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B. C. 1451.
a Deut. 1. 38.
CHAPTER I.-(1) Now after the death
the land of the Hittites, and unto the of Moses the servant of the Lord it
great sea toward the going down of the came to pass, that the LORD spake
(5) There unto Josbua the son of Nun, Moses'
shall not any man be able to stand “minister, saying, (2) Moses my servant
before thee all the days of thy life: as is dead; now therefore arise, go over Deut. 11. 24; ch. I was with Moses, so I will be with this Jordan, thou, and all this people,
thee: 'I will not fail thee, nor forsake unto the land which I do give to them,
thee. (6) d Be strong and of a good even to the children of Israel. (3) • Every
courage: for lunto this people shalt place that the sole of your foot shall
thou divide for an inheritance the tread upon, that have I given unto you,
land; which I sware unto their fathers as I said unto Moses. (4) From the
to give them. (7) Only be thou strong wilderness and this Lebanon even unto 1 Corisethione penale and very courageous, that thou mayest the great river, the river Euphrates, all the observe to do according to all the law,
c Heb. 13. 5.
d Deut. 31. 23.
Joshua's COMMISSION (chap. i. 1–9).
assigned to Joshua by the word of Moses. (Hence the
order for the extermination of Amalek was written for (1) After the death of Moses .. the Lord Joshua (Exod. xvii. 14) as the representative conqueror, spake unto Joshua Moses' minister.- though he did not actually carry it out.) But the Joshua's commission was the first of its kind, but not conquest of Canaan, as effected by Joshua, must be the last. No man before Joshua had received orders carefully defined. It was a limited conquest. He to regulate his conduct by the words of a written book. took a certain number of strongholds throughout the Abraham and his household had kept_God's laws. country, and utterly crushed the armies that were Moses had acted by Divine commission. But Abraham opposed to him in the field. He established the people and Moses received their orders from the mouth of of Israel in the position that he had won. (See chap. Jehovah. Joshua and all his successors must fulfil the xii. 9—24 for an outline of the position.) He then orders of “this book of the law.” Thus Joshua was divided to the tribes of Israel the whole territory, Moses' minister in more than one sense. He was
conquered and unconquered alike (see chap. xiii. 1–7). Moses' confidential agent and personal attendant whilo The Philistines and Sidonians (or Phænicians) are he lived, and afterwards the executor of that which examples of two great nations not conquered by Moses had written. But the position of Joshua, Joshua, but assigned to Israel for an inheritance. though at first unique and without precedent, was the Thus it appears that what Israel would conquer, the position designed for all his successors, more especially sole of his foot must tread. The conquest which for that great Personage whose name Joshua was the Joshua began for the people, must be carried out in first to bear. Joshua and the Book of the Law come detail by the several tribes themselves. For a further before us together, without introduction, in the same discussion of the relation of Joshua's conquest to the passage the law (Exod. xvii. 9), “ Moses said unto whole history of Israel, see No on chap. xii. 2. Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with (4) All the land of the Hittites.-The name Amalek ;” and in verse 14, “ Write this for a memorial Hittites may be used here to represent all the in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua.” The Canaanites; but it seems better to understand the land book was prepared for Joshua; Joshua came to fulfil of the Hittites of the northern districts in which the words of the book. Compare Psalm xl. 7, "Lo, I Hamath and Carchemish were situated-between Pales, come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, tine proper and the Euphrates; but compare Note on I delight to do thy will, O my God.” “ Jesus Christ
Judges i. 26. was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, (5) I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.to confirm the promises made unto the fathers” (Rom. Compare Gen. xxviii. 15. And consider Heb. xiii. 5 as xv. 8 ; see also Matt. v. 17).
a combination of the two Old Testament passages. For the use of the word“ minister" (Heb., m'shâréth) (6, 7) Be strong and of a good courage compare 2 Kings iv. 43, vi. 15; 2 Chron. ix. 4; Ezra that thou mayest observe to do according to viii. 17; Ps. ciii. 21, civ. 4; Prov. xxix. 12; Ezek. xliv. all the law.-This command to " be strong,” repeated 11. From these references it will be seen that the again and again to Joshua, may perhaps be taken as word may signify a personal attendant, a minister of reflecting light upon his natural character, which state, or å minister of religion.
