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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.
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JOSH U A.
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.
NOW after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,
2 › Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all
a Exod. xxiv. 13; Deut. i. 38.
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this people, unto the land which
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Every place that the I. Olymp. 675. sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
b Deut. xxxiv. 5.
Deut. xi. 24; chap. xiv. 9.
to Trachonitis, and is one hundred and twenty furlongs from Cæsarea, not far out of the road, on the right hand. It has its name Phiala, (a bowl or basin,) very justly, from the roundness of its circumference, being round like a wheel. It is always full, without ever sinking or running over. This origin of the Jordan was not known till the time of Philip, tetrarch of Trachonitis, who having ordered some chaff to be thrown in at Phiala, it was found at Panium. Jordan's visible stream arises from this cavern, (Panium,) and divides the marshes and fens of the lake Semechon; and when it has run another hundred and twenty furlongs, it first passes by the city Julias, and then passes through the middle of the lake Gennesareth, after which, running a long way over the desert, it empties itself into the lake Asphaltites.”—WAR, book iii., chap. x., sect. 7. See the note on Num. xxxiv. 12.
Verse 3. The sole of your foot shall tread upon] That is, the whole land occupied by the seven Canaan
NOTES ON CHAP. I.
Verse 1. Now after the death of Moses] and it was or happened after the death of Moses. Even the first words in this book show it to be a continuation of the preceding, and intimately connected with the narrative in the last chapter in Deuteronomy, of which I suppose Joshua to have been the author, and that chapter to have originally made the commencement of this book. See the notes there. The time referred to here must have been at the conclusion of the thirty days in which they mourned for Moses.
Verse 2. Moses my servant] The word servant, as applied both to Moses and Joshua, is to be understood in a very peculiar sense. It signifies God's prime minister, the person by whom he issued his orders, and by whom he accomplished all his purposes and designs. No person ever bore this title in the like sense but the Redeemer of mankind, of whom both Moses and Joshua were types.
Go 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
and promises him success.
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A. M. 2553. 4 From the wilderness and hand or to the left, that thou B. C. 1451. An. Exod. Isr. this Lebanon, even unto the great mayest 40. Anno ante river, the river Euphrates, all the I. Olymp. 675. land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea, toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast
5. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: fas I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
6 Be strong and of a good courage: for * unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
7 Only be thou strong, and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee turn not from it to the right
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8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good
9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,
11 Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for
d Gen. xv. 18; Exod. xxiii. 31; Num. xxxiv. 3-12. eDeut. 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.- Deut. v. 32; xxviii. 14.- Or, do wisely; chap. iii. 7; vi. 27; Isa. xliii. 2, 5.- Deut. xxxi. 6, 8; Heb. Deut. xxix. 9. Deut. xvii. 18, 19.- -P Psa. i. 2.- - Or, do Deut. xxxi. 7, 23.- Or, thou shalt cause this peo-wisely; ver. 7.Deut. xxxi. 7, 8, 23.- -8 Psa. xxvii. 1; Jer. i. 8.
ver. 4 below. It has been supposed that the words, Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, were intended to express the ease with which they were to conquer the whole land, an instance of which occurs in the taking of Jericho. It was only their unfaithfulness to God that rendered the conquest in any case difficult.
Verse 4. From the wilderness and this Lebanon] Joshua appears to be standing with his face towards the promised land, and pointing out the different places, or their situation, with his hand, THIS Lebanon, &c. The utmost of their limits should be from the desert of Arabia Petraa on the soUTH to Lebanon on the NORTH; and from the Euphrates on the EAST to the Mediterranean Sea on the WEST. The Israelites did not possess the full extent of this grant till the days of David. See 2 Sam. viii. 3, &c., and 2 Chron. ix. 26. Land of the Hittites] These are generally reputed to have been the most hardy and warlike of all the Canaanitish nations; and as they occupied the mountainous countries on the south of the land of Canaan, it is natural to suppose that they would be the most difficult to subdue, and on this account, it is supposed, God particularly specifies these: "Ye shall subdue and possess even all the land of the Hittites;" but it is probable that under this one term all the other nations are included, as it is certain they are in other places under the term Amorites.
Verse 7. Only be thou strong, and very courageous] Ισχυε ουν, και ανδριζου σφοδρα.—Sept. Be strong therefore, and play the man to the uttermost. Though God had promised him that no man should be able to stand before him, yet it was on condition that he should use all his military skill, and avail himself to the uttermost of all the means, natural and providential, which God should place within his reach. God will not have them who refuse to help themselves.
Verse 8. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth] The law which had already been writ. ten by Moses, and from which he and the people were to take all those precepts by which their lives were to be governed. Though there was a copy of the law laid up in the sanctuary, yet this was not sufficient. Joshua must have a copy for himself, and he was to consult it incessantly, that his way might be made prosperous, and that he might have good success. If he kept God's word, God would keep him in body and soul; if he should observe to do according to that word, then God would cause all his way to be prosperous. Those who are obedient to God lack no manner of thing that is good.
