Pastoral Commentary for Joshua 10
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
Jerusalem is first mentioned in the Old Testament here, when its king heard that the Gibeonites had made peace with Israel. He determined to retake the city to maintain a strong hold on the region. He made an alliance with four other kings, because he knew of Israel's victories against Jericho and Ai, and that the Gibeonites were strong fighters. The Gibeonites appealed to Joshua and the army of Israel marched all night to Gibeon's aid. The hand of God was clearly revealed in large hailstones that killed more of the Amorite fighters than did the men of Israel. Many have used this account of the sun standing still in the sky "for about a whole day" to criticize the Bible's accuracy. However, we now know that the force of gravity can bend a beam of light. Surely the hand of God could also bend the Sun's light so that it appeared to stand still in the sky. When Scripture says, "The Lord heeded the voice of a man" and fought for Israel, it brings to mind James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." The armies of the five kings were destroyed and the kings themselves were trapped in a cave. They were killed and hung on five trees, then buried in the cave where they hidden. Victory followed victory as God gave the land He had promised to His chosen people Israel under the courageous leadership of Joshua. Thus the entire southern region of the Promised Land was subdued in a single campaign with the LORD fighting for Israel.