Joshua 10:41-43: The Southern Campaign, Part 2

Verse 41:[1] And Joshua smote them from Kadesh-barnea even unto (Gen. 10:19) Gaza, (Josh. 11:16) and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon.

[From Kadesh-barnea] It was in the extreme, Southern portion of the land, Joshua 15:3; Numbers 34:4 (Bonfrerius); Deuteronomy 1:19. The Chaldean generally renders it, רקם־גיאה, Rekem-Geah; that is, Rekem lofty, celebrated, etc.[2] Evidently he meant to signify Petra (which is called Rekem, Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities 4:5), a noble city of Arabia, to which Kadesh-Barnea was adjacent, as Eusebius testifies[3] (Masius).

Kadesh-barnea lay in the south of Canaan, Numbers 34:4; Deuteronomy 1:19; Joshua 15:3.

[Unto Gaza] It was almost in the South-Western corner (Bonfrerius). Thus this description, from Kadesh-Barnea to Gaza, marks a great part of the Southern border of Canaan, as we shall show afterwards (Masius).

Gaza was in the south-west of Canaan. So he here signifies that Joshua did in this expedition subdue all those parts which lay south and west from Gilgal.

[Goshen] Not of Egypt, but another, concerning which Joshua 11:16; 15:51 (Malvenda out of Junius, similarly Vatablus). It was set in the mountainous places of Judea, Joshua 15. It appears to have been celebrated for the goodness of the surrounding fields (Masius).

Goshen; not that Goshen in Egypt, but another in Judah, Joshua 11:16; 15:51.


Verse 42:[4] And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, (Josh. 10:14) because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.

[With one assault (thus Symmachus in Masius), פַּ֣עַם אֶחָ֑ת] With one turn (Munster, Pagnine, Montanus); one time (Vatablus, Tigurinus, similarly the Septuagint, Jonathan); in a single, uninterrupted battle (Vatablus), that is, with one expedition (Junius and Tremellius, Vatablus), once and together (Arabic). Translate it, with one assault, with one, continuous operation; there was not much delay anywhere by a long siege (Masius).

[God fought] Hence it happened that the Israelites conquered in so small an interval, that they were not even able to consider briefly, if they were not enemies, but friends. He alleges here the manifest reason why no one ought to take away confidence from this otherwise incredible narrative, or to arrogate such deeds to the valor of the soldiers (Masius).


Verse 43:[5] And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.

[And he returned] This was placed in the fifteenth verse. But I do not doubt that its proper home is here. Therefore, it is not rightly omitted here also by the Septuagint translators: For it is not now able to appear superfluous: for it signifies that the army, laden with great spoil, returned to the camp, so that briefly they might refresh their bodies, visit their wives and children, deposit the spoil in their houses, and then prepare themselves for a new expedition (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּכֵּ֧ם יְהוֹשֻׁ֛עַ מִקָּדֵ֥שׁ בַּרְנֵ֖עַ וְעַד־עַזָּ֑ה וְאֵ֛ת כָּל־אֶ֥רֶץ גֹּ֖שֶׁן וְעַד־גִּבְעֽוֹן׃

[2] גיאה signifies lofty, proud, or ruler.

[3] In his Onomasticon.

[4] Hebrew: וְאֵ֙ת כָּל־הַמְּלָכִ֤ים הָאֵ֙לֶּה֙ וְאֶת־אַרְצָ֔ם לָכַ֥ד יְהוֹשֻׁ֖עַ פַּ֣עַם אֶחָ֑ת כִּ֗י יְהוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל נִלְחָ֖ם לְיִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

[5] Hebrew: וַיָּ֤שָׁב יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל עִמּ֔וֹ אֶל־הַֽמַּחֲנֶ֖ה הַגִּלְגָּֽלָה׃

Joshua 10:40: The Southern Campaign, Part 1

Verse 40:[1] So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel (Deut. 20:16, 17) commanded.

[All the hill country, etc.] The entire region, according to the diverse conditions and situations of the places, he distributed into four parts (Bonfrerius out of Masius). The plains are set over against the mountainous places; shaded valleys over against the arid (Masius).

[And the south (thus Munster, Tigurinus, Pagnine, similarly Junius and Tremellius, Syriac), וְהַנֶּגֶב[2]] Of the south (Montanus, Jonathan). By this word, through metalepsis,[3] they understand land arid and sterile, because of the excessive heat of the Sun (Malvenda out of Bonfrerius). Thus the word is taken in Joshua 15:19;[4] Judges 1:15; Psalm 126:4[5] (Malvenda). Moreover, that נֶגֶב properly signifies arid places, the Chaldean tongue plainly shows,[6] which arose from the Hebrew (Masius).

