Joshua 10:9
Joshua therefore came to them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) And went up.—Better thus, And Joshua came upon them suddenly; (for) all the night he had marched (come up) from Gilgal. The expression “went up” is geographically correct, because the line of march from Gilgal to Gibeon is an ascent the whole way.

Joshua 10:9. Joshua came unto them suddenly — Though assured by God of the victory, yet he uses all prudent means. And went up from Gilgal — all night — It is not said that he went from Gilgal to Gibeon in a night’s space, but only that he travelled all night; unto which you may add part either of the foregoing or of the following day. It is true, God had promised that he would, without fail, deliver the enemies into his hand. But God’s promises are intended, not to slacken, but to quicken our endeavours. He that believeth, doth not make haste to anticipate providence; but doth make haste to attend it, with a diligent, not a distrustful speed.10:7-14 The meanest and most feeble, who have just begun to trust the Lord, are as much entitled to be protected as those who have long and faithfully been his servants. It is our duty to defend the afflicted, who, like the Gibeonites, are brought into trouble on our account, or for the sake of the gospel. Joshua would not forsake his new vassals. How much less shall our true Joshua fail those who trust in Him! We may be wanting in our trust, but our trust never can want success. Yet God's promises are not to slacken and do away, but to quicken and encourage our endeavours. Notice the great faith of Joshua, and the power of God answering it by the miraculous staying of the sun, that the day of Israel's victories might be made longer. Joshua acted on this occasion by impulse on his mind from the Spirit of God. It was not necessary that Joshua should speak, or the miracle be recorded, according to the modern terms of astronomy. The sun appeared to the Israelites over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Ajalon, and there they appeared to be stopped on their course for one whole day. Is any thing too hard for the Lord? forms a sufficient answer to ten thousand difficulties, which objectors have in every age started against the truth of God as revealed in his written word. Proclamation was hereby made to the neighbouring nations, Behold the works of the Lord, and say, What nation is there so great as Israel, who has God so nigh unto them?The language reflects the urgency of the crisis. Accordingly Joshua made a forced march, accompanied only by his soldiers Joshua 10:7, and accomplished in a single night the distance from Gilgal to Gibeon (about 15 miles in a direct line), which on a former occasion had been a three days' journey Joshua 9:17. 9. Joshua therefore came upon them suddenly—This is explained in the following clause, where he is described as having accomplished, by a forced march of picked men, in one night, a distance of twenty-six miles, which, according to the slow pace of Eastern armies and caravans, had formerly been a three days' journey (Jos 9:17). Though assured by God of the victory, yet he useth all prudent means, and surpriseth them. It is not said that he went from Gilgal to Gibeon in a night’s space, but only that he travelled all night; unto which you may add part either of the foregoing or of the following day. Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly,.... Which no doubt threw them into consternation and confusion:

and went up from Gilgal all night; he chose the night for secrecy and surprise, and that he might be the sooner with the enemy, and to the assistance and relief of Gibeon; and as it was about nine or ten miles from Gilgal to Gibeon, it was easily performed in a night's march; See Gill on Joshua 9:6.

Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. came unto them suddenly] He marched the whole night, and in the morning, “when the sun rose behind him, he was already in the open ground at the foot of the heights of Gibeon, where the kings were encamped.”Verse 9. - Suddenly. By a night march, so that he might surprise the confederates at the dawn of day. One of Joshua's chief characteristics as a general was celerity (see Joshua 11:7). Masius praises Joshua for his prudence and diligence, and adds, "Qua arte Julium Caesarem tot victoriis clarum fuisse ne ipse quidem dissimulavit." And went up. There is no "and" in the original. It runs thus: "All the night he went (or had gone) up from Gilgal." The 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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