did he do to Ai and its king,). And that the Gibeonites had fled over to Israel, and were now their confederates. He was very afraid.
Gibeon was a great city and was one of the royal cities. It was greater than the town of Ai, and all its warriors were very strong. Therefore, Adonizedek, the king of Jerusalem, sent to Hoham, the king of Hebron, and to Piram, the king of Jarmuth, and also to Japhia, the king of Lachish, and to Debir, the king of Eglon, saying:
“Ascend to me, and bring troops, so that we may fight against Gibeon. For it has fled over to Joshua and the sons of Israel.”
And so, having assembled, the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon, together with their armies, went up and encamped around Gibeon, laying siege to it. But the inhabitants of the city of Gibeon, when it was besieged. Sent to Joshua, who was then staying in the camp at Gilgal.
And they said to him: “May you not draw back your hands from helping your servants. Come quickly, and free us, and bring troops. For all the kings of the Amorites, who live in the mountains, have gathered together against us.”
Joshua ascended from Gilgal, and the entire army of warriors with him, very strong men. The Lord said to Joshua:
“You should not fear them. I have delivered them into your hands. None of them will be able to withstand you.”
So Joshua, ascending from Gilgal throughout the night, rushed upon them suddenly. The Lord set them in disarray before the face of Israel. And he crushed them in a great defeat at Gibeon, and he pursued them along the way of the ascent to Beth-horon, and he struck them down, even as far as Azekah and Makkedah.
While they were fleeing from the sons of Israel and were on the descent of Beth-horon. The Lord cast great stones from heaven upon them, as far as Azekah. Many more were killed by the hailstones than were struck down by the swords of the sons of Israel. Then Joshua spoke to the Lord, on the day that he handed over the Amorite in the sight of the sons of Israel, and he said before them:
“O sun, you shall not move toward Gibeon! O moon, you shall not move toward the valley of Aijalon!” And the sun and the moon stood still until the people had avenged themselves of their enemies.
Has this not been written in the book of the just? And so the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and it did not hurry to its rest for the space of one day. Never before and never after was there so long a day, as when the Lord obeyed the voice of a man and fought for Israel.
Joshua returned, with all of Israel, into the camp of Gilgal. For the five kings had fled and had hidden in a cave, near the city of Makkedah. It was reported to Joshua that the five kings had been found hidden in a cave, near the city of Makkedah. And he instructed his companions and said:
“Roll vast stones to the mouth of the cave, and station attentive men who will keep them closed. But as for you, do not stay here; instead, pursue the enemies, and cut down the lattermost of those who are fleeing.
You shall not permit those whom the Lord God has delivered into your hands to enter into the protection of their cities.
“Thus, the adversaries were struck down in a great defeat, and having been nearly consumed, even to utter annihilation. Those who were able to escape from Israel entered into fortified cities. The entire army returned to Joshua at Makkedah, where they were then encamped, in good health and in their full numbers.
No one dared to move his tongue against the sons of Israel. And Joshua instructed, saying. “Open the mouth of the cave, and bring forward to me the five kings, who are hidden within it.”
The ministers did just as they had been ordered. And they led out to him the five kings from the cave: the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon. And when they had been led out to him. He called all the men of Israel, and he said to the leaders of the army who were with him,
“Go, and place your feet upon the necks of these kings.” And when they had gone and had tread their feet upon the necks of those who were thrown down, he spoke to them again:
“Do not be afraid, and do not dread. Be strengthened and steadfast. For so will the Lord do to all your enemies, against whom you fight.”
Joshua struck them down and killed them, and he suspended them on five gallows. And they hung there until evening. When the sun had set, he instructed his assistants that they should take them down from the gallows. Having been taken down, they cast them into the cave, where they had lain hidden. They set vast stones at its mouth, which remain, even to the present.
Also on the same day, Joshua seized Makkedah, and he struck it with the edge of the sword, and he put to death its king and all its inhabitants. He did not leave in it even the smallest remains. He did to the king of Makkedah, just as he had done to the king of Jericho.
Then he went on, with all of Israel, from Makkedah to Libnah, and he fought against it. And the Lord delivered it, with its king, into the hands of Israel. And they struck the city with the edge of the sword and all its inhabitants. They did not leave in it any remains. And they did to the king of Libnah, just as they had done to the king of Jericho. From Libnah, with all of Israel, he went on to Lachish. Taking positions around it with his army, he besieged it.
The Lord delivered Lachish into the hands of Israel, and he seized it on the following day, and he struck it with the edge of the sword, and every soul that was in it, just as he had done to Libnah.
At that time, Horam, the king of Gezer, went up so that he might assist Lachish.
Joshua struck him with all his people, even unto utter annihilation. He went on from Lachish to Eglon, and he surrounded it. He also defeated it on the same day. And he struck all the souls that were in it with the edge of the sword, in accord with all that he had done to Lachish. Also, he ascended, with all of Israel, from Eglon into Hebron, and he fought against it.
He seized it and struck it with the edge of the sword, likewise with its king, and all the towns of that region, and all the souls that were staying in it. He did not leave any remains in it. Just as he had done to Eglon, so also did he do to Hebron, consuming with the sword all that he found within it.
Returning from there to Debir, he seized it and laid waste to it, likewise with its king. And all the surrounding towns, he struck with the edge of the sword. He did not leave in it any remains. Just as he had done to Hebron and Libnah, and to their kings, so did he do to Debir and to its king.
So Joshua struck the entire land, the mountains, and the south, and the plains, and the descending slopes, with their kings.
He did not leave in it any remains, but he put to death all that was able to breathe, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had instructed him, from Kadesh-Barnea, as far as Gaza, with all the land of Goshen, as far as Gibeon. And all their kings and their regions, he seized and destroyed with a single attack. For the Lord, the God of Israel, fought on his behalf. And he returned, with all of Israel, to the place of the encampment at Gilgal.Joshua 10:1-43 CPDV