[And of Asedoth (thus the Septuagint, Pagnine), Ashdod[7] (Syriac), וְהָאֲשֵׁדוֹת] Effusions (Montanus). Well-watered places, or, rather, valleys, which are rightly set over against the South and arid land; for those are characterized by soil rich and fertile, since they receive sufficient moisture from the mountains, and are not afflicted with lasting heat, because of the shade of the mountains; whence they are commonly called shaded and green pleasant places by the Poets (Masius). And river-valleys (Tigurinus); a descending [place] (Munster). And declivities, that is, a region that is in the declivities of mountains (Vatablus). And the watering of descents (Junius), by descents (Junius and Tremellius); the descent of waters (Dutch). Certainly אֶשֶׁד is הַנְּחָלִים, an effusion of torrents, or rivers, Numbers 21:14, 15[8] (Drusius). Flowings, of which sort hills pour forth: thus the Jews (Masius). Effusion, or extension, or projection, of the elevated place (Jonathan in Masius). He understands those places that are called ὑπώρειαι by the Greeks, that is, where mountains and hills extend themselves to the plains. This opinion agrees with the context, and with Deuteronomy 3:17.[9] Such places are generally more fertile and more well-cultivated (Masius).

[Everything that was able to breathe] Hebrew: every soul,[10] namely, human (Bonfrerius, Junius). [See what things are on verse 28.[11]]

All that breathed, that is, all mankind, by a synecdoche; for they reserved the cattle for their own uses.

[Just as the Lord had commanded] This is added to mitigate the severity of such a slaughter in the eyes of posterity. Not with private hatreds (for they had not been provoked by any injury), or with a desire for rule, or with a lust for plunder, did they this; but they followed the commands of God, who had for so long patiently endured the increasing impiety of those, but now was coming utterly to destroy them. And hence it was done, that the spirits of the soldiers were not giving in to any mercy, but with one uninterrupted movement were assailing all with indiscriminate slaughter; namely, because they were advancing, not their own, but the cause of God, and were ministers of the vengeance of God (Masius).

As the Lord God of Israel commanded: this is added for the vindication of the Israelites, whom God would not have to suffer in their reputation for executing his commands; and therefore he acquits them of that implacable hatred and heinous cruelty which they might be thought guilty of, and ascribes it to himself and his own just indignation against this most wicked people.

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּכֶּ֣ה יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ אֶת־כָּל־הָאָ֡רֶץ הָהָר֩ וְהַנֶּ֙גֶב וְהַשְּׁפֵלָ֜ה וְהָאֲשֵׁד֗וֹת וְאֵת֙ כָּל־מַלְכֵיהֶ֔ם לֹ֥א הִשְׁאִ֖יר שָׂרִ֑יד וְאֵ֤ת כָּל־הַנְּשָׁמָה֙ הֶחֱרִ֔ים כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוָּ֔ה יְהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

[2] נֶגֶב/south-country, appears to be derived from a verbal root, נגב, to be dry or parched.

[3] By metalepsis, reference is made to one things by means of another thing only weakly related to it.

[4] Joshua 15:19:  “Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land (אֶ֤רֶץ הַנֶּ֙גֶב֙); give me also springs of water.  And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs.”  So also Judges 1:15.

[5] Psalm 126:4:  “Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south (כַּאֲפִיקִ֥ים בַּנֶּֽגֶב׃).”

[6] In the Chaldean, נֶגֶב, dry soil or south-country, is derived from a verbal root, נגב, to be dry.

[7] Here, אֲשֵׁדָה/foundation/mountain-slope is being related to אַשְׁדּוֹד/Ashdod, a Philistine city in the south-west.

[8] Numbers 21:14, 15:  “Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord, What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks (וְאֶת־הַנְּחָלִים) of Arnon, and at the stream of the brooks (וְ֙אֶשֶׁד֙ הַנְּחָלִ֔ים) that goeth down to the dwelling of Ar, and lieth upon the border of Moab.”

[9] Deuteronomy 3:17:  “The plain also, and Jordan, and the coast thereof, from Chinnereth even unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, under Ashdoth-pisgah (אַשְׁדֹּ֥ת הַפִּסְגָּ֖ה, or, the slopes of Pisgah) eastward.”

[10] Hebrew: כָּל־הַנְּשָׁמָה.

[11] Joshua 10:28:  “And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls that were therein (וְאֶת־כָּל־הַנֶּ֙פֶשׁ֙ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֔הּ); he let none remain:  and he did to the king of Makkedah as he did unto the king of Jericho.”

Joshua 10:38, 39: The Taking of Debir

Verse 38:[1] And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to (see Josh. 15:15; Judg. 1:11) Debir; and fought against it…

[And thence returning to Debir] As if he had previously besieged it, or had been there. Perhaps, being about to besiege Hebron, he journeyed by it; afterwards he returned to it (Drusius out of Munster). With the southern part left untouched, he directed his course towar Gilgal (Junius). But Debir was to Hebron toward the South and West, as we shall say on Joshua 15:15 (Malvenda). He returned, with the cities of the Philistines left untouched (for he had already rushed out with weapons raised toward Gaza) to Debir (Masius).

And Joshua returned…to Debir: He is said to return thither, not as if he had been there before, but because having gone as far westward and southward as he thought fit, even as far as Gaza, Joshua 10:41, he now returned towards Gilgal, which lay northward and eastward from him, and in his return fell upon Debir: see on Joshua 15:15.


Verse 39:[2] And he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof; and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining: as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir, and to the king thereof; as he had done also to Libnah, and to her king.

