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J 0 S H U A.
Year before the common Year of Christ, 1451.—Julian Period, 3263.–Cycle of the Sun, 10.—Dominical
Letter, B.-Cycle of the Moon, 10.-Indiction, 15.-Creation from Tisri or September, 2553.
Moses being dead, God commissions Joshua to bring the people into the promised land, 1, 2. The extent of
the land to be possessed, 3, 4. Joshua is assured of victory over all his enemies, and is exhorted to courage and activity, 5, 6; and to be careful to act, in all things, according to the law of Moses, in which he is to meditate day and night, 7, 8. He is again exhorted to courage, with the promise of continual support, 9. Joshua commands the officers to prepare the people for their passage over Jordan, 10, 11. The Reubenites, Gadites, and half tribe of Manasseh, are put in mind of their engagement to pass over with their brethren, 12-15. They promise the strictest obedience, and pray for the prosperity of their leader, 16–18.
A. M. 2553. B. M. 1953. NOW after the death of Moses (this people, unto the land which
B. C. 1451. An. Exod. Isr. the servant of the Lord, it I do give to them, even to the An. Exod. Isr. Anno ante came to pass that the Lord spake children of Israel.
Anno ante I. Olymp. 675.
unto Joshua the son of Nun, 3 Every place that the 1. Olymp. 675. Moses' a minister, saying,
sole of your foot shall tread upon, that 2 Moses
my servant is dead; now there- have I given unto you, as I said unto fore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all Moses. * Exod. xxiv. 13; Deut. i. 38.
b Deut. xxxiv. 5.- -- Deut. xi. 24 ; chap. xiv. 9. NOTES ON CHAP. I.
to Trachonitis, and is one hundred and twenty furlongs Verse 1. Now after the death of Moses] 'n' vayehi, from Cæsarea, not far out of the road, on the right and it was or happened after the death of Moses. hand. It has its name Phiala, (a bowl or basin,) very Even the first words in this book show it to be a con- justly, from the roundness of its circumference, being tinuation of the preceding, and intimately connected round like a wheel. It is always full, without ever with the narrative in the last chapter in Deuteronomy, sinking or running over. This origin of the Jordan of which I suppose Joshua to have been the author, was not known till the time of Philip, tetrarch of Traand that chapter to have originally made the commence- chonitis, who having ordered some chaff to be thrown ment of this book. See the notes there. The time in at Phiala, it was found at Panium. Jordan's visireferred to here must have been at the conclusion of ble stream arises from this cavern, (Panium,) and dithe thirty days in which they mourned for Moses. vides the marshes and fens of the lake Semechon; and
Verse 2. Moses my servant] The word servant, when it has run another hundred and twenty furlongs, as applied both to Moses and Joshua, is to be under- it first passes by the city Julias, and then passes through stood in a very peculiar sense. It signifies God's prime the middle of the lake Gennesareth, after which, runminister, the person by whom he issued his orders, and ning a long way over the desert, it empties itself into by whom he accomplished all his purposes and designs. the lake Asphaltites."—War, book iii., chap. X., sect. No person ever bore this title in the like sense but the 7. See the note on Num. xxxiv. 12. Redeemer of mankind, of whom both Moses and Joshua Verse 3. The sole of your foot shall tread upon] were types.
That is, the whole land occupied by the seven CanaanGo over this Jordan] The account given by Jose- itish nations, and as far as the Euphrates on the east; phus of this river may not be unacceptable here. for this was certainly the utmost of the grant now made « Panium is thought to be the fountain of Jordan, but to them; and all that was included in what is termed in reality it is carried thither in an occult manner from the promised land, the boundaries of which have althe place called Phiala. This place lies on the road | ready been defined. See Deut. xxxiv. 1-4, and see
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The Lord encourages Joshua,
and promises him success. A. M. 2553. 4 d From the wilderness and hand or to the left, that thou
A. M. 2553. B. C. 1451.
B. C. 1451. An. Exod. Isr. this Lebanon, even unto the great mayest prosper whithersoever An. Exod. Isr.
40. river, the river Euphrates, all the thou goest.