might not have led him to desire so prominent a (3) Every place that the sole of your foot position. But it may also be observed that courage shall tread upon, that have I given unto you. was especially needed to carry out the conquest of -The conquest of Canaan was the special duty Canaan in the way that was ordered by the law. For Preparations made
for Passing over Jordan.
which Moses my servant commanded | Deut. 5. 32 & 2. which the LORD your God giveth you thee: a turn not from it to the right hand
to possess it. or to the left, that thou mayest "prosper
(12) And to the Reubenites, and to the whithersoever thou goest. (8) This book
Gadites, and to half the tribe of Maof the law shall not depart out of thy
nasseh, spake Joshua, saying, (13) Remouth; but thou shalt meditate therein 1 Or, do wisely. member 6 the word which Moses the day and night, that thou mayest observe
servant of the Lord commanded you, to do according to all that is written
saying, The LORD your God hath given therein : for then thou shalt make thy
you rest, and hath given you this land. way prosperous, and then thou shalt
(14) Your wives, your little ones, and 2 have good success.
(9) Have not I 2 Or, do wisely. your cattle, shall remain in the land commanded thee? Be strong and of a
which Moses gave you on this side good courage ; be not afraid, neither be
Jordan; but ye shall pass before your thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God
brethren 3 armed, all the mighty men is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
of valour, and help them; (15) until the (10) Then Joshua commanded the Num. 32.co.
LORD have given your brethren rest, officers of the people, saying, (11) Pass
as he hath given you, and they also through the host, and command the
have possessed the land which the people, saying, Prepare you victuals;
LORD your God giveth them : then ye for within three days ye shall pass over
shall return unto the land of your this Jordan, to go in to possess the land,
possession, and enjoy it, which Moses
3 Heb., marshalled
a discussion of this question and its difficulties, see the manna, which did not cease until several days after chap. xiii.
they passed the Jordan. But it does not seem possible (87 Thou shalt meditate therein day and to assign any other meaning to the word except that night then thou shalt make thy way of provision for a journey or for a warlike expedition. prosperous.—These words are taken up again in Perhaps the order was intended to prepare the Israelites Ps. i. 2, 3, and a blessing is pronounced on every inan
for the transition from the manna to ther food. It who takes Joshua's position in relation to the written law may be also that the manna which supported them in of God (see Note, verse 1). Thus the true significance their pilgrimage through the wilderness was not so fit of Joshua's position appears, and also the difference to sustain them in the warfare which they were about between Moses and all who followed him. Moses was to begin. For the phrase itself, compare Exod. xii. the prophet “whom the Lord knew face to face." 39: “They were thrust out of Egypt, and could not Joshua and all his successors, from the least to the tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any greatest, find their blessing and their portion in the victual.” When there was a difficulty in obtaining careful study and fulfilment of the written word of other provision, God gave His people manna. Now, God. It is also worthy of notice that God's Word, from when they could easily provide food for themselves, its very first appearance as a collective book (viz., the He would not support them in idleness; and perhaps law), occupies the same position. It is supreme. It is this is the common-sense view of the order given in the set above Joshua. It is never superseded. And its text. If called to any expedition which would take authority is independent of its quantity. “The law of them far from the camp, the manna would not be Moses," “ Moses and the prophets," “ The law, the within reach of all. prophets, and the Psalms," are descriptions of the (12) To the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, Bible differing in the quantity of the matter, but not and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake differing in the authority they exercise or in their Joshua.- The reference to Num. xxxii. explains this relation to the living church. “ Blessed is he that order. We have only to observe that these two tribes readeth and they that hear the words of the prophecy and a half were not forbidden to leave a sufficient of this book, and keep those things that are written number of their fighting men to protect their homes therein,” are words that apply to Holy Scripture and families. (See on chap. iv. 12.) equally, in every stage, from the completion of the law (13) Hath given you rest.--Observe this phrase, of Moses to the completion of the entire book.