[1] Hebrew: וַיָּ֧שָׁב יְהוֹשֻׁ֛עַ וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל עִמּ֖וֹ דְּבִ֑רָה וַיִּלָּ֖חֶם עָלֶֽיהָ׃

[2] Hebrew: וַֽיִּלְכְּדָ֞הּ וְאֶת־מַלְכָּ֤הּ וְאֶת־כָּל־עָרֶ֙יהָ֙ וַיַּכּ֣וּם לְפִי־חֶ֔רֶב וַֽיַּחֲרִ֙ימוּ֙ אֶת־כָּל־נֶ֣פֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֔הּ לֹ֥א הִשְׁאִ֖יר שָׂרִ֑יד כַּאֲשֶׁ֙ר עָשָׂ֜ה לְחֶבְר֗וֹן כֵּן־עָשָׂ֤ה לִדְבִ֙רָה֙ וּלְמַלְכָּ֔הּ וְכַאֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָׂ֛ה לְלִבְנָ֖ה וּלְמַלְכָּֽהּ׃

Joshua 10:34-37: The Taking of Eglon and Hebron

Verse 34:[1] And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon, and all Israel with him; and they encamped against it, and fought against it…

Eglon, a city of Judah, Joshua 15:39.


Verse 35:[2] And they took it on that day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein he utterly destroyed that day, according to all that he had done to Lachish.

[On the same day] Namely, on which they had besieged it (Malvenda out of Junius).

On that day on which they first attempted it.

[In the mouth of the sword] What is a mouth to man, by which he devours food, that is the edge to a sword, whereby it consumes whom it strikes (Lapide).


Verse 36:[3] And Joshua went up from Eglon, and all Israel with him, unto (see Josh. 14:13; 15:13; Judg. 1:10) Hebron; and they fought against it…

Hebron: Which though they took and killed all its inhabitants, yet they did not keep it; and therefore when Joshua and his army had forsaken it, and were returned to Gilgal, it seems the giants and other Canaanites being burnt out, or driven away from their former seats, planted and fortified themselves there; which made it necessary for Caleb to take it a second time, as is recorded Joshua 15:14; Judges 1:10. Or this is the same story, and the same conquest of Hebron, which is here generally related, and afterwards repeated, and more particularly described, Joshua 15:13, 14.


Verse 37:[4] And they took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof, and all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining, according to all that he had done to Eglon; but destroyed it utterly, and all the souls that were therein.

[He took it] That is, Hebron. Objection: But it is narrated that this city was taken afterwards by Caleb, and that giants were cast out, Joshua 15:14; Judges 1:10. Response: In this expedition, Joshua passed over rapidly this region; he did not entirely destroy it. And so whom he pursued he destroyed; otherwise he was not meticulously scouring all hiding places. For this gleaning, as it were, was left to the courage of each Tribe. It was not useful that the land should be left altogether devoid of inhabitants, Exodus 23:29. Therefore, perhaps in the meantime the giants, a mountain-roving race, were in hiding in their caves; or they escaped unto their own countrymen of the cities of Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod.[5] Therefore, it is not strange, if the inhabitants of Hebron, a people savage and strong, should revive and regain their strength (Masius). With the citizens killed, it is likely that those very places were occupied again by other Canaanites [many of whom appear to have been already driven from their seats] and giants. And, since in the following chapters all the giants, besides those that were in the cities of the Philistines, are said to have been killed, it is necessary that these, that were killed by Caleb, Joshua 15, came from elsewhere, from the cities of the Philistines (Bonfrerius). See further discussion on Joshua 15:14 (Serarius).

[And the king thereof] Objection: But he was killed previously, verses 23 and 26. Response: Either, 1. another King was appointed to the place of the slain King (Masius, Vatablus, Serarius, Bonfrerius). For, with the coming of a hostile army, another King was quickly appointed by the citizens (Kimchi in Masius). Or, 2. he repeats the execution of the King, because he is reviewing the general overthrow brought upon the city of Hebrew (Lapide, similarly Masius, Bonfrerius).

The king thereof; either him mentioned before, verse 23, whose death is here repeated in this account of the general destruction of all the inhabitants of that place, or his heir or successor.

[And all the towns] I translate it, municipalities, or municipal cities (Masius out of Kimchi).

All the cities thereof which were subject to its jurisdiction; this being, it seems, a royal city, as Gibeon was, verse 2, and having cities under it as that had, Joshua 9:17.

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּעֲבֹ֣ר יְ֠הוֹשֻׁעַ וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל עִמּ֛וֹ מִלָּכִ֖ישׁ עֶגְלֹ֑נָה וַיַּחֲנ֣וּ עָלֶ֔יהָ וַיִּֽלָּחֲמ֖וּ עָלֶֽיהָ׃

[2] Hebrew: וַֽיִּלְכְּד֜וּהָ בַּיּ֤וֹם הַהוּא֙ וַיַּכּ֣וּהָ לְפִי־חֶ֔רֶב וְאֵת֙ כָּל־הַנֶּ֣פֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֔הּ בַּיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא הֶחֱרִ֑ים כְּכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂ֖ה לְלָכִֽישׁ׃

