Joshua 10:19
And stay ye not, but pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost of them; suffer them not to enter into their cities: for the LORD your God hath delivered them into your hand.
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(19) Smite the hindmost of them.—See Deuteronomy 25:18, the only other place where the same Hebrew verb occurs.

For the Lord your God hath delivered them into your hand.—It is worth while to observe that the command given to Israel to exterminate the Canaanites, though perfectly general, is notwithstanding limited as to time and circumstances by this very condition, in Deuteronomy 7, Joshua 10:1-2, “when the Lord thy God shall bring thee in, . . . and hath cast out . . . before thee . . . seven nations, and when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee, thou shalt smite them and utterly destroy them.” Again, Joshua 10:16, “Thou shalt consume all the people which the Lord thy God shall deliver thee,” and Joshua 10:22, “The Lord thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little; thou mayest not consume them at once.” The extermination of each particular army or nation was to be determined (as to time and circumstances) by the mandate of Jehovah, whose guidance Israel must follow on all occasions. The present occasion was one for pursuit and slaughter without respite or delay. But though the army, as an army, was annihilated, a remnant of fugitives escaped into fortified places (Joshua 10:20).

Joshua 10:19. Suffer them not to enter their cities — Whereby they would have recovered their strength, and renewed the war. God hath delivered them — Your work will be easy; God hath already done the work to your hands.

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.The thread of the narrative, broken by the four intermediate verses, Joshua 10:12-15, is now resumed from Joshua 10:11. 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.

Stay ye not; lose not your opportunity by your sloth or negligence. The hindmost of them; their rereward, all whom you can overtake. To enter into their cities, whereby they will recover their strength, and renew the war.

The Lord hath delivered them into your hand; your work will be easy, God hath already done the work to your hands.

And stay you not, but pursue after your enemies,.... That is, do not stay at this cave, but having placed a sufficient guard there, go in pursuit of the enemy, with as much celerity as possible:

and smite the hindmost of them; their rear; or "tail" them (o), as the word is, cut off the tail of them:

suffer them not to enter their cities; where they would not only be safe themselves for a while, but would be able to hold out against a siege for some time, and give much trouble to conquer them:

for the Lord your God hath delivered them into your hands; this he said to encourage them, and quicken them to the pursuit of them with all eagerness and vehemence. According to the Samaritan Chronicle (p), the signal or watchword was,"God is strong in battle, God is his name.''

(o) "caudam eorum caedite", Pagninus, Vatablus, Masius, Drusius; "et decaudetis eos", Montanus; "decaudabitis eos", Munster. (p) Apud Hottinger. Smegma, p. 509.

And stay ye not, but pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost of them; suffer them not to enter into their cities: for the LORD your God hath delivered them into your hand.
Verse 19. - And stay ye not. The original is stronger, and as for you, stand not still. The active general was not to be diverted from his purpose of annihilating the enemy by the important news that the heads of the confederacy were in his hands. He takes immediate measures to secure their persons, but for the present throws his whole strength, as well as that of his army, into the task of following up the advantage he has gained. And smite the hindmost of them. Literally, "and tail them," a verb denominative from זנב tail. The LXX. renders καταλαβετε τὴν οὐραγίαν. The word is of rare occurrence in the Hebrew, but its obvious meaning is as the text. Comp. also the Vulgate, extremos quosque fugientium coedite. Joshua 10:19The five kings fled and hid themselves in the cave that was a Makkedah. When they were discovered there, Joshua ordered large stones to be rolled before the entrance to the cave, and men to be placed there to watch, whilst the others pursued the enemy without ceasing, and smote their rear (vid., Deuteronomy 25:18), and prevented their entering into their cities. He himself remained at Makkedah (Joshua 10:21).
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