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14 May 2020 – Joshua 10:1-5

Now Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Ai and totally destroyed it, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and that the people of Gibeon had made a treaty of peace with Israel and had become their allies. He and his people were very much alarmed at this, because Gibeon was an important city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were good fighters. So Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem appealed to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish and Debir king of Eglon. “Come up and help me attack Gibeon,” he said, “because it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.” Then the five kings of the Amorites—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon—joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it. – Joshua 10:1-5

Adolph Harstad writes:

The kings of the land have a new reason to dread Israel. Not only have the LORD’s people destroyed Jericho and Ai, but now Gibeon, a formidable city has succeeded in securing a covenant of peace with Israel. Together they present a mighty threat. That these Canaanite kings fear the Israelites is amazing. Just recently the nation had wandered in the desert as a band of people without a homeland. The LORD, in keeping His promises, has brought about a dramatic change.

The name “Jerusalem” occurs for the first time in the Bible in 10:1. The city was mentioned earlier in Gen 14:18 under the name “Salem.” Apart from the Bible, early references to Jerusalem appear in the Ebla tablets from about a thousand years before Joshua and in the Amarna letters from about his time. …

While Jerusalem means “foundation of peace,” her king no longer thinks of himself as dwelling in a safe place. Both he and his people are alarmed at the sudden changes in Canaan brought about by Israel’s God. The king’s name, Adoni-zedek, means “my lord is righteousness” or “lord of righteousness.” In this pagan Canaanite setting, “lord” probably refers to Baal, the chief male fertility god, or to El, the head of the Canaanite pantheon. …

Adoni-zedek’s fear is understandable. Gibeon is just eight miles northwest of Jerusalem, an disrael’s camp at Gilgal is only twenty miles down the road to the northeast. Israel and the Gibeonites, living near one another, could team up in a hurry against Jerusalem. Hearing the reports that the kings of Jericho and Ai were impaled on trees (Josh 8:29) would not bring peace of mind either. Add to that the knowledge that Gibeon is a “great city” and that all of Gibeon’s men are “warriors” (10:2).

MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 52
Q. 52. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment are, God’s sovereignty over us, his propriety in us, and the zeal he hath to his own worship.