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Joshua 1-12 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Encouragement of Joshua

After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’s assistant: “Moses my servant is dead. Now you and all the people prepare to cross over the Jordan to the land I am giving the Israelites. I have given you every place where the sole of your foot treads, just as I promised Moses. Your territory will be from the wilderness and Lebanon to the great river, the Euphrates River—all the land of the Hittites—and west to the Mediterranean Sea. No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or abandon you.

“Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their ancestors to give them as an inheritance. Above all, be strong and very courageous to observe carefully the whole instruction my servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on[a] it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua Prepares the People

10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, 11 “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get provisions ready for yourselves, for within three days you will be crossing the Jordan to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you to inherit.’”

12 Joshua said to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, 13 “Remember what Moses the Lord’s servant commanded you when he said, ‘The Lord your God will give you rest, and he will give you this land.’ 14 Your wives, dependents, and livestock may remain in the land Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan. But your best soldiers must cross over in battle formation[b] ahead of your brothers and help them 15 until the Lord gives your brothers rest, as he has given you, and they too possess the land the Lord your God is giving them. You may then return to the land of your inheritance and take possession of what Moses the Lord’s servant gave you on the east side of the Jordan.”

16 They answered Joshua, “Everything you have commanded us we will do, and everywhere you send us we will go. 17 We will obey you, just as we obeyed Moses in everything. Certainly the Lord your God will be with you, as he was with Moses. 18 Anyone who rebels against your order and does not obey your words in all that you command him, will be put to death. Above all, be strong and courageous!”

Spies Sent to Jericho

Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two men as spies from the Acacia Grove,[c] saying, “Go and scout the land, especially Jericho.” So they left, and they came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab, and stayed there.

The king of Jericho was told, “Look, some of the Israelite men have come here tonight to investigate the land.” Then the king of Jericho sent word to Rahab and said, “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, for they came to investigate the entire land.”

But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. So she said, “Yes, the men did come to me, but I didn’t know where they were from. At nightfall, when the city gate was about to close, the men went out, and I don’t know where they were going. Chase after them quickly, and you can catch up with them!” But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them among the stalks of flax that she had arranged on the roof. The men pursued them along the road to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as they left to pursue them, the city gate was shut.

The Promise to Rahab

Before the men fell asleep, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and everyone who lives in the land is panicking because of you.[d] 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings you completely destroyed across the Jordan. 11 When we heard this, we lost heart, and everyone’s courage failed[e] because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below. 12 Now please swear to me by the Lord that you will also show kindness to my father’s family, because I showed kindness to you. Give me a sure sign[f] 13 that you will spare the lives of my father, mother, brothers, sisters, and all who belong to them, and save us from death.”

14 The men answered her, “We will give our lives for yours. If you don’t report our mission, we will show kindness and faithfulness to you when the Lord gives us the land.”

15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, since she lived in a house that was built into the wall of the city. 16 “Go to the hill country so that the men pursuing you won’t find you,” she said to them. “Hide there for three days until they return; afterward, go on your way.”

17 The men said to her, “We will be free from this oath you made us swear, 18 unless, when we enter the land, you tie this scarlet cord to the window through which you let us down. Bring your father, mother, brothers, and all your father’s family into your house. 19 If anyone goes out the doors of your house, his death will be his own fault, and we will be innocent. But if anyone with you in the house should be harmed, his death will be our fault. 20 And if you report our mission, we are free from the oath you made us swear.”

21 “Let it be as you say,” she replied, and she sent them away. After they had gone, she tied the scarlet cord to the window.

22 So the two men went into the hill country and stayed there three days until the pursuers had returned. They searched all along the way, but did not find them. 23 Then the men returned, came down from the hill country, and crossed the Jordan. They went to Joshua son of Nun and reported everything that had happened to them. 24 They told Joshua, “The Lord has handed over the entire land to us. Everyone who lives in the land is also panicking because of us.”[g]

Crossing the Jordan

Joshua started early the next morning and left the Acacia Grove[h] with all the Israelites. They went as far as the Jordan and stayed there before crossing. After three days the officers went through the camp and commanded the people, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God carried by the Levitical priests, you are to break camp and follow it. But keep a distance of about a thousand yards[i] between yourselves and the ark. Don’t go near it, so that you can see the way to go, for you haven’t traveled this way before.”

Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, because the Lord will do wonders among you tomorrow.” Then he said to the priests, “Carry the ark of the covenant and go on ahead of the people.” So they carried the ark of the covenant and went ahead of them.

The Lord spoke to Joshua: “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so they will know that I will be with you just as I was with Moses. Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant: When you reach the edge of the water,[j] stand in the Jordan.”

Then Joshua told the Israelites, “Come closer and listen to the words of the Lord your God.” 10 He said, “You will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly dispossess before you the Canaanites, Hethites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites 11 when the ark of the covenant of the Lord of the whole earth goes ahead of you into the Jordan. 12 Now choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man for each tribe. 13 When the feet[k] of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of the whole earth, come to rest in the Jordan’s water, its water will be cut off. The water flowing downstream will stand up in a mass.”

14 When the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carried the ark of the covenant ahead of the people. 15 Now the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest season. But as soon as the priests carrying the ark reached the Jordan, their feet touched the water at its edge 16 and the water flowing downstream stood still, rising up in a mass that extended as far as[l] Adam, a city next to Zarethan. The water flowing downstream into the Sea of the Arabah—the Dead Sea—was completely cut off, and the people crossed opposite Jericho. 17 The priests carrying the ark of the Lord’s covenant stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel crossed on dry ground until the entire nation had finished crossing the Jordan.

The Memorial Stones

After the entire nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord spoke to Joshua: “Choose twelve men from the people, one man for each tribe, and command them: Take twelve stones from this place in the middle of the Jordan where the priests[m] are standing, carry them with you, and set them down at the place where you spend the night.”

So Joshua summoned the twelve men he had selected from the Israelites, one man for each tribe, and said to them, “Go across to the ark of the Lord your God in the middle of the Jordan. Each of you lift a stone onto his shoulder, one for each of the Israelite tribes, so that this will be a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ you should tell them, ‘The water of the Jordan was cut off in front of the ark of the Lord’s covenant. When it crossed the Jordan, the Jordan’s water was cut off.’ Therefore these stones will always be a memorial for the Israelites.”

The Israelites did just as Joshua had commanded them. The twelve men took stones from the middle of the Jordan, one for each of the Israelite tribes, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the camp and set them down there. Joshua also set up twelve stones in the middle[n] of the Jordan where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant were standing. The stones are still there today.

10 The priests carrying the ark continued standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything was completed that the Lord had commanded Joshua to tell the people, in keeping with all that Moses had commanded Joshua. The people hurried across, 11 and after everyone had finished crossing, the priests with the ark of the Lord crossed in the sight of the people. 12 The Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh went in battle formation in front of the Israelites, as Moses had instructed them. 13 About forty thousand equipped for war crossed to the plains of Jericho in the Lord’s presence.

14 On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they revered him throughout his life, as they had revered Moses. 15 The Lord told Joshua, 16 “Command the priests who carry the ark of the testimony to come up from the Jordan.”

17 So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up from the Jordan.” 18 When the priests carrying the ark of the Lord’s covenant came up from the middle of the Jordan, and their feet[o] stepped out on solid ground, the water of the Jordan resumed its course, flowing over all the banks as before.

19 The people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and camped at Gilgal on the eastern limits of Jericho. 20 Then Joshua set up in Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken from the Jordan, 21 and he said to the Israelites, “In the future, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What is the meaning of these stones?’ 22 you should tell your children, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the water of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, just as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up before us until we had crossed over. 24 This is so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord’s hand is strong, and so that you may always fear the Lord your God.”

Circumcision of the Israelites

When all the Amorite kings across the Jordan to the west and all the Canaanite kings near the sea heard how the Lord had dried up the water of the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over, they lost heart and their courage failed because of the Israelites.

At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelite men again.” So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelite men at Gibeath-haaraloth.[p] This is the reason Joshua circumcised them: All the people who came out of Egypt who were males—all the men of war—had died in the wilderness along the way after they had come out of Egypt. Though all the people who came out were circumcised, none of the people born in the wilderness along the way were circumcised after they had come out of Egypt. For the Israelites wandered in the wilderness forty years until all the nation’s men of war who came out of Egypt had died off because they did not obey the Lord. So the Lord vowed never to let them see the land he had sworn to their ancestors to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. He raised up their sons in their place; it was these Joshua circumcised. They were still uncircumcised, since they had not been circumcised along the way. After the entire nation had been circumcised, they stayed where they were in the camp until they recovered. The Lord then said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the disgrace of Egypt from you.” Therefore, that place is still called Gilgal[q] today.

