Tag Archives: Arthur Bailey
The Land Given to Simeon
1 The second allotment of land went to the clans of the tribe of Simeon. Their homeland was surrounded by Judah’s territory.
2 Simeon’s homeland included Beersheba, Sheba, Moladah, 3 Hazar-shual, Balah, Ezem,4 Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah, 5 Ziklag, Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susah, 6 Beth-lebaoth, and Sharuhen—thirteen towns with their surrounding villages. 7 It also included Ain, Rimmon, Ether, and Ashan—four towns with their villages, 8 including all the surrounding villages as far south as Baalath-beer (also known as Ramah of the Negev).
This was the homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Simeon. 9 Their allocation of land came from part of what had been given to Judah because Judah’s territory was too large for them. So the tribe of Simeon received an allocation within the territory of Judah.
The Land Given to Zebulun
10 The third allotment of land went to the clans of the tribe of Zebulun.
The boundary of Zebulun’s homeland started at Sarid. 11 From there it went west, going past Maralah, touching Dabbesheth, and proceeding to the brook east of Jokneam. 12 In the other direction, the boundary went east from Sarid to the border of Kisloth-tabor, and from there to Daberath and up to Japhia. 13 Then it continued east to Gath-hepher, Eth-kazin, and Rimmon and turned toward Neah. 14 The northern boundary of Zebulun passed Hannathon and ended at the valley of Iphtah-el. 15 The towns in these areas included Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem—twelve towns with their surrounding villages.
16 The homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Zebulun included these towns and their surrounding villages.
The Land Given to Issachar
17 The fourth allotment of land went to the clans of the tribe of Issachar.
18 Its boundaries included the following towns: Jezreel, Kesulloth, Shunem, 19 Hapharaim, Shion, Anaharath, 20 Rabbith, Kishion, Ebez, 21 Remeth, En-gannim, En-haddah, and Beth-pazzez. 22 The boundary also touched Tabor, Shahazumah, and Beth-shemesh, ending at the Jordan River—sixteen towns with their surrounding villages.
23 The homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Issachar included these towns and their surrounding villages.
The Land Given to Asher
24 The fifth allotment of land went to the clans of the tribe of Asher.
25 Its boundaries included these towns: Helkath, Hali, Beten, Acshaph, 26 Allammelech, Amad, and Mishal. The boundary on the west touched Carmel and Shihor-libnath, 27 then it turned east toward Beth-dagon, and ran as far as Zebulun in the valley of Iphtah-el, going north to Beth-emek and Neiel. It then continued north to Cabul, 28 Abdon,[a] Rehob, Hammon, Kanah, and as far as Greater Sidon. 29 Then the boundary turned toward Ramah and the fortress of Tyre, where it turned toward Hosah and came to the Mediterranean Sea.[b] The territory also included Mehebel, Aczib, 30 Ummah, Aphek, and Rehob—twenty-two towns with their surrounding villages.
31 The homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Asher included these towns and their surrounding villages.
The Land Given to Naphtali
32 The sixth allotment of land went to the clans of the tribe of Naphtali.
33 Its boundary ran from Heleph, from the oak at Zaanannim, and extended across to Adami-nekeb, Jabneel, and as far as Lakkum, ending at the Jordan River. 34 The western boundary ran past Aznoth-tabor, then to Hukkok, and touched the border of Zebulun in the south, the border of Asher on the west, and the Jordan River[c] on the east. 35 The fortified towns included in this territory were Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Kinnereth,36 Adamah, Ramah, Hazor, 37 Kedesh, Edrei, En-hazor, 38 Yiron, Migdal-el, Horem, Beth-anath, and Beth-shemesh—nineteen towns with their surrounding villages.
39 The homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Naphtali included these towns and their surrounding villages.
The Land Given to Dan
40 The seventh allotment of land went to the clans of the tribe of Dan.
41 The land allocated as their homeland included the following towns: Zorah, Eshtaol, Ir-shemesh, 42 Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Ithlah, 43 Elon, Timnah, Ekron, 44 Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath, 45 Jehud, Bene-berak, Gath-rimmon, 46 Me-jarkon, Rakkon, and the territory across from Joppa.
47 But the tribe of Dan had trouble taking possession of their land,[d] so they attacked the town of Laish.[e] They captured it, slaughtered its people, and settled there. They renamed the town Dan after their ancestor.