[3] Hebrew: וַיַּ֣עַל יְ֠הוֹשֻׁעַ וְכָֽל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל עִמּ֛וֹ מֵעֶגְל֖וֹנָה חֶבְר֑וֹנָה וַיִּֽלָּחֲמ֖וּ עָלֶֽיהָ׃

[4] Hebrew: וַיִּלְכְּד֣וּהָ וַיַּכּֽוּהָ־לְפִי־חֶ֠רֶב וְאֶת־מַלְכָּ֙הּ וְאֶת־כָּל־עָרֶ֜יהָ וְאֶת־כָּל־הַנֶּ֤פֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־בָּהּ֙ לֹֽא־הִשְׁאִ֣יר שָׂרִ֔יד כְּכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂ֖ה לְעֶגְל֑וֹן וַיַּחֲרֵ֣ם אוֹתָ֔הּ וְאֶת־כָּל־הַנֶּ֖פֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־בָּֽהּ׃

[5] See Joshua 11:22; 1 Samuel 6:17.

Joshua 10:29-33: The Taking of Libnah and Lachish

Verse 29:[1] Then Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, unto Libnah, and fought against Libnah…

All Israel, to wit, who were with him in this expedition.

[Unto Libnah] The city was in the western part of the Tribe of Judah, which afterwards belonged to the Priests, Joshua 21:13 (Bonfrerius).

Libnah, a city of Judah, Joshua 15:42.


Verse 30:[2] And the LORD delivered it also, and the king thereof, into the hand of Israel; and he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain in it; but did unto the king thereof as he did unto the king of Jericho.

All the souls, that is, the human souls; for all the cattle they had for a prey.


Verse 31:[3] And Joshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him, unto Lachish, and encamped against it, and fought against it…

[From Libnah…unto Lachish] For Joshua was advancing his troops further and further from Jerusalem. But in 2 Kings 19:8 that one progressed from Lachish to Libnah, namely, because he was advancing his troops toward Jerusalem (Masius).


Verse 32:[4] And the LORD delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the second day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein, according to all that he had done to Libnah.

[He took it on the next day] Or, second; namely, after the siege (Masius out of Kimchi, Vatablus, Serarius, Drusius, Junius). Others: on the second day, namely, after the Kings were killed, and Makkedah and Libnah were taken. But, 1. in one day he would not have been able to conquer cities so remote (Malvenda). 2. Neither was so small a time able to be enough for plundering those cities (Masius). Joshua wisely improves the victory, and, with the Kings cut down, seizes all the cities in their consternation; and he pervades after the likeness of lightning (Lapide).

On the second day; either the day after his first laying of the siege, or after the taking of Makkedah and Libnah.


Verse 33:[5] Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining.

[At that time] Because the city was taken on the second day, by his intervention this King appears to have turned the first assault of the siege unto himself (Masius).

[Horam king of Gezer] Gezer was threefold: 1. in the tribe of Ephraim, Joshua 16:3; 2. in Judah, 1 Chronicles 14:16; 3. on the other side of Jordan, 1 Maccabees 5:8[6] (Serarius). I understand here the second, unto which David smote the Philistines; for, that this was near to Lachish is evident from 1 Chronicles 14:16. The nearness of the danger, therefore, roused Horam. But that Ephraimite Gezer was much further away (Masius). Others understand the first (Serarius, Bonfrerius, Eusebius in Serarius). It was in the Southern borders of the Tribe of Ephraim, not very far from Gibeon; as it is evident from this place, and from 2 Samuel 5:25 (where by Geba is to be understood Gibeon) and 1 Chronicles 14:16 (Bonfrerius).

Gezer; either that in Ephraim, of which Joshua 16:3; Judges 1:29; but that seems too remote from the other places; or rather, that in Judah, which was near Lachish, 1 Chronicles 14:16, whose king therefore was more capable, and more obliged to help them for his own sake.

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּעֲבֹ֣ר יְ֠הוֹשֻׁעַ וְכָֽל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל עִמּ֛וֹ מִמַּקֵּדָ֖ה לִבְנָ֑ה וַיִּלָּ֖חֶם עִם־לִבְנָֽה׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיִּתֵּן֩ יְהוָ֙ה גַּם־אוֹתָ֜הּ בְּיַ֣ד יִשְׂרָאֵ֘ל וְאֶת־מַלְכָּהּ֒ וַיַּכֶּ֣הָ לְפִי־חֶ֗רֶב וְאֶת־כָּל־הַנֶּ֙פֶשׁ֙ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֔הּ לֹֽא־הִשְׁאִ֥יר בָּ֖הּ שָׂרִ֑יד וַיַּ֣עַשׂ לְמַלְכָּ֔הּ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָׂ֖ה לְמֶ֥לֶךְ יְרִיחֽוֹ׃

[3] Hebrew: וַיַּעֲבֹ֣ר יְ֠הוֹשֻׁעַ וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל עִמּ֛וֹ מִלִּבְנָ֖ה לָכִ֑ישָׁה וַיִּ֣חַן עָלֶ֔יהָ וַיִּלָּ֖חֶם בָּֽהּ׃

