Joshua 10 Commentary
The fall of Ai wasn’t good news to the neighboring city-states. Their own fate lay in waiting. The kings knew they needed unity against their common enemy – Israel. Gibeon’s voluntary but deceitful surrender to Israel worked against the required unity of purpose. So the rest grouped together and advanced against Gibeon.
On request from Gibeon, Israel advanced against the five kings of the Amorites and defeated them all in a single campaign. The takeover of these cities is reported with a tone of finality that should interest us. Jerusalem is one of the cities. We know that several hundreds of years later Israel was still fighting to establish itself against the locals. It is only King David that marched and took charge of the city – giving it a ceremonial name of Zion. Jerusalem would be in the hands of Israel for several hundreds of years until the Babylonian empire.
It is providence that the LORD subjects us to constant battle. The Christian victory doesn’t eliminate the enemies completely. They still remain to regroup and launch another attack on the saint. Even today, Jerusalem is a city divided between Israel and Palestine (sounds like the Philistines).
In the immediate context, we can bask in the victories of Joshua.
The LORD was so interested in Israel’s victory that He stilled the movement of the Sun until the battle was won. Nature was commanded to work in support of the LORD’s cause. The saint isn’t alone in her battles.
While history isn’t the main purpose of the Bible, the work itself is rich in historical references. Verse 13 informs us of the Book of Jashar which also recorded the miracle of the Sun standing still on request from Joshua. It is this miracle that the human author highlights to explain the LORD’s raised hand against the Canaanite peoples. Victory follows victory until huge tracts of land are subdued in a single swipe.
Chapter 10 is sweet. The LORD is swiftly fulfilling His promises. Who wouldn’t ask for this kind of experience! In Jesus Christ, we have a real Joshua whose surge into enemy territory was completed at the cross. In salvation, we can live this victory in the present.
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