Anno ante I. Olymp. 675.
land of the Hittites, and unto the 8 • This book of the law shall 1. Olymp. 675. great sea, toward the going down of the sun, not depart out of thy mouth ; but P thou shalt shall be your coast.
meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest 5 • There shall not any man be able to stand observe to do according to all that is written before thee all the days of thy life : f as I was therein : for then thou shalt make thy way with Moses, so I will be with thee: h I will prosperous, and then thou shalt have good not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
success. 6 Be strong and of a good courage : for 9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong * unto this people shalt thou divide for an in- and of a good courage ; be not afraid, neither heritance the land, which I sware unto their be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is fathers to give them.
with thee whithersoever thou goest. 7 Only be thou strong, and very courageous, 10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of that thou mayest observe to do according to the people, saying, all the law, 'which Moses my servant com 11 Pass through the host, and command the manded thee : n turn not from it to the right people, saying, Prepare you victuals ; for
d Gen. xv. 18; Exod. xxiii. 31 ; Num. xxxiv. 3–12.- Deut. ple to inherit the land, &c.—Num. xxvii. 23; Deut. xxxi. 7, vii. 24. Exod. iii. 12. Deut. xxxi. 8, 23; ver. 9, 17; chap. xi. 15. _m Deut. v. 32 ; xxviii. 14. Or, do ursely; chap. iii. 7; vi. 27; Isa. xliii. 2, 5. h Deut. xxxi. 6, 8; Heb. Deut. xxix. 9. Deut. xvii. 18, 19. - Psa. i. 2.
-4 Or, do xili. 5. Deut. xxxi. 7, 23. Or, thou shalt cause this peo- wisely ; ver. 7. -- Deut. xxxi. 7,8,23. Psa. xxvii. 1; Jer. i. 8. ver. 4 below, It has been supposed that the words, Verse 7. Only be thou strong, and very courageous] Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, loque ouv, xou avopisou opodga.—Sept. Be strong were intended to express the ease with which they therefore, and play the man to the uttermost. Though were to conquer the whole land, an instance of which God had promised him that no man should be able to occurs in the taking of Jericho. It was only their un- stand before him, yet it was on condition that he should faithfulness to God that rendered the conquest in any use all his military skill, and avail himself to the uttercase difficult.
most of all the means, natural and providential, which Verse 4. From the wilderness and this Lebanon) God should place within his reach. God will not have Joshua appears to be standing with his face towards them who refuse to help themselves. the promised land, and pointing out the different places, Verse 8. This book of the law shall not depart out or their situation, with his hand, This Lebanon, &c. of thy mouth] The law which had already been writ. The utmost of their limits should be from the desert ten by Moses, and from which he and the people were of Arabia Petrea on the south to Lebanon on the to take all those precepts by which their lives were to NORTH; and from the Euphrates on the East to the be governed. Though there was a copy of the law Mediterranean Sea on the west. The Israelites did laid up in the sanctuary, yet this was not sufficient. not possess the full extent of this grant till the days Joshua must have a copy for himself, and he was to of David. See 2 Sam. viii. 3, &c., and 2 Chron. ix. 26. consult it incessantly, that his way might be made pros
Land of the Hittites] These are generally reputed perous, and that he might have good success. If he to have been the most hardy and warlike of all the Ca- kept God's word, God would keep him in body and naanitish nations; and as they occupied the mountain- soul; if he should observe to do according to that ous countries on the south of the land of Canaan, it is word, then God would cause all his way to be prosnatural to suppose that they would be the most difficult perous. Those who are obedient to God lack no manto subdue, and on this account, it is supposed, God par- ner of thing that is good. ticularly specifies these : “ Ye shall subdue and possess Verse 10. Commanded the officers] D'huv shoterim. even all the land of the Hittiles ;” but it is probable These were different from the D'UDV shophetim, who that under this one term all the other nations are in- were judges among the people, and whose business it cluded, as it is certain they are in other places under was to determine in all civil cases. The shoterim the term Amorites.