48 The homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Dan included these towns and their surrounding villages.
The Land Given to Joshua
49 After all the land was divided among the tribes, the Israelites gave a piece of land to Joshua as his allocation. 50 For the Lord had said he could have any town he wanted. He chose Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim. He rebuilt the town and lived there.
51 These are the territories that Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the tribal leaders allocated as grants of land to the tribes of Israel by casting sacred lots in the presence of the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle[f] at Shiloh. So the division of the land was completed.
The Allotments of the Remaining Land
1 Now that the land was under Israelite control, the entire community of Israel gathered at Shiloh and set up the Tabernacle.[a] 2 But there remained seven tribes who had not yet been allotted their grants of land.
3 Then Joshua asked them, “How long are you going to wait before taking possession of the remaining land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given to you? 4 Select three men from each tribe, and I will send them out to explore the land and map it out. They will then return to me with a written report of their proposed divisions of their new homeland. 5 Let them divide the land into seven sections, excluding Judah’s territory in the south and Joseph’s territory in the north. 6 And when you record the seven divisions of the land and bring them to me, I will cast sacred lots in the presence of the Lord our God to assign land to each tribe.
7 “The Levites, however, will not receive any allotment of land. Their role as priests of the Lordis their allotment. And the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and the half-tribe of Manasseh won’t receive any more land, for they have already received their grant of land, which Moses, the servant of the Lord, gave them on the east side of the Jordan River.”
8 As the men started on their way to map out the land, Joshua commanded them, “Go and explore the land and write a description of it. Then return to me, and I will assign the land to the tribes by casting sacred lots here in the presence of the Lord at Shiloh.” 9 The men did as they were told and mapped the entire territory into seven sections, listing the towns in each section. They made a written record and then returned to Joshua in the camp at Shiloh.10 And there at Shiloh, Joshua cast sacred lots in the presence of the Lord to determine which tribe should have each section.
The Land Given to Benjamin
11 The first allotment of land went to the clans of the tribe of Benjamin. It lay between the territory assigned to the tribes of Judah and Joseph.
12 The northern boundary of Benjamin’s land began at the Jordan River, went north of the slope of Jericho, then west through the hill country and the wilderness of Beth-aven.13 From there the boundary went south to Luz (that is, Bethel) and proceeded down to Ataroth-addar on the hill that lies south of Lower Beth-horon.
14 The boundary then made a turn and swung south along the western edge of the hill facing Beth-horon, ending at the village of Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim), a town belonging to the tribe of Judah. This was the western boundary.
15 The southern boundary began at the outskirts of Kiriath-jearim. From that western point it ran[b] to the spring at the waters of Nephtoah,[c] 16 and down to the base of the mountain beside the valley of Ben-Hinnom, at the northern end of the valley of Rephaim. From there it went down the valley of Hinnom, crossing south of the slope where the Jebusites lived, and continued down to En-rogel. 17 From En-rogel the boundary proceeded in a northerly direction and came to En-shemesh and on to Geliloth (which is across from the slopes of Adummim). Then it went down to the Stone of Bohan. (Bohan was Reuben’s son.) 18 From there it passed along the north side of the slope overlooking the Jordan Valley.[d] The border then went down into the valley, 19 ran past the north slope of Beth-hoglah, and ended at the north bay of the Dead Sea,[e] which is the southern end of the Jordan River. This was the southern boundary.
20 The eastern boundary was the Jordan River.
These were the boundaries of the homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Benjamin.
The Towns Given to Benjamin
21 These were the towns given to the clans of the tribe of Benjamin.
Jericho, Beth-hoglah, Emek-keziz, 22 Beth-arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel, 23 Avvim, Parah, Ophrah, 24 Kephar-ammoni, Ophni, and Geba—twelve towns with their surrounding villages. 25 Also Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth, 26 Mizpah, Kephirah, Mozah, 27 Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah, 28 Zela, Haeleph, the Jebusite town (that is, Jerusalem), Gibeah, and Kiriath-jearim[f]—fourteen towns with their surrounding villages.
This was the homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Benjamin.
The Land Given to West Manasseh
1 The next allotment of land was given to the half-tribe of Manasseh, the descendants of Joseph’s older son. Makir, the firstborn son of Manasseh, was the father of Gilead. Because his descendants were experienced soldiers, the regions of Gilead and Bashan on the east side of the Jordan had already been given to them. 2 So the allotment on the west side of the Jordan was for the remaining families within the clans of the tribe of Manasseh: Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher, and Shemida. These clans represent the male descendants of Manasseh son of Joseph.