Food from the Land

10 While the Israelites camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month. 11 The day after Passover they ate unleavened bread and roasted grain from the produce of the land. 12 And the day after they ate from the produce of the land, the manna ceased. Since there was no more manna for the Israelites, they ate from the crops of the land of Canaan that year.

Commander of the Lord’s Army

13 When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua approached him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”

14 “Neither,” he replied. “I have now come as commander of the Lord’s army.”

Then Joshua bowed with his face to the ground in homage and asked him, “What does my lord want to say to his servant?”

15 The commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did that.

The Conquest of Jericho

Now Jericho was strongly fortified because of the Israelites—no one leaving or entering. The Lord said to Joshua, “Look, I have handed Jericho, its king, and its best soldiers over to you. March around the city with all the men of war, circling the city one time. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry seven ram’s-horn trumpets in front of the ark. But on the seventh day, march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the ram’s horns. When there is a prolonged blast of the horn and you hear its sound, have all the troops give a mighty shout. Then the city wall will collapse, and the troops will advance, each man straight ahead.”

So Joshua son of Nun summoned the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant and have seven priests carry seven ram’s horns in front of the ark of the Lord.” He said to the troops, “Move forward, march around the city, and have the armed men go ahead of the ark of the Lord.”

After Joshua had spoken to the troops, seven priests carrying seven ram’s horns before the Lord moved forward and blew the ram’s horns; the ark of the Lord’s covenant followed them. While the ram’s horns were blowing, the armed men went in front of the priests who blew the ram’s horns, and the rear guard went behind the ark. 10 But Joshua had commanded the troops, “Do not shout or let your voice be heard. Don’t let one word come out of your mouth until the time I say, ‘Shout!’ Then you are to shout.” 11 So the ark of the Lord was carried around the city, circling it once. They returned to the camp and spent the night there.[r]

12 Joshua got up early the next morning. The priests took the ark of the Lord, 13 and the seven priests carrying seven ram’s horns marched in front of the ark of the Lord. While the ram’s horns were blowing, the armed men went in front of them, and the rear guard went behind the ark of the Lord. 14 On the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.

15 Early on the seventh day, they started at dawn and marched around the city seven times in the same way. That was the only day they marched around the city seven times. 16 After the seventh time, the priests blew the ram’s horns, and Joshua said to the troops, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city. 17 But the city and everything in it are set apart to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and everyone with her in the house will live, because she hid the messengers we sent. 18 But keep yourselves from the things set apart, or you will be set apart for destruction. If you[s] take any of those things, you will set apart the camp of Israel for destruction and make trouble for it. 19 For all the silver and gold, and the articles of bronze and iron, are dedicated to the Lord and must go into the Lord’s treasury.”

20 So the troops shouted, and the ram’s horns sounded. When they heard the blast of the ram’s horn, the troops gave a great shout, and the wall collapsed. The troops advanced into the city, each man straight ahead, and they captured the city. 21 They completely destroyed everything in the city with the sword—every man and woman, both young and old, and every ox, sheep, and donkey.

Rahab and Her Family Spared

22 Joshua said to the two men who had scouted the land, “Go to the prostitute’s house and bring the woman out of there, and all who are with her, just as you swore to her.” 23 So the young men who had scouted went in and brought out Rahab and her father, mother, brothers, and all who belonged to her. They brought out her whole family and settled them outside the camp of Israel.

24 They burned the city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house. 25 However, Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, her father’s family, and all who belonged to her, because she hid the messengers Joshua had sent to spy on Jericho, and she still lives in Israel today.

26 At that time Joshua imposed this curse:

The man who undertakes
the rebuilding of this city, Jericho,
is cursed before the Lord.
He will lay its foundation
at the cost of his firstborn;
he will finish its gates
at the cost of his youngest.

27 And the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.

Defeat at Ai

The Israelites, however, were unfaithful regarding the things set apart for destruction. Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of what was set apart, and the Lord’s anger burned against the Israelites.

Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and scout the land.” So the men went up and scouted Ai.

