Joshua 10:2
That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) As one of the royal cities.—One of the cities of the kingdom. Gibeon was afterwards the city of the first king of Israel, Saul (1Chronicles 8:29-30; 1Chronicles 8:33).

Joshua 10:2-3. They feared greatly — Namely, Adoni-zedek and his people, he being spoken of (Joshua 10:1) as a public person, representing all his people. Gibeon was — as one of the royal cities — Either really a royal city, and having a king, or equal to one of the royal cities, though it had not a king.

It seems indeed to have been governed by elders, Joshua 9:11. Adoni- zedek sent — Either because he was superior to them, or because he was nearest the danger, and most forward in the work.

10:1-6 When sinners leave the service of Satan and the friendship of the world, that they make peace with God and join Israel, they must not marvel if the world hate them, if their former friends become foes. By such methods Satan discourages many who are convinced of their danger, and almost persuaded to be Christians, but fear the cross. These things should quicken us to apply to God for protection, help, and deliverance.Adoni-zedec - i. e "Lord of righteousness" (compare Melchizedek, "King of righteousness"); probably an official title of the Jebusite kings.

Jerusalem - i. e. "foundation of peace," compare Genesis 14:18. The city belonged to the inheritance of Benjamin Joshua 18:28, but was on the very edge of the territory of Judah Joshua 15:8. Hence, it was the strong and war-like tribe of Judah which eventually captured the lower part of the city, most likely in the days of Joshua's later conquests Judges 1:8, and after the warlike strength of the Jebusites had been weakened by the defeat in the open field, recorded in this chapter. The upper town, more especially the fortified hill of Zion, remained in the hands of the Jebusites, who accordingly kept a footing in the place, along with the men of Judah and Benjamin, even after the conquest Joshua 15:63; Judges 1:21; and would seem, indeed, to have so far, and no doubt gradually, regained possession of the whole, that Jerusalem was spoken of in the days of the Judges as a Jebusite city. David finally stormed "the stronghold of Zion," and called it "the City of David" 2 Samuel 5:6-9. It was, probably, only after this conquest and the adoption by David of the city as the religious and political metropolis of the whole nation, that the name Jerusalem came into use 2 Samuel 5:5 in substitution for Jehus.

2. they feared greatly—The dread inspired by the rapid conquests of the Israelites had been immensely increased by the fact of a state so populous and so strong as Gibeon having found it expedient to submit to the power and the terms of the invaders.

as one of the royal cities—Although itself a republic (Jos 9:3), it was large and well-fortified, like those places in which the chiefs of the country usually established their residence.

They feared, i.e. he and his people, the king being spoken of Joshua 10:1, as a public person representing all his people. Or, he and the following kings, Joshua 10:3. But this fear is mentioned, Joshua 10:2, as the cause why he sent to those kings.

As one of the royal cities; either,

1. Really a royal city, the Hebrew particle caph oft signifying the truth of a thing, as Hosea 4:4 5:10, and oft elsewhere. Or,

2. Equal to one of the royal cities, though it had no king, but seems to be governed aristocratically by their elders, Joshua 9:11.

That they feared greatly,.... The king of Jerusalem and his people, lest they should fall into the hands of the Israelites, and be used as Jericho and Ai, and the kings and inhabitants of them were, and that they would be the next that should fall a sacrifice to them; for Gibeon was fifty furlongs from Jerusalem, as Josephus says (a); and in another place he says (b) but forty, which were but five miles; and if fifty, but little more than six miles; according to Bunting (c), it was but four miles: and what added to their terror was:

because Gibeon was a great city; being a metropolitan city, and having others subject to it; therefore the surrender of that to the Israelites might intimidate other cities, and lead them by example to do the like, and so of bad consequence:

as one of the royal cities; the Vulgate Latin version omits the note of similitude, and reads, "and one of the royal cities"; and sometimes "caph" or "as" is not a note of likeness, but of reality; yet as we nowhere read of a king of Gibeon, the sense may be, that though it was not a royal seat, it was equal to those that were, and like one, being a metropolitan city: and

because it was greater than Ai: had more inhabitants in it, and perhaps better fortified:

and all the men thereof were mighty; men of strength, courage, and valour, warlike men, and therefore for such a city to yield so easily, and in such a base, mean, and cowardly way, was setting a very bad example.

(a) De Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 19. sect. 1.((b) Antiqu. l. 7. c. 11. sect. 7. (c) Travels of the Patriarchs, &c. p. 98.

That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. as one of the royal cities] See above, Joshua 9:3.

2. When Sennacherib invaded Judah, he attacked and took “the fenced cities,” but Lachish appears to have foiled him, and he was constrained to raise the siege (2 Kings 19:8; 2 Chronicles 32:9).

