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10 When Adoni-zedek, the king of Jerusalem, heard how Joshua had captured and destroyed Ai and had killed its king, the same as he had done at Jericho, and how the people of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were now their allies, he was very frightened. For Gibeon was a great city—as great as the royal cities and much larger than Ai—and its men were known as hard fighters. So King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem sent messengers to several other kings: King Hoham of Hebron, King Piram of Jarmuth, King Japhia of Lachish, King Debir of Eglon.

“Come and help me destroy Gibeon,” he urged them, “for they have made peace with Joshua and the people of Israel.”

So these five Amorite kings combined their armies for a united attack on Gibeon. The men of Gibeon hurriedly sent messengers to Joshua at Gilgal.

“Come and help your servants!” they demanded. “Come quickly and save us! For all the kings of the Amorites who live in the hills are here with their armies.”

So Joshua and the Israeli army left Gilgal and went to rescue Gibeon.

“Don’t be afraid of them,” the Lord said to Joshua, “for they are already defeated! I have given them to you to destroy. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you.”

Joshua traveled all night from Gilgal and took the enemy armies by surprise. 10 Then the Lord threw them into a panic so that the army of Israel slaughtered great numbers of them at Gibeon and chased the others all the way to Beth-horon and Azekah and Makkedah, killing them along the way. 11 And as the enemy was racing down the hill to Beth-horon, the Lord destroyed them with a great hailstorm that continued all the way to Azekah; in fact, more men died from the hail than by the swords of the Israelis.

12 As the men of Israel were pursuing and harassing the foe, Joshua prayed aloud, “Let the sun stand still over Gibeon, and let the moon stand in its place over the valley of Aijalon!”

13 And the sun and the moon didn’t move until the Israeli army had finished the destruction of its enemies! This is described in greater detail in The Book of Jashar. So the sun stopped in the heavens and stayed there for almost twenty-four hours! 14 There had never been such a day before, and there has never been another since, when the Lord stopped the sun and moon—all because of the prayer of one man. But the Lord was fighting for Israel. 15 (Afterwards Joshua and the Israeli army returned to Gilgal.)

16 During the battle the five kings escaped and hid in a cave at Makkedah. 17 When the news was brought to Joshua that they had been found, 18 he issued a command that a great stone be rolled against the mouth of the cave and that guards be placed there to keep the kings inside.

19 Then Joshua commanded the rest of the army, “Go on chasing the enemy and cut them down from the rear. Don’t let them get back to their cities, for the Lord will help you to completely destroy them.”

20 So Joshua and the Israeli army continued the slaughter and wiped out the five armies except for a tiny remnant that managed to reach their fortified cities. 21 Then the Israelis returned to their camp at Makkedah without having lost a single man! And after that no one dared to attack Israel.

22-23 Joshua now instructed his men to remove the stone from the mouth of the cave and to bring out the five kings—of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon. 24 Joshua told the captains of his army to put their feet on the kings’ necks.

25 “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged,” Joshua said to his men. “Be strong and courageous, for the Lord is going to do this to all of your enemies.”

26 With that, Joshua plunged his sword into each of the five kings, killing them. He then hanged them on five trees until evening.

27 As the sun was going down, Joshua instructed that their bodies be taken down and thrown into the cave where they had been hiding; and a great pile of stones was placed at the mouth of the cave. (The pile is still there today.)

28 On that same day Joshua destroyed the city of Makkedah and killed its king and everyone in it. Not one person in the entire city was left alive. 29 Then the Israelis went to Libnah. 30 There, too, the Lord gave them the city and its king. Every last person was slaughtered, just as at Jericho.

31 From Libnah they went to Lachish and attacked it. 32 And the Lord gave it to them on the second day; here, too, the entire population was slaughtered, just as at Libnah.

33 During the attack on Lachish, King Horam of Gezer arrived with his army to try to help defend the city, but Joshua’s men killed him and destroyed his entire army.

34-35 The Israeli army then captured Eglon on the first day and, as at Lachish, they killed everyone in the city. 36 After leaving Eglon they went to Hebron 37 and captured it and all of its surrounding villages, slaughtering the entire population. Not one person was left alive. 38 Then they turned back to Debir, 39 which they quickly captured with all of its outlying villages. And they killed everyone just as they had at Libnah.

40 So Joshua and his army conquered the whole country—the nations and kings of the hill country, the Negeb, the lowlands, and the mountain slopes. They destroyed everyone in the land, just as the Lord God of Israel had commanded, 41 slaughtering them from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza, and from Goshen to Gibeon. 42 This was all accomplished in one campaign, for the Lord God of Israel was fighting for his people. 43 Then Joshua and his army returned to their camp at Gilgal.

