Before we get into today’s chapters, let’s go back and review God’s promises to Moses. This will help you better understand why what happened in these next chapters, had to happen. Let’s dig in….
11 But listen carefully to everything I command you today. Then I will go ahead of you and drive out the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.
12 “Be very careful never to make a treaty with the people who live in the land where you are going. If you do, you will follow their evil ways and be trapped. 13 Instead, you must break down their pagan altars, smash their sacred pillars, and cut down their Asherah poles. 14 You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.
15 “You must not make a treaty of any kind with the people living in the land. They lust after their gods, offering sacrifices to them. They will invite you to join them in their sacrificial meals, and you will go with them. 16 Then you will accept their daughters, who sacrifice to other gods, as wives for your sons. And they will seduce your sons to commit adultery against me by worshiping other gods. 17 You must not make any gods of molten metal for yourselves.Exodus 34:11-17 NLT
God HATES idolatry! He reiterates this over and over again. In Deuteronomy He said…
When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— 2 and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. 3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons,Deuteronomy 7:1-3 NIV
This is a war story. Be prepared for a nasty battle and I’ll tie it in to Jesus and the Last Days at the end…
Joshua 10 – Israel Defeats the Southern Armies
Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, heard that Joshua had captured and completely destroyed Ai and killed its king, just as he had destroyed the town of Jericho and killed its king. He also learned that the Gibeonites had made peace with Israel and were now their allies. 2 He and his people became very afraid when they heard all this because Gibeon was a large town—as large as the royal cities and larger than Ai. And the Gibeonite men were strong warriors.
3 So King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem sent messengers to several other kings: Hoham of Hebron, Piram of Jarmuth, Japhia of Lachish, and Debir of Eglon. 4 “Come and help me destroy Gibeon,” he urged them, “for they have made peace with Joshua and the people of Israel.” 5 So these five Amorite kings combined their armies for a united attack. They moved all their troops into place and attacked Gibeon.
6 The men of Gibeon quickly sent messengers to Joshua at his camp in Gilgal. “Don’t abandon your servants now!” they pleaded. “Come at once! Save us! Help us! For all the Amorite kings who live in the hill country have joined forces to attack us.”
7 So Joshua and his entire army, including his best warriors, left Gilgal and set out for Gibeon. 8 “Do not be afraid of them,” the Lord said to Joshua, “for I have given you victory over them. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you.”
9 Joshua traveled all night from Gilgal and took the Amorite armies by surprise. 10 The Lord threw them into a panic, and the Israelites slaughtered great numbers of them at Gibeon. Then the Israelites chased the enemy along the road to Beth-horon, killing them all along the way to Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As the Amorites retreated down the road from Beth-horon, the Lord destroyed them with a terrible hailstorm from heaven that continued until they reached Azekah. The hail killed more of the enemy than the Israelites killed with the sword.
12 On the day the Lord gave the Israelites victory over the Amorites, Joshua prayed to the Lord in front of all the people of Israel. He said,
“Let the sun stand still over Gibeon,
and the moon over the valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies.
Is this event not recorded in The Book of Jashar (The Book of the Upright)? The sun stayed in the middle of the sky, and it did not set as on a normal day. 14 There has never been a day like this one before or since, when the Lord answered such a prayer. Surely the Lord fought for Israel that day!
15 Then Joshua and the Israelite army returned to their camp at Gilgal.
Joshua Kills the Five Southern Kings
16 During the battle the five kings escaped and hid in a cave at Makkedah. 17 When Joshua heard that they had been found, 18 he issued this command: “Cover the opening of the cave with large rocks, and place guards at the entrance to keep the kings inside. 19 The rest of you continue chasing the enemy and cut them down from the rear. Don’t give them a chance to get back to their towns, for the Lord your God has given you victory over them.”
20 So Joshua and the Israelite army continued the slaughter and completely crushed the enemy. They totally wiped out the five armies except for a tiny remnant that managed to reach their fortified towns. 21 Then the Israelites returned safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah. After that, no one dared to speak even a word against Israel.
