Joshua 10:11 MEANING

Joshua 10:11
Verse 11. - Great stones from heaven. Calmet has taken great trouble to collect evidence for showers of actual stones from heaven upon the enemies of Israel. But the next sentence of the verse states that they were hailstones, אַבְנֵי בָרָד. And even if there were not sufficient evidence of the fall of hailstones large enough to do great destruction to man and beast, we might fall back upon the theory that this was a miraculous hailstorm, since the whole history teems with miraculous intervention. But in point of fact this is unnecessary. We need not go further back than the famous storm of August 2nd, 1879, for an account of hailstones of enormous size falling within fifty miles of London. And in tropical climates still more destructive storms are of no infrequent occurrence. Every treatise on physical geography teems with instances. Masius refers to the well known story of the relief afforded by a sudden shower to Marcus Aurelius and his army, which he follows Eusebius in thinking attributable to Christian prayers, but which the emperor, in a medal struck on the occasion, attributed to Jupiter Pluvius (see Neander, 'Hist. of Christian Church,' vol. 1.). He also fcites the verses of Claudian on a similar victory of Theodosius:

"O nimium dilecte Deo, tibi militat aether
Et conjurati veniunt ad praelia venti."
They were more which died with hailstones. A conclusive proof, both to the Israelites and their antagonists, that the victory was owing rather to the favour of God than to the power of man, and suggesting the exclamation of the Psalmist, "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Thy Name give glory" (Psalm 115:1). See also Deuteronomy 9:4, 5. It is, perhaps, worth while to remark that the printers have modernized this passage. For more the original edition has moe; cf. Shakspeare's ' Lover's Complaint,' line 47 - "Found yet mo letters sadly penned in blood." "Faith and troth they would no mo" (Greene, 'Shepherd's Ode ').

10:7-14 The meanest and most feeble, who have just begun to trust the Lord, are as much entitled to be protected as those who have long and faithfully been his servants. It is our duty to defend the afflicted, who, like the Gibeonites, are brought into trouble on our account, or for the sake of the gospel. Joshua would not forsake his new vassals. How much less shall our true Joshua fail those who trust in Him! We may be wanting in our trust, but our trust never can want success. Yet God's promises are not to slacken and do away, but to quicken and encourage our endeavours. Notice the great faith of Joshua, and the power of God answering it by the miraculous staying of the sun, that the day of Israel's victories might be made longer. Joshua acted on this occasion by impulse on his mind from the Spirit of God. It was not necessary that Joshua should speak, or the miracle be recorded, according to the modern terms of astronomy. The sun appeared to the Israelites over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Ajalon, and there they appeared to be stopped on their course for one whole day. Is any thing too hard for the Lord? forms a sufficient answer to ten thousand difficulties, which objectors have in every age started against the truth of God as revealed in his written word. Proclamation was hereby made to the neighbouring nations, Behold the works of the Lord, and say, What nation is there so great as Israel, who has God so nigh unto them?And it came to pass, as they fled before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron,.... The descent of it on that side towards Azekah, and which was also a very narrow passage, of which Josephus (s) makes mention. The Jews say (t), that the going down of Bethhoron was the place where the army of Sennacherib fell:

that the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died; the Septuagint version calls them hailstones; and so they are called in the next clause; and that such sometimes have fallen as to kill men and cattle, is certain from the plague of hail in Egypt, Exodus 9:19; and some in very late times (u) have been known to fall, which were from eight, nine, and twelve inches about, some bigger than the eggs of turkeys, and some half a pound weight; see Gill on Revelation 16:21; but these seem to be proper stones, such as did not melt away as hailstones do; though so called, because they fell from heaven, as they do, but remained, and still remain, according to the notion the Jews have of them; for they say (w) whoever sees these great stones, in the going down to Bethhoron, is bound to bless; and frequent mention is made by historians of showers of stones being rained. Livy (x) speaks of such a shower when King Tullus conquered the Sabines; and of another (y), when Scipio succeeded at Carthage; and Pomponius Mela (z) relates, that when Hercules fought with the sons of Neptune, and darts failed him, he obtained of Jupiter to rains shower of stones, which lay spread in great abundance; and some (a) think it refers to this fact in Joshua's time, who is supposed to be the same with the Tyrian Hercules (b), from hence also called Saxanus (c); and in memory of this there are stony camps in various places, called by his name (d):

they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword; but what was the number of each of them is not said; it was doubtless very great, since there was an utter destruction and consumption of them, Joshua 10:20.

(s) De Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 19. sect. 7, 8. (t) Gloss. in T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 54. 2.((u) Vid. Louthorp. Abridg. Philosoph. vol. 2. p. 144, 146. (w) T. Bab. Betacot, fol. 54. 1.((x) L. 1. p. 17. (y) L. 30. c. 30. (z) De Orbis Situ, l. 2. c. 5. (a) Vossius de Origin. Idol. c. 1. sect. 16. (b) See Gale's Court of the Gentiles, l. 2. c. 5. (c) Dickins. Delph. Phoenic. c. 4. p. 42. (d) Sanford de Descens. Christi, l. 1. sect. 20. p. 35.

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