ON THE SURFACE LEVEL THIS CHAPTER IS THE STORY OF JOSHUA'S CONQUEST OF THE SOUTHERLY PART OF THE LAND OF CANAAN. ON ANOTHER LEVEL IT IS THE STORY OF YAHUSHA’S TRUSTWORTHINESS TO DO WHAT HE HAS PROMISED HE WOULD DO FOR YISHARAL: DEFEAT THE ENEMY AHEAD OF YISHARAL’S ARMY AND ASSURE POSSESSION OF THE PROMISED LAND BY HIS BLOOD-COVENANT PEOPLE. AND ON YET ANOTHER LEVEL IT DEMONSTRATES WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEONE IS FULLY OBEDIENT TO YAHUSHA, WITHOUT FEARING THE OBSTACLES THAT THE WORLD THROWS IN OUR WAY OF ATTEMPTING TO CARRY OUT THOSE INSTRUCTIONS, AND THAT VICTORY IS ALWAYS COSTLY AND ONLY RARELY A SMOOTH ROAD.
RECALL IN OUR LAST CHAPTER THAT YISHARAL MADE A PEACE-TREATY WITH GIBEON AFTER BEING TRICKED AND THEN DECIDED THAT THE VOW THEY MADE WAS MORE IMPORTANT TO KEEP THAN YAHUSHA'S INITIAL INSTRUCTION TO DRIVE OUT ALL THE CANAANITES? AND NOW THEY WERE STUCK WITH THE RESULTS, OF COURSE DISMISSING THE REALITY THAT FROM THIS MOMENT FORWARD THEY WERE OPERATING IN REBELLION AND WICKEDNESS, BECAUSE THEY DID NOT OBLITERATE THIS CANAANITE PEOPLE. AND DON’T FORGET THAT UP UNTIL NOW YISHARAL HAD REALLY NOT MADE ANY SERIOUS HEADWAY IN OCCUPYING THE PROMISED LAND, AND HAD ONLY FOUGHT IN TWO BATTLES: JERICHO AND AI. BOTH BATTLES SERVED A DIVINE PURPOSE OF EDUCATING YISHARAL ABOUT THE NATURE OF SET-APART WAR: THE NECESSITY OF BEING SCRUPULOUSLY OBEDIENT TO THEIR DIVINE WARRIOR ALAHIM YAHUSHA (WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THEY WERE, AND WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THEY WEREN’T), AND NEVER COUNTING ON THEIR OWN STRENGTH BUT RATHER ON THE POWER OF YAHUSHA IF THEY WANTED VICTORY. THE MATTER OF GIBEON MAKING A PEACE-TREATY WITH YISHARAL BECAME KNOWN THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE REGION VERY RAPIDLY, AND IT SHOOK THE OTHER TRIBES AND NATIONS WHO LIVED IN THE LAND OF CANAAN.
King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem, heard that Joshua had captured and destroyed the town of Ai, and then killed its King as he had done at Jericho (placing it under the ban). He also learned that the Gibeonites had signed a peace-treaty with Yisharal. This frightened Adoni-zedek and his people for they knew that Gibeon was a large town, as big as the towns that had Kings, and even bigger than the town of Ai had been. And all of the men of Gibeon were warriors. So Adoni-zedek sent messages to the Kings of four other towns:
King Hoham of Hebron,
King Piram of Jarmuth,
King Japhia of Lachish and
King Debir of Eglon.
And the messages said, “The Gibeonites have signed a peace-treaty and `shacked-up’ (so to speak) with Joshua and the Yisharalites. It’s time for us all to join forces and go at’em . . . come on, get off your orts and help me attack Gibeon immediately!”
ADONI-ZEDEK RULED OVER THE CITY-STATE OF JERUSALEM AT THIS TIME AND THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO REMIND OURSELVES THAT JERUSALEM WAS NOT FOUNDED BY YISHARAL; RATHER IT WAS KING DAVID WHO CAPTURED IT AND MADE IT HIS CAPITAL CITY. THE BEST AND EARLIEST RECORDS GIVE THE CREDIT FOR THE INCEPTION OF THAT CITY TO THE JEBUSITES. JUST WHO THE JEBUSITES WERE IS A WHOLE OTHER MATTER. THERE IS MUCH INDICATION THAT THEY WERE A BRANCH OR SUB-TRIBE OF THE AMORITES.
THE FIRST KNOWN NAME FOR THE CITY NOW CALLED JERUSALEM WAS JEBUS (A CANAANITE WORD), THEREFORE THE RESIDENTS OF JEBUS WERE RIGHTLY CALLED JEBUS-ITES. IN ARAMAIC AND ARABIC THE SAME CITY WAS CALLED SALEM. SO JEBUS AND SALEM WERE BOTH RECOGNISED EARLY NAMES FOR JERUSALEM.
IN GENESIS WE READ OF THE MYSTERIOUS MELCHI-ZEDEK, KING AND HIGH PRIEST OF SALEM (JERUSALEM). OF COURSE THIS WAS A TIME OVER 600 YEARS BEFORE THE ERA OF JOSHUA AND THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN. SO JERUSALEM WAS ALREADY AN OLD CITY BY THE TIME THE YISHARALITES ARRIVED.
NOTICE THE SIMILARITY BETWEEN THE TWO NAMES MELCHI-ZEDEK, AND ADONI-ZEDEK. THE FIRST TRANSLATES LITERALLY TO KING OF PURITY, RIGHTNESS AND JUSTICE (what they call `righteousness') AND THE 2ND TRANSLATES TO MASTER OF PURITY, RIGHTNESS AND JUSTICE. IN REALITY THEY ARE SYNONYMOUS TERMS. IT WAS THE TRADITION OF THE RESIDENTS OF JEBUS TO GIVE ALL THE KINGS OF THEIR CITY-STATE ESSENTIALLY THE SAME NAME; AND THE NAME WAS NOT REALLY A NAME, IT WAS MORE OF A TITLE. E.G MESSIAH IS A TITLE AND YAHUSHA IS A FORMAL NAME. THE PHARAOH IS A TITLE WHILE RAMESES IS A FORMAL NAME. AND ADONI-ZEDEK WAS THE TITLE FOR THE CURRENT KING OF JEBUS (JERUSALEM), AND WE DON’T KNOW WHAT HIS FORMAL NAME WAS.
