In Deuteronomy, the LORD had commanded Moses that when they came into the land, they were not to make a league, or a covenant with any of the people of the land, but that they were to utterly drive them out. The reason for this command is that the religious practices of the Canaanites were so vile, so licentious, that they would have a polluting influence upon anyone.
Periods of man’s history have been very dark, indeed, and probably none darker than the period of the Canaanite history and the religious practices of these people. And so, to keep His people from the pollution, God ordered that the land be taken, the inhabitants utterly destroyed: all of their altars, their places of worship – completely obliterated in order that there would not be any remembrance of these things. God knew that if the people made a league or a covenant, then within their midst, they would have these continuing polluting influences. And He wanted to purify the land; and it was because of the degraded religious practices that God was actually using the children of Israel as His instrument to bring judgment against these people.
A lot of times people have difficulty with God ordering their complete extermination. It’s because the same people have difficulty with a God who judges sin. Later on in history God used other nations as His instruments of judgment against Israel. God oftentimes uses one nation as His instrument to bring His judgment upon another nation. So the children of Israel were instruments of God’s judgment against the corrupt religious practices of the Canaanites. God wanted His judgment to be complete, it must be sever; and thus, He ordered no covenants, no treaties – drive them all out!
So it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side of Jordan, [that is, on the west bank,] and in the hills, and in the low land, and all of the coasts of the great sea toward Lebanon, the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and the Jebusites, heard of it; [that is, heard of how Ai had fallen with Jericho,] They gathered together, to fight with Joshua and Israel, with one accord. But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to [Jericho and] Ai, They worked craftily, —
Now, the other kings decided to federate together to try to withstand the armies of Israel, but the Gibeonites decided on another rouse: rather than to fight them, they decided to deceive them; so, they worked craftily.
And they pretended to be ambassadors, and they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins, torn, and mended; old and parched sandals on their feet, and old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy. And they went to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal, —
And, incidentally, this is probably a different Gilgal than we find when Joshua first entered into the promised land. The first place, as they entered the promised land, you remember, they had the rite of circumcision and they called the name of the place “Gilgal” –“for their the reproach of Egypt was rolled away:” and ‘Gilgal’ means, “rolled away.”
And then from there they conquered Jericho, and then they moved on up to Ai, which they also conquered; and Bethel. And then, if you will remember, they came to the area in the central part of the land of Shechem: and there they had the ceremony on mount Gerizim, and mount Ebal — where they pronounced the blessings and the curses.
Now, in your Bible maps, you will see that there is also a Gilgal located in that area. And so that is probably the ‘Gilgal’ that is referred to here; the Gilgal that is in more of the central part of the country near Shechem, rather than the Gilgal down by the Jordan River. It doesn’t make sense that Joshua and all of the people would go all the way back down to the Jordan River, because they are moving from the central part of the country to take the entire land; and rather than stay on the border down near the Jordan River, the other Gilgal is, no doubt, that one that you see on your Bible maps: more in the central part of the country, just south of the area of Shechem, mount Gerizim, and mount Ebal.
So they came to the camp of Israel there at Gilgal, and they said to Joshua, and to the men of Israel, We have come from a far country: now therefore make a covenant with us. [Exodus 34:12 – “You’re not to make a covenant.”] But the men of Israel said to the Hivites, Perhaps you dwell among us; [Now, it does seem that they were suspicious: ‘How do we know that you do not dwell among us? Perhaps you do.’] So how can we make a covenant with you? And they said to Joshua, We are your servants. And Joshua said unto them, Just who are you? and where do you come from? [A little suspicious here.]
You know, I have found that so often the Lord does give you warnings. We don’t always heed them. In fact, a lot of times we just ignore them. Later we wish that we would have listened. You know, you had that little still small voice that was saying, “Watch out! Be careful.” And somehow we sort of sublimate it: we set it aside. And I think the Lord was trying to speak to Joshua here. Joshua shows that he has a little bit of doubt here: “Just who are you guys? Where do you come from?”
