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18 May 2020 – Joshua 10:15-27

Now the five kings had fled and hidden in the cave at Makkedah. When Joshua was told that the five kings had been found hiding in the cave at Makkedah, he said, “Roll large rocks up to the mouth of the cave, and post some men there to guard it. But don’t stop; pursue your enemies! Attack them from the rear and don’t let them reach their cities, for the LORD your God has given them into your hand.” So Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely, but a few survivors managed to reach their fortified cities. The whole army then returned safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah, and no one uttered a word against the Israelites. Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring those five kings out to me.” So they brought the five kings out of the cave—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon. When they had brought these kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, “Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came forward and placed their feet on their necks. Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” Then Joshua put the kings to death and exposed their bodies on five poles, and they were left hanging on the poles until evening. At sunset Joshua gave the order and they took them down from the poles and threw them into the cave where they had been hiding. At the mouth of the cave they placed large rocks, which are there to this day. – Joshua 10:15-27

Adolph Harstad writes:

Joshua follows the common ancient Near Eastern practice of having commanders place their feet on the necks of the defeated, cowering kings. Egyptian and Assyrian art illustrates this same ritual of war. This public display of the defeat of the Amorites will inspire Israel to continue the conquest with courage. This is how all battles will end while the LORD is “fighting for Israel.” Joshua’s words reveal his aim in following the practice: “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Be strong and courageous because thus will the LORD do to all your enemies whom you are waging war against them.”

This scene anticipates the Messiah’s victory over all enemies, whom God the Father subjugates to Him. The practiced attested in Joshua 10:24 is the background to this promise, which Jeus Himself cits in Matthew 22:44 and parallels:

The LORD said to my Lord,
“Be seated at My right hand,
Until I place Your enemies as the resting place for Your feet.” (Psalm 110:1)

MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 55
Q. 55. What is forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment forbiddeth all profaning or abusing of anything whereby God maketh himself known.

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