as applied to the settlement of Israel in the land of Joshua's FIRST ORDERS (chap. i. 10–15).
promise, on either side of Jordan. Those who condemn
the two and a half tribes (or the persons whom they (10) Then Joshua commanded the officers of suppose to be spiritually represented by them) for not the people.-Joshua's first orders to the people were going far enough, should notice that on both sides of to prepare for the passage of Jordan within three days. Jordan equally there was the “ rest of God.” But this We may compare this event, in its relation to Joshua, “rest” is only the first stage of several in_Israel's with the giving of the law from Sinai to Moses. Both history. We find it again in the reign of David (2 were preceded by a three days' notice and a sanctifica- Sam. vii. 1), Solomon (ß Chron. xxii. 9), Esther (chap. tion of the people. Both were means employed by ix. 16, 17, 18, 22), and we must not forget the comment God to establish the leaders whom He had chosen in in Heb. iv., obtained from Ps. xcv.: For if Joshua the position which He designed for them. (Comp. had given them rest, then would He not afterward Exod. xix. 9, 11 with Josh. i. 11, iii. 7, iv, 14.)
have spoken of another day.” “These all received not (11) Prepare you victuals.-The question may the promise.” There remaineth therefore a rest be asked, what preparation is intended, since they had to the people of God.” The last rest is Sabbatical;
The Spies sent to Jericho
are Concealed by Rahab.
the Lord's servant gave you on this
to search out the country. (3) And the side Jordan toward the sunrising.
king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, (16) And they answered Joshua, saying,
Bring forth the men that are come to All that thou commandest us we will
thee, which are entered into thine house: do, and whithersoever thou sendest us,
for they be come to search out all the go. (17) According as
country. hearkened unto Moses in all things,
(4) And the woman took the two men, so will we hearken unto thee: only
and hid them, and said thus, There the LORD thy God be with thee, as he Heb11.31 ; Jam. came men unto me, but I wist not was with Moses. (18) Whosoever he be
whence they were :
(5) and it came to that doth rebel against thy command
pass about the time of shutting of the ment, and will not hearken unto thy
gate, when it was dark, that the men words in all that thou commandest him,
went out: whither the men went I wot he shall be put to death: only be strong
not: pursue after them quickly; for and of a good courage.
shall overtake them. (6) But she had
brought them up to the roof of the CHAPTER II.-(1) And Joshua the
house, and hid them with the stalks of son of Nun sent out of Shittim two 1 Heb., lay. flax, which she had laid in order upon men to spy secretly, saying, Go view
the roof. (7) And the men pursued after the land, even Jericho.
them the way to Jordan unto the fords: went, and “came into an harlot's house,
and as soon as they which pursued after named Rahab, and lodged there.
them were gone out, they shut the gate. (2) And it was told the king of Jericho,
(8) And before they were laid down, saying, Behold, there came
she came up unto them upon the roof; hither to night of the children of Israel
(9) and she said unto the men, I know
the rests that precede it are halting-places on the Jericho (exactly what they were ordered to do), which way.
encouraged all Israel to proceed. Compare the effect (16) They answered Joshua, saying, All that of Gideon and Phurah's visit to the camp of Midian thou commandest us we will do.- This promise (Judges vii. 11), “Thou shalt hear what they say, and of obedience may be taken as the reply of the whole afterwards shall thine hands be strengthened." people to Joshua's orders, not that of the two and a Into an harlot's house, named Rahab.- The half tribes alone. It is remarkable that they repeat to attempts to show that Rahab was not " an harlot” are him the words of Jehovah, as most appropriate in their not justified by the word used in Hebrew, or in the judgment: "Be strong and of a good courage”(verse 18). Greek of the LXX., or in the Epistle to the Hebrews
(chap. xi. 31), or in that of St. James (chap. ii. 25). But II.