So they said to him, Oh from a very far country your servants have come because the name of Jehovah your God: for we have heard of his fame, and all that he did in Egypt, And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, who were on the other side of Jordan, to Sihon the king of Heshbon, and to Og the king of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth. Therefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, Take provisions with you for the journey, and go and meet them, and say to them, We are your servants: now therefore make a covenant with us. This bread of ours we took hot out of the oven for our provision from our houses on the day we departed to come to you; but now, look, it’s dry, and it’s moldy: These wineskins, which we filled, were new; and, look, they are torn: and these garments and our sandals have become old because of the very long journey.
Now, notice they didn’t say anything about hearing that they had taken Ai and Jericho; and yet, that’s exactly the reason why the people came: because they knew that Joshua was moving into the land. So it says,
The men of Israel took some of their provisions, but they did not ask counsel of the LORD.
Oh, what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. You know, there are some things that just look so good that there’s no need to pray about them: it’s obvious what is right – you can just ‘look for yourself:’ and, “See, the bread is moldy, and it’s dry.” “–No doubt these guys have come on a long journey: look at those old torn, mended wineskins. Poor fellows! I wonder how far they have been journeying.” And you look at the evidence, and you think, “Well, I don’t need to pray about this. It’s quite obvious here: I can see; I have eyes. And I can smell the old moldy bread. I don’t need to ask God about this. You know, it’s very obvious.” And it’s unfortunate that we oftentimes become involved in alliances without, first of all, praying about it, and seeking the mind of God.
And these alliances, so often, turn out to be just as was this alliance with the Gibeonites, a detriment to us for the rest of our lives. In the New Testament we are warned not to be unequally yoked together with an unbeliever: God warns us against ungodly alliances. You can hinder your walk, you can cripple yourself by an ungodly alliance; plus bring a lot of pain, and sorrow, and suffering.
I wish that sometimes we could just record some of the counseling sessions: I wouldn’t think of it, but sometimes I wish that they could be recorded so that when a young girl comes in starry eyed, and is in love with this young man, and “she knows that their love is so great, –as soon as [they’re] married, he will surely accept the Lord, and she is going to live happily ever after.” I wish you could hear the testimony of some of the young girls who were starry eyed at one time that married these fellows that weren’t saved, and hear – now: the misery, and the pain, and the suffering that they are experiencing as their husbands have not the same set of moral values, as their husbands do not hold the marriage bond sacred, as their husbands are out drinking and chasing other women. And they were sure that their love was great enough that it would bring a conversion; and they became involved in an unequal yoke with an unbeliever, much to their own chagrin, and sorrow, and pain, and suffering.
If you don’t hear anything else tonight, hear this: God’s Word is true. And the warnings of God are faithful. And when God warns you about these kind of alliances with unbelievers, you better listen to the Word of God.
–And I don’t care what the evidence may show contrary wise: “Oh, he’s so sweet; he’s so kind; he’s so generous; he’s so attentive; he’s so loving; he’s so this, he’s so that.” And you take a look at the victuals, the provisions, and you don’t inquire of the LORD: you really don’t seek the godly counsel.
And, oh, how many, many have been destroyed by going against the clear teaching of the Word of God. This ungodly alliance was formed because they did not pray. Had they prayed, and sought the wisdom of God, surely, God would have shown them.
They [the children of Israel] had the priest there: [in chapter 7] and they inquired of the LORD; you remember, it was just not long ago when they had been defeated at Ai, and Joshua prayed, and said, “LORD, how come You have allowed us to fall before our enemies?” And God said, “There is sin in the camp. Now cause all the tribes to come before Me, and I will choose the tribe; then cause the families of that tribe to come before Me, and I will choose the family; then cause the men to come before Me, and I will choose the men; and then cause that family to come man by man, and I will show you who it was.” And they went through Israel, and they got the tribe of Judah; and then they got the family; and then they got the close family; and then they came to Achan, and it all fell on Achan: and God showed them, “Here’s the man.” Out of all Israel: God fingered the man.
