About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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Chapter 10 

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ch. 10:1-15   ch. 10:16-28   ch. 10:29-43

The Sun Stands Still (ch. 10:1 - 15)

In verse 1 we see the name Adoni-Zedek, which means "Zedek the lord is righteous".  The Hebrew word "Adoni" is often used in reference to the God of Israel in the Bible, but in this case it's used in reference to the king of Jerusalem.  We often associate Jerusalem with the Jews, but not at this point in history.

Israel's association with Jerusalem actually goes back as far as Genesis 13:18 to 20, when Abraham met Melchizedek, king of Salam, or Jerusalem and was blessed by him.

In my thinking there is almost something prophetic about Adoni-Zedek.  He was king of Jerusalem, which would become the city of God.  When he promotes himself as "Adoni", on the same level as God Himself, that reminds me of the anti-Christ who will do the same at the end of this age.

We see in the first five verses that Adoni-Zedek is quite upset with Gibeon for making a peace treaty with Israel.  Gibeon was an important city with a good military.  So Adoni-Zedek formed a coalition with other surrounding city states to fightGibeon. 

From verse 5 to 15 we see the story of this battle. Gibeon pleads with Joshua for protection.  Although the text does not say it here, Joshua is obligated to fight on the behalf of Gibeon because of the peace covenant they made with them.  Israeldefeats five Ammorite nations and when it's all over, just for good measure, the Lord sends hail stones down to kill more Ammorites than the Israeli army did.

Liberal theologians would argue with the historical accuracy with this as they always do.  How could hailstones fall from heaven and kill only Ammorites and not Israelis who would have been in the line of fire, or at least close to it.  But, I say as I always do, if you can't believe this miracle, then you can't believe in the miracle of the incarnation of Jesus or the miracle of His death, resurrection, and ascension.

In verses 12 and following we see that Joshua needed more time to finish up the battle and get back home.  He asked the sun and moon to stand still, and for about a day, that is what they did.  The text states that God seldom listens to a man and does such a thing.  But, when we understand that Joshua is a type of Jesus, one might be able to understand why God would listen to Joshua. 

I won't get into the science of how the sun and moon would stand still in the sky.  There are some who have thoroughly studied this through and have come up with some possible scientific proofs for this event.

Note the "book of Jashar" in verse 13.  This is an ancient non-canonical book of poetry.  "Jashar" means "upright".  It's also mentioned in 2 Samuel 1:17 to 27, 1Kings 8:12 13, Exodus 15:20 to 21, and Judges 5.        

Five Ammorite Kings Killed (ch. 10:16 -28)  

You note in verse 16 that the five kings of the five Ammorite nations hid themselves in caves during the attack.  This reminds me of the typical political leader.  They call the army to war, but they themselves hide in a safe place.  This place wasn't so safe though.  Joshua heard these kings were hiding in a cave and he had men to put rocks in front of the cave and have armed guards stand guard.  Then the battle proceeded as planned.

As verses 20 and 21 state, most all, but not all, the opposing armies were defeated. When Israel follows their God, He will win the battles for them.  It was true back in Old Testament days and it is true today.

Note the five kings in verses 22 and 23 are actually kings of cities.  Kings in this respect were really tribal leaders, and nations were really only tribes, and in this case, Ammorite tribes.  We should not view these kings as kings over vast empires.  The political structure of men had not yet progressed to having kings over large empires.

From here to the end of this chapter we see how ruthless Joshua can be, but this ruthlessness was based on the Word of the Lord.  God told Joshua to kill all of his enemies, if not, they'd come back to haunt Israel, so that is what he did. 

Concerning the five kings in the cave, Joshua had them led out of the cave.  He had some soldiers step on their necks, and then he killed them.  You might wonder about such violence by such a godly man, but one thing to consider is that people back then were not as cultured as we are today.  Such styles of violence were more common place and acceptable than they are today.  Also, such a public display of violence was also common place in those days.  It was meant to be a form of public humiliation of the leader of your enemy. 

One thing Christians can learn about the severity that is seen here concerning the killing of the people who Israel conquered is this.  These peoples can easily be compared to sin in our lives.  We need to be just as drastic concerning getting rid of our sin as Israel was to get rid of their sinful enemies.  In today's church, we don't take sin seriously as we should.  This is the real lesson for Christians to learn from these battles.  If you are really following Jesus, you will encounter spiritual battles, just like Israel encountered physical battles.  If you don't encounter these battles with sin, then you've given into sin, just as Israel gave into their enemies and was free from their battles. 


Southern Cities Conquered (ch. 10:29 - 43)    


I will not comment on this section.  This section is the historical events of Joshua and Israel defeating more of the Ammorite communities.


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