The Commentary On Joshua was the last literary labor of its venerable Author. When he engaged in it, his constitution, which had never been strong, was completely worn out by excessive exertion, and almost every line of it must have been dictated to his amanuensis during momentary intervals of relief from severe bodily pain. On this point we possess authentic documents which leave no room for doubt.
In a letter dated 30th November 1563, not quite six months before his death, after alluding to the difficulty he felt in continuing his studies, while both mind and body were exhausted by sickness, he states that he had undertaken a Commentary on Joshua, in compliance with the wishes of his friends, but had not then been able to advance beyond the third Chapter, though he had endeavored to be as brief as possible.
Little more than two months after this letter was written, on 6th February 1564, he made his appearance in the pulpit for the last time; and on 10th March following, the complication of diseases which too plainly indicated that his earthly career was about to close, had become so alarming as to cause an entry in the Register of Geneva in the following terms: — "Arrete que chacun prie Dieu pour la sante de M. Calvin, qui est indispose depuis longtemps, et meme en danger de mort:" — "Decreed that every one pray to God for the health of Mr. Calvin, who has been indisposed for a long time, and even in danger of death."
Such are the circumstances in which this Commentary was composed, and it is impossible, in reflecting on them, not to admire the indomitable energy which Calvin displayed in proceeding with his task, and in meeting the remonstrance's of those who would have withdrawn him from it, with the heroic exclamation, "Would you that the Lord, when He comes, should find me idle!"
A Work written at such a time, and in such a spirit, might justly claim exemption from criticism; but it has no need of indulgence, and can well afford to be judged by its own intrinsic merits. Viewed merely as an intellectual effort, it displays all the excellencies which characterize the other Commentaries of its distinguished Author: viewed in a higher and better light, it is his dying bequest to the Church — a solemn ratification of the whole System of Doctrine which he had so long, so earnestly, and so successfully promulgated.
As an appropriate conclusion both to the present Volume and the others which have preceded it, a valuable Tract, first published in this country in 1845, has been appended. It contains a Preface by the Rev. William Pringle, its original editor, an Essay from the German of Professor Theoluck, and a series of Extracts from Writers often differing widely from each other, but all concurring in a united testimony to the greatness of Calvin's talents, or the excellence of his character. In the present reprint, the chief change consists in the insertion of Additional Testimonies.
The list of Calvin's Writings, which completes the present Volume, is in accordance with that furnished by his greatest Biographer, Henri of Berlin, and will enable the reader to comprehend at a single glance the amazing extent of his literary labors.
December 30, 1854.
As to the Author of this Book, it is better to suspend our judgment than to make random assertions. Those who think that it was Joshua, because his name stands on the title page, rest on weak and insufficient grounds. The name of Samuel is inscribed on a part of the Sacred History containing a narrative of events which happened after his death; and there cannot be a doubt that the book which immediately follows the present is called Judges, not because it was written by them, but because it recounts their exploits. Joshua died before the taking of Hebron and Debir, and yet an account of it is given in the 15th chapter of the present Book. The probability is, that a summary of events was framed by the high priest Eleazar, and furnished the materials out of which the Book of Joshua was composed. It was a proper part of the high priest's duty not only to give oral instruction to the people of his own time, but to furnish posterity with a record of the goodness of God in preserving the Church, and thus provide for the advancement of true religion. And before the Levites became degenerate, their order included a class of scribes or notaries who embodied in a perpetual register everything in the history of the Church which was worthy of being recorded. Let us not hesitate. therefore, to pass over a matter which we are unable to determine, or the knowledge of which is not very necessary, while we are in no doubt as to the essential point — that the doctrine herein contained was dictated by the Holy Spirit for our use, and confers benefits of no ordinary kind on those who attentively peruse it. f1
Although the people had already gained signal victories, and become the occupants of a commodious and tolerably fertile tract of country, the Divine promise as to the land of Canaan still remained suspended. Nay, the leading article in the Covenant was unaccomplished, as if God, after cooping up his people in a corner, had left his work in a shapeless and mutilated form. This Book, then, shows how, when the intolerable impiety of the people had interrupted the course of deliverance, God, while inflicting punishment, so tempered the severity of justice as ultimately to perform what he had promised concerning the inheritance of Canaan.
This suggests the very useful reflection, that while men are cut off by death, and fail in the middle of their career, the faithfulness of God never fails. On the death of Moses a sad change seemed impending; the people were left like a body with its head lopped off. While thus in danger of dispersion, not only did the truth of God prove itself to be immortal, but it was shown in the person of Joshua as in a bright mirror, that when God takes away those whom he has adorned with special gifts, he has others in readiness to supply their place, and that though he is pleased for a time to give excellent gifts to some, his mighty power is not tied down to them, but he is able, as often as seems to him good, to find fit successors, nay, to raise up from the very stones persons qualified to perform illustrious deeds.
First, we see how, when the wandering of forty years in the wilderness had almost effaced the remembrance of the passage of the Red Sea, the course of deliverance was proved to have been uninterrupted by the repetition of the same miracle in the passage of the Jordan. The renewal of circumcision was equivalent to a re-establishment of the Covenant which had been buried in oblivion by the carelessness of the people, or abandoned by them from despair. Next, we see how they were conducted by the hand of God into possession of the promised land. The taking of the first city was an earnest of the perpetual aid which they might hope for from heaven, since the walls of Jericho fell of their own accord, shaken merely by the sound of trumpets. The nations, however, were not completely routed by a single battle, nor in one short campaign, but were gradually worn out and destroyed by many laborious contests.
Here, it is to be observed, that arduous difficulties were thrown in the way of the people when the kings entered into a league, and came forth to meet them with united forces, because it became necessary not only to war with single nations, but with an immense body which threatened to overwhelm them by one great onset. Ultimately, however, all these violent attempts had no other effect than to make the power of God more manifest, and give brighter displays of mercy and faithfulness in the defense of his chosen people. In fact, their uninterrupted course of success, and their many unparalleled victories, showed the hand of God as it were visibly stretched forth from heaven.
More especially, a signal proof that they were warring under divine auspices was given when the sun was checked in his course at the mere prayer of Joshua, as if the elements had been armed for his assistance, and were waiting ready to obey him. Again, while the delays which occurred in the progress of the war were useful trials of the constancy of the people, we must not lose sight of another admirable use of which Moses, to prevent them from fainting in their minds, had at an earlier period forewarned them, viz., that God was unwilling to destroy the nations at once, lest the country, from being converted into a kind of desert, might be overrun by wild beasts.
But the provision which God had thus most graciously made for their security, they wickedly perverted to their own destruction: for having obtained what they deemed a large enough space for commodious habitation, they turned backwards to indulge in sloth and cowardice. This one crime brought others along with it. For after they had been enrolled under the banners of the Lord, they treacherously and disobediently refused to fulfil their period of service, in the very same way as deserters, regardless of the military oath, basely quit their standards. f2 The dominion of the land, which had been divinely offered, they, with flagrant ingratitude, rejected, by taking possession of only a part.
Moreover, though they had been ordered to purge the sacred territory of all pollutions, in order that no profanation of the pure and legitimate worship might remain, they allowed the impious superstitions which God abhorred to be practiced as before; and though they also knew that the order had been partly given as a security for their own safety, lest, through intermixture with the nations, they might be ensnared by their impostures and insidious arts, yet, as if they had determined to court danger, they left them to furnish the fuel of a dire conflagration.
Their obstinate incredulity betrays itself in their disregard of the penalty denounced against such transgression. But they at length learned by experience that God had not threatened in vain, that those nations whom they had wickedly f3 spared, would prove to them thorns and stings. For they were harassed by constant incursions, pillaged by rapine, and at length almost oppressed by tyrannical violence. In short, it was not owing to any merit of theirs that the truth of God did not utterly fail. f4
On this point, indeed, a question may be raised: for if the promise given to Abraham was founded on the mere good pleasure of God, f5 then, be the character of the people what it might, it is absurd to say that it could be defeated by their fault. How are we to reconcile the two things, — that the people did not obtain the full and complete inheritance promised to them, and that yet God was true? I answer, that so far was the faithfulness of God f6 from being overthrown, or shaken, or in any way impaired, that we here perceive more clearly how wonderful are His workings, who, in unsearchable wisdom, knows how to bring light out of darkness.
It had been said to Abraham, (<011518>Genesis 15:18) To thy seed will I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates. Joshua affirms that the event drew near, and was actually at hand. But the Israelites, overcome by sloth, do not reach those boundaries; nay, in settling down of their own accord within narrow limits, they in a manner oppose barriers to the divine liberality. In this way the covenant of God seemed to suffer a kind of eclipse.
And there is no doubt that pious minds were often filled with anxiety when they saw His work cut short. But the punishment inflicted on the people for their wickedness was so tempered, that what might otherwise have been a grievous and perilous trial of faith, was converted into a powerful support. The apparent failure reminded the children of God that they were to look forward to a more excellent state, where the divine favor would be more clearly displayed, nay, would be freed from every obstruction, and shine forth in full splendor. Hence their thoughts were raised to Christ, and it was made known to them that the complete felicity of the Church depended on its Head. In arriving at this conclusion, they were assisted by new prophecies. For the rehearsal which Joshua here makes of the ancient covenant is applied in the Psalms (Psalms 72 and 89) to the Messiah's reign, unto which time, the Lord had, for the purpose of rendering it more glorious, deferred the full fruition of the promised land. The same thing was exemplified in David, who bore a typical resemblance to Christ, and in whom it was shown that the divine promises were only established and confirmed in the hand of a Mediator.
No longer, therefore, does it seem strange that the result promised, after being retarded by the wickedness of the people, was not, fully accomplished till the state of the Church was rightly arranged, seeing that in the person of David the image of the Mediator, on whom the perfect the moderate foretaste which believers received of the divine favor, must have sufficed to sustain f7 them, preparatory to the more complete realization.
Nor, indeed, was the partition made by Joshua and the heads of the tribes, to whom that duty was intrusted, elusory or fallacious; but the inheritance, in possession of which God had placed them by His own hand, was truly and distinctly divided by His orders. In this respect, too, the sacred observance of the covenant made with Abraham was conspicuous. Jacob, when about to die, had destined certain settlements to some of his children. Had each tribe received its portion simply by the determination and suffrages of men, it might have been thought that they had merely followed the directions of the Patriarch. But when the lot, than which nothing is deemed more fortuitous, confirmed the prophecy, the stability of the donation f8 was as clearly ratified as if God had visibly appeared. Accordingly, after the sluggishness of the people put an end to the war, Joshua sent back the tribes of Reuben and Gad, with the half tribe of Manasseh, as if their period of service had expired.
Next follows a remarkable narrative, clearly showing how zealous the Israelites who dwelt in the land of Canaan were to maintain the pure worship of God. For when these two tribes and half tribe had erected a monument of fraternal alliance, the others, thinking that it was an altar intended for sacrifice, and consequently an abomination, immediately determine to declare war, and prepare sooner to destroy their kindred f9 than allow religion to be torn asunder by a bastard worship. At the same time they are commended for their moderation, in being so easily appeased on obtaining satisfaction, after a sacred zeal had suddenly roused them to arms.
In the end of the book it is shown how anxious Joshua was to advance the glory of God, f10 and how diligently he endeavored to obviate the fickleness and treachery of the people. With this view, not only the most impressive exhortations, but protestations, were employed, and more especially the covenant was renewed in regular form with the solemnity of an oath. f11
Joshua 1:1-4
1. Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spoke unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, 1. Fuit autem post mortem Mosis, ut Jehova alloqueretur Josue, dicendo, f12
2. Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 2. Moses servus meus mortuus est: nunc ergo surge, trajice Jordanem istum tu, et omnis hic populus, ad terram quam ego do illis, nempe filiis Israel.
3. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. 3. Omnem locum quem calcaverit planta pedis vestri vobis dedi; quemadmodum locutus sum Mosi.
4. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. 4. A desserto et Libano isto usque ad flumen magnum, flumen Euphraten, tota terra Hittaeorum usque ad mare magnum ad occasum solis, erit terminus vester.

1. Now, after, etc Here, first, we see the steadfastness of God in watching over his people, and providing for their safety. The sanction given to Joshua's appointment, as new leader by a renewed commission, f13 was intended to indicate the continuance of his favor, and prevent the people from thinking themselves forsaken in consequence of the death of Moses. Joshua, indeed, had already been chosen to rule the people; and not only invested with the office, but also endowed with spiritual gifts. But as the most valiant, however well provided, are apt to halt or waver when the period for action arrives, the exhortation to Joshua to make ready forthwith for the expedition was by no means superfluous. Still, however, the call thus formally given was not so much on his own account, as to inspire the people with full confidence in following a leader whom they saw advancing step by step in the path divinely marked out for him. f14
2. Moses my servant, etc A twofold meaning may be extracted — the one, since Moses is dead, the whole burden has now devolved upon thee, take the place of him to whom thou has been appointed successor; the other, although Moses is dead, do not desist, but go forward. I prefer the former, as containing the inference that he should, by right of succession, take up the office which Moses had left vacant. f15 The epithet or surname of servant applied to Moses, has respect to his government of the people and his exploits; for it ought to be accommodated to actual circumstances. f16 The allusion here is not to the Law but to the leadership, which had passed to Joshua by the decease of Moses, and God thus acknowledges his servant, not so much with the view of praising him, as of strengthening the authority of Joshua, who had been substituted in his place. And as the people might not have acquiesced sufficiently in a bare command, he promises, while ordering them to pass the Jordan, to give them peaceable possession of the whole country, and of every spot of it on which they should plant their foot. For as nothing tends more than distrust to make us sluggish and useless, so when God holds forth a happy issue, confidence inspires us with rigor for any attempt.
It may be added, that he does now begin for the first time to give them good hopes, by making a promise of which they had not previously heard, but recalls to their remembrance what Moses had formerly testified. He says, therefore, that the time had now come for exhibiting and performing that which he had promised to Moses. Should any one object that the same thing had been said to Abraham long before Moses was born, nay, that the perpetual covenant deposited with Abraham included everything which was heard by Moses four hundred years after; f17 I answer, that here no notice is taken of the ancient promise which was everywhere known and celebrated, and that Moses is produced as a witness whose memory was more recent, and by whose death the confidence of the people might have been shaken, had not God declared that the accomplishment of all which he had said was at hand.
4. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, etc How the truth and fulfillment of this promise surmounted all the obstacles interposed by the wickedness of the people, though they did not obtain immediate possession of the whole territory, I have explained in the Argument. For although God had unfolded the inestimable treasures of his beneficence by constituting them lords of the country, it did not follow that their misconduct was not to be chastised. Nay, there behooved to be a fulfillment of the threatening which Moses had denounced, viz., that if the nations doomed to destruction were not destroyed, they would prove thorns and stings in their eyes and sides. But as the promise was by no means broken or rendered void by the delay of forty years, during which they were led wandering through the desert, so the entire possession, though long suspended, proved the faithfulness of the decree by which it had been adjudged.
The people had it in their power to obtain possession of the prescribed boundaries in due time; they declined to do so. For this they deserved to have been expelled altogether. f18 But the divine indulgence granted them an extent of territory sufficient for their commodious habitation; and although it had been foretold that, in just punishment, the residue of the nations whom they spared would prove pernicious to them, still, they suffered no molestation, unless when they provoked the Divine anger by their perfidy and almost continual defection: for as often as their affairs became prosperous, they turned aside to wantonness. Still, owing to the wonderful goodness of God, when oppressed by the violence of the enemy, and, as it were, thrust down to the grave, they continued to live in death; and not only so, but every now and then deliverers arose, and, contrary to all hope, retrieved them from ruin. f19
The Great Sea means the Mediterranean, and to it the land of the Hittites forms the opposite boundary; in the same way Lebanon is opposed to the Euphrates; but it must be observed that under Lebanon the desert is comprehended, as appears from another passage. f20
Joshua 1:5-9
5. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 5. Non consistet quisquam contra te cunctis diebus vitae tuae; quia sicuti fui cum Mose, ita ero tecum; non te deseram, neque derelinquam.
6. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shall thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I swear unto their fathers to give them. 6. Confirmare, ergo, et roborare; quia tu in haereditatem divides populo huic terram, de qua juravi patribus eorum me daturum illis.
7. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou may observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou may prosper whithersoever thou goes. 7. Tantum confirmare et roborare vehementer: ut custodias et facias secundum totam legem quam praecepit tibi Moses servus meus; non recedes ad dextram vel ad sinistram ut prudenter (vel prospere) agas in omnibus.
8. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shall make thy way prosperous, and then thou shall have good success. 8. Non recedat liber legis hujus ab ore tuo; sed mediteris in eo, die et nocte, ut custodias et facias, secundum id totum quod scriptum est in eo. Tunc enim secundas reddes vias tuas, et tunc prudenter ages.
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 goes. 9. Nonne praecepi tibi, ut te confirmes, et te robores? Ne formides, neque animo fragaris; quoniam tecum sum Jehova Deus tuus in omnibus ad quae tu pergis.

5. There shall not any man, etc As a contest was about to be waged with numerous and warlike enemies, it was necessary thus to inspire Joshua with special confidence. But for this, the promise of delivering over the land which God had given, would ever and anon have become darkened; for how vast the enterprise to overthrow so many nations! This objection therefore is removed. And the better to free him from all doubt, he is reminded of the victories of Moses, by which God had made it manifest that nothing was easier for him than utterly to discomfit any host however great and powerful. Joshua, therefore, is ordered to behold in the assistance given to Moses the future issue of the wars which he was to undertake under the same guidance and protection. For the series of favors is continued without interruption to the successor.
What follows is to the same effect, though it is more fully expressed by the words, I will not fail thee, etc Hence the Apostle, (<581305>Hebrews 13:5,) when wishing to draw off believers from avarice, makes an application of these words for the purpose of calming down all anxieties, and suppressing all excessive fears. And in fact, the distrust which arises from anxiety kindles in us such tumultuous feelings that on the least appearance of danger, we turmoil and miserably torment ourselves until we feel assured that God both will be with us and more than suffice for our protection. And, indeed, while he prescribes no other cure for our timidity, he reminds us that we ought to be satisfied with his present aid.
6. Be strong, etc An exhortation to fortitude is added, and indeed repeated, that it may make the deeper impression. At the same time the promise is introduced in different words, in which Joshua is assured of his divine call, that he might have no hesitation in undertaking the office which had been divinely committed to him, nor begin to waver midway on being obliged to contend with obstacles. It would not have been enough for him diligently to begirt himself at the outset without being well prepared to persevere in the struggle.
Although it is the property of faith to animate us to strenuous exertion, in the same way as unbelief manifests itself by cowardice or cessation of effort, still we may infer from this passage, that bare promises are not sufficiently energetic without the additional stimulus of exhortation. For if Joshua, who was always remarkable for alacrity, required to be incited to the performance of duty, how much more necessary must it be that we who labor under so much sluggishness should be spurred forward.
We may add, that not once only or by one single expression are strength and constancy required of Joshua, but he is confirmed repeatedly and in various terms, because he was to be engaged in many and various contests. He is told to be of strong and invincible courage. Although these two epithets make it obvious that God was giving commandment concerning a most serious matter, still not contented with this reduplication, he immediately after repeats the sentence, and even amplifies it by the addition of the adverb very.
From this passage, therefore, let us learn that we can never be fit for executing difficult and arduous matters unless we exert our utmost endeavors, both because our abilities are weak, and Satan rudely assails us, and there is nothing we are more inclined to than to relax our efforts. f21 But, as many exert their strength to no purpose in making erroneous or desultory attempts, it is added as a true source of fortitude that Joshua shall make it his constant study to observe the Law. By this we are taught that the only way in which we can become truly invincible is by striving to yield a faithful obedience to God. Otherwise it were better to lie indolent, and effeminate than to be hurried on by headlong audacity.
Moreover, God would not only have his servant to be strong in keeping the Law, but enjoins him to contend manfully, so as not to faint under the burden of his laborious office. But as he might become involved in doubt as to the mode of disentangling himself in matters of perplexity, or as to the course which he ought to adopt, he refers him to the teaching of the Law, because by following it as a guide he will be sufficiently fitted for all things. He says, You shall act prudently in all things, provided you make the Law your master; although the Hebrew word lkç, means to act not only prudently but successfully, because temerity usually pays the penalty of failure.
Be this as it may, by submitting entirely to the teaching of the Law he is more surely animated to hope for divine assistance. For it is of great consequence, when our fears are excited by impending dangers, to feel assured that we have the approbation of God in whatever we do, inasmuch as we have no other object in view than to obey his commands. Moreover, as it would not be enough to obey God in any kind of way, f22 Joshua is exhorted to practice a modesty and sobriety which may keep him within the bounds of a simple obedience.
Many, while possessed of right intention, sometimes imagine themselves to be wiser than they ought, and hence either overlook many things through carelessness, or mix up their own counsels with the divine commands. The general prohibition, therefore, contained in the Law, forbidding all men to add to it or detract from it, God now specially enforces on Joshua. For if private individuals in forming their plan of life behoove to submit themselves to God, much more necessary must this be for those who hold rule among the people. But if this great man needed this curb of modesty that he might not overstep his limits, how intolerable the audacity if we, who fall so far short of him, arrogate to ourselves greater license? More especially, however, did God prescribe the rule of his servant, in order that those who excel in honor might know that they are as much bound to obey it as the meanest of the people.
8. This book of the Law, etc Assiduous meditation on the Law is also commanded; because, whenever it is intermitted, even for a short time, many errors readily creep in, and the memory becomes rusted, so that many, after ceasing from the continuous study of it, engage in practical business, as if they were mere ignorant tyros. God therefore enjoins his servant to make daily progress, and never cease, during the whole course of his life, to profit in the Law. Hence it follows that those who hold this study in disdain, are blinded by intolerable arrogance.
But why does he forbid him to allow the Law to depart from his mouth rather than from his eyes? Some interpreters understand that the mouth is here used by synecdoche for face; but this is frigid. I have no doubt that the word used is peculiarly applicable to a person who was bound to prosecute the study in question, not only for himself individually, but for the whole people placed under his rule. He is enjoined, therefore, to attend to the teaching of the Law, that in accordance with the office committed to him, he may bring forward what he has learned for the common benefit of the people. At the same time he is ordered to make his own docility a pattern of obedience to others. For many, by talking and discoursing, have the Law in their mouth, but are very bad keepers of it. Both things, therefore, are commanded, that by teaching others, he may make his own conduct and whole character conformable to the same rule.
What follows in the second clause of the verse shows, that, everything which profane men endeavor to accomplish in contempt of the word of God, must ultimately fail of success, and that however prosperous the commencement may sometimes seem to be, the issue will be disastrous; because prosperous results can be hoped for only from the divine favor, which is justly withheld from counsels rashly adopted, and from all arrogance of which contempt of God himself is the usual accompaniment. Let believers, therefore, in order that their affairs may turn out as they wish, conciliate the divine blessing alike by diligence in learning and by fidelity in obeying.
In the end of the verse, because the term used is ambiguous, as I have already observed, the sentence is repeated, or a second promise is added. The latter is the view I take. For it was most suitable, that after the promised success, Joshua should be reminded that men never act skillfully and regularly except in so far as they allow themselves to be ruled by the word of God. Accordingly, the prudence which believers learn from the word of God, is opposed to the confidence of those who deem their own sense sufficient to guide them aright. f23
9. Have not I commanded, etc Although in Hebrew a simple affirmation is often made in the form of a question, and this phraseology is of very frequent occurrence, here, however, the question is emphatic, to give an attestation to what had previously been taught, while the Lord, by bringing his own authority distinctly forward, relieves his servant from care and hesitancy. He asks, Is it not I who have commanded thee? I too will be present with thee. Observe the emphasis: inasmuch as it is not lawful to resist his command. f24 This passage also teaches that nothing is more effectual to produce confidence than when trusting to the call and the command of God, and feeling fully assured of it in our own conscience, we follow whithersoever he is pleased to lead.
Joshua 1:10-18
10. Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 10. Tunc praecepit Josue praefectis populi dicendo,
11. Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days you shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God give you to possess it. 11. Transite per medium castrorum et praecipite populo, dicendo, Parate vobis annonam: quia post tres dies transibitis Jordanem hunc, ut intretis et possideatis terram, quam Jehova Deus vester dat vobis possidendam.
12. And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spoke Joshua, saying, 12. Ad Reubenitas vero et Gaditas et dimidiam tribum Manasse locutus est Josue, dicendo,
13. Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God has given you rest, and has given you this land. 13. Recordamini verbi quod praecepit vobis Moses servus Jehovae, dicendo, Jehova Deus vester reddidit vos quietos et dedit vobis terram hanc:
14. Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but you shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valor, and help them; 14. Uxores vestrae, parvuli vestri, et pecora vestra residebunt in terra quam dedit vobis Moses trans Jordanem; vos autem transibitis armati ante fratres vestros, quicunque erunt viri bellicosi, juvabitisque eos.
15. Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as he has given you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God give them: then you shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD'S servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising. 15. Donec quietem praestiterit Jehova fratribus vestris sicut vobis et possideant ipsi quoque terram quam Jehova Deus vester dat eis: et tunc redibitis ad terram haereditatis vestrae, possidebitisque eam quam dedit vobis Moses servus Jehovae ultra Jordanem ad exortum solis.
16. And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commands us we will do, and whithersoever thou send us, we will go. 16. Tunc responderunt, dicendo, Omnia quae praecepisti nobis faciemus, et ad omnia ad quae miseris nos, ibimus.
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. 17. Sicut in omnibus obedivimus Mosi, sic obediemus tibi: tantum sit Jehova Deus tuus tecum sicut fuit cum Mose.
18. Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commands him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage. 18. Quisquis fuerit qui rebellaverit ore tuo, nec verbis tuis aquieverit in omnibus quae ei mandaveris, interficiatur. Tantum confirmare et roborare.

10. Then Joshua commanded f25 etc It may be doubted whether or not this proclamation was made after the spies were sent, and of course on their return. And certainly I think it not only probable, but I am fully convinced that it was only after their report furnished him with the knowledge he required, that he resolved to move his camp. It would have been preposterous haste to hurry on an unknown path, while he considered it expedient to be informed on many points before setting foot on a hostile territory. Nor is there anything novel in neglecting the order of time, and afterwards interweaving what had been omitted. The second chapter must therefore be regarded as a kind of interposed parenthesis, explaining to the reader more fully what had happened, when Joshua at length commanded the people to collect their vessels.
After all necessary matters had been ascertained, he saw it was high time to proceed, and issued a proclamation, ordering the people to make ready for the campaign. With the utmost confidence he declares that they will pass the Jordan after the lapse of three days: this he never would have ventured to do, without the suggestion of the Spirit. No one had attempted the ford, nor did there seem to be any hope that it could be done. f26 There was no means of crossing either by a bridge or by boats: and nothing could be easier for the enemy than to prevent the passage. The only thing, therefore, that remained was for God to transport them miraculously. This Joshua hoped for not at random, nor at his own hand, but as a matter which had been divinely revealed. The faith of the people also was conspicuous in the promptitude of their obedience: for, in the view of the great difficulties which presented themselves, they never would have complied so readily had they not cast their care upon God. It cannot be doubted that He inspired their minds with this alacrity, in order to remove all the obstacles which might delay the fulfillment of the promise.
12. And to the Reubenites, etc An inheritance had been granted them beyond the Jordan, on the condition that they should continue to perform military service with their brethren in expelling the nations of Canaan. Joshua therefore now exhorts them to fulfil their promise, to leave their wives, their children, and all their effects behind, to cross the Jordan, and not desist from carrying on the war till they had placed their brethren in peaceable possession. In urging them so to act, he employs two arguments, the one drawn from authority and the other from equity. He therefore reminds them of the command given them by Moses, from whose decision it was not lawful to deviate, since it was well known to all that he uttered nothing of himself, but only what God had dictated by his mouth. At the same time, without actually asserting, Joshua indirectly insinuates, that they are bound, by compact, inasmuch as they had engaged to act in this manner. f27 He next moves them by motives of equity, that there might be no inequality in the condition of those to whom the same inheritance had been destined in common. It would be very incongruous, he says, that your brethren should be incurring danger, or, at least, toiling in carrying on war, and that you should be enjoying all the comforts of a peaceful settlement.
When he orders them to precede or pass before, the meaning is, not that they were to be the first to enter into conflict with the enemy, and in all emergencies which might befall them, were to bear more than their own share of the burden; he only in this way urges them to move with alacrity, as it would have been a kind of tergiversation to keep in the rear and follow slowly in the track of others. The expression, pass before your brethren, therefore, does not mean to stand in the front of the battle, but simply to observe their ranks, and thereby give proof of ready zeal. For it is certain that as they were arranged in four divisions they advanced in the same order. As he calls them men of war, we may infer, as will elsewhere more clearly appear, that the aged, and others not robust, were permitted to remain at home in charge of the common welfare, or altogether relieved from public duty, if in any way disabled from performing it.
16. And they answered, etc They not only acquiesce, but freely admit and explicitly detail the obedience which they owe. Our obligations are duly discharged only when we perform them cheerfully, and not in sadness, as Paul expresses it. (<470907>2 Corinthians 9:7.) If it is objected that there is little modesty in their boast of having been obedient to Moses whom they had often contradicted, I answer, that though they did not always follow with becoming ardor, yet they were so much disposed to obey, that their moderation was not only tolerable, but worthy of the highest praise, when it is considered how proudly their fathers rebelled, and how perversely they endeavored to shake off a yoke divinely imposed upon them. For the persons who speak here were not those rebellious spirits of whom God complains (<199508>Psalm 95:8-11) that he was provoked by them, but persons who, subdued by the examples of punishment, had learned quietly to submit. f28
Indeed, it is not so much to herald their own virtues as to extol the authority of Joshua, when they declare that they will regard him in the same light in which they regarded Moses. The groundwork of their confidence is at the same time expressed in their wish or prayer, that God may be present to assist his servant Joshua as he assisted his servant Moses. They intimate that they will be ready to war under the auspices of their new leader, because they are persuaded that he is armed with the power and hope that he will be victorious by the assistance of God, as they had learned by experience how wonderfully God assisted them by the hand of Moses. We may infer, moreover, that they actually felt this confidence, both because they call to mind their experiences of God's favor to animate themselves, and because they regard Joshua as the successor of Moses in regard to prosperous results.
The epithet thy God f29 is not without weight, as it evidently points to a continued course of divine favor. The form of expression also is intermediate between the confidence of faith and prayer. f30 Accordingly, while they intimate that they cherish good hope in their minds, they at the same time have recourse to prayer, under a conviction of the arduousness of the work. Immediately after, when they of their own accord exhort him to constancy, they show that they are ready to follow and to imitate him in his confidence. Here, it is to be observed, that though Joshua was a model of courage, and animated all, both by deed and precept, he was in his turn stimulated onwards, that his own alacrity might be more effectual in arousing that of the people.
Joshua 2:1-24
1. And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there. 1. Miseratf31 autem Josue filius Nun viros duos exploratores clam, f32 dicendo: Ite, considerate terram et Jericho. Profecti sunt igitur et ingressi sunt domum mulieris meretricis, cujus nomen erat Rahab, et dormierunt illic.
2. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither tonight of the children of Israel to search out the country. 2. Dictum autem fuit regi Jericho, Ecce venerunt huc viri nocte hac e filiis Israel ad explorandum terram.
3. And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house they be come to search out all the country. 3. Tunc misit rex Jericho ad rahab, dicendo; Educ viros qui ingressi sunt ad te, qui venerunt domum tuam; quia ad explorandum totam terram venerunt.
4. And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were: 4. Sumpserat autem mulier duos viros, et absconderat eos: Tunc ait, Venerunt quidem ad me viri, sed non noveram undenam essent.
5. And it came to pass, about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out; whither the men went, I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for you shall overtake them. 5. Fuit autem dum porta clauderetur in tenebris, egressi sunt viri; nec cognovi quo abierint. Sequimini cito eos quia comprehendetis eos.
6. But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof. 6. Ipsa autem ascendere fecerat eos in tectum, et absconderat eos sub culmis lini ab ea ordinatis super tectum.
7. And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate. 7. Viri autem persequuti sunt eos itinere Jordanis usque ad vada: portam vero clauserunt, simul ac egressi sunt qui eos persequebantur.
8. And, before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof; 8. Antequam vero dormirent, ipsa ascendit super tectum ad eos.
9. And she said unto the men, I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. 9. Et ait ad viros: Novi quod Jehova dederit vobis terram, eo quod cecidit terror vester super nos, et quod defluxerunt omnes habitatores terrae a facie vestra.
10. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when you came out of Egypt; and what you did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 10. Audivimus enim quomodo arefecerit Jehova aquas maris Supli a facie vestra dum exiistis ex Aegypto; et quae fecistis duobus regibus Aemorrhaei, qui erant trans Jordanem: Sihon et Og quos interemistis.
11. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you; for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. 11. Audivimus, et dissolutum est cor nostrum, neque constitit ultra spiritus a facie vestra. Jehova enim Deus vester Deus est in coelo sursum et super terram deorsum.
12. Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the Lord, since I have showed you kindness, that you will also show kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token: 12. Nunc ergo jurate mihi, quaeso, per Jehovam (feci enim vobiscum misericordiam) quod facietis etiam vos cum domo patris mei misericordiam, et dabitis mihi signum verum,
13. And that you will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death. 13. Quod vivos servabitis fratrem meum, et matrem meam, et fratres meos, et sorores meas, et omnes qui sunt eorum, eruetisque animas nostras a morte.
14. And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if you utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the Lord has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee. 14. Dixerunt ei viri: Anima nostra pro vobis ad moriendum: modo non prodideris sermonem nostrum hunc: tunc erit, ubi tradiderit Jehova nobis terram, faciemus tecum misericordiam et veritatem.
15. Then she let them down by a cord through the window; for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall. 15. Demisit itaque eos fune per fenestram: domus enim ejus erat in pariete muri, et in muro ipsa habitabat.
16. And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may you go your way. 16. Dixit autem eis: Ad montem pergite, ne forte occurrant vobis qui insequuntur, et latitate illic tribus diebus, donec redeant qui insequuntur, et postea ibitis per viam vestram.
17. And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou has made us swear: 17. Tunc dixerunt ei viri, Innoxii erimus a juramento tuo hoc quo nos adjurasti.
18. Behold, when we come into the land, thou shall bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou did let us down by: and thou shall bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee. 18. Ecce, quum ingrediemur terram, funiculum hunc fili coccinei ligabis in fenestra, per quam demiseris nos: patrem vero tuum et matrem tuam congregabis ad te in domum, et omnem familiam patris tui.
19. And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless; and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him. 19. Erit autem, quicunque egressus fuerit e valvis domus tuae foras, sanguis ejus erit in caput ejus, nos vero innoxii: quicunque vero tecum fuerit in domo, sanguis illius in caput nostrum, si manus injecta fuerit in eum.
20. And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou has made us to swear. 20. Si vero prodideris sermonem hunc nostrum, erimus innoxii a juramento quo adjurasti nos.
21. And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window. 21. Respondit illa: Ut loquuti estis, ita sit. Tunc dimisit eos, et abierunt, ligavitque filum coccineum in fenestra.
22. And they went, and came unto the mountain, and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned. And the pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but found them not. 22. Profecti venerunt ad montem, et manserunt ibi tribus diebus, donec reverterentur qui insequuti fuerant, qui quaesierunt per omnem viam, nec invenerunt.
23. So the two men descended from the mountain, and returned, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them: 23. Reversi ergo duo illi, postquam descenderunt e monte, transierunt, veneruntque ad Josue filium Nun, et narraverunt ei quaecunque acciderant sibi.
24. And they said unto Joshua, Truly the Lord has delivered into our hands all the land: for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us. 24. Dixeruntque ad Josue, Tradidit Jehova in manus nostras totam terram. Dissoluti enim sunt omnes habitatores terrae a facie nostra.