22 Then Joshua said, “Remove the rocks covering the opening of the cave, and bring the five kings to me.” 23 So they brought the five kings out of the cave—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon. 24 When they brought them out, Joshua told the commanders of his army, “Come and put your feet on the kings’ necks.” And they did as they were told.
25 “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged,” Joshua told his men. “Be strong and courageous, for the Lord is going to do this to all of your enemies.” 26 Then Joshua killed each of the five kings and impaled them on five sharpened poles, where they hung until evening.
27 As the sun was going down, Joshua gave instructions for the bodies of the kings to be taken down from the poles and thrown into the cave where they had been hiding. Then they covered the opening of the cave with a pile of large rocks, which remains to this very day.
Israel Destroys the Southern Towns
28 That same day Joshua captured and destroyed the town of Makkedah. He killed everyone in it, including the king, leaving no survivors. He destroyed them all, and he killed the king of Makkedah as he had killed the king of Jericho. 29 Then Joshua and the Israelites went to Libnah and attacked it. 30 There, too, the Lord gave them the town and its king. He killed everyone in it, leaving no survivors. Then Joshua killed the king of Libnah as he had killed the king of Jericho.
31 From Libnah, Joshua and the Israelites went to Lachish and attacked it. 32 Here again, the Lord gave them Lachish. Joshua took it on the second day and killed everyone in it, just as he had done at Libnah. 33 During the attack on Lachish, King Horam of Gezer arrived with his army to help defend the town. But Joshua’s men killed him and his army, leaving no survivors.
34 Then Joshua and the Israelite army went on to Eglon and attacked it. 35 They captured it that day and killed everyone in it. He completely destroyed everyone, just as he had done at Lachish. 36 From Eglon, Joshua and the Israelite army went up to Hebron and attacked it. 37 They captured the town and killed everyone in it, including its king, leaving no survivors. They did the same thing to all of its surrounding villages. And just as he had done at Eglon, he completely destroyed the entire population.
38 Then Joshua and the Israelites turned back and attacked Debir. 39 He captured the town, its king, and all of its surrounding villages. He completely destroyed everyone in it, leaving no survivors. He did to Debir and its king just what he had done to Hebron and to Libnah and its king.
40 So Joshua conquered the whole region—the kings and people of the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills, and the mountain slopes. He completely destroyed everyone in the land, leaving no survivors, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded. 41 Joshua slaughtered them from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza and from the region around the town of Goshen up to Gibeon. 42 Joshua conquered all these kings and their land in a single campaign, for the Lord, the God of Israel, was fighting for his people.
43 Then Joshua and the Israelite army returned to their camp at Gilgal.Joshua 10 NLT
Joshua 11 – Israel Defeats the Northern Armies
When King Jabin of Hazor heard what had happened, he sent messages to the following kings: King Jobab of Madon; the king of Shimron; the king of Acshaph; 2 all the kings of the northern hill country; the kings in the Jordan Valley south of Galilee; the kings in the Galilean foothills; the kings of Naphoth-dor on the west; 3 the kings of Canaan, both east and west; the kings of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites in the hill country, and the Hivites in the towns on the slopes of Mount Hermon in the land of Mizpah.
4 All these kings came out to fight. Their combined armies formed a vast horde. And with all their horses and chariots, they covered the landscape like the sand on the seashore. 5 The kings joined forces and established their camp around the water near Merom to fight against Israel.
6 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them. By this time tomorrow I will hand all of them over to Israel as dead men. Then you must cripple their horses and burn their chariots.”
7 So Joshua and all his fighting men traveled to the water near Merom and attacked suddenly. 8 And the Lord gave them victory over their enemies. The Israelites chased them as far as Greater Sidon and Misrephoth-maim, and eastward into the valley of Mizpah, until not one enemy warrior was left alive. 9 Then Joshua crippled the horses and burned all the chariots, as the Lord had instructed.
