Glimpses of Israel- Ayalon and the Cave of Makkedah

by Joseph Hunting

About midway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, right off the busy super highway that links these two great cities, and close to the valley of Ayalon and the site of Emmaus, is a cave. It doesn't look any different from numerous other caves to be found in Israel. Yet this cave witnessed one of the great miracles in Israel's history.

Let me take you back 3,500 years. Five kings of the Amorites together with their armies were fleeing from before Joshua and his warriors. It was a day never to be forgotten for on that day "the Lord fought for Israel" (Joshua 10:14). It was a day of mighty miracles! Firstly the Lord caused a terrific hailstorm that slew more Amorites than were slain by the Israelites.

As the day drew on Joshua needed more daylight to achieve a complete victory. In view of the magnitude of the miracle about to unfold, what follows is one of the great understatements of the Bible.

"Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, Moon, in the Valley of Ayalon. AND THE SUN STOOD STILL AND THE MOON STAYED, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies ... So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven and hasted not to go down about a whole day." (Joshua 10:12-13).

During the fighting the five kings of the Amorites escaped and hid in a cave at Makkedah, where they were later slain by Joshua.

One cannot visit this historic spot and not try to visualize and recapture the miracle that unfolded in this gentle and peaceful valley so long ago. But miracles are a part of Israel's long history. And isn't this nation's survival to this present time on long ongoing miracle?