[4] Hebrew: וַיִּתֵּן֩ יְהוָ֙ה אֶת־לָכִ֜ישׁ בְּיַ֣ד יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל וַֽיִּלְכְּדָהּ֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשֵּׁנִ֔י וַיַּכֶּ֣הָ לְפִי־חֶ֔רֶב וְאֶת־כָּל־הַנֶּ֖פֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֑הּ כְּכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂ֖ה לְלִבְנָֽה׃

[5] Hebrew: אָ֣ז עָלָ֗ה הֹרָם֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ גֶּ֔זֶר לַעְזֹ֖ר אֶת־לָכִ֑ישׁ וַיַּכֵּ֤הוּ יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ וְאֶת־עַמּ֔וֹ עַד־בִּלְתִּ֥י הִשְׁאִֽיר־ל֖וֹ שָׂרִֽיד׃

[6] 1 Maccabees 5:6-8:  “Afterward he passed over to the children of Ammon, where he found a mighty power, and much people, with Timotheus their captain.  So he fought many battles with them, till at length they were discomfited before him; and he smote them.  And when he had taken Jazar, with the towns belonging thereto, he returned into Judea.”

Joshua 10:28: The Taking of Makkedah

Verse 28:[1] And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain: and he did to the king of Makkedah (Josh. 6:21) as he did unto the king of Jericho.

[On the same day also he took Makkedah] Question: On which day? Response: The day on which he killed those Kings (Vatablus). The same day on which the Sun stood still. For in verse 32 is found, on the second day (Bonfrerius, thus Tostatus in Serarius). Others: on the following day, or the day after that (Masius, Serarius). Perhaps the sense is, at the same time (Menochius). For it appears difficult that so many town distant from each other were able to be taken so quickly (Menochius out of Serarius); and that so quickly all were destroyed, the spoil was taken, and garrisons were assigned (Serarius). But this is not strange, with the inhabitants especially terrified, and not being capable of fighting back (Bonfrerius). Joshua invades them suddenly, while they are disquieted with the dire news of the defeat, before they might gather themselves and their strength (Masius).

That day, on which the sun stood still, or on which the five kings were hanged. Nor is it strange that so much work was done, and places so far distant taken, in one day, when the day was so long, and the Canaanites struck with such a terror.

[And he smote it…and killed its king, and…the inhabitants,וַיַּכֶּ֣הָ— וְאֶת־מַלְכָּהּ֒ הֶחֱרִ֣ם אוֹתָ֗ם וְאֶת־כָּל־הַנֶּ֙פֶשׁ֙] Verbatim: And he smote it, and its king he killed them,[2] and every soul (Montanus). And he rooted out its king together with every living soul (Munster, similarly Tigurinus). And he killed its king with them (Pagnine, Drusius, Jonathan). That אוֹתָם/them is sometimes used in the place of אִתָּם, with them (Malvenda, Drusius). And also the relationship of the words is clearer, if you take it thus. But I prefer to follow the accents and points, which they call pausing, with Segol (֒) found before הֶחֱרִם, he destroyed, and Rebia (֗) on אוֹתָם/them,[3] and to preserve the proper notion of this. Them and every soul ἀπὸ κοινοῦ, by common usage, are able rightly to be referred to the verb הֶחֱרִם, he destroyed (Masius, similarly Malvenda). And he smote it…and its king: he anathematized (or, devoted to slaughter) them and every soul (Malvenda). And the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls (English). Similarly those, and every soul (Dutch). The inhabitants of which he smote (I would prefer, he smote it, that is, its inhabitants [Piscator]), and with the king thereof (I would prefer, king[4] [Piscator]) he devoted to slaughter; them (that is, the King and his subjects), that is, every soul (Junius and Tremellius). Soul, namely, human, that is man (Piscator, Junius, Masius): for there was other spoil. See Joshua 10:40; 11:11 (Junius, Masius). It is also evident from the antithesis, he left no survivor remaining (Piscator).

[Just as he had done to the king of Jericho] Scripture does not declare this, yet from the example of the other kings they gather that he was hanged (Bonfrerius). That he paid such penalties as were suffered by the King of Ai is indicated in verse 1. He touches upon this cursorily, so that by such a hurried narration the swiftness of the matters conducted might be set before our eyes (Masius).

The king of Jericho was hanged, or otherwise killed, as appears from Joshua 6:2.

[1] Hebrew: וְאֶת־מַקֵּדָה֩ לָכַ֙ד יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא וַיַּכֶּ֣הָ לְפִי־חֶרֶב֮ וְאֶת־מַלְכָּהּ֒ הֶחֱרִ֣ם אוֹתָ֗ם וְאֶת־כָּל־הַנֶּ֙פֶשׁ֙ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֔הּ לֹ֥א הִשְׁאִ֖יר שָׂרִ֑יד וַיַּ֙עַשׂ֙ לְמֶ֣לֶךְ מַקֵּדָ֔ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָׂ֖ה לְמֶ֥לֶךְ יְרִיחֽוֹ׃

[2] Here, its king and them is a double direct object of killed.

[3] Both the Segol (֒) and the Rebia (֗) are strong disjunctive accents.

[4] Latin: regem/king, in the Accusative case, and serving as the Direct Object of the verb.

Joshua 10:25-27: The Execution and Hanging of the Five Kings

Verse 25:[1] And Joshua said unto them, (Deut. 31:6, 8; Josh. 1:9) Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for (Deut. 3:21; 7:19) thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.