And God would have shown them here — had they prayed. But they didn’t pray. Let that be a lesson to us: “In all things through prayer and supplication let your request be made known unto God.” How important that we seek God’s counsel, God’s guidance, in every decision of life; lest we find ourselves shackled in a very displeasing and unfavorable state because we made a decision, because we made a commitment, because we entered into a contract without first of all seeking the wisdom, and the guidance, and the counsel of God. So, —
They took of their provisions, and inquired not of the LORD. So Joshua made peace with them, and he made a covenant with them, to let them live: and the rulers of the congregation swore to it.
So Joshua, a chosen servant of God, was not perfect. But as we pointed out this morning: thank God, He uses imperfect people to do His will. And that always surprises us. I’m always surprised whenever God uses me because I know I am imperfect. But again, if God only used perfect people, He wouldn’t be able to use anybody. So He’s got to settle with what He’s got, and that’s imperfect people. And Joshua, though a great leader, yet was imperfect; and this is one of the imperfections manifested here in his making his decision without seeking the counsel of God: he made the covenant.
And it happened at the end of three days after they had made a covenant with them, that they heard that they were their neighbors, who dwelt near them. [Three days later they find out, “Uh oh, we’ve been had.”] Then the children of Israel journeyed, and came to their cities on the third day. The cities were Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim.
Now, again, your Bible map will come in handy here: and you will find that these cities are west of Jerusalem. And they are pretty much in the center part of the country between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. In fact, today, on the main road from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, you go past Kirjathjearim [and there is not much there today but a service station, and a place to buy chocolate candy] but it is still in the foothills of what they call the Jerusalem mountains. Once you leave there, you get into the plains of Sharon, stretching on over to the Mediterranean Sea and Tel Aviv. And so it lies just west and slightly north from Jerusalem.
But the children of Israel did not attack them, because [they had made this treaty,] because the rulers of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the rulers.
“Here we are,” and they realize, “our rulers made a mistake.” And so: “they murmured against the rulers.” So, complaining about your Senator, or whatever, is nothing new. Those that are in the government, and ruling, and making your decisions: “they were murmuring against their rulers.”
Then all of the rulers said to all of the congregation, We have sworn to them by JEHOVAH God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. This we will do to them; we will let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we swore to them.
Now, even though they were deceived, yet they were honoring the covenant that was made. And that is commendable. Today, such a covenant would not need to be honored under our present laws. Any agreement that was predicated upon fraud is not binding. This was an agreement predicated upon fraud. But these men were honorable; and even though they realized that they made a mistake, they realized that they were deceived, because they had sworn before the LORD the God of Israel, they honored the oath that they had taken.
So the rulers said to them, Let them live; they will be the woodcutters and the water carriers for all of the congregation; as the rulers had promised them. [“These people said, ‘We are your servants.’ So, we will make them, then, our slaves: they will cut our wood, carry our water.”] Then Joshua called for them, and he spoke to them, saying, Why have you deceived us, saying, We are very far from you; when you actually were dwelling near us? Now therefore you are cursed, and none of you shall be free from being slaves, woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God. So they answered Joshua, and said, [Now the question was, “Why did you deceive us?”] They answered, Because it was certainly told your servants, that JEHOVAH your God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, therefore we were very much afraid for our lives because of you, and have done this thing.
So somewhere along the line they had heard what God had commanded Moses. And knowing that God had commanded Moses that all the inhabitants were to be destroyed, they feared for their lives and figured it would be better to be servants then to be destroyed.
And now, here we are, in your hands: do with us, as seems good and right to do to us. So he did to them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, so that they did not kill them. And that day Joshua made them woodcutters and water carriers for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD, in the place which he would choose, even to this day.
Now, unfortunately in time to come, they were a snare to Israel. And in time to come, because they were not obedient to God in destroying all of the idols, and all of the gods of the land, the children of Israel began to turn to these idols, and to these gods, and they began to worship them. They turned away from the true and living God.
And as we move into the next book, the book of Judges, we’re going to find this over and over again: Israel sinning against the LORD, and beginning to worship the gods of the Canaanites, the gods of the land, the gods of the people whom they had driven out — because they had not obeyed God completely.