3 However, Zelophehad, a descendant of Hepher son of Gilead, son of Makir, son of Manasseh, had no sons. He had only daughters, whose names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 4 These women came to Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the Israelite leaders and said, “The Lord commanded Moses to give us a grant of land along with the men of our tribe.”
So Joshua gave them a grant of land along with their uncles, as the Lord had commanded.5 As a result, Manasseh’s total allocation came to ten parcels of land, in addition to the land of Gilead and Bashan across the Jordan River, 6 because the female descendants of Manasseh received a grant of land along with the male descendants. (The land of Gilead was given to the rest of the male descendants of Manasseh.)
7 The boundary of the tribe of Manasseh extended from the border of Asher to Micmethath, near Shechem. Then the boundary went south from Micmethath to the settlement near the spring of Tappuah. 8 The land surrounding Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, but the town of Tappuah itself, on the border of Manasseh’s territory, belonged to the tribe of Ephraim.9 From the spring of Tappuah, the boundary of Manasseh followed the Kanah Ravine to the Mediterranean Sea.[a] Several towns south of the ravine were inside Manasseh’s territory, but they actually belonged to the tribe of Ephraim. 10 In general, however, the land south of the ravine belonged to Ephraim, and the land north of the ravine belonged to Manasseh. Manasseh’s boundary ran along the northern side of the ravine and ended at the Mediterranean Sea. North of Manasseh was the territory of Asher, and to the east was the territory of Issachar.
11 The following towns within the territory of Issachar and Asher, however, were given to Manasseh: Beth-shan,[b] Ibleam, Dor (that is, Naphoth-dor),[c] Endor, Taanach, and Megiddo, each with their surrounding settlements.
12 But the descendants of Manasseh were unable to occupy these towns because the Canaanites were determined to stay in that region. 13 Later, however, when the Israelites became strong enough, they forced the Canaanites to work as slaves. But they did not drive them out of the land.
14 The descendants of Joseph came to Joshua and asked, “Why have you given us only one portion of land as our homeland when the Lord has blessed us with so many people?”
15 Joshua replied, “If there are so many of you, and if the hill country of Ephraim is not large enough for you, clear out land for yourselves in the forest where the Perizzites and Rephaites live.”
16 The descendants of Joseph responded, “It’s true that the hill country is not large enough for us. But all the Canaanites in the lowlands have iron chariots, both those in Beth-shan and its surrounding settlements and those in the valley of Jezreel. They are too strong for us.”
17 Then Joshua said to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the descendants of Joseph, “Since you are so large and strong, you will be given more than one portion. 18 The forests of the hill country will be yours as well. Clear as much of the land as you wish, and take possession of its farthest corners. And you will drive out the Canaanites from the valleys, too, even though they are strong and have iron chariots.”
The Land Given to the Tribe of Judah
1 The allotment for the clans of the tribe of Judah reached southward to the border of Edom, as far south as the wilderness of Zin.
2 The southern boundary began at the south bay of the Dead Sea,[a] 3 ran south of Scorpion Pass[b] into the wilderness of Zin, and then went south of Kadesh-barnea to Hezron. Then it went up to Addar, where it turned toward Karka. 4 From there it passed to Azmon until it finally reached the Brook of Egypt, which it followed to the Mediterranean Sea.[c] This was their[d] southern boundary.
5 The eastern boundary extended along the Dead Sea to the mouth of the Jordan River.
The northern boundary began at the bay where the Jordan River empties into the Dead Sea, 6 went up from there to Beth-hoglah, then proceeded north of Beth-arabah to the Stone of Bohan. (Bohan was Reuben’s son.) 7 From that point it went through the valley of Achor to Debir, turning north toward Gilgal, which is across from the slopes of Adummim on the south side of the valley. From there the boundary extended to the springs at En-shemesh and on to En-rogel. 8 The boundary then passed through the valley of Ben-Hinnom, along the southern slopes of the Jebusites, where the city of Jerusalem is located. Then it went west to the top of the mountain above the valley of Hinnom, and on up to the northern end of the valley of Rephaim. 9 From there the boundary extended from the top of the mountain to the spring at the waters of Nephtoah,[e] and from there to the towns on Mount Ephron. Then it turned toward Baalah (that is, Kiriath-jearim). 10 The boundary circled west of Baalah to Mount Seir, passed along to the town of Kesalon on the northern slope of Mount Jearim, and went down to Beth-shemesh and on to Timnah. 11 The boundary then proceeded to the slope of the hill north of Ekron, where it turned toward Shikkeron and Mount Baalah. It passed Jabneel and ended at the Mediterranean Sea.
