Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan

The news of all that Joshua and the men of Israel had done at Jericho and at Ai, how they had destroyed those cities and slain their people, went through all the land. Everywhere the tribes of Canaan prepared to fight these strangers who had so suddenly and so boldly entered their country.

Near the middle of the mountain region, between Jerusalem and Shechem, were four cities of a race called either the Hivites, or the Gibeonites, from their chief city, Gibeon. These people felt that they could not resist the Israelites; so they undertook to make peace with them. Their cities were less than a day's journey from the camp at Gilgal, and quite near to Ai; but they came to Joshua at the camp, looking as if they had made a long journey.

They were wearing old and ragged garments, and shoes worn out; and they brought dry and mouldy bread, and old bags of food, and wine-skins torn and mended. They met Joshua and the elders of Israel in the camp, and said to them:

"We live in a country far away; but we have heard of the great things that you have done; the journey you have made, and the cities you have taken on the other side of the river Jordan; and now we have come to offer you our friendship and to make peace with you." And Joshua said to them, "Who are you? And from what land do you come?"

The Gibeonites come to Joshua


"We have come," they said, "from a country far away. See this bread. We took it hot from the oven, and now it is mouldy. These wine-skins were new when we filled them, and you see they are old. Look at our garments and our shoes, all worn out and patched."

Joshua and the elders did not ask the Lord what to do, but made an agreement with these men to have peace with them, not to destroy their cities, and to spare the lives of their people. And a very few days after making peace with them they found that the four cities where they lived were very near.

At first the Israelite rulers were very angry, and were inclined to break their agreement, but afterward they said:

"We will keep our promise to these people, though they have deceived us. We will let them live, but they shall be made our servants, and shall do the hard work for the camp and for the Tabernacle."

Even this was better than to be killed, and to have their cities destroyed; and the Gibeonite people were glad to save their lives. So from that time the people of the four Gibeonite cities carried burdens, and drew water, and cut wood, and served the camp of Israel.

The largest city near to the camp at Gilgal was Jerusalem, among the mountains, where its king, Melchizedek, in the days of Abraham, five hundred years before, had been a priest of the Lord, and had blessed Abraham, as we read in Story Six in Part First. But now, in the days of Joshua, the people of that city worshipped idols and were very wicked.

When the king of Jerusalem heard that the Gibeonites, who lived near him, had made peace with Israel, he sent to the kings of Hebron and Lachish and several other cities, and said to them:

"Come, let us unite our armies into one great army and fight the Gibeonites and destroy them; for they have made peace with our enemies, the people of Israel."

As soon as the people of Gibeon heard this they sent to Joshua, saying:

"Come quickly and help us; for we are your servants; and the king of Jerusalem is coming with a great army to kill us all, and destroy our cities. The whole country is in arms against us; come at once, before it is too late!"

Joshua was a very prompt man, swift in all his acts. At once he called out his army, and marched all might up the mountains. He came suddenly upon the five kings and their army at a place called Beth-horon. There a great battle was fought, Joshua leading his men against the Canaanites. He did not give his enemies time to form in line, but fell upon them so suddenly that they were driven into confusion, and fled before the men of Israel.

And the Lord helped his people b a storm which drove great hailstones down on the Canaanites; so that more were killed by the hailstones than by the sword. It is written in an old song that on that day Joshua said before all his men:

"Sun, stand thou still over Gibeon.

And thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon,

And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed,

Until the people had taken vengeance upon their enemies."

If ever in all the history of the world there was a battle when the sun might well stand still, and the day be made longer, to make the victory complete, it was that day more than any other. For on that day the land was won by the people of the Lord. If Israel had been defeated and destroyed, instead of Canaan, then the Bible would never have been written, the worship of the true God would have been blotted out, and the whole world would have worshipped idols. The battle that day was for the salvation of the world as well as of Israel. So this was the greatest battle in its results that the world has ever seen. There have been man battle where more men fought, and more soldiers were slain, than at the battle of Beth-horon. But no battle in all the world had such an effect in the years and the ages after, as this battle.

After the victory Joshua followed his enemies as they fled, and killed many of them, until their armies were broken up and destroyed. The five kings who had led against Joshua were found hidden in a cave, were brought out and were slain, so that they might no more trouble the Israelites. By this one victory all the part of the land of Canaan on the south was won, though there were a few small fights afterward.

Then Joshua turned to the north, and led his army by a swift march against the kings who had united there to fight the Israelites. As suddenly as before he had fallen on the five kings at Beth-horon, he fell upon these kings and their army, near the little lake in the far north of Canaan, called "the waters of Merom." There another great victory was won; and after this it was easy to conquer the land. Everywhere the tribes of Canaan were made to submit to the Israelites, until all the mountain country was under Joshua's rule.

In the conquest of Canaan, there were six great marches and six battles; three in the lands on the east of the Jordan, while Moses was still living, the victories over the Amorites, the Midianites, and the people of Bashan, on the northeast, and there on the west of the Jordan, the victories at Jericho, at Beth-horon, and Lake Merom, under Joshua.

But even after these marchings and victories, it was a long time before all the land was taken by the Israelites.