1. And Joshua the son of Nun sent, etc. The object of the exploration now in question was different from the former one, when Joshua was sent with other eleven to survey all the districts of the land, and bring back information to the whole people concerning its position, nature, fertility, and other properties, the magnitude and number of the cities, the inhabitants, and their manners. The present object was to dispose those who might be inclined to be sluggish, to engage with more alacrity in the campaign. And though it appears from the first chapter of Deuteronomy, (<050122>Deuteronomy 1:22,) that Moses, at the request of the people, sent chosen men to spy out the land, he elsewhere relates (<041304>Numbers 13:4) that he did it by command from God. Those twelve, therefore, set out divinely commissioned, and for a somewhat different purpose, viz., to make a thorough survey of the land, and be the heralds of its excellence to stir up the courage of the people.
Now Joshua secretly sends two persons to ascertain whether or not a free passage may be had over the Jordan, whether the citizens of Jericho were indulging in security, or whether they were alert and prepared to resist. In short, he sends spies on whose report he may provide against all dangers. Wherefore a twofold question may be here raised — Are we to approve of his prudence? or are we to condemn him for excessive anxiety, especially as he seems to have trusted more than was right to his own prudence, when, without consulting God, he was so careful in taking precautions against danger? But, inasmuch as it is not expressly said that he received a message from heaven to order the people to collect their vessels and to publish his proclamation concerning the passage of the Jordan, although it is perfectly obvious that he never would have thought of moving the camp unless God had ordered it, it is also probable that in sending the spies he consulted God as to his pleasure in the matter, or that God himself, knowing how much need there was of this additional confirmation, had spontaneously suggested it to the mind of his servant. Be this as it may, while Joshua commands his messengers to spy out Jericho, he is preparing to besiege it, and accordingly is desirous to ascertain in what direction it may be most easily and safely approached.
They came into a harlot's house, etc. Why some try to avoid the name harlot, and interpret hnwz as meaning one who keeps an inn, I see not, unless it be that they think it disgraceful to be the guests of a courtesan, or wish to wipe off a stigma from a woman who not only received the messengers kindly, but secured their safety by singular courage and prudence. It is indeed a regular practice with the Rabbins, when they would consult for the honor of their nation, presumptuously to wrest Scripture and give a different turn by their fictions to anything that seems not quite reputable. f33 But the probability is, that while the messengers were courting secrecy, and shunning observation and all places of public intercourse, they came to a woman who dwelt in a retired spot. Her house was contiguous to the wall of the city, nay, its outer side was actually situated in the wall. From this we may infer that it was some obscure corner remote from the public thoroughfare; just as persons of her description usually live in narrow lanes and secret places. It cannot be supposed with any consistency to have been a common inn which was open to all indiscriminately, because they could not have felt at liberty to indulge in familiar intercourse, and it must have been difficult in such circumstances to obtain concealment.
My conclusion therefore is, that they obtained admission privily, and immediately betook themselves to a hiding-place. Moreover, in the fact that a woman who had gained a shameful livelihood by prostitution was shortly after admitted into the body of the chosen people, and became a member of the Church, we are furnished with a striking display of divine grace which could thus penetrate into a place of shame, and draw forth from it not only Rahab, but her father and the other members of her family. Most assuredly while the term hnwz, almost invariably means harlot, there is nothing here to oblige us to depart from the received meaning.
2. And it was told the king, etc. It is probable that watchmen had been appointed to take notice of suspicious strangers, as is wont to be done in doubtful emergencies, or during an apprehension of war. The Israelites were nigh at hand; they had openly declared to the Edomites and Moabites that they were seeking a settlement in the land of Canaan; they were formidable for their number; they had already made a large conquest after slaying two neighboring kings; and as we shall shortly perceive, their famous passage of the Red Sea had been noised abroad. It would therefore have argued extreme supineness in such manifest danger to allow any strangers whatever to pass freely through the city of Jericho, situated as it was on the frontiers.
It is not wonderful, therefore, that men who were unknown and who appeared from many circumstances to have come with a hostile intention, were denounced to the king. At the same time, however, we may infer that they were supernaturally blinded in not guarding their gates more carefully; for with the use of moderate diligence the messengers after they had once entered might easily have been detained. Nay, a search ought forthwith to have been instituted, and thus they would to a certainty have been caught. The citizens of Jericho were in such trepidation and so struck with judicial amazement, that they acted in everything without method or counsel. Meanwhile the two messengers were reduced to such extremities that they seemed on the eve of being delivered up to punishment. The king sends for them; they are lurking in the house; their life hangs upon the tongue of a woman, just as if it were hanging by a thread. Some have thought that there was in this a punishment of the distrust of Joshua, who ought to have boldly passed the Jordan, trusting to the divine guidance. But the result would rather lead us to conclude differently, that God by rescuing the messengers from extreme danger gave new courage to the people; for in that manifestation of his power he plainly showed that he was watching over their safety, and providing for their happy entrance into the promised land.
4. And the woman took the two men, etc. We may presume that before Rahab was ordered to bring them forth the rumor of their arrival had been spread, and that thus some little time had been given for concealing them. f34 And indeed on receiving the king's command, had not measures for concealment been well taken, there would have been no room for denial; much less would she have dared to lie so coolly. But after she had thus hidden her guests, as the search would have been difficult, she comes boldly forward and escapes by a crafty answer.
Now, the questions which here arise are, first, Was treachery to her country excusable? Secondly, Could her lie be free from fault? We know that the love of our country, which is as it were our common mother, has been implanted in us by nature. When, therefore, Rahab knew that the object intended was the overthrow of the city in which she had been born and brought up, it seems a detestable act of inhumanity to give her aid and counsel to the spies. It is a puerile evasion to say, that they were not yet avowed enemies, inasmuch as war had not been declared; since it is plain enough that they had conspired the destruction of her fellow-citizens. f35 It was therefore only the knowledge communicated to her mind by God which exempted her from fault, as having been set free from the common rule. Her faith is commended by two Apostles, who at the same time declare, (<581131>Hebrews 11:31; <590225>James 2:25,) that the service which she rendered to the spies was acceptable to God.
It is not wonderful, then, that when the Lord condescended to transfer a foreign female to his people, and to engraft her into the body of the Church, he separated her from a profane and accursed nation. Therefore, although she had been bound to her countrymen up to that very day, yet when she was adopted into the body of the Church, her new condition was a kind of manumission from the common law by which citizens are bound toward each other. In short, in order to pass by faith to a new people, she behooved to renounce her countrymen. And as in this she only acquiesced in the judgment of God, there was no criminality in abandoning them. f36
As to the falsehood, we must admit that though it was done for a good purpose, it was not free from fault. For those who hold what is called a dutiful lie f37 to be altogether excusable, do not sufficiently consider how precious truth is in the sight of God. Therefore, although our purpose, be to assist our brethren, to consult for their safety and relieve them, it never can be lawful to lie, because that cannot be right which is contrary to the nature of God. And God is truth. And still the act of Rahab is not devoid of the praise of virtue, although it was not spotlessly pure. For it often happens that while the saints study to hold the right path, they deviate into circuitous courses.
Rebecca (Genesis 27. f37a) in procuring the blessing to her son Jacob, follows the prediction. In obedience of this description a pious and praiseworthy zeal is perceived. But it cannot be doubted that in substituting her son Jacob in the place of Esau, she deviated from the path of duty. The crafty proceeding, therefore, so far taints an act which was laudable in itself. And yet the particular fault does not wholly deprive the deed of the merit of holy zeal; for by the kindness of God the fault is suppressed and not taken into account. Rahab also does wrong when she falsely declares that the messengers were gone, and yet the principal action was agreeable to God, because the bad mixed up with the good was not imputed. On the whole, it was the will of God that the spies should be delivered, but he did not approve of saving their life by falsehood.
7. And the men pursued, etc. Their great credulity shows that God had blinded them. Although Rahab had gained much by deluding them, a new course of anxiety intervenes; for the gates being shut, the city like a prison excluded the hope of escape. They were therefore again aroused by a serious trial to call upon God. For seeing that this history was written on their report, it is impossible they could have been ignorant of what was then going on, especially as God, for the purpose of magnifying his grace, purposely exposed them to a succession of dangers. And now when they were informed that search was made for them, we infer from the fact of their being still awake, that they were in anxiety and alarm. Their trepidation must have been in no small degree increased when it was told them that their exit was precluded.
It appears, however, that Rahab was not at all dismayed, since she bargains with so much presence of mind, and so calmly, for her own safety and that of her family. And in this composure and firmness her faith, which is elsewhere commended, appears conspicuous. For on human principles she never would have braved the fury of the king and people, and become a suppliant to guests half dead with terror. Many, indeed, think there is something ridiculous in the eulogium bestowed upon her both by St. James and the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, (<590225>James 2:25; <581131>Hebrews 11:31,) when they place her in the catalogue of the faithful. But any one who will carefully weigh all the circumstances will easily perceive that she was endowed with a lively faith.
First, If the tree is known by its fruits, we here see no ordinary effects, which are just so many evidences of faith. Secondly, A principle of piety must have given origin to her conviction that the neighboring nations were already in a manner vanquished and laid prostrate, since terror sent from above had filled all minds with dismay. It is true that in profane writers also we meet with similar expressions, which God has extorted from them that he might assert his power to rule and turn the hearts of men in whatever way he pleases. But while these writers prate like parrots, Rahab declaring in sincerity of heart that God has destined the land for the children of Israel, because all the inhabitants have fainted away before them, claims for him a supreme rule over the hearts of men, a rule which the pride of the world denies.
For although the experience of all times has shown that more armies have fallen or been routed by sudden and un-looked for terror than by the force and prowess of the enemy, the impression of this truth has forthwith vanished away, and hence conquerors have always extolled their own valor, and on any prosperous result gloried in their own exertions and talents for war. They have felt, I admit, that daring and courage are occasionally bestowed or withheld by some extraneous cause, and accordingly men confess that in war fortune does much or even reigns supreme. Hence their common proverb with regard to panic terrors, and their vows made as well to Pavor (Dread) as to Jupiter Stator. f38 But it never became a serious and deep-seated impression in their minds, that every man is brave according as God has inspired him with present courage, or cowardly according as he has suppressed his daring. Rahab, however, recognizes the operation of a divine hand in striking the nations of Canaan with dismay, and thus making them as it were by anticipation pronounce their own doom; and she infers that the terror which the children of Israel have inspired is a presage of victory, because they fight under God as their Leader.
In the fact, that while the courage of all had thus melted away, they however prepared to resist with the obstinacy of despair; we see that when the wicked are broken and crushed by the hand of God, they are not so subdued as to receive the yoke, but in their terror and anxiety become incapable of being tamed. Here, too, we have to observe how in a common fear believers differ from unbelievers, and how the faith of Rahab displays itself. She herself was afraid like any other of the people; but when she reflects that she has to do with God, she concludes that her only remedy is to eschew evil by yielding humbly and placidly, as resistance would be altogether unavailing. But what is the course taken by all the wretched inhabitants of the country? Although terror-struck, so far is their perverseness from being overcome that they stimulate each other to the conflict.
10. For we have heard how, etc. She mentions, as the special cause of consternation, that the wide-spread rumor of miracles, hitherto without example, had impressed it on the minds of all that God was warring for the Israelites. For it was impossible to doubt that the way through the Red Sea had been miraculously opened up, as the water would never have changed its nature and become piled up in solid heaps, had not God, the author of nature, so ordered. The transmutation of the element, therefore, plainly showed that God was on the side of the people, to whom he had given a dry passage through the depths of the sea.
The signal victories also gained over Og and Bashan, were justly regarded as testimonies of the divine favor towards the Israelites. This latter conclusion, indeed, rested only on conjecture, whereas the passage of the sea was a full and irrefragable proof, as much so as if God had stretched forth his hand from heaven. All minds, therefore, were seized with a conviction that in the expedition of the Israelitish people God was principal leader; f39 hence their terror and consternation. At the same time, it is probable that they were deceived by some vain imagination that the God of Israel had proved superior in the contest to the gods of Egypt; just as the poets feign that every god has taken some nation or other under his protection, and wars with others, and that thus conflicts take place among the gods themselves while they are protecting their favorites.
But the faith of Rahab takes a higher flight, while to the God of Israel alone she ascribes supreme power and eternity. These are the true attributes of Jehovah. She does not dream, according to the vulgar notion, that some one, out of a crowd of deities, is giving his assistance to the Israelites, but she acknowledges that He whose favor they were known to possess is the true and only God. We see, then, how in a case where all received the same intelligence, she, in the application of it, went far beyond her countrymen.
11. The Lord your God, he is God, etc. Here the image of Rahab's faith appears, as if reflected in a mirror, when casting down all idols she ascribes the government of heaven and earth to the God of Israel alone. For it is perfectly clear that when heaven and earth are declared subject to the God of Israel, there is a repudiation of all the pagan fictions by which the majesty, and power, and glory of God are portioned out among different deities; and hence we see that it is not without cause that two Apostles have honored Rahab's conduct with the title of faith. This is sneered at by some proud and disdainful men, but I wish they would consider what it is to distinguish the one true God from all fictitious deities, and at the same time so to extol his power as to declare that the whole world is governed at his pleasure. Rahab does not speak hesitatingly, but declares, in absolute terms, that whatever power exists resides in the God of Israel alone, that he commands all the elements, that he orders all things above and below, and determines human affairs. Still I deny not that her faith was not fully developed, nay, I readily admit, that it was only a germ of piety which, as yet, would have been insufficient for her eternal salvation. We must hold, nevertheless, that however feeble and slender the knowledge of God which the woman possessed may have been, still in surrendering herself to his power, she gives a proof of her election, and that from that seed a faith was germinating which afterwards attained its full growth.
12. Now, therefore, I pray you, swear, etc. It is another manifestation of faith that she places the sons of Abraham in sure possession of the land of Canaan, founding on no other argument than her having heard that it was divinely promised to them. For she did not suppose that God was favoring lawless intruders who were forcing their way into the territories of others with unjust violence and uncurbed licentiousness, but rather concluded that they were coming into the land of Canaan, because God had assigned them the dominion of it. It cannot be believed that when they sought a passage from the Edomites and others, they said nothing as to whither they were going. Nay, those nations were acquainted with the promise which was made to Abraham, and the memory of which had been again renewed by the rejection of Esau.
Moreover, in the language of Rahab, we behold that characteristic property of faith described by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, when he calls it a vision, or sight of things not appearing. (<581101>Hebrews 11:1) Rahab is dwelling with her people in a fortified city: and yet she commits her life to her terrified guests, just as if they had already gained possession of the land, and had full power to save or destroy as they pleased. This voluntary surrender was, in fact, the very same as embracing the promise of God, and casting herself on his protection. She, moreover, exacts an oath, because often, in the storming of cities, the heat and tumult of the struggle shook off the remembrance of duty. In the same way she mentions the kindness she had shown to them, that gratitude might stimulate them the more to perform their promise. For although the obligation of the oath ought of itself to have been effectual, it would have been doubly base and inhumane not to show gratitude to a hostess to whom they owed deliverance. Rahab shows the kindliness of her disposition, in her anxiety about her parents and kindred. This is, indeed, natural; but many are so devoted to themselves, that children hesitate not to ransom their own lives by the death of their parents, instead of exerting courage and zeal to save them.
14. Our life for yours, etc. They imprecate death upon themselves, if they do not faithfully make it their business to save Rahab. For the interpretation adopted by some, We will pledge our lives, seems far-fetched, or too restricted, since their intention was simply to bind themselves before God. They constitute themselves, therefore, a kind of expiatory victims, if any evil befalls Rahab through their negligence. The expression, for yours, ought, doubtless, to be extended to the parents, brothers, and sisters. They therefore render their own lives liable in such a sense, that blood may be required of them, if the family of Rahab do not remain safe. And herein consists the sanctity of an oath, that though its violation may escape with impunity, so far as men are concerned, yet God having been interposed as a witness, will take account of the perfidy. In Hebrew, to do mercy and truth, is equivalent to performing the office of humanity faithfully, sincerely, and firmly.
A condition, however, is inserted, — provided Rahab do not divulge what they have said. This was inserted, not on account of distrust, as is usually expounded, but only to put Rahab more upon her guard, on her own account. The warning, therefore, was given in good faith, and flowed from pure good will: for there was a danger that Rahab might betray herself by a disclosure. In one word, they show how important it is that the matter should remain, as it were, buried, lest the woman, by inconsiderately talking of the compact, might expose herself to capital punishment. In this they show that they were sincerely anxious for her safety, since they thus early caution her against doing anything which might put it out of their power to render her a service. In further distinctly stipulating, that no one should go out of the house, or otherwise they should be held blameless, we may draw the important inference, that in making oaths soberness should be carefully attended to, that we may not profane the name of God by making futile promises on any subject.
The advice of Rahab, to turn aside into the mountain, and there remain quiet for three days, shows that there is no repugnance between faith and the precautions which provide against manifest dangers. There is no doubt that the messengers crept off to the mountain in great fear, and yet that confidence which they had conceived, from the remarkable interference of God in their behalf, directed their steps, and did not allow them to lose their presence of mind.
Some have raised the question, whether, seeing it is criminal to overleap walls, it could be lawful to get out of the city by a window? But it ought to be observed, first, that the walls of cities were not everywhere sacred, because every city had not a Romulus, who could make the overleaping a pretext for slaying his brother; f40 and secondly, That law, as Cicero reminds us, was to be tempered by equity, inasmuch as he who should climb a wall for the purpose of repelling an enemy, would be more deserving of reward than punishment. The end of the law is to make the citizens secure by the protection of the walls. He, therefore, who should climb over the walls, neither from contempt nor petulance, nor fraud, nor in a tumultuous manner, but under the pressure of necessity, could not justly on that account be charged with a capital offence. Should it be objected that the thing was of bad example, I admit it; but when the object is to rescue one's life from injury, violence, or robbery, provided it be done without offence or harm to any one, necessity excuses it. It cannot be charged upon Paul as a crime, that when in danger of his life at Damascus, he was let down by a basket, seeing he was divinely permitted to escape, without tumult, from the violence and cruelty of wicked men. f41
24. And they said unto Joshua, etc. This passage shows that Joshua was not mistaken in selecting his spies; for their language proves them to have been right-hearted men possessed of rare integrity. Others, perhaps, not recovered from the terror into which they had once been thrown, would have disturbed the whole camp, but these, while they reflect on the wonderful kindness of God, displayed in their escape from danger, and the happy issue of their expedition, exhort Joshua and the people to go boldly forward. And although the mere promise of possessing the land ought to have been sufficient, yet the Lord is so very indulgent to their weakness, that, for the sake of removing all doubt, he confirms what he had promised by experience. That the Lord had not spoken in vain, was proved by the consternation of the nations, when it began already to put them to flight., and to drive them out, as if hornets had been sent in upon them. For they argue in the same way as Rahab had done, that the land was given to them, as the inhabitants had almost fainted away from fear. I have therefore used the illative particle for, though the literal meaning is, and also. But it is sufficiently plain, that in the other way there is a confirmation of what they had said. And, indeed, the courage of all melted away, as if they felt themselves routed by the hand of God.
Joshua 3:1-13
1. And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. 1. Surrexit autem Josue summo mane, et profecti sunt e Sittim, venerantque usque ad Jordanem ipse et omnes filii Israel, pernoctaveruntque illic antequam transirent.
2. And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host; 2. Et fuit a fine trium dierum, ut praefecti transirent per medium castrorum.
3. And they commanded the people, saying, When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then you shall remove from your place, and go after it. 3. Praeciperentque populo, dicendo, Quum videritis arcam foederis Jehovae Dei vestri, et sacerdotes Levitas portantes eam, proficiscemini e loco vestro, ibitisque post illam.
4. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that you may know the way by which you must go: for you have not passed this way heretofore. 4. Veruntamen interstitium erit inter vos et ipsam fere duorum milium cubitorum in mensura: ne appropinquetis ei, ut cognoscatis viam per quam ambulaturi estis. Non enim transiistis per viam illam heri vel nudius tertius.
5. And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you. 5. Dixerat autem Josue ad populum, sanctificate (praeparate) vos. Cras enim faciet Jehova in medio vestri mirabilia.
6. And Joshua spoke unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people. 6. Loquutus autem est Josue ad sacerdotes, dicendo, Tollite arcam foederis, et transite ante populum. Tulerunt itaque arcam foederis, et ambularunt ante populum.
7. And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee. 7. Dixerat autem Jehova ad Josuam, Hodie incipiam magnificare te in oculis totius Israel, ut, sciant, quomodo fui cum Mose, sic me fore tecum.
8. And thou shall command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When you are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, you shall stand still in Jordan. 8. Tu ergo praecipies sacerdotibus portantibus arcam foederis, dicendo, Quum ingressi fueritis usque ad extremum aquae Jordanis, in Jordane stabitis.
9. And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God. 9. Dixitque Josue ad filios Israel Accedite huc, et audiate verba Jehovae Dei vestri.
10. And Joshua said, Hereby you shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites. 10. Dixit item Josue, In hoc cognoscetis quod Deus vivens est in medio vestri, et quod expellendo expellet a facie vestra Chananaeum, Hitthaeum, et Hivaeum, et Pherisaeum, et Gergesaeum, et Amorrhaeum, et Jebusaeum.
11. Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passes over before you into Jordan. 11. Ecce arca foederis Dominatoris universae terrae transibit ante vos per Jordanem.
12. Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man. 12. Nunc ergo tollite vobis duodecim viros e tribubus Israel, singulos per singulas tribus.
13. And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap. 13. Quum autem quieverint plantae pedum sacerdotum portantium arcam Jehovae Dominatoris universae terrae in aquis Jordanis, aquae Jordanis intercidentur, et aquae superne (vel desuper, vel desursum) fluentes, consistent in acervo uno.

1. And Joshua rose early, etc We must remember, as I formerly explained, that Joshua did not move his camp till the day after the spies had returned, but that after hearing their report, he gave orders by the prefects that they should collect their vessels, as three days after they were to cross the Jordan. f42 His rising in the morning, therefore, does not refer simply to their return, but rather to the issuing of his proclamation. When the three days were completed, the prefects were again sent through the camp to acquaint the people with the mode of passage. Although these things are mentioned separately, it is easy to take up the thread of the narrative. But before it was publicly intimated, by what means he was to open a way for the people, the multitude spread out on the bank of the river were exposed to some degree of confusion.
It is true, there were fords by which the Jordan could be passed. But the waters were then swollen, and had overflowed, so that they might easily prevent even men altogether without baggage from passing. There was therefore no hope, that women and children, with the animals, and the rest of the baggage, could be transported to the further bank. That, in such apparently desperate circumstances, they calmly wait the issue, though doubtful, and to them incomprehensible, is an example of faithful obedience, proving how unlike they were to their fathers, who, on the slightest occasions, gave way to turbulence, and inveighed against the Lord and against Moses. This change was not produced without the special agency of the Holy Spirit.
2. And it came to pass after three days, etc That is, three days after their departure had been intimated. For they did not halt at the bank longer than one night. But as the period of three days had previously been fixed for crossing, and they had no hope of being able to accomplish it, Joshua now exhorts them to pay no more regard to obstacles and difficulties, and to attend to the power of God. For although the form of the miracle is not yet explained, yet when the ark of the covenant is brought forward like a banner to guide the way, it was natural to infer that the Lord was preparing something unusual. And while they are kept in suspense, their faith is again proved by a serious trial; for it was an example of rare virtue to give implicit obedience to the command, and thus follow the ark, while they were obviously uninformed as to the result. This, indeed, is the special characteristic of faith, not to inquire curiously what the Lord is to do, nor to dispute subtlety as to how that which he declares can possibly be done, but to cast all our anxious cares upon his providence, and knowing that his power, on which we may rest, is boundless, to raise our thoughts above the world, and embrace by faith that which we cannot comprehend by reason.
4. Yet there shall be a space, etc As the younger Levites, whose province it was to carry the ark, (<040415>Numbers 4:15) were strictly forbidden to touch it, or even to look at it, when uncovered, it is not wonderful that the common people were not allowed to approach within a considerable distance of it. The dignity of the ark, therefore, is declared, when the people are ordered to attest their veneration by leaving a long interval between themselves and it. And we know what happened to Uzzah, (2 Samuel 6) when seeing it shaken by restive oxen, he with inconsiderate zeal put forth his hand to support it. For although God invites us familiarly to himself, yet faithful trust so far from begetting security and boldness, is, on the contrary, always coupled with fear. In this way the ark of the covenant was, indeed, a strong and pleasant pledge of the divine favor, but, at the same time, had an awful majesty, well fitted to subdue carnal pride. This humility and modesty, moreover, had the effect of exercising their faith by preventing them from confining the grace of God within too narrow limits, and reminding them, that though they were far distant from the ark, the divine power was ever near.
In the end of the verse it is shown how necessary it was for them to be divinely guided by an unknown way; that anxiety and fear might keep them under the protection of the ark.
5. And Joshua said, etc Some unwonted manifestation of divine power in bringing assistance behooved to be held forth, lest the backwardness arising from hesitancy might produce delay; and yet, in order that the Israelites might depend on the mere counsel of God, Joshua does not yet plainly point out the special nature of the miracle, unless, indeed, we choose to read what follows shortly after, as forming part of one context. Herein lies the true test of faith, to lean so on the counsel of God, as not to keep inquiring too anxiously concerning the mode of action or the event. As the word çdq means sometimes to prepare, and sometimes to sanctify, and either meaning is not inappropriate, I thought it best to leave a free choice. For faith prepares us to perceive the operation of God; and in those times, when God manifested himself to men more nearly, they consecrated themselves by a solemn rite; thus we see how Moses, on the promulgation of the Law, sanctified the people as God had commanded. The view taken by some expositors, that the people were thus commanded to purge themselves from defilement's, merely in order that nothing might impede the passage of the Jordan, seems to be too confined.
6. And Joshua spoke unto the priests, etc It is probable that the priests were informed why God wished the ark to precede, that they might be more ready to execute the command, for the whole people are immediately after made acquainted with the intended division of the waters. As the prefects had formerly published in the camp, that the people were to follow the ark of the covenant, the priests could not possibly be ignorant as to the office which they were to perform. For it had been distinctly declared that they were to be leaders or standard-bearers. But when all were in readiness, Joshua publicly unfolded the divine message which he had received. For it would have been incongruous to make the divine favor more clearly manifest to the common people than to them. It is added, however, immediately after, that the people were made acquainted with the miracle.
I conclude, therefore, that after the priests had for some time been kept in suspense, along with the multitude, the Lord, on ascertaining the obedience of all, publicly declared what he was to do. First, then, it is related that the priests were enjoined by Joshua to bear the ark before the people; and secondly, lest any one might think that he was making the attempt at random, or at his own hand, mention is at the same time made of the promise with which he had been furnished as a means of ensuring his command. But although it is not then distinctly said that the course of the Jordan would be interrupted, yet, from the language which Joshua used to the people, we may infer that the Lord spoke more in detail, and explained more distinctly what he had determined to do. For Joshua did not mention anything which he had not previously learned from the mouth of God himself. Nay, before he makes any mention of the matter at all, he tells them to hear the words of the Lord, and thus premises that he has the authority of God for what he is about to say.
10. Hereby you shall know, etc He makes the power of the miracle extend further than to the entrance of the land, and deservedly; for merely to open up a passage into a hostile territory, from which there was afterwards no retreat, would have been nothing else than exposure to death. For either entangled among straits, and in an unknown region, they would easily have been destroyed, or they would have perished, worn out by hunger and the absolute want of all things. Joshua therefore declares before hand, that when God would restore the river to its course, it would just be as if he were stretching forth his hand to rout all the inhabitants of the land; and that the manifestation of his power given in the passage of the Jordan, would be a sure presage of the victory which they would obtain over all the nations.
He says, Hence shall you know that the Lord is present with you; to what end? Not only to plant your feet in the land of Canaan, but also to give you full possession of it. For surely when mention is made of the overthrow of the nations, an ultimate, free, and peaceful possession is implied. Therefore, as the Lord by dividing the river clearly showed that his power resided with the Israelites, so the people must on their part have conceived hopes of perpetual assistance, as much as if they had already seen their enemies worsted and lying prostrate before them.
For God does not abandon the work of his hands midway, leaving it maimed and unfinished. (<19D808>Psalm 138:8) When he leads his people unto the promised inheritance, he makes a dry passage for them by cutting off the course of the Jordan. How perverse then would it have been for the Israelites to stop short at that momentary act, instead of feeling confident in all time to come, until quiet possession of the land were actually obtained! Let us learn then from this example, prudently to combine the different acts of divine goodness relating to our final salvation, so that a happy commencement may cherish and keep alive in our minds the hope of an equally happy termination.
When Joshua says that the people will know the presence of God from the miracle, he indirectly upbraids them with their distrust, as the mere promise of God ought to have sufficed for a full assurance, and our faith, unless founded solely on this promise, must be continually wavering. But although faith ought properly to recline on the truth of God alone, it does not follow that experimental knowledge may not act as a secondary support to its weakness, and give subsidiary aid to its confirmation. For that which God promises to us in word he seals by act, and as often as he exhibits to us manifestations of his grace and might, he intends them to be so many confirmations of what he has spoken, and so many helps tending to suppress all our doubts.
11. Behold the ark of the covenant, etc First he says that the ark of God will go before; and secondly, he explains for what purpose, namely, that Jordan may retire from its place, trembling, so to speak, at the presence of the Lord, as is said in the Psalms. (Psalm 114.) The narrative introduced concerning the twelve men is parenthetical, as it only briefly alludes to what it will afterwards deliver more fully and clearly. At present let us merely understand, that while the ark went before, God displayed his power in guiding the people. And in this way there was a confirmation of the sanctity of the worship appointed by the Law, when the Israelites perceived that it was no empty symbol of his presence that God had deposited with them. For Jordan was compelled to yield obedience to God just as if it had beheld his majesty.
Let us however remember, that the only reason which induced the Lord to display his grace in the ark was because he had placed the tables of his covenant within it. Moreover, as the thing could not be easily credited, Joshua directs the mind of the people to the contemplation of the divine power, which surmounts all difficulties. The title of Ruler of the whole earth here applied to God is not insignificant, but extols his power above all the elements of nature, in order that the Israelites, considering how seas and rivers are subject to his dominion, might have no doubt that the waters, though naturally liquid, would become stable in obedience to his word.
Joshua 3:14-17
14. And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people; 14. Et fuit, quum proficiscentur populus ad transeundum Jordanem, sacerdotes qui portabant arcam foederis erant ante populum.
15. And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overflows all his banks all the time of harvest,) 15. Postquam autem venerunt qui portabant arcam usque ad Jordanem, et pedes sacerdotum potantium arcam intincti fuerunt in extremo aquarum (Jordanes autem erat plenus ultra omnes suas ripas toto tempore messis,)
16. That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. 16. Constiterunt aquae quae descendebant desuper, et assurexerunt in acervum unum procul valde, ab Adam urbe quae est ad latus Sarthan, et quae descendebant ad mare solitudinis mare salis, consumptae sunt, interciderunt: populus autem transierunt e regione Jericho.
17. And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan. 17. Stabant autem sacerdotes portantes arcam foederis Jehovae in sicco in medio Jordanis expediti, (vel praeparati,) totus vero Israel transibant per siccum donec finem facerent universa gens transeundi Jordanis.

15. And as they that bare the ark, etc The valor of the priests in proceeding boldly beyond the bed into the water itself, was deserving of no mean praise, since they might have been afraid of being instantly drowned. For what could they expect on putting in their feet, but immediately to find a deep pool in which they would be engulfed? In not being afraid on reaching the stream, and in continuing to move firmly forward to the appointed place, they gave a specimen of rare alacrity, founded on confidence.
To the general danger was added the special one, that the Jordan had then overflowed its banks, as it is wont to do at the commencement of every summer. As the plain was covered, it was impossible to observe the line of the banks or the ford, and the slime spread far and wide, increased their fear and anxiety. f43 God was pleased that his people, and especially the priests, should contend with these obstacles, in order that the victory of their faith and constancy might be more illustrious. At the same time, the difficulty thus presented tended to magnify the glory of the miracle when the waters, which had overflowed their banks, retired at the divine command, and were gathered together into a solid heap. First, Joshua explains the nature of the miracle for the purpose of removing doubt, and preventing profane men from denying the divine interposition by a subtle searching for other causes. It is not, indeed, impossible that the flowing of the water might have been restrained for a short time, and that some portion of the channel might thus have appeared dry, or that the course might have changed and taken some other direction. But it was certainly neither a natural nor fortuitous event, when the waters stood gathered up into a heap. It is therefore said that the waters which previously flowed from the higher ground, seeking in their descent a continuous outlet, stood still.
There cannot be a doubt that this wonderful sight must have been received with feelings of fear, leading the Israelites more distinctly to acknowledge that they were saved in the midst of death. For what was that collected heap but a grave in which the whole multitude would have been buried, had the waters resumed their naturally liquid state? f44 Had they walked upon the waters their faith might have served them as a kind of bridge. But now, while mountains of water hung over their heads, it is just as if they had found an open and level path beneath them. The locality is marked out as situated between two cities, f45 that the remembrance of it might never be lost; and, in like manner, God ordered stones to be set up as a perpetual memorial, that this distinguished mercy might be celebrated by posterity in all ages.
Joshua 4:1-9
1. And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spoke unto Joshua, saying, 1. Et fuit, postquam finem fecit tota gens trajiciendi Jordanis; quia loquutus erat Jehova ad Josuam, dicendo.
2. Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man, 2. Tollite vobis e populo duodecim viros virum unum ex quaque tribu.
3. And command you them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and you shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where you shall lodge this night. 3. Et praecipite illis dicendo: Tollite vobis hinc e medio Jordanis a loco ubi stant pedes sacerdotum expeditorum, duodecim lapides quos feretis vobiscum, et deponetis in loco ubi hac nocte manebitis.
4. Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man: 4. Tunc vocavit Josue duodecim viros quos ordinaverat e filiis Israel, singulos ex quaque tribu.
5. And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: 5. Et dixit illis Josue, Transite ante arcam Jehovae Dei vestri per medium Jordanis, et tollat quisque ex vobis lapidem unum super humerum suum pro numero tribuum filiorum Israel.
6. That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean you by these stones? 6. Ut sit hoc inter vos (vel, in medio vestri) signum quum interrogaverint filii vestri cras patres suos, quid sunt lapides isti apud vos?
7. Then you shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever. 7. Tunc respondeatis eis, quod intercisae fuerunt aquae Jordanis ante arcam foederis Jehovae, quum, interquam, transiret Jordanem, intercisae fuerunt aquae Jordanis, tunc facti fuerunt lapides iste in monumentum filiis Israel perpetuo.
8. And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spoke unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. 8. Fecerunt itaque filii Israel sicut praeceperat Josue, et sustulerunt duodecim lapides e medio Jordanis sicut loquutus fuerat Jehova ad Josuam pro numero tribuum filiorum Israel, tuleruntque eos secum ad locum ubi pernoctaverunt, et reposuerunt illic.
9. And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day. 9. Duodecim quoque lapides erexit Josue in medio Jordanis sub statione pedum sacerdotum qui portabant arcam foederis, manseruntque ibi usque in hunc diem.

l. And it came to pass, etc The brief and obscure allusion previously made with regard to the twelve men he now explains more at length. He had said that they were chosen by the order of God, one each from his own tribe; but breaking off his discourse, he had not mentioned for what purpose. He now says, that by command of Joshua f46 they took up twelve stones and placed them in Gilgal, that a well marked memorial might exist among posterity. Moreover, as he only relates what was done after the passage of the people, what is interposed should be interpreted as in the pluperfect tense. f47 It is also very obvious that the copula is used instead of the rational particle. f48 The substance is, that before the priests moved their foot from the middle of the river where they stood, the stones at their feet were taken and placed in Gilgal, to be perpetual witnesses of the miracle, and that Joshua thus faithfully executed what God had commanded. Joshua, therefore, called the men whom he had previously chosen, but not without the command of God, that through it he might have a stronger attestation to his authority. For had Joshua raised up a trophy of that kind of his own accord, the piety which dictated it might indeed have been laudable, but the admonition founded only on the will of man might perhaps have been despised. But now when God himself raises the sign, it is impious to pass it carelessly by. He intimates, accordingly, that it was a monument deserving of the greatest attention when he introduces the children asking, what mean these stones?
7. Then you shall answer them, etc Although the stones themselves cannot speak, yet the monument furnished the parents with materials for speaking, and for making the kindness of God known to their children. And here zealous endeavors to propagate piety are required of the aged, f49 and they are enjoined to exert themselves in instructing their children. For it was the will of God that this doctrine should be handed down through every age; that those who were not then born being afterwards instructed by their parents might become witnesses to it from hearing, though they had not seen it with their eyes.
The stones were placed according to the number of the tribes, that each might be incited to gratitude by its own symbol. It is true that two tribes and a half tribe who had obtained their inheritance beyond the Jordan, had not, when considered apart from the others, any occasion for making that passage. But as the land of Canaan was possessed by the others for the common good of the whole race of Abraham, so it behooved those who were all engaged in the same or a common cause not to be separated from each other. And although as yet mention had been made only of twelve men, it is obvious from a short clause, that the divine command had been declared to the whole people; for it is said that the children of Israel obeyed the words of Joshua. Nay, it is even probable that deputies were elected by suffrage to carry the stones in the name of the whole people.
9. And Joshua set up twelve stones, etc Apparently there was no use of stones under the water, and it may therefore seem to have been absurd to bury stones at a depth. The others which were placed in Gilgal being publicly visible, furnished occasion for inquiry; but stones hidden from the eyes of men at the bottom of the water could have no effect in inciting their minds. I admit that a monument altogether buried in silence would have been useless. f50 But when they talked among themselves of the evidence of the passage left there, the hearing even of what they did not see, strongly tended to confirm their faith. The ark of the covenant was shut up in the sanctuary and covered by a veil placed over against it, and yet its hidden splendor was not without benefit, when they learned from the Law that the covenant of God was deposited in it. It might also happen, that when the river was low, the tops of the heap would sometimes appear. But what I have already said is more probable, that though Joshua buried the stones in the middle of the stream, he did a useful act by establishing a testimony in presence of the people, which would afterwards become the subject of general conversation.
Joshua 4:10-18
10. For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until every thing was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over. 10. Sacerdotes autem portantes arcam stabant in medio Jordanis donec compleretur omnis sermo quem praeceperat Jehova ad Josuam, ut diceret populo: prorsus ut praeceperat Moses ipsi Josue: festinavit autem populus transeundo.
11. And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over, that the ark of the LORD passed over, and the priests, in the presence of the people. 11. Quum vero transeundi finem fecisset universus populus, transivit arca Jehovae, et sacerdotes coram populo.
12. And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spoke unto them: 12. Transierunt quoque filii Reuben, et filii Gad, et dimidia tribus Manasse armati ante filios Israel: quemadmodum loquutus fuerat ad eos Moses.
13. About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto battle, to the plains of Jericho. 13. Quadraginta millia armatorum transierunt coram Jehova ad praelium ad campestria Jericho.
14. On that day the LORD magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life. 14. Eo die magnificavit Jehova Josuam in oculis totius Israelis: et timuerunt eum quemad modum timuerant Mosen omnibus diebus vitae ejus.
15. And the LORD spoke unto Joshua, saying, 15. Loquutus est autem Jehova ad Josuam, dicendo,
16. Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan. 16. Praecipe sacerdotibus portantibus arcam testimonii ut ascendant e Jordane.
17. Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, Come you up out of Jordan. 17. Et praecepit Josue sacerdotibus, dicendo, Ascendite ex Jordane.
18. And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before. 18. Porro quum ascendissent sacerdotes portantes arcam foederis Jehovae e medio Jordane, et translatae essent plantae pedum sacerdotum in siccum, reversae sunt aquae Jordanis ad locum suum, et fluxerunt sicut heri et nudius tertius, super omnes ripas ejus.

10. For the priests which bare, etc If we are ordered to halt while others are hastening, we know how easily a feeling of irksomeness is produced, because we seem to be occupying an inferior position. The priests, therefore, are justly praised for their patience in calmly remaining alone at their post, while the whole people were swiftly hurrying on to the further bank. For they might have begun to feel doubtful lest the heaps of water which were suspended over their heads might suddenly melt away and engulf them. They therefore evinced their piety no less by remaining there than by venturing to proceed into the opposing current. Thus, in the first place, they displayed their ready obedience, and in the second their constancy, making it manifest that they had not obeyed from mere impulse. For their firmness of purpose, which is praised, must have had its origin in a living principle. It was a proof of modesty that they attempted nothing rashly, but regulated their whole procedure as it were in strict conformity to the word of God.
Although it is probable that Joshua was instructed by a new message from heaven as to what was necessary to be done, he is, however, said to have followed what Moses had commanded. By this I understand that Moses had carefully enjoined him to hang on the lips of God, that he was thoroughly obedient to the injunction, and accordingly was always observant of what was pleasing to God. In short, the command of Moses here mentioned was general, but God gave special injunctions to Joshua as each circumstance arose.
12. And the children of Reuben, etc He makes mention of the expedition of the two tribes and half tribe, as they did not set out to engage in warfare on their own private account, but to assist their brethren, by whose valor their own possession had been obtained in seizing the land of Canaan. Moses had laid them under this obligation, and they had bound themselves by oath that they would accompany the rest of the people till all should have obtained a quiet settlement.
They again made the same promise when the camp was about to be moved as we saw in Joshua 1. But from the narrative here we gather that only a part was selected, for the number amounts only to forty thousand, that is, a third, or about a third of the number ascertained by the census taken shortly before. Now, as they are everywhere said to have performed their promise, it may be probably conjectured that it was not the intention of Moses strictly to insist that all who had assented should leave their wives and children, and do military service in the land of Canaan till it was wholly subdued. And certainly it would have been harsh and cruel to leave an unwarlike multitude unprotected in the midst of many hostile nations. Nor would the remains of the enemy, assisted by neighboring nations, have long failed to take advantage of such an opportunity to avenge themselves by massacring the women and children. It was necessary, therefore, in a country not yet sufficiently pacified, permanently to retain a force sufficient to prevent incursions. Moses was not of so stern a nature as not to consult for the helpless. Nay, his prudence and equity would never have allowed him to leave a territory lately seized by arms unoccupied by a body of troops.
We may add, that such an immense concourse would have impeded rather than assisted the acquisition of the land of Canaan. All which Moses required, therefore, was simply that the Reubenites and Gadites should not, while their brethren were engaged in carrying on the war, remain indolently at home and eat their food at ease without giving any assistance to those to whom they were indebted for having obtained the inheritance. And the good faith of the forty thousand was approved by their not declining the burdens, toils, and perils of warfare, while the remainder of their own tribes were enjoying quiet. They might readily have alleged that they were as well entitled as the others to exemption, but in proceeding with alacrity after the levy was made, to obey the orders given them, without envying the immunity given to their brethren, they show that they were voluntarily and heartily disposed to do their duty. At the same time, it is not doubtful that by accepting the flower of their tribes, the handle for complaint and quarrel was cut off. For it could not justly have been maintained that not even the aged and worn out, or the young and feeble, were to be spared. Some, perhaps, may be inclined to conjecture that the army was raised not by choice but by lot, though it rather seems to me that all who were most robust and best able to bear fatigue were enrolled.
14. On that day the Lord magnified, etc It was not indeed the principal end of the miracle to proclaim Joshua's pre-eminence in power and authority, but as it greatly concerned the public interest, that the government of Joshua should be firmly established, it is justly set down as an additional instance of the divine favor, that he was, so to speak, adorned with sacred insignia to render him venerable in the eyes of the people, and prevent any one from presuming to despise him. For a promiscuous multitude, not ruled by a head, breaks up and falls away of its own accord. The Lord, therefore, to provide for the safety of his people, distinguished Joshua by a special mark declaratory of his vocation.
From this passage we may learn that God specially recommends to us all those through whose hands he displays his excellent working, and requires us to give them due honor and reverence. When it is said that the people feared Joshua as they had feared Moses, should any one object that the statement is refuted by the many sedition's and tumults which they stirred up against him, not only wantonly but furiously, it is easy to answer, that it does not apply to the whole period from their departure out of Egypt, but only refers to that when subdued by plagues and softened down, they began to be duly obedient to Moses. For what is now described is a tranquil government, as if they had laid aside their ancient perverseness, more especially when the turbulent parents were dead and a better race had succeeded. Accordingly, we do not read that there was any difficulty in ruling and turning them. I now only briefly advert to what I have already explained. For when Joshua at the outset exhorted them to obedience, they said that they would be obedient as they had been to Moses.
16. Command the priests, etc Here it is shown more clearly how meekly and calmly the priests yielded implicit obedience to the divine command, for they did not move a foot until Joshua ordered the signal to retire. But as it was an instance of rare virtue to be thus modest and obedient, so the fatherly kindness of God is conspicuous in this, that he condescended to direct and govern almost every step in their progress by his own voice, lest any perplexity might occur to retard them.
Next follows a more conspicuous confirmation of the miracle; for as soon as they climbed the opposite bank, the Jordan began again to flow as usual. Had it not returned to its former state, and indeed, suddenly, many would have imagined the cause of the change to be hidden but fortuitous. But when God displays his power and favor at minute intervals of time all doubt is removed. The moment the feet of the priests were made wet the Jordan retired; now on their departure he recovers his free course, and that at the very instant when they reached the bank. For the term dry here means that part which was not covered by the overflow. f51 Thus the river, though dumb, f52 was the best of heralds, proclaiming with a loud voice that heaven and earth are subject to the God of Israel.
Joshua 4:19-24
19. And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho. 19. Populus autem ascendit e Jordane decima die primi mensis, et castramentati sunt in Gilgal ad plagam orientalem Jericho.
20. And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. 20. Ac duodecim lapides quos tulerant ex Jordane statuit Josue in Gilgal.
21. And he spoke unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? 21. Et loquutus est ad filios Israel, dicendo: Quum interrogaverint cras filii vestri patres suos dicendo, Quid lapides isti?
22. Then you shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. 22. Indicabitis filiis vestris dicendo, Per aridam transivit Israel Jordanem istum:
23. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until you were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: 23. Quoniam siccavit Jehova Deus vester aquas Jordanis a facie vestra donec transiretis: quemadmodum fecit Jehova Deus vester mari Suph, quod siccavit a facie nostra donec transiremus.
24. That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that you might fear the LORD your God for ever. 24. Ut cognoscant omnes populi terrae manum Jehovae, quod fortis sit: ut timeatis Jehovam Deum vestrum cunctis diebus.

