|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:15-27 None moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel. This shows their perfect safety. The kings were called to an account, as rebels against the Israel of God. Refuges of lies will but secure for God's judgment. God punished the abominable wickedness of these kings, the measure of whose iniquity was now full. And by this public act of justice, done upon these ringleaders of the Canaanites in sin, he would possess his people with the greater dread and detestation of the sins of the nations that God cast out from before them. Here is a type and figure of Christ's victories over the powers of darkness, and of believers' victories through him. In our spiritual conflicts we must not be satisfied with obtaining some important victory. We must pursue our scattered enemies, searching out the remains of sin as they rise up in our hearts, and thus pursue the conquest. In so doing, the Lord will afford light until the warfare be accomplished.
Verse 16. - In a cave. "In the cave" according to the Masoretic pointing. So the LXX., τὸ σπήλαιον. Dr. Maclear remarks on the number of caves in Palestine (see Genesis 19:30; Judges 20:47), as well as the well-known caves of Adullam and Engedi (1 Samuel 22:1, 24:3), and the cave in which a hundred prophets were concealed by Obadiah (1 Kings 18:4). Also see note on Joshua 2:22. But Lieut. Conder believes that in this particular neighbourhood there were few caves. See note on Makkedah above, ver. 10. For "these five kings" the original has simply "five kings." The order of the narrative is somewhat interrupted by the introduction of Joshua's adjuration, and the account of the flight of the five kings. Compare ver. 11 with ver. 20.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But these five kings fled,.... They were not killed by hailstones, nor slain by the sword of the Israelites, but made their escape, being reserved by the providence of God for a more shameful end:
and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah; not in the city of Makkedah, which as yet was not in the hands of Israel, whereas this cave was, as appears by what follows; but it was in some hill, or mountain, near it; in the border of it, as Kimchi expresses it, and where a hill is shown to this day in which it was, as Drusius says.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Jos 10:16-27. The Five Kings Hanged.
16-27. these five kings … hid themselves in a cave—Hebrew, "the cave."
at Makkedah—The pursuit was continued, without interruption, to Makkedah at the foot of the western mountains, where Joshua seems to have halted with the main body of his troops while a detachment was sent forward to scour the country in pursuit of the remaining stragglers, a few of whom succeeded in reaching the neighboring cities. The last act, probably the next day, was the disposal of the prisoners, among whom the five kings were consigned to the infamous doom of being slain (De 20:16, 17); and then their corpses were suspended on five trees till the evening.
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