The Sun Stands Still

10 Now Adoni-Zedek(A) king of Jerusalem(B) heard that Joshua had taken Ai(C) and totally destroyed[a](D) it, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and that the people of Gibeon(E) had made a treaty of peace(F) with Israel and had become their allies. He and his people were very much alarmed at this, because Gibeon was an important city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were good fighters. So Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem appealed to Hoham king of Hebron,(G) Piram king of Jarmuth,(H) Japhia king of Lachish(I) and Debir(J) king of Eglon.(K) “Come up and help me attack Gibeon,” he said, “because it has made peace(L) with Joshua and the Israelites.”

Then the five kings(M) of the Amorites(N)—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon—joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it.

The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal:(O) “Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us.”

So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army,(P) including all the best fighting men. The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid(Q) of them; I have given them into your hand.(R) Not one of them will be able to withstand you.”(S)

After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. 10 The Lord threw them into confusion(T) before Israel,(U) so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon.(V) Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon(W) and cut them down all the way to Azekah(X) and Makkedah.(Y) 11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the Lord hurled large hailstones(Z) down on them,(AA) and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.

12 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites(AB) over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
    and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.(AC)
13 So the sun stood still,(AD)
    and the moon stopped,
    till the nation avenged itself on[b] its enemies,

as it is written in the Book of Jashar.(AE)

The sun stopped(AF) in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting(AG) for Israel!

15 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.(AH)

Five Amorite Kings Killed

16 Now the five kings had fled(AI) and hidden in the cave at Makkedah. 17 When Joshua was told that the five kings had been found hiding in the cave at Makkedah, 18 he said, “Roll large rocks up to the mouth of the cave, and post some men there to guard it. 19 But don’t stop; pursue your enemies! Attack them from the rear and don’t let them reach their cities, for the Lord your God has given them into your hand.”

20 So Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely,(AJ) but a few survivors managed to reach their fortified cities.(AK) 21 The whole army then returned safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah, and no one uttered a word against the Israelites.

22 Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring those five kings out to me.” 23 So they brought the five kings out of the cave—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon. 24 When they had brought these kings(AL) to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, “Come here and put your feet(AM) on the necks of these kings.” So they came forward and placed their feet(AN) on their necks.

25 Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous.(AO) This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” 26 Then Joshua put the kings to death and exposed their bodies on five poles, and they were left hanging on the poles until evening.

27 At sunset(AP) Joshua gave the order and they took them down from the poles and threw them into the cave where they had been hiding. At the mouth of the cave they placed large rocks, which are there to this day.(AQ)

Southern Cities Conquered

28 That day Joshua took Makkedah. He put the city and its king to the sword and totally destroyed everyone in it. He left no survivors.(AR) And he did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho.(AS)

29 Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Makkedah to Libnah(AT) and attacked it. 30 The Lord also gave that city and its king into Israel’s hand. The city and everyone in it Joshua put to the sword. He left no survivors there. And he did to its king as he had done to the king of Jericho.

31 Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Libnah to Lachish;(AU) he took up positions against it and attacked it. 32 The Lord gave Lachish into Israel’s hands, and Joshua took it on the second day. The city and everyone in it he put to the sword, just as he had done to Libnah. 33 Meanwhile, Horam king of Gezer(AV) had come up to help Lachish, but Joshua defeated him and his army—until no survivors were left.

34 Then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from Lachish to Eglon;(AW) they took up positions against it and attacked it. 35 They captured it that same day and put it to the sword and totally destroyed everyone in it, just as they had done to Lachish.

36 Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron(AX) and attacked it. 37 They took the city and put it to the sword, together with its king, its villages and everyone(AY) in it. They left no survivors. Just as at Eglon, they totally destroyed it and everyone in it.

38 Then Joshua and all Israel with him turned around and attacked Debir.(AZ) 39 They took the city, its king and its villages, and put them to the sword. Everyone in it they totally destroyed. They left no survivors. They did to Debir and its king as they had done to Libnah and its king and to Hebron.(BA)

40 So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev,(BB) the western foothills and the mountain slopes,(BC) together with all their kings.(BD) He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded.(BE) 41 Joshua subdued them from Kadesh Barnea(BF) to Gaza(BG) and from the whole region of Goshen(BH) to Gibeon. 42 All these kings and their lands Joshua conquered in one campaign, because the Lord, the God of Israel, fought(BI) for Israel.

43 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.(BJ)


  1. Joshua 10:1 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verses 28, 35, 37, 39 and 40.
  2. Joshua 10:13 Or nation triumphed over