Tenach: The Canaani Nations Prepare a Joint Attack

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When Adoni Tzedek the King of Yerushalayim heard that the city of Ai had been captured and totally destroyed and what had happened to the city of Yericho as well as to its king and that the inhabitants of Givon had signed a peace treaty with the Jews he was beside himself and a great sense of fear overtook him. He knew that Givon was a large city and its people were mighty warriors. He therefore immediately messengers to Hoham the king of Chevron, and to Piram the king of Yarmus, and to Yafia the king of Lakish and to Devir the king of Eglon asking them to join him in battle against the Givonim for daring to make a peace treaty with the Jews. They wanted all to know that under no circumstances was anyone to make a peace treaty with the Jews. The five kings assembled their armies and declared war against the Givonim. The Givonim realized that they were greatly outnumbered and would easily be defeated, and therefore sent a message to Yehoshuah to come to please help them.

Hashem told Yehoshuah that he had nothing to fear and that he would easily defeat them. That very same night, Yehoshuah when on the offensive, taking the armies of the five kings completely by surprise. The soldiers began to panic and run for their lives with the Jewish army cashing after them at full speed. As the enemy ran past a very narrow passageway known as Bais Choron, Hashem threw giant boulders at them from the heavens above killing far more of them then the Jewish army were able to kill on their own. It was Friday afternoon and the chase continued. Yehosuah didn’t want to give up the chase in order to kill every last man and so he turned to the sun and cried out “Sun stand still over Givon and moon over the valley of Ayolon. Suddenly in front of the very eyes of everyone the sun and the moon came to a complete stop just as it had happened in the times of Moshe his Rebbi in their war against Sichon the King of the Emori. Everyone looked up in the sky in utter amazement. This was truly a miracle of historic proportions. It was open proof that Hashem fought their battles.

As Yehoshuah was returning to Gilgol he was told that the five kings had escaped and were hiding in a cave in Makeida. Yehoshuah ordered his men to seal the entrance of the cave with a large boulder so that they couldn’t escape. In the meantime everyone is to continue chasing the enemy and not give them a chance to enter their fortified cities. The war ended with the enemy totally devastated and destroyed. This great victory put the fear of G-d into their enemy’s heart and even a dog dared not bark.

Yehoshuah now had his men open up the mouth of the cave and pulled out the five kings that had been hiding there and were unable to escape. Their faces showed terror and fear and they begged for mercy. Yehoshuah told his generals to press their foot down on their necks. So Hashem will do to all those that dare to lift a finger against them. They were killed and their bodies hung until evening. They continued their case and soon captured the King of Makeido and gave him the same treatment as the others. They were finally given a small taste of their own medicine and treated in the same way they had treated others. Only by showing them that they would be executed without any mercy would the message go out to their many other enemies to keep their distance and stay clear.

But the war was far from over. Without taking any time out to rest, they attacked the nearby kingdoms of Makaida and Livna and then went on to capture the city of Lakish. Next, they went on to capture Eglon, Chevron and Devir. They killed every last man, women, and child just as Hashem had commanded them. These people were so brutal and filled with hatred that even allowing one of them to remain alive would have drastic consequences in future years. A forest grows from just one seed. This is something that the great King Shaul did not fully understand. History has soon us the consequences of being merciful yet, for some strange reason some keep repeating this same mistake. These people also lived a perverted lifestyle and would easily spread their perversion to all those around them. All we have to do is look at what’s happening today and one can clearly see how easily we are influenced by what is happening in our midst.

Yehoshuah now went on to capture the southern part of the country unfortunately still leaving a small strip near the Mediterranean unconquered. The people who lived there, known as the Pelishtim, would be a cause of much trouble in later years.

Because of a peace treaty Avrohom had made many years earlier with one of the tribes that dwelled in part of Yerushalayim, Yehoshuah was unable to capture the entire city and therefore it was only partially taken. The capture of the entire city would have to wait to be taken by Dovid HaMelech many years later.

The Bnei Yisrael now returned to the city of Gilgal where they set up the Mishkon that had been with them while they were in the desert. This time it was slightly reconstructed and made into a more permanent structure.