INTERESTINGLY IT HAS BEEN SUSPECTED EVEN IN THE DAYS OF ANTIQUITY THAT ABRAHAM MAY HAVE BEEN AN AMORITE, SINCE THEY WERE A TRIBE, OR NATION, OR CULTURE THAT CAME FROM MESOPOTAMIA (WHICH IS WHERE ABRAHAM CAME FROM). AND IF THE SUSPICION THAT THE PEOPLE OF JEBUS (THE JEBUSITES) WERE A BRANCH OF THE AMORITES, THAT COULD POSSIBLY EXPLAIN WHY ABRAHAM WOULD HAVE BEEN SO FAMILIAR WITH MELCHI-ZEDEK WHO WAS THE KING OF THE CITY OF JEBUS AT THAT TIME (THEY MAY WELL HAVE BOTH BEEN AMORITES). THAT IS NOT PROVED, JUST SPECULATION BASED ON ONLY SOME EVIDENCE, HOWEVER MANY BELIEVE MELCHI-ZEDEK WAS YAHUSHA HIMSELF ? (AS I DO !)
NOW ONE OF THE REASONS THAT ADONI-ZEDEK WAS SO UPSET BY GIBEON QUICKLY RUNNING TO YISHARAL WAS THAT GIBEON WAS A GREAT CITY. IT WAS NOT SOME SMALL HELPLESS GROUP OF PEOPLE; GIBEON WAS A GROUP OF SEVERAL CITIES THAT WERE AS BIG AS WHAT WERE CALLED THE ROYAL CITIES. THE ROYAL CITIES WERE WHERE THE KING OF A PARTICULAR REGION RESIDED. THE ROYAL CITIES WERE THE LARGEST, RICHEST, MOST FORTIFIED CITIES. IF A KING HAD A STANDING ARMY, THE ROYAL CITY WAS WHERE IT WAS GARRISONED. SO FOR A POWERFUL CITY/STATE LIKE GIBEON TO RUN TO JOSHUA SEEKING TO MAKE PEACE-TERMS EVEN BEFORE IT WAS ATTACKED, ANGERED AND TERRIFIED NOT ONLY ADONI-ZEDEK BUT MANY OF THE SCORES OF KINGS THAT RULED THROUGHOUT CANAAN. SO THEIR FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS WAS TO ATTACK GIBEON.
THE COALITION THAT WOULD GO AGAINST GIBEON (CONSISTING OF JERUSALEM (JEBUS), HEBRON, YARMUTH, LACHISH, AND EGLON) WERE ALL CITIES IN THE SOUTH OF CANAAN.
HEBRON WAS ABOUT A 7-HOUR MARCH FROM JERUSALEM,
YARMUTH ONLY ABOUT 3 HOURS SOUTHWEST OF JERUSALEM.
LACHISH AND EGLON WERE QUITE CLOSE TO ONE ANOTHER, NEAR GAZA, A BIT SOUTHWEST OF HEBRON.
IT SEEMS THERE WAS A SENSE OF URGENCY AND THEY GATHERED AND MOVED TOWARDS GIBEON VERY RAPIDLY. GIBEON MUST HAVE BEEN CAUGHT WHOLLY UNPREPARED BY THE APPROACH OF ADONI-ZEDEK’S FORCES AND SO THEY IMMEDIATELY SOUGHT JOSHUA’S INTERVENTION ON THEIR BEHALF.
And when these five Amorite Kings called their armies together and attacked Gibeon, the Gibeonites sent a message to the Yisharalite camp at Gilgal: “Joshua, you gotta come help us mate, we’re completely surrounded! Those crooks the Amorite Kings from the outback have joined-forces and are sitt'in right on our doorstep waiting to attack! We are your servants guys, so don’t let us down. Please.....you're our only hope, get over here now or we’re stuffed!”
STOP AND THINK FOR A MINUTE ABOUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED HERE. ONLY DAYS (MAYBE A FEW WEEKS) EARLIER GIBEON HAD DECEIVED YISHARAL AND MADE A PEACE-TREATY WITH THEM. YISHARAL DECIDED TO MAKE GOOD ON THE TREATY EVEN THOUGH THE ENTIRE PREMISE FOR ITS ESTABLISHMENT WAS A LIE AND WAS AGAINST THE DIRECT INSTRUCTIONS OF YAHUSHA. I’M SURE IT WAS A TOTAL SHOCK TO YISHARAL WHEN ALMOST IMMEDIATELY THEY FOUND THEMSELVES IN THIS INSANE SITUATION IN WHICH (DUE TO THAT UNAUTHORISED TREATY AND A RASH VOW TO YAHUSHA) THEY WERE OBLIGATED TO PUT YISHARAL’S LIVES AT STAKE TO FIGHT ON GIBEON’S BEHALF! HERE WERE A PEOPLE THAT YAHUSHA DEEMED AS HIS ENEMY, WORTHY ONLY OF DESTRUCTION, AND YISHARAL WOULD NOW MOVE AGAINST OTHER ENEMIES TO SAVE GIBEON. TALK ABOUT A LOSE-LOSE SITUATION.
BUT EVEN THOUGH YISHARAL HAD MADE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE IN ALLYING THEMSELVES WITH GIBEON, YAHUSHA DECIDED TO USE IT ALL FOR HIS PURPOSES.
AFTER YISHARAL WAS USHERED INTO CANAAN OVER A MIRACULOUSLY PLUGGED UP JORDAN RIVER, AND AFTER JERICHO WAS TAKEN BY A SERIES OF SUPERNATURAL ACTS OF YAHUSHA, AND AFTER THE 2ND BATTLE FOR AI THAT WENT LIKE CLOCKWORK, YISHARAL WAS WONDERING WHERE TO MAKE THEIR NEXT MOVE AND JUST HOW TO INITIATE IT. BECAUSE IF THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN WAS GOING TO BE THE SERIAL ATTACKING OF FORTIFIED CITIES THROUGHOUT THE LAND ONE AT A TIME, YISHARAL’S LOSSES WERE GOING TO MOUNT UP AND THE AMOUNT OF TIME IT WOULD TAKE WOULD BE GENERATIONS. AND NO PEOPLE CAN SUSTAIN A HIGH-LEVEL WAR EFFORT FOR DECADES.
