« PreviousContinue »
stones upon the Amorites as they fled, which killed more people than were slain with the sword. While the Israelites were pursuing their enemies, Joshua called upon God, and said, “ Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon ; and thou moon, in the valley of Ajalon.” And it pleased God that the sun should not go down for that whole day, so that the people should see to overthrow their enemies; and the sun did not set, or the moon rise, until the Amorites were destroyed. “ And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man : for the LORD fought for Israel.”
When Joshua and his soldiers were gone back to their camp in Gilgal, word was brought that the five kings were hid in a cave at Makkedah. So when all the fighting was over, Joshua caused them to be brought out, and put to death ; and Joshua gave the people a message from the LORD: “Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of a good courage : for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.” After this Joshua led
. the Israelites against the country of all those kings by God's command, and destroyed all His enemies. And against many other kings
and their people Joshua made war. also, taking all the cities, and slaying the heathen inhabitants; and he was everywhere conqueror, because he was obeying God's command, and fighting with the help of His right arm.
Then when all the land of Canaan was conquered, Joshua divided the country among the tribes. Of all the first generation of Israelites, none beside Joshua were permitted to enter that land of promise save Caleb, and to him God had given His word that he should live to enter in, because of his faith when he was sent by Moses to spy out the land. Now that all God's words were fulfilled, and the Israelites had taken possession of Canaan, Caleb came to Joshua and said, “Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea ? Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land, and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart. Nevertheless, my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy
children's for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the Lord my God. And now, behold, the Lord hath kept me alive, as He said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet am I as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both
go out and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day: for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced, if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said."
Then Joshua blessed Caleb, and gave him Hebron as his part of the land. Every tribe had its own portion, and Joshua also appointed certain cities of refuge, where any one who had unawares killed another man might fly and be safe. “ Thus the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which He sware to give unto their fathers, and they possessed it, and dwelt therein ; and the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that He sware unto their fathers : and
there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. There failed not aught of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel ; all came to pass.”
THE DEATH OF JOSHUA.
In course of time, after God had long given Israel rest from all their enemies round about, Joshua waxed old and stricken in age. Then he called all the people together, and spoke to the elders and chief men among them, reminding them of all God had done for them. “Ye have seen,” he said, “ all that the Lord
your God hath done unto all these nations because of
you; for the LORD your God is He that hath fought for you.”
Then Joshua repeated the Lord's promises to His people, adding, “Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left.” Above all they were to keep from mixing with the heathen nations that yet remained around; from bowing down to their false gods,
or swearing by them ; or letting their sons and daughters marry among the heathen.
< But cleave unto the LORD your God as ye have done unto this day; for the Lord hath driven out from before you great nations and strong, and as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day. One man of you shall chase a thousand : for the LORD your God, He it is that fighteth for you, as He hath promised you. Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.”
Further, Joshua warned the children of Israel that if they disobeyed God's commands, all their enemies would have power against them, and they would perish from off the good land which God had given them.
Once more Joshua gathered the people together before his death, and gave them the last message God had sent them through him. He bade them call to mind all the great wonders and mercies the LORD had shown to their fore. fathers, and to themselves, in bringing them to Canaan ; and after going through the history of all that wonderful time, Joshua went on to say,
“Now therefore, fear the LORD, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth; and put away