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Joshua 10:22-27

09 08 18 - 23:12

The Necks of My Enemies

Joshua 10:22-27
22  Then said Joshua, Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave. 23  And they did so, and brought forth those five kings unto him out of the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, [and] the king of Eglon. 24  And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them. 25  And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. 26  And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening. 27  And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, [that] Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave's mouth, [which remain] until this very day.

After the Amorites had all, except a small remnant, been slaughtered, the Israelite soldiers returned to Makkedah.
Then Joshua commanded their captains to have the stones removed from the cave and to bring out the five kings. Joshua then called for all of his warriors to assemble around those kings. His design was to impress upon his men the power of the LORD and the ease of victory that was ahead of them.
He called forth his captains and had them place their feet on the backs of the kings' necks. This was a symbolical act of complete domination over their enemies. Five powerful kings now had their faces in the dirt with their conquerors' feet on their necks. They had been reduced to powerless, helpless and pathetic beings.
The character of Joshua is once again a picture of the Conqueror and Redeemer who was yet to come. Psalms 110:1 says, "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." And in Psalms 18:40, "Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me." Like Jesus, Joshua was obedient to the LORD's commands and his followers were faithful to obey him.
"And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage..." This word of encouragement had been given to Joshua several times by the LORD Himself. Now Joshua similarly encouraged his own men. And how often had Jesus told his disciples to fear not? We can imagine the positive effects that this word of encouragement must have had on those soldiers as they looked at their captains standing on the necks of kings.
"...for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight." They would not have to do it. The LORD would do it for them. They only needed to be obedient to Him, and every battle would have this same result.
Next, Joshua would demonstrate his own obedience to the LORD. He killed the five kings with the sword, because they had committed sins worthy of death. Then he hanged their bodies for all to see. However, he had them taken down before nightfall in obedience to the Law of Moses. "And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:  His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged [is] accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance." (Deuteronomy 21:22-23)
We are the body of Christ, and the LORD has surely given us the necks of our spiritual enemies. However, we must remember that, unlike Joshua, we do not wrestle with flesh and blood. Our enemies are spiritual and have been given into our hands by the Lord Jesus Christ. So, fear not and fight the good fight.
Before the Throne:
When you pray today, please do not waste your time with the Lord by praying about material and worldly matters. What spiritual matters do you need to wrestle with? Pray about those things. Praise God for giving you the victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For Further Study:
(v.22) * 1Sa 15:32;
(v.24) * put your feet. Deut 33:29; Judg 8:20; Ps 2:8-12; Ps 18:40; Ps 91:13; Ps 107:40; Ps 110:1, 5; Ps 149:8-9; Isa 26:5-6; Isa 60:11-12; Mal 4:3; Rom 16:20; Rev 2:26-27;
(v.25) * Fear not. Josh 1:9; Deut 31:6-8; 1Sam 17:37; Ps 63:9; Ps 77:11; 2Cor 1:10; 2Tim 4:17-18; * be strong. Eph 6:10; * thus shall. Deut 3:21-22; Deut 7:19; Rom 8:37;
(v.26) * Joshua. Judg 8:21; 1Sam 15:33; * hanged. Josh 8:29; Num 25:4; Deut 21:22-23; 2Sam 21:6,9; Esth 2:23; Esth 7:9-10; Matt 27:25; Ga 3:13;
(v.27) * they took. Josh 8:29; Deut 21:23; 2Sam 18:17; * until this very day. Josh 4:9; Josh 7:26;


Author David Roth has been the Multihousing and Community Outreach Director for the York Baptist Association in Rock Hill, S.C. for nearly 20 years. He is the founder and pastor of Midtown Ministries, an inner city ministry to over 50 children and is presently pastoring My Radical Church, a new church plant that is focusing on reaching the homeless and poorest of the city. He has written over 3,000 daily bible studies and is in the process of posting them on this website.

The image in the header is © Andreas Reinhold.

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