there is no harm in supposing that she was also an inn. THE SPIES AND RAHAB.
keeper, which the Targum calls her in every place; in
deed, it is very probable that the spies would resort to a (1) Joshua ... sent out of Shittim.-That is, place of public entertainment, as most suitable for ascer. he sent the spies before the people left the place where taining the state of the public mind. How far they they had been encamped for some months (Num. xxii. were disguised, how they came to be discovered, whether I and xxxiii. 49). Shittim was the last stage of the the king of Jericho knew of the impending march of Exodus under Moses. Probably the sending of these Israel from Shittim, are questions of detail which the two spies was simultaneous with the issue of the narrative leaves unanswered, and which the imagination general orders to Israel to prepare for the passage of may discuss at pleasure. The point of the story is not Jordan within three days. The three days of chaps. i. in these. ll and ii. 22 appear to be the same period of time. (4) There came men unto me, but I wist
Two men to spy.–The sending of these spies not whence they were.-A falsehood which evi. should be compared, as to the general effect and cha- dently left no stain on Rahab’s conscience, although all racter of the measure, with other similar events. There falsehood is sin. The same may be said of Jael's slaying are three instances of sending spies in reference to Sisera. The Divine standard of sin and holiness never Canaan—viz., (1) the sending of the twelve by Moses varies; but the standard of man's conscience, even from Kadesh-baruea; (2) the instance before us ; (3) when faith is a dominant principle in the character, may the sending of men to view Ai. The present instance vary to a very considerable degree. In Jesus Christ is the only one in which the measure had a good effect. "all that believe are justified from all things;” but “by In the case of the twelve, Moses describes the action as the deeds of the law
Here, as elsewhere, the a manifestation of unbelief. The spies took upon them application of the law only brings the discovery of sin. to discover the right path for Israel to take, a thing (6) The stalks of flax.-It is remarked that flax which was God's prerogative, not theirs (Deut. i. 22, and barley are both early crops (Exod. ix. 31), and that 32, 33). The men who viewed Ai (chap. vii. 2, 3) came the first month (see chap. iv. 19) was the time of barleyback and presumed to instruct Joshua how to proceed harvest. (Comp. 2 Sam. xxi. 9.) against it, with disastrous results. In this instance the (9–11) She said unto the men, I know that two men brought back a report of the state of things in the Lord hath given you the land ...
with the Spies.
a Ex. 14. 21 ; ch. 4.
6 Num. 21. 24
that the LORD hath given you the land, 1 Heb., melt. will deal kindly and truly with thee. and that your terror is fallen upon us,
(15) Then she let them down by a cord and that all the inhabitants of the land
through the window: for her house was 1 faint because of you. (10) For we have
upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon heard how the Lord a dried up the
the wall. (16) And she said unto them, water of the Red sea for you, when ye
Get you to the mountain, lest the came out of Egypt; and what ye did
pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves unto the two kings of the Amorites,
there three days, until the pursuers be that were on the other side Jordan,
returned : and afterward may ye go Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly de
your way. stroyed. (11) And as soon as we had
(17) And the men said unto her, We heard these things, our hearts did melt,
will be blameless of this thine oath neither 2 did there remain any more
which thou hast made swear. courage in any man, because of you :
(18) Behold, when we
come into the for the LORD your God, he is God in
land, thou shalt bind this line of heaven above, and in earth beneath.
scarlet thread in the window which (12) Now therefore, I pray you, swear
thou didst let us down by : and thou unto me by the LORD, since I have 2 Heb., rose up shalt 4 bring thy father, and thy mother, shewed you kindness, that ye will also
and thy brethren, and all thy father's shew kindness unto my father's house,
household, home unto thee. (19) And and give me a true token : (13) and that
it shall be, that whosoever shall go out ye will save alive my father, and my
of the doors of thy house into the mother, and my brethren, and my 3 Heh, instead of street, his blood shall be upon his head, sisters, and all that they have, and
and we will be guiltless : and whosoever deliver our lives from death.
shall be with thee in the house, his (14) And the men answered her, Our
blood shall be on our head, if any
hand life 3 for your's, if ye utter not this our
be upon him. (20) And if thou utter business. And it shall be, when the
this our business, then we will be quit LORD hath given us the land, that we la Heb., gather. of thine oath which thou hast made us
you to die.