19. And the people came up, etc Why the day on which they entered the land, and first encamped in it, is marked, we shall see in next chapter. But the name of Gilgal is given to the first station by anticipation, for this new name was afterwards given to it by Joshua on the renewal of circumcision; its etymology will be explained in its own place. Moreover, the thing here principally treated of is the monument of twelve stones; for though it was formerly mentioned, a kind of solemn dedication is now related, namely, that Joshua not only erected a mound, but called the attention of the people to its use in enabling fathers to keep the memory of the divine goodness alive among their children. From his introducing the children asking, What mean these stones? we infer that they were arranged so as to attract the notice of spectators. For had they been heaped together at random without any order, it would never have come into the mind of posterity to inquire concerning their meaning. There must therefore have been something so remarkable in their position as not to allow the sight to be overlooked.
Moreover, because the covenant by which God had adopted the race of Abraham was firm in an uninterrupted succession for a thousand generations, the benefit which God had bestowed on the deceased fathers is, on account of the unity of the body, transferred in common to their children who were born long after. And the continuation must have more strongly awakened their attention, inasmuch as posterity were in this way reminded that what had long ago been given to their ancestors belonged to them also. The answer of the parents would have been coldly listened to had the divine favor been confined to a single day. But when the sons' sons hear that the waters of Jordan were dried up many ages before they were born, they acknowledge themselves to be the very people towards whom that wonderful act of divine favor had been manifested. The same account is to be given of the drying up of the Red Sea, though the event was not very ancient. It is certain that of those who had come out of Egypt, Caleb and Joshua were the only survivors, and yet he addresses the whole people as if they had been eye-witnesses of the miracle. God dried up the Red Sea before our face; in other words, it was done in virtue of the adoption which passed without interruption from the fathers to the children. Moreover, it was worth while to call the passage of the Red Sea to remembrance, not only that the similarity of the miracle might cause belief, but that on hearing the story of the Jordan, that former miracle might be at the same time renewed, although no visible symbol of it was present to the eye.
24. That all people of the earth might know, etc He states that God had put forth that manifestation of his power that it might not only be proclaimed among his own people, but that the form of it might spread far and wide among the nations. For although it pleased him that his praise should dwell in Zion, it pleased him also that his works should so far be made known to strangers that they might be forced to confess that he is the true God, and compelled unwillingly to fear him whom they had willingly contemned, as it is said in the song of Moses, (<053231>Deuteronomy 32:31) "Our enemies are judges." For he means that unbelievers, whether they will or not, have this confession extorted from them by a knowledge of the works of God. But as it did not at all profit them to know how great the might of God was, Joshua distinguishes them from the Israelites, to whom he attributes a special knowledge, namely, that which begets serious fear of God. That the nations may know, he says; but that thou may fear thy God. Therefore while unbelievers extinguish the light by their darkness, let us learn from considering the works of God to advance in his fear. He says all days, because the favor here spoken of was diffused over several generations.
Joshua 5:1-9
1. And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel. 1. Fuit autem quum audissent omnes reges Aemorrhaei qui erant trans Jordanem ad Occidentem, et omnes reges Chananaei, qui juxta mare, quod siccasset Jehova aquas Jordanis a facie filiorum Israel donec transirent, liquefactum fuit cor eorum neque fuit amplius in eis, Spiritus a facie filiorum Israel.
2. At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time. 2. Eo tempore dixit Jehova ad Josuam, Fac tibi cultros acutos, et iterum circuncide filios Israel secundo.
3. And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins. 3. Et fecit sibi Josue cultros acutos, circunciditque filios Israel in colle praeputiorum.
4. And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt. 4. Haec autem est causa cur circunciderit Josue: Universus populus qui egressus fuerat ex Aegypto, masculi omnes viri bellatores mortui erant in deserto in itinere posteaquam egressi erant ex Aegypto.
5. Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised. 5. Nam circuncisus fuerat totus populus qui egressus est, at totum populum, qui natus fuerat in deserto in itinere, postquam egressi erant ex Aegypto, non circunciderant.
6. For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD swear that he would not show them the land, which the LORD swear unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that flows with milk and honey. 6. Nam quadraginta annis ambulaverunt filii Israel per desertum, donec consumeretur universa gens virorum bellatorum, qui egressi fuerant ex Aegypto, qui non audierant vocem Jehovae, quibus juraverat Jehova quod non ostenderet terram de qua juraverat Jehova patribus eorum, se daturum illis terram fluentem lacte et melle.
7. And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way. 7. Filios itaque eorum quos substituit in locum ipsorum circuncidit Josue, quia incircuncisi erant: neque enim eos circunciderat in itinere.
8. And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole. 8. Quum autem fuit circuncisus universus populus, manserunt in loco suo in castris donec sanarentur.
9. And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day. 9. Dixit Jehova ad Josuam, Hodie devolvi opprobrium Aegypti a vobis. Et vocavit nomen loci illius Gilgal, usque in hunc diem.

1. And it came to pass when, etc The recognition of the fearful power of God had such an effect upon them that they were astonished and fainted with terror, but it did not incline their minds to seek a remedy for the evil. Their heart was melted inasmuch as destitute of counsel and strength they did not bestir themselves, but in regard to contumacy they remained as hard-hearted as before. We have already seen elsewhere how unbelievers, when smitten with fear, cease not to wrestle with God, and even when they fall, continue fiercely to assail heaven. Hence the dread which ought to have urged them to caution had no other effect than to hurry them on headlong. They were, however, terrified from above for the sake of the people, that victory might be more easily obtained, and the Israelites might be emboldened when they saw they had to do with an enemy already broken and stricken with dismay. Thus God spared their weakness, as if he had opened up the way by removing obstacles, because they had already proved themselves to be otherwise more sluggish and cowardly than was meet. The substance then is, that before the conflict commenced, the enemy were already routed by the terror which the fame of the miracle had inspired.
2. At that time the Lord said, etc It seems very strange and almost monstrous, that circumcision had so long been laid aside, especially as it became those who were receiving daily admonitions to be more than usually careful to cultivate the exercises of piety. It was the symbol of the adoption to which they owed their freedom. And it is certain that when they were reduced to extremity and groaning under tyranny, they always circumcised their children. We know also how sternly God threatened to be an avenger against any one who should allow the eighth day to pass. Had the observance been neglected in Egypt their carelessness might have admitted of excuse, as at that time the covenant of God appeared to have become in a manner obsolete. But now when the divine faithfulness in establishing the covenant is once more refulgent, what excuse could there be for not testifying on their part that they are the people of God
The apology which commentators offer is altogether frivolous. I admit that they were constantly under arms, and always uncertain when they would require to move. But I hold it erroneous to infer from this that they had not a day's leisure, and that it would have been cruel to circumcise tender infants when the camp must shortly after have been moved. Nothing ought to have weighed so much with them as to produce a contemptuous disregard of what had been said to Abraham, (<011714>Genesis 17:14) The soul that is not circumcised shall be cut off from the people. But if there was risk of life in the circumcision, the best and only method was to trust to the paternal providence of God, who certainly would not have allowed his own precept to become fatal to infants. In short, the omission from a fear of danger, could not originate in any other cause than distrust. But even had it been certain that infants would be brought into danger, God ought nevertheless to have been obeyed, inasmuch as the seal of the covenant by which they were received into the Church was more precious than a hundred lives. Nor would Moses have suffered such cowardly procedure had he not been influenced by some different motive. Moreover, though the point is doubtful, I presume that they did not desist from circumcising their children, the very first day after their departure, but only after they had been obliged to retrace their steps through their own perverseness. And in this way both the defection and the punishment are accurately expressed, For it is not said that circumcision was resumed, because the constant change of place during their wanderings made it previously impossible, but because forty years behooved to elapse until those wicked apostates who had cut themselves off from the promised inheritance were consumed.
Attention should be paid to the reason here given, namely, that the children of Israel wandered through the desert till the whole of the generation which had refused to follow God was extinct; from this we may, in my opinion, infer, that the use of circumcision ceased during the whole of that period as a sign of malediction or rejection. It is true, indeed, that the penalty was inflicted on the innocent, but it was expedient that the fathers should be chastised in their person, as if God were repudiating them for the time to come. When they saw that their offspring differed in no respect from profane persons and strangers, they had a plain demonstration of what they themselves deserved.
Here, however, an inconsistency seems to arise in respect, first, that while they were condemned, their offspring were immediately received into favor; and secondly, that to themselves also was left a hope of pardon; and more especially, that they were not deprived of the other sacraments of which they could not be partakers, except on the ground of their being separated from profane nations.
The Lord, I admit, in rejecting them, declares at the same time that he will be propitious to their children, but to behold in their offspring a sign of repudiation till they themselves all perished, was salutary chastisement. For God withdrew the pledge of his favor only for a time, and kept it, as it were, locked up until their death. This punishment, therefore, was not properly inflicted on the children who were afterwards born, but had the same effect as a suspension, just as if God were making it manifest that he had put off circumcision for a time lest it should be profaned, but was waiting for an opportunity of renewing it.
Should any one object that it was absurd to celebrate the Passover in uncircumcision, I admit that it was so according to the usual order. For none were admitted to the Passover and the sacrifices save those who were initiated into the worship of God; just as in the present day the ordinance of the Supper is common only to those who have been admitted into the Church by baptism. But the Lord might choose for a time to alter the ordinary rule, and allow those from whom he had taken away circumcision to be partakers of other sacred rites. Thus the people were excommunicated in one matter, and yet, in the meanwhile, furnished with fit aids to prevent them from falling into despair; just as if a father, offended with his son, were to raise his fist, apparently to drive him away, and were at the same time to detain him by his other hand, — were to frighten him by threats and blows, and yet be unwilling to part with him. This seems to me to have been the reason why God, while depriving the people of the special pledge of adoption, was, however, unwilling to deprive them of other ordinances.
Should it be objected that there is a distinct assertion that none were circumcised on the way after they had set out, I answer, that, with a view to brevity, all things are not stated exactly, and yet that it may be gathered from the context that none remained uncircumcised but those who were born after the sedition. For it is said that their sons, whom God substituted for them, were circumcised by Joshua. From this it appears that a new people were then created to supply the place of perverse rebels. It was, moreover, a sad and severe trial that God did not choose to have the people circumcised till they were hemmed in by enemies on every side. It would, certainly, have been safer and more convenient to perform the rite before crossing the Jordan, in the land of Bashan, which had been reduced to peace by the overthrow of the inhabitants. The Lord waits till they are shut up in the midst of enemies, and exposed to their lust and violence, as if he were purposely exposing them to death; since all weakened by their wound must have given way at once, and been slaughtered almost without resistance. For if in similar circumstances (Genesis 34) two sons of Jacob, were able to force their way into the town of Sichem and plunder it, after slaying its citizens, how much more easy would it have been for the neighboring nations to attack the Israelites while thus wounded, and make a general massacre of them.
This was, therefore, as I have said, a very harsh trial, and hence the readiness with which it was submitted to is deserving of the greater praise. The place itself, however, appears to have been purposely selected by the divine wisdom, that they might be more disposed to obey. Had the same command been given on the other side of the Jordan, there was reason to fear that they might be cast into despondency, and from the delay thus interposed might again decline to enter the land. But now, when they had been brought into possession under happy auspices, as if by the hand of God, and conceived from the removal of this one obstacle a sure hope of warring with success, it is not wonderful if they obey more willingly than they might have done if they had not been so singularly strengthened. The very sight of the promised land must have furnished additional incentives, when they understood that they were again consecrated to God, in order that their uncircumcision might not pollute the holy land.
9. And the Lord said unto Joshua, etc The disgrace of Egypt is expounded by some as meaning that the want of circumcision rendered them similar to the Egyptians, in other words, profane and marked with a stigma; as if it had been said that they were again made the peculiar property of God when they were anew stamped with this mark, to distinguish them from the nations that were unclean. Others understand it actively, as meaning that they would no longer be scorned by the Egyptians, as if God had deceived them. This I have no hesitation in rejecting as too far fetched. Others understand that they would no longer lie under the false imputation of worshipping the gods of that nation. I rather understand the meaning to be, that they were freed from an invidious charge, by which they were otherwise overborne. It was disreputable to have shaken off the yoke and revolted from the king under whose government they lived. Moreover, as they gave out that God was the avenger of unjust tyranny, it was easy to upbraid them with using the name of God as a mere color for their conduct. They might, therefore, have been regarded as deserters, had not the disgrace been wiped off by the appeal to circumcision, by which the divine election was sealed in their flesh before they went down into Egypt. It was accordingly made plain by the renewal of the ancient covenant that they were not rebels against legitimate authority, nor had rashly gone off at their own hand, but that their liberty was restored by God, who had long ago taken them under his special protection.
From the removal of disgrace the place obtained its name. For those who think that the prepuce cut off was called Gilgal, because it was a kind of circle, abandon the literal meaning, and have recourse to a very unnecessary fiction; while it is perfectly obvious that the place was called Rolling Off, because God there rolled off from his people the disgrace which unjustly attached to them. The interpretation of liberty, adopted by Josephus, is vain and ridiculous, and makes it apparent that he was as ignorant of the Hebrew tongue as of jurisprudence.
Joshua 5:10-15
10. And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho. 10. Itaque castrametati sunt filii Israel in Gilgal, et fecerunt Paesah quartadecima die mensis ad vesperum in campestribus Jericho.
11. And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day. 11. Et comederunt e fructu terrae postridie Paesah infermentata, et polentam ipsomet die.
12. And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year. 12. Et cessavit man postridie postquam comederunt e frumento terrae; neque fuit ultra filiis Israel man, sed comederunt e fructu terrae Chanaan eo anno.
13. And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? 13. Contigit autem quum esset Josue apud Jericho, ut levaret oculos suos ac aspiceret: et ecce vir stabat contra eum, in cujus manu erat gladius evaginatus: et ivit Josue ad eum, dixitque illi, Ex nostris es? An ex adversariis nostris?
14. And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What says my lord unto his servant? 14. Et dixit Non: sed sum princeps exercitus Jehovae: nunc veni. Et cecidit Josue in faciem suam ad terram, et adoravit, dixitque ei: Quid Dominus meus loquitur ad servum suum?
15. And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou stands is holy. And Joshua did so. 15. Et dixit princeps exercitus Jehovae ad Josuam: Solve calceamentum tuum e pedibus tuis: quia locus super quem stas, sanctitas est. Et ita fecit Josue.

10. And the children of Israel. kept the Passover, etc Here it is stated that the Passover was celebrated on the regular day, although there are some who think that the words used imply that the practice was unusual. They hence infer that, like circumcision, it had been interrupted for a period of forty years, as it would have been absurd for persons uncircumcised to take part in a sacred feast. To confirm this view, they observe that we do not read of the Passover having been observed after the beginning of the second year. But it is not probable that that which God had lately ordered to be perpetual, (<021242>Exodus 12:42) was suddenly cast aside. For it had been said to them, It is a night to be observed by the children of Israel in all their generations. How inconsistent, then, would it have been had this practice, which was to be observed throughout all ages, become obsolete in the course of two years! And again, how heartless it would have been to bury the memory of a recent favor within so short a period!
But it is said that the want of circumcision must have kept back a large proportion, that the mystery might not be profaned; for at its institution it had been declared, No uncircumcised person shall eat of it. To this I have already answered, that it was an extraordinary privilege; as the children of Israel were freed from the law. f53 For it is certain that they continued to use sacrifices, and to observe the other parts of legal worship, although this was unlawful, unless something of the form prescribed by the law had been remitted by divine authority. It is certain that unclean persons were prohibited from entering the court of the tabernacle, and yet the children of Israel, while uncircumcised, offered sacrifices there, thus doing what was equivalent to the slaying of the Passover. They were therefore permitted, by sufferance, to do that which it was not lawful to do according to the rule of the law.
The mention made by Moses of the second celebration of the Passover (Numbers 9) is for a different purpose, namely, for the purpose of indirectly censuring the carelessness and sluggishness of the people, who would not have observed the sacred anniversary at the end of the first year if they had not been reminded of it. For although God had proclaimed that they should through all ages annually renew the memory of their deliverance, yet they had grown so oblivious before the end of the year, that they had become remiss in the discharge of the duty. It is not without cause they are urged by a new intimation, as they were not sufficiently attentive of their own accord. That passage, therefore, does not prove that the use of the Passover was afterwards interrupted; on the contrary, it may, with some probability, be inferred from it that it was annually observed; as the Lord, towards the end of the year, anticipates the observance, telling them to make careful provision for it in future, and never deviate from the command which had been given them. f54
11. And they did eat of the old corn, etc Whether they then began first to eat wheaten bread is not very clear. For they had dwelt in a country that was not uncultivated, and was tolerably fertile. At least in the territories of the two kings there was enough of corn to supply the inhabitants. It does not seem reasonable to suppose that the children of Israel allowed the corn which they found there to rot and perish by mere waste. And I have no doubt that they ate the flesh which remained over of the sacrifices. It is quite possible, therefore, that they did not wholly abstain from wheaten bread, and yet did not abandon their accustomed food. For a country which was assigned to a tenth part could not have furnished food sufficient for the whole multitude, as there cannot be a doubt that a just estimate was made when Moses settled in it only two tribes and a half tribe. As yet, therefore, the twelve tribes had not found sufficient food, more especially as the country had been devastated by war, and the Israelites, who were not in safety to leave the camp, could not devote their attention to agriculture. The manna was thus necessary to feed them until a more abundant supply was obtained. This took place in the land of Canaan, and then, accordingly, they returned to common food. But why they deferred it till that day is not known, unless it be that after their wound was cured, some days behooved to be spent in collecting corn, while religion did not permit them to bake bread lest they should break the Sabbath. But although that rest was sacred, we gather from the circumstances that they made haste, as the flour must have been previously prepared, seeing they could not grind it and bake it in a single day.
Be this as it may, the Lord furnished them with provision as long as their want required to be supplied. The failure of the manna on a sudden, and at the very moment, must have furnished an additional attestation to the kindness of God, inasmuch as it was thence apparent that the manna was a temporary resource, which had descended not so much from the clouds as from a paternal providence. It is moreover plain, that this is to be understood of the produce of the former year, and it is needless to raise any question in regard to it; for it would have implied too much precipitation to rush upon the produce of the present year when not yet properly matured, and a whole month would scarcely have sufficed to collect enough for the supply of so great a multitude. I cannot see why expounders should give themselves so much trouble with so clear a matter.
13. And it came to pass when Joshua, etc Here we have the narrative of a remarkable vision, by which Joshua was greatly encouraged and emboldened. For though he was strenuously discharging his office, the application of an additional stimulus was not without its use. The angel, however, did not appear solely on his private account, but for the confirmation of the whole people: nay, the Lord looked further forward, that he might furnish posterity with stronger proofs of a kindness which was never duly considered. For although they boasted in lofty terms of having been planted by the hand of God in a holy land, they were scarcely induced by all the miracles to acknowledge in good earnest that they were placed there as God's vassals. This vision, therefore, must have been beneficial to all ages, by leaving no doubt as to the divine kindness bestowed. Its being said that he lifted his eyes, tends to confirm the certainty of the vision, lest any one might suppose that his eyesight had merely been dazzled by some evanescent phantom.
The spectacle, when first presented, must have inspired fear; for it is probable that Joshua was then alone, whether he had withdrawn from public view to engage in prayer, or for the purpose of reconnoitering the city. I am rather inclined to think it was the latter, and that he had gone aside to examine where the city ought to be attacked, lest the difficulty might deter others. It appears certain that he was without attendants, as he alone perceives the vision; and there can be no doubt that he was prepared to fight had he fallen in with an enemy. But he puts his question as if addressing a man, because it is only from the answer he learns that it is an angel. This doubt gives more credibility to the vision, while he is gradually led from the view of the man whom he addresses to the recognition of an angel. The words, at the same time, imply that it was not an ordinary angel, but one of special excellence. For he calls himself captain of the Lord's host, a term which may be understood to comprehend not merely his chosen people, but angels also.
The former view, however, is the more correct, as God does not produce anything of an unwonted nature, but constitutes that which we previously read that he performed to Moses. And we know that Moses himself preferred this favor to all others; and justly, for God there manifested his own glory in an open and familiar manner. Accordingly, he is indiscriminately called an angel, and distinguished by the title of the eternal God. Of this fact Paul is a competent witness, who distinctly declares that it was Christ. (<461004>1 Corinthians 10:4.) And Moses himself embraced God as present in the person of the Mediator. For when God declares, after the making of the calf, (Exodus 33:2-3 f54a) that he would no longer be the Leader of the people, he at the same time promises that he will give one of his angels, but only one, as it were taken out of the general body of the angelic host. f55 This Moses earnestly deprecates, obviously because he could have no hope that God would be propitious if the Mediator were removed. It was thus a special pledge of the divine favor that the Captain and Head of the Church, to whom Moses had been accustomed, was now present to assist. And indeed the divine adoption could not be ratified in any other way than in the hand of the Mediator.
14. And he said, Nay; but as captain, etc Although the denial applies equally to both parts of the question, namely, that he was neither an Israelite nor a Canaanite, and was thus equivalent to a denial of his being a mortal man, yet it seems to be more properly applicable to the second, or to that part of the question in which Joshua asked if he were one of the enemy. This, however, is a matter of little moment; the essential thing is to understand that he had come to preside over the chosen people whom he honorably styles the Lord's host. In his representing himself as different from God, a personal distinction is denoted, but unity of essence is not destroyed.
We have said that in the books of Moses the name of Jehovah f56 is often attributed to the presiding Angel, who was undoubtedly the only-begotten Son of God. He is indeed very God, and yet in the person of Mediator by dispensation, he is inferior to God. I willingly receive what ancient writers teach on this subject, — that when Christ anciently appeared in human form, it was a prelude to the mystery which was afterwards exhibited when God was manifested in the flesh. We must beware, however, of imagining that Christ at that time became incarnate, since, first, we nowhere read that God sent his Son in the flesh before the fullness of the times; and, secondly, Christ, in so far as he was a man, behooved to be the Son of David. But as is said in Ezekiel, (Ezekiel 1) it was only a likeness of man. Whether it was a substantial body or an outward form, it is needless to discuss, as it seems wrong to insist on any particular view of the subject. f57
The only remaining question is, how the Captain of the Lord's host can speak of having now come, seeing he had not deserted the people committed to his trust, and had lately given a matchless display of his presence in the passage of the Jordan. But according to the common usage of Scripture, God is said to come to us when we are actually made sensible of his assistance, which seems remote when not manifested by experience. It is therefore just as if he were offering his assistance in the combats which were about to be waged, and promising by his arrival that the war would have a happy issue. It cannot be inferred with certainty from the worship which he offered, whether Joshua paid divine honor to Christ distinctly recognized as such; but by asking, What command does my Lord give to his servant? he attributes to him a power and authority which belong to God alone.
15. Loose thy shoe from off thy foot, etc To give additional sanctity to the vision, the great Angel requires as a sign of reverence and fear that Joshua put off his shoes. Moses relates, (<020305>Exodus 3:5) that the same command was given to him on Mount Sinai, and for no other reason than that the Lord there manifested his glory. For one place cannot have a greater sanctity than another, except God deigns specially to make it so. Thus Jacob exclaims, (Genesis 28:17 f57a) that the place where he had known God more nearly is the house of God, a dreadful place, and the gate of heaven. Here, therefore, when God orders his holy servant to take off his shoes, he by this ceremony attests the reality of his presence, and adds more weight to the vision; not that nakedness of feet is of itself of any value in the worship of God, but because the weakness of men requires to be aided by helps of this kind, that they may the better excite and prepare themselves for veneration. Moreover, as God by his presence sanctifies the places in which he appears, I think it probable that the expression, holy ground, is in part commendatory of the excellence of the land of Canaan, which God had chosen for his own habitation and the seat of his pure worship. Hence in various passages it is called "his rest." (<199511>Psalm 95:11, and Psalm 132:14 f57b) In the end of the verse Joshua is praised for his obedience, that posterity might learn by his example to cultivate pure piety in that land. There seems thus to be a kind of tacit comparison or antithesis, by which the land of Canaan is extolled above all other countries. f58
Joshua 6:1-19
1. Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. 1. Jericho autem erat clausa, et claudebatur propter filios Israel, nec poterat quisquam egredi, vel ingredi.
2. And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor. 2. Dixitque Jehova ad Josuam, Ecce tradidi in manum tuam Jericho, et regem ejus, et virtute praestantes.
3. And you shall compass the city, all you men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shall thou do six days. 3. Circuibitis itaque urbem, omnes viri bellatores, circundando eam semel: sic facies sex diebus.
4. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day you shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. 4. Porro septem sacerdotes ferent septem cornua arientina ante arcam: Die autem septima circuibitis urbem septem vicibus, et sacerdotes ipsi clangent tubis.
5. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him. 5. Quum vero protraxerint sonitum cornu arietino: ubi primum audieritis vocem tubae, vociferabitur universus populus vociferatione magna, et concidet murus urbis sub se: populus vero ascendet quisque e regione sua.
6. And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD. 6. Vocavit ergo Josue filius Nun sacerdotes, et dixit eis, Tollite arcam foederis, et septem sacerdotes accipient septem tubas arietinas coram arca Jehovae.
7. And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD. 7. Dixit quoque ad populum, Transite, et circuite urbem, et armatus quisque praecedat arcam Jehovae.
8. And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them. 8. Et fuit postquam loquutus est Josue ad populum, tulerunt septem sacerdotes septem tubas arietinas, et transeuntes ante arcam Jehovae clanxerunt tubis. Arca autem foederis Jehovae sequebatur ipsos.
9. And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rearward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. 9. Et armatus quisque praecedebat sacerdotes clangentes tubis, Et qui cogebat agmen sequebatur arcam eundo et clangendo tubis.
10. And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, You shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall you shout. 10. Populo autem praeceperat Josue, dicendo, Non vociferabimini, nec facietis audire vocem vestram, neque egredietur ex ore vestro verbum, usque ad diem quo dixero vobis, vociferamini: tunc vociferabimini.
11. So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp. 11. Circuivit itaque arca Jehovae urbem, circundando semel, et reversi sunt in castra: manseruntque illic.
12. And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. 12. Rursum surrexit Josue mane, tuleruntque sacerdotes arcam Jehovae.
13. And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rearward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. 13. Septem autem sacerdotes ferentes septem tubas arietinas praecedebant arcam Jehovae, eundo: et clangebant tubis. Armatus vero praecedebat eos, et qui cogebat agmen sequebatur arcam Jehovae, eundo, et clangendo tubis.
14. And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days. 14. Circuiverunt ergo urbem dic secundo vice alia, reversique sunt ad castra: sic fecerunt sex diebus.
15. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times. 15. Ubi autem advenit septimus dies, surrexerunt simul ac ascendit aurora, et circuiverunt urbem secundum eundem morem septem vicibus: tantum die illa circuiverunt urbem septem vicibus.
16. And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD has given you the city. 16. Septima autem vice quum clangerent sacerdotes tubis, dixit Josue ad populum, vociferamini, tradidit Jehova vobis urbem.
17. And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 17. Erit autem urbs anathema, ipsa et quaecunque in ea sunt, Jehovae: tantum Rahab meritrix vivet, ipsa et quicunque fuerint cum ea domi, quia abscondidit nuncios quos misimus.
18. And you, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest you make yourselves accursed, when you take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. 18. Veruntamen vos cavete ab anathemate, ne forte contingatis aliquid de anathemate, tollatisque de anathemate, et ponatis castra Israel anathema, et turbetis ea.
19. But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD. 19. Omne autem argentum, et aurum, et vasa aerea et ferrea, sanctitas erunt Jehovae: thesaurum Jehovae ingredientur.

1. Now Jericho was straitly shut up, etc Jericho is said to be shut up, because the gates were not opened: as in time of war cities are guarded with more than usual care. It is added, by way of emphasis, that they were sealed, or locked up, f59 as if it were said that the inhabitants were attentive in watching, so as not to be taken by surprise. Hence, as it could not be taken by stratagem, the only hope of taking it was by open force. This tends to display the goodness of God to the children of Israel, who would have been worn out by a long and difficult siege, had not a substitute been early provided from heaven. Meanwhile there was a danger, lest being forced into a corner, they might be consumed by want and famine, as there was no means of obtaining food and provender in a hostile region. The Lord, therefore, that they might not sit down despondently before one city, assisted them by an extraordinary miracle, and opened up an entrance to them by throwing down the walls, that they might thereafter have the greater confidence in attacking other cities.
We now see the connection between the two first verses, in the one of which it is said, that Jericho was shut up, and the children of Israel thus prevented from approaching it, while in the other God promises that he will take it for them. He makes this promise with the view of preventing them from tormenting themselves with anxious thoughts. In one word, God, by this easy victory at the outset, provides against their giving way to despondency in future. We, at the same time, perceive the stupidity of the inhabitants, who place their walls and gates as obstacles to the divine omnipotence; as if it were more difficult to break up or dissolve a few bars and beams than to dry up the Jordan.
3. And you shall compass the city, etc The promise was, indeed, fit and sufficient of itself to give hope of victory, but the method of acting was so strange, as almost to destroy its credibility. God orders them to make one circuit round the city daily until the seventh day, on which they are told to go round it seven times, sounding trumpets, and shouting. The whole looked like nothing else than child's play, and yet was no improper test, for trying their faith, as it proved their acquiescence in the divine message, even when they saw in the act itself nothing but mere disappointment. With the same intention, the Lord often, for a time, conceals his own might under weakness, and seems to sport with mere trifles, that his weakness may at length appear stronger than all might, and his folly superior to all wisdom.
While the Israelites thus abandon their own reason, and depend implicitly on his words, they gain much more by trifling than they could have done by making a forcible assault, and shaking the walls by numbers of the most powerful engines. Only it behooved them to play the fool for short time, and not display too much acuteness in making anxious and subtle inquiries concerning the event: for that would have been, in a manner, to obstruct the course of the divine omnipotence. Meanwhile, though the circulatory movement round the walls might have excited derision, it was afterwards known, by its prosperous result, that God commands nothing in vain.
There was another subject of care and doubt, which might have crept into their minds. Should the inhabitants of the city suddenly sally forth, the army would, without difficulty, be put to the rout, while, in long straggling lines, it was proceeding round the city, without any regular arrangement that might have enabled it to repel a hostile assault. But here, also, whatever anxiety they might have felt, they behooved to cast it upon God; for sacred is the security which reclines on his providence. There was an additional trial of their faith, in the repetition of the circuit of the city during seven days. For what could seem less congruous than to fatigue themselves with six unavailing circuits? Then, of what use was their silence, f60 unless to betray their timidity, and tempt the enemy to come out and attack besiegers who seemed not to have spirit enough to meet them? But as profane men often, by rash intermeddling fervor, throw everything into confusion, the only part which God here assigns to his people, is to remain calm and silent, that thus they may the better accustom themselves simply to execute his commands.
Here, too, it is worthy of remark, that the instruments, given to the priests to blow with, are not the silver trumpets deposited in the sanctuary, but merely rams' horns. The sound of the sacred trumpets would certainly have inspired more confidence, but a better proof of obedience was given, when they were contented with the vulgar symbol. Moreover, their movements were so arranged, that the greater number, by which is understood the armed, went before the ark, while those who usually accompanied the baggage followed. It was their part to take care that the rear did not fall into confusion. As the term congregating, applied to them, was obscure, I have rendered it by the corresponding term usually employed by the Latins. f61 Some think that the tribe of Dan was thus employed, but this is uncertain, as they were not then arranged in the manner usual on other expeditions.
15. And it came to pass on the seventh day, etc Here, also, God seemed, by leading the people so often round the city, not only to keep the matter in suspense, but purposely to sport with the miseries of the people, who were fatiguing themselves to no purpose. For why does he not order them suddenly to attack the city? Why does he keep them in their former silence, even to weariness, and not open their mouths to shout? But the happy fruit of this endurance teaches us, that there is nothing better than to leave the decisive moments and opportunities of acting at his disposal, and not, by our haste, anticipate his providence, in which, if we acquiesce not, we obstruct the course of his agency. Therefore, while the priests were sounding, God ordered a corresponding shout to be raised by the people, that in this way he might prove that he is not pleased with any impetuosity which men manifest at their own hands, but above all things requires a regulated zeal, of which the only rule is not to move either tongue, or feet, or hands, till he order. Here, the rams' horns undoubtedly represented his authority.
17. And the city shall be accursed, etc Although God had determined not only to enrich his people with spoil and plunder, but also to settle them in cities which they had not built, yet there was a peculiarity in the case of the first city; for it was right that it should be consecrated as a kind of first fruits. Accordingly, he claims the buildings, as well as all the moveable property, as his own, and prohibits the application of any part of it to private uses. It may have been an irksome and grievous task for the people voluntarily to pull down houses in which they might have commodiously dwelt, and to destroy articles which might have been important for use. But as they had not been required to fight, it behooved them to refrain, without grudging, from touching the prey, and willingly yield up the rewards of the victory to God, as it was solely by his nod that the walls of the city had fallen, and the courage of the citizens had fallen along with them. God was contented with this pledge of gratitude, provided the people thereby quickly learned that everything they called their own was the gift of his free liberality. For with equal right all the other cities might have been doomed to destruction, had not God granted them to his people for habitations.
As to the Hebrew word srj, I will now only briefly repeat from other passages. When it refers to sacred oblations, it becomes, in respect of men, equivalent to abolitions, since things devoted in this manner are renounced by them as completely as if they were annihilated. The equivalent Greek term is ajna>qhma, or ajna>qema, meaning set apart, or as it is properly expressed in French, interdicted. Hence the exhortation to beware of what was under anathema, inasmuch as that which had been set apart for God alone had perished, in so far as men were concerned. It is used in a different sense in the following verse, where caution is given not to place the camp of Israel in anathema. Here its simple meaning is, excision, perdition, or death. Moreover, God destined vessels made of metals for the use of the sanctuary; all other things he ordered to be consumed by fire, or destroyed in other manners.
Joshua 6:20-27
20. So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. 20. Itaque vociferatus est populus postquam clanxerunt tubis. Quum enim audisset populus vocem tubarum, vociferatus est vociferatione maxima, et cecidit murus subtus, tum ascendit populus in urbem quisque e regione sua, et ceperunt eam.
21. And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword. 21. Et perdiderunt omnia quae erant in urbe, a vobis usque ad mulierem, a puero usque ad senem, ad bovem, et ovem, et asinum, acie gladii.
22. But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot's house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she has, as you swear unto her. 22. Duobus autem viris qui exploraverant terram dixit Josue, Ingredimini domum mulieris meretricis, et inde educite eam, et quaecunque habet, quemadmodum jurastis ei.
23. And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel. 23. Ingressi itaque exploratores eduxerunt Rahab, et patrem ejus, et matrem ejus, et fratres ejus, et quaecunque habebat, et totam cognationem ejus eduxerunt, ac locarunt extra castra Israel.
24. And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. 24. Urbem vero succenderunt igni, et quaecunque erant in ea: tantummodo aurum et argentum, vasa aerea et ferrea posuerunt in thesauro domus Jehovae.
25. And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwells in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. 25. Itaque Rahab meretricem, et domum patris ejus, et quaecunque habebat vivere fecit Josue: habitavitque in medio Israel usque ad hunc diem, quia absconderat nuntios quos miserat Josue ad explorandum Jericho.
26. And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and builds this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it. 26. Adjuravit autem Josue tempore illo, dicendo, Maledictus vir coram Jehova qui surget ut edificet urbem istam Jericho. In primogenito suo fundabit eam et in minore suo statuet portas ejus.
27. So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country. 27. Fuit autem Jehova cum Josue, et fama ejus fuit in tota terra.

20. So the people shouted, etc Here the people are praised for obedience, and the faithfulness of God is, at the same time, celebrated. They testified their fidelity by shouting, because they were persuaded, that what God had commanded would not be in vain, and he, in not allowing them to lose their labor, vindicated the truth of what he had said. Another virtue of not inferior value was displayed by the people, in despising unlawful gain, and cheerfully suffering the loss of all the plunder. For there cannot be a doubt, that in the minds of many the thought must have risen, For what end does God please to destroy all the wealth? Why does he envy us that which he has given into our hand? Why does he not rather gladden us by furnishing us with the materials of thanksgiving? Dismissing these considerations, which might have interfered with their duty, it was a proof of rare and excellent self-denial, voluntarily to cast away the spoils which were in their hands, and the wealth of a whole city.
The indiscriminate and promiscuous slaughter, making no distinction of age or sex, but including alike women and children, the aged and decrepit, might seem an inhuman massacre, had it not been executed by the command of God. But as he, in whose hands are life and death, had justly doomed those nations to destruction, this puts an end to all discussion. We may add, that they had been borne with for four hundred years, until their iniquity was complete. Who will now presume to complain of excessive rigor, after God had so long delayed to execute judgment? If any one object that children, at least, were still free from fault, it is easy to answer, that they perished justly, as the race was accursed and reprobated. Here then it ought always to be remembered, that it would have been barbarous and atrocious cruelty had the Israelites gratified their own lust and rage, in slaughtering mothers and their children, but that they are justly praised for their active piety and holy zeal, in executing the command of God, who was pleased in this way to purge the land of Canaan of the foul and loathsome defilement's by which it had long been polluted. f62
22. But Joshua had said unto the two men, etc The good faith of Joshua in keeping promises, and his general integrity, are apparent in the anxious care here taken. But as the whole city had been placed under anathema, a question might be raised as to this exception of one family. No mortal man was at liberty to make any change on the decision of God. Still as it was only by the suggestion of the Spirit that Rahab had bargained for her impunity, I conclude that Joshua, in preserving her, did only what was considerate and prudent.
We may add, that the messengers were not yet under any contrary obligation, as the complete destruction of the city had not been declared. It is true, they had heard in general, that all those nations were to be destroyed, but they were still at liberty to make a compact with a single woman, who had voluntarily abandoned her countrymen. But we shall afterwards meet with a far easier solution, namely, that while the Israelites, by the divine command, exhorted all whom they attacked, to surrender, by holding out the hope of pardon, the blinded nations obstinately refused the peace thus offered, because God had decreed to destroy all of them. But while all, in general, were hardened to their destruction, it follows that Rahab was exempted by special privilege, and might escape in safety, while the others perished. Joshua, therefore, judged wisely, that a woman who had voluntarily gone over to the Church, was rescued thus early, not without the special grace of God. The case of the father and the whole family is, indeed, different, but seeing they all spontaneously abjure their former state, they confirm the stipulation which Rahab had made for their safety, by the promptitude of their obedience.
Moreover, let us learn from the example of Joshua, that we do not sufficiently attest our probity, by refraining from violating our promise intentionally and of set purpose, unless we also diligently exert ourselves to secure its performance. He not only allows Rahab to be delivered by her guests, but is careful to guard against her sustaining any injury in the first tumult; and to make the messengers more diligent in performing their office, he reminds them that they had promised with the intervention of an oath.
23. And the young men that were spies went in, etc God, doubtless, wished those to be safe, whose minds he thus inclined to embrace deliverance. Had it been otherwise, they would have rejected it not less proudly, and with no less scorn than the two sons-in-law of Lot. But a still better provision is made for them, when, by being placed without the camp, they receive a strict injunction to abandon their former course of life. f63 For had they been immediately admitted and allowed to mix indiscriminately with the people, the thought of their impurity might never, perhaps, have occurred to them, and they might thus have continued to indulge in it. Now when they are placed apart, that they may not, by their infection, taint the flock, they are impressed with a feeling of shame, which may urge them to serious conversion.
It cannot be meant that they were thus set apart for safety, lest any one in the crowd might have risen up violently against them: for they would have been received by all with the greatest favor and gladness, whereas they might have been attacked in a solitary place more easily, and even with impunity. Their impurity, therefore, was brought visibly before them, that they might not while polluted come rashly forward into the holy meeting, but rather might be accustomed by this rudimentary training to change their mode of life. For it is added shortly after, that they dwelt in the midst of the people; in other words, having been purged from their defilement's, they began to be regarded in the very same light as if they had originally belonged to the race of Abraham. In short, the meaning is, that after they had made a confession of their previous impurity, they were admitted indiscriminately along with others. By this admission, Rahab gained one of the noblest fruits of her faith.
26. And Joshua adjured them, etc This adjuration, then, was not merely to have effect for one day, but to warn posterity through all ages that that city had been taken only by divine power. He wished, therefore, that the ruins and devastation should exist for ever as a kind of trophy; because the rebuilding of it would have been equivalent to an erasure effacing the miracle. In order, therefore, that the desolate appearance of the place might keep the remembrance of the divine power and favor alive among posterity, Joshua pronounces a heavy curse upon any one who should again build the ruined city. From this passage we gather that the natural torpidity of men requires the aid of stimulants to prevent them from burying the divine favors in oblivion; and hence this spectacle, wherein the divine agency was made conspicuous to the people, was a kind of indirect censure of their ingratitude.
The substance of the imprecation is, that if any one ever attempt to rebuild Jericho he may be made sensible by the unpropitious and mournful result that he had done a cursed and abominable work. For to lay the foundations in his first-born, were just as if he were to cast forth his son to perish, crushed and buried beneath the mass of stones; and to set up the gates in his younger son, is the same thing as to plan an edifice which could not be erected without causing the death of a son. Thus he who should dare to make the insane attempt is condemned in his own offspring. Nor did Joshua utter this curse at his own suggestion; he was only the herald of celestial vengeance.
This makes it the more monstrous that among the people of God a man should have been found, whom that fearful curse, couched in formal terms, could not restrain from sacrilegious temerity. In the time of Ahab (<111634>1 Kings 16:34) arose Hiel, a citizen of Bethel, who dared, as it were avowedly, to challenge God in this matter; but the Sacred History at the same time testifies, that the denunciation which God had pronounced by the mouth of Joshua did not fail of its effect; for Hiel founded the new Jericho in Abiram his first-born, and set up its gates in his younger son Segub, and thus learned in the destruction of his offspring what it is to attempt anything against the will and in opposition to the command of God. f64
Joshua 7:1-9
1. But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel. 1. Transgressi autem sunt transgressione filii Israel in anathemate: quia Achan, filius Chermi filii Zabdi, filii Zerah de tribu Jehudae abstulit de anathemate: et accensa est excandescentia Jehovae contra filios Israel.
2. And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai. 2. Porro misit Josue viros e Jericho contra Hai, quae erat juxta Bethaven ad orientem Bethel, et loquutus est cum illis, dicendo, Ascendite et explorate terram. Ascenderunt itaque viri, et exploraverunt Hai.
3. And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labor thither; for they are but few. 3. Qui reversi ad Josuam, dixerunt ei, Ne ascendat totus populus; circiter duo millia virorum aut circiter tria millia virorum ascendant, et percutient Hai.f65
4. So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai. 4. Ascenderunt ergo illuc e populo fere fria millia virorum, et fugerunt coram viris Hai.
5. And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water. 5. Percusseruntque ex eis circiter triginta et sex viros, et persequuti sunt eos a porta usque ad Sebarim, et percusserunt eos in descensu; atque ita liquefactum est cor populi, fuitque velut aqua.
6. And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. 6. Porro Josue sicidit vestimenta sua, prociditque in faciem suam in terram coram arca Jehovae usque ad vesperam, ipse et seniores Israel, et posuerunt pulverem super caput suum.
7. And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord GOD, wherefore has thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan! 7. Dixitque Josue, Ah, ah, Dominator Jehova, ut quid traduxisit populum hunc trans Jordanem, ut traderes nos in manum Amorrhaei qui perdat nos? Atque utinam libuisset nobis manere in deserto trans Jordanem!
8. O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turns their backs before their enemies! 8. O Domine quid dicam postquam vertit Israel cervicem coram inimicis suis?
9. For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name? 9. Audientque Channanaeus et omnes incolae terrae, et vertent se contra nos, disperdentque nomen nostrum e terra: quid vero facies nomini tuo magno?

