Joshua 10:39
And he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof; and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining: as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir, and to the king thereof; as he had done also to Libnah, and to her king.
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10:28-43 Joshua made speed in taking these cities. See what a great deal of work may be done in a little time, if we will be diligent, and improve our opportunities. God here showed his hatred of the idolatries and other abominations of which the Canaanites had been guilty, and shows us how great the provocation was, by the greatness of the destruction brought upon them. Here also was typified the destruction of all the enemies of the Lord Jesus, who, having slighted the riches of his grace, must for ever feel the weight of his wrath. The Lord fought for Israel. They could not have gotten the victory, if God had not undertaken the battle. We conquer when God fights for us; if he be for us, who can be against us?Joshua returned - The words mark a change in the direction of the march. Joshua from Hebron turned to the southwest, and attacked Debir or Kirjath-sepher and its dependencies Joshua 15:15. Jos 10:28-42. Seven More Kings Conquered.

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."

No text from Poole on this verse.

And he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof,.... For this also was a royal city, and had others dependent on it; and therefore must lie further from Hebron than before suggested; and indeed Burchard (k) says it was five or six miles from it, and another writer (l) says ten miles:

and they smote them with the edge of the sword; the inhabitants of Debir, and the other cities adjacent to it:

and utterly destroyed all the souls that were therein, he left none remaining; and yet it seems this city recovered again, and was reinhabited, and after the death of Joshua was taken by Othniel, Judges 1:11; unless, as before observed, with respect to Hebron, there is there a more particular account of the taking of it at this time:

as he had done to Hebron, so did he to Debir, and to the king thereof,

as he had done also to Libnah and her king; that is, slew them.

(k) Apud Masium in loc. (l) Fuller's Pisgah Sight of Palestine, B. 2. c. 13. p. 276.

And he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof; and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining: as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir, and to the king thereof; as he had done also to Libnah, and to her king.
Joshua 10:39Joshua then turned southwards with all Israel (i.e., all the army), attacked Debir and took it, and the towns dependent upon it, in the same manner as those mentioned before. Debir, formerly called Kirjath-sepher, i.e., book town, πόλις γραμμάτων (lxx Joshua 15:15; Judges 1:11), and Kirjath-sanna, i.e., in all probability the city of palm branches (Joshua 15:49), was given up by Judah to the priests (Joshua 21:15). It stood upon the mountains of Judah (Joshua 15:49), to the south of Hebron, but has not yet been certainly discovered, though V. de Velde is probably correct in his supposition that it is to be seen in the ruins of Dilbeh, on the peak of a hill to the north of Wady Dilbeh, and on the road from Dhoberiyeh to Hebron, about two hours to the south-west of the latter. For, according to Dr. Stewart, there is a spring at Dilbeh, the water of which is conducted by an aqueduct into the Birket el Dilbeh, at the foot of the said hill, which would answer very well to the upper and lower springs at Debir, if only Debir might be placed, according to Joshua 15:49, so far towards the north.

(Note: Knobel imagines that Debir is to be found in the modern village of Dhoberiyeh (Dhabarije), five hours to the south-west of Hebron, on the south-west border of the mountains of Judah, upon the top of a mountain, because, in addition to the situation of this village, which is perfectly reconcilable with Joshua 15:49, there are remains of a square tower there (according to Krafft, a Roman tower), which point to an ancient fortification (vid., Rob. Pal. i. pp. 308ff.; Ritter, Erdk. xvi. pp. 202ff.), and because the name, which signifies "placed behind the back," agrees with Debir, the hinder part or back (?), and Kirjath-sepher, if interpreted by the Arabic words, which signify "extremitas, margo, ora." But both reasons prove very little. The meanings assigned to Debir and Kirjath-sepher are improbable and arbitrary. Moreover, it has not been shown that there are any springs near Dhoberiyeh, such as there were in the neighbourhood of Debir (Joshua 15:19.). The view held by Rosenmller, and adopted by Bunsen, with regard to the situation of Debir, - namely, that it was the same as the modern Idwirbn or Dewirbn, an hour and a quarter to the west of Hebron, because there is a large spring there with an abundant supply of excellent water, which goes by the name of Ain Nunkr, - is also quite untenable; for it is entirely at variance with Joshua 15:49, according to which Debir was not on the west of Hebron, but upon the mountains to the south, and rests entirely upon the erroneous assumption that, according to Joshua 10:38 (ויּשׁב, he turned round), as Joshua came from Eglon, he conquered Hebron first, and after the conquest of this town turned back to Debir, to take it also. But שׁוּב, does not mean only to turn round or turn back: it signifies turning generally; and it is very evident that this is the sense in which it is used in Joshua 10:38, since, according to Joshua 15:49, Debir was on the south of Hebron.)

Moreover, not very long afterwards, probably during the time when the Israelites were occupied with the subjugation of northern Canaan, Hebron and Debir were taken again by the Canaanites, particularly the Anakites, as Joshua had not entirely destroyed them, although he had thoroughly cleared the mountains of Judah of them, but had left them still in the towns of the Philistines (Joshua 11:21-22). Consequently, when the land was divided, there were Anakites living in both Hebron and Debir; so that Caleb, to whom these towns were given as his inheritance, had first of all to conquer them again, and to exterminate the Anakites (Joshua 14:12; Joshua 15:13-17 : cf. Judges 1:10-13).

(Note: By this simple assumption we get rid of the pretended contradictions, which neological critics have discovered between Joshua 10:36-39 on the one hand, and Joshua 11:21-22, and Joshua 14:12; Joshua 15:13-17 on the other, and on account of which Knobel would assign the passages last named to a different document. On the first conquest of the land by Joshua, Masius observes that "in this expedition Joshua ran through the southern region with an armed band, in too hurried a manner to depopulate it entirely. All that he needed was to strike such terror into the hearts of all through his victories, that no one should henceforth offer any resistance to himself and to the people of God. Those whom he pursued, therefore, he destroyed according to the commands of God, not sparing a single one, but he did not search out every possible hiding-place in which any could be concealed. This was left as a gleaning to the valour of each particular tribe, when it should take possession of its own inheritance.")

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