SO YAHUSHA USED GIBEON TO TAKE THAT NEXT STEP. YOU SEE BY DEFINITION THESE 5 KINGS WHO CAME TOGETHER TO ATTACK GIBEON WERE KINGS ALL OVER ROYAL CITIES. THEY EACH LIVED AND RULED IN SUBSTANTIAL WALLED CITIES. ALL THE CITIES HAD NEARLY IMPENETRABLE BARRIERS FOR DEFENCE, AND SINCE THE METHOD OF ATTACKING A WALLED CITY WAS BY SIEGE, THE EFFORT WAS TIME-CONSUMING AND THE CASUALTY RATE OF THE ATTACKING FORCE WAS ALWAYS HIGH. MOST OF THE TIME SIEGE WARFARE WAS MORE OR LESS ABOUT BLOCKADING A CITY; NO ONE COULD COME IN OR GO OUT. THE CITY’S RESIDENTS COULD NOT TEND FIELDS OR ORCHARDS SO THEIR FOOD SUPPLY WAS LIMITED. THEIR SUPPLY OF WOOD FOR COOKING FIRES WAS LIMITED. THEY COULD NOT ENTERTAIN MERCHANT TRADERS FROM OTHER LANDS THAT (EVEN AT THIS POINT IN HISTORY) WERE RELIED UPON FOR CRITICAL ITEMS LIKE WEAPONS, SALT, MEDICINES AND MORE. IT WAS A WAITING GAME AND THE FORCE THAT SURROUNDED THE WALLED CITY USUALLY HAD THE UPPER HAND. THE ADVANTAGE FOR THE KING AND RESIDENTS OF THE WALLED CITY WAS WEATHER AND ATTRITION (WAITING FOR THE ENEMY TO GET TIRED, IMPATIENT, LOSE HOPE, WEAR OUT AND GIVE UP). IF THEY HAD PLANNED WELL ENOUGH, STOCKPILED ENOUGH FOOD AND WEAPONS, HAD A SUBSTANTIAL WATER SOURCE INSIDE THE CITY WALLS, AND PESTILENCE AND DISEASE DIDN’T PLAY TOO BIG OF A ROLE, IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT FOR AN OPPOSING ARMY TO FORCE ITSELF INTO THE CITY. AS OFTEN AS NOT IMPATIENCE WOULD LEAD TO AN ALL OUT ASSAULT ON THE CITY AND SO MANY SOLDIERS WOULD DIE THAT THE CONQUERING FORCE SIMPLY GAVE UP AND WENT HOME.
THINK BACK TO THE BATTLE STRATEGY FOR YISHARAL AGAINST AI. BECAUSE YISHARAL AT FIRST CAME AGAINST AI WITH TOO FEW TROOPS, AND THEN TURNED TAIL AND RAN WHEN AI FOUGHT BACK FIERCELY, THE LEADERS OF AI FULLY EXPECTED THE SAME SORT OF THING TO HAPPEN WHEN YISHARAL TRIED AGAIN. SO JOSHUA TURNED THIS TO HIS ADVANTAGE.
YOU SEE THE TRICK IS TO GET THE ARMY TO COME OUT FROM THE CITY INTO THE OPEN. TO LEAVE THEIR TALL DEFENSIVE WALLS, THEIR HIGH-GROUND POSITIONS, AND BECOME VULNERABLE. THE MILITARY LEADERS AT AI WANTED TO STRIKE A SERIOUS AND DEMORALISING BLOW TO YISHARAL SO WHEN THEY FELT THAT YISHARAL WAS TOO WEAK TO CAUSE THEM ANY REAL TROUBLE THEY BURST OUT FROM INSIDE THEIR THICK STONE FORTRESS AND CHASED AFTER THE YISHARALITE ARMY. LITTLE DID THEY KNOW THAT ANOTHER HIDDEN GROUP OF HEBREW SOLDIERS WAS WAITING FOR THEM TO LEAVE SO THAT THE YISHARALITE ARMY COULD GO IN. WHEN THE ARMY OF AI LEFT, AND THE AMBUSH WAS SPRUNG, IT WAS OVER IN A MATTER OF HOURS.
SO HERE WE HAVE 5 KINGS REPRESENTING 5 SUBSTANTIAL KINGDOMS IN CANAAN THAT WERE ON YAHUSHA’S TO-DO LIST. SOONER OR LATER YISHARAL WAS GOING TO HAVE TO DO BATTLE WITH EACH OF THESE KINGDOMS AND DESTROY THEM IN ORDER TO OCCUPY THE PROMISED LAND. YAHUSHA SIMPLY EXPEDITED THE PROCESS USING GIBEON AS BAIT. THESE 5 KINGS MADE THE FATAL MISTAKE OF TAKING THEIR ARMIES AWAY FROM THEIR STRONG DEFENSIVE POSITIONS, AWAY FROM THEIR WALLED FORTRESSES, OUT INTO THE OPEN, FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN TO DISPLAY THEIR ANGER AGAINST SOME FELLOW CANAANITES (THE GIBEONITES) WHO FELT IT WISER TO SWITCH SIDES THAN FIGHT.
So Joshua and his army (including his best warriors) left Gilgal. “Joshua,” Yahusha said, “Don’t be afraid of those Amorites. They’ll run away when you attack, and I’ll help you defeat them.”
So Joshua marched all night from Gilgal to Gibeon and made a surprise attack on the Amorite camp by night. And Yahusha made the enemy panic, and the Yisharalites started killing them right and left. They chased the Amorite troops up the road to Beth-Horon and kept on killing them, until they reached the towns of Azekah and Makkedah. And while these troops were going down through the Beth-Horon Pass, Yahusha made huge hailstones fall on them all the way to Azekah and more of the enemy soldiers died from the hailstones than from the Yisharalite’s swords.