After returning to Joshua they reported to him, “Don’t send all the people, but send about two thousand or three thousand[t] men to attack Ai. Since the people of Ai are so few, don’t wear out all our people there.” So about three thousand men[u] went up there, but they fled from the men of Ai. The men of Ai struck down about thirty-six of them and chased them from outside the city gate to the quarries,[v] striking them down on the descent. As a result, the people lost heart.[w]

Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the Lord until evening, as did the elders of Israel; they all put dust on their heads. “Oh, Lord God,” Joshua said, “why did you ever bring these people across the Jordan to hand us over to the Amorites for our destruction? If only we had been content to remain on the other side of the Jordan! What can I say, Lord, now that Israel has turned its back and run from its enemies? When the Canaanites and all who live in the land hear about this, they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. Then what will you do about your great name?”

10 The Lord then said to Joshua, “Stand up! Why have you fallen facedown? 11 Israel has sinned. They have violated my covenant that I appointed for them. They have taken some of what was set apart. They have stolen, deceived, and put those things with their own belongings. 12 This is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies. They will turn their backs and run from their enemies, because they have been set apart for destruction. I will no longer be with you unless you remove from among you what is set apart.

13 “Go and consecrate the people. Tell them to consecrate themselves for tomorrow, for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are things that are set apart among you, Israel. You will not be able to stand against your enemies until you remove what is set apart. 14 In the morning, present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe the Lord selects is to come forward clan by clan. The clan the Lord selects is to come forward family by family. The family the Lord selects is to come forward man by man. 15 The one who is caught with the things set apart must be burned, along with everything he has, because he has violated the Lord’s covenant and committed an outrage in Israel.”

Achan Judged

16 Joshua got up early the next morning. He had Israel come forward tribe by tribe, and the tribe of Judah was selected. 17 He had the clans of Judah come forward, and the Zerahite clan was selected. He had the Zerahite clan come forward by heads of families,[x] and Zabdi was selected. 18 He then had Zabdi’s family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was selected.

19 So Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and make a confession to him.[y] I urge you, tell me what you have done. Don’t hide anything from me.”

20 Achan replied to Joshua, “It is true. I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I did: 21 When I saw among the spoils a beautiful cloak from Babylon,[z] five pounds[aa] of silver, and a bar of gold weighing a pound and a quarter,[ab] I coveted them and took them. You can see for yourself. They are concealed in the ground inside my tent, with the silver under the cloak.” 22 So Joshua sent messengers who ran to the tent, and there was the cloak, concealed in his tent, with the silver underneath. 23 They took the things from inside the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites, and spread them out in the Lord’s presence.

24 Then Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the cloak, and the bar of gold, his sons and daughters, his ox, donkey, and sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and brought them up to the Valley of Achor. 25 Joshua said, “Why have you brought us trouble? Today the Lord will bring you trouble!” So all Israel stoned them[ac] to death. They burned their bodies, threw stones on them, 26 and raised over him a large pile of rocks that remains still today. Then the Lord turned from his burning anger. Therefore that place is called the Valley of Achor[ad] still today.

Conquest of Ai

The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid or discouraged. Take all the troops with you and go attack Ai. Look, I have handed over to you the king of Ai, his people, city, and land. Treat Ai and its king as you did Jericho and its king, except that you may plunder its spoil and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city.”

So Joshua and all the troops set out to attack Ai. Joshua selected thirty thousand of his best soldiers and sent them out at night. He commanded them, “Pay attention. Lie in ambush behind the city, not too far from it, and all of you be ready. Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. When they come out against us as they did the first time, we will flee from them. They will come after us until we have drawn them away from the city, for they will say, ‘They are fleeing from us as before.’ While we are fleeing from them, you are to come out of your ambush and seize the city. The Lord your God will hand it over to you. After taking the city, set it on fire. Follow the Lord’s command—see that you do as I have ordered you.” So Joshua sent them out, and they went to the ambush site and waited between Bethel and Ai, to the west of Ai. But he spent that night with the troops.

10 Joshua started early the next morning and mobilized them. Then he and the elders of Israel led the people up to Ai. 11 All the troops who were with him went up and approached the city, arriving opposite Ai, and camped to the north of it, with a valley between them and the city. 12 Now Joshua had taken about five thousand men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, to the west of the city. 13 The troops were stationed in this way: the main[ae] camp to the north of the city and its rear guard to the west of the city. And that night Joshua went into the valley.

14 When the king of Ai saw the Israelites, the men of the city hurried and went out early in the morning so that he and all his people could engage Israel in battle at a suitable place facing the Arabah. But he did not know there was an ambush waiting for him behind the city. 15 Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten back by them and fled toward the wilderness. 16 Then all the troops of Ai were summoned to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were drawn away from the city. 17 Not a man was left in Ai or Bethel who did not go out after Israel, leaving the city exposed while they pursued Israel.