have been supposed to be subordinate officers, whose Great sea] The Mediterranean, called great in re- business it was to see the decisions of the shophetim spect of the lakes in the land of Judea, such as the carried into effect. Calmet conjectures that the shosea of Gennesareth, or the sea of Tiberias, and the terim here may have been the heralds of the army, Dead Sea, which were comparatively small lakes ; but like those so often met with in Homer, who were called the Hebrews gave the name of sea, D' yam, to every the messengers both of the gods and men; who bore large collection of waters.
sceptres, and whose persons were ever held sacred. Verse 5. Be able to stand before thee] Because God See on Deut. i. 13, 15. shall be with thee, therefore thou shalt be irresistible. Verse 11. Prepare you victuals] 773 tsedah, such This promise was most punctually and literally fulfilled. I prey or provisions as they had taken from the conquered
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The two tribes and half are
reminded of their agreement. * within three days ye shall pass possessed the land which the over this Jordan, to go in to Lord your God giveth them : An. Exod. Isr.
possess the land, which the LORD w then ye shall return unto the I. Olymp. 675.
your God giveth you to possess it. land of your possession, and 1. Olymp. 675. 12 And to the Reubenites, and to the Gad- enjoy it, which Moses the Lord's servant gave ites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake you on this side Jordan, toward the sun-rising. Joshua, saying,
16 And they answered Joshua, saying, All 13 Remember a the word which Moses the that thou commandest us we will do, and servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. The LORD your God hath given you rest, and 17 According as we hearkened unto Moses hath given you this land.
in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: 114 Your wives, your little ones, and your only the Lord thy God * be with thee, as he cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses was with Moses. gave you on this side Jordan ; but
shall 18 Whosoever he be that doth rebel against pass before your brethren armed, all the thy commandment, and will not hearken unto mighty men of valour, and help them ; thy words in all that thou commandest him,
15 Until the Lord have given your brethren he shall be put to death : only be strong and rest, as he hath given you, and they also have of a good courage.
Chap. iii. 2; see Deut. ix. 1 ; xi. 31.- - Num. xxxii. 20-28; Heb. marshalled by five; as Exod. xiii. 18. Chap. xxii. chap. xxii. 2, 3, 4.
4, &c.—Ver. 5 ; 1 Sam. xx. 13; 1 Kings i. 37.
countries, such as corn, oxen, sheep, &c.; for the word Verse 17. Only the Lord thy God be with thee] Prosignifies prey, or what is taken by hunting, &c. This vided God be with thee, as he was with Moses, we will was necessary, as they were about to undergo consider- implicitly obey thee. The words however may mean able fatigue in marching, and in making preparations no more than an earnest prayer for Joshua's prosperity : for the passage of the Jordan; for although the manna May God be with thee, as he was with Moses ! had not ceased to fall, yet such other provisions as are Verse 18. He shall be put to death] This was marmentioned above were necessary on this occasion. tial law; he who disobeyed the command of his gene
For within three days ye shall pass] Calmet con- ral should be put to death. To this the people agreed, tends, with great appearance of truth, that these three and it was essentially necessary in order that proper days should be reckoned from the first day of their discipline should be kept up in this great army. By encamping at Jordan, three days after the return of insubordination their fathers had suffered much in the the spies, i. e., on the eighth day of the first month, wilderness ; they rejected the authority of Moses, muon the tenth of which they passed over Jordan. The tinied and made themselves a leader to conduct them text therefore is supposed to mean, Prepare victuals back to Egypt. (See Num. xiv. 4.) And Joshua
for three days' march, for “on the third day after your himself, for attempting to encourage them against their decampment from Shittim ye shall pass over this Jor- fears, was near being stoned to death. It was necesdan,”
sary, therefore, that they should give him the most Verse 13. Remember the word] He puts the Reu- positive assurance that they would not act as their fabenites, &c., in remembrance of the engagements they thers had done. had made with Moses (see Num. xxxii. 20) when he granted them their portion on the east side of Jordan. 1. NOTWITHSTANDING the great honour God put on
Verse 14. Your wives, your little ones] And with his servants Moses, Aaron, Phinehas, and Joshua, yet these it appears, from Num. xxxii. 17, were left be- we find him using every means to induce the people hind 70,580 effective men to guard them and their to trust in himself alone. Hence he is ever showing property; only 40,000 having passed over Jordan to them that even those great men had nothing but what assist the nine tribes and half to conquer the land. they had received, and that they were as fully dependSee chap. iv. 13.
