Today, we are introduced to Adonizedek, the king of Jerusalem, who heard about the exploits God has been doing through the Israelites, helping them defeat Jericho and Ai, and making the Gibeonites their servants. Adonizedek then decided to enlist the support of four other kings (Hoham from Hebron, Piram from Jarmuth, Japhia from Lachish and Debir from Eglon) to join him in battle against Gibeon, a city which has just made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.
The Gibeonites made the first demand on their pact with Israel, sending message to Joshua to come to their help. Joshua had assurance of victory from God as he rose to fight against the kings and their armies in Gilgal. The Lord discomfited the enemies before Israel, who slaughtered them and they fled. As they fled the Lord cast down great stones from heaven on them, and more died from the hailstones than from the sword of the Israelites. As the battle continues, Joshua turned to the Lord and requested the Sun and Moon to stand still until the people of God completely destroy their enemies. The Lord granted his request, and we read that there was no day like that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel.
Now, there was a brief mention about the Book of Jasher in vs 13, and maybe like you, I was wondering what and where is the book of Jasher. My research showed me that the book was also mentioned in II Samuel 1.17. At the moment there are variants of the unconfirmed manuscripts. One is used by Mormons (written by Jacob’s live) and in the Pseudopigrapha (semibooks) or in the Apocrypha or Septuagint. The book is however generally not recognized as on of the canonical books, and I will not want to make further comment on it at the moment.
Back to Joshua and the war, the five kings fled and hid themselves in a cave in Makkedah as their armies were being defeated. Once Joshua and the people returned, he ordered the cave to be opened and they brought out the five kings. Joshua slew the kings and hanged them on trees until evening.
Next Joshua too Makkedah and utterly destroyed it and its king as he did Jericho. Then they moved on to Libnah and also conquered it. The next stop was Lachish, which was also destroyed totally. Next was Eglon, then Hebron and Debir. So Joshua destroyed all the country of the hills and all their kings as the Lord commanded Israel. He took all these kings and their land at one time because God was fighting for Israel. Whosoever stands against Israel was standing against God, and with the agreement Gibeon had with Israel they got to enjoy that privilege too. The enemies of my friend become my enemies. Gibeon’s enemies had the God of Israel to contend with.
On whose side are you?
Some verses to remember
vs 14: And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.
vs 42 And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.