1. But the children of Israel committed, etc Reference is made to the crime, and indeed the secret crime, of one individual, whose guilt is transferred to the whole people; and not only so, but punishment is at the same time executed against several who were innocent. But it seems very unaccountable that a whole people should be condemned for a private and hidden crime of which they had no knowledge. I answer, that it is not new for the sin of one member to be visited on the whole body. Should we be unable to discover the reason, it ought to be more than enough for us that transgression is imputed to the children of Israel, while the guilt is confined to one individual. But as it very often happens that those who are not wicked foster the sins of their brethren by conniving at them, a part of the blame is justly laid upon all those who by disguising become implicated in it as partners. For this reason Paul, (<460504>1 Corinthians 5:4-6) upbraids all the Corinthians with the private enormity of one individual, and inveighs against their pride in presuming to glory while such a stigma attached to them. But here it is easy to object that all were ignorant of the theft, and that therefore there is no room for the maxim, that he who allows a crime to be committed when he can prevent it is its perpetrator. I certainly admit it not to be clear why a private crime is imputed to the whole people, unless it be that they had not previously been sufficiently careful to punish misdeeds, and that possibly owing to this, the person actually guilty in the present instance had sinned with greater boldness. It is well known that weeds creep in stealthily, grow apace and produce noxious fruits, if not speedily torn up. The reason, however, why God charges a whole people with a secret theft is deeper and more abstruse. He wished by an extraordinary manifestation to remind posterity that they might all be criminated by the act of an individual, and thus induce them to give more diligent heed to the prevention of crimes.
Nothing, therefore, is better than to keep our minds in suspense until the books are opened, when the divine judgments which are now obscured by our darkness will be made perfectly clear. Let it suffice us that the whole people were infected by a private stain; for so it has been declared by the Supreme Judge, before whom it becomes us to stand dumb, as having one day to appear at his tribunal. The stock from which Achan was descended is narrated for the sake of increasing, and, as it were, propagating the ignominy; just as if it were said, that he was the disgrace of his family and all his race. For the writer of the history goes up as far as the tribe of Judah. By this we are taught that when any one connected with us behaves himself basely and wickedly, a stigma is in a manner impressed upon us in his person that we may be humbled — not that it can be just to insult over all the kindred of a wicked man, but first, that all kindred may be more careful in applying mutual correction to each other, and secondly, that they may be led to recognize that either their connivance or their own faults are punished.
A greater occasion of scandal, fitted to produce general alarm, was offered by the fact of the crime having been detected in the tribe of Judah, which was the flower and glory of the whole nation. It was certainly owing to the admirable counsel of God, that a pre-eminence which fostered the hope of future dominion resided in that tribe. But when near the very outset this honor was foully stained by the act of an individual, the circumstance might have occasioned no small disturbance to weak minds. The severe punishment, however, wiped away the scandal which might otherwise have existed; and hence we gather that when occasion has been given to the wicked to blaspheme, the Church has no fitter means of removing the opprobrium than that of visiting offences with exemplary punishment.
2. And Joshua sent men from Jericho, etc To examine the site of the city and reconnoiter all its approaches was an act of prudence, that they might not, by hurrying on at random through unknown places, fall into an ambuscade. But when it would be necessary shortly after to advance with all the forces, to send forward a small band with the view of taking the city, seems to betray a want of military skill. Hence it would not have been strange that two or three thousand men, on a sudden sally were panic-struck and turned their backs. And it was certainly expedient for the whole body that twenty or thirty thousand should have spread in all directions in foraging parties. We may add, that even the act of slaying, though no resistance were offered, was of itself sufficient to wear out a small body of troops. Therefore, when the three thousand or thereabouts were repulsed, it was only a just recompense for their confidence and sloth. The Holy Spirit, however, declares that fewness of numbers was not the cause of the discomfiture, and ought not to bear the blame of it. The true cause was the secret counsel of God, who meant to show a sign of his anger, but allowed the number to be small in order that the loss might be less serious. And it was certainly a rare display of mercy to chastise the people gently and without any great overthrow, with the view of arousing them to seek an instant remedy for the evil. Perhaps, too, the inhabitants of Ai would not have dared to make an attack upon the Israelites had they advanced against the city in full force. The Lord therefore opened a way for his judgment, and yet modified it so as only to detect the hidden crime under which the people might otherwise have been consumed as by a lingering disease.
But although there is nothing wonderful in the defeat of the Israelites, who fought on disadvantageous terms on lower ground, it was, however, perfectly obvious that they were vanquished by fear and the failure of their courage before they came to close quarters; for by turning their backs they gave up the higher ground and retired to the slope of a valley. The enemy, on the other hand, showed how thoroughly they despised them by the confidence and boldness with which they ventured to pursue the fugitives at full speed in the direction of their camp. In the camp itself, such was the trepidation that all hearts melted. I admit, indeed, that there was cause for fear when, after having gained so many victories as it were in sport, they saw themselves so disgracefully defeated. In unwonted circumstances we are more easily disturbed. But it was a terror from heaven which dismayed them more than the death of thirty men and the flight of three thousand.
6. And Joshua rent his clothes, etc Although it was easy to throw the blame of the overthrow or disgrace which had been sustained on others, and it was by no means becoming in a courageous leader to be so much cast down by the loss of thirty men, especially when by increasing his force a hundred-fold it would not have been difficult to drive back the enemy now weary with their exertions, it was not, however, without cause that Joshua felt the deepest sorrow, and gave way to feelings bordering on despair. The thought that the events of war are doubtful — a thought which sustains and reanimates the defeated — could not be entertained by him, because God had promised that they would always be victorious. Therefore when the success did not correspond to his hopes, the only conclusion he could draw was, that they had fought unsuccessfully merely because they had been deprived of the promised assistance of God.
Accordingly, both he and the elders not only gave themselves up to sorrow and sadness, but engage in solemn mourning, as used in the most calamitous circumstances, by tearing their garments and throwing dust on their heads. That mode of expressing grief was used also by the heathen, but was specially appropriate in the pious worshippers of God in suppliantly deprecating his wrath. The rending of the garments and other accompanying acts contained a profession of repentance, as may also be inferred from the annexed prayer, which, however, is of a mixed nature, dictated partly by faith and the pure spirit of piety, and partly by excessive perturbation. In turning straightway to God and acknowledging that in his hand, by which the wound was inflicted, the cure was prepared, they are influenced by faith; but their excessive grief is evidently carried beyond all proper bounds. Hence the freedom with which they expostulate, and hence the preposterous wish, Would God we had remained in the desert! f66
It is not a new thing, however, for pious minds, when they aspire to seek God with holy zeal, to obscure the light of faith by the vehemence and impetuosity of their affections. And in this way all prayers would be vitiated did not the Lord in his boundless indulgence pardon them, and wiping away all their stains receive them as if they were pure. And yet while in thus freely expostulating, they cast their cares upon God, though this blunt simplicity needs pardon, it is far more acceptable than the feigned modesty of hypocrites, who, while carefully restraining themselves to prevent any confident expression from escaping their lips, inwardly swell and almost burst with contumacy.
Joshua oversteps the bounds of moderation when he challenges God for having brought the people out of the desert; but he proceeds to much greater intemperance when, in opposition to the divine promise and decree, he utters the turbulent wish, Would that we had never come out of the desert! That was to abrogate the divine covenant altogether. But as his object was to maintain and assert the divine glory, the vehemence which otherwise might have justly provoked God was excused.
We are hence taught that saints, while they aim at the right mark, often stumble and fall, and that this sometimes happens even in their prayers, in which purity of faith and affections framed to obedience ought to be especially manifested. That Joshua felt particularly concerned for the divine glory, is apparent from the next verse, where he undertakes the maintenance of it, which had been in a manner assigned to him. What shall I say, he asks, when it will be objected that the people turned their backs? And he justly complains that he is left without an answer, as God had made him the witness and herald of his favor, whence there was ground to hope for an uninterrupted series of victories. Accordingly, after having in the loftiest terms extolled the divine omnipotence in fulfillment of the office committed to him, it had now become necessary for him, from the adverse course of events, to remain ignominiously silent. We thus see that nothing vexes him more than the disgrace brought upon his calling. He is not concerned for his own reputation, but fears lest the truth of God might be endangered in the eyes of the world. f67 In short, as it was only by the order of God that he had brought the people into the land of Canaan, he now in adversity calls upon him as author and avenger, just as if he had said, Since thou has brought me into these straits, and I am in danger of seeming to be a deceiver, it is for thee to interfere and supply me with the means of defense.
9. For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants, etc He mentions another ground of fear. All the neighboring nations, who, either subdued by calamities or terrified by miracles, were quiet, will now resume their confidence and make a sudden attack upon the people. It was indeed probable, that as the divine power had crushed their spirit and filled them with dismay, they would come boldly forward to battle as soon as they knew that God had become hostile to the Israelites. He therefore appeals to God in regard to the future danger, entreating him to make speedy provision against it, as the occasion would be seized by the Canaanites, who, though hitherto benumbed with terror, will now assume the aggressive, and easily succeed in destroying a panic-struck people.
It is manifest, however, from the last clause, that he is not merely thinking of the safety of the people, but is concerned above all for the honor of the divine name, that it may remain inviolable, and not be trampled under foot by the petulance of the wicked, as it would be if the people were ejected from the inheritance so often promised. We know the language which God himself employed, as recorded in the song of Moses, (<053226>Deuteronomy 32:26, 27)
"I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them cease among men; were it not that I feared the wrath (pride) of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and the Lord has not done all this."
The very thing, then, which God declares that he was, humanly speaking, afraid of, Joshua wishes now to be timelessly prevented; otherwise the enemy, elated by the defeat of the people, will grow insolent and boast of triumphing over God himself.
Joshua 7:10-18
10. And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? 10. Tunc dixit Jehova ad Josuam, Surge. Ut quid tu ita procidis super faciem tuam?
11. Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. 11. Peccavit Israel, atque adeo transgressi sunt pactum meum quod praecepi illis, atque etiam tulerunt de anathemate, atque etiam furati sunt, atque etiam mentiti, atque etiam reposuerunt in vasa sua.
12. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except you destroy the accursed from among you. 12. Itaque non potuerunt filii Israel stare coram inimicis suis: cervicem vertent coram inimicis suis:f68 quia sunt in anathema, non perseverabo esse vobiscum, nisi deleatis anathema e medio vestri.
13. Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus says the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until you take away the accursed thing from among you. 13. Surge, sanctifica populum et dicas, Sanctificate vos in crastinum: sic enim dicit Jehova Deus Israel, Anathema est in medio tui Israel: non poteris stare coram inimicis tuis, donec abstuleris anathema e medio vestri.
14. In the morning therefore you shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be, that the tribe which the LORD takes shall come according to the families thereof; and the family which the LORD shall take shall come by households; and the household which the LORD shall take shall come man by man. 14. Accedetis ergo mane per tribus vestras, et tribus quam deprehendet Jehvoa accedet per domos: et domus quam deprehendet Jehova accedet per viros.
15. And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he has: because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he has wrought folly in Israel. 15. Qui autem deprehensus fuerit in anathemate, comburetur igni, ipse, et omnia quae ejus sunt: quod transgressus fuerit pactum Jehovae, et quod fecerit nefas in Israel.
16. So Joshua rose up early in the morning, and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken: 16. Surrexit igitur Josue mane, et accedere fecit Israelem per tribus suas, et deprehensa est tribus Juda.
17. And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken: 17. Tunc applicuit cognationes Juda, et deprehendit cognationem Zari, applicuit deinde familiam Zari per viros, et deprehensa est familia Zabdi.
18. And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. 18. Et applicuit domum ejus per viros, et deprehensus est Achan filius Carmi, filii Zabdi, filii Zera, de tribu Juda.

10. And the Lord said unto Joshua, etc God does not reprimand Joshua absolutely for lying prostrate on the ground and lamenting the overthrow of the people, since the true method of obtaining pardon from God was to fall down suppliantly before him; but for giving himself up to excessive sorrow. The censure, however, ought to be referred to the future rather than to the past; for he tells him to put an end to his wailing, just as if he had said, that he had already lain too long prostrate, and that all sloth must now be abandoned, as there was need of a different remedy. But he first shows the cause of the evil, and then prescribes the mode of removing it. He therefore informs him that the issue of the battle was disastrous, because he was offended with the wickedness of the people, and had cast off their defense.
We formerly explained why the punishment of a private sacrilege is transferred to all; because although they were not held guilty in their own judgment or that of others, yet the judgment of God, which involved them in the same condemnation, had hidden reasons into which, though it may perhaps be lawful to inquire soberly, it is not lawful to search with prying curiosity. At the same time we have a rare example of clemency in the fact, that while the condemnation verbally extends to all, punishment is inflicted only on a single family actually polluted by the crime. What follows tends to show how enormous the crime was, and accordingly the particle µg is not repeated without emphasis; as they might otherwise have extenuated its atrocity. Hence, when it is said that they have also transgressed the covenant, the meaning is, that they had not sinned slightly. The name of covenant is applied to the prohibition which, as we saw, had been given; because a mutual stipulation had been made, assigning the spoils of the whole land to the Israelites, provided He received the first fruits. Here, then, he does not allude to the general covenant, but complains that he was defrauded of what had been specially set apart; and he accordingly adds immediately after, by way of explanation, that they had taken of the devoted thing, and that not without sacrilege, inasmuch as they had stolen that which he claimed as his own. The term lying is here used, as in many other passages, for frustrating a hope entertained, or for deceiving. The last thing mentioned, though many might at first sight think it trivial, is set down, not without good cause, as the crowning act of guilt, namely, that they had deposited the forbidden thing among their vessels. Persons who are otherwise not wholly wicked are sometimes tempted by a love of gain; but in the act of hiding the thing, and laying it up among other goods, a more obstinate perseverance in evil doing is implied, as the party shows himself to be untouched by any feelings of compunction. In the last part of the 12th verse, the term anathema is used in a different sense for execration; because it was on account of the stolen gold that the children of Israel were cursed, and almost devoted to destruction.
13. Up, sanctify the people, etc Although the word çdq has a more extensive meaning, yet as the subject in question is the expiation of the people, I have no doubt that it prescribes a formal rite of sanctification. Those, therefore, who interpret it generally as equivalent to prepare, do not, in my judgment, give it its full force. Nay, as they were now to be in a manner brought into the divine presence, there was need of purification that they might not come while unclean. It is also to be observed in regard to the method of sanctifying, that Joshua intimates to the people a legal purgation. But though the ceremony might be in itself of little consequence, it had a powerful tendency to arouse a rude people. The external offering must have turned their thoughts to spiritual cleanness, while their abstinence from things otherwise lawful reminded them of the very high and unblemished purity which was required. And they are forewarned of what is to take place, in order that each may be more careful in examining himself. Nay, the Lord proceeds step by step, as if he meant to give intervals for repentance; for it is impossible to imagine any other reason for descending from tribe to family, and coming at length to the single individual.
In all this we see the monstrous stupor of Achan. Overcome perhaps by shame, he doubles his impudence, and putting on a bold front, hesitates not to insult his Maker. For why, when he sees himself discovered, does he not voluntarily come forward and confess the crime, instead of persisting in his effrontery till he is dragged forward against his will? But such is the just recompense of those who allow themselves to be blinded by the devil. Then when first by the taking of his tribe and next by that of his family, he plainly perceived that he was urged and held fast by the hand of God, why does he not then at least spring forward, and by a voluntary surrender deprecate punishment? It appears, then, that after he had hardened himself in his wickedness, his mind and all his senses were charmed by the devil.
Though God does not bring all guilty actions to light at the very moment, nor always employ the casting of lots for this purpose, he has taught us by this example that there is nothing so hidden as not to be revealed in its own time. The form of disclosure will, indeed, be different; but let every one reflect, for himself, that things which escape the knowledge of the whole world are not concealed from God, and that to make them public depends only on his pleasure. For though a sin may seem as it were to have fallen asleep, it is however awake before the door, and will beset the miserable man till it overtake and crush him.
Joshua 7:19-26
19. And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou has done; hide it not from me. 19. Tunc dixit Josue ad Achan, Fili mi, da nunc gloriam Jehovae Deo Israel, et ede ei confessionem, atque indica mihi quid feceris, ne abscondas a me.
20. And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: 20. Respondit Achan ad Josuam, et ait, Vere ego peccavi Jehovae Deo Israel, et sic et sic feci.
21. When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. 21. Vidi inter spolia pallium, Babylonicum bonum, et ducentos siclos argenteos, et ligulam auream unam, cujus pondus erat quinquaginta siclorum, quae concupivi et abstuli; et ecce abscondita sunt in terra, in medio tabernaculi mei, et argentum subtus.
22. So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. 22. Misit itaque Josue nuncios qui currerunt ad tabernaculum; ecce absconditum erat in tabernaculo ejus et argentum sub eo.
23. And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD. 23. Acceperuntque ea e medio tabernaculi, et attulerunt ea ad Josuam et ad omnes filios Israel, statueruntque coram Jehova.
24. And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. 24. Tollensque igitur Josue Achan filium Zera, et argentum, et pallium, et ligulam auream, et filios ejus, et filias ejus, et boves ejus, et asinos ejus, et pecudes ejus, et tabernaculum ejus, et omnia quae erant ejus, simulque universus Israel cum eo deduxerunt in vallem Achor.
25. And Joshua said, Why has thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. 25. Et dixit Josue, Cur turbasti nos? Turbet te Jehova hodie, et obruerunt eum universus Israel lapidibus combusseruntque eos igni postquam lapidaverunt eos lapidibus.
26. And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day. 26. Et statuerunt super eum acervum lapidum magnum usque ad hunc diem, et aversus est Jehova ab ira excandescentiae suae; ideo vocarunt nomen loci illius vallem Achor usque in hunc diem.

19. And Joshua said unto Achan, etc Although only by lot, which seems to fall out fortuitously, Achan is completely caught; yet, as God has declared that he will point out the guilty party, as if with the finger, Joshua interrogates without having any doubt, and when the discovery is made, urges Achan to confess it. It is probable, indeed, that this was the usual form of adjuration, as we read in John's Gospel, (<430924>John 9:24) that the scribes and priests used the same words in adjuring the blind man whose sight our Savior had restored, to answer concerning the miracle. But there was a special reason why Joshua exhorted Achan to give God the glory, because by denying or equivocating he might have impaired the credit of the decision. The matter had already been determined by lot. Joshua, therefore, simply orders him to subscribe to the divine sentence, and not aggravate the crime by vain denials.
He calls him son, neither ironically nor hypocritically, but truly and sincerely declares that he felt like a father toward him whom he had already doomed to death. By this example, judges are taught that, while they punish crimes, they ought so to temper their severity as not to lay aside the feelings of humanity, and, on the other hand, that they ought to be merciful without being reckless and remiss; that, in short, they ought to be as parents to those they condemn, without substituting undue mildness for the sternness of justice. Many by fawning kindness throw wretched criminals off their guard, pretending that they mean to pardon them, and then, after a confession has been extracted, suddenly hand them over to the executioner, while they were flattering themselves with the hope of impunity. But Joshua, satisfied with having cited the criminal before the tribunal of God, does not at all flatter him with a vain hope of pardon, and is thus more at liberty to pronounce the sentence which God has dictated.
20. And Achan answered Joshua, etc As he was now struck with astonishment, he neither employs subterfuge, nor palliates the crime, nor endeavors to give any coloring to it, but rather ingeniously details the whole matter. Thus the sacred name of God was more effectual in extorting a confession than any tortures could have been. Nor was the simplicity he thus displayed a sure indication of repentance; being, as it were, overcome with terror, he openly divulged what he would willingly have concealed. And it is no new thing for the wicked, after they have endeavored for some time to escape, and have even grown hardened in vice, to become voluntary witnesses against themselves, not properly of their own accord, but because God drags them against their will, and, in a manner, drives them headlong. The open answer here given will condemn the hypocrisy of many who obscure the clear light by their subterfuges. The expression is emphatic — thus and thus did I; meaning that each part of the transaction was explained distinctly and in order. Nor does he only acknowledge the deed, but by renouncing all defense, and throwing aside all pretext, he condemns himself in regard to its atrocity. I have sinned, he says; this he would not have said had he not been conscious of sacrilege, and hence it appears that he did not pretend mistake or want of thought.
22. So Joshua sent messengers, etc Although it is not singular for messengers to prove their obedience by running and making haste, yet the haste which is here mentioned, shows how intent all were to have the work of expiation performed as speedily as possible, as they had been filled with the greatest anxiety in consequence of the stern denunciation — I will not be with you until you are purged of the anathema. They therefore ran swiftly, not merely to execute the commands of Joshua, but much more to appease the Lord. The things carried off by stealth, when placed before their eyes, were more than sufficient to explain the cause of the disgrace and overthrow which had befallen them.
It had been said that they had turned their backs on the enemy, because, being polluted with the accursed thing, they were deprived of the wonted assistance of God; it is now easy to infer from the sight of the stolen articles, that the Lord had deservedly become hostile to them. At the same time, they were reminded how much importance God attached to the delivery of the first-fruits of the whole land of Canaan in an untainted state, in order that his liberality might never perish from their memory. They also learned that while the knowledge of God penetrates to the most hidden recesses, it is in vain to employ concealment's for the purpose of eluding his judgment. f69
24. And Joshua, and all Israel with him, etc Achan is led without the camp for two reasons; first, that it might not be tainted and polluted by the execution, (as God always required that some trace of humanity should remain, even in the infliction of legitimate punishments,) and secondly, that no defilement might remain among the people. It was customary to inflict punishment without the camp, that the people might have a greater abhorrence at the shedding of blood: but now, a rotten member is cut off from the body, and the camp is purified from pollution. We see that the example became memorable, as it gave its name to the spot.
If any one is disturbed and offended by the severity of the punishment, he must always be brought back to this point, that though our reason dissent from the judgments of God, we must check our presumption by the curb of a pious modesty and soberness, and not disapprove whatever does not please us. It seems harsh, nay, barbarous and inhuman, that young children, without fault, should be hurried off to cruel execution, to be stoned and burned. That dumb animals should be treated in the same manner is not so strange, as they were created for the sake of men, and thus deservedly follow the fate of their owners. Everything, therefore, which Achan possessed perished with him as an accessory, but still it seems a cruel vengeance to stone and burn children for the crime of their father; and here God publicly inflicts punishment on children for the sake of their parents, contrary to what he declares by Ezekiel. But how it is that he destroys no one who is innocent, and visits the sins of fathers upon children, I briefly explained when speaking of the common destruction of the city of Jericho, and the promiscuous slaughter of all ages. The infants and children who then perished by the sword we bewail as unworthily slain, as they had no apparent fault; but if we consider how much more deeply divine knowledge penetrates than human intellect can possibly do, we will rather acquiesce in his decree, than hurry ourselves to a precipice by giving way to presumption and extravagant pride. It was certainly not owing to reckless hatred that the sons of Achan were pitilessly slain. Not only were they the creatures of God's hand, but circumcision, the infallible symbol of adoption, was engraved on their flesh; and yet he adjudges them to death. What here remains for us, but to acknowledge our weakness and submit to his incomprehensible counsel? It may be that death proved to them a medicine; but if they were reprobate, then condemnation could not be premature. f70
It may be added, that the life which God has given he may take away as often as pleases him, not more by disease than by any other mode. A wild beast seizes an infant and tears it to pieces; a serpent destroys another by its venomous bite; one falls into the water, another into the fire, a third is overlain by a nurse, a fourth is crushed by a falling stone; nay, some are not even permitted to open their eyes on the light. It is certain that none of all these deaths happens except by the will of God. But who will presume to call his procedure in this respect in question? Were any man so insane as to do so, what would it avail? We must hold, indeed, that none perish by his command but those whom he had doomed to death. From the enumeration of Achan's oxen, asses, and sheep, we gather that he was sufficiently rich, and that therefore it was not poverty that urged him to the crime. It must therefore be regarded as a proof of his insatiable cupidity, that he coveted stolen articles, not for use but for luxury.
25. And Joshua said, etc The invective seems excessively harsh; as if it had been his intention to drive the wretched man to frantic madness, when he ought rather to have exhorted him to patience. I have no doubt that he spoke thus for the sake of the people, in order to furnish a useful example to all, and my conclusion, therefore, is, that he did not wish to overwhelm Achan with despair, but only to show in his person how grievous a crime it is to disturb the Church of God. It may be, however, that the haughty Achan complained that his satisfaction, by which he thought that he had sufficiently discharged himself, was not accepted, f71 and that Joshua inveighed thus bitterly against him with the view of correcting or breaking his contumacy. The question seems to imply that he was expostulating, and when he appeals to God as judge, he seems to be silencing an obstinate man. The throwing of stones by the whole people was a general sign of detestation, by which they declared that they had no share in the crime which they thus avenged, and that they held it in abhorrence. The heap of stones was intended partly as a memorial to posterity, and partly to prevent any one from imprudently gathering particles of gold or silver on the spot, if it had remained unoccupied. For although the Lord had previously ordered that the gold of Jericho should be offered to him, he would not allow his sanctuary to be polluted by the proceeds of theft.
Joshua 8:1-29
1. And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land: 1. Dixitque Jehova ad Josuam, Netimeas, nec formides, sume tecum omnem populum bellicosum, et surge, ascende in Hai. Vide, dedi in manu tua regem Hai, ac populum ejus, urbem ejus, et terram ejus.
2. And thou shall do to Ai and her king as thou did unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall you take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it. 2. Faciesque Hai, et regi ejus, quemadmodum fecisti Jericho, et regi ejus; tamen spolia ejus, et animalia ejus praedabimini vobis. Colloca autem insidias urbi a tergo ejus.
3. So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valor, and sent them away by night. 3. Surrexit itaque Josue, et omnis populus bellicosus, ut ascenderunt in Hai, et elegit Josue trigintamillia virorum fortium robore, misitque eos nocte.
4. And he commanded them, saying, Behold, you shall lie in wait against the city, even behind the city: go not very far from the city, but be you all ready: 4. Ac praecepit eis, dicendo, Attendite vos, Insidiabimini urbi a tergo ejus, nec removeatis vos ab ea procul, sed estote omnes vos parati.
5. And I, and all the people that are with me, will approach unto the city: and it shall come to pass, when they come out against us, as at the first, that we will flee before them, 5. Et ego et omnis populus, qui mecum est, accedemus ad urbem: quum autem egredientur in occursum nostrum, sicut prius, fugiemus ante eos:
6. (For they will come out after us) till we have drawn them from the city; for they will say, They flee before us, as at the first: therefore we will flee before them. 6. Tunc egredientur post nos donec avellamus eos ab urbe: dicent enim, Fugiunt ante nos, ut prius: et fugiemus ante eos.
7. Then you shall rise up from the ambush, and seize upon the city: for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand. 7. Vos autem surgetis ex insidiis, et expelletis habitotores urbis, tradetque eam Jehova Deus vester in manu vestra.
8. And it shall be, when you have taken the city, that you shall set the city on fire: according to the commandment of the LORD shall you do. See, I have commanded you. 8. Quum ceperitis urbem, succendetis eam igni, secundum sermonem Jehovae facietis. Videte, praecepi vobis.
9. Joshua therefore sent them forth: and they went to lie in ambush, and abode between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai: but Joshua lodged that night among the people. 9. Misitque itaque eos Josue, et perrexerunt ad insidias, manseruntque inter Bethel et Hai, ab occidente Hai. Mansit autem Josue nocte illa in medio populi.
10. And Joshua rose up early in the morning, and numbered the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai. 10. Postea surrexit Josue summo mane, recensuitque populum, atque ascendit ipse et seniores Israel ante populum versus Hai.
11. And all the people, even the people of war that were with him, went up, and drew nigh, and came before the city, and pitched on the north side of Ai: now there was a valley between them and Ai. 11. Omnisque populus bellicosus, qui erat cum eo ascenderunt et appropinquarunt, veneruntque e regione urbis, et castrametati sunt ab aquilone Hai. Vallis autem erat inter ipsum et Hai.
12. And he took about five thousand men, and set them to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city. 12. Tulitque praeterea circiter quinque millia virorum, quos locavit in insidiis inter Bethel et Hai ab occidente urbi.
13. And when they had set the people, even all the host that was on the north of the city, and their liers in wait on the west of the city, Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley. 13. Et propius accessit populus tota castra quae erant ab aquilone urbi, et insidiae ejus ab occidente ipsi urbi, perrexitque Josue nocte illa in medium vallis.
14. And it came to pass, when the king of Ai saw it, that they hasted and rose up early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at a time appointed, before the plain; but he wist not that there were liers in ambush against him behind the city. 14. Porro quum videret rex Hai, festinaverunt et mane surrexerunt, atque egressi sunt homines urbis in occursum Israel ad praelium, ipse et universus populus ejus ad tempus constitutum ante campestria: nesciebat autem quod insidiae sibi essent a tergo urbis.
15. And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. 15. Et profligati sunt Josue, et universus Israel ante eos, et fugerunt per viam deserti.
16. And all the people that were in Ai were called together to pursue after them: and they pursued after Joshua, and were drawn away from the city. 16. Et congregati sunt totus populus qui in urbe erat, ut persequeretur eos. Et persequuti sunt Josuam, abstractique sunt ab urbe.
17. And there was not a man left in Ai or Bethel, that went not out after Israel: and they left the city open, and pursued after Israel. 17. Neque remansit quisquam ex Hai et Bethel, qui non egressus sit post Israel, et reliquerunt urbem apertam, et persequuti sunt Israelem.
18. And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city. 18. Dixit autem Jehova ad Josuam, Eleva hastam quae est in manu tua contra Hai, quia in manu tua dabo eam. Et elevavit Josue hastem quae erat in manu sua contra urbem.
19. And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire. 19. Tum insidiae surrexerunt repente e loco suo, et cucurrerunt quum elevasset manum suam, veneruntque ad urbem, et ceperunt eam, et festinarunt urbem succendere igni.
20. And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers. 20. Vertentes autem sese viri Hai viderunt, et ecce ascendebat fumus urbis in coelum, neque erant eis spatia ad fugiendum huc et illuc. Populus autem qui fugerat in desertum versus est contra persequentes.
21. And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, then they turned again, and slew the men of Ai. 21. Josue itaque et universus Israel ubi viderunt quod insidiae cepissent urbem, ascendissetque fumus urbis, reversi sunt, et percusserunt viros Hai.
22. And the other issued out of the city against them; so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side: and they smote them, so that they let none of them remain or escape. 22. Illi praeterea egressi sunt ex urbe in occursum eorum, fueruntque Israel in medio, isti hinc, et illi inde, et percusserunt eos, donec nemo remaneret eis superstes et evasor.
23. And the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him to Joshua. 23. Regem quoque Hai ceperunt vivum, et stiterunt eum coram Josue.
24. And it came to pass, when Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness wherein they chased them, and when they were all fallen on the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, that all the Israelites returned unto Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword. 24. Quum autem finem fecisset Israel caedendi omnes habitatores Hai in deserto quo persequuti fuerant eos, et cecidissent omnes ipsi acie gladii donec consumerentur, reversus est universus Israel ad Hai, et percusserunt eam acie gladii.
25. And so it was, that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai. 25. Fuitque numerus omnium qui ceciderunt die illa a viro usque ad mulierem circiter duodecim millia, omnes viri Hai.
26. For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. 26. Porro Josue non reduxit manum suam quam elevaverat ad laceam, donec interficeret omnes habitatores Hai.
27. Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took for a prey unto themselves, according unto the word of the LORD which he commanded Joshua. 27. Tantum animalia et spolia urbis ejus sibi praedati sunt filii Israel secundum sermonem Jehovae, quem praeceperat ipsi Josue.
28. And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, even a desolation unto this day. 28. Succendit igitur Josue Hai et posuit eam acervum sempiternum vastitatum usque ad hunc diem.
29. And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcass down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, that remaineth unto this day. 29. Regem vero Hai suspendit in ligno usque ad tempus vespertinum: cumque occubuisset sol, praecepit Josue, et deposuerunt cadaver ejus e ligno, et projecerunt illud ad introitum portae urbis, et statuerunt super illud acervum lapidum grandem usque ad hunc diem.

1. And the Lord said unto Joshua, etc It was of great consequence to Joshua, as well as the people, to inspire new courage, that they might prepare with confidence to assault the city of Ai, from which they had lately been repulsed with loss and greater disgrace. God, therefore, to inspire them with intrepidity on this expedition, promises that he will give them the city. With the same view he enjoins them to fight by stratagem more than open war, to entice the enemy out, and to select a secret place for an ambuscade which might take them by surprise. A few thousands might without any difficulty have been overthrown by an immense host attacking the city suddenly and unexpectedly. But as we formerly saw that the hearts of all had melted away, God consulted for their weakness by laying no greater burden upon them than they were able to bear, until they had recovered from their excessive panic, and could execute his commands with alacrity.
It is true, indeed, that he now used their own exertion, partly that they might not always keep looking for miracles, and so give themselves up to laziness, and partly that in different and unequal modes of acting they might nevertheless recognize that his power is the same. But care must be taken not to omit the special reason, namely, that not having yet recovered from their terror, they could scarcely have been induced to engage in an open conflict, had they not seen stratagem employed as a subsidiary aid. The first place, however, is due to the promise, Fear not, for I have delivered it into thy hands: for although it is verbally directed to Joshua, it belongs in common to the whole people, as it was most necessary that all to a man should be freed from anxiety and furnished with new confidence. The order to burn the city like Jericho, appears to be a concession to the popular feeling, the vengeance thus taken serving to wipe out the remembrance of their disgrace. At the same time that they may engage in the expedition more willingly, the spoils are left to them as the reward of victory.
13. Joshua went that night, etc It is not probable that all were called out from the camp, but the army was composed of those who were more accustomed to war. That it was sufficiently numerous appears from the fact, that five thousand were withdrawn from it for ambuscade. At first thirty-five thousand appear to be enumerated, but it is clear from the context that the number was not so great. I am rather inclined to conjecture that thirty thousand were led out for open fight, and that five thousand were specially set apart for an ambuscade. Joshua hastens to execute the task assigned to him, commencing his march in the morning, and in this haste we see how effectual the promise had proved. Had not the mind of all been freed from fear he never could have found them so prompt to obey.
Apparently, indeed, little prudence is shown in sending so large a body to proceed by hidden paths to a place suitable for ambuscade. For with whatever silence and composure they might proceed, the mere movement of their feet must have caused a considerable noise. Should any one say that there was nobody to meet them, as all the inhabitants of the district had deserted the fields and taken refuge in the city, we will find it mentioned shortly after, that before the Israelites came near to the city their arrival was known by the king of Ai; and this could scarcely have been without scouts. But granting that they met no one in the fields, it was certainly a difficult matter to pass by, to select a suitable place during night for an ambuscade, and to take possession of it without giving some indication of their presence. With regard to the procedure of Joshua, though he might see that the business could be accomplished by a smaller force, he seems to have been compelled by the recent trepidation of the people to be very careful not to engage them in any enterprise of danger. For had only a few of the army been dispatched they would perhaps have declined a part by which they were to be particularly exposed.
The Lord meanwhile displays the greatest indulgence to his people in delivering up an enemy that was to be so easily conquered. His wonderful favor especially appears in blinding all of them, so that they have no suspicion of the ambuscade. I have no doubt that when it is said they knew not of it, the writer of the history means to draw attention to the rare and extraordinary kindness of God in so covering, as it were, with the shadow of his hand, first, the thirty thousand who accompanied Joshua, and then the five thousand, that they all escaped the notice of the enemy. When mention is now made of five thousand, I do not understand it to mean that Joshua furnished a new ambuscade, as if the number, already excessive, were not sufficient, but that the writer now merely shows how the thirty-five thousand whom Joshua had armed were distributed. For to what end would so small a reinforcement have been given to so great a multitude? Besides, the place where they are ordered to halt is the same as that which had been previously pointed out; this could not apply to two separate bodies of troops.
15. And Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten, etc This is another stratagem. By pretending flight they draw off the enemy to a distance, leaving them no retreat afterwards into the city, which was in flames before they suspected that any disaster was to be apprehended in their rear. Hence, while the king of Ai pursues the Israelites as vanquished, the part of the army which lay hid towards Bethel had sufficient time to take the city, and make it too late for the inhabitants to perceive that they were utterly undone. For after they had been already repulsed, and were everywhere slaughtered, they were overwhelmed with despair on beholding the flames of the city, and so completely surrounded that not an individual could escape.
The question here asked by some, as to whether it is lawful to overcome an enemy by wiles and stratagem, originates in gross ignorance. First, it is certain that wars are carried on not merely by striking blows; for those are considered the best commanders who accomplish more by art and counsel than by mere violence; and secondly, the longer any one has served so as to acquire experience, the better soldier he makes. If war, then, is lawful, it is beyond all controversy that the usual methods of conquering may be lawfully employed, provided always that there be no violation of faith once pledged either by truce or in any other way.
17. And there was not a man left in Ai, etc It will be clear from the context that some were taken in the city and slain, and therefore we must hold that the sally was not by all universally, and that the old men and women and many others unfit for war, did not rush forth into the fields; the meaning simply is, that no garrison was left to defend the city. The same thing is said of Bethel, and hence we may easily conjecture that Bethel, as it was a small unimportant town, belonged to another power. The inhabitants, however, from being unable to defend their own city, abandoned it, and offered their whole force to the king of Ai, to whom they were perhaps tributaries. It is uncertain whether they went to the king of Ai before the arrival of the Israelites, to unite their forces with his in the contest, but the probability is, that as they were unable to resist they had come by agreement into a fortified and more populous city. They thought that they could not, possibly be safe unless they were preserved under the shadow of a neighboring city superior to their own.
18. And the Lord said unto Joshua, etc This passage shows, that owing either to the strong fortifications of the city, or the valor of its inhabitants, or the trepidation of the Israelites, the victory was difficult, since God promises that he himself would take it by the lifting up of a spear. Had success been beyond doubt, the symbol would have been superfluous; their minds must therefore have been anxious and perplexed, since the Lord, to prevent them from fainting, raises up a banner of confidence in the hand of Joshua. It is true, indeed, that shortly after a different motive for raising the spear is mentioned, when it is said, that in this way a signal was given to the ambuscade, which accordingly rushed forth. But if it really was so used as a signal, it will scarcely do to regard the spear as a manifestation of the victorious power of God dispelling all doubt. Still, however, as it is not expressly said that the spear was the cause which brought forth the soldiers who had been placed in ambuscade, the truth may be that they came forth of their own accord, either because it was the suitable time, or because the shouting and noise made them aware that the battle had actually commenced. For it is scarcely possible to believe that the spear was seen by them, when we consider the long space which intervened, and more especially that Joshua was standing in a valley. Moreover, if we hold that the lifting up of the spear, though intended for a different purpose, had also the effect of inspiring them with additional courage, there will be no absurdity in it.
This much ought to be regarded as certain, first, that by this solemn badge they were rendered more certain of the happy issue of the battle; and secondly, that Joshua had no other intention than to incite his troops according to the command of God. For it is at last added, that Joshua did not draw back his hand until the city was taken, the enemy everywhere destroyed, and the war itself terminated. Hence it appears that he exhibited it in the middle of the conflict as an ensign of triumph, that the Israelites might have no doubt of success. For although he ordered them to engage and use their arms bravely, he at the same time distinctly declared that they had already conquered.
The course of the battle is rendered somewhat obscure by the same thing being told twice, but the substance is sufficiently plain. The children of Israel retreated feigning fear, and the battle had not actually commenced before the inhabitants of Ai were precluded from returning and defending their city. After the two armies had come to close quarters, the ambuscade arose and made such haste that the flames of the conflagration were rising from the city when the enemy turned their backs. From this we may infer that the city was in the possession of the Israelites, but that the chief slaughter took place when those who were in the city came forth to take part in the battle, because the inhabitants, hemmed in on all sides, found resistance and flight equally unavailing. They were thus seized with despair, and, huddled together in a narrow space, were everywhere cut down.
The statement, that the slaughter did not take place in the city before those who had feigned flight returned, I understand to mean, that the whole troops uniting their forces rushed in, seized the prey, and slew all who might have been left. If any one objects that the city was burnt while the battle was going on, I answer, that the fire was indeed applied so as to let both armies know that the city was in possession of the Israelites, but it was not actually destroyed by fire. It was not practicable in a moment of time to seize and carry off the booty, nay, to bring the vessels and a large part of the property without the walls; and it would have been absurd voluntarily to destroy spoils which God had granted. We see, then, that the first fire was not kindled for the purpose of destroying the whole city, but was merely a partial conflagration giving intimation of its capture, and that the Israelites entered at the open gates without bloodshed or a struggle. This is confirmed shortly after, when the burning is ascribed to Joshua himself, not only because it was burnt under his command, but because he was careful, after returning from the battle, to see that it was utterly destroyed; as it is immediately added that he made it a heap of stones in order that it might be a perpetual desolation. f72
25. And so it was that all that fell that day, etc The meaning is not that all the slain were inhabitants of Ai, but that all who dwelt in it were slain, that not one escaped. It has already been seen that the inhabitants of Bethel were mingled along with them; and as no mention of that city is afterwards made, it may be conjectured with some probability that they had abandoned their own town, which was little fortified, and betaken themselves for greater safety to one which they hoped could be easily defended. The words, therefore, simply mean, that all who had come out of the city and all who were found in it were slain to a man. If any are rather disposed to think that this number of those whose slaughter took place within the walls is confined to the aged, the sick, the women and the children, I will not dispute the matter. Still, if we consider that only a small town was conjoined with a city of no great extent or population, it is more probable that the number comprehends those also who fell in battle.
26. For Joshua drew not his hand back, etc As by raising the spear he gave sign and pledge of hope as it were from heaven, he did not cease to keep the minds of his followers fixed upon it until they were masters of the city. By thus persevering he sufficiently proved how far removed he was from ambition; how free from doing anything in the way of vain ostentation. For it was just as if he had resigned the office of leader, and transferred the whole praise of the victory to God. How intrepid a warrior he was is plain from other passages. He might now, too, have willingly discharged his military functions, and thus done what was far better fitted to promote his reputation and glory. But as if his hand had been fastened to the spear, he exhorts the soldiers to look to God alone, to whom he resigns the success of the battle. By thus standing aloof he profited more than if he had in all directions, and by his own hand, struck down heaps of the enemy: at the same time his remaining at ease was more praiseworthy than any degree of agility could have been.
29. And the king of Ai he hanged, etc Though he seems to have treated the king with great severity in order to satisfy the hatred of the people, I cannot doubt that he studied faithfully to execute the divine judgment. Conquerors, indeed, are wont to spare captive kings, because their rank seems to carry something venerable along with it, but the condition of kings was different among those nations in which God wished particularly to show how greatly he detested the wickedness which he had so long tolerated. For while all were doomed to destruction, the divine vengeance justly displayed itself with greater sternness and severity on the leaders, with whom the cause of destruction originated.
We may add, that the ignominious punishment inflicted on the king rendered it still less necessary to deal leniently with the common people, and thus prevented the Israelites from indulging an unseasonable mercy, which might have made them more sluggish or careless in executing the work of universal extermination.
God purposely delivered the king alive into the hand of Joshua, that his punishment might be more marked and thus better adapted for an example. Had he fallen in the conflict promiscuously with others, he would have been exempted from this special mark of infamy; but now even after his death, the divine vengeance pursues his corpse. Nay, after being hung, he is thrown forth at the gate of the city where he had sat on his throne in judgment, and a monument is erected for the purpose of perpetuating his ignominy to posterity. His burial, however, is mentioned to let us know that nothing was done through tumultuous impetuosity, as Joshua carefully observed what Moses had prescribed in the Law, (<052123>Deuteronomy 21:23) namely, that those hung on gibbets should be taken down before sunset, as a spectacle of the kind was held in abomination. And, certainly, while it is humane to bury the dead under ground, it is inhumanly cruel to cast them forth to be torn by wild beasts or birds. Therefore, that the people might not be accustomed to barbarity, God allowed criminals to be hung, provided they did not hang unburied for more than one day. And that the people might be more attentive to this duty, which otherwise might readily have been neglected, Moses declares that every one who hangs on a tree is accursed; as if he had said, that the earth is contaminated by that kind of death, if the offensive object be not immediately taken away.
Joshua 8:30-35
30. Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal, 30. Tunc aedificavit Josue altare Jehovae Deo Israel in monte Ebal,
31. As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man has lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings. 31. Quemadmodum praeceperat Moses servus Jehovae filiis Israel: sicut scriptum est in libro legis Mosis, altare ex lapidibus integris, super quos non levaverant ferrum: et immolaverunt super illud holocausta Jehovae, et sacrificaverunt hostias prosperitatum.
32. And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. 32. Scripsit quoque ibi in lapidibus repetitam legem Mosis, quam scripsit coram filiis Israel.
33. And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel. 33. Universus autem Israel, et seniores ejus, et praefecti, et Judices ejus stabant hinc et inde ad arcam coram sacerdotibus Levitis portantibus arcam foederis Jehovae, tam peregrinus quam indigena: dimidia pars ejus contra montem Garizin, et dimidia pars ejus contra montem Ebal: quemadmodum praeceperat Moses servus Jehovae, ut benediceret populo Israel primum.
34. And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law. 34. Et post haec legit omnia verba legis, benedictionem et maledictionem, secundum id totum quod scriptum est in libro legis.
35. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them. 35. Non fuit quidquam ex omnibus quae praeceperat Moses quod non legerit Josue coram universo coetu Israel, et mulieribus, et parvulis, et peregrinis versantibus in medio ipsorum.

