King Adonizedek of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had captured and destroyed the town of Ai, and then killed its king as he had done at Jericho. He also learned that the Gibeonites had signed a peace treaty with Israel. 2
This frightened Adonizedek and his people. They knew that Gibeon was a large town, as big as the towns that had kings, and even bigger than the town of Ai had been. And all of the men of Gibeon were warriors. 3
So Adonizedek sent messages to the kings of four other towns: King Hoham of Hebron, King Piram of Jarmuth, King Japhia of Lachish, and King Debir of Eglon. The messages said, 4
“The Gibeonites have signed a peace treaty with Joshua and the Israelites. Come and help me attack Gibeon!” 5
When these five Amorite kings called their armies together and attacked Gibeon, 6
the Gibeonites sent a message to the Israelite camp at Gilgal: “Joshua, please come and rescue us! The Amorite kings from the hill country have joined together and are attacking us. We are your servants, so don't let us down. Please hurry!” 7
Joshua and his army, including his best warriors, left Gilgal. 8
“Joshua,” the Lord said, “don't be afraid of the Amorites. They will run away when you attack, and I will help you defeat them.” 9
Joshua marched all night from Gilgal to Gibeon and made a surprise attack on the Amorite camp. 10
The Lord made the enemy panic, and the Israelites started killing them right and left. They Lord chased the Amorite troops up the road to Beth-Horon and kept on killing them, until they reached the towns of Azekah and Makkedah. 11
And while these troops were going down through Beth-Horon Pass, the Lord made huge hailstones fall on them all the way to Azekah. More of the enemy soldiers died from the hail than from the Israelite weapons. 12-13
The Lord was helping the Israelites defeat the Amorites that day. So about noon, Joshua prayed to the Lord loud enough for the Israelites to hear: “Our Lord in the sky over Gibeon, and the moon stand still over Aijalon Valley.” So the sun and the moon stopped and stood still until Israel defeated its enemies. 14
Never before and never since has the Lord Lord 15
After the battle, Joshua and the Israelites went back to their camp at Gilgal.
Scripture taken from the Contemporary English Version ®. Copyright © 1995 American Bible Society. Used by permission.