9 When all the kings heard about Jericho and Ai, those who were west of the Jordan in the hill country, in the Judean foothills,[a] and all along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea toward Lebanon—the Hethites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites— 2 they formed a unified alliance to fight against Joshua and Israel.3 When the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they acted deceptively. They gathered provisions[b] and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys and old wineskins, cracked and mended. 5 They wore old, patched sandals on their feet and threadbare clothing on their bodies. Their entire provision of bread was dry and crumbly. 6 They went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant land. Please make a treaty with us.”7 The men of Israel replied to the Hivites, “Perhaps you live among us. How can we make a treaty with you?”8 They said to Joshua, “We are your servants.”Then Joshua asked them, “Who are you and where do you come from?”9 They replied to him, “Your servants have come from a faraway land because of the reputation of the Lord your God. For we have heard of his fame, and all that he did in Egypt, 10 and all that he did to the two Amorite kings beyond the Jordan—King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan, who was in Ashtaroth. 11 So our elders and all the inhabitants of our land told us, ‘Take provisions with you for the journey; go and meet them and say, “We are your servants. Please make a treaty with us.”’ 12 This bread of ours was warm when we took it from our houses as food on the day we left to come to you; but see, it is now dry and crumbly. 13 These wineskins were new when we filled them; but see, they are cracked. And these clothes and sandals of ours are worn out from the extremely long journey.” 14 Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions, but did not seek the Lord’s decision. 15 So Joshua established peace with them and made a treaty to let them live, and the leaders of the community swore an oath to them.
Gibeon’s Deception Discovered
16 Three days after making the treaty with them, they heard that the Gibeonites were their neighbors, living among them. 17 So the Israelites set out and reached the Gibeonite cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim. 18 But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the community had sworn an oath to them by the Lord, the God of Israel. Then the whole community grumbled against the leaders.19 All the leaders answered them, “We have sworn an oath to them by the Lord, the God of Israel, and now we cannot touch them. 20 This is how we will treat them: we will let them live, so that no wrath will fall on us because of the oath we swore to them.” 21 They also said, “Let them live.” So the Gibeonites became woodcutters and water carriers for the whole community, as the leaders had promised them.22 Joshua summoned the Gibeonites and said to them, “Why did you deceive us by telling us you live far away from us, when in fact you live among us? 23 Therefore you are cursed and will always be slaves—woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.”24 The Gibeonites answered him, “It was clearly communicated to your servants that the Lord your God had commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land before you. We greatly feared for our lives because of you, and that is why we did this. 25 Now we are in your hands. Do to us whatever you think is right.”[c] 26 This is what Joshua did to them: he rescued them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them. 27 On that day he made them woodcutters and water carriers—as they are today—for the community and for the Lord’s altar at the place he would choose.
The Day the Sun Stood Still
10 Now King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had captured Ai and completely destroyed it, treating Ai and its king as he had Jericho and its king, and that the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were living among them. 2 So Adoni-zedek and his people were[d] greatly alarmed because Gibeon was a large city like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were warriors. 3 Therefore King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem sent word to King Hoham of Hebron, King Piram of Jarmuth, King Japhia of Lachish, and King Debir of Eglon, saying, 4 “Come up and help me. We will attack Gibeon, because they have made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.” 5 So the five Amorite kings—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon—joined forces, advanced with all their armies, besieged Gibeon, and fought against it.6 Then the men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: “Don’t give up on[e] your servants. Come quickly and save us! Help us, for all the Amorite kings living in the hill country have joined forces against us.” 7 So Joshua and all his troops, including all his best soldiers, came from Gilgal.8 The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for I have handed them over to you. Not one of them will be able to stand against you.”9 So Joshua caught them by surprise, after marching all night from Gilgal. 10 The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel. He defeated them in a great slaughter at Gibeon, chased them through the ascent of Beth-horon, and struck them down as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled before Israel, the Lord threw large hailstones on them from the sky along the descent of Beth-horon all the way to Azekah, and they died. More of them died from the hail than the Israelites killed with the sword.12 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to the Israelites, Joshua spoke to the Lord in the presence of Israel:“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 And the sun stood still
and the moon stopped
until the nation took vengeance on its enemies.Isn’t this written in the Book of Jashar?[f]So the sun stopped
in the middle of the sky
and delayed its setting
almost a full day.14 There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord listened to a man, because the Lord fought for Israel. 15 Then Joshua and all Israel with him returned to the camp at Gilgal.
Execution of the Five Kings
16 Now the five defeated kings had fled and hidden in the cave at Makkedah. 17 It was reported to Joshua: “The five kings have been found; they are hiding in the cave at Makkedah.”18 Joshua said, “Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and station men by it to guard the kings. 19 But as for the rest of you, don’t stay there. Pursue your enemies and attack them from behind. Don’t let them enter their cities, for the Lord your God has handed them over to you.” 20 So Joshua and the Israelites finished inflicting a terrible slaughter on them until they were destroyed, although a few survivors ran away to the fortified cities. 21 The people returned safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah. And no one dared to threaten[g] the Israelites.22 Then Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave, and bring those five kings to me out of there.” 23 That is what they did. They brought the five kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon to Joshua out of the cave. 24 When they had brought the kings to him, Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and said to the military commanders who had accompanied him, “Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So the commanders came forward and put their feet on their necks. 25 Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or discouraged. Be strong and courageous, for the Lord will do this to all the enemies you fight.”26 After this, Joshua struck them down and executed them. He hung[h] their bodies on five trees[i] and they were there until evening. 27 At sunset Joshua commanded that they be taken down from the trees and thrown into the cave where they had hidden. Then large stones were placed against the mouth of the cave, and the stones are still there today.