18 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Hold out the javelin in your hand toward Ai, for I will hand the city over to you.” So Joshua held out his javelin toward it. 19 When he held out his hand, the men in ambush rose quickly from their position. They ran, entered the city, captured it, and immediately set it on fire.

20 The men of Ai turned and looked back, and smoke from the city was rising to the sky! They could not escape in any direction, and the troops who had fled to the wilderness now became the pursuers. 21 When Joshua and all Israel saw that the men in ambush had captured the city and that smoke was rising from it, they turned back and struck down the men of Ai. 22 Then men in ambush came out of the city against them, and the men of Ai were trapped between the Israelite forces, some on one side and some on the other. They struck them down until no survivor or fugitive remained, 23 but they captured the king of Ai alive and brought him to Joshua.

24 When Israel had finished killing everyone living in Ai who had pursued them into the open country, and when every last one of them had fallen by the sword, all Israel returned to Ai and struck it down with the sword. 25 The total of those who fell that day, both men and women, was twelve thousand—all the people of Ai. 26 Joshua did not draw back his hand that was holding the javelin until all the inhabitants of Ai were completely destroyed. 27 Israel plundered only the cattle and spoil of that city for themselves, according to the Lord’s command that he had given Joshua.

28 Joshua burned Ai and left it a permanent ruin, still desolate today. 29 He hung[af] the body of the king of Ai on a tree[ag] until evening, and at sunset Joshua commanded that they take his body down from the tree. They threw it down at the entrance of the city gate and put a large pile of rocks over it, which still remains today.

Renewed Commitment to the Law

30 At that time Joshua built an altar on Mount Ebal to the Lord, the God of Israel, 31 just as Moses the Lord’s servant had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the book of the law of Moses: an altar of uncut stones on which no iron tool has been used. Then they offered burnt offerings to the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings on it. 32 There on the stones, Joshua copied the law of Moses, which he had written in the presence of the Israelites. 33 All Israel—resident alien and citizen alike—with their elders, officers, and judges, stood on either side of the ark of the Lord’s covenant facing the Levitical priests who carried it. Half of them were in front of Mount Gerizim and half in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the Lord’s servant had commanded earlier concerning blessing the people of Israel. 34 Afterward, Joshua read aloud all the words of the law—the blessings as well as the curses—according to all that is written in the book of the law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read before the entire assembly of Israel, including the women, the dependents, and the resident aliens who lived among them.

Deception by Gibeon

When all the kings heard about Jericho and Ai, those who were west of the Jordan in the hill country, in the Judean foothills,[ah] and all along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea toward Lebanon—the Hethites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites— they formed a unified alliance to fight against Joshua and Israel.

When the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they acted deceptively. They gathered provisions[ai] and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys and old wineskins, cracked and mended. They wore old, patched sandals on their feet and threadbare clothing on their bodies. Their entire provision of bread was dry and crumbly. They went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant land. Please make a treaty with us.”

The men of Israel replied to the Hivites, “Perhaps you live among us. How can we make a treaty with you?”

They said to Joshua, “We are your servants.”

Then Joshua asked them, “Who are you and where do you come from?”

They replied to him, “Your servants have come from a faraway land because of the reputation of the Lord your God. For we have heard of his fame, and all that he did in Egypt, 10 and all that he did to the two Amorite kings beyond the Jordan—King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan, who was in Ashtaroth. 11 So our elders and all the inhabitants of our land told us, ‘Take provisions with you for the journey; go and meet them and say, “We are your servants. Please make a treaty with us.”’ 12 This bread of ours was warm when we took it from our houses as food on the day we left to come to you; but see, it is now dry and crumbly. 13 These wineskins were new when we filled them; but see, they are cracked. And these clothes and sandals of ours are worn out from the extremely long journey.” 14 Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions, but did not seek the Lord’s decision. 15 So Joshua established peace with them and made a treaty to let them live, and the leaders of the community swore an oath to them.

Gibeon’s Deception Discovered

16 Three days after making the treaty with them, they heard that the Gibeonites were their neighbors, living among them. 17 So the Israelites set out and reached the Gibeonite cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim. 18 But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the community had sworn an oath to them by the Lord, the God of Israel. Then the whole community grumbled against the leaders.