30. Then Joshua built an altar, etc God had been pleased that this should be the first extraordinary sacrifice offered to him in the land of Canaan, that thus the people might attest their gratitude, and the land begin to be consecrated in regular form. It was not possible for the people to do it before freely and on their own soil, till they had obtained possession of some vacant region. f73 Now, God had at the same time given them two commands — first, that they should erect an altar on Mount Ebal; and secondly, that they should set up two stones plastered over with lime, on which they should write the Law, in order that every passer by might be able to see it and read it. We now read that both were faithfully performed. A third command related to the recitation of blessings and cursings: this, too, Joshua performed with no less care.
To begin with the altar, — it is said, that according to the divine command, it was formed of unhewn stones. For entire stones on which the masons' iron has not been employed, are called rough and unworked. f74 This is specially said in Deuteronomy 27, of the altar, of which mention is now made. But the same thing had before been said in general of all others. Some expounders, in searching for the reason, needlessly have recourse to allegory, and allege that the hand and industry of men are forbidden, because the moment we introduce any devices of our own, the worship of God is vitiated. This is indeed truly and wisely said, but it is out of place, as the divine intention simply was to prohibit the perpetuity of altars. For we know, that in order to sacrifice duly, it was enjoined that all should have one common altar, in order both to cherish mutual agreement, and to obviate all sources of corruption from the introduction of an adventitious superstition; in short, in order that religion might remain one and simple, as a variety of altars would soon have led to discord, thereby distracting the people and putting sincere piety to flight.
Then it was not left to the choice of the people to select a place, but God uniformly in the books of Moses claims this for himself. He therefore confines the exercises of piety to that place where he may have put the remembrance of his name. Moreover, as the divine will was not immediately manifested, nor the place designated, that worship might not in the mean time cease, it was permitted to build an altar where the ark should happen to be stationed, but an altar formed only of a rude pile of stones, or of turf, that it might be only temporary.
Let the reader observe that an option was given to the people to make it of rough stones, that its form might not attract veneration, or of earth, which would crumble away of its own accord. In one word, this arrangement tended to give a pre-eminence to the perpetual altar, after God made choice of Mount Zion for its locality. Hence it is said in the Psalm, I was glad because our feet will stand in thy courts, O Jerusalem! (<19C201>Psalm 122:1, 2) What other translators render peace offerings, I have, not without cause, rendered by sacrifices of prosperity, because they were offered up either to solicit successful results, or to render thanks; and the Hebrew term is not unsuitable, as the reader will find more fully explained in my commentaries on the books of Moses.
32. And he wrote there upon the stones, etc A different rule is applicable to the stones here mentioned, on which God wished that a memorial of his Law should always appear, in order that, a kind of barrier might be interposed to protect the pure religion against the superstitions of Egypt. They were therefore covered with lime, that they might be more conspicuous, and the writing upon them more distinct. I willingly subscribe to the opinion of those who understand by the repeated Law a written form, or what is commonly called a copy or duplicate. I cannot, however, believe that the whole volume was traced upon it; for no stones however large could suffice to contain all the details. I therefore think that by the term Law only its substance and sanctions f75 are denoted. This made it palpable even to strangers entering the land what God was worshipped in it, and all excuse for error was taken away, when the Law was not treasured up in a book, but made manifest to the eyes of all. In short, though the priests should have been dumb, the stones themselves spoke clearly.
33. And all Israel, and their elders, etc The third instance of obedience was the placing all the tribes on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal to stand in six rows each over against each other. For they were so arranged that six stood on Mount Ebal, and an equal number on the opposite Mount Gerizim. The intervening space was occupied by the Levites with the ark of the covenant, that the Lord might be surrounded on all sides by his own people. It is said that Joshua stood that he might first bless the people, as it was the purpose of God to allure the people to himself by sweetness and winning condescension. For although Moses, to rebuke the obstinacy of the people, makes mention of curses only, it is certain that these were in a manner accidental, because the genuine method was to employ blessings as a means of gaining over to obedience those who might otherwise have proved refractory. But when humane invitation proved unavailing, curses were added as a new resource and remedy.
God had promised ample rewards to his servants who should obey the Law. On the other hand, curses were denounced in order to deter transgressors. Each is now forced to subscribe his own condemnation, while an amen is responded to every single sentence. For in this way they not only hear themselves condemned by the mouth of God, but as if they had been heralds sent by him, they denounce the punishment which may await themselves. A similar promulgation was made in the plain of Moab beyond the Jordan, but now they are bound more solemnly, and acknowledge on what condition they are to dwell in the land of Canaan. It added no little weight to the whole, that the children also were admitted as witnesses.
Joshua 9:1-15
1. And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof, 1. Quum autem audissent omnes reges qui erant trans Jordanem in monte, et in planitie, et in toto tractu marls magni e regione Libani, Hitthaeus, Amorrhaeus, Chananaeus, Pherisaeus, Hivaeus, et Jebusaeus,
2. That they gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord. 2. Congregaverunt se pariter ad pugnandum cum Josue et Israel uno consensu.
3. And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai, 3. Habitatores vero Gibeon au-dientes quod fecerat Josue urbi Jericho et Hai,
4. They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine-bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; 4. Egerunt etiam ipsi callide. Nam abierunt et finxerunt se legatos esse, et tulerunt saccos vetustos, in suis asinis, et utres vini vestustos, et ruptos ac colligatos,
5. And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy. 5. Et calceamenta vetusta, et resarta in pedibus suis, et vestes re. tustas super se, et torus panis viatici eorum aridus ac mucidus.
6. And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country; now therefore make yea league with us. 6. Perrexerunt ergo ad Josuam in castra in Gilgal, dixeruntque ei et viris Israel, E terra longinqua venimus, itaque nunc percutite nobiscum foedus.
7. And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure you dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you? 7. Tune responderunt viri Israel ad Hivaeum, Forte in medio mei tu habitas, et quomodo percutiam tocum foedus?
8. And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are you? and from whence come you? 8. At illi dixerunt ad Josuam, Servi tui sumus. Quibus ait Josua, Quinam estis, et unde venistis?
9. And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the Lord thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt, 9. Responderunt ei, E terra longinqua valde venerunt servi tui in nomine Jehovae Dei tui. Audivimus enim famam ejus, et quaecunque fecit in AEgypto,
10. And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth. 10. Quaecunque item fecit duobus regibus Amorrhaei, qui erant trans Jordanem, Sihon regi Hesebon, et Og regi Basan in Astaroth.
11. Wherefore our elders, and all the inhabitants of our country, spoke to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make yea league with us. 11. Dixeruntque nobis seniores nostri, et emnes habitatores terrae nostrae, Tollite in manu vestra escam pro itinere, et ite in occursum eorum, ac dicite illis, Servi vestri sumus, et nunc percutite nobiscum foedus.
12. This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy: 12. Iste est panis noster, calidum pro viatico paravimus e domibus nostris quo die egressi sumus ut veniremus ad vos, nunc autem aruit, et siccus est.
13. And these bottles of wine which we filled were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey. 13. Et isti sunt utres vini, quos impleverimus novos, et ecce rupti sunt. Et ista vestimenta nostra, et calceamenta nostra vetustate attrita sunt ob longum iter.
14. And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord. 14. Sumpserunt ergo viri de viatico eorum, et os Jehovae non interrogaverunt.
15. And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation swear unto them. 15. Et fecit cum eis Josue pa-cem, et percussit cum eis foedus quod sineret cos vivere, juraveruntque eis principes congregationis.

1. And it came to pass when all the kings, etc. As the arrival of the people was well known to these kings from the very first, it is certain that their minds were intoxicated from above with security or lethargy, so that they did not forthwith league together to oppose them. It implied excessive stupor not to provide for themselves till they were violently roused to exertion by the overthrow of two cities. f76 For as the war was common, it was a kind of voluntary surrender to send no aid to their neighbors, nay, to have no army ready, which might make a powerful impression for their defense. But in this way God spared the weakness of his people, to whom the combined forces of so many nations would have caused no small fear.
It is certain, then, that by the sloth and torpor of their enemies, the Israelites were rendered more expeditious. For an interval was, in the meanwhile, given them to compose themselves, and thus those whom the mere name of enemies might have alarmed, prepare leisurely to encounter them. f77 In the same way, although the reprobate are desirous, by every possible device, to destroy the Church, God, to take away their power of hurting her, scatters and confounds their counsels, nay, destroys their spirit. f78 On the other hand, these nations display their frantic audacity. Instead of being overcome by manifest miracle, they continue to rage like wild beasts against the unassailable power of God. A report of the taking of Jericho had reached them. Had it been overthrown by the counsel, or the acting, or the prowess, or the engines of men? Nay, the walls had fallen of their own accord. With what confidence then can they league to take up arms against heaven?
3. And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard, etc. The inhabitants of Gibeon alone rejecting the proposal to make war have recourse to fraud, and endeavor to obtain peace by pretending to live at a great distance. To make such an attempt, was very odious to their neighbors, because it was, in a manner, to make a schism among them, to open a door to the Israelites, and weaken the strength of their allies. And though blame is justly due to the foolish credulity of Joshua and the rulers, who were under no obligation to bargain rashly in regard to a matter not properly investigated, yet the Lord, who is wont to bring light out of darkness, turned it to the advantage of his people; for it procured them an interval of relaxation, while they halted in a tranquil district.
The Gibeonites, indeed, judged rightly and prudently, when they resolved to bear anything sooner than provoke God more against them, by a vain resistance. But the employment of fraud and illicit arts, to circumvent those whose favor and protection they desired to enjoy, was no less absurd and ridiculous than at variance with reason and equity. For what could be the stability of a league which was founded in nothing but gross fraud? They pretend that they are foreigners who had come from a far distant country. Joshua, therefore, is bargaining with mere masks, and contracts no obligation except in accordance with their words. Hence the craft by which they insinuated themselves ought not to have availed them. Still, as a great degree of integrity yet existed among men, they deemed it enough to obtain an oath even extorted by fraud, feeling fully persuaded, that the people of Israel would not violate it.
The expression, that they too acted cunningly, is erroneously supposed by some to contain an allusion to the stratagem which Joshua had employed in deceiving the citizens of Ai no less inaccurately do others make it refer to the time of Jacob, whose sons, Simeon and Levi, f79 had treacherously destroyed the Sichemites. (Genesis 34) The antithesis is merely between the hostile preparations of the kings and the secret wiles with which the Gibeonites accosted Joshua. Accordingly, after it is stated, that some had leagued with the intention of trying the result of open war, the trick of the Gibeonites is subjoined, and hence the meaning is, that Joshua had to do not only with professed enemies, who had gathered themselves together to battle, but with the crafty dissimulation of one nation.
It is asked, however, why the Gibeonites labored so anxiously in a matter which was not at all necessary? For we shall see elsewhere that the Israelites were ordered to offer peace to all, that they might thereafter have a just and legitimate cause for declaring war. But as it was everywhere rumored, that they were seeking a permanent settlement in the land of Canaan, (which they could not obtain except by expelling the inhabitants,) the Gibeonites conclude that there is no means of binding them to mercy except by imposing upon them in some way or other; as they would never have spontaneously and knowingly allowed the land which they had invaded to be occupied by others. Nay, as it was known that they had been commanded to destroy all, they had no alternative left but to have recourse to fraud, as all hope of obtaining safety was otherwise taken away. And for this reason they shortly after ask pardon for a fraud wrung from them by necessity.
Here, however, a question arises; as the Israelites object that they are not at liberty to make any paction with the nations of Canaan, but are bound to exterminate them utterly. There is certainly a discrepancy between the two things — to exhort to submission, and at the same time refuse to admit suppliants and volunteers. But although God required that the laws of war should be observed according to use and wont, and that, therefore, peace should be offered on condition of submitting, he merely wished to try the minds of those nations, that they might bring destruction upon themselves by their own obstinacy. At the same time, it was intimated to the Israelitish people, that they must destroy them; and hence the conclusion necessarily followed, that those who dwelt in the land of Canaan could not be tolerated, and that it was unlawful to make a covenant with them.
We shall afterwards find both things distinctly expressed, viz., that all persisted in carrying on war, because it had been the divine intention that their hearts should be hardened, and that they should perish. It was, therefore, a legitimate inference that those who were doomed to death could not be preserved. If any one object that the Gibeonites, who voluntarily applied for peace, were therefore exceptions, I answer, that the Israelites were not at present considering that formal custom which produced no result, but are merely attending to the promise and the command of God. Hence it is, that they allow no hope to remain, because they had been simply and precisely commanded to purge the land by putting every individual to death, and to succeed to the place of those they had slain.
6. And they went to Joshua, etc. I have said that in strict law, a covenant of this description was null and void. For when they obtain their prayer, what is stipulated but just that they should be kept safe, provided they come from a distant and remote region of the globe? And the oftener they reiterate the same falsehood, the more do they annul a compact elicited by fraud, since its true meaning only amounts to this, that the Israelites will offer no molestation to a foreign people, living at a remote distance. This is shown to be more especially the meaning, from the fact, that the Israelites expressly exclude all the inhabitants of the land of Canaan. They could not, therefore, gain anything by the fraud. Nor are they more assisted by making a fallacious pretext of the name of God, and thus throwing a kind of mist over the mind of Joshua. They pretend that they had come in the name of God; as if they were professing to give glory to God, even the God of Israel; inasmuch as there is a tacit rejection of the superstitions to which they had been accustomed. For if it is true, that they had come, moved by the faith of the miracles which had been performed in Egypt, they concede supreme power to the God of Israel, though to them a God unknown.
14. And the men took of their victuals, etc. Some commentators here have recourse to the insipid fictions that they ate the bread, to ascertain from the taste whether it were stale from age, or that they confirmed the covenant by a feast. The words rather, in my opinion, are an indirect censure of their excessive credulity in having, on slight grounds acquiesced in a fabulous narrative, and in having attended merely to the bread, without considering that the fiction was devoid of color. And, certainly, had not their senses been blunted, many things would have instantly occurred to refute the Gibeonites. f80 But as it sometimes happens, that the most piercing eyes are dazzled by an empty spectacle, they are more severely condemned for not having ascertained the pleasure of God. The remedy was at hand, had they attempted nothing without consulting the oracle. It was a matter deserving of careful inquiry, and it was therefore a sign of gross carelessness, when a priest was ready to seek an answer from God, by means of Urim and Thummim, to decide rashly in an obscure case, as if they had no means of obtaining advice. Their rashness was the less excusable, from being combined with such supine neglect of the grace of God.
Joshua 9:16-27
16. And it came to pass, at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they were their neighbors, and that they dwelt among them. 16. Post tres autem dies a foedere cum illis inito audierunt, quod pro-pinqui essent ipsis, et in medio ipso-rum habitarent.
17. And the children of Israel journeyed, and came unto their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim. 17. Profectique sunt filii Israel, et venerunt ad urbes ipsorum die tertio. Urbes autem eorum erant Gibeon, Chephirat, Beeroth, Ciriatjearlm.
18. And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the Lord God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes. 18. Et non percusserunt eos filii Israel, eo quod jurassent eis princi-pes congregationis per Jehovam Deum Israel: et murmuravit tota congregatio contra principes.
19. But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the Lord God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. 19. Tunc dixerunt omnes principes ad totam congregationem, Nos juravimus eis per Jehovam Deum Israel, ideo mine non possumus attingere eos.
20. This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we swear unto them. 20. Hoc faciemus eis, servabimus eos vivos, ne sit contra nos ira propter jusjurandum quod juravimus eis.
21. And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood, and drawers of water, unto all the congregation; as the princes had promised them. 21. Dixerunt itaque illis principes, Vivant, et caedant ligna, et fodiant aquam toti congregationi, quemadmodum loquuti sunt eis cuncti principes.
22. And Joshua called for them, and he spoke unto them, saying, Wherefore have you beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you; when you dwell among us? 22. Vocavit itaque cos Josue, et loquutus est ad eos, dicendo: Ut quid decepistis nos, dicendo, Remoti sumus a vobis valde, cum in medio nostri habitefts?
23. Now therefore you are cursed; and there shall none of you be freed from being bond-men, and hewers of wood, and drawers of water, for the house of my God. 23. Nunc ergo maledicti estis, nec delebuntur ex vobis servi, et caedentes ligna, et fodientes aquam pro domo Dei met.
24. And they answered Joshua, and said, Because it was certainly told thy servants, how that the Lord thy God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, therefore we were sore afraid of our lives because of you, and have done this thing. 24. Qui responderunt ad Josuam, atque dixerunt, Cum renunciando renunciatum fuit servis tuis quomodo praeceperat Jehova Deus tuus Most servo suo ut daret vobis terram, et disperderet omnes habitatores terrae a facie vestra, timuimus valde animabus nostris a facie vestra, et fecimus istud.
25. And now, behold, we are in thine hand: as it seems good and right unto thee to do unto us, do. 25. Et nunc ecce sumus in manu tua, sicut placet, et sicut rectum est in oculis tuis, ut facias nobis, facies.
26. And so did he unto them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, that they slew them not. 26. Et fecit eis ita, liberavitque eos de manu filiorum Israel, nec interfecerunt eos.
27. And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood, and drawers of water, for the congregation, and for the altar of the Lord, even unto this day, in the place which he should choose. 27. Constituitque eos Josue eo die caesores lignorum, et haustores aquaq congregationi, et altari Jehovae usque in huuc diem in loco quem elegerit.

16. And it came to pass, etc. The chastisement of their levity by the discovery of the fraud, three days after, must, by the swiftness of the punishment, have made them more sensible of the shame and disgrace. For it was thus known, that through sloth and lethargy, they had very stupidly fallen into error from not having taken the trouble to inquire into a matter almost placed before their eyes. Their marching quietly through that region, entering cities without trouble, and finding free means of sustenance, was owing to the paternal indulgence of God, who not only pardons their fault, but causes that which might justly have been injurious to turn out to their good. Here it is related that the children of Israel did not act in a hostile manner in that region, because the Gibeonites had received a promise of safety confirmed by an oath.
Now two questions arise — first, Whether the children of Israel, who had no intention whatever to pledge their faith to impostors, had contracted any obligation? and, secondly, Whether it was not in the option of the people to rescind a promise which their leaders had foolishly and erroneously made? In regard to the general position, the obligation of an oath ought to be held in the greatest sacredness, so that we may not, under the pretext of error, resile from pactions, even from those in which we have been deceived, since the sacred name of God is more precious than the wealth of a whole world. f81 Hence though a man may have sworn with little consideration, no loss or expense will free him from performance. I have no doubt, that in this sense David says, (<191504>Psalm 15:4,) that the true worshippers of God, if they have sworn to their hurt, change not, because they will bear loss sooner than expose the name of God to contempt, by retracting their promises.
I conclude, therefore, that if a private interest only is to be affected, everything which we may have promised by oath must be performed. And it is apparent from the words, that the Israelites were afraid lest they should expose the name of their God to disgrace among the nations of Canaan. For I think there is an emphasis in the expression — because they had sworn by the God of Israel. But a special reason left the Israelites at liberty to recede from the deceitful compact; for they had not only given up their own right, but improperly departed from the command of God, with which it was not lawful to interfere in the smallest iota. It was not in their power either to spare the vanquished or enact laws of surrender, whereas they now transact as if the business had been committed to them. We see, accordingly, that they twice profaned the name of God, while, under pretence of the oath, they persevered in defending what they had foolishly promised.
In the deference which the common people pay to their leaders, by abstaining from all violence to the Gibeonites, we behold the integrity of the age. Elsewhere it would have readily occurred to elude the promise by asserting that a whole people were not bound by the agreement of a few individuals, as the Romans did, in repudiating the Caudine peace, to which only the consuls, legates, and tribunes had sworn without the orders of the senate and people. The more praise, therefore, is due to that rude simplicity in which the religious obligation prevailed more than the too subtle arguments which the greater part of men in the present day approve and applaud. The people are indeed indignant that their leaders had taken more upon them than they were entitled to do, but their moderation does not allow them to proceed beyond murmur and noise. f82
20. This we will do to them, etc. Although, according to agreement, they give the Gibeonites their lives, they ratify the whole covenant only in part. For while the Gibeonites were entitled to be made perfectly secure, they are deprived of liberty, which is dearer than life. From this we infer that Joshua and the others had, as in a case of doubt and perplexity, devised a kind of middle course, so as not to make the oath altogether void. The principal object of this device was to appease the multitude: at the same time, while they were indignant at having been imposed upon by the Gibeonites, they punished the fraud, and did not allow impunity to increase their derision. It was a harsh condition, in this arrangement, that the Gibeonites were not only doomed to servile labors but withdrawn from their homes, to lead a vagrant and wandering life. The office of scullions imposed on them was no less mean than laborious, but the worst, of all was to hew wood and draw water, wherever God should be pleased to station the ark.
22. And Joshua called for them, etc. As he was to deliver a sad and severe sentence, he premises that the resolution involves no injustice, because nothing would be more unbecoming than to allow tricks and wiles to be profitable to those who employ them. He therefore first expostulates with them for having warded off danger by falsehood, and then immediately pronounces them cursed. By this I understand that he throws the blame of their servitude upon themselves, because they bear nothing worse than they have deserved by their guile or perfidy; as if he had said that the ground of the condemnation which he pronounces is in themselves. It is hard, indeed, that no end is assigned to the labors to which they are doomed, for this is implied in the words, Slaves shall never cease from among you: but he declares that no injustice is done them, as they were cursed of their own accord, or by their own fault. They, indeed, extenuate the offense, by alleging the necessity which compelled them, and yet they decline not the punishment, which they acknowledge to be justly inflicted. It may indeed be, that overcome with fear, they refused nothing, nay, calmly and flatteringly f83 acquiesced in the terms imposed on them. For what could they gain by disputing? I have no doubt, however, that as they were conscious of having done wrong, and had no means of completely exculpating themselves, they considered themselves very humanely dealt with, so long as their lives were saved, f84
Joshua 10:1-14
1. Now it came to pass, when Adonizedek king of Jerusalem had heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them; 1. Quum audisset Adoni-zedec rex Jerusalem quod cepisset Josue Hai, et eam perdidisset (quemadmodum feceret Jericho, et regi ejus, quod sic fecisset Hai et regi ejus) et quod pacem fecissent habitatores Gibeon cum Israel, et essent inter ipsos:
2. That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty. 2. Tunc timuerunt valde, quod civitas magna esset Gibeon tanquam una e civitatibus regiis, quia major erat quam Hai, omnesque viri ejus fortes.
3. Wherefore Adonizedek king of Jerusalem sent unto Hoham king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and unto Debir king of Eglon, saying, 3. Propterea misit Adoni-zedec rex Jerusalem ad Hoham regem Hebron et ad Piram regem Jarmuth, et ad Japhiam regem Lachis, et ad Debir regem Eglon, dicendo,
4. Come up unto me, and help me, that we may smite Gibeon: for it has made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel. 4. Ascendite ad me et suppetias ferte mihi, ut percutiamus Gibeon qui pacem fecit cum Josue et filiis Israel.
5. Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon, gathered themselves together, and went up, they and all their hosts, and encamped before Gibeon, and made war against it. 5. Congregati sunt itaque, et ascenderunt quinque reges Amorrhaei, rex Jerusalem, rex Hebron, rex Jarmuth, rex Lachis, rex Eglon, ipsi et omnes exercitus eorum, et castrametati sunt juxta Gibeon, pugnaveruntque adversus eam.
6. And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us. 6. Miserunt ergo viri Gibeon ad Josuam ad castra in Gilgal, dicendo, Ne contrahas manus tuas a servis tuis: ascende ad nos cito, et serva nos, atque auxiliare nobis: congregati enim sunt contra nos omnes reges Amorrhaei habitantes in monte.
7. So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valor. 7. Ascendit itaque Josue de Gilgal, ipse, et universus populus bellator cum eo, omnes potentes viribus.
8. And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee. 8. Dixit autem Jehova ad Josue, Ne timeas ab eis: in manum enim tuam tradidi eos, nec consistet quisquam ex eis in conspectu tuo.
9. Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night. 9. Et venit ad eos Josue repente: tota enim nocte ascendit de Gilgal.
10. And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah. 10. Et contrivit eos Jehova coram Israel, percussitque eos plaga magna in Gibeon, et persequutus est eos per viam ascensus Beth-horon, et percussit eos usque Azecah et usque Makedah.
11. And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. 11. Dum autem fugerent a facie Israel, et essent in descensu Beth-horon, Jehova demisit super eos lapides magnos e coelo usque ad Azecah, et mortui sunt, plures mortui sunt lapidibus grandinis, quam quos interfecerunt filii Israel gladio.
12. Then spoke 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 Ajalon. 12. Tunc loquutus est Josue ad Jehovam die qua tradidit Jehova Amorrhaeum coram filiis Israel.f85 Dixitque in oculis Israel, Sol in Gibeon expecta, et Luna in valle Ajalon.
13. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. 13. Et expectavit Sol, et luna constitit donec ulcisceretur se gens de inimicis suis. Annon hoc scriptum est in libro Jasar? (vel, recti) Stetit ergo sol in medio coeli, nec festinavit occumbere circiter die una integra.
14. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel. 14. Et non fuit sicut dies illa ante eam nec post eam, qua exaudivit Jehova vocem viri: Jehova enim pugnabat pro Israel.

1. Now it came to pass, etc He had formerly briefly glanced at, but now more fully details the conspiracy of the kings, who dwelt both in the mountains and in the plain. For after mentioning that they were struck with fear, and leagued together to make common war, he had broken off abruptly, and proceeded to speak of the Gibeonites. But what he had previously said of the kings in general, he now applies only to one individual; not because Adoni-zedek alone was afraid, but because he stirred up all the others, and was the principal originator and leader in carrying on the war against the Israelites. This is sufficiently expressed by the plural number of the verb; for it is said, When Adoni-zedek had heard — they feared greatly. From this it appears that they were all of the same mind, but that while some of them held back from fear, he who possessed greater authority, and was nearer the danger, invited the four others to arms. f86
In the beginning of the chapter it is again told, how the five kings formed an alliance to meet the Israelites, and ward off the overthrow with which they were all threatened. But as the Gibeonites had meanwhile surrendered, they first turned their arms against them, both that by inflicting punishment upon them, as the betrayers of their country, they might make them an example to all their neighbors, and that by striking terror into those vanquished enemies, they might also inspire their own soldiers with confidence. They resolve, therefore, to attack the Gibeonites who, by their embassy, had made a disruption and opened a passage to the Israelites. They had, indeed, a fair pretext for war, in resolving to punish the effeminacy of those who had chosen to give their sanction to strangers, about to lay the whole country waste, rather than faithfully defend their neighbors. And the Gibeonites experienced how useless their crafty counsel must have been, had they not been saved in pity by the Israelites. Meanwhile the Lord allowed them to be involved in danger, in order that, being twice freed, they might more willingly and meekly submit to the yoke.
6. And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua, etc The course of the narrative is inverted; for the Gibeonites certainly did not wait till they were besieged, but on seeing an army levied and prepared, and having no doubt that they would have to sustain the first onset, as they had incurred general hatred, they anticipate the attack, and hasten to have recourse to the protection of Joshua. f87 To desert those to whom life had been given, would have been at once unlawful, unjust, and inhumane. Nay, as their surrender had been consequent on the agreement, they were entitled to be defended against violence and injury. With justice, therefore, they implore the Israelites, under whose protection they were; and there is no hesitation on the part of Joshua, who judges it to be his duty to defend those whose submission he had agreed to accept. They had deceived him, it is true, but after the fraud had been detected, and they had confessed it, interposing some palliating circumstances, they had obtained pardon.
Equity and a sense of duty thus did not allow the Israelites to abandon the Gibeonites to their fate. Still, Joshua is entitled to praise for his promptitude in complying with the request, and sending assistance without delay. He is said to have marched during the whole night, and thus could not have proceeded with greater haste had the safety of the whole people been at stake. Had the same sincerity always been evinced by profane nations, they would rather have assisted their allies in due time than avenged their disasters after they had suffered them. The term suddenly ought not, however, to be confined to a single day, as if Joshua had accomplished three days' journey in a single night, and made his appearance among the Gibeonites next morning. All that is meant to be expressed is his great speed, and his not delaying his departure till next day. f88
Though the Israelites moved their camp from Ai or that neighborhood, it was the third day before they entered the confines of the Gibeonites. Granting that they then proceeded slowly in order of battle, Joshua was still at some distance when application is made to him to assist the Gibeonites. We have seen that Gilgal was the first station after crossing the Jordan, and therefore more remote than Jericho. If any one deems it absurd, that after receiving the submission of several cities, he should have turned backwards, and left an empty district, the recovery of which from the enemy might again cost new labor, I answer, there was no ground to fear that the enemy would come forward to occupy it, and engage in an expedition attended with great danger and difficulty. It is probable that when a body of troops was selected to attack Jericho, the women, children, and all others unfit for war remained in that quiet corner, where they might have the protection of those of the Reubenites, Gadites, and half tribe of Manasseh, who had been left on the opposite bank of the Jordan. For to what end would they have carried with them into their battles children and women heavy with child, or nursing babes at their breasts? How, during the incursions of the enemy, could food be found for such a multitude, or water sufficient to supply all their flocks and herds? I conclude, therefore, that Joshua and his soldiers returned to their tents that they might refresh themselves for a little with their wives and children, and there deposit the spoils with which they had been enriched.
8. And the Lord discomfited them, etc It is uncertain whether the Lord anticipated the movement, and armed Joshua by his oracle, drawing him forth from Gilgal before he had taken any step, or whether he only confirmed him after he had made his preparations for setting out. It seems to me more likely that Joshua did not rush forth as soon as he was asked without consulting God, but at length, after being informed of his will, took up arms boldly and speedily. As he had lately been chastised for excessive facility, it is at least a probable conjecture that in this case of difficulty, he attempted nothing except in so far as he had a divine command. The Lord, therefore, had respect to the wretched Gibeonites when he did not allow them to remain destitute without the assistance of his people.
Joshua is made confident of victory in order that he may succor them; for God stimulates us more powerfully to the performance of duty by promising than by ordering. That which is here promised to one belongs to all, but for the sake of honoring Joshua, it is specially deposited with him that he may afterwards be the bearer of it to his army. For God does not speak from heaven indiscriminately to all sorts of persons, but confers the honor only on excellent servants and chosen prophets.
It is moreover worthy of notice that Joshua did not abuse the divine promise by making it an excuse for sluggishness, but felt the more vehemently inflamed after he was assured of a happy issue. Many, while they ostentatiously express their faith, become lazy and slothful from perverse security. Joshua hears that victory is in his hand, and that he may gain it, runs swiftly to battle. For he knew that the happy issue was revealed, not for the purpose of slackening his pace or making him more remiss, but of making him exert himself with greater zeal. Hence it was that he took the enemy by surprise.
10. And the Lord discomfited them, etc In the first slaughter the Lord exerted his own might, but used the swords of the people. Hence we infer that whenever he works by men, nothing is detracted from his glory, but whatever is done redounds to him alone. For when he employs the co-operation of men, he does not call in allies as a subsidiary force, or borrow anything from them; but as he is able to accomplish whatever he pleases by a mere nod, he uses men also as instruments to show that they are ruled by his hand and will. Meanwhile it is said with truth in either way, that the enemy were routed and crushed by God, or by the Israelites, inasmuch as God crushed them by the instrumentality of the Israelites.
In the second slaughter the hand of God appeared more clearly, when the enemy were destroyed by hail. And it is distinctly stated that more were destroyed by hail than were slain by the sword, that there might be no doubt of the victory having been obtained from heaven. Hence again it is gathered that this was not common hail, such as is wont to fall during storms. For, in the first place, more would have been wounded or scattered and dispersed than suddenly destroyed; and secondly, had not God darted it directly, part would have fallen on the heads of the Israelites. Now, when the one army is attacked separately, and the other, kept free from injury, comes forward as it were to join auxiliary troops, it becomes perfectly clear that God is fighting from heaven. To the same effect it is said that God threw down great stones of hail from heaven: for the meaning is that they fell with extraordinary force, and were far above the ordinary size. If at any time, in common battles, a storm has suddenly arisen, and has proved useful to one of the parties, God has seemed to give that party a token of his favor and hence the line, Dearly beloved of heaven is he on whose side the elements are enlisted. f89 Here we have the account of a more distinguished miracle, in which the omnipotence of God was openly displayed.
12. Then spoke Joshua to the Lord, etc Such is the literal reading, but some expound it as meaning before Jehovah: for to speak to God, who, as piety dictates, is to be suppliantly petitioned, seems to be little in accordance with the modesty of faith, and it is immediately subjoined that Joshua addressed his words to the sun. I have no doubt that by the former clause prayer or vow is denoted, and that the latter is an expression of confidence after he was heard: for to command the sun to stand if he had not previously obtained permission, would have been presumptuous and arrogant. He first, then, consults God and asks: having forthwith obtained an answer, he boldly commands the sun to do what he knows is pleasing to God.
And such is the power and privilege of the faith which Christ inspires, (<401720>Matthew 17:20; <421706>Luke 17:6) that mountains and seas are removed at its command. The more the godly feel their own emptiness, the more liberally does God transfer his power to them, and when faith is annexed to the word, he in it demonstrates his own power. In short, faith borrows the confidence of command from the word on which it is founded. Thus Elias, by the command of God, shut and opened the heaven, and brought down fire from it; thus Christ furnished his disciples with heavenly power to make the elements subject to them.
Caution, however, must be used, lest any one may at his own hand presume to give forth rash commands. Joshua did not attempt to delay and check the course of the sun before he was well instructed as to the purpose of God. And although, when he is said to have spoken with God, the words do not sufficiently express the modesty and submission which become the servant of God in giving utterance to his prayers, let it suffice us briefly to understand as implied, that Joshua besought God to grant what he desired, and on obtaining his request, became the free and magnanimous herald of an incredible miracle unlike any that had previously taken place. He never would have ventured in the presence of all to command the sun so confidently, if he had not been thoroughly conscious of his vocation. Had it been otherwise, he would have exposed himself to a base and shameful affront. When, without hesitation, he opens his mouth and tells the sun and the moon to deviate from the perpetual law of nature, it is just as if he had adjured them by the boundless power of God with which he was invested. Here, too, the Lord gives a bright display of his singular favor toward his Church. As in kindness to the human race he divides the day from the night by the daily course of the sun, and constantly whirls the immense orb with indefatigable swiftness, so he was pleased that it should halt for a short time till the enemies of Israel were destroyed. f90
13. And the sun stood still, etc The question how the sun stood in Gibeon, is no less unseasonably raised by some than unskillfully explained by others. f91 For Joshua did not subtlety place the sun in any particular point, making it necessary to feign that the battle was fought at the summer solstice, but as it was turning towards the district of Ajalon as far as the eye could discern, Joshua bids it stay and rest there, in other words, remain above what is called the horizon. In short, the sun, which was already declining to the west, is kept from setting. f92
I do not give myself any great anxiety as to the number of the hours; because it is enough for me that the day was continued through the whole night. Were histories of that period extant, they would doubtless celebrate this great miracle; lest its credibility, however, should be questioned, the writer of this book mentions that an account of it was given elsewhere, though the work which he quotes has been lost, and expounders are not well agreed as to the term Jazar. Those who think Moses is meant, insist on referring the example which is here given to general predictions. As Moses applies this name to the chosen people, it is more congruous to hold that commentaries on the events in their history are meant. I, for my part, understand by it either God or Israel, rather than the author of a history. f93
14. And there was no day like that, etc We read in Isaiah and in the Sacred History, that the course of the sun was afterwards changed as a favor to King Hezekiah. (<233805>Isaiah 38:5-8) For to assure him that his life was still to be prolonged fifteen years, the shadow of the sun was carried back over ten degrees on which it had gone down. It is not, therefore, absolutely denied that anything similar had ever been conceded to any other person, but the miracle is extolled as singular. The rendering of the word [mç, by obeyed, as adopted by some, I reject as too harsh. For although it is said in the Psalm, that the Lord does according to the desire of his servants, which may be held to be equivalent to obeying, it is better to avoid anything which seems to give a subordinate office to God. f94 Simply, therefore, the excellence of the miracle is praised, as nothing like it had been seen before or had happened after. The second clause of the verse celebrates the kindness and condescension of God in hearing Joshua, as well as his paternal favor towards the people, for whom he is said to have fought.
Joshua 10:15-28
15. And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal. 15. Reversus autem est Josue et universus Israel cum eo ad castra in Gilgal.
16. But these five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah. 16. Fugerant vero ipsi reges, et absconderant se in spelunca in Makeda.
17. And it was told Joshua, saying, The five kings are found hid in a cave at Makkedah. 17. Et nuntiatum est Josue his verbis, Inventi sunt quinque reges absconditi in spelunca in Makeda.
18. And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave, and set men by it for to keep them: 18. Tunc dixit Josue, Devolvite saxa magna ad os speluncae, et constituite juxta eam viros ut custodiant eos.
19. And stay you not, but pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost of them; suffer them not to enter into their cities: for the LORD your God has delivered them into your hand. 19. Vos autem persequiminif95 inimicos vestros, et caudam eorum caedite, nec sinatis eos ingredi urbes suas: tradidit enim eos Jehova Deus vester in manum vestram.
20. And it came to pass, when Joshua and the children of Israel had made an end of slaying them with a very great slaughter, till they were consumed, that the rest which remained of them entered into fenced cities. 20. Quum autem finem fecisset Josue, et filii Israel percutiendi plaga magna valde, donec consumerentur, et superstites qui evaserant ex ipsis ingressi essent urbes munitas.
21. And all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace: none moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel. 21. Reversi sunt universus populus ad castra ad Josue in Makeda in pace: non movit contra filios Israel quisquam linguam suam.
22. Then said Joshua, Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave. 22. Tunc dixit Josue, Aperite os speluncae, et adducite ad me quinque illos reges de spelunca.
23. And they did so, and brought forth those five kings unto him out of the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon. 23. Atque ita fecerunt, nempe adduxerunt ad eum quinque illos reges de spelunca, regem Jerusalem, regem Hebron, regem Jarmuth, regem Lachis, regem Eglon.
24. And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them. 24. Quumque eduxissent quinque reges illos ad Josue, vocavit Josue omnes viros Israel, dixitque ducibus virorum bellatorum, qui profecti erant secum, Accedite, ponite pedes vestros super colla regum istorum. Et accesserunt, posueruntque pedes suos super colla ipsorum.
25. And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom you fight. 25. Tunc dixit ad eos Josue, Ne timeatis, et ne paveatis, fortes estoate, et roborate vos: sic enim faciet Jehova omnibus inimicis vestris contra quos pugnatis.
26. And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening. 26. Posthaec percussit eos Josue, et interfecit eos, et suspendit in quinque lignis, fueruntque suspensi in lignis usque ad vesperum.
27. And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave's mouth, which remain until this very day. 27. Fuit praeterea tempore quo occumbit sol praecepit Josue, et deposuerunt eos e lignis, projeceruntque eos in speluncam in qua se absconderant, et posuerunt lapides magnos ad os speluncae usque in hunc diem.
28. And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain: and he did to the king of Makkedah as he did unto the king of Jericho. 28. Makedam vero cepit Josue eo die, et percussit eam acie gladii, et regem ejus occidit una cum illis, et nullam animam quae esset in ea reliquit superstitem, fecitque regi Makeda quemadmodum fecerat regi Jericho.

