Joshua 10:24
And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings to Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet on the necks of them.
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(24) The captains.—The original word occurs here for the first time (see Judges 11:6; Judges 11:11), and seems to mean the actual leaders, not merely the official heads, of the people, who had borne the brunt of the battle. These men having laboured, deserved to see the fruits of their labour; and the action of Joshua was well calculated to inspirit them, and to fire them with courage to lead their followers to the charge in battles that were yet to come.

Put your feet upon the necks of these kings.—Comp. 2Samuel 22:41, “Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies;” and Genesis 49:8.

Joshua 10:24. Put your feet on the necks, &c. — This he commanded, not in insolence and pride, but in token that these kings and their countries were brought into an absolute subjection to the Israelites, that God had fulfilled his promise in part, (Deuteronomy 33:29,) and to assure his captains that he would completely fulfil it, and subdue the proudest of their enemies under their feet.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.Put your feet upon the necks of these kings - A symbol of complete subjugation (compare the marginal references and 1 Corinthians 15:25). 24. put your feet upon the necks of these kings—not as a barbarous insult, but a symbolical action, expressive of a complete victory (De 33:29; Ps 110:5; Mal 4:3). Put your feet upon the necks of these kings: this he did not from pride and contempt of their dignity in itself; but, partly, as a punishment of their impious rebellion against their sovereign Lord; partly, in pursuance of that curse of servility due to all this people, Genesis 9:25; partly, as a token to assure his captains that God would subdue the proudest of them all under their feet; and partly, to oblige and teach his people severely to execute the judgment of God upon them, and not to spare any of them, either out of a foolish pity, or out of respect to their dignity, as Saul afterwards spared Agag to his own ruin. And it came to pass, when they brought out these kings unto Joshua,.... And set them before him, and he had passed sentence on them:

that he called for all the men of Israel; that is, for the chief men, the principal officers of the army:

and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him; the chiliarchs and centurions, the captains of thousands and hundreds, of the several regiments in the army who went out to battle with him, and under him:

come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings; not in a contemptuous and insulting manner, not through vanity and haughtiness, but for the mortification of the kings; and as a token of their extreme subjection, and as a proper punishment for their crimes of idolatry, tyranny, and cruelty; and by way of terror to others of the kings of Canaan that should fight against them, and as a pledge and confirmation of the subjection of the rest, as well as to fulfil the promises and predictions of God, Deuteronomy 33:29; and which was done not of himself, but by the order, and according to the will of God:

and they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them; as Joshua ordered them, and in obedience to him their general.

And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the {h} necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them.

(h) Signifying what would become of the rest of God's enemies, seeing that kings themselves were not spared.

24. put your feet upon the necks] According to the usage portrayed on the monuments of Assyria and Egypt, which seems also to have been practised by the Byzantine emperors long after the Christian era. For this symbol of complete subjection comp. Psalm 110:1; 1 Corinthians 15:25.Verse 24. - Which went with him. There is a very unusual Hebrew phrase here. Not only is the article used instead of the relative pronoun אֲשֶׁרָ which occasionally occurs, as in 1 Chronicles 29:17, but the form of the verb is Arabic. None of the commentators give a satisfactory explanation of this fact, and perhaps the suggestion of Houbigant is to be adopted, that the א which follows הָלְכוּ has been accidentally doubled by the transcriber. Kennicott thinks that some Arabic transcriber has inadvertently given the verb an Arabic form, which is very improbable. Keil thinks that it is a sort of intermediate step between the more ancient termination וּן and the more modern one in וּ. But if so, it is strange that we should only meet with it twice in Holy Scripture. Haverniek (Introduction, § 22 B) regards it as an archaic form. Put your feet on the necks of these kings. This was a most common Oriental practice, as the Assyrian and Egyptian monuments prove. Calvin explains the otherwise "boundless arrogance" of the act by the Divine command. But, as Keil remarks, it was a "symbolical act, intended to inspirit the people." See also Psalm 110:1; 1 Corinthians 15:25. The fact that this was done, not by Joshua, but by the captains (קצִין; from קָצָה to cut off), i.e., the inferior officers of the Israelitish army, makes a wide distinction between this and the usual arrogance of Oriental conquerors, and marks the very great moral superiority of Joshua over any other leader known to history either in his own time or in subsequent ages. For whereas the act was usually an act of arrogant triumph on the part of the leader himself, here the leader modestly disclaims any such superiority, and calls upon his subordinates to assume it, as a sign that the Israelitish people, whose representatives they were, should triumph over all their enemies. The next verse explains the reason of the injunction. To the kings themselves no insolence was displayed, for it was but the well known and perfectly understood symbol of their undeniable condition of subjection at that moment. But, of course, we are not to look for that gentleness and humanity in so far distant an age, which would at the present day be shown by a Christian general, or even for the moderation and clemency displayed in the hour of victory by an Alexander, a Scipio, a Caesar, trained under the maxims of Latin and Greek philosophy. See a fuller discussion of the subject in the Introduction. Origen remarks here, "Atque utinam Dominus meus Jesus filius Dei mihi istud concedat, et jubeat me pedibus meis conculcare spiritum fornicationis, et caleare super cervices spiritus iracundise et furoris, calcare avaritise daemonem, caicare jactantiam, conterere pedibus superbiae spiritum." The 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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