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And they did so, and brought forth those five kings unto him out of the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon.
And it came to pass when they had brought out those five kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Irael, and said unto the captains of the men of war, which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they caine near, and put their feet upon the necks of them.
And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be disa mayed, be strong and of good courage ; for thus shall the Lord do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.
And afterwards Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees; and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening.
And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they 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.
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 commanded.
And Joshua smote them from Kadesh-barnea even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon.
And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time: because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.
And Joshua returned, and all Israel with bim, unto the
camp at Gilgal.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The storm of hail-stones which destroyed such numbers of the enemy, seems to have been like that which killed the multitude of the Egyptians when Pharaoh refused to let Israel depart: but the miracle which followed, was such as had never been known before.
As Joshua and the Israelites had so many enemies to encounter at once, and the LORD had commanded that they should be put to the sword, the natural day would have been too short for the completion of their work. Animated by Divine assistance, and desirous to save their new proselytes, these valiant men were eager to pursue the victory, and night would have been an interruption to their success : no wonder therefore, that Joshua should form a wish that the day might be lengthened, or that he should pray to God to work a miracle, for the important purpose of destroying a combined army of presumptuous idolaters; who, favoured by the darkness of the night, might have made their escape, or overcome the Gibeonites. Joshua's words, “ Sun, stand thou still-upon Gibeon, and thou Moon in the valley of Ajalon,” seem to contradict what is now known concerning the motion of the earth : but the knowledge of astronomy can only be acquired by study, and in all ages the common people have been ignorant of it, and feeling no motion of the earth, but observing an apparent one of the sun, they have generally supposed that it actually makes a daily rotation round the world, and so produces alternate light and darkness. The Israelites, in the midst of war, had but little leisure for the cultivation of the sciences; had Joshua therefore said, “ Stand still, O earth," the people would have thought him mad, as numbers would now suppose any
one to be who should endeavour to persuade them that the earth turns round upon its axis.
It certainly is very desirable to gain some knowledge of the science of astronomy, if circumstances will permit, because it elevates and expands the mind, and furnishes us with noble reflections : we must not however seek to learn it from the SCRIPTURES, for they treat of higher things : leading us to an acquaintance with the GREAT CREATOR, and teaching us how we may serve him, and obtain eternal happiness. Sa that when we meet with any expression contradictory to those discoveries which God has enabled some part of mankind to make for the general benefit concerning the laws of nature, we must always understand, that as the Scriptures were written for the ignorant, as well as the learned, God has graciously accommodated them to the capacity of the humblest reader, in order to prevent their being led away from things of real consequence, by speculations of no use to the lower kinds of people : and to make them contented with that degree of ignorance which is generally the lot of the laborious, by giving them, instead of scientific learning, the inestimable treasure of Divine Revelation ; by means of which they are taught, that the labour of the husbandman and the mechanic, are of the utmost benefit to society; and that faith and piety towards God, and honesty and kindness in their dealings with mankind, will render them acceptable to their Maker.
As all things are equally possible to the SUPREME BEING, there is no doubt but He could have ordered the conquest of the Canaanites without a miracle; but had not the attention of the Israelites been particularly directed to the all-powerful hand of Divine Providence, they might have attributed the victory to their own skill and courage. It has been mentioned before that it
was the custom with many of the idolaters to worship the sun and moon; and there is reason to suppose that the very people with whom Israel fought, were addicted to this species of idolatry, and perhaps had bowed down and worshipped these heavenly luminaries, invoking their assistance in the day of battle. If this was the case, nothing could so effectually evince the folly of their abominable superstition, and prove the supreme power of God, as arresting the apparent course of these imaginary Deities, and making them subservient and instrumental to the destruction of their infatuated worshippers.
JOSHUA COMPLETES IIIS CONQUESTS,
From Joshua, Chap. xi.
And it came to pass, wlien Jabin king of Hazor had. heard those things, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, the king of Ach. shaph, and to the kings that were in the north of the mountains, and of the plains south of Cinneroth, and in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on the west, and to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermion, in the land of Mizpeth.
And they went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as the sand that is upon
the sea-shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many.
And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.
And. And the Lord said unto Joshua, Be not afraid be. cause of them : for to-morrow about this time will I deliver them up ali slain before Israel: thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire.
So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom, suddenly, and they fell upon them.
And the Lord delivered them into the hand of Is. rael, who smote them, and chased them unto great Zi-, don, and unto Mizrephoth-maim, and unto the valley of Mizpeth eastward: and they smote them until they left them none remaining,
And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him: he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire.
And Joshua at that time turned back, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword : for Hazor before-time was the head of all those kingdoms.
And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them; there was not any left to breathe; and he burnt Hazor with fire.
And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the Lord commanded.
But as for the cities that stood still in their strength, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only; that did Joshua burn,
And all the spoil of these cities and the cattle the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves, but every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, neither left they any to breathe.