10 Joshua then turned back and captured Hazor and killed its king. (Hazor had at one time been the capital of all these kingdoms.) 11 The Israelites completely destroyed every living thing in the city, leaving no survivors. Not a single person was spared. And then Joshua burned the city.
12 Joshua slaughtered all the other kings and their people, completely destroying them, just as Moses, the servant of the Lord, had commanded. 13 But the Israelites did not burn any of the towns built on mounds except Hazor, which Joshua burned. 14 And the Israelites took all the plunder and livestock of the ravaged towns for themselves. But they killed all the people, leaving no survivors. 15 As the Lord had commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua. And Joshua did as he was told, carefully obeying all the commands that the Lord had given to Moses.
16 So Joshua conquered the entire region—the hill country, the entire Negev, the whole area around the town of Goshen, the western foothills, the Jordan Valley, the mountains of Israel, and the Galilean foothills. 17 The Israelite territory now extended all the way from Mount Halak, which leads up to Seir in the south, as far north as Baal-gad at the foot of Mount Hermon in the valley of Lebanon. Joshua killed all the kings of those territories, 18 waging war for a long time to accomplish this. 19 No one in this region made peace with the Israelites except the Hivites of Gibeon. All the others were defeated. 20 For the Lord hardened their hearts and caused them to fight the Israelites. So they were completely destroyed without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses.
21 During this period Joshua destroyed all the descendants of Anak, who lived in the hill country of Hebron, Debir, Anab, and the entire hill country of Judah and Israel. He killed them all and completely destroyed their towns. 22 None of the descendants of Anak were left in all the land of Israel, though some still remained in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod.
23 So Joshua took control of the entire land, just as the Lord had instructed Moses. He gave it to the people of Israel as their special possession, dividing the land among the tribes. So the land finally had rest from war.Joshua 11 NLT
Supernatural Forces from God
We still are in a constant battle with evil and life in this world. But, we, born-again believers are not citizens of this world, we are citizens of Heaven! (Not purgatory, because purgatory doesn’t exist!)
For reasons known only to God, He wanted the inhabitants of the Promised Land destroyed. God knew that if the pagans intermarried and mixed with the Hebrews they would be influenced by the pagans and start worshiping their false gods. All forms of idolatry is despicable and an abomination to God.
Through Christ, the Victory Over Evil is Ours!
All things will be under Christ’s feet. King David wrote speaking of the Messiah to come…
The Lord (God, the Father) said to my Lord (Jesus),Psalm 110:1
“Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
until I humble your enemies,
making them a footstool under your feet.”
In the Book of Hebrews we read…
5 It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But there is a place where someone has testified:
“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
a son of man that you care for him?
7 You made them a little lower than the angels;
you crowned them with glory and honor
8 and put everything under their feet.” (Psalm 8:4-6)
In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. 9 But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.Hebrews 2:5-9 NIV
More Battles are Coming!
If you think heavenly hailstorms and the sun and moon stopping was miraculous, that’s nothing compared to what’s coming in the future to evil people, idolaters, the sexually immoral, and unbelievers. God lays it out very nicely in the Book of Revelation (Go here and check out the last 3 studies which explain the battles and then victory over evil.)
Jesus can’t be called the King of kings and the Lord of lords until all the earthly, evil kings are destroyed. What happened in Joshua’s day is just a small foreshadowing of what will happen in the End Times. We know how it ends — Jesus wins! Who’s side are you on?
Unless you are born again, you will be left behind at the Rapture and will have to endure the Great Tribulation. Sure you’ll get a another chance to repent and believe, but why wait? Why take the chance that you may not survive the Rapture?
Now is the Time to Get Right with God! What are you waiting for?!
Jesus in all of Joshua 10-11
Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!
Top image by Sweet Publishing from FreeBibleImages.org, (CC BY-SA 3.0)