Verse 10. Commanded the officers] These were different from the D'UD shophetim, who were judges among the people, and whose business it was to determine in all civil cases. The shoterim 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 sea of Gennesareth, or the sea of Tiberias, and the Dead Sea, which were comparatively small lakes; but the Hebrews gave the name of sea, D' yam, to every large collection of waters.
carried into effect. Calmet conjectures that the shoterim here may have been the heralds of the army, like those so often met with in Homer, who were called the messengers both of the gods and men; who bore sceptres, and whose persons were ever held sacred. See on Deut. i. 13, 15.
The two tribes and half are
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within three days ye shall pass possessed the land which the over this Jordan, to go in to LORD your God giveth them: 40. Anno ante possess the land, which the LORD then ye shall return unto the I. Olymp. 675. your God giveth you to possess it. land of your possession, and 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 that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. 17 According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses.
13 Remember " the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.
14 Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them;
15 Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you, and they also have
Chap. iii. 2; see Deut. ix. 1; xi. 31.- -u Num. xxxii. 20-28; chap. xxii. 2, 3, 4.
countries, such as corn, oxen, sheep, &c.; for the word signifies prey, or what is taken by hunting, &c. This was necessary, as they were about to undergo considerable fatigue in marching, and in making preparations for the passage of the Jordan; for although the manna had not ceased to fall, yet such other provisions as are mentioned above were necessary on this occasion.
18 Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.
Heb. marshalled by five; as Exod. xiii. 18.-- Chap. xxii. 4, &c. Ver. 5; 1 Sam. xx. 13; 1 Kings i. 37.
Verse 17. Only the Lord thy God be with thee] Provided God be with thee, as he was with Moses, we will implicitly obey thee. The words however may mean no more than an earnest prayer for Joshua's prosperity: May God be with thee, as he was with Moses!
Verse 18. He shall be put to death] This was marItial law; he who disobeyed the command of his general should be put to death. To this the people agreed, and it was essentially necessary in order that proper discipline should be kept up in this great army. By insubordination their fathers had suffered much in the wilderness; they rejected the authority of Moses, mutinied and made themselves a leader to conduct them back to Egypt. (See Num. xiv. 4.) And Joshua himself, for attempting to encourage them against their
For within three days ye shall pass] Calmet contends, with great appearance of truth, that these three days should be reckoned from the first day of their encamping at Jordan, three days after the return of the spies, i. e., on the eighth day of the first month, on the tenth of which they passed over Jordan. The text therefore is supposed to mean, Prepare victuals for three days' march, for "on the third day after your decampment from Shittim ye shall pass over this Jor-fears, was near being stoned to death. It was necesdan."
Verse 13. Remember the word] He puts the Reubenites, &c., in remembrance of the engagements they had made with Moses (see Num. xxxii. 20) when he granted them their portion on the east side of Jordan.
Verse 14. Your wives, your little ones] And with these it appears, from Num. xxxii. 17, were left behind 70,580 effective men to guard them and their property; only 40,000 having passed over Jordan to assist the nine tribes and half to conquer the land. See chap. iv. 13.
Armed] on chamushim, by fives; in several lines, five in front, probably the usual method of marching; but it seems to signify arrayed, equipped, accoutred, well-armed, and ready for battle. See the note on Exod. xiii. 18.
Verse 15. Toward the sun-rising.] This is the EAST, as toward the going down of the sun signifies the WEST. Verse 16. All that thou commandest us we will do] Here they acknowledge the Divine mission of Joshua, as they had done that of Moses, and consequently promise to follow his directions in all things.
sary, therefore, that they should give him the most positive assurance that they would not act as their fathers had done.
1. NOTWITHSTANDING the great honour God put on his servants Moses, Aaron, Phinehas, and Joshua, yet we find him using every means to induce the people to trust in himself alone. Hence he is ever showing them that even those great men had nothing but what they had received, and that they were as fully dependent upon himself as the meanest of the people. What was even Moses without his GOD?
2. Is it not strange that at the death of Moses utter despair had not overwhelmed the whole camp, as he whom they expected to give them rest had died before any conquest was made in Canaan? We find, however, that they are not discouraged; he who gave them Moses, has now given them Joshua in his place; and they had now fully learned that if God be for them, none could be successfully against them.
3. From all this we may learn, that when God has a great work to accomplish, he will provide himself
Spies are sent out to
suitable instruments; and though one, which he has greatly honoured, appear to fail, we should know that he is not confined to work by that one alone. He has way every where, and all things serve the purposes of his will. He will as surely support his Church on earth, as he will support the earth itself; and while the sun and moon endure, the Church shall flourish this is for his own honour, and he certainly is more concerned for his own glory in the administration of justice, judgment, and salvation in the earth, than any of the children of men can possibly be.
4. Though God had so implicitly promised them his help, yet he strongly insists on their own co-operation. He requires the use of every power and talent he has given; even Joshua himself must be strong and very courageous, and the people must obey him in all things, in order that they may go over the Jordan to possess
examine the state of Jericho.
the good land; and without this they had never got into the promised rest. Shall we suppose, then, that if we be not workers together with God we shall be saved? Vain expectation! He works in us to will and to do, i. e., he gives the principle of volition in things that are holy, and the principle of power to bring the acts of will into good practical effect; therefore, says the apostle, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Will, therefore, under the influence of the gracious principle of volition; act under the influence of the principle of power. Without the power you can neither will nor do; but having the power it is your duty to will and do. It is enough that God gives the power. It is our duty, when we receive these talents, to improve them. In a million of cases a man may be both able to will and to do, and yet do 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.
