Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Gezer is identified as Tell-Jezer or Tel-el-Jezar, about four miles from Amwâs or Emmaus.Joshua 16:3. It was considerably to the northward of Joshua's present line of operations, and does not appear to have been captured at this time. He contented himself for the present with repulsing the attack made upon him, killed Horam (compare Joshua 12:12), inflicting a severe defeat upon his people, and then continued to pursue his conquests over the confederated kings and their allies in south Canaan.
28-42. that day Joshua took Makkedah—In this and the following verses is described the rapid succession of victory and extermination which swept the whole of southern Palestine into the hands of Israel. "All these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the Lord God of Israel fought for Israel. And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal."Gezer; either that in Ephraim, of which Joshua 16:3 Judges 1:29; but that seems too remote from the other places; or rather, that in Judah, which was near Lachish, 1 Chronicles 14:16, whose king therefore was more capable, and more obliged to help them for his own sake.
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.Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)33. Then Horam] His city lay at no great distance from Lachish.
Gezer] or, as it is called later, Gazara (2Ma 10:32), Gadara (Jos. Ant. 5:1:22), was an ancient city of Canaan. It was afterwards allotted with its suburbs to the Kohathite Levites (Joshua 21:21; 1 Chronicles 6:67); but the original inhabitants were not dispossessed (Jdg 1:29), and even down to the reign of Solomon the Canaanites were still dwelling there, and paying tribute to Israel (1 Kings 9:16). Its site has lately been identified with Tel el Jezar, about four miles from Amwâs, on the road to Ramlah and Lydd. “The position of the Levitical city of Gezer (Joshua 12:12; 1 Chronicles 6:67; Jdg 1:29), which Pharaoh gave to his daughter—Solomon’s queen—as a dowry, has been a subject of prolonged controversy. M. Clermont Ganneau discovered the ancient site, with the very name itself still lingering on the spot. Not only that, but he found the Levitical boundaries. In no other case have these been found. They were cut in the rock itself—not on movable stones—in two separate places, in Greek and square Hebrew characters, signifying the ‘boundary of Gezer.’ The date seems to be Maccabean.” (Quarterly Statement of the “Palestine Exploration Fund,” 1874.)
and Joshua smote him] Joshua seems to have been content with repulsing his attack, slaying the king, and inflicting a severe defeat upon his people. Gezer itself lay too far northward of his present line of operations to justify its capture.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. 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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