And thus, the ungodly alliance ultimately pulled them down; as ungodly alliances will so often do: it’s a constant downward pressure. A constant pressure to compromise your convictions, to compromise your commitment unto God. And this ungodly alliance, in time, drug them down: and the children of Israel committed sin in the sight of the LORD in turning to these other gods.
Now it came to pass, when Adonizedek the king of Jerusalem had heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and utterly destroyed it; and what he had done to Jericho and its king, and so he had done to Ai and its king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them; that they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all of its men were mighty men.
Now, Adonizedek, king of Jerusalem: back in the book of Genesis we have another king of Jerusalem that is mentioned who came out to meet Melchizedek when Abraham returned from his victory over the confederation of kings. The other king that came out was Melchizedek: you remember that? [Genesis 14] Melchiz-zedek: ‘Melchiz’ is “king,” ‘zedek’ is “righteousness.” He was called, then, the “king of peace.” But the name Melchizedek is “king of righteousness.” Here the king of Jerusalem is Adonizedek, which is, “Lord of righteousness.” And it is an interesting title for the king of the city of Jerusalem. The first king mentioned in the Bible of Jerusalem, king of Salem, was Melchizedek; now here’s the second king mentioned: his name is Adonizedek.
Now, he’s heard what the children of Israel had done to the kings of Ai, Jericho; he’s heard how Gibeon has made a covenant: they were more or less depending upon Gibeon to be one of the strongholds against the children of Israel because of the mighty men that were there.
Therefore Adonizedek the king of Jerusalem sent to Hoham king of Hebron, and Piram king of Jarmuth, and Japhia the king of Lachish, and Debir the king of Eglon, saying, come up to me, and help me, that we may attack Gibeon: for it has made peace with Joshua and the children of Israel.
And so, he’s calling now on some of these major cities. And again, it is interesting to get out your Bible map and to see that these cities: first of all, Hebron is one of the major cities. It’s about 20 miles south from Jerusalem in what is known as the Jerusalem range of mountains, and it’s at the southern end of the Jerusalem range of mountains. Then over towards the coast from Hebron is Lachish, and Jarmuth, and Eglon. And so he calls together these kings, and he suggests that they pay a lesson to Gibeon for making this treaty with Joshua.
Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, camped before Gibeon, and made war against it. And the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua at the camp at Gilgal, saying, Do not forsake your servants; come up to us quickly, save us, and help us: for all of the kings of the Amorites who dwell in the mountains have gathered together against us. [So, the call went out to Joshua: “Look, we’ve got this treaty, we’ve got this mutual defense pact. Come, and help us because all of the Amorites have now come against us.”] So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all of the mighty men of valour. And the LORD said to Joshua, Do not fear them: for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you.
It’s neat how the LORD encouraged Joshua before the battle: “You’re going up against five kings now. Up until now it’s been one city at a time, now there are five of the major cities that have gathered together and you’re heading out to meet them.” And God says, “Don’t be afraid, Joshua: I have delivered them into your hand.” Well, God said that concerning the whole land: “It’s all yours; all you have to do is go in and take it.” So again, this is stepping out and possessing that which God has promised already. Even as God has given us so many glorious promises that are just waiting for us to claim, waiting for us to possess. There is so much for us in the Christian walk, there are victories for us in our Christian walk that are just waiting for us to go in and lay claim. As God said to Joshua, “Every place your put your foot, I have given that to you as your possession:” so God to the believer, to the Christian says, “Look, here is the life: it’s rich, it’s full of joy. It’s a peace that passes human understanding. It’s all yours, all you have to do is go in and possess it. Lay claim to it.”
And so Joshua on the way — God encourages him.
And so Joshua came upon them suddenly, having marched all night from Gilgal. [So, a force march of his troops coming all night from Gilgal.] So the LORD routed them before Israel, and killed them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the road that goes to Bethhoron, and struck them down as far as Azekah, and Makkedah. And it happened, as they fled before Israel, and were on the descent of Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down large hailstones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died: and there were more who died from the hailstones than those whom the children of Israel killed with the sword.