12 The western boundary was the shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea.[f]
These are the boundaries for the clans of the tribe of Judah.
The Land Given to Caleb
13 The Lord commanded Joshua to assign some of Judah’s territory to Caleb son of Jephunneh. So Caleb was given the town of Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), which had been named after Anak’s ancestor. 14 Caleb drove out the three groups of Anakites—the descendants of Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, the sons of Anak.
15 From there he went to fight against the people living in the town of Debir (formerly called Kiriath-sepher). 16 Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Acsah in marriage to the one who attacks and captures Kiriath-sepher.” 17 Othniel, the son of Caleb’s brother Kenaz, was the one who conquered it, so Acsah became Othniel’s wife.
18 When Acsah married Othniel, she urged him[g] to ask her father for a field. As she got down off her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What’s the matter?”
19 She said, “Give me another gift. You have already given me land in the Negev; now please give me springs of water, too.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.
The Towns Allotted to Judah
20 This was the homeland allocated to the clans of the tribe of Judah.
21 The towns of Judah situated along the borders of Edom in the extreme south were Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur, 22 Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, 23 Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan, 24 Ziph, Telem, Bealoth, 25 Hazor-hadattah, Kerioth-hezron (that is, Hazor), 26 Amam, Shema, Moladah,27 Hazar-gaddah, Heshmon, Beth-pelet, 28 Hazar-shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah, 29 Baalah, Iim, Ezem, 30 Eltolad, Kesil, Hormah, 31 Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah, 32 Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain, and Rimmon—twenty-nine towns with their surrounding villages.
33 The following towns situated in the western foothills[h] were also given to Judah: Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah, 34 Zanoah, En-gannim, Tappuah, Enam, 35 Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah, 36 Shaaraim, Adithaim, Gederah, and Gederothaim—fourteen towns with their surrounding villages.
37 Also included were Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal-gad, 38 Dilean, Mizpeh, Joktheel,39 Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, 40 Cabbon, Lahmam, Kitlish, 41 Gederoth, Beth-dagon, Naamah, and Makkedah—sixteen towns with their surrounding villages.
42 Besides these, there were Libnah, Ether, Ashan, 43 Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, 44 Keilah, Aczib, and Mareshah—nine towns with their surrounding villages.
45 The territory of the tribe of Judah also included Ekron and its surrounding settlements and villages. 46 From Ekron the boundary extended west and included the towns near Ashdod with their surrounding villages. 47 It also included Ashdod with its surrounding settlements and villages and Gaza with its settlements and villages, as far as the Brook of Egypt and along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
48 Judah also received the following towns in the hill country: Shamir, Jattir, Socoh,49 Dannah, Kiriath-sannah (that is, Debir), 50 Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim, 51 Goshen, Holon, and Giloh—eleven towns with their surrounding villages.
52 Also included were the towns of Arab, Dumah, Eshan, 53 Janim, Beth-tappuah, Aphekah,54 Humtah, Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), and Zior—nine towns with their surrounding villages.
55 Besides these, there were Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Juttah, 56 Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah,57 Kain, Gibeah, and Timnah—ten towns with their surrounding villages.
58 In addition, there were Halhul, Beth-zur, Gedor, 59 Maarath, Beth-anoth, and Eltekon—six towns with their surrounding villages.
60 There were also Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim) and Rabbah—two towns with their surrounding villages.
61 In the wilderness there were the towns of Beth-arabah, Middin, Secacah, 62 Nibshan, the City of Salt, and En-gedi—six towns with their surrounding villages.
63 But the tribe of Judah could not drive out the Jebusites, who lived in the city of Jerusalem, so the Jebusites live there among the people of Judah to this day.
The Land Divided West of the Jordan
1 The remaining tribes of Israel received land in Canaan as allotted by Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the tribal leaders. 2 These nine and a half tribes received their grants of land by means of sacred lots, in accordance with the Lord’s command through Moses.3 Moses had already given a grant of land to the two and a half tribes on the east side of the Jordan River, but he had given the Levites no such allotment. 4 The descendants of Joseph had become two separate tribes—Manasseh and Ephraim. And the Levites were given no land at all, only towns to live in with surrounding pasturelands for their livestock and all their possessions. 5 So the land was distributed in strict accordance with the Lord’s commands to Moses.