ent upon himself as the meanest of the people. What Armed] b'von chamushim, by fives; in several was even Moses without his GOD? lines, five in front, probably the usual method of march- 2. Is it not strange that at the death of Meses utter ing; but it seems to signify arrayed, equipped, accoutred, despair had not overwhelmed the whole camp, as he well-armed, and ready for battle. See the note on whom they expected to give them rest had died before Exod. xiii. 18.
any conquest was made in Canaan? We find, howVerse 15. Toward the sun-rising.) This is the east, ever, that they are not discouraged; he who gave them as toward the going down of the sun signifies the west. Moses, has now given them Joshua in his place; and
Verse 16. All that thou commandest us we will do] they had now fully learned that if God be for them, Here they acknowledge the Divine mission of Joshua, none could be succe
ccessfully against them. as they had done that of Moses, and consequently pro- 3. From all this we may learn, that when God has mise to follow his directions in all things.
a great work to accomplish, he will provide himself
Spies are sent out to
examine the state of Jericho. suitable instruments ; and though one, which he has the good land; and without this they had never got greatly honoured, appear to fail, we should know that into the promised rest. Shall we suppose, then, that he is not confined to work by that one alone. He has if we be not workers together with God we shall be way every where, and all things serve the purposes of saved? Vain expectation! He works in us to will his will. He will as surely support his Chureh on and to do, i. e., he gives the principle of volition in earth, as he will support the earth itself; and while things that are holy, and the principle of power to bring the sun and moon endure, the Church shall flourish : the acts of will into good practical effect; therefore, this is for his own honour, and he certainly is more says the apostle, work out your own salvation with fear concerned for his own glory in the administration of and trembling. Will, therefore, under the influence justice, judgment, and salvation in the earth, than any of the gracious principle of volition ; act under the of the children of men can possibly be.
influence of the principle of power. Without the power 4. Though God had so implicitly promised them his you can neither will nor do ; but having the power it help, yet he strongly insists on their own co-operation. is your duty to will and do. It is enough that God He requires the use of every power and talent he has gives the power. It is our duty, when we receive given ; even Joshua himself must be strong and very these talents, to improve them. In a million of cases courageous, and the people must obey him in all things, a man may be both able to will and to do, and yet do in order that they may go over the Jordan to possess neither to the salvation of his soul.
Joshua sends out two spies to examine the state of the inhabitants of the land, particularly those of Jericho,
who are entertained at the house of Rahab, 1. The king of Jericho is informed of their being in the town, and sends to Rahab, commanding her to deliver them up, 2, 3. She hides the spies, and tells the messengers that the men were departed and gone towards the mountain, 4, 5. When the officers of the king of Jericho were departed, she took the spies to the house-top, and covered them with flax, 6, 7. She relates to them that the fear of the Israelites had fallen on all the inhabitants of the country on hearing of their victories over the Amorites ; that she knew none could resist the God of Israel, and therefore desired them to give her an oath that, when they took Jericho, they would preserve the lives of her and her family, 8–13. The spies swear to her, 14. She lets them down by a cord from the house-top, and gives them directions how to proceed, in order to avoid the pursuers, 15, 16. She is to tie a scarlet line to the window, through which she had let them down, which should be the sign to the Israelites to spare that house and its inhabitants, 17-19. Having bound her to secresy, they depart, 20, 21. After three days' stay in the mountain, they return to Joshua, and make a favourable report, 22-24, A. M. 2553.