A FLEEING ARMY IS BOTH RACKED WITH FEAR AND UNORGANISED. AND THIS ARMY WAS FAR AWAY FROM THE SAFETY OF THEIR 30 FOOT HIGH, 10-FOOT THICK WALLS BACK HOME. THE CHASE WAS ON; THE GOAL OF THE 5 ARMIES WAS TO GET BACK TO THEIR HOME-BASE AND REGROUP BEHIND THOSE CITY WALLS. BUT JOSHUA’S JOB WAS TO PREVENT THAT; SO WHILE THOSE 5 ARMIES WERE OUT IN THE OPEN THEY COULD BE MUCH MORE EASILY DEALT WITH THAN IF JOSHUA ALLOWED THOSE ENEMY TROOPS TO MAKE IT HOME. THEN HE’D HAVE TO USE SIEGE WARFARE, ONE CITY AT A TIME, TO TAKE THEM. THE TIME WAS NOW.
THE COALITION ARMY FLED TOWARD BETH-HORON WHERE THERE WAS A PATH THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS THAT MIGHT PROVIDE AN ESCAPE PATH. BETH-HORON MEANS, “THE HOUSE OF CAVES”. THE AREA WAS LITTERED WITH CAVES AND SOON THE 5 KINGS WOULD USE ONE OF THEM TO TRY AND HIDE FROM JOSHUA’S FORCES.
BETH-HORON WAS MORE A REGION THAN A TOWN. THESE PASSAGES SPEAK OF AN UPPER AND LOWER BETH-HORON (OR ASCENT AND DESCENT). THIS PLACE IS NORTHWEST OF GIBEON. UPPER BETH-HORON IS HIGH UP IN THE HILLS AND IS ABOUT 5 MILES FROM GIBEON, LOWER BETH-HORON ABOUT 1 ½ MILES FURTHER. AS THEY WERE IN THE PASS DESCENDING OUT OF BETH-HORON YAHUSHA HIMSELF SMOTE THE ARMY OF THE 5 KINGS WITH HAILSTONES. THE STONES WERE LARGE ENOUGH AND CAME UPON THEM SO SUDDENLY THAT MORE OF THEM DIED FROM THE HAILSTORM THAT WAS KILLED BY THE SWORD.
Joshua could see that Yahusha was helping the Yisharalites defeat the Amorites that day, so about noon he began speaking to Yahusha in a loud voice (so that the Yisharalites could hear). “OUR MIGHTY YAHUAH, MAKE THE SUN STOP IN THE SKY OVER GIBEON, AND THE MOON STAND STILL OVER AIJALON VALLEY.” So the sun and the moon stopped and stood still until Yisharal had defeated its enemies! What? Is this hard to believe? Isn’t this written in the Book of Yashar also? The sun indeed stood still and didn’t hurry to go down for a whole day and never before (and never again since) has Yahusha ever done anything like that, listening to the voice of a man, for He truly fought for Yisharal.
NOW WE GET ONE OF THE MORE FAMOUS AND PUZZLING STORIES IN THE ENTIRE SCRIPTURE. IT IS THE STORY OF THE DAY THAT THE SUN STOOD STILL IN THE SKY AND NIGHT REFUSED TO FALL, ON ACCOUNT OF JOSHUA ASKING YAHUSHA TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. FIRST OF ALL THERE WAS A VERY PRACTICAL REASON THAT JOSHUA WANTED FOR THE DAYLIGHT TO GO ON LONGER THAN NORMAL. BATTLES ENDED AT SUNSET IN THAT ERA. IT WAS A SIMPLE MATTER OF NOT BEING ABLE TO DISCERN ENEMY VERSUS FRIEND. PLUS THEY WERE EXHAUSTED AND NEEDED FOOD AND REST. IN THIS PARTICULAR INCIDENT THE TROOPS OF THE 5-NATION COALITION WERE ANXIOUS FOR THE DARKNESS TO COME SO THAT THEY COULD HIDE AND THEN ESCAPE FROM JOSHUA’S CLUTCHES.
THEY STOOD A VERY GOOD CHANCE OF MOST OF THEM MAKING A STEALTHY RETURN DURING THE NIGHT TO THEIR HOME CITIES. JOSHUA PERFECTLY UNDERSTOOD THIS AND REALISED THAT THERE WAS NO SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH DAYLIGHT HOURS TO FINISH TO THE JOB.
JOSHUA SAYS THAT THESE VERSES ARE, “WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF JASHER”. IN HEBREW IT IS THE “SEFER OF YASHAR”. YASHAR IS NOT SOMEONE’S NAME. THE BOOK OF YASHAR HAS NEVER BEEN FOUND, BUT IT OBVIOUSLY EXISTED AT SOME POINT IN HISTORY. IT IS THOUGHT TO BE A COMPILATION OF POEMS AND WAR SONGS ABOUT SOME OF YISHARAL’S GREATEST HEROES. KEEP IN MIND THAT THE BOOKS OF MOSES (INFACT ALL THE ANCIENT SCRIPTURES) WERE NOT WRITTEN LIKE A DAILY JOURNAL OR A DIARY. MOST OF THE BOOKS HAD A PRIMARY AUTHOR, BUT PROBABLY NOT EVEN ONE OF THEM WAS COMPLETED START TO FINISH BY THE SAME PERSON. THE TIME FRAME WAS SIMPLY TOO LONG, AND USUALLY IT WAS WRITTEN IN RETROSPECT. SO WHOEVER CONTRIBUTED THIS SECTION OF JOSHUA HAD A DOCUMENT AT HIS DISPOSAL THAT WAS CALLED THE BOOK OF YASHAR, AND IT MUST HAVE BEEN POPULARLY KNOWN. THEREFORE THE FORM OF THE QUOTE ABOUT THE SUN STANDING STILL IS POETRY AND THUS WE MUST TAKE IT IN THAT VEIN. EXACTLY HOW LITERALLY WE SHOULD TAKE IT IS THE ISSUE THAT HAS CREATED A MULTITUDE OF OPINIONS ABOUT THESE 2 SMALL VERSES.