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ND Joshua the son of Nun they went, and e came into a out of Shittim two harlot's house, named Rahab, An. Exod. Isr. men to spy secretly, saying, Go and lodged there. view the land, even Jericho. And
Or, had sent. Num. xxv. 1. Heb. xi. 31; James ii. 25.
NOTES ON CHAP. II.
Verse 1. Joshua-sent—two men to spy secretly] It is very likely that these spies had been sent out soon after the death of Moses, and therefore our marginal reading, had sent, is to be preferred. Secretly-It is very probable also that these were confidential persons, and that the transaction was between them and him alone. As they were to pass over the Jordan opposite to Jericho, it was necessary that they should have possession of this city, that in case of any reverses they might have no enemies in their rear. He sent the men, therefore, to see the state of the city, avenues of approach, fortifications, &c., that he might the better concert his mode of attack.
A harlot's house] Harlots and inn-keepers seem to have been called by the same name, as no doubt many who followed this mode of life, from their exposed situation, were not the most correct in their morals. Among the ancients women generally kept houses of entertainment, and among the Egyptians and Greeks
2 And fit was told the king of I. Olymp. 675. d Matt. i. 5.- e Heb. lay.- Psa. cxxvii. 1; Prov. xxi. 30. this was common. I shall subjoin a few proofs. HERODOTUS, speaking concerning the many differences between Egypt and other countries, and the peculiarity of their laws and customs, expressly says: Ev Toldi al μεν γυναικες αγοραζουσι και καπηλευουσι· οἱ δε ανδρες, κατ' οικους εοντες, ὑφαινουσι. "Among the Egyptians the women carry on all commercial concerns, and keep taverns, while the men continue at home and weave." Herod. in Euterp., c. xxxv. DIODORUS SICULUS, lib. i., s. 8, and c, xxvii., asserts that "the men were the slaves of the women in Egypt, and that it is stipulated in the marriage contract that the woman shall be the ruler of her husband, and that he shall obey her in all things." The same historian supposes that women had these high privileges among the Egyptians, to per petuate the memory of the beneficent administration of Isis, who was afterwards deified among them.
NYMPHODORUS, quoted by the ancient scholiast on the Edipus Coloneus of Sophocles, accounts for these customs: he says that "Sesostris, finding the popula
They are entertained at
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Jericho, saying, Behold, there
the house of Rahab.
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3 And the king of Jericho sent
tion of Egypt rapidly increasing, fearing that he should not be able to govern the people or keep them united under one head, obliged the men to assume the occupations of women, in order that they might be rendered effeminate."
Gen. Ixii. 9-12, 31; 2 Sam. x. 3.
apprehension and death, without the miraculous interference of God, should in despite of that law which at this time must have been so well known unto them, go into a place where they might expect, not the blessing, 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:
Εκει γαρ οἱ μεν αρσενες κατα στέγας θακουσιν ἱστουργοῦντες· αἱ δε ξυννομοι Τα 'ξω βιου τροφεια πορσυνουσ' αεί. Edip. Col. v. 352. "There the men stay in their houses weaving cloth, while the women transact all business out of doors, provide food for the family," &c. It is on this passage that the scholiast cites Nymphodorus for the information given above, and which he says is found in the 13th chapter of his work "On the Customs of Barbarous Nations."
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a brothel? But what completes in my judgment the evidence on this point is, that this very Rahab, whom we call a harlot, was actually married to Salmon, a Jewish prince, see Matt. i. 5. And is it probable that a prince of Judah would have taken to wife such a person as our text represents Rahab to be?
It is granted that the Septuagint, who are followed by Heb. xi. 31, and James ii. 25, translate the Hebrew zonah by Toрvŋ, which generally signifies a prostitute; but it is not absolutely evident that the Septuagint used the word in this sense. Every scholar knows that the Greek word opvn comes from ɛрvaw, to sell, as this does from Tɛpaw, to pass from one to another; transire facio a me ad alterum: DAMM. But may not this be spoken as well of the woman's goods as of her person? In this sense the Chaldee Targum understood the term, and has therefore translated it
That the same custom prevailed among the Greeks we have the following proof from APULEIUS: Ego vero quod primum ingressui stabulum conspicatus sum, accessi, et de QUADAM ANU CAUPONA illico percontor.— Metam. lib. i., p. 18, Edit. Bip. "Having entered into the first inn I met with, and there seeing a certain OLD WOMAN, the INN-KEEPER, I inquired of her."
pittetha pundekitha, a woman, a TAVERNKEEPER. That this is the true sense many eminent 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 themselves, 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 monwould 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 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 involvedgers. 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 it therefore likely that persons who could not escape she been a prostitute or a person of ill fame he could