[Fear not] They had need of encouragements of this sort, because they had imagined that people invincible and as having the strength of giants, Numbers 13; 14. It is to be noted here that Joshua first says those things that might banish their fear, then those things that might increase their resolve; while God does the contrary.[2] That is, God’s words by their own power produce courage, etc. (Masius).

[To your enemies] Thus he calls them by no other name, than that they were the enemies of God, and to be destroyed by His kingdom (Masius).


Verse 26:[3] And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they (Josh. 8:29) were hanging upon the trees until the evening.

[And he hanged] Not for punishment, which was not able to be inflicted upon the dead; but for public report and example, and so that he might cut off all their hope of impunity for their vices. See Numbers 25:4 (Masius).

He hanged them, after they were dead, as a brand of infamy, and for the terror and instruction of others.


Verse 27:[4] And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they (Deut. 21:23; Josh. 8:29) took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave’s mouth, which remain until this very day.

[And while the sun was setting, he commanded[5] (similarly the Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic, Montanus, Junius and Tremellius, Piscator)] But Bonfrerius maintains that that while the sun was setting is not to be referred to the he commanded, as if at that time the commandment was given by Joshua, who was remaining there, since he seized yet two cities on that day [concerning which see on the following verse], but to the that they take down (Bonfrerius).

[Into the cave, etc.] This was done, 1. For a monument, or for the perpetual memory of the event (Menochius, Masius). This cave was famous at that time. 2. Lest the bodies, having been dragged out by wild beasts, should come into the sight of men (Masius). 3. Lest anyone should be able to remove the bodies for an honorable burial (Menochius).

Laid great stones in the cave’s mouth; that neither wild beasts could come at them to devour them, nor any of their people to give them honourable burial.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם֙ יְהוֹשֻׁ֔עַ אַל־תִּֽירְא֖וּ וְאַל־תֵּחָ֑תּוּ חִזְק֣וּ וְאִמְצ֔וּ כִּ֣י כָ֗כָה יַעֲשֶׂ֤ה יְהוָה֙ לְכָל־אֹ֣יְבֵיכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַתֶּ֖ם נִלְחָמִ֥ים אוֹתָֽם׃

[2] See Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:9.

[3] Hebrew: וַיַּכֵּ֙ם יְהוֹשֻׁ֤עַ אַֽחֲרֵי־כֵן֙ וַיְמִיתֵ֔ם וַיִּתְלֵ֕ם עַ֖ל חֲמִשָּׁ֣ה עֵצִ֑ים וַיִּֽהְי֛וּ תְּלוּיִ֥ם עַל־הָעֵצִ֖ים עַד־הָעָֽרֶב׃

[4] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֞י לְעֵ֣ת׀ בּ֣וֹא הַשֶּׁ֗מֶשׁ צִוָּ֤ה יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ וַיֹּֽרִידוּם֙ מֵעַ֣ל הָעֵצִ֔ים וַיַּ֙שְׁלִכֻ֔ם אֶל־הַמְּעָרָ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר נֶחְבְּאוּ־שָׁ֑ם וַיָּשִׂ֜מוּ אֲבָנִ֤ים גְּדֹלוֹת֙ עַל־פִּ֣י הַמְּעָרָ֔ה עַד־עֶ֖צֶם הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה׃

[5] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֞י לְעֵ֣ת׀ בּ֣וֹא הַשֶּׁ֗מֶשׁ צִוָּ֤ה יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙.

Joshua 10:24: Treading upon the Necks of Enemies

Verse 24:[1] And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, (Ps. 107:40; 110:5; 149:8, 9; Is. 26:5, 6; Mal. 4:3) put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them.

[He called all the men of Israel[2]] אִישׁ here signifies, either, eminent men, which sort alone undoubtedly he had led with himself on this expedition (thus Masius); or, all the Israelites (thus the Septuagint and the Chaldean in Masius, Malvenda).

[Unto the principal men of the army, אֶל־קְצִינֵ֞י אַנְשֵׁ֤י הַמִּלְחָמָה֙] Unto the leaders of the men of war (Montanus); to the commanders of the military men (Junius and Tremellius) [similarly all interpreters].

[Which were with him, הֶהָלְכ֣וּא אִתּ֔וֹ] Which had gone with him (Montanus); which went with him (Junius and Tremellius) [similarly all interpreters]. In the verb הֶהָלְכוּא the ה in the beginning functions in the place of אֲשֶׁר/who/which, as often happens: but the א at the end is paragogic, which the Massoretes note is found twelve times in the Sacred Books (Masius).