The words of this confession are memorable in every
Word of God came. They believed John the Baptist, way. Note the fulfilment of the prophetic song of and were among the most constant hearers of the true Moses, which is partly repeated here (Exod. xv. 15, 16, Joshua (Matt. xxi. 32; Luke xv. 1). with Josh, ii. 9—11), “ All the inhabitants of Canaan (15) Her house was upon the town wall.shall melt away; fear and dread shall fall upon them.” Happily for the two spies. Perhaps, indeed, they seBut especially observe the expression of Rahab's own lected it for this reason, as it enabled them to leave the belief, “ Jehovah, your God, He is God in heaven above town without passing the gate. and in earth beneath.” Did the faith of the men of (16) Get you to the mountain.-The mountains Israel
much further than this ? Did it always go so between Jerusalem and Jericho have often been a refuge far? (Comp. Josh. xxiv. 14; 1 Kings xviii. 21 ; Jonah for worse characters than Joshua's two spies (Lukex. 30). i. 9, 10). The prophets themselves could not assert much (18) The window which thou didst let us
The greatest of them were satisfied if they down by.-It seems almost needless to observe that could bring the people of Israel to acknowledge this. the scarlet line and the cord by which the men were Rahab's confession is also one of a series. The lowered are not the same thing, but described by Egyptians, Philistines, Syrians, Assyrians, Babylonians, different words in the original. It would have been Persians, were all in turn brought to the same acknow- preposterous to require Rahab to display in her window ledgment by their contact with Israel. The reason is the means by which the spies had escaped. It would at stated in Josh. iv. 24, “That all the people of the once have declared the tale to all beholders——the very earth may know the hand of Jehovah, that it is thing Rahab was pledged not to do. The “ line of mighty.”
scarlet thread” and the "stalks of flax” on the roof (13) Save alive my father, and my mother, were probably parts of the same business, and thus and my brethren, and my sisters.—Whatever there would be nothing unusual in what was exhibited Rahab may have been herself, her acknowledgment of at the window, although it would be a sufficient token all her family is observable. She was in no way sepa- to those who were in the secret, to enable them to rated or degraded from their society. When we re- identify the house. member what Moses describes the Canaanites to have (19) Whosoever shall go out of the doors of been in certain passages of the Pentateuch, as Lev. thy house into the street, his blood shall be xviii. 24—28; xx. 22, 23) and compare this chapter, we upon his head.-Comp. Exod. xii. 22 (the account of may reasonably conclude Rahab to have been morally the Passover), “ Ye shall . strike the lintel and the not inferior to her countrymen as they were then, but two side-posts with the blood that is in the bason : and rather their superior. We are reminded that the none of you shall go out at the door of his house until “publicans and harlots” were not the worst members the morning; for the Lord will pass through to smite of the “ evil and adulterous generation” to whom the the Egyptians.” What the blood was to the houses of
Return of the Spies.
Joshua's March to Jordan.
1 Heb., melt.
moved from Shittim, and came to unto your words, so be it. And she
Jordan, he and all the children of sent them away, and they departed :
Israel, and lodged there before they and she bound the scarlet line in the
passed over. window.
(2) And it came to pass after three (22) And they went, and came unto
days, that the officers went through the mountain, and abode there three
the host; (3) and they commanded the days, until the pursuers were returned :
people, saying, When ye see the ark and the pursuers sought them through
of the covenant of the LORD your God, out all the way, but found them not.
and the priests the Levites bearing it, (23) So the two men returned, and de- 2 Jeh, since you then ye shall remove from your place, scended from the mountain, and passed
and go after it. (4) Yet there shall be over, and came to Joshua the son of
a space between you and it, about two Nun, and told him all things that befell
thousand cubits by measure : come not them : (24) and they said unto Joshua,
near unto it, that ye may know the Truly the LORD hath delivered into our
way by which ye must go for ye have hands all the land ; for even all the
not passed this way heretofore. inhabitants of the country do faint
(5) And Joshua said unto the people, because of us.
