|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:28-43 Joshua made speed in taking these cities. See what a great deal of work may be done in a little time, if we will be diligent, and improve our opportunities. God here showed his hatred of the idolatries and other abominations of which the Canaanites had been guilty, and shows us how great the provocation was, by the greatness of the destruction brought upon them. Here also was typified the destruction of all the enemies of the Lord Jesus, who, having slighted the riches of his grace, must for ever feel the weight of his wrath. The Lord fought for Israel. They could not have gotten the victory, if God had not undertaken the battle. We conquer when God fights for us; if he be for us, who can be against us?
Verse 33. - Then Horam king of Gezer. It is remarkable that, as Gezer lay somewhat out of the line of march, Joshua did not capture it. Accordingly, in spite of the alleged carelessness of our compiler, who is credited with having put together shreds of the various narratives in the most perfunctory manner, he takes care to add (Joshua 16:10) that the inhabitants of Gezer were not driven out. In like manner, with the single exception of Hebron, the people of which must have at once chosen another king, he carefully omits the mention of the king in the cities which had lost their kings in the battle before Gibeon. See also note on ver. 32. Thus a careful examination of the narrative puts the care and accuracy of the history very carefully before us. With regard to the situation of Gezer, it has been accurately determined by the Palestine Exploration Society. The Levitical boundaries, with Greek and Hebrew inscriptions, signifying the boundary of Gezer, have been discovered by M. Ganneau (see 'Quarterly Paper' for October, 1874). Tell el Jezer was first identified by M. Ganneau with Gezer. Continuing his researches, he found on a slab of rock nearly horizontal and very nearly two inches in length a bilingual inscription, in Greek and Hebrew, signifying the limit of Gezer (תהם גזר). Since the inscription is Greek and Talmudical in its character (the word תהום has not the signification of "limit" in the Hebrew Scriptures) it must, in spite of the early form of the letters, belong to a period long subsequent to the Babylonish captivity. M. Ganneau suggests the Maccabean period. (See below.) But it is, no doubt, the result of a remeasurement in accordance with the rules laid down in Numbers 35:5. Some have supposed the above to have been designed to fix the limit of the sabbath day's journey. But it is more probable that it served as a boundary between the Levitical and the tribal territory, the more especially as the words are so placed as to be read by one entering the town. It was a Levitical city (Joshua 21:21; 1 Chronicles 6:67), or at least assigned to the Levites; but Judges 1:29 shows that the Canaanitish population lived on with the Levites. It may have been the nondescript character of the population that caused it to fall an easy prey to Pharaoh (1 Kings 9:16, where note that the Canaanites had never been driven out); but when Solomon espoused his daughter he restored Gezer to Israel. Under the same name Gazara it plays a conspicuous part in the wars of the Maccabees (1 Macc. 9:52; 2 Macc. 10:32). From the latter passage we learn that it was "a very strong hold." It retains its old name, being now known as Tell el Jezer.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish,.... Perhaps the rather induced to it, because it had no king to defend it. In Jerom's (e) time it was a village called Gazera, four miles from Nicopolis, or Emmaus, to the north: if this king came before the city was taken, he was not able to raise the siege; and if he came after, and so too late, he fell into the hands of Joshua:
and Joshua smote him, and his people, until he had left him none remaining; destroyed him and all his army, so that there were none left to return and relate their unhappy case.
(e) De loc. Heb. fol. 92. A.
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