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Debir was an Amorite king of Eglon in Canaan.[1] He was one of the five Amorite kings who was defeated by Joshua during the invasion of Canaan. Joshua defeated this army during the battle of "Joshua's long day".[2] Aided by miracles, Joshua's army routed the Canaanite military, forcing Debir and the other kings to seek refuge in a cave. There they were trapped until later executed.


Debir is the translation of the Hebrew word דְּבִיר (transliterated: debı̂yr), which means "shrine". It comes from the Hebrew word דָּבַר (transliterated: dâbar), which means to "arrange" or to "speak".


The Offense[]

The king of Jerusalem, Adonizedek, appealed to Debir and three other kings to join him in attacking the city Gibeon because Gibeon had tricked the Israelites into a peace treaty with them.[3] Debir and the four kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, and Lachish joined forces and attacked Gibeon.[4] The Gibeonites managed to send word to the Israelites and pleaded with them to save them.[5]

The Defense[]

The army of the Israelites, who were camped at Gilgal, marched up from there to Gibeon. The LORD promised to give Joshua victory over these five kings.[6] They marched all night and took the kings by surprise. The LORD threw the enemy into confusion before Israel. The Israelites defeated them and pursued them all the way to Beth Horon. They cut them down from Beth Horon all the way to Azekah, where God intervened again with huge hailstones. God killed more of the enemy than Israel did.

A Lengthened Day[]

Main article: The Long Day
At about noon, Joshua was anticipating the sun going down. So he prayed to the LORD, requesting that the sun nor the moon move. Joshua's prayer was recorded in the Book of Jasher. God answered his request by holding the earth still. Numerous cultures around the world also attest to this moment in time when time seemed to stop. The day was extended about 12 hours. During these extra God-given hours, Israel finished off the enemy.[7]

The Victory[]

The five kings managed to escape and hide in a cave at Makkedah. Joshua found them and commanded his men to roll large stones over the entrance. The Israelites then continued in their pursuit of their enemy. When they had defeated them completely (with the exception of a few that escape to some fortified cities), the army went to Makkedah without any injuries.[8]

Joshua ordered that the five kings (including Debir) be removed from the cave and brought to him. When they were brought before him, Joshua summoned the troops and had the captains of the army put their foot on the kings' necks. After encouraging his army, he killed the five kings and hung them on five poles until evening. At sunset, Joshua ordered that the kings be placed in the cave they were hiding in and for it to be covered with large stones again. The stones were still there when the Book of Joshua was written.[9]


  1. Joshua 10:3 (Link)
  2. Joshua 10:12-13 (Link)
  3. Joshua 10:1-4 (Link)
  4. Joshua 10:5 (Link)
  5. Joshua 10:6 (Link)
  6. Joshua 10:7-8 (Link)
  7. Joshua 10:12-14 (Link)
  8. Joshua 10:16-21 (Link)
  9. Joshua 10:22-27 (Link)