Men from a near land (Gibeon)decide to trick the Israelites into making a peace treaty with them. They put on old clothes and sandals, brought dry moldy bread and set out to meet with them. They convinced them they were distant travelers who came to be with them after hearing about God's fame in the land. The Israelites make a treaty and later learn they are non-other than the enemies they are set to destroy...dun dun duuunnn!!!! They decide they must keep their oath but make them woodcutters and water carriers for the rest of their lives. It must be a dirty job in that time because it sound like they are given these jobs as punishment.
Other nations heard about what Gibeon had done and are a little angry. They decide they will attack Gibeon themselves since the Israelites can't do it. The Gibeonites send for help from Joshua who has to give it to them because of their oath. Israel and Gibeon destroy their enemies (with formal help from God who brings hail down on the fugitives). During this whole battle, the sun and moon stood still to allow for more fight time--proof to the world that this battle was for the Lord. 5 kings from the land managed to escape and are found hiding in a cave. They are hanged and thrown back into their hiding place and the mouth of the cave is covered with stones (seeing a pattern yet?)
Most of the southern and northern cities of Canaan are conquered in similar fashion before the land has a time of rest from war. After reading this, I am completely exhausted and have no idea how they Israelites kept this going for so long! This whole book so far is like a combination of every fight scene in LOTR, Narnia, 300, etc. Every battle is described so vividly. It's a brilliant reminder that God promised the land to them, but He never said they wouldn't have to work for it. God constantly makes people work for their earnings (working 14 years to get the girls of your dreams, suffering boils and numerous losses to be blessed, etc) but how much more do they appreciate them once they are received??? I truly hope Israel realizes the magnitude of what they are being given...
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