OBVIOUSLY A MIRACULOUS WONDER WAS INVOLVED. THERE IS REALLY NO OTHER WAY TO READ IT OR ACCOUNT FOR IT UNLESS WE WANT TO SIMPLY SEE IT AS A HEBREW FAIRYTALE (AS MANY DO). THE SCENE HAS JOSHUA ASKING YAHUSHA TO KEEP THE SUN AND MOON FROM SETTING AND THUS PREVENTING NIGHTFALL. HOW IS IT THAT BOTH THE SUN AND THE MOON ARE MENTIONED SINCE IT IS A DAYTIME EVENT? WELL WE’VE ALL SEEN THE FAINT GLOW OF THE MOON DURING THE DAY, HAVEN’T WE? IN OUR CURRENT NARRATIVE WE HAVE THE SUN HOVERING OVER GIBEON AND TO THE WEST, OVER AJALON, WAS THE OUTLINE OF THE MOON. THE SUN WAS ON ITS DECLINE AND THE MOON ON ITS ASCENT.
JOSHUA CRIED OUT TO YAHUSHA TO HELP HIM BY GIVING HIM MORE DAYLIGHT HOURS, AND YAHUSHA DID IT. IT IS INTERESTING THAT THE TEXT SAYS THERE WAS NO DAY LIKE THAT DAY BEFORE IT OR AFTER IT, AND PART OF THE REASON FOR THE MOMENTOUS NATURE OF THAT DAY WAS THAT “YAHUSHA HEARKENED UNTO THE VOICE OF A MAN”. WHAT MAKES THIS INTERESTING IS THE WORD “HEARKEN”.THE HEBREW WORD THAT IS USUALLY TRANSLATED AS HEARKEN OR LISTEN IS SHEMA.
AND SHEMA OR HEARKEN DOESN’T JUST SIMPLY MEAN TO LISTEN, IT MEANS TO HEAR AND OBEY! IT IS NOT A PASSIVE WORD OF SIMPLY HEARING SOMETHING, LIKE LISTENING TO THE SOUND OF THE WIND, OR LISTENING TO SOME MUSIC. RATHER IT CARRIES WITH IT A SENSE OF ACTION; THE HEARING BRINGS THE DOING. TO SHEMA IS TO HEAR SOMETHING AND THEN DO IT.
NOW IT WOULD BE A TAD TOO FAR, PROBABLY, TO SAY THAT YAHUSHA OBEYED JOSHUA. YET, POETICALLY SPEAKING, THAT’S SORT OF THE IDEA THAT IS BEING BROUGHT ACROSS HERE. IT IS PORTRAYING JOSHUA AS HAVING SUCH GREAT STANDING WITH YAHUSHA, AND DISPLAYING SUCH PERFECT OBEDIENCE, THAT JOSHUA SPEAKING IT CAUSES YAHUSHA TO ACT WITHOUT DECIDING THE RIGHTNESS OR WRONGNESS OF IT. I THINK THE BEST WAY FOR US TO THINK OF IT IS AS IN EXODUS WHEN YAHUSHA EXPLAINED THAT AS HIS MEDIATOR, WHEN MOSES SPOKE SOMETHING IT WAS AS IF YAHUSHA HIMSELF SPOKE IT. WHEN MOSES ORDERED THE NILE TO TURN BLOOD-RED HE DIDN’T HAVE TO GO TO YAHUSHA, CONSULT WITH HIM, AND THEN YAHUSHA TURN AROUND AND ORDER THE RIVER TO CHANGE COLOR. YAHUSHA PUT AUTHORITY INTO THE MOUTH OF MOSES SUCH THAT MOSES COULD ORDER THESE THINGS USING YAHUSHA’S POWER. AND THIS IS THE SAME SENSE THAT IS HAPPENING HERE. IT IS BUT ANOTHER WAY OF EXPLAINING THAT WHEN JOSHUA ORDERED THE SUN NOT TO SET, IT WAS AS IF YAHUSHA HAD ORDERED IT.
NOW, IS THAT ACTUALLY WHAT HAPPENED? DID THE EARTH ACTUALLY STOP ROTATING FOR A TIME, OR DID ITS ROTATION SLOW WAY DOWN FOR A FEW HOURS? TAKEN AT ITS MOST LITERAL THIS IS NOT SAYING THAT THE SUN ARRIVED AT ITS ZENITH AND STAYED THERE, PERFECTLY STILL. RATHER IT IS SAYING THAT THE SUN STOOD IN THE MIDST OF THE SKY, MEANING THAT IT DID NOT SET. AS IT SAYS IT DID NOT HASTEN (IT DID NOT HURRY) TOWARDS THE HORIZON SO AS DAY WOULD BECOME NIGHT.
ISN'T THIS AMAZING !
I BELIEVE YAHUSHA ACTUALLY DID THIS
BECAUSE HE CAN DO ANYTHING
And after the battle, Joshua and the Yisharalites went back to their camp at Gilgal.
A WONDERFUL YAHUSHA-PATTERN IS IN PLAY HERE. AFTER THEIR MISSTEPS AT AI AND THEN THEIR MAKING PEACE WITH GIBEON, YISHARAL DETERMINED TO OBEY YAHUSHA AND DO IT HIS WAY FROM THEN ON. SO THEY HANDILY DEFEATED THE ARMY OF THE 5 KINGS AND NOW THEIR REWARD WAS NOT ONLY SWIFT VICTORY BUT ALSO THEY WERE USHERED SAFELY BACK TO HOME AND FAMILY. THEY RETURNED TO THEIR CAMP WHERE THEY HAD WHOLENESS, SAFETY, AND HEALTH.
BATTLE WAS NOT YISHARAL’S NATURAL STATE THAT YAHUSHA INTENDED FOR THEM;
SHALOM (PEACE) WAS THEIR NATURAL STATE.
Obedience brought them more quickly back to the goal of safety and security and peace, and this as a reward and gift from Yahusha. Remember Shalom transcends mere peace, stability, protection and prosperity . . . It is the overall sense of health and well-being, happiness and loving-intimacy that only Yahusha can bless us with.