15. And Joshua returned, etc This verse is not inserted in its proper place, f96 for shortly after the end of the battle is added, and the punishment inflicted on the kings, which was subsequent to the battle. We are then told of the encampment in Makkedah, and at last, in the end of the chapter, the return to Gilgal, which was introduced at the beginning without regard to the order of time, is repeated. Hence the narrative of the flight and concealment of the kings is connected with the former transactions. For having been informed during the heat of the battle that they were hiding in a cave, Joshua, fearing that if he were to set about capturing them, the others might escape, prudently contented himself with ordering the mouth of the cave to be blocked up with large stones, and setting sentinels over them, that being thus shut up, as it were in prison, they might at a fit time be brought forth and put to death. Hence, too, it appears that the army of the enemy was very large, because although the Israelites pressed closely upon them in their flight, and the sun himself gave an additional period for slaying them, it was impossible, notwithstanding, to prevent numbers of them from escaping into fortified cities. The divine assistance afforded to the Israelites was, however, sufficiently attested by the fact that they continued till they were wearied slaying at will all whom they met, and then returned safe. For the expression, that no one dared to move the tongue, implies that the Israelites gained a bloodless victory, f97 as if they had gone forth not to fight, but merely to slay.
18. And Joshua said, Roll, etc The enemy having been completely routed, Joshua is now free, and, as it were, at leisure, to inflict punishment on the kings. In considering this, the divine command must always be kept in view. But for this it would argue boundless arrogance and barbarous atrocity to trample on the necks of kings, and hang up their dead bodies on gibbets. It is certain that they had lately been raised by divine agency to a sacred dignity, and placed on a royal throne. It would therefore have been contrary to the feelings of humanity to exult in their ignominy, had not God so ordered it. But as such was his pleasure, it behooves us to acquiesce in his decision, without presuming to inquire why he was so severe.
At the same time, we must recollect, as I formerly hinted, first, that all from the least even to the greatest were deserving of death, because their iniquity had reached the highest pitch, and the kings, as more criminal than the others, deserved severer punishment; and secondly, that it was expedient to give an example of inexorable rigor in the person of the kings, whom the people, from a perverse affectation of clemency, might have been too much disposed to pardon. It was the will of God that all should be destroyed, and he had imposed the execution of this sentence on his people. Had he not stimulated them strongly to the performance of it, they might have found specious pretexts for giving pardon. But a mercy which impairs the authority of God at the will of man, is detestable. f98 Now, however, when regal honor is not spared, all handle for humanity to the plebeians and common vulgar is cut off.
By this instance, the Lord shows us the great interest he takes in his elect people; for it was an instance of rare condescension to place kings under their feet, and allow them to insult over their dignity, as if they had been petty robbers; as it is said in the Psalm, A two-edged sword is in their hand to execute vengeance on the nations, to bind their kings with fetters, and their nobles with chains of iron; to execute the judgment written: this honor have all the saints. (<19E906>Psalm 149:6-9) That fearful sight had at the same time the effect of striking terror, so as to prevent the Israelites from imitating the manners of nations whose crimes they had seen so severely punished. Accordingly, we repeatedly meet in the books of Moses with this warning, You have seen how God took vengeance on the nations who were in the land of Canaan before you. Beware, therefore, of provoking the wrath of your God by their perverse doings. In one word, that God might be worshipped with greater sanctity, he ordered the land to be purged of all pollutions, and as the inhabitants had been excessively wicked, he willed that his curse should rest upon them in a new and unwonted manner.
25. And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, etc Joshua now triumphs in the persons of the five kings over all the others who remained. For he exhorts his own people to confidence, just as if those who still stood unsubdued were actually prostrate under their feet. Hence we gather, that by the trampling down of a few, the whole people were so elated, that they looked down with contempt on all the others, as if they were already overthrown. And, certainly, we have here a brighter display of the divine power, which could thus inspire confidence for the future.
It is to be observed, however, that the kings were hung up, not for the purpose of exercising greater severity upon them, but merely by way of ignominy, as they were already slain. It was expedient that this memorable act of divine vengeance should be openly displayed in the view of all. Perhaps, also, it was the divine purpose to infuriate the other nations by despair, and drive them to madness, that they might bring down swifter destruction on themselves, whetting the wrath of the Israelites by their obstinacy. The same ignominy is inflicted on the king of Makkedah, though he had not led out his forces, and a similar destruction is executed on the whole people, who had kept quiet within their walls. f99 It is probable, indeed, that they had made some hostile attempt, but the special reason was, that God had passed the same sentence upon all. Why the dead bodies were thrown into the cave at evening, I have elsewhere explained. Moreover, this whole history holds up to us as in a mirror, how, when the Lord is seated on his tribunal, all worldly splendor vanishes before him, and the glory of those who seemed to excel is turned by his judgment into the greatest disgrace.
Joshua 10:29-43
29. Then Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, unto Libnah, and fought against Libnah: 29. Transivit deinde Josue et universus Israel cum eo de Makeda in Libna, et oppugnavit Libna.
30. And the LORD delivered it also, and the king thereof, into the hand of Israel; and he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain in it; but did unto the king thereof as he did unto the king of Jericho. 30. Tradiditque Jehova illam etiam in manum Israel, et regem ejus, et percussit eam acie gladii, omnemque animam quae erat in ea: non reliquit in ea superstitem, fecitque regi ejus quemadmodum fecerat regi Jericho.
31. And Joshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him, unto Lachish, and encamped against it, and fought against it: 31. Postea transivit Josue, et universus Israel cum eo de Libna in Lachis, et castrametatus est juxta eam, et oppugnavit eam.
32. And the LORD delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the second day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein, according to all that he had done to Libnah. 32. Deditque Jehova Lachis in manum Israel, et cepit eam die secunda, et percussit eam acie gladii, omnemque animam quae erat in ea prorsus ut fecerat Libna.
33. Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining. 33. Ascendit autem Horam rex Geser ad opem ferendam Lachis, et percussit eum Josue ac populum ejus, ut non reliquerit ei superstitem.
34. And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon, and all Israel with him; and they encamped against it, and fought against it: 34. Transivit insuper Josue et universus Israel cum eo de Lachis in Eglon, et castrametati sunt contra eam, et oppugnaverunt eam.
35. And they took it on that day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein he utterly destroyed that day, according to all that he had done to Lachish. 35. Ceperuntque eam die illo, et percusserunt acie gladii, et omnem animam quae illic erat, die illa interfecit prorsus ut fecerat Lachis.
36. And Joshua went up from Eglon, and all Israel with him, unto Hebron; and they fought against it: 36. Ascendit postea Josue et universus Israel cum eo ab Eglon in Hebron, et oppugnaverunt eam.
37. And they took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof, and all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining, according to all that he had done to Eglon; but destroyed it utterly, and all the souls that were therein. 37. Et ceperunt eam, et percusserunt acie gladii, et regem ejus, et omnia oppida ejus, atque omnem animam quae illic erat: non reliquit superstitem prorsus ut fecerat Eglon. Perdidit ergo eam atque omnem animam quae illic erat.
38. And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to Debir; and fought against it: 38. Postea reversus est Josue, et universus Israel cum eo in Debir, et oppugnavit eam.
39. And he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof; and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining: as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir, and to the king thereof; as he had done also to Libnah, and to her king. 39. Et ceperunt eam, et percusserunt acie gladii, et regem ejus, et omnia oppida ejus, percusseruntque eos acie gladii, atque interfecerunt omnem animam quae illic erat. Non reliquit superstitem, quemadmodum fecerat Hebron, sic fecit Debir, et regi ejus: et quemadmodum fecerat Libna, et regi ejus.
40. So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded. 40. Percussit itaque Josue omnem terram montanam, et meridianam, et campestrem, descensus acclives, et omnes reges earum: non reliquit superstitem: et omnem animam interfecit, quemadmodum praeceperat Jehova Deus Israel.
41. And Joshua smote them from Kadeshbarnea even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon. 41. Percussit itaque Josue a Cades Barne usque ad Asa, et universam terram Gosen usque ad Gibeon.
42. And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel. 42. Cunctos vero reges istos, et terram eorum cepit Josue simul: quia Jehova Deus Israelis pugnabat pro Israele.
43. And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal. 43. Inde reversus est Josue et universus Israel cum eo in castra in Gilgal.

29. Then Joshua. passed, etc We have now a description of the taking of the cities, out of which the army of the enemy had been raised; and herein God displayed his power no less wonderfully than in the open field, especially when the rapidity is considered. For although those who had fled hither in trepidation might have produced some degree of panic, still, when the fear was allayed, they might be useful for defense. f100 The garrison had been increased by their numbers. When, therefore, in a short period of time, Joshua takes all the cities, and gains possession of the smaller towns, the presence of God was conspicuously manifested in a success no less incredible than unexpected. For had they, when attacked, only shut their gates, as Joshua had not brought either ladders by which he might scale the walls, or engines by which he might throw them down, each siege might have been attended with considerable fatigue and delay. Therefore, when he takes one the following day, and another the very day after attacking it, these continued, easy, and rapid victories, are evidently beyond human agency.
Not without cause, then, in the end of the chapter, is the goodness of God expressly celebrated, as it had been made manifest that he was fighting for Israel, when Joshua at once took and vanquished so many kings, with their territories. Indeed, he could never, even in a course of inspection, have passed so quickly from city to city, had not a passage been divinely opened by the removal of obstacles. The miracle was increased when the king of Geser, who had come to the help of others, doubtless with full confidence in the result, was suddenly put to rout, almost without an effort, and did not even delay the advance of the Israelites. Those who were slain in the cities represent, as in a mirror, those whose punishment the Almighty holds suspended, while he actually takes vengeance on others. For though they plume themselves on the reprieve thus afforded them, their condition is worse than if they were immediately dragged to death. f101 It looks as if it would have been a dire calamity to fall in the field of battle; and making their escape, they seek safety within their walls. But what awaited them there was much more dreadful. Their wives and their children are butchered in their sight, and their own death is more ignominious than if they had perished sword in hand. Hence there is no reason to envy the reprobate the short time which the Lord sometimes grants them, because when they have begun to promise themselves safety, sudden destruction will come upon them. (1 Thessalonians 5:3.) f101a Meanwhile, let us learn not to abuse the patience of God when he defers to execute his judgment, and, instead of indulging in self-complacency when we seem to have been delivered from any danger, or when means of escape from it present themselves, let us reflect on the words of Jeremiah, (<242402>Jeremiah 24:2) that while the basket of early figs f102 had at least some savor, the other was so sour that they could not be eaten.
40. So Joshua smote all the country, etc Here the divine authority is again interposed in order completely to acquit Joshua of any charge of cruelty. Had he proceeded of his own accord to commit an indiscriminate massacre of women and children, no excuse could have exculpated him from the guilt of detestable cruelty, cruelty surpassing anything of which we read as having been perpetrated by savage tribes scarcely raised above the level of the brutes. But that at which all would otherwise be justly horrified, it becomes them to embrace with reverence, as proceeding from God. Clemency is justly praised as one of the principal virtues; but it is the clemency of those who moderate their wrath when they have been injured, and when they would have been justified, as individuals, in shedding blood. But as God had destined the swords of his people for the slaughter of the Amorites, Joshua could do nothing else than obey his command.
By this fact, then, not only are all mouths stopped, but all minds also are restrained from presuming to pass censure. When any one hears it said that Joshua slew all who came in his way without distinction, although they threw down their arms and suppliantly begged for mercy, the calmest minds are aroused by the bare and simple statement, but when it is added, that so God had commanded, there is no more ground for obloquy against him, than there is against those who pronounce sentence on criminals. Though, in our judgment at least, the children and many of the women also were without blame, let us remember that the judgment-seat of heaven is not subject to our laws. Nay, rather when we see how the green plants are thus burned, let us, who are dry wood, fear a heavier judgment for ourselves. And certainly, any man who will thoroughly examine himself, will find that he is deserving of a hundred deaths. Why, then, should not the Lord perceive just ground for one death in any infant which has only passed from its mother's womb? In vain shall we murmur or make noisy complaint, that he has doomed the whole offspring of an accursed race to the same destruction; the potter will nevertheless have absolute power over his own vessels, or rather over his own clay. f103
The last verse f104 confirms the observation already made, that the fixed station of the whole people was in Gilgal; and that the soldiers who had gone out to war, returned thither, both that they might rest from their fatigues, and place their booty in safety. It would not have been proper to allow them to be more widely scattered till the casting of the lot had shown where each was to have his permanent abode.
Joshua 11:1-15
1. And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor had heard those things, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph, 1. Quum autem Jabim rex Hasor, misit ad Jobab regem Madam, et ad regem Simeron, et ad regem Achsaph,
2. And to the kings that were on the north of the mountains, and of the plains south of Chinneroth, and in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on the west, 2. Ad reges quoque qui habitabunt ab aquilone in montanis, et in planitie ad meridiem Cineroth, et in planitie in Naphoth-Dor ab occidente.
3. And to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh. 3. Ad Chananaeum ab oriente et occidente, et Amorrhaeum, et Hitthaeum, et Pherisaeum, et Jebusaeum in montanis, et Hivaeum sub Hermon in terra Mispath.
4. And they went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many. 4. Et egressi sunt ipsi, et omnes exercitus eorum cum ipsis, populus multus tanquam arena quae est juxta littus maris, prae multitudine, et equi, et currus multi valde.
5. And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel. 5. Congregati sunt omnes reges isti, et venientes castrametati sunt pariter ad aquas Merom, ut pugnarent cum Israele.
6. And the LORD said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them: for to morrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shall hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire. 6. Dixit autem Jehova ad Josuam, Ne timeas a facie eorum: cras enim hoc tempore tradam omnes istos occisos coram Israele, equos eorum subnervabis, et currus eorum combures igni.
7. So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly; and they fell upon them. 7. Venit itaque Josue, et cunctus populus bellator cum eo adversus ipsos ad aquam Merom repente, et irruerunt in eos.
8. And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them unto great Zidon, and unto Misrephothmaim, and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, until they left them none remaining. 8. Et tradidit eos Jehova in manum Israelis, percusseruntque eos, et persequuti sunt usque ad Sidonem magnam, et usque ad fervores aquarum, et usque ad campum Mispe ad orientem: ac percusserunt eos donec non reliquerit eis superstitem.
9. And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him: he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire. 9. Fecitque eis Josue quemadmodum dixerat eis Jehova, equos eorum subnervavit, et currus eorum combussit igni.
10. And Joshua at that time turned back, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms. 10. Et reversus Josue eodem tempore cepit Hasor, et regem ejus percussit gladio, aHasor enim antea fuerat caput omnium istorum regnorum.
11. And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire. 11. Percusserunt quoque omnem animam quae illic erat, acie gladii perdendo: non remansit ulla anima: et Hasor combussit igni.
12. And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded. 12. Omnes urbes regum istorum, et universos reges earum cepit Josue, percussitque eos acie gladii, perdendo eos sicuti praeceperat Moses servus Jehovae.
13. But as for the cities that stood still in their strength, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only; that did Joshua burn. 13. Tantummodo omnes urbes quae manebant in statu suo non combussit Israel, praeter Hasor solam quam combussit Josue.
14. And all the spoil of these cities, and the cattle, the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves; but every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, neither left they any to breathe. 14. Et omnia spolia urbium istarum, et jumenta praedati sunt sibi filii Israel: veruntamen omnes homines percusserunt acie gladii quousque perderent eos: non reliquerunt ullam animam.
15. As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses. 15. Quemadmodum praeceperat Jehova Mosi servo suo: sic praecepit Moses Josue, et Josue sic fecit, ut non omitteret quidquam ex omnibus quae praeceperat Jehova Mosi.

1. And it came to pass when Jabin, etc In this new league also we have a bright manifestation of the more than paternal care of God, in warding off dangers from his people, and also in assisting their weakness by kindness and indulgence. Had Jabin, with the confederates of whom mention is now made, openly declared himself the ally of the neighboring kings, a much more formidable war would have broken out against the Israelites, and greater solicitude and anxiety must have seized their minds. It would, indeed, have been easy for the Lord, as well to put all their forces at once to the rout, as to dissipate all fear and dread of them. He was unwilling, however, to press beyond measure his own people, who were otherwise feeble, lest the excessive numbers of the enemy should strike them with terror, and drive them to despair. He therefore kept the many nations, whose interest it was to have rushed hastily to arms, in a state of lethargy and amazement, until the chosen people had been animated by signal victories, to carry on the wars which still remained. They pillage and devastate a large territory, and leave it destitute of inhabitants and stript of resources. None of the neighboring powers, who were afterwards to act on the offensive, makes the least movement. The Israelites revisit their wives and children in safety. When they had gathered courage, and were ready for a new war, suddenly a very large army appears, composed of different nations, who had hitherto, by remaining quiet, furnished opportunity for victory. Their coming thus forward at a later period, was the same as if they had entered into a truce. Thus God not only fought for his chosen people, but by dividing the enemy, increased their strength manifold.
How formidable must the onset have been, had not the Israelites been gradually trained to confidence in battle, and at the same time experienced the manifest assistance of God? First, their numbers are compared to the sand of the sea, and then they have horses and chariots. As the Israelites were altogether destitute of cavalry, it is strange that they were not terrified at this array. Therefore they were gradually brought forward till they were able to bear it. For, in their former battles, he had only exercised them by a kind of pleasing preludes. f105 It may be added, that the Lord had, by several victories, ever and anon borne testimony to his power, that they might not think more lightly of it than was meet. Had all their enemies been routed at once, they might, indeed, have magnificently celebrated the praises of God, but they might also have easily lost the remembrance of them. It was necessary, therefore, that repeated proofs distinct and apart from each other, should be held forth to their view, lest they might attribute one victory to a stroke of fortune.
6. And the Lord said unto, Joshua, etc The greater the labor and difficulty of destroying an army, so numerous and so well equipped, the more necessary was it to inspire them with new confidence. The Lord, therefore, appears to his servant Joshua, and promises the same success as he had previously given him on several occasions. It is to be carefully observed, that as often as he reiterates his promises men are reminded of their forgetfulness, or their sloth, or their fickleness. For unless new nourishment is every now and then given to faith, they forthwith faint and fall away. f106 And yet such is our perverse fastidiousness, that to hear the same thing twice is usually felt to be irksome. Wherefore let us learn, as often as we are called to engage in new contests, to recall the remembrance of the divine promises, which may correct our languor, or rouse us from our sloth. And especially let us make an application of that which is here said in general, to our daily practice; as the Lord now intimates, that that which he had declared concerning all nations would be specially sure and stable on the present occasion.
We infer from the account of the time employed, that these kings had marched a considerable distance, in order to attack Joshua and the people in Gilgal. For immediately after the divine intimation, mention is made of the expedition used by Joshua. f107 He is promised the victory on the following day. Hence they were not far distant. And the lake of Merom, where they had pitched their camp, is contiguous to the Jordan, and much nearer to Gilgal than Gennesaret, from which district some of the enemy had come. f108 It is said that this lake diminishes or increases according to the freezing of the snow on the mountains, or to its melting. Moreover, the command given to Joshua and the people, to cut the legs or thighs of the horses, and to burn the chariots, was undoubtedly intended to prevent them from adopting those more studied modes of warfare which were in use among profane nations. It was indeed necessary that they should serve as soldiers, and fight strenuously with the enemy, but still they were to depend only on the Lord, to consider themselves strong only in his might, and to recline on him alone.
This could scarcely have been the case, if they had been provided with cavalry, and an array of chariots. For we know how such showy equipment dazzles the eye, and intoxicates the mind with overweening confidence. Moreover, a law had been enacted, (<051716>Deuteronomy 17:16) that their kings were not to provide themselves with horses and chariots, obviously because they would have been extremely apt to ascribe to their own military discipline that which God claimed for himself. Hence the common saying, (<192007>Psalm 20:7)
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we will remember the name of the Lord our God."
God wished to deprive them of all stimulants to audacity, in order that they might live quietly contented with their own limits, and not unjustly attack their neighbors. And experience showed, that when a bad ambition had impelled their kings to buy horses, they engaged in wars not less rashly than unsuccessfully. It was necessary, therefore, to render the horses useless for war, by cutting their sinews, and to destroy the chariots, in order that the Israelites might not become accustomed to the practices of the heathen.
8. And the Lord delivered them, etc The greatness of the overthrow may be inferred from this, that the slaughter continued as far as Sidon, which was far distant from the lake of Merom. Sidon is called great, from its celebrity as a commercial emporium and the great number of its inhabitants. There is no comparison instituted between it and a minor town of same name. The Hebrew noun Mozerephoth, which some retain without change as a proper name, we have preferred to translate "the boiling of the waters," because it is probable that there were thermal springs there, which boiled. Moreover, as the panic which hurried them away into such a scattered flight, plainly shows that they were driven headlong by the secret terror of the Lord. So it is certain that the Israelites who dared to follow the fugitives through so many dangers were carried to a higher pitch of valor than human by celestial agency.
Praise is bestowed on Joshua as well for his abstinence as for his prompt obedience. Nor would he have submitted so willingly to the loss of so many horses and chariots, had not the fear of God overawed him. For such is our ingenuity in devising pretexts, it would have been plausible to allege, that though he could not fit them for military use, still their value was by no means to be despised. But he thought that he had no right to take anything into consideration but the pleasure of God. Then, as he had succeeded by his own good conduct, in making the people willing and obedient, he, as an individual, justly received the praise of what had been performed generally by all.
12. And all the cities of those kings, etc Having routed the army, they began to plunder and lay waste the country, and to take and demolish the towns. From its being said that the cities which remained entire were not burned, it may be inferred with some probability, that some were taken by force and assault, and so razed. Hazor, alone, after the siege was over, and the heat of the struggle had cooled, was destroyed by fire, because it had held forth the torch which enkindled the war. But in accordance with the explanation already given, it is repeatedly and more clearly stated in this passage, that Joshua did not give loose reins to his passion, when he slew all from the least to the greatest. For there is now a distinct statement of what had not yet been expressed, namely, that Joshua faithfully performed his part, by fulfilling everything which the Lord had enjoined by Moses. It is just as if he had placed his hands at the disposal of God, when he destroyed those nations according to his command. And so ought we to hold that, though the whole world should condemn us, it is sufficient to free us from all blame, that we have the authority of God. f109 Meanwhile, it becomes us prudently to consider what each man's vocation requires, lest any one, by giving license to his zeal, as wishing to imitate Joshua, may be judged cruel and sanguinary, rather than a strict servant of God.
Joshua 11:16-23
16. So Joshua took all that land, the hills, and all the south country, and all the land of Goshen, and the valley, and the plain, and the mountain of Israel, and the valley of the same; 16. Et cepit Josue omnem terram istam montanam, et omnem australem, omnemque Gosen et planitiem atque campestria, montem quoque Israel et planitiem ejus.
17. Even from the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir, even unto Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon under mount Hermon: and all their kings he took, and smote them, and slew them. 17. A monte Laevi qui assurgit versus Seir usque ad Baalgad in campo Libani sub monte Hermon: omnes quoque reges eorum cepit, et percussit eos et interfecit.
18. Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. 18. Diebus multis gessit Josue cum omnibus regibus istis bellum.
19. There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all other they took in battle. 19. Non fuit urbs quae pacem fecerit cum filiis Israel praeter Hivaeos habitatores Gibeon: omnes coeperunt praelio.
20. For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favor, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses. 20. Quia a Jehova fuit, ut induraretcor eorum in occursum belli cum Israel: ut deleret eos, nec restaret illis misericordia: sed ut disperderet eos, sicut praeceperat Jehova Mosi.
21. And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities. 21. Venit autem Josue tempore illo, et excidit Anakim e montanis: ex Hebron, ex Debir, ex Anab, et ex omni monte Jehuda, et ex omni monte Israel: una cum urbibus eorum delevit eos Josue.
22. There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained. 22. Non remansit ex Anakim in terra filiorum Israel: tantum in Gad et in Asdod residui fuerunt.
23. So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war. 23. Accepit itaque Josue totam terram prorsus ut dixerat Jehova Mosi, et tradidit eam in haereditatem Israeli secundum divisiones eorum per tribus suas: et terra quievit a bello.

16. So Joshua took all that land, etc In the uninterrupted series of victories, when the land, of its own accord, spewed out its old inhabitants, to give free possession to the Israelites, it was visibly manifest, as is said in the Psalm, (<194403>Psalm 44:3)
"They got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them; but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou had a favor unto them."
The design of enumerating the places and districts is to let us know that the work which God had begun he continued to carry on without interruption. But it is a mistake to suppose: as some do, that by the name Israel a certain mountain is meant. For it will be plain, from the end of the chapter, (<061121>Joshua 11:21) that the term is applied indiscriminately to the mountainous part of Israel and Judah. There is therefore an enlarge in the enumeration, because the mountains of the ten tribes are tacitly compared with the mountains of Judah. Accordingly, an antithesis is to be understood. In the other mountain (<061117>Joshua 11:17) the surname is ambiguous. Some understand it to mean division, as if it had been cut in two; f110 others to mean smooth, as it was destitute of trees, just as a head is rendered smooth by baldness. As the point is uncertain, and of little importance, the reader is at liberty to make his choice.
18. Joshua made war a long time, etc Before, he had, in a short time, and, as it were, with the swiftness of running, seized possession of five kingdoms; in the others the case was different, not from hesitation, or weariness, or sloth, but because the Lord exercised his people variously, that he might give a brighter display of his manifold grace, which usually loses its value in our eyes, if it is exhibited only in one and the same way. Therefore, as the divine power had formerly been signally manifested by incredible facility of accomplishment, when the enemy were routed in an instant, so a lingering warfare now furnished numerous proofs of heavenly aid. f111 Nor did this happen suddenly and unexpectedly; for God had foretold by Moses that so it would be, lest, if the land were at once converted into a desert, the wild beasts might gain the ascendancy. (<050722>Deuteronomy 7:22) In short, we here perceive, as in a mirror, that whatever the Lord had promised by Moses was accomplished in reality, and by no dubious event. But while we recognize the certainty of the promises of God, we ought also to meditate on the favor confirmed towards his chosen people, in that he acted as the provident head of a family, not neglecting or omitting anything which tended to their advantage.
19. There was not a city that made peace, etc This sentence appears, at first sight, contradictory to what is everywhere said in the books of Moses, that the Israelites were not to enter into any league with those nations, or make any terms of peace with them, but, on the contrary, to destroy them utterly, and wipe out their race and name. (<022332>Exodus 23:32; <050702>Deuteronomy 7:2) f112 Seeing the nations were thus excluded from the means of making any paction, and would in vain have made any proposals for peace, it seems absurd to ascribe the destruction, which they had not even the means of deprecating, to their obstinacy.
For, let us suppose that they had sent ambassadors before them with olive branches in their hands, and had been intent on pacific measures, Joshua would at once have answered that he could not lawfully enter into any negotiation, as the Lord had forbidden it. Wherefore, had they made a hundred attempts to avoid war, they must, nevertheless, have perished. Why, then, are they blamed for not having sought peace, as if they had not been driven by necessity to right, after they saw they had to do with an implacable people? But if it was not free to them to act otherwise, it is unjust to lay any blame upon them when they acted under compulsion in opposing the fury of their enemy.
To this objection, I answer, that the Israelites, though they were forbidden to show them any mercy, were met in a hostile manner, in order that the war might be just. And it was wonderfully arranged by the secret providence of God, that, being doomed to destruction, they should voluntarily offer themselves to it, and by provoking the Israelites be the cause of their own ruin. The Lord, therefore, besides ordering that pardon should be denied them, also incited them to blind fury, that no room might be left for mercy. And it behooved the people not to be too wise or prying in this matter. For while the Lord, on the one hand, interdicted them from entering into any covenant, and, on the other, was unwilling that they should take hostile measures without being provoked, a too anxious discussion of the procedure might have greatly unsettled their minds. Hence the only way of freeing themselves from perplexity was to lay their care on the bosom of God. And he in his incomprehensible wisdom provided that when the time for action arrived, his people should not be impeded in their course by any obstacle. Thus the kings beyond the Jordan, as they had been the first to take up arms, justly suffered the punishment of their temerity. For the Israelites did not assail them with hostile arms until they had been provoked. In the same way, also, the citizens of Jericho, by having shut their gates, were the first to declare war. The case is the same with the others, who, by their obstinacy, furnished the Israelites with a ground for prosecuting the war.
It now appears how perfectly consistent the two things are. The Lord commanded Moses to destroy the nations whom he had doomed to destruction; and he accordingly opened a way for his own decree when he hardened the reprobate. In the first place, then, stands the will of God, which must be regarded as the principal cause. For seeing their iniquity had reached its height, he determined to destroy them. This was the origin of the command given to Moses, a command, however, which would have failed of its effect had not the chosen people been armed to execute the divine judgment, by the perverseness and obstinacy of those who were to be destroyed. God hardens them for this very end, that they may shut themselves out from mercy. f113 Hence that hardness is called his work, because it secures the accomplishment of his design. Should any attempt be made to darken so clear a matter by those who imagine that God only looks down from heaven to see what men will be pleased to do, and who cannot bear to think that the hearts of men are curbed by his secret agency, what else do they display than their own presumption? They only allow God a permissive power, and in this way make his counsel dependent on the pleasure of men. But what says the Spirit? That the hardening is from God, who thus precipitates those whom he means to destroy.
21. And at that time came Joshua, etc Of the sons of Anak we have spoken elsewhere. They were a race of giants, with the account of whose mighty stature the spies so terrified the people, that they refused to proceed into the land of Canaan. Therefore, seeing they were objects of so much dread, it was of importance that they should be put out of the way, and the people made more alert by their good hopes of success. It would have been exceedingly injurious f114 to keep objects which filled them with alarm and anxiety always present before their minds, inasmuch as fear obscured the glory ascribed to God for former victories, and overthrew their faith, while they reflected that the most difficult of all their contests still awaited them. Therefore, not without cause is it mentioned among the other instances of divine aid, that by purging the land of such monsters, it was rendered a fit habitation for the people. The less credible it seemed that they could be warred against with success, the more illustriously was the divine power displayed.
23. So Joshua took the whole land, f115 etc Although it was far from being true that Joshua had actually acquired the whole land, yet he is truly said to have obtained it as God had declared to Moses, the latter clause restricting the meaning of the general sentence. For it had been expressly added that the conquest which God had promised would be made gradually, lest it should afterwards become necessary to war with the ferocious wild beasts of the woods, if they pressed forward into a desert waste. Therefore, we are at liberty to say, that though the Lord had not yet placed his people in possession of the promised land, yet he had virtually performed what he had agreed to do, inasmuch as he gave a commodious habitation, and one which was sufficient for the present time. And the words used imply that other district, which had not yet come into their full and actual possession, are included; for it is said that that which they had acquired was distributed according to families. And, in short, we afterwards see in the division that the lands were divided into lots which were not actually subdued by the people till Joshua was dead, nay, till many ages after. f116 The meaning of the words, which is now plain, is simply this, that while Joshua was still alive, a certain specimen of the promise was exhibited, making him feel perfectly secure in dividing the land by lot. f117
Joshua 12:1-24
1. Now these are the kings of the land, which the children of Israel smote, and possessed their land on the other side Jordan toward the rising of the sun, from the river Arnon unto mount Hermon, and all the plain on the east: 1. Hi sunt reges terrae quos percusserunt filii Israel, et quorum possederunt terram trans Jordanem, ad ortum solis a torrente Arnon usque ad montem Hermon, et omnem planitiem orientalem.
2. Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon, and ruled from Aroer, which is upon the bank of the river Arnon, and from the middle of the river, and from half Gilead, even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon; 2. Sihon rex Aemorrhaeus qui habitabat in Hesbon, qui dominabatur ab Arnon, et ad medium torrentis, et ad mediam partem Gilead, usque ad Jabbok torrentem, qui est terminus filiorum Ammon.
3. And from the plain to the sea of Chinneroth on the east, and unto the sea of the plain, even the salt sea on the east, the way to Bethjeshimoth; and from the south, under Ashdothpisgah: 3. Et a planitie usque ad mare Cineroth ad orientem, et usque ad mare deserti, mare salis ad orientem per viam Beth-hagesimoth, et ab austro sub effusionibus Pisga.
4. And the coast of Og king of Bashan, which was of the remnant of the giants, that dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei, 4. Terminus praeterea Og regis Basan ex residuo Raphaim qui habitabat in Astaroth, et in Hedrei.
5. And reigned in mount Hermon, and in Salcah, and in all Bashan, unto the border of the Geshurites and the Maachathites, and half Gilead, the border of Sihon king of Heshbon. 5. Qui dominabatur in monte Hermon, et in Salchah, et in toto Basan, usque ad terminum Gessuri, et Maachati: et mediam partem Gilead, terminus Sihon regis Hesbon.
6. Them did Moses the servant of the LORD and the children of Israel smite: and Moses the servant of the LORD gave it for a possession unto the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh. 6. Moses servus Jehovae, et filii Israel percusserunt eos, et dedit eam Moses servus Jehovae in possessionem Rubenitis, et Gaditis, et dimidiae tribui Manasse.
7. And these are the kings of the country which Joshua and the children of Israel smote on this side Jordan on the west, from Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon even unto the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir; which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel for a possession according to their divisions; 7. Isti autem sunt reges terrae quos percussit Josue, et filii Israel trans Jordanem ad occidentem, a Ballgad in campo Libani, usque ad montem Laevem qui assurgit in Seir, et tradidit eam Josue tribubus Israel in possessionem secundum partes eorum.
8. In the mountains, and in the valleys, and in the plains, and in the springs, and in the wilderness, and in the south country; the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: 8. In montanis, et in planitie, et in campestribus, et in Asdoth, et in deserto, et in austro: Hitthaeus, Aemorrhaeus, Chananaeus, Pherisaeus, Hivaeus, et Jebusaeus.
9. The king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one; 9. Rex Jericho unus, rex Ali, qui erat e latere Bethel unus.
10. The king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one; 10. Rex Jerusalem unus, rex Hebron unus.
11. The king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one; 11. Rex Jarmuth unus, rex Lachis unus.
12. The king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one; 12. Rex Eglon unus, rex Jeser unus.
13. The king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one; 13. Rex Debir unus, rex Jeder unus.
14. The king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one; 14. Rex Hormah unus, rex Arad unus.
15. The king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one; 15. Rex Libna unus, rex Adullam unus.
16. The king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one; 16. Rex Makeda unus, rex Beth-el unus.
17. The king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one; 17. Rex Tapua unus, rex Epher unus.
18. The king of Aphek, one; the king of Lasharon, one; 18. Rex Aphek unus, rex Lasaron unus.
19. The king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one; 19. Rex Madon unus, rex Asor unus.
20. The king of Shimronmeron, one; the king of Achshaph, one; 20. Rex Simron-Meron unus, rex Achsaph unus.
21. The king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one; 21. Rex Taanach unus, rex Megiddo unus.
22. The king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam of Carmel, one; 22. Rex Kedesch unus, rex Jocnam ad Carmelum unus.
23. The king of Dor in the coast of Dor, one; the king of the nations of Gilgal, one; 23. Rex Dor ad Naphath-dor unus, rex Goim in Gilgal unus.
24. The king of Tirzah, one: all the kings thirty and one. 24. Rex Thirsa unus: omnes reges triginta et unus.