Conquest of Southern Cities
28 On that day Joshua captured Makkedah and struck it down with the sword, including its king. He completely destroyed it[j] and everyone in it, leaving no survivors. So he treated the king of Makkedah as he had the king of Jericho.29 Joshua and all Israel with him crossed from Makkedah to Libnah and fought against Libnah. 30 The Lord also handed it and its king over to Israel. He struck it down, putting everyone in it to the sword, and left no survivors in it. He treated Libnah’s king as he had the king of Jericho.31 From Libnah, Joshua and all Israel with him crossed to Lachish. They laid siege to it and attacked it. 32 The Lord handed Lachish over to Israel, and Joshua captured it on the second day. He struck it down, putting everyone in it to the sword, just as he had done to Libnah. 33 At that time King Horam of Gezer went to help Lachish, but Joshua struck him down along with his people, leaving no survivors.34 Then Joshua crossed from Lachish to Eglon and all Israel with him. They laid siege to it and attacked it. 35 On that day they captured it and struck it down, putting everyone in it to the sword. He completely destroyed it that day, just as he had done to Lachish.36 Next, Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron and attacked it. 37 They captured it and struck down its king, all its villages, and everyone in it with the sword. He left no survivors, just as he had done at Eglon. He completely destroyed Hebron and everyone in it.38 Finally, Joshua turned toward Debir and attacked it. And all Israel was with him. 39 He captured it—its king and all its villages. They struck them down with the sword and completely destroyed everyone in it, leaving no survivors. He treated Debir and its king as he had treated Hebron and as he had treated Libnah and its king.40 So Joshua conquered the whole region—the hill country, the Negev, the Judean foothills,[k] and the slopes—with all their kings, leaving no survivors. He completely destroyed every living being, as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded. 41 Joshua conquered everyone from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza, and all the land of Goshen as far as Gibeon. 42 Joshua captured all these kings and their land in one campaign,[l] because the Lord, the God of Israel, fought for Israel. 43 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.
Conquest of Northern Cities
11 When King Jabin of Hazor heard this news, he sent a message to: King Jobab of Madon, the kings of Shimron and Achshaph, 2 and the kings of the north in the hill country, the Arabah south of Chinnereth, the Judean foothills,[m] and the Slopes of Dor[n] to the west, 3 the Canaanites in the east and west, the Amorites, Hethites, Perizzites, and Jebusites in the hill country, and the Hivites at the foot of Hermon in the land of Mizpah. 4 They went out with all their armies—a multitude as numerous as the sand on the seashore—along with a vast number of horses and chariots. 5 All these kings joined forces; they came and camped together at the Waters of Merom to attack Israel.6 The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for at this time tomorrow I will cause all of them to be killed before Israel. You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots.” 7 So Joshua and all his troops surprised them at the Waters of Merom and attacked them. 8 The Lord handed them over to Israel, and they struck them down, pursuing them as far as greater Sidon and Misrephoth-maim, and to the east as far as the Valley of Mizpeh. They struck them down, leaving no survivors. 9 Joshua treated them as the Lord had told him; he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots.10 At that time Joshua turned back, captured Hazor, and struck down its king with the sword, because Hazor had formerly been the leader of all these kingdoms. 11 They struck down everyone in it with the sword, completely destroying them; he left no one alive. Then he burned Hazor.12 Joshua captured all these kings and their cities and struck them down with the sword. He completely destroyed them, as Moses the Lord’s servant had commanded. 13 However, Israel did not burn any of the cities that stood on their mounds except Hazor, which Joshua burned. 14 The Israelites plundered all the spoils and cattle of these cities for themselves. But they struck down every person with the sword until they had annihilated them, leaving no one alive. 15 Just as the Lord had commanded his servant Moses, Moses commanded Joshua. That is what Joshua did, leaving nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses.
Summary of Conquests
16 So Joshua took all this land—the hill country, all the Negev, all the land of Goshen, the foothills, the Arabah, and the hill country of Israel with its foothills— 17 from Mount Halak, which ascends to Seir, as far as Baal-gad in the Valley of Lebanon at the foot of Mount Hermon. He captured all their kings and struck them down, putting them to death. 18 Joshua waged war with all these kings for a long time. 19 No city made peace with the Israelites except the Hivites who inhabited Gibeon; all of them were taken in battle. 20 For it was the Lord’s intention to harden their hearts, so that they would engage Israel in battle, be completely destroyed without mercy, and be annihilated, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.21 At that time Joshua proceeded to exterminate the Anakim from the hill country—Hebron, Debir, Anab—all the hill country of Judah and of Israel. Joshua completely destroyed them with their cities. 22 No Anakim were left in the land of the Israelites, except for some remaining in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod.23 So Joshua took the entire land, in keeping with all that the Lord had told Moses. Joshua then gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal allotments. After this, the land had rest from war.
I have heard some preachers talk about how Joshua and the people prospered because God was on their side and just wanted them to be happy. These people will tell you that’s God’s ultimate goal for you: to make you rich and happy. But that just isn’t true.
Here in Joshua, God was fulfilling the promise he made to His people decades before this occurred. To give them this land. This is the story of God’s faithfulness and his promise keeping abilities. Not making people happy.
God didn’t promise you he would make you happy. He promised to make you holy. He promised to cast your sins as far as the east is from the west. He promised to take your sin and give you His perfect righteousness. That’s His eternal promise to you. Are you trusting Him to be faithful in that? Because it’s far greater than any temporal happiness.