19 All the leaders answered them, “We have sworn an oath to them by the Lord, the God of Israel, and now we cannot touch them. 20 This is how we will treat them: we will let them live, so that no wrath will fall on us because of the oath we swore to them.” 21 They also said, “Let them live.” So the Gibeonites became woodcutters and water carriers for the whole community, as the leaders had promised them.

22 Joshua summoned the Gibeonites and said to them, “Why did you deceive us by telling us you live far away from us, when in fact you live among us? 23 Therefore you are cursed and will always be slaves—woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.”

24 The Gibeonites answered him, “It was clearly communicated to your servants that the Lord your God had commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land before you. We greatly feared for our lives because of you, and that is why we did this. 25 Now we are in your hands. Do to us whatever you think is right.” 26 This is what Joshua did to them: he rescued them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them. 27 On that day he made them woodcutters and water carriers—as they are today—for the community and for the Lord’s altar at the place he would choose.

The Day the Sun Stood Still

10 Now King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had captured Ai and completely destroyed it, treating Ai and its king as he had Jericho and its king, and that the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were living among them. So Adoni-zedek and his people were[aj] greatly alarmed because Gibeon was a large city like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were warriors. Therefore King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem sent word to King Hoham of Hebron, King Piram of Jarmuth, King Japhia of Lachish, and King Debir of Eglon, saying, “Come up and help me. We will attack Gibeon, because they have made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.” So the five Amorite kings—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon—joined forces, advanced with all their armies, besieged Gibeon, and fought against it.

Then the men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: “Don’t give up on your servants. Come quickly and save us! Help us, for all the Amorite kings living in the hill country have joined forces against us.” So Joshua and all his troops, including all his best soldiers, came from Gilgal.

The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for I have handed them over to you. Not one of them will be able to stand against you.”

So Joshua caught them by surprise, after marching all night from Gilgal. 10 The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel. He defeated them in a great slaughter at Gibeon, chased them through the ascent of Beth-horon, and struck them down as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled before Israel, the Lord threw large hailstones on them from the sky along the descent of Beth-horon all the way to Azekah, and they died. More of them died from the hail than the Israelites killed with the sword.

12 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to the Israelites, Joshua spoke to the Lord in the presence of Israel:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 And the sun stood still
and the moon stopped
until the nation took vengeance on its enemies.

Isn’t this written in the Book of Jashar?[ak]

So the sun stopped
in the middle of the sky
and delayed its setting
almost a full day.

14 There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord listened to a man, because the Lord fought for Israel. 15 Then Joshua and all Israel with him returned to the camp at Gilgal.

Execution of the Five Kings

16 Now the five defeated kings had fled and hidden in the cave at Makkedah. 17 It was reported to Joshua, “The five kings have been found; they are hiding in the cave at Makkedah.”

18 Joshua said, “Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and station men by it to guard the kings. 19 But as for the rest of you, don’t stay there. Pursue your enemies and attack them from behind. Don’t let them enter their cities, for the Lord your God has handed them over to you.” 20 So Joshua and the Israelites finished inflicting a terrible slaughter on them until they were destroyed, although a few survivors ran away to the fortified cities. 21 The people returned safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah. And no one dared to threaten the Israelites.

22 Then Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave, and bring those five kings to me out of there.” 23 That is what they did. They brought the five kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon to Joshua out of the cave. 24 When they had brought the kings to him, Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and said to the military commanders who had accompanied him, “Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So the commanders came forward and put their feet on their necks. 25 Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or discouraged. Be strong and courageous, for the Lord will do this to all the enemies you fight.”

26 After this, Joshua struck them down and executed them. He hung[al] their bodies on five trees[am] and they were there until evening. 27 At sunset Joshua commanded that they be taken down from the trees and thrown into the cave where they had hidden. Then large stones were placed against the mouth of the cave, and the stones are still there today.

Conquest of Southern Cities

28 On that day Joshua captured Makkedah and struck it down with the sword, including its king. He completely destroyed it[an] and everyone in it, leaving no survivors. So he treated the king of Makkedah as he had the king of Jericho.

29 Joshua and all Israel with him crossed from Makkedah to Libnah and fought against Libnah. 30 The Lord also handed it and its king over to Israel. He struck it down, putting everyone in it to the sword, and left no survivors in it. He treated Libnah’s king as he had the king of Jericho.

31 From Libnah, Joshua and all Israel with him crossed to Lachish. They laid siege to it and attacked it. 32 The Lord handed Lachish over to Israel, and Joshua captured it on the second day. He struck it down, putting everyone in it to the sword, just as he had done to Libnah. 33 At that time King Horam of Gezer went to help Lachish, but Joshua struck him down along with his people, leaving no survivors.

34 Then Joshua crossed from Lachish to Eglon and all Israel with him. They laid siege to it and attacked it. 35 On that day they captured it and struck it down, putting everyone in it to the sword. He completely destroyed it that day, just as he had done to Lachish.

36 Next, Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron and attacked it. 37 They captured it and struck down its king, all its villages, and everyone in it with the sword. He left no survivors, just as he had done at Eglon. He completely destroyed Hebron and everyone in it.

38 Finally, Joshua turned toward Debir and attacked it. And all Israel was with him. 39 He captured it—its king and all its villages. They struck them down with the sword and completely destroyed everyone in it, leaving no survivors. He treated Debir and its king as he had treated Hebron and as he had treated Libnah and its king.

40 So Joshua conquered the whole region—the hill country, the Negev, the Judean foothills,[ao] and the slopes—with all their kings, leaving no survivors. He completely destroyed every living being, as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded. 41 Joshua conquered everyone from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza, and all the land of Goshen as far as Gibeon. 42 Joshua captured all these kings and their land in one campaign, because the Lord, the God of Israel, fought for Israel. 43 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.

Conquest of Northern Cities

11 When King Jabin of Hazor heard this news, he sent a message to: King Jobab of Madon, the kings of Shimron and Achshaph, and the kings of the north in the hill country, the Arabah south of Chinnereth, the Judean foothills,[ap] and the Slopes of Dor[aq] to the west, the Canaanites in the east and west, the Amorites, Hethites, Perizzites, and Jebusites in the hill country, and the Hivites at the foot of Hermon in the land of Mizpah. They went out with all their armies—a multitude as numerous as the sand on the seashore—along with a vast number of horses and chariots. All these kings joined forces; they came and camped together at the Waters of Merom to attack Israel.

The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for at this time tomorrow I will cause all of them to be killed before Israel. You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots.” So Joshua and all his troops surprised them at the Waters of Merom and attacked them. The Lord handed them over to Israel, and they struck them down, pursuing them as far as greater Sidon and Misrephoth-maim, and to the east as far as the Valley of Mizpeh. They struck them down, leaving no survivors. Joshua treated them as the Lord had told him; he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots.

10 At that time Joshua turned back, captured Hazor, and struck down its king with the sword, because Hazor had formerly been the leader of all these kingdoms. 11 They struck down everyone in it with the sword, completely destroying them; he left no one alive. Then he burned Hazor.

12 Joshua captured all these kings and their cities and struck them down with the sword. He completely destroyed them, as Moses the Lord’s servant had commanded. 13 However, Israel did not burn any of the cities that stood on their mounds except Hazor, which Joshua burned. 14 The Israelites plundered all the spoils and cattle of these cities for themselves. But they struck down every person with the sword until they had annihilated them, leaving no one alive. 15 Just as the Lord had commanded his servant Moses, Moses commanded Joshua. That is what Joshua did, leaving nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses.

Summary of Conquests

16 So Joshua took all this land—the hill country, all the Negev, all the land of Goshen, the foothills, the Arabah, and the hill country of Israel with its foothills— 17 from Mount Halak, which ascends to Seir, as far as Baal-gad in the Valley of Lebanon at the foot of Mount Hermon. He captured all their kings and struck them down, putting them to death. 18 Joshua waged war with all these kings for a long time. 19 No city made peace with the Israelites except the Hivites who inhabited Gibeon; all of them were taken in battle. 20 For it was the Lord’s intention to harden their hearts, so that they would engage Israel in battle, be completely destroyed without mercy, and be annihilated, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

21 At that time Joshua proceeded to exterminate the Anakim from the hill country—Hebron, Debir, Anab—all the hill country of Judah and of Israel. Joshua completely destroyed them with their cities. 22 No Anakim were left in the land of the Israelites, except for some remaining in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod.

23 So Joshua took the entire land, in keeping with all that the Lord had told Moses. Joshua then gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal allotments. After this, the land had rest from war.

Territory East of the Jordan

12 The Israelites struck down the following kings of the land and took possession of their land beyond the Jordan to the east and from the Arnon River to Mount Hermon, including all the Arabah eastward:

King Sihon of the Amorites lived in Heshbon. He ruled from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon River, along the middle of the valley, and half of Gilead up to the Jabbok River (the border of the Ammonites), the Arabah east of the Sea of Chinnereth[ar] to the Sea of Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea), eastward through Beth-jeshimoth and southward[as] below the slopes of Pisgah.

King Og[at] of Bashan, of the remnant of the Rephaim, lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei. He ruled over Mount Hermon, Salecah, all Bashan up to the Geshurite and Maacathite border, and half of Gilead to the border of King Sihon of Heshbon. Moses the Lord’s servant and the Israelites struck them down. And Moses the Lord’s servant gave their land as an inheritance to the Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh.

Territory West of the Jordan

Joshua and the Israelites struck down the following kings of the land beyond the Jordan to the west, from Baal-gad in the Valley of Lebanon to Mount Halak, which ascends toward Seir (Joshua gave their land as an inheritance to the tribes of Israel according to their allotments: the hill country, the Judean foothills,[au] the Arabah, the slopes, the wilderness, and the Negev—the lands of the Hethites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites):

the king of Jerichoone
the king of Ai, which is next to Bethelone
10 the king of Jerusalemone
the king of Hebronone
11 the king of Jarmuthone
the king of Lachishone
12 the king of Eglonone
the king of Gezerone
13 the king of Debirone
the king of Gederone
14 the king of Hormahone
the king of Aradone
15 the king of Libnahone
the king of Adullamone
16 the king of Makkedahone
the king of Bethelone
17 the king of Tappuahone
the king of Hepherone
18 the king of Aphekone
the king of Lasharonone
19 the king of Madonone
the king of Hazorone
20 the king of Shimron-meronone
the king of Achshaphone
21 the king of Taanachone
the king of Megiddoone
22 the king of Kedeshone
the king of Jokneam in Carmelone
23 the king of Dor in Naphath-dor[av]one
the king of Goiim in Gilgal[aw]one
24 the king of Tirzahone
the total number of all kings:thirty-one.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:8 Or to recite
  2. 1:14 Or over armed
  3. 2:1 Or from Shittim
  4. 2:9 Or land panics at your approach
  5. 2:11 Lit and spirit no longer remained in anyone
  6. 2:12 Or a sign of truth
  7. 2:24 Or land also panics at our approach
  8. 3:1 Or left Shittim
  9. 3:4 Lit 2,000 cubits
  10. 3:8 Lit waters of the Jordan
  11. 3:13 Lit soles of the feet
  12. 3:16 Alt Hb tradition reads mass at
  13. 4:3 Lit feet of the priests, also in v. 9
  14. 4:9 Or Now Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle
  15. 4:18 Lit and the soles of the feet of the priests
  16. 5:3 Or The Hill of Foreskins
  17. 5:9 = to roll
  18. 6:11 Lit at the camp
  19. 6:18 LXX reads you covet and; Jos 7:21
  20. 7:3 Or send two or three military units of
  21. 7:4 Lit men from the people
  22. 7:5 Or to Shebarim
  23. 7:5 Lit people’s hearts melted and became like water
  24. 7:17 Lit forward man by man
  25. 7:19 Or and praise him
  26. 7:21 Lit Shinar
  27. 7:21 Lit 200 shekels
  28. 7:21 Lit 50 shekels
  29. 7:25 Lit him
  30. 7:26 Or of Trouble
  31. 8:13 Lit way: all the
  32. 8:29 Or impaled
  33. 8:29 Or wooden stake
  34. 9:1 Or the Shephelah
  35. 9:4 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Vg; other Hb mss read They went disguised as ambassadors
  36. 10:2 One Hb ms, Syr, Vg read So he was
  37. 10:13 Or of the Upright
  38. 10:26 Or impaled
  39. 10:26 Or wooden stakes, also in v. 27
  40. 10:28 Some Hb mss read them
  41. 10:40 Or the Shephelah
  42. 11:2 Or Shephelah, also in v. 16
  43. 11:2 Or and in Naphoth-dor
  44. 12:3 = Galilee
  45. 12:3 Or and from Teman
  46. 12:4 LXX; MT reads The territory of Og
  47. 12:8 Or the Shephelah
  48. 12:23 Or in the Slopes of Dor
  49. 12:23 LXX reads Galilee
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