Caleb Requests His Land
6 A delegation from the tribe of Judah, led by Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, came to Joshua at Gilgal. Caleb said to Joshua, “Remember what the Lord said to Moses, the man of God, about you and me when we were at Kadesh-barnea. 7 I was forty years old when Moses, the servant of the Lord, sent me from Kadesh-barnea to explore the land of Canaan. I returned and gave an honest report, 8 but my brothers who went with me frightened the people from entering the Promised Land. For my part, I wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God. 9 So that day Moses solemnly promised me, ‘The land of Canaan on which you were just walking will be your grant of land and that of your descendants forever, because you wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God.’
10 “Now, as you can see, the Lord has kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise—even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old. 11 I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. 12 So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the Lord is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the Lord said.”
13 So Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave Hebron to him as his portion of land.14 Hebron still belongs to the descendants of Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite because he wholeheartedly followed the Lord, the God of Israel. 15 (Previously Hebron had been called Kiriath-arba. It had been named after Arba, a great hero of the descendants of Anak.)
And the land had rest from war.
Why God Kills and Allows Death.
Israel Defeats the Northern Armies
1 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[a]; the kings in the Galilean foothills[b]; 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[c] 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,[d] 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.
- 11:2a Hebrew in the Arabah south of Kinnereth.
- 11:2b Hebrew the Shephelah; also in 11:16.
- 11:11 The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering; also in 11:12, 20, 21.
- 11:16 Hebrew the Shephelah, the Arabah.
Israel Defeats the Southern Armies
1 Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, heard that Joshua had captured and completely destroyed[a] 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 Lordthrew 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[b]? The sun stayed in the middle of the sky, and it did not set as on a normal day.[c] 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,[d] 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.
The Gibeonites Deceive Israel
1 Now all the kings west of the Jordan River heard about what had happened. These were the kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, who lived in the hill country, in the western foothills,[a] and along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea[b] as far north as the Lebanon mountains. 2 These kings combined their armies to fight as one against Joshua and the Israelites.
3 But when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they resorted to deception to save themselves. They sent ambassadors to Joshua, loading their donkeys with weathered saddlebags and old, patched wineskins. 5 They put on worn-out, patched sandals and ragged clothes. And the bread they took with them was dry and moldy.6 When they arrived at the camp of Israel at Gilgal, they told Joshua and the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant land to ask you to make a peace treaty with us.”
7 The Israelites replied to these Hivites, “How do we know you don’t live nearby? For if you do, we cannot make a treaty with you.”
8 They replied, “We are your servants.”
“But who are you?” Joshua demanded. “Where do you come from?”
9 They answered, “Your servants have come from a very distant country. We have heard of the might of the Lord your God and of all he did in Egypt. 10 We have also heard what he did to the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River—King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan (who lived in Ashtaroth). 11 So our elders and all our people instructed us, ‘Take supplies for a long journey. Go meet with the people of Israel and tell them, “We are your servants; please make a treaty with us.”’
12 “This bread was hot from the ovens when we left our homes. But now, as you can see, it is dry and moldy. 13 These wineskins were new when we filled them, but now they are old and split open. And our clothing and sandals are worn out from our very long journey.”
14 So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord. 15 Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety, and the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath.
16 Three days after making the treaty, they learned that these people actually lived nearby!17 The Israelites set out at once to investigate and reached their towns in three days. The names of these towns were Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim. 18 But the Israelites did not attack the towns, for the Israelite leaders had made a vow to them in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.
The people of Israel grumbled against their leaders because of the treaty. 19 But the leaders replied, “Since we have sworn an oath in the presence of the Lord, the God of Israel, we cannot touch them. 20 This is what we must do. We must let them live, for divine anger would come upon us if we broke our oath. 21 Let them live.” So they made them woodcutters and water carriers for the entire community, as the Israelite leaders directed.
22 Joshua called together the Gibeonites and said, “Why did you lie to us? Why did you say that you live in a distant land when you live right here among us? 23 May you be cursed! From now on you will always be servants who cut wood and carry water for the house of my God.”
24 They replied, “We did it because we—your servants—were clearly told that the Lord your God commanded his servant Moses to give you this entire land and to destroy all the people living in it. So we feared greatly for our lives because of you. That is why we have done this.25 Now we are at your mercy—do to us whatever you think is right.”
26 So Joshua did not allow the people of Israel to kill them. 27 But that day he made the Gibeonites the woodcutters and water carriers for the community of Israel and for the altar of the Lord—wherever the Lord would choose to build it. And that is what they do to this day.