HOWEVER WHEN YAHUSHA SAYS THAT HE HAS ALREADY TURNED THE ENEMY OVER TO THEM IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT YISHARAL CAN SIT IN THE COMFORT AND EASE OF THEIR CAMP, CHILL OUT AND REMINISCE SWEET STORIES ABOUT YAHUSHA, AND JUST WAIT FOR THE ENEMY TO SURRENDER. IT WAS YISHARAL’S JOB TO GO AND CLAIM THAT VICTORY THAT YAHUSHA HAD ALREADY GIVEN TO THEM.BUT TO CLAIM IT MEANT TO BATTLE FOR IT. TO CLAIM IT MEANT LIVES HAD TO BE RISKED, INJURIES ENDURED, HARDSHIPS EXPERIENCED, AND FEARS OVERCOME. YAHUSHA GIVES US FERTILE FIELDS FOR GROWING FOOD; BUT WE MUST PLANT THE CROPS AND GUARD THEM FROM WEEDS AND PESTS. YAHUSHA’S AMAZING PROCESSES CAUSE THE SEEDS TO GERMINATE, THE RAINS TO FALL, THE PLANTS TO GROW AND THE GRAIN TO RIPEN; BUT WE HAVE TO GO TO THE FIELDS AND HARVEST THE RESULTS, GATHER AND WINNOW IT, AND THEN PREPARE IT FOR EITHER STORAGE OR IMMEDIATE CONSUMPTION. YAHUSHA HAS HIS PART; AND WE HAVE OUR PART; THAT IS THE VERY DEFINITION OF A RELATIONSHIP. OUR PART, HOWEVER, IS NOT TO SIMPLY SIT AND WATCH AS YAHUSHA DOES HIS PART. EVEN AT JERICHO WHEN THE WALLS OF THE CITY FELL DOWN BY SUPERNATURAL COMMAND AND NOT BECAUSE OF A SIEGE, YISHARAL WAS STILL REQUIRED TO CRAWL OVER THE RUBBLE AND PUT THE INHABITANTS OF JERICHO TO THE SWORD. THE INHABITANTS WOULD HAVE RESISTED; SO YISHARAL DID NOT COME OUT UNSCATHED.
While the enemy soldiers were running from the Yisharalites, the five enemy Kings ran away and hidden in a cave near Makkedah. Joshua’s soldiers told him, “The five Kings have scarpered and run away to the caves near Makkedah.” And Joshua answered, “Get some big bastard stones and roll’em over the mouth of the cave and leave a few soldiers to guard it. But you and everyone else must push on, after the enemy troops, because if they make it back home, it’s all over red rover, and they’ll be safe behind the walls of their towns again. So don’t let them get away! Put ya runners on and high-tail it guys. Yahuah our Alahim is helping us get rid of them by drawing them all out.” So Joshua and the Yisharalites almost wiped out the enemy soldiers and only a few safely reached their walled towns.
WE DON’T REALLY KNOW HOW MUCH TIME ELAPSED FROM WHEN THE 5-KING COALITION ATTACKED YISHARAL TO WHEN THE FIGHTING STOPPED AND THEN JOSHUA FINALLY DEALT WITH THE 5 KINGS. IT COULD HAVE BEEN SEVERAL WEEKS, EVEN MORE. ALTHOUGH THE TONE OF THE NARRATIVE MAKES IT SEEM AS THOUGH THIS ALL HAPPENED IN A COUPLE OF DAYS, IT’S REALLY ONLY THE TYPICAL HEBREW WAY OF RECORDING SUCH THINGS. TIME WASN’T ALL THAT IMPORTANT. EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED IN WHAT ORDER WASN’T ALWAYS IMPORTANT (BUT WHEN IT WAS, IT WAS MADE QUITE CLEAR).
Then the Yisharalite army returned to their camp at Makkedah, where Joshua was waiting for them. And no one around there dared cop any cheek to the Yisharalites, for they were on their best behaviour.
AFTER CHASING THE REMNANTS OF THE 5 DEFEATED ARMIES, THE YISHARALITES ONCE AGAIN RETURN FOR SOME R & R. THIS TIME, THOUGH, THE YISHARALITE TROOPS ARE AT MAKKEDAH. SOME FIND THIS TO BE IN CONFLICT WITH THE STATEMENT JUST 6 VERSES EARLIER WHEN IT SAY THE YISHARALITE TROOPS RETURNED TO THEIR ENCAMPMENT AT GILGAL. BUT IT WAS NORMAL THEN, AS NOW, TO SET UP TEMPORARY BASES AS TROOPS MOVED AWAY FROM THE HOME LOCATION. GILGAL WAS HOME BASE, MAKKEDAH WAS A TEMPORARY BASE FOR THE TROOPS INVOLVED IN THE CURRENT FORAY. THE BULK OF YISHARAL LIKELY REMAINED IN GILGAL; THOSE TROOPS CHOSEN TO GIVE CHASE TO THE ENEMY SURVIVORS HAD A REMOTE BASE SET-UP AT MAKKEDAH WHERE JOSHUA HAD DECIDED TO BIVOUAC WHILE WAITING TO DEAL WITH THOSE 5 KINGS.
THE TEXT SAYS THAT NO ONE SAID A WORD AGAINST ANY OF THE PEOPLE OF YISHARAL. WHAT IT LITERALLY SAYS IS, “….BUT AGAINST ANY OF THE CHILDREN OF YISHARAL SHALL NOT A DOG WET HIS TONGUE”. THIS IS A HEBREW IDIOM THAT MEANS THAT THE RETURNING TROOPS DIDN’T ENCOUNTER ANY HOSTILITY ON THEIR WAY BACK, NOR UPON ENTERING THE MAKKEDAH AREA. NONE OF THE FRIENDS AND ALLIES OF THOSE 5 KINGS DARED TO HARASS YISHARAL, AND NONE OF THE RESIDENTS OF THE CITY OF MAKKEDAH (THE NAMESAKE AND LOCATION OF THE CAVE THOSE 5 KINGS WERE NOW IMPRISONED IN) MADE ANY TROUBLE FOR YISHARAL.