A. M. 2553. AND Joshua the son of Nun they went, and came into a B. C. 1451.
B. C. 1451. An, Exod, Isr, a sent out of Shittim two harlot's house, named «Rahab, An. Exod. Isr.
Anno ante men to spy secretly, saying, Go and lodged there.
view the land, even Jericho. And 2 And it was told the king of 1. Olymp. 675. * Or, had sent.-- Num. xxv. 1.- -- Heb. xi, 31; James ii. 25. d Matt. i. 5. - Heb. lay. - Psa. cxxvii. 1; Prov. xxi. 30.
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NOTES ON CHAP. II,
this was common. I shall subjoin a few proofs. HeVerse 1. Joshua-sent--two men to spy secretly) It RODOTUS, speaking concerning the many differences is very likely that these spies had been sent out soon between Egypt and other countries, and the peculiarity after the death of Moses, and therefore our marginal of their laws and customs, expressly says : Ev Toid al reading, had sent, is to be preferred. Secretly—It is usv yuvaixes ayopalovoi xai xatnasvovoi oi de avogssa very probable also that these were confidential persons, xar''Oixous soutes, i aivous. “ Among the Egyptians and that the transaction was between them and him the women carry on all commercial concerns, and keep alone. As they were to pass over the Jordan opposite taverns, while the men continue at home and weave.' to Jericho, it was necessary that they should have pos- Herod. in Euterp., C. xxxv. Diodorus Siculus, lib. session of this city, that in case of any reverses they i., s. 8, and c, xxvii., asserts that “the men were the might have no enemies in their rear. He sent the slaves of the women in Egypt, and that it is stipulated men, therefore, to see the state of the city, avenues in the marriage contract that the woman shall be the of approach, fortifications, &c., that he might the bet- ruler of her husband, and that he shall obey her in all ter concert his mode of attack.
things.” The same historian supposes that women A harlot's house] Harlots and inn-keepers seem to had these high privileges among the Egyptians, to per have been called by the same name, as no doubt many petuate the memory of the beneficent administration who followed this mode of life, from their exposed of Isis, who was afterwards deified among them. situation, were not the most correct in their morals. NYMPHODORUS, quoted by the ancient scholiast on Among the ancients women generally kept houses of the Edipus Coloneus of Sophocles, accounts for these entertainment, and among the Egyptians and Greeks customs : he says that “ Sesostris, finding the popula
B. C. 145).
They are entertained at
the house of Rahab. A. M. 2553. Jericho, saying, Behold, there 3 And the king of Jericho sent
A. M. 2553. B. C. 145). An. Exod. Isr. came men in hither to-night of unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth An. Exod. Isr.
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the children of Israel, s to search the men that are come to thee, I. Olymp. 675. out the country. which are entered into thine
I. Olymp. 675.
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& Gen. Ixii. 9-12, 31; 2 Sam. x. 3.
tion of Egypt rapidly increasing, fearing that he should apprehension and death, without the miraculous internot be able to govern the people or keep them united ference of God, should in despite of that law which at onder one head, obliged the men to assume the occu- this time must have been so well known unto them, pations of women, in order that they might be rendered go into a place where they might expect, not the blesseffeminate."
ing, but the curse, of God? Is it not therefore more Sophocles confirms the account given by Herodotus ; likely that they went rather to an inn to lodge than to speaking of Egypt he says :
a brothel ? But what completes in my judgment the
evidence on this point is, that this very Rahab, whom Εκει γαρ οι μεν αρσενες κατα στεγας θακουσιν ιστουργουντες· αι δε ξυννομοι
we call a harlot, was actually married to Salmon, a
Jewish prince, see Matt. i. 5. And is it probable that Τα 'ξω βιου τροφεια πορσυνουσ' αει.