So God joined the battle and there came these giant hailstones. Now, we have read of hailstones in Texas the size of baseballs. I don’t doubt that. We were in Colorado Springs a couple of years ago visiting at Fort Collins, and I was speaking to some of the troops there when hailstones began to fall just a little smaller than golf balls. And I mean, when one of those hit you, you knew that you were hit. And we jumped into a tank with a bunch of other guys that were getting out of the way of the hailstones, and waited. And boy, you should have heard those things pelt that tank. Really good sized hailstones. And of course, when we went out there was about 4 inches of ice hailstones all over the ground. Quite a storm. And so, God joined with the battle with Joshua and the hailstones came upon the enemy: and “more were destroyed with these hailstones than Israel killed with the sword.”
Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand still over Gibeon; and, Moon, in the valley of Aijalon. So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the people had revenge upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD heeded the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.
Unusual day: unique in history. Never a day like this before or after where God so demonstrated His power to help man in a battle. This is such a remarkable incident that, naturally, it is a real problem for skeptics; and it’s a real problem for many theologians: and they try to find some plausible, natural explanation by which they can explain it away, or say it really didn’t happen. And it’s amazing how fast they can talk, and how high pitched their voices can get when they’re trying to explain away some kind of a miracle like this.
But it all boils down to your concept of God. If you believe that, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” then why should you have any problem with this? If God is big enough to create this universe in which we dwell, of which we are a very small part, if God created this earth 8,000 miles in diameter at the equator, spun it at 1,000 miles per hour on its axis, protected it with a magnetic belt, placed it in an orbit around the sun some 93,000,000 miles away from the sun traveling at about 12.5 miles a second in its orbit so that it completes the orbit every 365 days, 5 hours, 40 minutes, 9 and 4/100ths of a second; if God could do all of that and keep the thing in time, in orbit, if God is big enough to do that, then surely He is big enough to stop the thing in its spinning on its axis. I find no problem or difficulty with that, that God should stop the earth in its spinning on its axis for a period of time, causing, then, the sun to stand still in position in the sky above the earth, and the moon to stay in the same position over the valley of Aijalon. I do believe that this actually happened. I don’t have a problem with it. It’s a very simple thing for God to just stop the earth spinning, and then to flip it again and get it going once more.
The thing that I find quite amazing is the fact that the earth does continue to spin on its axis. You would think that with the law of thermodynamics that the earth would gradually slow down on its spinning on its axis; that as we are spinning, surely there would be a slowing of the spinning. Have you ever spun a top that the thing just kept going? When I was a kid we used to have these gyroscopes. You would pull the string and the things would balance on your fingers. But gradually as it would slow down, it would take quite a long time – you could spin them and it would go for a long time, but as it would gradually slow down, the thing would begin to wobble, and then it would flip over and roll across the floor. But how is it that the earth continues to spin? What is the mechanism that God has used to cause it to continue to spin?
We do understand a little about the orbits, we understand the gravitational pull that pulls it in its orbit as it is constantly falling because we’ve been able to put rockets out in orbit and satellites out in orbit. But the spinning — fascinating!
Now, there are two books written by Immanuel Velikovsky in which he does not really endeavor to prove the correctness of the Biblical account but is seeking, rather, to prove a theory of his that the planet Venus was introduced into our solar system during the historic period of man. And at the first it was a comet that came into our solar system: and its first approach near the earth took place some 52 years earlier-coinciding with the plagues on Egypt. And then some 52 years later, the second time coming into our solar system: coming close to the earth, and as the result of the near approach to the earth, this electrical impulse that went between the two giant bodies, – and the electrical impulse, for a time, stopping the earth in its orbit.
But in his endeavor to prove the theory, he takes the historic records, the annals of the ancient peoples: the Indians here in Central America, the Chinese, the various islands of the Pacific – and he follows in their historic annals this long day of Joshua. The day which, of course, was a long day there, which was a long pre-dawn here. According to the records of the Indians, there was that strange day in which the sun only came to the horizon and just hung at the horizon for a whole day without coming up. Happening 52 years after these other phenomena of rocks, meteorite showers, in which we passed through the debris of this comet, which created much of the plagues of Egypt, according to his theory. As a result they had a 52 year cycle, because it happened 52 years later, they were afraid that in another 52 years another calamity would take place. And so it happened, that every 52 years they would have all of these sacrifices, and prayers, and religious rituals to plague off any further calamities to the earth. And when nothing happened after that, then they thought it was because of all of their rituals, and the gods were appeased, and so forth. But this began a 52 year massive type of a religious celebration.