1. NOW these are the kings, etc This chapter does not need a lengthened exposition, as it only enumerates the kings of whose territories the Israelites gained possession. Two of them are beyond the Jordan, Og and Sihon, whose rule was extensive; in the land of Canaan there are thirty-one. But though each of those now summarily mentioned was previously given more in detail, there is very good reason for here placing before our eyes as it were a living picture of the goodness of God, proving that there had been a complete ratification and performance of the covenant made with Abraham as given in the words, "Unto thy seed will I give this land." (<011207>Genesis 12:7; <011315>Genesis 13:15; <011518>Genesis 15:18) This living image of the grace of God is here set before us as if the reality were actually present. f118 Joshua was eighty years of age when he entered the land. In this aged man how could there be so much vigor f119 as to fit him for carrying on so many wars and enduring the fatigues of warfare, had not celestial virtue furnished him with more than mortal strength? And were not his uninterrupted career of victory, his success under all circumstances, the ease, free from doubt and uncertainty, with which he stormed cities, the rapidity of his movements, and his inflexible firmness — were not all these clear evidences of the hand of God, just as if it had appeared from heaven?
The object of defining the countries by their boundaries was to give a better display of the divine power by setting forth their extent; but this of course was only for those to whom their site was known. Hence, for any one not acquainted with the geography to dwell upon the names, would be vain and foolish curiosity. I admit, indeed, that it is useful to pay attention to the places with which, from their being often mentioned in Scripture, our knowledge ought to be somewhat more familiar, as when the boundaries are fixed by the brook Jabok, in the district of Lebanon and the lake of Gennesaret, here called the Sea of Cineroth, and elsewhere Cinereth. For a slight attention will help us to understand the narrative. If we cannot go farther, let us leave those who are better skilled to give a more searching discussion of what is beyond our reach. f120 But although the dominions of these petty kings were narrow and not very populous, we shall however see that many towns were annexed to their principal cities; their number may be ascertained especially from what is said of the lot of the Levites. On the other hand, if we reflect how one small territory could receive and maintain old men, women, and children, nay, a great part of the people with their domestic animals, we cannot fail to admire the inestimable goodness of God which prevented all things from being thrown into complete and irremediable confusion. f121
Joshua 13:1-14
1. Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed. 1. Quum autem senuisset Josue, et venisset in dies, dixit ei Jehova, Tu senuisti, venisti in dies, et multa terra admodum superest ad possidendum.
2. This is the land that yet remaineth: all the borders of the Philistines, and all Geshuri, 2. Haec est terra quae residua est, omnes limites Philisthinorum, et omnis Gessuri.
3. From Sihor, which is before Egypt, even unto the borders of Ekron northward, which is counted to the Canaanite: five lords of the Philistines; the Gazathites, and the Ashdothites, the Eshkalonites, the Gittites, and the Ekronites; also the Avites: 3. A Nilo qui est e regione AEgypti usque ad terminum Ecron, qui est ab aquilone, quae Chananeae reputatur, quinque principatus Philisthinorum, Azathaeus, Asdodaeus, Ascalonaeus, Gitthaeus et Ekronaeus et Auaei.
4. From the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that is beside the Sidonians, unto Aphek, to the borders of the Amorites: 4. Ab austro universa terra Chananaei et Meara, quae est Sidoniorum usque ad Paera, usque ad terminum Aemorrhaei.
5. And the land of the Giblites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrising, from Baalgad under mount Hermon unto the entering into Hamath. 5. Et terra Gibli, et totus Libanus ad ortum solis a Baal-gad sub monte Hermon, donec pervenias Hemath.
6. All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon unto Misrephothmaim, and all the Sidonians, them will I drive out from before the children of Israel: only divide thou it by lot unto the Israelites for an inheritance, as I have commanded thee. 6. Omnes habitotores montis a Libano usque ad fervores aquarum: omnes Sidonios ego expellam a facie filiorum Israel: tantum jacias sortem, ut sit in haereditatem Israel, sicut praecepi tibi.
7. Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance unto the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh; 7. Nunc ergo divide terram istam in haereditatem novem tribubus, et dimidiae tribui Manasse.
8. With whom the Reubenites and the Gadites have received their inheritance, which Moses gave them, beyond Jordan eastward, even as Moses the servant of the LORD gave them; 8. Praeter eam Rubenitae, et Gaditae acceperunt partes suas, quas dedit iis Moses trans Jordanem ad orientem, sicut dedit eis Moses servus Jehovae.
9. From Aroer, that is upon the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the midst of the river, and all the plain of Medeba unto Dibon; 9. Ab Aroer quae est juxta ripam fluminis Arnon, et urbem ipsam quae est in medio vallis, et totam planitiem Medeba usque ad Dibon.
10. And all the cities of Sihon king of the Amorites, which reigned in Heshbon, unto the border of the children of Ammon; 10. Et omnes urbes Sihon regis Aemorrhaei, qui regnabat in Hesbon, usque ad terminum filiorum Ammon.
11. And Gilead, and the border of the Geshurites and Maachathites, and all mount Hermon, and all Bashan unto Salcah; 11. Et Gilead et terminum Gessuri, et Maachati, et totum montem Hermon, et universum Basan usque ad Salchah.
12. All the kingdom of Og in Bashan, which reigned in Ashtaroth and in Edrei, who remained of the remnant of the giants: for these did Moses smite, and cast them out. 12. Universum regnum Og in Basan, qui regnabat in Astaroth, et in Edrei: hic supererat ex residuo Rephaim, quos percussit Moses et expulit.
13. Nevertheless the children of Israel expelled not the Geshurites, nor the Maachathites: but the Geshurites and the Maachathites dwell among the Israelites until this day. 13. Non expulerunt autem filii Israel Gessuri et Maachati: propterea habitavit Gessur et Maachat in medio Israel usque ad hunc diem.
14. Only unto the tribe of Levi he gave none inheritance; the sacrifices of the LORD God of Israel made by fire are their inheritance, as he said unto them. 14. Tantum tribui Levi non dedit haereditatem, sacrificia Jehovae Dei Israel sunt hereditas ejus, quemadmodum loquutus est de ea.

1. Now Joshua was old, etc f122 Since we have seen above that the land was pacified by the subjugation of thirty-one kings, it is probable that some cessation now took place for the purpose of resting from their fatigues, lest the people should be worn out by continual service. Nor could that justly be blamed, provided they rested only for a time and continued always intent on the goal set before them. But lest that intermission which was given for the purpose of recruiting new vigor might prove an occasion of sloth, the Lord employs a new stimulus to urge them to proceed. For he orders the whole inheritance to be divided into tribes, and the whole line of the Mediterranean coast which was possessed by the enemy to be put into the lot. A division of this kind might indeed seem absurd and ludicrous, nay, a complete mockery, seeing they were dealing among themselves with the property of others just as if it had been their own. But the Lord so appointed for the best of reasons. First, they might have cast away the hope of the promise and been contented with their present state. Nay, although after the lot was cast they had security in full for all that God had promised, they by their own cowardice, as far as in them lay, destroyed the credit of his words. Nor was it owing to any merit of theirs that his veracity did not lie curtailed and mutilated. The allocation by lot must therefore have been to them an earnest of certain possession so as to keep them always in readiness for it. Secondly, Those who happened to have their portion assigned in an enemy's country, inasmuch as they were living in the meanwhile as strangers on precarious hospitality beyond their own inheritance, must have acted like a kind of task-masters spurring on the others. And it surely implied excessive stupor to neglect and abandon what had been divinely assigned to them.
We now see to what intent the whole land behooved to be divided by lot, and the seat of each tribe allocated. It was also necessary that this should be done while Joshua was alive, because after his death the Israelites would have been less inclined to obedience, for none of his successors possessed authority sufficient for the execution of so difficult a task. Moreover, as God had already by the mouth of Moses commanded it to be done, had he not performed the business thus committed to him, the whole work might have gone to wreck when the lawful minister was removed. Although the exact time is not stated, still it is probable that as there was no hope that while Joshua continued alive the people would again take up arms with the view of giving a wider extent to their boundaries, he then only attempted to divide the land, as if he were proclaiming and promising, by a solemn attestation, that the distribution would certainly be carried into effect, because the truth of God could not fail in consequence of the death of any man.
2. This is the land, etc The ancient boundaries long ago fixed by God, are recalled to remembrance, in order that Joshua. and the people may feel fully persuaded that the covenant made with Abraham would be fulfilled in every part. Wherefore they are enjoined to make it their study to acquire the parts still remaining to be possessed. The inference will be appropriate if we make a practical application of this perseverance to that which is required of us, viz., to forget the things which are behind, and reach forth unto those that are before, and press toward the mark for the prize of our high calling. (Philippians 3:14.) f122a For it would be of no use to run in the race without endeavoring to reach the goal.
The boundary commenced with a river separating Egypt toward the sea from the Holy Land, and most probably the river Nile, as we interpret it according to the received opinion, or a small stream which flowed past the town of Rhinocornea, believed by many to be Raphia or Raphane. f123 It is indeed beyond dispute that the inheritance of the people commencing in that quarter was contiguous to Egypt. But although I have followed the opinion of the majority of expositors, that the boundaries were not extended further than to the less cultivated and in a manner desert land, lest greater proximity might have been injurious by leading to too close familiarity with the Egyptians, I by no means repudiate a different opinion.
The third verse raises a question. After it is said that the territories towards the sea-coast were five, a sixth is added, namely, that of the Avites. Some think that it is not counted among the five because it was an insignificant province. But I would have my readers to consider whether there may not be an indirect antithesis between a free people, their own masters, and five territories ruled by sovereigns. Hence the Avites being in different circumstances are mentioned separately, the plural number being used for the sake of distinction. In the enumeration of the sovereignties they are not arranged in the order of their dignity or opulence, but the first place is given to Aza because of its nearness to Egypt, and the same remark applies to Ashdod and the others.
The Septuagint translators, according to their usual custom, employ the Greek g (gamma) to express the Hebrew [ (ain), and thus give the name of Gaza to that which in Hebrew is Aza, in the same way as they convert Amorrha into Gomorrha. f124 This sufficiently exposes the mistake of those who suppose that its name is Persian, and derived from its resources f125 in consequence of Cambyses, when about to carry on war in Greece, having made it the depot of his treasures. But as in the Acts, (<440826>Acts 8:26,) Luke speaks of "Gaza which is desert," it appears that a city of the same name was erected near it, but on a different site. Ashdod is the same as that which the Greeks called Azotus. The whole of this tract, which is either on the sea-coast or verging towards it, extends as far as Sidon. And there are some who think that the Phoenicians were once masters both of Gaza and Azotus. How far Lebanon extends is sufficiently known. f126 For it sometimes comprehends Mount Hermon; and on account of its length part of it is surnamed Antilibanus. f127 The reader will find the subject of Mount Hermon considered in the fourth chapter of Deuteronomy. Towards the east is Hamath, which is also Antioch of Syria.
6. All the inhabitants of the hill country, etc Joshua is again admonished, though the Israelites do not yet possess those regions, not to defer the partition, but trust to the promise of God, because it would detract injuriously from his honor if there were any doubt as to the event. It is accordingly said: Only do what is thy duty in the distribution of the land; nor let that which the enemy still hold securely be exempted from the lot; for it will be my care to fulfil what I have promised. Hence let us learn in undertaking any business, so to depend on the lips of God as that no doubt can delay us. It is not ours, indeed, to fabricate vain hopes for ourselves; but when our confidence is founded on the Lord, let us only obey his commands, and there is no reason to fear that the event will disappoint us.
He afterwards assigns the land of Canaan to nine tribes and a half tribe, because the portion of the Reubenites, Gadites, and half tribe of Manasseh had already been assigned beyond the Jordan. Though there is a seeming tautology in the words, Which Moses gave them, as Moses gave them, there is nothing superfluous, because in the second clause the donation is confirmed; as if God were ordering that which was done to be ratified, or saying, in other words, As Moses gave them that land, so let them remain tranquil in the possession of it. f128 For this reason also he is distinguished by the title of servant of God, as if it were said, Let no one interfere with that decree which a faithful minister has pronounced on the authority of God. It was certainly necessary to provide by anticipation against the disputes which otherwise must have daily arisen.
14. Only unto the tribe of Levi, etc This exception was also necessary, lest the Levites might allege that they were unjustly disinherited, and thus excite great commotions in regard to their right. He therefore reminds them that Moses was the author of this distinction, and, at the same time, shows that they have no reason to complain of having been in any way defrauded, because an excellent compensation was given them. For although the sacrifices were not equally divided among the Levites, their subsistence was sufficiently provided for by all the first-fruits and the tithes. Moreover, as God allures them by hire to undertake the charge of sacred things, so he exhorts the people in their turn to be faithful in paying the sacred oblations by declaring that their sacrifices are the maintenance of the Levites. f129
Joshua 13:15-33
15. And Moses gave unto the tribe of the children of Reuben inheritance according to their families. 15. Dedit ergo Moses tribui filiorum Ruben per familias suas:
16. And their coast was from Aroer, that is on the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the midst of the river, and all the plain by Medeba; 16. Fuitque illis terminus ab Aroer, quae est juxta ripam torrentis Arnon, et urbs quae est in medio vallis, et universa planities quae est juxta Medeba.
17. Heshbon, and all her cities that are in the plain; Dibon, and Bamothbaal, and Bethbaalmeon, 17. Hesbon et omnes urbes ejus, quae erant in planitie: Dibon et Bamoth-baal, et Beth-baalmeon.
18. And Jahazah, and Kedemoth, and Mephaath, 18. Et Jahassah, et Cedemoth, et Mephaath.
19. And Kirjathaim, and Sibmah, and Zarethshahar in the mount of the valley, 19. Et Ciriathaim, et Sibmah, et Sereth-sahar in monte vallis.
20. And Bethpeor, and Ashdothpisgah, and Bethjeshimoth, 20. Et Beth-peor, et Asdoth-Pisgah, et Beth-jesimoth.
21. And all the cities of the plain, and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, which reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses smote with the princes of Midian, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, which were dukes of Sihon, dwelling in the country. 21. Et omnes urbes planitiei, et universum regnum Sihon regis Aemorrhaei, qui regnabat in Hesbon, quem percussit Moses: et principes Midian, Evi, et Rekem, et Sur, et Hur, et Reba duces Sihon habitatores terrae.
22. Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them. 22. Et Bileam filium Beor divinatorem occiderunt filii Israel gladio cum interfectis eorum.
23. And the border of the children of Reuben was Jordan, and the border thereof. This was the inheritance of the children of Reuben after their families, the cities and the villages thereof. 23. Fuit autem terminus filiorum Ruben, Jordanes et terminus. Haec est haereditas filiorum Ruben per familias suas, urbes et villae earum.
24. And Moses gave inheritance unto the tribe of Gad, even unto the children of Gad according to their families. 24. Deditque Moses tribui Gad, filiis Gad per familias suas.
25. And their coast was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the children of Ammon, unto Aroer that is before Rabbah; 25. Et fuit eis terminus Jazer, et omnes urbes Gilead, et dimidium terrae filiorum Ammon usque ad Aroer, quae est coram Rabbah.
26. And from Heshbon unto Ramathmizpeh, and Betonim; and from Mahanaim unto the border of Debir; 26. Et ab Hesbon usque ad Ramath ipsuis Mispe, et Bethonim: et a Mahanaim usque ad terminum ipsius Debir.
27. And in the valley, Betharam, and Bethnimrah, and Succoth, and Zaphon, the rest of the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon, Jordan and his border, even unto the edge of the sea of Chinnereth on the other side Jordan eastward. 27. Et in valle Beth-haram, et Beth-nimrah, et Succoth, et Saphon: residuum regni Sihon, regis Hesbon, Jordanem, et confinium, usque ad extremum maris Chinnereth, trans Jordanem ad orientem.
28. This is the inheritance of the children of Gad after their families, the cities, and their villages. 28. Haec est haereditas filiorum Gad per familias suas, urbes et villae earum.
29. And Moses gave inheritance unto the half tribe of Manasseh: and this was the possession of the half tribe of the children of Manasseh by their families. 29. Dedit praeterea Moses dimidiae tribui Manasse: fuitque dimidiae tribui filiorum Manasse per familias suas:
30. And their coast was from Mahanaim, all Bashan, all the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, and all the towns of Jair, which are in Bashan, threescore cities: 30. Fuit, inquam, terminus eorum a Mahanaim omnis Basan totius regni Og regis Basan, et omnes Havoth-Jair, quae sunt in Basan, sexaginta urbes.
31. And half Gilead, and Ashtaroth, and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan, were pertaining unto the children of Machir the son of Manasseh, even to the one half of the children of Machir by their families. 31. Et dimidium Gilead, et Astaroth, et Edrei, urbes regni Og in Basan, filiorum Machir, filii Manasse, dimidiae parti filiorum Machir, per familias suas.
32. These are the countries which Moses did distribute for inheritance in the plains of Moab, on the other side Jordan, by Jericho, eastward. 32. Istae sunt hereditates quas tradidit Moses in campestribus Moab a transitu Jordanis ipsi Jericho ad orientem.
33. But unto the tribe of Levi Moses gave not any inheritance: the LORD God of Israel was their inheritance, as he said unto them. 33. Tribui autem Levi non dedit Moses haereditatem: Jehova Deus Israel ipse est haereditas eorum, quemadmodum dixit illis.

15. And Moses gave unto the tribe, etc What he seemed to have said with sufficient clearness he now follows more fully in detail, not only that the reading might incite the people to gratitude, seeing the divine goodness recorded in public documents, and, as it were, constantly before their eyes, but also that each might enjoy his inheritance without molestation and quarrel. For we know how ingenious human cupidity is in devising pretexts for litigation, so that no one can possess his right in safety unless a plain and perspicuous definition of his right make it impossible to call it in question. That country had been given without casting lots. It was therefore open to others to object that the just proportion had not been kept, and that the inequality behooved to be corrected. Therefore, that no unseasonable dispute might ever disturb the public peace, the boundaries are everywhere fixed by the authority of God, and disputes of every kind are removed by setting up landmarks. God does not by one single expression merely adjudge the whole kingdom of Sihon to the tribe of Reuben, but he traces their extreme limit from Aroer to the banks of the Arnon, and thus, making an entire circuit, contracts or widens their territory so as not to leave the possession of a single acre ambiguous. Moreover, how useful this exact delineation was may be learned from profane history, where we everywhere meet, not only with invidious but pernicious disputes among neighbors as to their boundaries.
We may add that the care which the Lord condescended to take in providing for his people, and in cherishing mutual peace among them, demonstrates his truly paternal love, since he omitted nothing that might conduce to their tranquillity. And, indeed, had not provision been thus early made, they might have been consumed by intestine quarrels. f130
I again beg my readers to excuse me if I do not labor anxiously in describing the situation of towns, and am not even curious in regard to names. Nay, I will readily allow those names which it was thought proper to leave as proper nouns in Hebrew to be used appellatively, and so far altered as to give them a Latin form. f131
It is worthy of notice, that when the land of the Midianites is referred to, the princes who ruled over it are called Satraps of Sihon, to let us know that they shared in the same overthrow, because they had involved themselves in an unjust war, and belonged to the government of Sihon, an avowed enemy. And to make it still more clear that they perished justly, it is told that among the slain was Balaam, by whose tongue they had attempted to wound the Israelites more grievously than by a thousand swords; f132 just as if it had been said that in that slaughter they found the hostile banner, by which they had declared themselves at open war with the Israelites. When it is said that the Jordan was a boundary, and a boundary, it will be proper, in order to prevent useless repetition, to interpret that Jordan was a boundary to them according to its limits. f133
24. And Moses gave inheritance unto the tribe of Gad, etc The observation made above applies also to the tribe of Gad, namely, that their legitimate boundaries were carefully defined in order to prevent disputes as to their possession. Meanwhile God is extolled for his liberality in having expelled nations of great celebrity, and substituted them in their stead. This is expressed more clearly in regard to the half tribe of Manasseh, when sixty cities are enumerated as included in their inheritance. Hence, too, it is manifest that Moses was not munificent through mistake, because it was well known to God how many cities he was giving them out of his boundless liberality. In a short clause the tribe of Levi is again excluded, that the Levites might not be able at some future period to pretend that the grant which the Reubenites, Gadites, and half tribe of Manasseh had obtained without the casting of lots, belonged in common to them also; for they are expressly forbidden to share with their brethren. This made it easy for them to interpret shrewdly for their advantage, that they were entitled to share with others. Here, however, it is not the sacrifices, as a little before, but God Himself that is said to be their inheritance; if they are not satisfied with it, they only convict themselves of excessive pride and insufferable fastidiousness. f134
Joshua 14:1-15
1. And these are the countries which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, distributed for inheritance to them. 1. Haec sunt quae in haereditatem acceperunt filii Israel in terra Chanaan, quae illis tradiderunt in haereditatem Eleazar sacerdos, et Josue filius Nun, et capita tribuum filiorum Israel.
2. By lot was their inheritance, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses, for the nine tribes, and for the half tribe. 2. Per sortem haereditatis eorum, sicut praeceperat Jehova per manum Mosis, ut daret novem tribubus, et dimidiae tribui.
3. For Moses had given the inheritance of two tribes and an half tribe on the other side Jordan: but unto the Levites he gave none inheritance among them. 3. Dederat enim Moses duabustribubus, et dimidiae tribui citra Jordanem: Levitis autem non dederat haereditatem in medio eorum.
4. For the children of Joseph were two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim: therefore they gave no part unto the Levites in the land, save cities to dwell in, with their suburbs for their cattle and for their substance. 4. Fuerunt enim filii Joseph duae tribus Manasse et Ephraim: ideo non dederunt partem Levitis in terra praeter urbes ad habitandum, et suburbana earum pro armentis et gregibus ipsorum.
5. As the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did, and they divided the land. 5. Quemadmodum praeceperat Moses sic fecerunt filii Israel, et diviserunt terram.
6. Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea. 6. Accesserunt autem filii Juda ad Josuam in Gilgal, dixitque ad eum Caleb filius Jephune Kenisaeus, Tu nosti verbum quod loquutus est Jehova ad Mosen virum Dei de me, et de te, in Cades-barnea:
7. Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart. 7. Quadragenarius eram quando misit me Moses servus Jehovae de Cades-barnea ad explorandam terram, et retuli ei rem sicuti erat in corde meo.
8. Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God. 8. Et quum fratres mei qui descenderant mecum dissolverent cor populi, ego perseveranter sequutus sum Jehovam Deum meum.
9. And Moses swear on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's for ever, because thou has wholly followed the LORD my God. 9. Et juravit Moses illo die, dicendo, Si non terra quam calcavit pes tuus, tua erit in haereditatem et filiis tuis in aeternum, quia perseveranter sequutus es Jehovam Deum meum.
10. And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spoke this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. 10. Nunc autem Jehova concessit mihi vitam sicuti dixerat. Jam quadraginta quinque anni sunt, ex quo tempore pronunciavit Jehova hanc rem Mosi, ex quo ambulavit Israel per desertum: et nunc quidem hodie sum quinque et octoginta annorum.
11. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. 11. Et adhuc sum hodie vegetus ut eo die, quo misit me Moses: quantus erat tunc vigor meus, tantus, hodie est vigor meus ad praelium, et ad exeundum, et ad ingrediendum:
12. Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spoke in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said. 12. Nunc ergo da mihi montem istum, ut loquutus est Jehova eo die. Tu enim audivisit eo die quod Anakim sint ibi, et urbes magnae et munitae: forte Jehova erit mecum, et expellam eos quemadmodum dixit Jehova.
13. And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance. 13. Et benedixit ei Josue, deditque Hebron ipsi Caleb filio Jephune in haereditatem.
14. Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel. 14. Idcirco fuit Hebron ipsuis Caleb filii Jephune Kenisaei, in haereditatem, usque ad diem hunc, eo quod perseveranter sequutus est Jehovam Deum Israel.
15. And the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba; which Arba was a great man among the Anakims. And the land had rest from war. 15. Nomen autem Hebron antea fuit Ciriath-arba, qui Arba homo magnus inter Anakim fuit: et terra quievit a bello.

1. And these are the countries, etc He now proceeds to the land of Canaan, from which nine tribes and a half were to obtain their lots. And he will immediately break off the thread of the narrative, as we shall see. Yet the transition is seasonably made from that region whose situation was different, to let the reader know that the discourse was to be concerning the land of Canaan, which was to be divided by lot. We have said that Joshua and Eleazar not only divided what the Israelites had already acquired, but trusting in the promise of God, confidently included whatever he had promised to his people, just as if they had been in actual possession of it. We shall see, indeed, that the division was not all at once made complete, but when the first lot turned up in favor of Judah, the turns of the others were left in hope.
Here a difficult question arises. How can it be said that the distribution of the land was made by Joshua, Eleazar, and the princes, if lots were cast? For the lot is not regulated by the opinion or the will or the authority of man. Should any one answer, that they took charge and prevented any fraud from being committed, the difficulty is not removed, nay, this evasion will be refuted from the context. It is to be known, therefore, that they were not selected simply to divide the land by lot, but also afterwards to enlarge or restrict the boundaries of the tribes by giving to each its due proportion. That this business could not be accomplished by a naked lot is very apparent. For while, according to human ideas, nothing is more fortuitous than the result of a lot, it was not known whether God might choose to place the half tribe of Manasseh where the tribe of Judah obtained its settlement, or whether Zebulun might not occupy the place of Ephraim. Therefore they were not at liberty at the outset to proceed farther than to divide the land into ten districts or provinces. In this way, however, the space belonging to each would remain indefinite. For had an option been given to each, some would have chosen to fix themselves in the center, others would have preferred a quiet locality, while others would have been guided in their choice by the fertility of the soil, or the climate and beauty of the scenery. But the lot placed the tribe of Judah, as it were, at the head, while it sent that of Zebulun away to the seashore, placed the tribe of Benjamin adjacent to that of Judah, and removed that of Ephraim to a greater distance. In short, the effect of the lot was that ten divisions fell out from Egypt towards Syria, and from the north quarter to the Mediterranean Sea, making some neighbors to the Egyptians, and giving to others maritime positions, to others hilly districts, to others intervening valleys.
This being understood, the office remaining for the rulers of the people was to trace out the boundaries on all sides in accordance with the rules of equity. It remained, therefore, for them to calculate how many thousand souls there were in every tribe, and to assign more or less space to each, according to the greatness or the smallness of their numbers. For in conformity to the divine command, a due proportion was to be observed, and a larger or narrower district was to be assigned, according as the census which was taken had ascertained the numbers to be. (Numbers 26) To the judgment of the princes was it in like manner left to shape the territories, regulating the length and breadth as circumstances might require. It is necessary also to bear in mind what is said in Numbers 26, that the ten who are here called heads of families were appointed to execute this office, not by the suffrages of men, but by the voice of God. Thus each tribe had its own overseers to prevent either fraud or violence from being committed. Then it would have been impious to have any suspicion of those who had been nominated by God. Such is the manner in which Joshua may be said to have distributed the land, though it was portioned out by lot.
4. They gave no part unto the Levites, etc It is here repeated for the third time with regard to the Levites, that they were not included in the number, so as to have the portion of a tribe assigned to them; but it is mentioned for a different purpose, for it is immediately after added, that the sons of Joseph were divided into two tribes, and were thus privileged to obtain a double portion. Thus had Jacob prophesied, (Genesis 49) or rather, like an arbiter appointed by God, he had in this matter preferred the sons of Joseph to the others. God therefore assumed the Levites to himself as a peculiar inheritance, and in their stead substituted one of the two families of Joseph.
6. Then the children of Judah came, etc Here the account which had been begun as to the partition of the land is broken off to make way for the insertion of a narrative, namely, that Caleb requested Mount Hebron to be given to him as he had been promised by Moses. This happened a long time before the people had ceased from making war, and it became necessary to cast lots. It is stated to be the fifth year since their entrance into the land, and he does not ask for a locality to be given up to him which was already subdued and cleared of the enemy, but in the midst of the noise and heat of warfare, he asks to be permitted to acquire it by routing and slaying its giants. He only seeks to provide, that when his valor has subdued the giants, he is not to be defrauded of the reward of his labor. The method of so providing, is to prevent its being included in the common lot of a tribe. Accordingly, he does not put forth the claim by himself alone, but the members of his tribe, the sons of Judah also concur with him, because the effect of conferring this extraordinary benefit on one family was so far to make an addition to all. Hence though Caleb alone speaks, all the tribe whose interest it was that his request should be granted were present.
I am not clear why the surname of Kenite was given to Caleb. He is so called also in Numbers 32. I am not unaware of the conjecture of some expositors, that he was so surnamed from Kenas, because either he himself or some one of his ancestors dwelt among the Kenites. But I see no solid foundation for this. What if he gained this title by some illustrious deed, just as victors sometimes assume a surname from the nations they have subdued? As the promise had not been inserted into any public record, and Joshua was the only witness now surviving, he makes his application to him. And it is probable that when the ten spies made mention of the names of the Anakim, with the view of terrifying the people, Caleb, to refute their dishonesty, answered with truth, that when he beheld them on Mount Hebron, they were so far from being terrible, that he would attack them at his own hand, provided that on their expulsion he should succeed to their lands; and that on these conditions Moses ceded to him a habitation in that locality which he should have acquired by his own prowess.
7. Forty years old was I, etc He seems to talk of his own virtue in rather loftier terms than becomes a pious and modest man. But let us remember that, seeing the thing was in itself invidious and liable to many objections, it stood in need of special commendation as a means of suppressing envy. He therefore mentions that he had acted in good faith in bringing back an account of what he had learned concerning the land. For the expression, "As it was in my heart," evidently denotes sincerity, the heart being thus opposed to deceitful words. It is a ridiculous fiction to imagine that he had said it in his heart, because from fear of being killed by his companions he had not ventured to mention anything of the kind by the way. Nothing more is meant than simply this, that he acted honestly according to the command given him, without gloss or dissimulation. He enlarges on the merit of his integrity, because though he was opposed by all his colleagues, with the exception of Joshua, he did not yield to their malice, nor was dispirited by their iniquitous conspiracy, but steadfastly pursued his purpose. The words taken in their most literal sense are, I filled or fulfilled to go after thy God; but the obvious meaning is, that he was not seduced from a faithful discharge of his duty by the wicked machination of ten men, however difficult it was to resist them, because he followed God with inflexible perseverance, feeling perfectly assured that God was the author of the expedition, from which those perfidious men were endeavoring to draw off the people.
Let us learn from this passage, first, that unless the last part corresponds to the first, good beginnings vanish away; secondly, that constancy is deserving of praise only when we follow God.
9. And Moses swear on that day, etc Here, then, is one fruit of the embassy honestly and faithfully performed — to gain possession of an inheritance of which the whole people is deprived. For although long life is justly accounted one of the mercies of God, the end proposed by it is here added, viz., that Caleb may obtain the inheritance which is denied to others. This was no ordinary privilege. He next extols the faithfulness of God in having prolonged his life, and not only so, but supplied vigor and strength, so that though he was now above eighty years of age, he was not a whit feebler than when in the flower of his youth. Others, too, had a green old age, but they were few in number, and then in their case there was not added to the even tenor of their days a manly vigor, remaining wholly unimpaired up to their eighty-fifth year. For he lays claim not only to the skill and valor of a leader, but also to the physical strength of a soldier.
He next adds the other offices and actions of his life. For to go out and in is equivalent in Hebrew to the observance and execution of all parts of our duty. And this Caleb confirms by fact, when he demands it as his task to assail and expel the giants. He is not, however, elated by stolid pride to a confident assurance of victory, but hopes for a prosperous event from the assistance of God. There seems, indeed, to be an incongruous expression of doubt in the word Perhaps, as if he were begirding himself fortuitously for the fight. f135 Those expositors who think that he is distrusting himself from a feeling of modesty and considering his own weakness, say something to the point, but do not say the whole. They certainly omit what is of principal import, viz., that this Perhaps refers to the common feelings which men would entertain on taking a view of the actual state of matters.
The first thing necessary is duly to consider what his design is. Had he asked the gift of a mountain, which he could have seized without any great exertion, it would have been more difficult to obtain it. But now when the difficulty of the task is plainly set forth, he gains the favor of Joshua and the princes, because in assenting to his prayer, they grant him nothing but the certainty of an arduous, doubtful, and perilous contest. Knowing, then, that the children of Israel trembled and were in terror at the very name of the giants, he speaks according to their opinion as of a matter attended with doubt and uncertainty. As regards himself, the words clearly demonstrate how far he was from viewing that which had been said to him with a dubious or vacillating mind. I shall drive them out, he says, as the Lord has declared. Shall we say that when he utters the declaration of God, he is in doubt whether or not God will do what he promised? It is quite plain that he only reminded them how dangerous the business was, in order that he might the more easily obtain their assent. Although it is not uncommon in Hebrew to employ this term to denote difficulty merely, without meaning to imply that the mind is agitated by distrust or disquietude. How very difficult it was to drive out the giants from that fastness,F136 may be inferred from the fact that the death of Joshua took place before Caleb ventured to attack them.
13. And Joshua blessed him, etc He prayed thus earnestly to show the delight he felt. For it was expedient by way of example to extol his valor, by which others might be incited to surmount all their fears. For it was just as if he had gained an eminence from which he could look down upon the giants. The blessing of Caleb, therefore, includes in it praise which may have the effect of an exhortation to the people. In the end of the chapter it is said, that the name of Hebron was Ciriath-Arba, (Kirjath-Arba.) Here it is to be observed, that it is not the mountain itself that is meant, but the principal city, of which there is frequent mention in Scripture. It is said to have received the surname from a giant famous for his stature. And this refutes the imagination of those expositors who insist that it was so called from having been the burial-place of four patriarchs — Adam, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
It is plain that Caleb, in making the request, had not been looking to present ease or private advantage, since he does not aspire to the place that had been given him till many years after. Wherefore it was no less the interest of the whole people than of one private family, that that which as yet depended on the incomprehensible grace of God, and was treasured up merely in hope, should be bestowed as a special favor. A grant which could not take effect without a wonderful manifestation of divine agency could scarcely be invidious.
A question, however, arises. Since Hebron not only became the portion of the Levites, but was one of the cities of refuge, how could the grant stand good? If we say that Caleb was contented with other towns, and resigned his right to the Levites, it is obvious that the difficulty is not solved, because Caleb is distinctly appointed owner of that city. But if we reflect that the right of dwelling in the cities was all that was granted to the Levites, there will be no inconsistency. Meanwhile, no small praise is due to the moderation of Caleb, who, in a locality made his own by extraordinary privilege, did not refuse an hospitable reception to the Levites. f137
Joshua 15:1-13
1. This then was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families; even to the border of Edom the wilderness of Zin southward was the uttermost part of the south coast. 1. Fuitque sors tribui filiorum Jehuda per familias eorum juxta terminum Edom, et desertum Sin ad austrum ab extremo austri.
2. And their south border was from the shore of the salt sea, from the bay that looketh southward: 2. Fuitque ejus terminus meridici ab extremo maris salis, hoc est a petra quae respicit ad meridiem.
3. And it went out to the south side to Maalehacrabbim, and passed along to Zin, and ascended up on the south side unto Kadeshbarnea, and passed along to Hezron, and went up to Adar, and fetched a compass to Karkaa: 3. Et egreditur versus meridiem Maale-acrabim, et illinc transit in Sin: progrediens autem a meridie in Cades-barnea transit illinc in Esron, et rursum ascendit in Adar, unde circuit in Carcaa.
4. From thence it passed toward Azmon, and went out unto the river of Egypt; and the goings out of that coast were at the sea: this shall be your south coast. 4. Inde transit in Asmon, et egreditur ad torrentem AEgypti: suntque egressus hujus termini ad occidentem: iste erit vobis terminus ad meridiem.
5. And the east border was the salt sea, even unto the end of Jordan. And their border in the north quarter was from the bay of the sea at the uttermost part of Jordan: 5. Terminus vero ad orientem, est mare salis usque ad extremitatem Jordanis, terminus autem anguli aquilonaris a petra maris ab extremo Jordanis.
6. And the border went up to Bethhogla, and passed along by the north of Betharabah; and the border went up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben: 6. Ascenditque terminus iste in Beth-hoglah, et transit ab aquilone ad Betharaba, atque illinc ascendit terminus iste ad lapidem Bohan filii Ruben.
7. And the border went up toward Debir from the valley of Achor, and so northward, looking toward Gilgal, that is before the going up to Adummim, which is on the south side of the river: and the border passed toward the waters of Enshemesh, and the goings out thereof were at Enrogel: 7. Ascendit praeterea terminus iste in Debir a valle Achor, et versus aquilonem respicit ad Gilgal, quae est e regione ascensus Adummim, quae quidem est ab austro torrenti: et transit terminus iste ad aquas En-semes, suntque exitus ejus ad En-rogel.
8. And the border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom unto the south side of the Jebusite; the same is Jerusalem: and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward: 8. Et ascendit terminus iste ad vallem filii Hinnom, ad latus Jebusaei a meridie, ipsa est Jerusalem: ascendit insuper terminus iste ad verticem montis qui est e regione vallis Hinnom ad occidentem, quae quidem est in extremitate vallis Rephaim ad aquilonem.
9. And the border was drawn from the top of the hill unto the fountain of the water of Nephtoah, and went out to the cities of mount Ephron; and the border was drawn to Baalah, which is Kirjathjearim: 9. Circuit autem terminus a vertice ipsius montis, ad fontem aquae Nephthoeh, et egreditur ad urbes montis Ephron, circuitque terminus iste in Baala, ipsa est Cirjath-jearim.
10. And the border compassed from Baalah westward unto mount Seir, and passed along unto the side of mount Jearim, which is Chesalon, on the north side, and went down to Bethshemesh, and passed on to Timnah: 10. Et illinc gyrat terminus iste a Baala ad occidentem ad montem Seir, et illinc pertransit ad latus montis Jearim ab aquilone, ipsa est Chesalon, descenditque in Bethsemes, et pertransit in Timna.
11. And the border went out unto the side of Ekron northward: and the border was drawn to Shicron, and passed along to mount Baalah, and went out unto Jabneel; and the goings out of the border were at the sea. 11. Egrediturque terminus ad latus Ecron ad Aquilonem, et circuit terminus iste ad Sichron, pertransitque ad montem Baala, et illinc egreditur in Jabneel, suntque exitus hujus termini ad mare.
12. And the west border was to the great sea, and the coast thereof. This is the coast of the children of Judah round about according to their families. 12. Porro terminus occidentalis ad mare magnum, et terminum, iste est terminus filiorum Jehuda per circuitum, per familias suas.
13. And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a part among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the LORD to Joshua, even the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron. 13. Caleb autem filio Jephune dedit partem in medio filiorum Jehuda, secundum sermonem Jehovae ad Josue, Cirjath-arba patris Anac, ipsa est Hebron.

