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׃

1 thought on “Joshua 10:38, 39: The Taking of Debir

  1. Matthew Henry: “The great severity Joshua used towards those he conquered. He gave no quarter to man, woman, nor child, put to the sword all the souls (Joshua 10:28, 30, 32, 35, etc.), utterly destroyed all that breathed (Joshua 10:40), and left none remaining. Nothing could justify this military execution but that herein they did as the Lord God of Israel commanded (Joshua 10:40), which was sufficient not only to bear them out, and save them for the imputation of cruelty, but to sanctify what they did, and make it an acceptable piece of service to his justice. God would hereby, (1.) Manifest his hatred of the idolatries and other abominations which the Canaanites had been guilty of, and leave us to judge how great the provocation was which they had given him by the greatness of the destruction which was brought upon them when the measure of their iniquity was full. (2.) He would hereby magnify his love to his people Israel, in giving so many men for them, and people for their life, Isaiah 43:4. When the heathen are to be cast out to make room for this vine (Psalm 80:8) divine justice appears more prodigal than ever of human blood, that the Israelites might find themselves for ever obliged to spend their lives to the glory of that God who had sacrificed so many of the lives of his creatures to their interest. (3.) Hereby was typified the final and eternal destruction of all the impenitent implacable enemies of the Lord Jesus, who, having slighted the riches of his grace, must for ever feel the weight of his wrath, and shall have judgment without mercy. Nations that forget God shall be turned into hell, and no reproach at all to God’s infinite goodness.”

Leave a Comment