a prince of Judah would have taken to wife such a Edip. Col. v. 352.
person as our text represents Rahab to be? " There the men stay in their houses weaving cloth, It is granted that the Septuagint, who are followed while the women transact all business out of doors, by Heb. xi. 31, and James ii. 25, translate the Hebrew provide food for the family,” &c. It is on this passage nga zonah by Topvn, which generally signifies a prosthat the scholiast cites Nymphodorus for the informa- titute ; but it is not absolutely evident that the Seption given above, and which he says is found in the luagint used the word in this sense. Every scholar 13th chapter of his work “On the Customs of Barba- knows that the Greek word topvn comes from repvaw, rous Nations."
to sell, as this does from repaw, to pass from one to That the same custom prevailed among the Greeks another; transire facio a me ad allerum : Damm. But we have the following proof from APULEIUS : Ego may not this be spoken as well of the woman's goods rero
ro quod primum ingressui stabulum conspicatus sum, as of her person? In this sense the Chaldee Targum accessi, el de QUADAM ANU CAUPONA illico percontor.— understood the term, and has therefore translated it Metam. lib. 1., p. 18, Edit. Bip. “ Having entered into "p7319 xnnx ittetha pundekitha, a woman, a tavernthe first inn I met with, and there seeing a certain OLD
That this is the true sense many eminent WOMAN, the INN-KEEPER, I inquired of her."
men are of opinion; and the preceding arguments It is very likely that women kept the places of render it at least very probable. To all this may be public entertainment among the Philistines ; and that added, that as our blessed Lord came through the line it was with such a one, and not with a harlot, that of this woman, it cannot be a matter of little conseSamson lodged; (see Judges xvi. 1, &c. ;) for as this quence to know what moral character she sustained; eustom certainly did prevail among the Egyptians, as an inn-keeper she might be respectable, if not honourof which we have the fullest proof above, we may able ; as a public prostitute she could be neither; and naturally expect it to have prevailed also among the it is not very likely that the providence of God would Canaanites and Philistines, as we find from Apuleius have suffered a person of such a notoriously bad chathat it did afterwards among, the Greeks. Besides, racter to enter into the sacred line of his genealogy. there is more than presumptive proof that this custom It is true that the cases of Tamar and Bathsheba may obtained among the Israelites then selves, even in the be thought sufficient to destroy this argument; but most polished period of their history; for it is much whoever considers these two cases maturely will see more reasonable to suppose that the two women, who that they differ totally from that of Rahab, if we allow came to Solomon for judgment, relative to the dead the word harlot to be legitimate. As to the objection child, (1 Kings iii. 16, &c.,) were inn-keepers, than that her husband is nowhere mentioned in the account that they were harlots. It is well known that common here given; it appears to me to have little weight. prostitutes, from their abandoned course of life, She might have been either a single woman or a wiscarcely ever have children ; and the laws were so dow; and in either of these cases there could have strict against such in Israel, (Deut. xxiii. 18,) that if been no mention of a husband; or if she even had these had been of that class it is not at all likely they a husband it is not likely he would have been menwould have dared to appear before Solomon. All tioned on this occasion, as the secret seems to have these circumstances considered, I am fully satisfied been kept religiously between her and the spies. If that the term 1731 zonah in the text, which we translate she were a married woman her husband might be inharlot, should be rendered tavern or inn-keeper, or cluded in the general terms, all that she had, and all hostess. The spies who were sent out on this occa- her kindred, chap. vi. 23. But it is most likely that sion were undoubtedly the most confidential persons she was a single woman or a widow, who got her bread that Joshua had in his host ; they went on an errand honestly by keeping a house of entertainment for stranof the most weighty importance, and which involved gers. See below. the greatest consequences. The risk they ran of Verse 3. The king of Jericho sent unto Rahab] This losing their lives in this enterprise was extreme. Is appears to be a proof of the preceding opinion : had is therefore likely that persons who could not escape she been a prostitute or a person of ill fame he could