Then Joshua told his soldiers, “Get rid of the rocks from the entrance to the cave and bring those five ratbag Kings to me.”
So the soldiers opened the entrance to the cave and brought out the Kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon. And after Joshua had called the army together, he forced the five kings to lie down on the ground. Then he called his officers forward and told them, “You guys fought these Kings along with me, so come and put ya’boot on their necks and let's give'em `Yahuah's royal treatment’ .”
And the officers stepped forward and put their feet on the 5 King's necks, and Joshua continued, “Look at me guy! Pay attention now! Don’t you dare be intimidated or come under these pathetic royal windbags. They aren't with Yahuah, they are His enemies, so don’t ever be afraid or discouraged, but be strong and bloody brave! Can you see now and believe it? THIS IS WHAT AWAITS ALL WHO STAND AGAINST YAHUAH AS HIS ENEMIES.”
THE TIME OF RECKONING WAS AT HAND; JOSHUA ORDERED THAT THE 5 KINGS BE BROUGHT TO HIM. WHAT A REGAL PARADE THAT MUST HAVE BEEN! IMAGINE, THE KINGS OF JERUSALEM (JEBUS AT THIS TIME), HEBRON, YARMUTH, LACHISH, AND EGLON ARRAYED BEFORE JOSHUA KNOWING WHAT AWAITED THEM; FIRST HUMILIATION THEN DEATH. JOSHUA WOULD USE THESE KINGS TO MAKE A POINT; HE CALLED HIS OFFICERS FORWARD, HAD THE KINGS LAY PROSTRATE ON THE GROUND BEFORE JOSHUA AND THEN, IN TURN, EACH OF YISHARAL’S ARMY COMMANDERS PUT THEIR FOOT ON THE NECKS OF THESE KINGS.
I KNOW THIS SOUNDS BARBARIC, BUT IT WAS NOT ABOUT STOMPING ON THESE KINGS’ BACKS OR NECKS TO CAUSE INJURY. IT WAS BUT A STANDARD MIDDLE EASTERN SYMBOL TO INDICATE TO ALL PRESENT JUST WHO RULED OVER WHO. FOR A COMMON YISHARALITE TO PUT THEIR FOOT ON THE NECK OF ROYALTY WAS PROBABLY PRETTY INTIMIDATING FOR JOSHUA’S OFFICERS BECAUSE KINGS WERE HELD HIGH AND THEY WERE GREATLY FEARED (JUST LIKE THE EXPRESSION `WHAT IF THE QUEEN CAME TO DINNER?'. IT WAS COMMONLY UNDERSTOOD THAT THEY WERE MORE THAN HUMAN, EVEN CONNECTED TO THE DEITIES AND SOME WOULD BECOME GODS UPON THEIR DEATH. BUT AT THE SAME TIME IT DEMONSTRATED TO THOSE WHO PLACED THEIR FOOT ON THE NECK OF THE KINGS AND TO ALL THE YOUNGER OFFICERS WHO WERE PRESENT AND WATCHING, THAT IT WAS YISHARAL (AND BY DEFAULT YISHARAL’S ALAHIM) WHO WAS SUPERIOR DESPITE THE TITLE OF KING THAT THESE MEN BESTOWED UPON THEMSELVES. IF FACT JOSHUA NEEDED TO ENCOURAGE HIS OFFICERS TO COME FORWARD AND ENGAGE IN THIS SYMBOLIC GESTURE BY TELLING THEM NOT TO BE AFRAID OR CONFUSED; WHICH MEANS THEY INDEED WERE A BIT RELUCTANT TO DO THIS ACT.
And Joshua killed the five kings and told his men to hang each body on a tree. Then at sunset he told some of his troops, “Take those rank bodies down and throw them into the same cave where they cowered from us, then cover the entrance to the cave with those big rocks again. They wanted to be there so much, let’em rot there.” So Joshua’s troops obeyed his orders, and those rocks are still there.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER JOSHUA HAD THE 5 KINGS EXECUTED AND THEIR BODIES IMPALED ON WOODEN POLES. EVEN THOUGH MOST VERSIONS SAY THEY WERE “HUNG ON A TREE”, THE HANGING DID NOT MEAN WITH A ROPE AROUND THEIR NECKS, AND THE HEBREW WORD FOR TREE AND FOR WOOD IS THE SAME: RATHER AS WAS CUSTOMARY AND PICTURED ON SEVERAL OLD ASSYRIAN RELIEFS, THIS MEANT BEING KILLED AND THEN THEIR LIFELESS BODIES HUNG ON A POLE. THIS ACT OF IMPALEMENT WAS (SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL) AN ORIENTAL SYMBOLIC GESTURE THAT MEANT THE CONDEMNED PERSON WAS ALSO CURSED. IN FACT WE SEE THE HEBREWS AGREE WITH AND PERFECTLY UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF BEING HUNG (IMPALED) ON A TREE AS INDICATING BEING CURSED (WHICH BY DEFINITION MEANS BEING CURSED BY YAHUSHA).
DEUT 21 BRS "Now if a criminal is put to death, and you hang the dead body on a tree, you must not let it hang there overnight, because anyone hung on a tree is cursed by Yahuah, and likewise the dead body of a criminal will bring Yahuah’s curse on the land if not buried the same day. Don’t forget that Yahuah your Alahim is giving this land to you, so don’t make it unclean by leaving the bodies of executed criminals on display for all to see".