" Sanctify yourselves : for to morrow
the Lord will do wonders among you. CHAPTER III.-(1) And Joshua rose
(6) And Joshua spake unto the priests, early in the morning; and they re
saying, Take up the ark of the covenant,
Lev. 20.7; Num.
Israel in Egypt, that the scarlet line in the window was column might follow the ark as closely as possible, to the house of Rahab. Both alike prefigured "the without any inconvenience. Now the cloud was no precious blood of Christ.”
longer with them. It was a visible token of God's (22) Three days—i.e., probably until the completion presence especially granted to Moses, and with him it of three days from the commencement of their mission, disappeared. The ark was now to be the only leader, according to the usual inclusive reckoning of the Old and therefore it must be placed in a somewhat more Testament.
conspicuous position. This difference of arrangement (24) The Lord hath delivered.-Observe the appears to be indicated by the words in verse 4, “ Ye entirely satisfactory effect of this mission, and compare have not passed this way heretofore.” The words may what was said on verse 1.
mean, “ You are marching over untrodden ground;
but if so, they are not more applicable to this march III.
than to many previous marches. They may also mean, THE PASSAGE OF JORDAN (chaps. iii. 1-iv. 18,
“You have not marched in this manner heretofore,” inclusive)
and this interpretation seems more to the purpose. Chap. iii. 146, preliminaries ; iii. 7-iv. 14, the pass.
It may be of use to consider here, what was the age of the people and Joshua ; iv. 15—18, the passage
actual significance of the position assigned to the ark of the ark itself.
in Joshua. What was the ark? It was a chest con
taining the ten commandments, written with the finger (1) They removed from Shittim.-See Note on of God on two tables of stone prepared by Moses chap. ii. 1. Shittim may be called the last stage of the (Deut. x. 1–5; Exod. xxxiv. 1, 28). But the ark Exodus of Israel, “ their journeyings according to their
was made for the law, not the law for the ark. The goings out” (Num. xxxii. 2). The march from Shittim mercy-seat above was the covering the law-the to Jordan is their first march under Joshua-the first shield between that law and the people. Between the stage of their Eisodus or coming in.
cherubim that formed the mercy-seat, was the throne (2) After three days.-See chap. i. 2.
of Jehovah. But the central thing, the only thing not
of human workmanship, that remained in the ark, was (2—6) PRELIMINARY ORDERS.—The priests are to “the law written with the finger of God.” If we would bear the ark. This was usually the duty of the Levites exactly describe the position before us, we must say of the family of Kohath; but both at the
that the Israelites marched into Jordan led by the Jordan and the taking of Jericho, the priests were written law of God. The same written law, borne employed as bearers. The people must be sanctified, round the walls of Jericho, was the minister of as they were in preparation for the giving of the law vengeance to the Canaanites, as indeed it became afterat Sinai (in Exod. xix.). And the ark itself takes, wards to Israel when incautiously handled or invoked, in some sense, a fresh position. The space of 2,000 as at Eben-ezer (1 Sam. iv.), and as at Beth-shemesh cubits was left between the head of the column of (1 Sam. vi.; comp. 2 Sam. vi.), and also to the Philis. Israelites and the ark, in order that they might all see tines (1 Sam. v.). As soon as the army of Joshua reached it. Up to this time, during the whole of the Exodus, the centre of Canaan, this same law was written on they had been led by the pillar of cloud and fire. The great stones in the heart of the country, and became ark had led the van ever since they left Sinai (Num. X. the law of the land. It is consistent with what we 33, 34). But as the cloud had moved above the ark, have already noted (chap. i. 1) as to the difference where all the people could see it, the head of the between Moses and Joshua, that under Moses the