Verse 2. - That they feared greatly. Joshua had certainly obtained an excellent strategic position in the heart of the country; but it was not this which apparently most alarmed the kings who constituted the confederacy, though they did not fail to observe that, as the words "and were among them" show. It was the weight and importance of Gibeon itself, and the fact that its inhabitants were now enlisted, not on the side of the Canaanites, but against them. As one of the royal cities. Observe the minute accuracy of the historian. No king is mentioned in the narrative in ch. 9. We now earn indirectly that they had none. The Vulgate misses the point of the historian by leaving out "as" altogether. Joshua 10:2The report that Joshua had taken Ai, and put it, like Jericho, under the ban, and that the Gibeonites had concluded a treaty with Israel, filled Adonizedek the king of Jerusalem with alarm, as Gibeon was a large town, like one of the king's towns, even larger than Ai, and its inhabitants were brave men. He therefore joined with the kings of Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon, to make a common attack upon Gibeon, and punish it for its alliance with the Israelites, and at the same time to put a check upon the further conquests of Israel. Adonizedek, i.e., lord of righteousness, is synonymous with Melchizedek (king of righteousness), and was a title of the Jebusite kings, as Pharaoh was of the Egyptian. Jerusalem, i.e., the founding or possession of peace, called Salem in the time of Abraham (Genesis 14:18), was the proper name of the town, which was also frequently called by the name of its Canaanitish inhabitants Jebus (Judges 19:10-11; 1 Chronicles 11:4), or "city of the Jebusite" (Ir-Jebusi, Judges 19:11), sometimes also in a contracted form, Jebusi (היבוּסי, Joshua 18:16, Joshua 18:28; Joshua 15:8; 2 Samuel 5:8).

(Note: In our English version, we have the Hebrew word itself simply transposed in Joshua 18:16, Joshua 18:28; whilst it is rendered "the Jebusite" in Joshua 15:8, and "the Jebusites" in 2 Samuel 5:8. - Tr.)

On the division of the land it was allotted to the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18:28); but being situated upon the border of Judah (Joshua 15:8), it was conquered, and burned by the sons of Judah after the death of Joshua (Judges 1:8). It was very soon taken again and rebuilt by the Jebusites, whom the sons of Judah were unable to destroy (Joshua 15:63; Judges 19:10-12), so that both Benjaminites and Judahites lived there along with the Jebusites (Judges 1:21; Joshua 15:63); and the upper town especially, upon the summit of Mount Zion, remained as a fortification in the possession of the Jebusites, until David conquered it (2 Samuel 5:6.), made it the capital of his kingdom, and called it by his own name, "the city of David," after which the old name of Jebus fell into disuse. Hebron, the town of Arba the Anakite (Joshua 14:15, etc.; see at Genesis 23:2), was twenty-two Roman miles south of Jerusalem, in a deep and narrow valley upon the mountains of Judah, a town of the greatest antiquity (Numbers 13:22), now called el Khalil, i.e., the friend (of God), with reference to Abraham's sojourn there. The ruins of an ancient heathen temple are still to be seen there, as well as the Haram, built of colossal blocks, which contains, according to Mohammedan tradition, the burial-place of the patriarchs (see at Genesis 23:17). Jarmuth, in the lowlands of Judah (Joshua 15:35; Nehemiah 11:29), according to the Onom. (s. v. Jermus) a hamlet, Jermucha (Ἰερμοχωῶς), ten Roman miles from Eleutheropolis, on the road to Jerusalem, is the modern Jarmuk, a village on a lofty hill, with the remains of walls and cisterns of a very ancient date, the name of which, according to Van de Velde (Mem. pp. 115-6), is pronounced Tell 'Armuth by the Arabs (see Rob. Pal. ii. p. 344). Lachish, in the lowlands of Judah (Joshua 15:39), was fortified by Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:9), and besieged by Sennacherib and Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 18:14; 2 Kings 19:8; Jeremiah 34:7), and was still inhabited by Jews after the return from the captivity (Nehemiah 11:30). It is probably to be found in Um Lakis, an old place upon a low round hill, covered with heaps of small round stones thrown together in great confusion, containing relics of marble columns; it is about an hour and a quarter to the west of Ajlun, and seven hours to the west of Eleutheropolis.

(Note: It is true that Robinson dispute the identity of Um Lakis with the ancient Lachish (Pal. ii. p. 388), but "not on any reasonable ground" (Van de Velde, Mem. p. 320). The statement in the Onom. (s. v. Lochis), that it was seven Roman miles to the south of Eleutheropolis, cannot prove much, as it may easily contain an error in the number, and Robinson does not admit its authority even in the case of Eglon (Pal. ii. p. 392). Still less can Knobel's conjecture be correct, that it is to be found in the old place called Sukkarijeh, two hours and a half to the south-west of Beit Jibrin (Eleutheropolis), as Sukkarijeh is on the east of Ajlun, whereas, according to Joshua 10:31-36, Lachish is to be sought for on the west of Eglon.)

Eglon: also in the lowlands of Judah (Joshua 15:39). The present name is Ajln, a heap of ruins, about three-quarters of an hour to the east of Um Lakis (see Rob. Pal. ii. p. 392, and Van de Velde, Mem. p. 308). In the Onom. (s. v. Eglon) it is erroneously identified with Odollam; whereas the situation of Agla, "at the tenth stone, as you go from Eleutheropolis to Gaza" (Onom. s. v. Βηθαλαΐ́μ, Bethagla), suits Eglon exactly.

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