AND THIS INSTRUCTION FROM DEUTERONOMY IS ALSO WHY WE READ THAT AT SUNSET (MEANING BEFORE THE CURRENT DAY ENDED) THE KINGS’ BODIES WERE REMOVED FROM THEIR DEATH STAKES AND THROWN BACK INTO THE SAME CAVE WHERE THEY HAD BEEN HIDING. THIS UNDERSTANDING ABOUT THE CONNECTION BETWEEN BEING IMPALED ON A POLE (A TREE) AND BEING CURSED BY YAHUSHA OF COURSE DIDN’T CHANGE MUCH OVER TIME. LISTEN TO PAUL IN GALATIANS: DEATH BY EXECUTION WAS UNDERSTOOD TO BE A LEGAL, FORMAL AND FINAL SEPARATION OF A PERSON FROM THE COMMUNITY OF YISHARAL AND WITH THAT UNDERSTANDING LET’S NOW LOOK AT THE WELL-KNOWN VERSE THAT SPEAKS OF THE STATE OF A PERSON WHO IS HANGED AS IT RELATES TO MESSIAH:
"Yahusha redeemed us from the Curse of the Law, having become a curse for us, for it’s written, “Anyone hung on a tree is cursed by Yahuah.“ GAL 3 BRS(REMEMBER THE `CURSE OF THE LAW' WAS A JUDICIAL TERM REFERRING TO THE DEATH PENALTY IN A SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM ONLY DESIGNED TO ATONE FOR UNINTENTIONAL CRIMES).
So Joshua and the Yisharalites fought and captured Makkedah, Libnah, Lachish, Eglon and Debir, killing all their Kings and the people in their towns, just like that had done to Jericho. Infact Joshua captured towns everywhere in the land: In the central hill country and the foothills to the west, in the Southern Desert and the region that slopes down toward the Dead Sea. Whenever he captured a town, he would kill the King and everyone else, just as Yahusha had instructed. Joshua wiped out towns from Kadesh-Barnea to Gaza, everywhere in the region of Goshen (NOT THE SAME GOSHEN AS IN EGYPT) and as far north as Gibeon.
And Yahusha fought on Yisharal’s side, so Joshua and the Yisharalite army were able to capture these Kings and take their land. They fought one battle after another, then they went back to their camp at Gilgal after capturing all that land.
THE CHAPTER ENDS WITH JOSHUA AND HIS FIGHTING MEN RETURNING TO THEIR MAIN ENCAMPMENT OF GILGAL, WHERE THE TABERNACLE WAS SET UP AND THE SANCTUARY RITUALS, SACRIFICES, AND SERVICES OF THE HIGH PRIEST, COMMON PRIESTS AND LEVITES WOULD GO ON FOR MANY DECADES.
GILGAL, THEN, WAS THE ORIGINAL SEMI-PERMANENT LOCATION FOR THE WILDERNESS TABERNACLE IN THE LAND OF CANAAN. MANY YEARS LATER IT WOULD MOVE AND FOR MANY MORE YEARS RESIDE IN SHILOH. WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO GRASP IS THAT WHEREVER THE SANCTUARY OF YAHUSHA WAS RESTING, THERE WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT PLACE IN THE SET-APART LANDS FOR THE PEOPLE OF YISHARAL. THAT IS WHERE THEY ALL WENT FOR THEIR PILGRIMAGE FESTIVALS, WHERE THEY WENT TO PRESENT THEIR SACRIFICES, WHERE THEY TOOK THEIR FIRSTBORN SONS TO REDEEM THEM. WHEN YAHUSHA CALLED FOR A SET-APART ASSEMBLY OF YISHARAL, FOR DECADES AND DECADES AFTER CROSSING THE JORDAN, THAT PLACE WAS GILGAL. IT WOULD BE AROUND 3 CENTURIES BEFORE JERUSALEM WOULD FINALLY TAKE ON THAT ESPECIALLY SET-APART STATUS BY MOVING THE PRIESTHOOD AND THE SANCTUARY THERE TO MOUNT MORIAH.
WAR OR PEACE ?
1 THESS 5:BYNV"Now brothers, as to the times and the seasons, you do not need to be written to. For you yourselves know very well that "THE DAY OF YAHUAH," comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "PEACE AND SAFTY!" Then suddenly destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman, and they shall not escape.(Read the rest of chapter 5 + REV 6-19).
Reading the Scriptures will give us a good understanding of what is about to transpire on the face of this earth very shortly. Donald Trump has almost completed negotiating "PEACE TREATIES" between Israel, and the surrounding Arab nations. The First Beast (pope) is visiting the Second Beast in Israel soon, to work out how they will create the false power of Yahuah to come down from heaven as fire on the new temple, and burn up the 'red heifer' sacrifice. This phenomena will cause people globally, to worship the first beast through the second beast. Which is all done through religion, politics and wealth, which will be announcing "PEACE AND SAFETY." We are about to be hit with the worlds greatest scam and because people are spiritually asleep, they will be amazed and in awe of the image speaking from the "HOLY FIRE"in the new temple of Jerusalem.
IF WE ARE NOT PREPARED WITH THE OIL OF EXPERIENCE & BEHAVIOUR LOADED UP IN OUR LAMPS, WE ARE IN DANGER OF BEING DECEIVED TO WORSHIP THIS BEAST.
LUKE 8 BYNV "And on a certain day it came to be, that He entered into a boat with His pupils, and He said to them, "Let us go to the other side of the lake." and they sailed away. And as they were sailing He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down upon the lake, and they were filling up, and were in danger. And they came to Him and woke Him up, saying, "Master, Master, we are perishing!"And He awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water, and they ceased, and there came a calm. And He said to them, "Where is your belief?" And they were afraid, and marvelled, saying to one another, Who then is this, that He even commands the winds and water, and they obey Him.
WELL MAY WE SAY,"WHO IS THIS" ? These verses speak to us of many things especially our behaviour towards our saviour. Many people do not even know of Him, let alone know Him personally, which is a requirement of our deliverance i.e. The Ten Maidens. The seas of Humanity are in turmoil and their arrogant waves of foam is the pride of the nations, which will be squashed, as Yahusha rises up many weather conditions against their idolatry and disobedience. They will ask that same question,"WHO IS THIS ?"Accepting Yahusha as Messiah and saviour will calm the storm of your own humanity, and bring calm and peace into your own lives. Then you will know the miraculous experience of Yahusha's peace. Today there is a destructive storm looming over humanity which will destroy everything they have made, their bragging pride will be turned to fear and trepidation. They will find no peace or calming from this unstoppable attack, so while you are able, ask that question WHO IS THIS YAHUSHA ? and find for yourself from this dreaded day of Yahuah.