Ai Defeats the Israelites
1 But Israel violated the instructions about the things set apart for the Lord.[a] A man named Achan had stolen some of these dedicated things, so the Lord was very angry with the Israelites. Achan was the son of Carmi, a descendant of Zimri[b] son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah.
2 Joshua sent some of his men from Jericho to spy out the town of Ai, east of Bethel, near Beth-aven. 3 When they returned, they told Joshua, “There’s no need for all of us to go up there; it won’t take more than two or three thousand men to attack Ai. Since there are so few of them, don’t make all our people struggle to go up there.”
4 So approximately 3,000 warriors were sent, but they were soundly defeated. The men of Ai5 chased the Israelites from the town gate as far as the quarries,[c] and they killed about thirty-six who were retreating down the slope. The Israelites were paralyzed with fear at this turn of events, and their courage melted away.
6 Joshua and the elders of Israel tore their clothing in dismay, threw dust on their heads, and bowed face down to the ground before the Ark of the Lord until evening. 7 Then Joshua cried out, “Oh, Sovereign Lord, why did you bring us across the Jordan River if you are going to let the Amorites kill us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side! 8 Lord, what can I say now that Israel has fled from its enemies? 9 For when the Canaanites and all the other people living in the land hear about it, they will surround us and wipe our name off the face of the earth. And then what will happen to the honor of your great name?”
10 But the Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why are you lying on your face like this? 11 Israel has sinned and broken my covenant! They have stolen some of the things that I commanded must be set apart for me. And they have not only stolen them but have lied about it and hidden the things among their own belongings. 12 That is why the Israelites are running from their enemies in defeat. For now Israel itself has been set apart for destruction. I will not remain with you any longer unless you destroy the things among you that were set apart for destruction.
13 “Get up! Command the people to purify themselves in preparation for tomorrow. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Hidden among you, O Israel, are things set apart for the Lord. You will never defeat your enemies until you remove these things from among you.
14 “In the morning you must present yourselves by tribes, and the Lord will point out the tribe to which the guilty man belongs. That tribe must come forward with its clans, and the Lordwill point out the guilty clan. That clan will then come forward, and the Lord will point out the guilty family. Finally, each member of the guilty family must come forward one by one. 15 The one who has stolen what was set apart for destruction will himself be burned with fire, along with everything he has, for he has broken the covenant of the Lord and has done a horrible thing in Israel.”
16 Early the next morning Joshua brought the tribes of Israel before the Lord, and the tribe of Judah was singled out. 17 Then the clans of Judah came forward, and the clan of Zerah was singled out. Then the families of Zerah came forward, and the family of Zimri was singled out.18 Every member of Zimri’s family was brought forward person by person, and Achan was singled out.
19 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, by telling the truth. Make your confession and tell me what you have done. Don’t hide it from me.”
20 Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. 21 Among the plunder I saw a beautiful robe from Babylon,[d] 200 silver coins,[e] and a bar of gold weighing more than a pound.[f] I wanted them so much that I took them. They are hidden in the ground beneath my tent, with the silver buried deeper than the rest.”
22 So Joshua sent some men to make a search. They ran to the tent and found the stolen goods hidden there, just as Achan had said, with the silver buried beneath the rest. 23 They took the things from the tent and brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites. Then they laid them on the ground in the presence of the Lord.
24 Then Joshua and all the Israelites took Achan, the silver, the robe, the bar of gold, his sons, daughters, cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats, tent, and everything he had, and they brought them to the valley of Achor. 25 Then Joshua said to Achan, “Why have you brought trouble on us? The Lord will now bring trouble on you.” And all the Israelites stoned Achan and his family and burned their bodies. 26 They piled a great heap of stones over Achan, which remains to this day. That is why the place has been called the Valley of Trouble[g] ever since. So the Lordwas no longer angry.
- 7:1a The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering; similarly in 7:11, 12, 13, 15.
- 7:1b As in parallel text at 1 Chr 2:6; Hebrew reads Zabdi. Also in 7:17, 18.
- 7:5 Or as far as Shebarim.
- 7:21a Hebrew Shinar.
- 7:21b Hebrew 200 shekels of silver, about 5 pounds or 2.3 kilograms in weight.
- 7:21c Hebrew 50 shekels, about 20 ounces or 570 grams in weight.
- 7:26 Hebrew valley of Achor.