Joshua 10:27
And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave's mouth, which remain until this very day.
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Joshua 10:27-29. They took them down — That neither wild beasts might come to devour them, nor any of their people to give them honourable burial. Thus, that which they thought would have been their shelter was made their prison first, and then their grave. So shall we surely be disappointed, in whatever we flee to from God. And that day — On which the sun stood still. Nor is it strange that so much work was done, and places so far distant were taken in one day, when the day was so long, and the Canaanites struck with such a terror. He let none remain — From the severity wherewith this and the following cities were treated, and the command given, (Deuteronomy 20:10,) it has been inferred, with much probability, that offers of peace had been made them by Joshua before he fought against them, and that they had rejected these offers. All Israel with him unto Libnah — Namely, all who were with him in this expedition.

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). Laid great stones in the cave’s mouth; that neither wild beasts could come at them to devour them, nor any of their people to give them honourable burial.

And it came to pass, at the time of the going down of the sun,.... Which was the time fixed by the law of God for taking down bodies that were hanged, Deuteronomy 21:23,

that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees; not from, any respect to them, but that they might not defile the land, as dead bodies in a ceremonial sense did, Deuteronomy 21:23; and this Joshua was the more careful of, as they were just entered into it, and were taking possession of it:

and they cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid; so that what had been their hiding place now became their grave; and according to the Samaritan Chronicle (q), the trees also on which they were hanged were cast in with them:

and laid great stones in the cave's mouth: not as a monumental pile, as in the instances of Achan and the king of Ai, Joshua 7:26; but to prevent their carcasses being dragged out, and eaten by wild beasts, as some think; or that they might not be taken out, and buried in a more honourable manner:

which remain until this very day; when Joshua was grown old, the writer of this book.

(q) Apud Hottinger. Smegma. p. 511.

And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave's mouth, which remain until this very day.
27. at the time of the going down of the sun] According to the strict command in Deuteronomy 21:23.

into the cave wherein they had been hid] “Into the spelonk, in the which thei lorkiden,” Wyclif, which then became a royal sepulchre, while the stones “which on the self-same day had cut them off from escape, closed the mouth of the tomb.” See Keil on Joshua 10:27.

Verse 27. - At the time of the going down of the sun. See Deuteronomy 21:23. Joshua set the example to the Israelites of a strict observance of the law. And we may observe that this law is only to be found in Deuteronomy. On the "Deuteronomist" theory we have to suppose that the Deuteronomist, with a lynx eye to the chance of recommending the provisions which he had invented, and to the importance of representing Joshua as a strict observer of them, inserted this piece of detail with an obvious purpose. It is a wonder that this should be almost the only "Deuteronomist" precept thus emphasised. We find it noticed above (Joshua 8:29), and in both cases the obvious explanation is that this sign of triumph made a great impression on those who witnessed it, and that it was carried out in strict fulfilment of enactments already existing. On the other hand, as we have seen, there is no attempt in Joshua 8:30-35 to emphasise thus the obedience to the command in Deuteronomy 27:2-8. It is from minute details of this kind, which escape the superficial observer, that the authenticity of the Book of Deuteronomy is established. Until this very day. The form of the expression here is singularly different from the expression found elsewhere when the meaning suggested by the Authorized Version is to be conveyed. But for the word עַד we should translate "on the self-same day," as in Genesis 7:13, etc. עַד may be a slip of the pen for עַל which is seldom, if ever, used of time (only, if at all, in Psalm 48:15, and Proverbs 25:11), though the idiom is found in Arabic, in Greek (as in ἐπ ἤματι), in German (as in auf den Tag.) and in English, "on that day;" or we may, with Keil, refer back to ver. 18, and trans. late "they cast them into the cave where they had been hid, and where they had placed great stones unto that very day." For there may have been an interval of several days between the confinement of the kings in the cave and their death at the hands of Joshua. See note on ver. 21. Joshua 10:27Joshua then commanded the five kings to be fetched out of the cave, and directed the leaders of the army to set their feet upon the necks of the kings; and when this had been done, he ordered the kings to be put to death, and to be hanged upon trees until the evening, when their bodies were to be thrown into the cave in which they had concealed themselves. Of course this did not take place till the day after the battle, as the army could not return from their pursuit of the foe to the camp at Makkedah till the night after the battle; possibly it did not take place till the second day, if the pursuit had lasted any longer. In Joshua 10:24, "all the men of Israel" are all the warriors in the camp. ההלכוּא, with ה artic., instead of the relative pronoun (see Ges. 109; Ew. 331, b.); and the ending וּא for וּ or וּן, as in Isaiah 28:12 (see Ew. 190, b.). The fact that the military leaders set their feet at Joshua's command upon the necks of the conquered kings, was not a sign of barbarity, which it is necessary to excuse by comparing it with still greater barbarities on the part of the Canaanites, as in Judges 1:7, but was a symbolical act, a sign of complete subjugation, which was customary in this sense even in the Eastern empire (see Bynaeus de calceis, p. 318, and Constant. Porphyrogen de cerimon. aulae Byzant. ii. 19). It was also intended in this instance to stimulate the Israelites to further conflict with the Canaanites. This is stated in the words of Joshua (Joshua 10:25): "Fear not, nor be dismayed (vid., Joshua 1:9; Joshua 8:1); for thus shall the Lord do to all your enemies." On the putting to death and then hanging, see Joshua 8:29 and Deuteronomy 21:22-23. The words וגו ויּשׂימוּ (Joshua 10:27) are generally understood as signifying, that after the bodies of the kings had been cast into the cave, the Israelites placed large stones before the entrance, just as in other cases heaps of stones were piled upon the graves of criminals that had been executed (vid., Joshua 7:25), and that these stones remained there till the account before us was written. But this leaves the words עצם עד unexplained, as עצם never occurs in any other case where the formula "until this day" is used with the simple meaning that a thing had continued to the writer's own time. הזּה היּום עצם expresses the thought that the day referred to was the very same day about which the author was writing, and no other (see Joshua 5:11; Genesis 7:13; Genesis 17:23; Exodus 12:17, etc.). If, therefore, it has any meaning at all in the present instance, we must connect the whole clause with the one preceding, and even construe it as a relative clause: "where they (the kings) had hidden themselves, and they (the Israelites) had placed large stones at the mouth of the cave until that very day" (on which the kings were fetched out and executed).
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