Interesting to read: I find his writings fascinating because there is a lot of original thought to them, and I love original thought. I love a man who dares to enter into some original thought. And I found the book very fascinating, along with his book, Earth’s In Upheaval, in which he is destroying completely the theory of uniformitarianism.
But God intervened and helped Joshua in the battle, causing the earth to stop for a time: its rotation on its axis, and thus, the sun standing still and the moon stopped in its position. I love it. I love the power of God. Paul prayed for the Ephesians, “If you only knew the exceeding greatness of God’s power towards us who believe.” If you only knew the power that is available to you, if you only knew God’s power that is there for your health, surely sufficient for your need. You know, I don’t need much compared to stopping the earth’s rotation on its axis, what I need is very small compared to that. But if I have a God big enough to stop the earth’s rotation on its axis, surely God can take care of my minuscule problems. I don’t have to worry about God being big enough, or strong enough, or powerful enough for me – surely He is able.
Now the five kings that fled, had hidden in a cave at Makkedah. And they told Joshua, saying, The five kings have been found hidden in a cave. And Joshua said, Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and set men by them to guard them: and do not stay there yourselves, but pursue your enemies, and attack their rear ranks; and do not allow them to enter their cities: for the LORD your God has delivered them into your hand. And then it happened, while Joshua and the children of Israel made an end of slaying them with a very great slaughter, till they had finished, that those who escaped entered fortified cities. And all of the people returned to camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace: no one moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel. Then Joshua said, Now open the mouth of the cave, bring out those five kings to me from the cave. And they did so, and brought out the five kings to him from the cave, the king of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon. And so it was, when they brought out those kings to Joshua, Joshua called for the men of Israel, said to the captains of the men of war who went with him, All right, come and put your feet on the necks of these kings. [So they made the kings lie down, and these guys put their feet on their necks.] And Joshua said to them, Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus the LORD will do to all of your enemies [in other words, ‘You will step on all of your enemies’] against whom you fight. And afterward Joshua struck them, and killed them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging on the trees until evening. And so it was at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down from the trees, and cast them into the cave where they had been hidden, and laid the large stones against the cave’s mouth, which remain until this very day. [So the end of the kings.] Now on that day Joshua took Makkedah, struck it, and its king with the edge of the sword, utterly destroyed, them, and all of the people who were in it; he did not let any remain. Then he passed on to Libnah, fought against it: the LORD delivered that city and its king into his hand. And then he went from there, unto Lachish, and from Lachish the king of Horam came up from Gezer to help the men of Lachish; and Joshua struck him. And then they went to Eglon, and destroyed it. And from Eglon to Hebron; and destroyed it. And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to Debir; and they fought against it: and he took it, and its king, and all the cities; —
Now, what he did is he went to these cities where the kings had come out against him, and because so many of the men of the cities were killed, the cities were easy for Joshua to take. The mighty men of war had already been destroyed; only a few stragglers had made it home. But the cities had become easy prey for Joshua, so he went and conquered these cities with the exception of the city of Jerusalem.
Now Jerusalem, because of the way it was situated and fortified, was a difficult city to take: it was a city of the Jebusites and it was difficult to take. And thus, the Jebusites remained. Joshua did not conquer the city of Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem was not conquered until David became king years later. And so, the other four cities, though, were taken by Joshua at this time.
And he conquered all of the land of the mountain country, and of the south, the lowland, the wilderness slopes, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel had commanded. And Joshua conquered them from Kadeshbarnea as far as Gaza, and all of the country of Goshen, even as far as Gibeon. And all of these kings and their land Joshua took at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel. And then Joshua returned, and all of Israel with him, to the camp at Gilgal.
And so, the conquest of the southern area of the land: the land that was later to become the land of Judah, and part of the land which was to become the territory of Benjamin.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7066