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.”

2 thoughts on “Joshua 10:29-33: The Taking of Libnah and Lachish

  1. Matthew Henry: “One king that brought in his forces for the relief of Lachish, that had lost its king, proved to meddle to his own hurt; it was Horam king of Gezer, who, either in friendship to his neighbours or for his own security, offered to stop the progress of Joshua’s arms, and was cut off with all his forces, Joshua 10:33. Thus wicked men are often snared in their counsels, and, by opposing God in the way of his judgments, bring them the sooner on their own heads.”

  2. When God grants us victory with respect to our old sin, let us seize the advantage and improve the victory, not slackening the hand, but rather chasing sin from the field (of the heart), wherever it might be found.

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