[Put your feet upon the necks] But this appears to be barbaric inhumanity, to trample upon the necks of Kings that, having been prostrated, were lying as supplicants before his feet. But Joshua did this by Divine instinct, and would have gravely sinned if he had not done it; just like Saul, 1 Samuel 15, and Ahab, 1 Kings 20, when they sinfully spared Agag and Ben-hadad (Masius). Now, this was done, 1. To fulfill the promises of God, Deuteronomy 33:29, Thou shalt tread upon their high places, that is, their necks, according to all translations (Masius). Thus Psalm 91:13; 110:1; 149 (Drusius). 2. So that he might increase confidence in his own (Lapide, Menochius, Masius) in these beginnings of the greatest and most difficult battle (Masius). For this was a symbol of utter subjection (Bonfrerius). 3. So that he might exact deserved punishments from these most impious tyrants (Lapide). That is, because the crimes of Kings harm many by example, therefore, they ought deservedly to be removed with sharper punishment (Masius). 4. So that he might keep his own at a greater distance from their superstitions and sins, whom they see pay such heavy penalties to God (Masius, Lapide). 5. When they saw that no mercy was extended to the Kings, the people were armed against a twisted and vicious mercy, by which otherwise perhaps they would have entertained friendly feelings towards some Canaanites. You will say, They were thus trained to vengeance. Response: It is one thing to avenge injuries received privately; it is another to avenge that for the punishing of which the sword is presented to us, is extended into our hands, as it were, by God (Masius).

Put your feet upon the necks of these kings: this he did not from pride and contempt of their dignity in itself; but, partly, as a punishment of their impious rebellion against their sovereign Lord; partly, in pursuance of that curse of servility due to all this people, Genesis 9:25; partly, as a token to assure his captains that God would subdue the proudest of them all under their feet; and partly, to oblige and teach his people severely to execute the judgment of God upon them, and not to spare any of them, either out of a foolish pity, or out of respect to their dignity, as Saul afterwards spared Agag to his own ruin.

[1] Hebrew: וַ֠יְהִי כְּֽהוֹצִיאָ֞ם אֶת־הַמְּלָכִ֣ים הָאֵלֶּה֮ אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ֒ וַיִּקְרָ֙א יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ אֶל־כָּל־אִ֣ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל וַ֠יֹּאמֶר אֶל־קְצִינֵ֞י אַנְשֵׁ֤י הַמִּלְחָמָה֙ הֶהָלְכ֣וּא אִתּ֔וֹ קִרְב֗וּ שִׂ֚ימוּ אֶת־רַגְלֵיכֶ֔ם עַֽל־צַוְּארֵ֖י הַמְּלָכִ֣ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה וַֽיִּקְרְב֔וּ וַיָּשִׂ֥ימוּ אֶת־רַגְלֵיהֶ֖ם עַל־צַוְּארֵיהֶֽם׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיִּקְרָ֙א יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ אֶל־כָּל־אִ֣ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל.

Joshua 10:21: Return of the Victorious Army

Verse 21:[1] And all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace: (Ex. 11:7) none moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel.

[Where at that time there was a camp] Permanent or makeshift (Grotius). A military camp; for the permanent camp was at Gilgal, verses 15 and 43 (Junius, Malvenda). Note the restraint and obedience of the soldiers, who do not diffuse themselves upon the spoil, but return to their General (Masius).

To the camp; to the body of the army which were encamped there with Joshua to besiege that place.

[And no one dared to murmur against the children of Israel,לֹֽא־חָרַ֞ץ לִבְנֵ֧י יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל לְאִ֖ישׁ אֶת־לְשֹׁנֽוֹ׃] No one murmured with his tongue against the children (or, concerning the children [Septuagint]) of Israel (Munster, Tigurinus, Septuagint). No one moved a tongue against the children of Israel (Pagnine). חָרַץ signifies to move (Kimchi in Masius). The ל [in לְאִישׁ[2]] is superfluous (Vatablus), as inהַשְּׁלִשִׁי֙ לְאַבְשָׁל֣וֹם, the third, Absalom;[3] הָרְג֖וּ לְאַבְנֵ֑ר, they slew Abner[4] (Drusius). Others maintain that the ל is the dative marker, and translate it, One did not move against the children of Israel, not even to one, their tongue (Vatablus). One had not moved against the children of Israel, against any, their tongue (Junius and Tremellius). But rather חָרַץ signifies to sharpen (Masius, Lapide, Malvenda, Bochart’s A Sacred Catalogue of Animals out of Rabbi Salomon). One did not sharpen against the children of Israel, against anyone, his tongue (Malvenda). No enemy shall sharpen his tongue, much less his arms, against Israel (Masius). One, suppley, sharpening, shall not sharpen. The Hebrews are wont to omit the name of the one acting before an active verb. Thus in Micah 2:4, one, namely, one using parables, shall take up a parable against you. Thus in Habakkuk 3:17, he, namely, the divider, waster, shall cut off the flock from the fold (Bochart’s A Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:2:55:668). It is not unusual for some words to be omitted in well-known proverbs (Masius). Not one, supply, dog, sharpened (Masius, Drusius, Lapide, Bochart’s A Sacred Catalogue of Animals); which is expressed in Exodus 11:7.[5] The same proverb occurs in Judith 11:19[6] (Masius, Malvenda). That is to say, he suffered no evil, so that not even a dog barked at him, an animal especially easily provoked, but to be feared for its teeth, not its tongue (Masius). He shall not sharpen (he shall not thrust forth his tongue into point; by vibrating it between his teeth, he shall not reveal his tongue, as snarling dogs are wont to do); he shall not snarl. The antecedent in the place of the consequent. By the way, note that both שָׁנַן[7] and חָרַץ are used of the tongue, which is sharpened by thrusting it forth; but, as חָרַץ pertains to dogs, so שָׁנַן pertains to men, and to the serpent, which flicks with the three-pronged tongue in its mouth[8] (Bochart’s A Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:2:55:668). The sense: No one injured them, not even with a word (Vatablus, Junius). There was no loss to the children of Israel, so that a man might afflict his soul (Jonathan in Drusius).

