So a bunch of people with names we can’t pronounce hear about the peace treaty between the Jews and Gibeon and say, Screw those guys, let’s attack Gibeon.
And they do. And Gibeon calls on Josh to come help them out. And he does.
And God promises to kill all of the Canaanites attacking Gibeon, and Josh and the Israelites do. So much so that Josh asks God to make the sun and the moon stop rotating the Earth.
We can ignore the pre-Copernican model of astronomy Josh was using, and focus on the immediate effects of the Earth stopping its spin. Take it away, NASA:
If the Earth stopped spinning suddenly, the atmosphere would still be in motion with the Earth’s original 1100 mile per hour rotation speed at the equator. All of the land masses would be scoured clean of anything not attached to bedrock. This means rocks, topsoil, trees, buildings, your pet dog, and so on, would be swept away into the atmosphere.
Anyway, no, contrary to the sermon anecdote I heard a hundred times growing up, NASA did not discover a missing day in the Earth’s rotations and someone with a bible pointed out this passage to them. Didn’t happen, guys. Let’s move on.
But assuming it is true, think about it. God literally stops the planet and keeps everyone from flying off into the atmosphere, just so Josh can keep killing people.
So the five kings that attacked Gibeon hide in a cave, Josh orders the army to cover it with a boulder and keep pursuing the enemy, and they did until the few survivors entered fortified cities, then the army called it a day and came back. Josh humiliates the five kings, then kills them and hangs up their bodies on trees until evening.
Then Josh captures the city of Makkedah and kills every man, woman, and child remaining in it.
Then Josh captures the city of Libnah and kills every man, woman, and child remaining in it.
The Josh captures the city of Lachish and kills every man, woman, and child remaining in it.
Sensing a pattern here…
Then Josh killed all the men of Gezer who came to try and rescue Lachish.
The Josh captures the city of Eglon and kills every man, woman, and child remaining in it.
The Josh captures the city of Debir and kills every man, woman, and child remaining in it.
The Josh scoured the land looking for humans to kill and he killed every one he found.
And when he was satisfied that there was no one left to kill, the army returned to Gilgal.
Surprise! Josh genocides some more towns and takes all their stuff.
You thought there would be something different in this chapter, but nope. More of the killin’.
With all of the dead bodies they had to touch to burn or bury, I’m pretty sure these guys were ceremonially unclean for like… ever…
And here’s a list of the names of the kings that Josh killed. He killed 31 kings. You see, it did all start with killing animals. Then people. It’s like a Bronze Age Dexter.
Now when Josh was getting old, God came to him and said, “You’re getting old. And there are still lots of people that need killin’. Why don’t you split up the land between the tribes now and they can keep killing for their land after you’re dead?”
So Josh splits up the land. It’s not really important. Just list of city names. If you have a good bible, you can usually find a map in the back that shows you how it all worked out. Do you see how much time I’m saving you?