|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Herdsman's place, one of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Joshua 12:16), near which was a cave where the five kings who had confederated against Israel sought refuge (10:10-29). They were put to death by Joshua, who afterwards suspended their bodies upon five trees. It has been identified with the modern village called Sumeil, standing on a low hill about 7 miles to the north-west of Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin), where are ancient remains and a great cave. The Palestine Exploration surveyors have, however, identified it with el-Mughar, or "the caves," 3 miles from Jabneh and 2 1/2 southwest of Ekron, because, they say, "at this site only of all possible sites for Makkedah in the Palestine plain do caves still exist." (see ADONI-ZEDEC.)
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ma-ke'-da (maqqedhah; Makeda): A Canaanite royal city which Joshua captured, utterly destroying the inhabitants, and doing to the king as he had done unto the king of Jericho (Joshua 10:28; Joshua 12:16). It lay in the Shephelah of Judah (Joshua 15:41). It was brought into prominence by the flight thither of the 5 kings of the Amorites who, having united their forces for the destruction of Gibeon, were themselves defeated and pursued by Joshua (chapter 10). See ing their danger, the men of Gibeon sent to the camp at Gilgal beseeching Joshua to save and help them. That energetic commander marched all night with his full strength, fell upon the allies at Gibeon, slew them with a great slaughter, chased the fugitives down the valley by way of Beth-horon, and smote them unto Azekah and unto Makkedah. It was during this memorable pursuit that in response to Joshua's appeal:
"Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon;
And thou, Moon, in the valley of Aijalon," the sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down a whole day, until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies.
The 5 kings sought refuge in the cave at Makkedah, where, by Joshua's orders, they were blocked in with great stones, until the slaughter of the fugitives should be completed. Then the royal prisoners were brought out, and, after the chiefs of Israel had set their feet upon their necks, Joshua slew them and hanged them on five trees until sunset. This is an illustration of the old practice of impaling enemies after death. The bodies were then cast into the cave where they had sought to hide, and great stones were rolled against the entrance.
The flight of the allies was past Beth-boron and Azekah to Makkedah. Azekah is not identified, but it is named with Gederoth, Beth-dagon, and Naamah (Joshua 15:41). These are probably represented by Qatrah, Dajan and Na`aneh, so that in this district Makkedah may be sought. The officers of the Palestine Exploration Fund agree in suggesting el-Mughdr, "the cave," on the northern bank of Wady es-Surar, about 4 miles from the sand dunes on the shore. There are traces of old quarrying and many rock-cut tombs with loculi. "The village stands on a sort of promontory stretching into the valley.... divided into three plateaus; on the lower of these to the South is the modern village, el-Mughar, built in front of the caves which are cut out of the sandstone" (Warren). In no other place in the neighborhood are caves found. The narrative, however, speaks not of caves, but of "the cave," as of one which was notable. On the other hand the events narrated may have lent distinction to some particular cave among the many. "The cave" would therefore be that associated with the fate of the 5 kings. No certainty is possible.
Makkedah (8 Occurrences)
Joshua 10:10 Yahweh confused them before Israel, and he killed them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth Horon, and struck them to Azekah and to Makkedah. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Joshua 10:16 These five kings fled, and hid themselves in the cave at Makkedah. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Joshua 10:17 Joshua was told, saying, "The five kings are found, hidden in the cave at Makkedah." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Joshua 10:21 that all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace. None moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Joshua 10:28 Joshua took Makkedah on that day, and struck it with the edge of the sword, with its king. He utterly destroyed them and all the souls who were in it. He left none remaining. He did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Joshua 10:29 Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, to Libnah, and fought against Libnah. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Joshua 12:16 the king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS NIV)
Joshua 15:41 Gederoth, Beth Dagon, Naamah, and Makkedah; sixteen cities with their villages. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)