None moved his tongue; not so much as a dog, as it is expressed, Exodus 11:7. Not only their men of war could not find their hands, but they were all so confounded, that they could not move their tongues in way of insultation and reproach, as doubtless they did when the Israelites were repulsed and smitten at Ai; but now they were silenced as well as conquered; they durst no more provoke nor injure the Israelites.

[1] Hebrew: וַיָּשֻׁבוּ֩ כָל־הָעָ֙ם אֶל־הַמַּחֲנֶ֧ה אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁ֛עַ מַקֵּדָ֖ה בְּשָׁל֑וֹם לֹֽא־חָרַ֞ץ לִבְנֵ֧י יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל לְאִ֖ישׁ אֶת־לְשֹׁנֽוֹ׃

[2] Note the doubling of the ל in לִבְנֵ֧י יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל לְאִ֖ישׁ.

[3] 1 Chronicles 3:1, 2:  “Now these were the sons of David, which were born unto him in Hebron; the firstborn Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitessהַבְּכ֣וֹר׀ אַמְנֹ֗ן לַאֲחִי֙נֹעַם֙) הַיִּזְרְעֵאלִ֔ית); the second Daniel, of Abigail the Carmelitess (שֵׁנִי֙ דָּנִיֵּ֔אל לַאֲבִיגַ֖יִל הַֽכַּרְמְלִֽית׃):  the third, Absalom the son of Maachah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshurהַשְּׁלִשִׁי֙) לְאַבְשָׁל֣וֹם בֶּֽן־מַעֲכָ֔ה בַּת־תַּלְמַ֖י מֶ֣לֶךְ גְּשׁ֑וּר):  the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggithהָרְבִיעִ֖י) אֲדֹנִיָּ֥ה בֶן־חַגִּֽית׃)…”

[4] 2 Samuel 3:30.

[5] Exodus 11:7:  “But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast (וּלְכֹ֣ל׀ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל לֹ֤א יֶֽחֱרַץ־כֶּ֙לֶב֙ לְשֹׁנ֔וֹ לְמֵאִ֖ישׁ וְעַד־בְּהֵמָ֑ה):  that ye may know how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.”

[6] Judith 11:19:  “And I will lead thee through the midst of Judea, until thou come before Jerusalem; and I will set thy throne in the midst thereof; and thou shalt drive them as sheep that have no shepherd, and a dog shall not so much as open his mouth at thee:  for these things were told me according to my foreknowledge, and they were declared unto me, and I am sent to tell thee.”

[7] For example, Proverbs 25:18:  “A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow (וְחֵ֣ץ שָׁנ֑וּן).”

[8] Virgil’s Georgics 3:439.

Joshua 10:20: A Remnant of the Enemy Escapes

Verse 20:[1] And it came to pass, when Joshua and the children of Israel had made an end of slaying them with a very great slaughter, till they were consumed, that the rest which remained of them entered into fenced cities.

[Therefore, with the adversaries smitten, etc.] Hebrew: And when Joshua and the children of Israel had made an end, etc.[2] But nothing is more common than what things are done by an army to be attributed to their General. But I think that he withdrew from the battle to Makkedah, where he awaited the return of his men (Masius).

Joshua and the children of Israel, etc.: that is, Joshua by the children of Israel; or the children of Israel, that is, a party of them, by the command, direction, and encouragement of Joshua; for Joshua himself went not with them, but abode in the siege before Makkedah, verse 21.

[Those that were able to escape from Israel, etc.,וְהַשְּׂרִידִים֙ שָׂרְד֣וּ מֵהֶ֔ם וַיָּבֹ֖אוּ אֶל־עָרֵ֥י הַמִּבְצָֽר׃] The remnants that remained of them (or, the survivors that survived [Drusius, Junius and Tremellius]) entered into their fortified cities (Munster) [similarly all]. The ו in וַיָּבֹאוּ, they entered, converts [namely, the future/ imperfect into a perfect]; it does not conjoin: therefore it is superfluous in the Latin tongue (Drusius). This is divinely ordered, both so that the Israelites might be more eager to attack those cities into which the enemy escaped from their hand, a situation grevious to them; and so that those cities, dismayed with the shared fear of those that they had received, might be made easier to conquer (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וַיְהִי֩ כְּכַלּ֙וֹת יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ וּבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל לְהַכּוֹתָ֛ם מַכָּ֥ה גְדוֹלָֽה־מְאֹ֖ד עַד־תֻּמָּ֑ם וְהַשְּׂרִידִים֙ שָׂרְד֣וּ מֵהֶ֔ם וַיָּבֹ֖אוּ אֶל־עָרֵ֥י הַמִּבְצָֽר׃

[2] Hebrew: כְּכַלּ֙וֹת יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ וּבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל.