3 May. Joshua 10:29-43

3 May. Joshua conquers the southern cities of Canaan

“Joshua and all the Israelites travelled from Makkedah to Libnah and attacked it. The LORD handed over the city and its king. They killed every person in the city; no one was left alive. And they did the same thing to that king that they had done to the king of Jericho.”

“Then Joshua and all the Israelites left Libnah and went to Lachish, which they surrounded and attacked. The LORD handed over Lachish on the second day. The Israelites killed everyone in that city just as they had done to Libnah. During this same time, Horam king of Gezer came to help Lachish, but Joshua also defeated him and his army; no one was left alive.”

“Then Joshua and all the Israelites went from Lachish to Eglon. They surrounded Eglon, attacked it and captured it the same day. They killed all its people and completely destroyed everything in it as an offering to the LORD, just as they had done to Lachish.”

“Then Joshua and the Israelites went from Eglon to Hebron and attacked it, capturing it and all the little towns near it. The Israelites killed everyone in Hebron; no one was left alive there. Just as they had done to Eglon, they completely destroyed the city and all its people as an offering to the LORD.”

“Then Joshua and the Israelites went back to Debir and attacked it. They captured that city, its king and all the little towns near it, completely destroying everyone in Debir as an offering to the LORD; no one was left alive there. Israel did to Debir and its king just as they had done to Libnah and its king, just as they had done to Hebron.”

“So Joshua defeated all the kings of the cities of these areas: the mountains, southern Canaan, the western hills and the slopes. The LORD, the God of Israel, had told Joshua to completely destroy all the people as an offering to the LORD, so he left no one alive in those places.”

“Joshua captured all the cities from Kadesh Barnea to Gaza, and from Goshen to Gibeon. He captured all these cities and their kings on one trip, because the LORD, the God of Israel, was fighting for Israel. Then Joshua and all the Israelites returned to their camp at Gilgal.”

          (Joshua 10:29-43)

 


 

The Israelite conquest of the ‘promised land’ of Canaan took at least two years. The first year was occupied with a campaign to destroy the southern cities of Canaan.

The Israelites moved west from their camp on the Plains of Moab, crossed the River Jordan and attacked Jericho in April in c.1406BC. After seven days of noisy marching round the city (to intimidate the inhabitants and perhaps to distract them from the Israeli sappers who were secretly undermining the city walls) Jericho fell and was burnt to the ground.

The next target was the city of Ai. The first approach, a pitched battle outside the city, was a disaster, but a second, more subtle, approach succeeded in luring the defenders away from the city – which was then successfully destroyed in a commando raid.

After making a treaty with the people of Gibeon, the Israelites then confronted the five Amorite kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon when these Canaanite kings beseiged Gibeon. The five kings were killed in a surprise attack, and the city of Makkedah was captured.

Joshua then took advantage of the situation to destroy the southern cities of Libnah, Lachish, Eglon, Hebron and Debir (see 7 on the map on 23 April). Archaeological remains of these Canaanite cities can be found today at Tell ed Duweir (Lachish), Tell el-Khalil (Hebron) and Tell Beit Mirrim (Debir).

The well-fortified city of Jerusalem, however, remained an independent Canaanite enclave until it was captured by King David in 1004 BC.

Gezer also appears to have maintained its independence as a Canaanite stronghold, and was only handed over to the Israelites as a wedding present by Pharaoh Haremheb of Egypt when King Solomon married the pharaoh's daughter in c.970BC.

By the end of c.1406BC, the Israelites had conquered much of the southern region from Kadesh Barnea in the Negev Desert to Gaza on the Mediterranean coast, and from Goshen on the southern border with Egypt to Gibeon in the north.

The photo (by Wilson 44691) shows remains of the main gate at Lachish.

You can read more about Joshua’s conquest of Canaan @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/27-the-israelites-move-into-canaan/joshua-conquers-the-southern-cities/


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