1. I have already premised, that I would not be very exact in delineating the site of places, and in discussing names, partly because I admit that I am not well acquainted with topographical or chorographic science, and partly because great labor would produce little fruit to the reader; f138 nay, perhaps the greater part of readers would toil and perplex themselves without receiving any benefit. With regard to the subject in hand, it is to be observed, that the lot of the tribe of Judah not only falls on elevated ground, the very elevation of the territory, indicating the dignity of the future kingdom, but a similar presage is given by its being the first lot that turns up. What had already been obtained by arms, they begin to divide. The names of the ten tribes are cast into the urn. Judah is preferred to all the others. Who does not see that it is raised to the highest rank, in order that the prophecy of Jacob may be fulfilled? Then within the limits here laid down, it is well known that there were rich pastures, and vineyards celebrated for their productiveness and the excellence of their wines. In this way, while the lot corresponds with the prophecy of Jacob, it is perfectly clear that it did not so happen by chance; the holy patriarch had only uttered what was dictated by the Spirit.
If any are better skilled in places, a more minute investigation will be pleasant and useful to them. But lest those who are less informed feel it irksome to read unknown names, let them consider that they have obtained knowledge of no small value, provided they bear in mind the facts to which I have briefly and summarily adverted — that the tribe of Judah was placed on elevated ground, that it might be more conspicuous than the others, until the scepter should arise from it — and that a region of fruitful vineyards and rich pastures was assigned to his posterity — and, finally, all this was done, in order that the whole people might recognize that there was nothing of the nature of chance in the turning up of a lot, which had been foretold three centuries before. Besides, it is easy for the unlearned to infer from the long circuit described, that the territory thus allocated to one tribe was of great extent. f139 For although some diminution afterwards took place, its dominions always continued to be the largest.
It is necessary, however, to bear in mind what I formerly observed, that nothing else was determined by the lot than that the boundary of the children of Judah was to be contiguous to the land of Edom and the children of Sin, and that their boundary, in another direction, was to be the river of Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea — that those who had been selected to divide the country proceeded according to the best of their judgment, in proportioning the quantity of territory allotted to the number of their people, without extending their boundaries any farther — and that they followed the same method in other cases, as vicinity or other circumstances demanded.
Any error into which they fell, did not at all affect the general validity of their decision. For as they were not ashamed partly to recall any partition that might have been made without sufficient consideration, so the people in their turn, while they acknowledged that they had acted in the matter with the strictest good faith and honesty, submitted the more willingly to whatever they determined. Thus, notwithstanding any particular error, their general arrangements received full effect.
It will be worth while to make one remark on the city Jebus, whose name was afterwards Jerusalem. Although it had been already chosen, by the secret counsel of God, for his sanctuary, and the seat of the future kingdom, it however continued in the possession of the enemy down to the time of David. In this long exclusion from the place on which the sanctity, excellence, and glory of the rest of the land were founded, there was a clear manifestation of the divine curse inflicted to punish the people for their sluggishness: since it was virtually the same as if the land had been deprived of its principal dignity and ornament. But on the other hand, the wonderful goodness of God was conspicuous in this, that the Jebusites who, from the long respite which had been given them, seemed to have struck their roots most deeply, were at length torn up, and driven forth from their secure position.
13. And unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh, etc Were we to judge from the actual state of matters, it would seem ridiculous repeatedly to celebrate an imaginary grant from which Caleb received no benefit while Joshua was alive. But herein due praise is given both to the truth of God, and to the faith of his saint in resting on his promise. Therefore, although sneering men, and the inhabitants of the place itself, if the rumor had reached them, might have derided the vain solicitude of Caleb, and the empty liberality of Joshua, the contempt thus expressed would only have proved them to be presumptuous scoffers. God at length evinced the firmness of his decree by the result, and Caleb, though he saw himself unable to obtain access to the mountain, testified that he was contented with the mere promise of God, the true exercise of faith, consisting in a willingness to remain without the fruition of things which have been promised till the period actually arrive. Moreover, this passage, and others similar to it, teach us that the giants who are usually called Enakim, were so named after their original progenitor, Enac, and that the word is hence of Gentile origin. The time when Caleb routed the sons of Enac we shall see in a short time. This passage also shows us that Caleb, when he brought forward the name of Moses, did not make a mere pretence, or utter anything that was not strictly true; for it is now plainly declared, that Moses had so appointed, in conformity with the command of God.
Joshua 15:14-63
14. And Caleb drove thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak. 14. Expulit inde Caleb tres filios Enac, Sezadi, et Ahiman, et Thalmai qui fuerunt filii Enac.
15. And he went up thence to the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher. 15. Ascenditque inde ad habitatores Debir, cujus nomen antea fuit Ciriath-sepher.
16. And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and takes it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife. 16. Dixitque Caleb, qui percusserit Ciriath-sepher, et ceperit eam, dabo ei Achsa filiam meam in uxorem.
17. And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife. 17. Cepit autem eam Othniel filius Cenas fratris Caleb: deditque ei Achsa filiam suam in uxorem.
18. And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What would thou? 18. Fuitque quum veniret ipsa suasit illi, ut peteret a patre suo agrum, et descendit de asino, dixitque ei Caleb, Quid tibi est?
19. Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou has given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs. 19. Illa respondit, Da mihi benedictionem: quandoquidem terram aridam dedisti mihi, da mihi fontes aquarum. Et dedit ei fontes superiores, et fontes inferiores.
20. ¶ This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families. 20. Ista est haereditas tribus filiorum Jehuda per familias suas.
21. And the uttermost cities of the tribe of the children of Judah toward the coast of Edom southward were Kabzeel, and Eder, and Jagur, 21. Fuerunt autem urbes in extremitate tribus filiorum Jehudae juxta terminum Edom ad meridiem, Cabseel, et Eder, et Jagur.
22. And Kinah, and Dimonah, and Adadah, 22. Et Cina, et Dimona, et Adada,
23. And Kedesh, and Hazor, and Ithnan, 23. Et Cedes, et Hasor, et Ithnan,
24. Ziph, and Telem, and Bealoth, 24. Ziph, et Telem, et Bealoth,
25. And Hazor, Hadattah, and Kerioth, and Hezron, which is Hazor, 25. Et Hasor in Hadatha, et Cerioth, Hesron, ipsa est Hasor,
26. Amam, and Shema, and Moladah, 26. Amam, et Sema, et Molada,
27. And Hazargaddah, and Heshmon, and Bethpalet, 27. Et Hasar-gadda, et Hesmon, Beth-phelet,
28. And Hazarshual, and Beersheba, and Bizjothjah, 28. Et Hasar-sual, et Beerseba, et Bizjotheja,
29. Baalah, and Iim, and Azem, 29. Baala, et Iim, et Asem,
30. And Eltolad, and Chesil, and Hormah, 30. Et Eltholad, et Chesil, et Horma,
31. And Ziklag, and Madmannah, and Sansannah, 31. Et Siclag, et Madmannah, et Sensannah,
32. And Lebaoth, and Shilhim, and Ain, and Rimmon: all the cities are twenty and nine, with their villages: 32. Et Lebaoth, et Silhim, et Ain, et Rimon: omnes urbes viginti et novem, et villae earum.
33. And in the valley, Eshtaol, and Zoreah, and Ashnah, 33. In planitie Esthaol, et Sora, et Asnah,
34. And Zanoah, and Engannim, Tappuah, and Enam, 34. Et Zanoah, et Engannim, et Taphuah, et Enam,
35. Jarmuth, and Adullam, Socoh, and Azekah, 35. Jarmuth, et Adulam, Socoh, et Azecah,
36. And Sharaim, and Adithaim, and Gederah, and Gederothaim; fourteen cities with their villages: 36. Et Saaraim, et Adithaim, et Gederah, et Gederothaim: urbes quatuordecim, et villae earum.
37. Zenan, and Hadashah, and Migdalgad, 37. Senam, et Hadasa, et Migdalgad,
38. And Dilean, and Mizpeh, and Joktheel, 38. Et Dilan, et Mispeh, et Jocteel,
39. Lachish, and Bozkath, and Eglon, 39. Lachis, et Boscath, et Eglon,
40. And Cabbon, and Lahmam, and Kithlish, 40. Et Chabbon, et Lahmam, et Chithlis,
41. And Gederoth, Bethdagon, and Naamah, and Makkedah; sixteen cities with their villages: 41. Et Gederoth, Beth-dagon, et Naamah, et Makeda: urbes sexdecim, et villae earum.
42. Libnah, and Ether, and Ashan, 42. Libna, et Ether, et Asan,
43. And Jiphtah, and Ashnah, and Nezib, 43. Et Jeptha, et Asna, et Nesib,
44. And Keilah, and Achzib, and Mareshah; nine cities with their villages: 44. Et Cheila, et Achzib, et Maresah: urbes novem et villae earum.
45. Ekron, with her towns and her villages: 45. Ecron, et oppida ejus et villae ejus.
46. From Ekron even unto the sea, all that lay near Ashdod, with their villages: 46. Ab Ecron, et ad mare, omnes quae sunt ad latus Asdod, et villae earum.
47. Ashdod with her towns and her villages, Gaza with her towns and her villages, unto the river of Egypt, and the great sea, and the border thereof: 47. Asdod, oppida ejus, et villae ejus: Azza, oppida ejus et villae ejus usque ad torrentem AEgypti, et mare magnum, et terminus,
48. And in the mountains, Shamir, and Jattir, and Socoh, 48. Et in monte, Samir, et Jathir, et Sochoh,
49. And Dannah, and Kirjathsannah, which is Debir, 49. Et Dannah, et Ciriath-sannah, ipsa est Debir,
50. And Anab, and Eshtemoh, and Anim, 50. Et Anab, et Eshtemoh, et Anim,
51. And Goshen, and Holon, and Giloh; eleven cities with their villages: 51. Et Gosan, et Holon, et Giloh: urbes undecim, et villae earum.
52. Arab, and Dumah, and Eshean, 52. Arab, et Dumah, et Esan,
53. And Janum, and Bethtappuah, and Aphekah, 53. Et Janum, et Beth-thappuah, et Aphecah,
54. And Humtah, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, and Zior; nine cities with their villages: 54. Et Huntha, et Ciriath-arba, ipsa est Hebron, et Sior: urbes novem, et villae earum.
55. Maon, Carmel, and Ziph, and Juttah, 55. Mahon, Carmel, et Ziph, et Juttah,
56. And Jezreel, and Jokdeam, and Zanoah, 56. Et Jezrael, et Jocdean, et Zaura,
57. Cain, Gibeah, and Timnah; ten cities with their villages: 57. Cain, Giba, et Thimna: urbes decem, et villae earum.
58. Halhul, Bethzur, and Gedor, 58. Hal-hul, et Beth-sur, et Gedor,
59. And Maarath, and Bethanoth, and Eltekon; six cities with their villages: 59. Et Maarath, et Bethanoth, et Elthecon: urbes sex, et villae earum.
60. Kirjathbaal, which is Kirjathjearim, and Rabbah; two cities with their villages: 60. Ciriath-baal, ipsa est Ciriath-jearim, et Rabba: urbes duae, et villae earum.
61. In the wilderness, Betharabah, Middin, and Secacah, 61. In deserto, Beth-arabah, Middin, et Sech-acha,
62. And Nibshan, and the city of Salt, and Engedi; six cities with their villages. 62. Et Nibsan, et urbs salis, et Engedi: urbes sex, et villae earum.
63. As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day. 63. Porro Jebusaeos habitatores Jerusalem non potuerunt filii Jehuda expellere: itaque habitavit Jebusaeus cum filiis Jehuda in Jerusalem usque ad diem hanc.

Here we have a narrative of what plainly appears from the book of Joshua to have taken place subsequent to the death of Joshua; but lest a question might have been raised by the novelty of the procedure, in giving a fertile and well watered field as the patrimony of a woman, the writer of the book thought proper to insert a history of that which afterwards happened, in order that no ambiguity might remain in regard to the lot of the tribe of Judah. First, Caleb is said, after he had taken the city of Hebron, to have attacked Debir or Ciriath-sepher, and to have declared, that the person who should be the first to enter it, would be his son-in-law. And it appears, that when he held out this rare prize to his fellow-soldiers for taking the city, no small achievement was required. This confirms what formerly seemed to be the case, that it was a dangerous and difficult task which had been assigned him, when he obtained his conditional grant. Accordingly, with the view of urging the bravest to exert themselves, he promises his daughter in marriage as a reward to the valor of the man who should first scale the wall.
It is afterwards added that Othniel who was his nephew by a brother, gained the prize by his valor. I know not how it has crept into the common translation that he was a younger brother of Caleb; for nothing in the least degree plausible can be said in defense of the blunder. Hence some expositors perplex themselves very unnecessarily in endeavoring to explain how Othniel could have married his niece, since such marriage was forbidden by the law. It is easy to see that he was not the uncle, but the cousin of his wife.
But here another question arises, How did Caleb presume to bargain concerning his daughter until he was made acquainted with her inclinations? f140 Although it is the office of parents to settle their daughters in life, they are not permitted to exercise tyrannical power and assign them to whatever husbands they think fit without consulting them. For while all contracts ought to be voluntary, freedom ought to prevail especially in marriage that no one may pledge his faith against his will. But Caleb was probably influenced by the belief that his daughter would willingly give her consent, as she could not modestly reject such honorable terms; f141 for the husband to be given her was no common man, but one who should excel all others in warlike prowess. It is quite possible, however, that Caleb in the heat of battle inconsiderately promised what it was not in his power to perform. It seems to me, however, that according to common law, the agreement implied the daughter's consent, and was only to take effect if it was obtained. f142 God certainly heard the prayer of Caleb, when he gave him a son-in-law exactly to his mind. For had the free choice been given him, there was none whom he would have preferred.
18. And it came to pass as she came unto him, etc Although we may conjecture that the damsel Acsa was of excellent morals and well brought up, as marriage with her had been held forth as the special reward f143 of victory, yet perverse cupidity on her part is here disclosed. She knew that by the divine law women were specially excluded from hereditary lands, but she nevertheless covets the possession of them, and stimulates her husband by unjust expostulation. In this way ambitious and covetous wives cease not to molest their husbands until they force them to forget shame, modesty, and equity. For although the avarice of men also is insatiable, yet women are apt to be much more precipitate. The more carefully ought husbands to be on their guard against being set as it were on flame by the blast of such importunate counsels. f144
But a greater degree of intemperance is displayed when she acquires additional boldness from the facility of her husband and the indulgence of her father. Not contented with the field given to her, she demands for herself a well-watered district. And thus it is when a person has once overleaped the bounds of rectitude and honesty, the fault is forthwith followed up by impudence. Moreover, her father in refusing her nothing gives proof of his singular affection for her. But it does not therefore follow that the wicked thirst of gain which blinds the mind and perverts right judgment is the less hateful. In regard to Acsa's dismounting from the ass, some interpreters ascribe it to dissimulation and craft, as if she were pretending inability to retain her seat from grief. In this way her dismounting or falling off is made an indication of criminality and defective character. It is more simple, however, to suppose that she placed herself at her father's feet with the view of accosting him as a suppliant. Be this as it may, by her craft and flattery she gained his consent, and in so far diminished the portion of her brothers. f145
20. This is the inheritance, etc He had formerly, indeed, traced out the boundaries of the children of Judah; but it is now shown for a different reason how large and fertile the territory was which the Lord in his great liberality had bestowed upon them. One hundred and thirteen cities with their towns and villages are enumerated. The number attests not only the populousness, but also the fertility of the country. And there cannot be a doubt that by the divine blessing a new degree of fertility was imparted to it. The goodness of God was, however, manifested in the very nature of the land selected for his people, a land abounding in all kinds of advantages. If we attend to the number of souls in the tribe, we shall find that one half of the country would have been amply sufficient for their habitation. For when eight hundred were allocated in each of the cities, the remainder had the towns and the villages. It is no doubt true that a portion was afterwards withdrawn and given to the tribe of Simeon. For in this was accomplished the dispersion of which Jacob had prophesied,
"I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel."
(<014907>Genesis 49:7)
They were accordingly admitted by the children of Judah as a kind of guests.
63. As for the Jebusites, etc This furnishes no excuse for the people, nor is it set down with that view; for had they exerted themselves to the full measure of their strength, and failed of success, the dishonor would have fallen on God himself, who had promised that he would continue with them as their leader until he should give them full and free possession of the land, and that he would send hornets to drive out the inhabitants. Therefore, it was owing entirely to their own sluggishness that they did not make themselves masters of the city of Jerusalem. This they were not able to do; but their own torpor, their neglect of the divine command from a love of ease, were the real obstacles.
This passage is deserving of notice: we ought to learn from it to make vigorous trial of our strength in attempting to accomplish the commands of God, and not to omit any opportunity, lest while we are idly resting the door may be shut. A moderate delay might have been free from blame; but a long period of effeminate ease in a manner rejected the blessing which God was ready to bestow. f146
Joshua 16:1-10
1. And the lot of the children of Joseph fell from Jordan by Jericho, unto the water of Jericho on the east, to the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout mount Bethel, 1. Egressa est autem sors filiis Joseph a Jordane Jericho, ad aquas Jericho ad orientem, ad desertum quod ascendit a Jericho in montem Beth-el.
2. And goeth out from Bethel to Luz, and passes along unto the borders of Archi to Ataroth, 2. Egrediturque a Beth-el in Luz, et hinc pertransit ad terminum Archi-Atoroth.
3. And goeth down westward to the coast of Japhleti, unto the coast of Bethhoron the nether, and to Gezer: and the goings out thereof are at the sea. 3. Postea ascendit ad mare, ad terminum Japhleti usque ad terminum Beth-horon inferiorem et usque ad Gazer, suntque exitus ejus ad mare.
4. So the children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance. 4. Itaque haereditatem acceperunt ilii Joseph, Manasses et Ephraim.
5. And the border of the children of Ephraim according to their families was thus: even the border of their inheritance on the east side was Atarothaddar, unto Bethhoron the upper; 5. Fuit autem terminus filiorum Ephraim per familias suas: fuitinquam, terminus haereditatis eorum ad orientem ab Atroh-Addar, usque ad Beth-horon superiorem.
6. And the border went out toward the sea to Michmethah on the north side; and the border went about eastward unto Taanathshiloh, and passed by it on the east to Janohah; 6. Et exit terminus ille ad mare, ad Michmethah ab aquilone: et circumit terminus ad orientem, ad Thaanath-siloh, et transit illam ab oriente ad Janoah.
7. And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth, and to Naarath, and came to Jericho, and went out at Jordan. 7. Et descendit a Janoah in Ataroth, et Naarath, et pervenit in Jericho, egrediturque ad Jordanem.
8. The border went out from Tappuah westward unto the river Kanah; and the goings out thereof were at the sea. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Ephraim by their families. 8. A Thappuah pergit terminus ad mare ad torrentem arundinis, suntque exitus ejus ad mare, haec est hereditas tribus filiorum Ephraim per familias suas.
9. And the separate cities for the children of Ephraim were among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages. 9. Et urbes separatae filiis Ephraim in medio haereditatis filiorum Manasse, omnes urbes, et villae earum.
10. And they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer: but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day, and serve under tribute. 10. Neque expulerunt Chananaeum habitantem in Gazer. Itaque habitavit Chananaeus in medio Ephraim usque ad diem hanc, et fuit tributo serviens.

1. And the lot of the children of Joseph fell, etc The sacred writer first states what the lot was which fell to the two children of Joseph, and then describes the lot of Ephraim. It is strange, however, that when the half of the tribe of Manasseh had already been settled beyond the Jordan, more words are employed in describing the remaining half than in describing the whole of the inheritance of the tribe of Ephraim, though the latter was the more populous, and justly claimed for itself a larger territory. But the longer detail given concerning the posterity of Manasseh is owing to particular circumstances. First, the writer repeats how a settlement had been given them without lot in the country of Basan. Secondly, he mentions the ratification by Joshua of the command which Moses had given by divine authority in regard to the daughters of Selophead. Seeing, then, there was no doubt in regard to the boundaries of Ephraim, and there was no danger of dispute, their allocation is only briefly glanced at.
But here a new question arises. When the right of primogeniture had passed from Manasseh to Ephraim, how did the posterity of that tribe which had precedence in rank obtain their cities among the children of Manasseh? For theirs seems in this way to have been the inferior condition. My explanation is this, When the portion of Manasseh was too extensive in proportion to the amount of population, a calculation was made, and certain cities were deducted to complete the just share of the tribe of Ephraim; not that they were mixed up with the children of Manasseh, to hold their dwellings among them by a precarious tenure, f147 but their boundaries were merely extended in the direction of the Manassites whom a narrower possession might suffice.
In the end of the chapter, Ephraim is severely censured for his effeminacy in not having expelled the Canaanites from Gezer. For had they proceeded in a manly and hearty manner to make good their right to the land which had fallen to them by lot, the victory was in their hands. There would have been no temerity in the attempt, since the decision of the lot was as valid as if the Lord himself had stretched forth his hand from heaven. But their disgraceful sloth is more clearly expressed and their culpability greatly heightened by the fact, that they made tributaries of those with whom it was not lawful to enter into any kind of arrangement. Seeing, then, God had distinctly forbidden his people to transact business of any kind with those nations, and least of all to enter into pactions with them, stipulating for their pardon and safety, the Ephraimites sinned much more grievously in exacting tribute than if they had tolerated them without paction. f148
Joshua 17:1-10
1. There was also a lot for the tribe of Manasseh; for he was the firstborn of Joseph; to wit, for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead: because he was a man of war, therefore he had Gilead and Bashan. 1. Fuit quoque sors tribui Manasse (ipse enim fuit primogenitus Joseph) ipsi Machir primogenito Manasse patri Gilead (ipse enim fuit vir bellicosus), fuit inquam, ei Gilead et Basan.
2. There was also a lot for the rest of the children of Manasseh by their families; for the children of Abiezer, and for the children of Helek, and for the children of Asriel, and for the children of Shechem, and for the children of Hepher, and for the children of Shemida: these were the male children of Manasseh the son of Joseph by their families. 2. Fuit item filiis Manasse reliquis per familias suas, filiis Abiezer, et filiis Abiezer, et filiis Helec, et filiis Hepher, et filiis Semida. Isti sunt filii Manasse, filii Joseph mares per familias suas.
3. But Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, but daughters: and these are the names of his daughters, Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 3. Porro Selphead filio Hephner, filii Gilead, filii Machir, filii Manasse non fuerunt filii sed filiae: quarum ista sunt nomina, Mahala, et Noa, Hogla, Melcha, et Thirza.
4. And they came near before Eleazar the priest, and before Joshua the son of Nun, and before the princes, saying, The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brethren. Therefore according to the commandment of the LORD he gave them an inheritance among the brethren of their father. 4. Hae accesserunt in conspectum Eleazar sacerdotis, et in conspectum Josue filii Nun, atque in conspectum principum, dicendo, Jehova praecepit Mosi ut daret nobis haereditatem in medio fratrum nostrorum. Itaque dedit eis juxta sermonem Jehovae, haereditatem in medio fratrum patris earum.
5. And there fell ten portions to Manasseh, beside the land of Gilead and Bashan, which were on the other side Jordan; 5. Et ceciderunt haereditates Manasse decem, praeter terram Gilead et Basan, quae erant trans Jordanem.
6. Because the daughters of Manasseh had an inheritance among his sons: and the rest of Manasseh's sons had the land of Gilead. 6. Filiae enim Manasse sortitae sunt hereditatem in medio filiorum ejus: terra autem Gilead fuit filiis Manasse reliquis.
7. And the coast of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethah, that lieth before Shechem; and the border went along on the right hand unto the inhabitants of Entappuah. 7. Fuit autem terminus Manasse ab Aser ad Michmethah, quae est coram Sechem, et pergit terminus ad dextram ad habitatores Enthappua.
8. Now Manasseh had the land of Tappuah: but Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belonged to the children of Ephraim; 8. Ipsius Manasse fuit terra Thappua: ab Thappua quae erat ad terminum Manasse, est filiorum Ephraim.
9. And the coast descended unto the river Kanah, southward of the river: these cities of Ephraim are among the cities of Manasseh: the coast of Manasseh also was on the north side of the river, and the outgoings of it were at the sea: 9. Descenditque terminus ad torrentem arundinis ad meridiem ipsius torrentis: civitates istae tribus Ephraim sunt in medio civitatum Manasse: at terminus Manasse est ab aquilone ipsius torrentis, suntque exitus ejus ad mare.
10. Southward it was Ephraim's, and northward it was Manasseh's, and the sea is his border; and they met together in Asher on the north, and in Issachar on the east. 10. Ad meridiem est ipsius Ephraim, et ad aquilonem ipsius Manasse, estque terminus ejus, et in Aser occurrunt inter se ab aquillone, et in Issachar ab oriente.

The historian returns to the tribe of Manasseh with the view of confirming what we formerly saw with regard to the daughters of Selophead. For though it was a novelty for females to succeed indiscriminately with males, yet as five of them had survived their father, they proved it to be equitable that they should be admitted to a portion, lest while he was innocent he should lie under the reproach of having died childless. God had replied to Moses by his oracle, that in regard to succession they should be counted as one head. They now demand that the decision thus given by the mouth of the Lord shall be carried into effect. As to the name of first-born, still given to Manasseh, it must be understood so as not to be at variance with the prophecy of Jacob; or rather his primogeniture is here in a manner buried, and his dignity restricted to the past. Here, however, it is to be observed, that men are so tenacious and so much devoted to their own interests, that it seldom occurs to them to give others their due. The daughters of Selophead had obtained a portion by a heavenly decree; nor had any one dared to utter a word against it; and yet if they had remained silent no regard would have been paid to them. Therefore, lest the delay should prove injurious to them, they apply to Joshua and Eleazar, and insist that they shall not be deprived of their legitimate succession. No delay is interposed by Joshua to prevent their immediately obtaining what is just, nor is there any murmuring on the part of the people. Hence we infer, that all were disposed to act equitably; but every one is occupied with his own interest, and too apt carelessly to overlook that of others.
5. And there fell ten portions to Manasseh, etc The children of Manasseh are in this passage classed under seven stems. Machir, the first-born, is placed apart; the other six follow. Here the question arises, How was the inheritance divided into ten parts? Some expositors cunningly disguise the difficulty; f149 others, because they are unable to solve it, indulge in the merest trifling. It is certainly very absurd that four portions should be given to five daughters; and it is not a whit more congruous that their share should be doubled because their father was the first-born. It is beyond all controversy, that Gilead, son of Machir, and great-grandfather of the females of whom we are now speaking, chose his settlement in mount Gilead and Bashan. Therefore, seeing he had already obtained an inheritance by privilege without lot, he ought not to have obtained one by lot in the land of Canaan, unless perhaps he settled only a part of his family beyond the Jordan. For Hepher was one of his sons, but not the only one; and likewise the offspring of five other brothers might be distinguished into several heads according to the number of which the allocation by lot might be made. For it is not known in what degree families whose portion fell in the land of Canaan were taken. And all we read here is, that ten lots were east among the sons of Manasseh in addition to the country which they had formerly acquired for themselves beyond the Jordan. It is thus vain to dispute concerning the number, which cannot be ascertained with certainty from the present narrative, because the first thing necessary to be known is the exact number of families to whom the division was common. Nay, it is not impossible that the daughters of Selophead obtained their patrimony there. They are said, indeed, to have dwelt among the brethren of their father; but the place is not given. Be this as it may, I have no doubt that mutual equity was observed, and that after provision was made for others, the land which had been submitted to lot was distributed among ten families whose names are here omitted.
Joshua 17:11-18
11. And Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher Bethshean and her towns, and Ibleam and her towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Endor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns, even three countries. 11. Fuitque ipsi Manasse in Issachar, et in Aser, Beth-sean, et oppida ejus: et Ibleam, et oppida ejus: et habitatores Dor, et oppida ejus: et habitatores Endor, et oppida ejus: et habitatores Thaanach, et oppida ejus: et habitatores Magiddo, et oppida ejus, tres regiones.
12. Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land. 12. Et non potuerunt filii Manasse expellere habitatores urbium istarum, sed coepit Chananaeus habitare in terra ipsa.
13. Yet it came to pass, when the children of Israel were waxen strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute; but did not utterly drive them out. 13. Quum autem roborati essent filii Israel, posuerunt Chananaeum tributarium, nec expellendo expulerunt eum.
14. ¶ And the children of Joseph spoke unto Joshua, saying, Why has thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the LORD has blessed me hitherto? 14. Loquui sunt autem filii Joseph ad Josue, dicendo, Cur dedisti mihi in haereditatem sortem unam, et haereditatem unam, quum ego sim populus multus, ita quod hucusque benedixerit mihi Jehova?
15. And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee. 15. Dixitque ad eos Josue, Si populus multus es, ascende in sylvam, et succide tibi illic in terra Perizaei, et Rephaim, si angustus est tibi mons Ephraim.
16. And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel. 16. Cui responderunt filii Joseph, Non sufficiet nobis mons ille: et currus ferrei sunt in omni Chananaeo qui habitat in terra vallis, et ei qui habitat in Beth-sean et oppidis ejus, et ei qui habitat in valle Jezrael.
17. And Joshua spoke unto the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, Thou art a great people, and has great power: thou shall not have one lot only: 17. Dixitque Josue ad domum Joseph, nempe ad Ephraim et Manasse, dicendo, Populus multus es, et fortitudo magna est tibi: non erit tibi sors unica.
18. But the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shall cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong. 18. Mons enim erit tibi, quia sylva est: succides ergo eam, et erunt tibi exitus ejus: quia expelles Chananaeum, quanquam currus ferrei sint ei, quanquam fortis sit.

11. And Manasseh had in Issachar, etc How they were so mingled as to possess some cities in the lot of Asher and Issachar, while the tribe of Ephraim dwelt between their limits, it is not easy to divine, unless, perhaps, it was perceived that a more commodious habitation would not be liable to many complaints, f150 or, perhaps, after the whole country had become more certainly known, some change was made on principles of equity in the former partition. This, therefore, seems to have been a new acquisition after it was discovered that the children of Manasseh might occupy a wider extent without loss to others. Nor was the habitation given to them a subjugated one, which they might immediately enjoy, but it was an inheritance treasured up in hope, and founded more upon heavenly promise than on actual possession. And yet their not gaining possession of those cities is attributed to their fault, because the lot assigning it to them was an indubitable pledge of victory. The reason, therefore, why they could not expel the inhabitants was, because they were not fully persuaded in their minds that God is true, and stifled his agency by their own sluggishness. But another crime still less pardonable was committed when, having it in their power easily to destroy all, they not only were slothful in executing the command of God, but, induced by filthy lucre, f151 they preserved those alive whom God had doomed to destruction. For persons, on whom we impose tribute, we in a manner take under our faith and protection. God had appointed them the ministers of his vengeance, and he supplies them with strength to execute it: they not only delay, but deprive themselves of the liberty of acting rightly. It is not strange, therefore, that God severely punished this perverse heartlessness, by making those nations whom they had pardoned in the face of a clear prohibition, to become like thorns to pierce their eyes and pricks to gall their sides.
Here, again, a question arises, How were cities granted to them in the tribe of Asher and Issachar, when the portions of both were as yet unknown? Here, therefore, that which had not yet taken place is related by way of anticipation. Be this as it may, we gather that from ignorance of the localities, single portions were not divided so exactly as not to make it necessary afterwards to correct what had been more or less decided. f152 And we must hold in general, with regard both to the tribe of Ephraim and the others, that many of the cities which they gained were of no account because of the devastation. I doubt not that many ruins here lie buried. On the other hand, we must conclude that in fertile spots, or spots possessed of other advantages, where petty villages only existed, their famous cities were founded. It is certain that Sichem was of sufficient importance to hold both a name and rank, and yet there is no mention of it here. The same is the case with Samaria, which, as is well known, belonged to the same tribe of Ephraim when it was the metropolis of the kingdom of Israel. It is plain, therefore, that each tribe possessed several cities, which are here passed over in silence.
14. And the children of Joseph spoke unto Joshua, etc Although they clothe their complaint with some color of excuse, yet they dishonestly disguise the fact, that more was comprehended in one lot than was proper for one tribe. I know not, however, whether or not the lot was cast indefinitely for the sons of Joseph: it certainly does not seem congruous that it should be so. Joshua and the other dividers were not unaware that Ephraim and Manasseh formed two heads, or two stems: and it has repeatedly been said before that the land was divided into ten tribes, which number was not accurate, unless the tribe of Manasseh was considered distinct from that of Ephraim. It is certain, therefore, that they had not fallen into such a gross blunder as to throw the two names into one lot. Now, to conceal two tribes under the name of Joseph, in order to defraud them of half their right, would have been intolerable injustice. We may add, that the domain of each was distinctly explained and described by its proper boundaries. f153
We are therefore led to conclude, that when the lots were cast for the two tribes, the admirable counsel of God arranged that the brothers, who had a common father, should be contiguous and neighbors to each other. It is unworthy in them, therefore, to complain and plead that only one inheritance had been given to them, because Joshua had neither such heartlessness nor so much malice as to defraud them of a clear right either through thoughtlessness or envy. f154 But herein lay the falsehood of their complaint concerning narrow boundaries, that they counted all that was yet to be acquired by warlike prowess as nothing; as if the lot had assigned portions to the other tribes only in subjugated territory. Joshua, accordingly, in a single sentence, refutes and disposes of their plea, and retorts upon them a charge by which they were trying to throw obloquy upon him. If your resources and your numbers are so great, why, he asks, do you not make an inroad on the enemy, whose country has been given to you? Nor will the event disappoint you, if, trusting to the promise of God, you boldly proceed to the inheritance which he has bestowed upon you. We see how, although proper provision had been made for them, they were so blinded by sloth as to complain that they were straitened for room, because they were unwilling to move their finger to seek the full possession of their inheritance. Wherefore, this passage teaches us, that if at any time we think less is performed for us than is due, we ought carefully to shake off all delays, and not rashly throw upon others the blame which is inherent in ourselves.
16. And the children of Joseph said, etc It is too apparent that they were thinking only of themselves, because they quibble as much as they can, in order to avoid following the suggestion of Joshua, than which, however, nothing was more reasonable. They object, that the mountain is rugged and little better than a desert, and therefore, though it were added to them, they would derive very little benefit from it. In regard to the plain, which was cultivated and fertile, they object that they are shut out and debarred from it because of the formidable array of the enemy. Accordingly, they make mention of their iron chariots, as if they had not already learned by experience that the Lord was able, without any difficulty, to trample down both horses and chariots. Joshua, however, by a simple and right-hearted answer, administers due castigation, as well to their avarice as their effeminacy and torpor. If the forest, as it now stands, is not sufficiently productive, cut down the trees and convert it into good fields; provided you are not sparing of your labor, you will have no reason to be dissatisfied with your habitation. Iron chariots, moreover, cannot prevent the Lord from performing what he has promised to you. The inheritance is yours; do only your part by entering with due confidence on the possession of it.
Joshua 18:1-10
1. And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them. 1. Congregata est autem universa multitudo filiorum Israel in Silo, et collocaverunt ibi tabernaculum conventionis, postquam terra subjecta erat coram eis.
2. And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance. 2. Remanserunt autem e filiis Israel quibus non diviserant haereditatem suam, septem tribus.
3. And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are you slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers has given you? 3. Dixitque Josue ad filios Israel, Usquequo cessatis ingredi, ut possideatis terram quam dedit vobis Jehova Deus patrum vestrorum?
4. Give out from among you three men for each tribe: and I will send them, and they shall rise, and go through the land, and describe it according to the inheritance of them; and they shall come again to me. 4. Tradite ex vobis tres viros per tribum, quos mittam: surgentque et ambulabunt per terram, describentque eam juxta haereditatem suam, postea revertentur ad me.
5. And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coasts on the north. 5. Et parientur eam in septem portiones: Judas stabit in finibus suis a meridie: et familia Joseph stabunt in finibus suis ab aquilone.
6. You shall therefore describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description hither to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the LORD our God. 6. Vosque describatis terram in septem partes, et afferatis ad me huc: tum projiciam vobis sortem hic coram Jehova Deo nostro.
7. But the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the LORD is their inheritance: and Gad, and Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh, have received their inheritance beyond Jordan on the east, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave them. 7. Non est enim pars Levitis in medio vestri, quia sacerdotium Jehovae est haereditas ejus: Gad autem et Ruben, et dimidia tribus Manasse acceperunt haereditatem suam citra Jordanem ad orientem, quam dedit ei Moses servus Jehovae.
8. And the men arose, and went away: and Joshua charged them that went to describe the land, saying, Go and walk through the land, and describe it, and come again to me, that I may here cast lots for you before the LORD in Shiloh. 8. Surrexeruntque viri illi, atque abierunt, praecepitque Josue istis qui ibant, ut describerent terram, dicendo: Ite, et ambulate per terram, ac describite eam: postea revertemini ad me, et hic projiciam vobis sortem coram Jehova in Silo.
9. And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came again to Joshua to the host at Shiloh. 9. Abierunt itaque viri, et transierunt per terram, atque descriperunt eam per urbes in septem partes, in libro: reversique sunt ad Josuam ad castra in Silo.
10. And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions. 10. Misit autem eis Josua sortem in Silo coram Jehova: partitusque est ibi Josua terram filiis Israel secundum partes eorum.

1. And the whole congregation of the children of Israel, etc Here we have a narrative of the celebrated convention held in Shiloh, where it was deliberated, as to the casting of the remaining lots. For although with pious zeal they had attempted the casting of lots, yet the proceeding had been interrupted, as if victory behooved to precede the distribution which depended solely on the mouth of God. They assemble, therefore, in Shiloh to determine what was necessary to be done in future. And there is no doubt that Joshua summoned this meeting in order to raise them from their lethargy. For they do not come forward spontaneously with any proposal, but he begins with upbraiding them with having been sluggish and remiss in entering on the inheritance which God had bestowed upon them. It is easy to infer from his speech that they had shown great alacrity at the outset, but that there had been no perseverance.
And yet that obedience, which shortly after grew languid, was honored with the approbation of the Holy Spirit. It is to be observed that the people are blamed, not for neglecting to proceed to the lot, but for not occupying the inheritance divinely offered to them. And, certainly, as the distribution by lot was a sign of confidence, so each district which fell out to each was a sure and faithful pledge of future possession; for the Lord was by no means deluding them in assigning to each his portion.
The word hpd, which I have translated "to cease," signifies also to be remiss or feeble. He charges them, therefore, with base heartlessness, in that while the full time for routing the enemy had arrived, they by their delays retard and suspend the effect of the divine goodness. For had they been contented with the bare lot, and faithfully embraced the results which it gave, they would doubtless have been prompt and expeditious in carrying on the war, nay, would have hastened like conquerors to a triumph.
The ark is said to have been stationed at Shiloh, f155 not only that the consultation might be graver and more sacred, as held in the presence of God, but because it was a completely subjugated place, and safe from all external violence and injury. For it behooved to be their special care to prevent its exposure to sudden assault. No doubt the hand of God would have been stretched to ward off attacks of the enemy from any quarter; still, however, though God dwelt among them, they were to be regarded as its guardians and attendants.
But although a station for the ark was then chosen, it was not a perpetual abode, but only a temporary lodging. For it was not left to the will or suffrages of the people to fix the seat where God should dwell, but they behooved to wait for the period so often referred to in the Law, when he was to establish the memorial of his name elsewhere. This was at length accomplished when Mount Zion was set apart for the Temple. For this reason it is said in the Psalm,
"Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem."
(<19C202>Psalm 122:2)
These words intimate that up to that time the ark was pilgrimating. At last the ruin and devastation of Shiloh showed that no rank or dignity can screen those who corrupt the blessings of God from his vengeance. Up to the death of Eli, God allowed his sacred name to be worshipped there; but when all religion was polluted by the impiety of the priests, and almost abolished by the ingratitude of the people, that spot became to posterity a signal monument of punishment. Accordingly, Jeremiah tells the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who were proudly boasting of their Temple, to turn their eyes to that example. Speaking in the name of the Lord, he says,
"Go you now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel." (<240712>Jeremiah 7:12)
4. Give out from among you three men, etc Caleb and Joshua had already surveyed those regions, and the people had learned much by inquiry: Joshua, however, wishes the land to be divided as if according to actual survey f156 and orders three surveyors to be appointed for each of the seven tribes, in order that by the mouth of two or three persons every dispute may be settled. But nothing seems more incongruous than to send twenty-one men, who were not only to pass directly through a hostile country, but to trace it through all its various windings and turnings, so as not to leave a single corner unexamined, to calculate, its length and breadth, and even make due allowance for its inequalities. Every person whom they happened to meet must readily have suspected who they were, and for what reason they had been employed on this expedition. In short, no free return lay open for them except through a thousand deaths. Assuredly they would not have encountered so much danger from blind and irrational impulse, nor would Joshua have exposed them to such manifest danger had they not been aware that all those nations, struck with terror from heaven, desired nothing so much as peace. For although they hated the children of Israel, still, having been subdued by so many overthrows, they did not dare to move a finger against them, and thus the surveyors proceeded in safety as through a peaceful territory, under the pretext either of trading, or at least of making a harmless visit. f157 It is also possible that they arranged themselves in different parties, and thus made the journey more secretly. It is certain, indeed, that there was only one source from which they could have derived all this courage and confidence, from trusting under the shadow of the wings of the Almighty, and thus having no fear of blind and stupid men. Hence the praise here bestowed on their ready will. For had they not been persuaded that the hands of those nations were tied up by supernal power, they would have had a just and honest cause for refusing. f158
9. And the men went and passed, etc Here not only is praise bestowed on the ready obedience by which their virtue shone forth conspicuous, but the Lord gives a signal manifestation of his favor by deigning to bestow remarkable success on pious Joshua and the zeal of the people. Had they crept along by subterranean burrows, they could scarcely have escaped innumerable dangers, but now, when they are taking notes of the cities and their sites, of the fields, the varying features of the districts, and all the coasts, and without meeting with any adverse occurrence, return in safety to their countrymen, who can doubt that their life had been kept safe among a thousand deaths by a wonderful exertion of divine power? It is accordingly said emphatically, that they returned to celebrate the grace of God, which is just equivalent to saying that they were brought back by the hand of God. This made the people proceed more willingly to the casting of lots. For their minds would not yet have been well purged of fastidiousness had they not perceived in that journey a signal display of divine favor, promising them that the final issue would be according to their wish. Joshua is hence said to have divided according to the inheritance of each, as if he were sending them to enter on a quiet possession, though the effect depended on the divine presence, because it ought to have been enough for them that the whole business was carried on by the authority of God, who never deceives his people, even when he seems to sport with them. In what sense the ark of the covenant is called God, or the face of God, I have already explained in many passages.
Joshua 18:11-28
11. And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph. 11. Ascendit autem sors tribus filiorum Benjamin per familias suas, et exivit terminus sortis eorum inter filios Jehuda, et filios Joseph:
12. And their border on the north side was from Jordan; and the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north side, and went up through the mountains westward; and the goings out thereof were at the wilderness of Bethaven. 12. Fuitque eis terminus ad latus Aquilonis a Jordane: et ascendit terminus ad latus Jericho ab Aquilone, ascenditque in montem ad mare, ac exitus ejus sunt ad desertum Bethaven.
13. And the border went over from thence toward Luz, to the side of Luz, which is Bethel, southward; and the border descended to Atarothadar, near the hill that lieth on the south side of the nether Bethhoron. 13. Illinc autem pertransit terminus in Luz ad latus Luz Australe, (ipsa est Beth-el) et descendit terminus in Ateroth-Adar, juxta montem, qui est a meridie ipsi Bethhoron inferiori.
14. And the border was drawn thence, and compassed the corner of the sea southward, from the hill that lieth before Bethhoron southward; and the goings out thereof were at Kirjathbaal, which is Kirjathjearim, a city of the children of Judah: this was the west quarter. 14. Et designatur terminus, circuitque ad latus maris ad meridiem, a monte qui est e regione Bethhoron ad meridiem: suntque exitus ejus ad Cirjath-Baal, (ipsa est Cirjath-Jearim,) urbem filiorum Jehuda, hoc est latus maris.
15. And the south quarter was from the end of Kirjathjearim, and the border went out on the west, and went out to the well of waters of Nephtoah: 15. Latus autem ad meridiem, ab extremo Cirjath-Jearim: itaque exit terminus ad mare, exit, inquam, ad fontem aquarum Nephthoah.
16. And the border came down to the end of the mountain that lieth before the valley of the son of Hinnom, and which is in the valley of the giants on the north, and descended to the valley of Hinnom, to the side of Jebusi on the south, and descended to Enrogel, 16. Et descendit terminus ad extremum montis, qui est e regione vallis Benhinnom, quique est in valle Rephaim ad aquilonem, descenditque ad vallem Hinnom ad latus Jebusi, ad meridiem, et illinc descendit ad Enrogel.
17. And was drawn from the north, and went forth to Enshemesh, and went forth toward Geliloth, which is over against the going up of Adummim, and descended to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben, 17. Et circuit ab aquilone, et exit ad En-semes, atque egreditur ad Geliloth, quae est e regione contra ascensum Adummim: et descendit Eben Bohan filii Ruben.
18. And passed along toward the side over against Arabah northward, and went down unto Arabah: 18. Illinc pertransit ad latus quod est e regione planitiei ad aquilonem, et descendit in Arabah.
19. And the border passed along to the side of Bethhoglah northward: and the outgoings of the border were at the north bay of the salt sea at the south end of Jordan: this was the south coast. 19. Inde pertransit terminus ad latus Beth-hogla ad aquilonem: suntque exitus termini ad limitem maris salis ad aquilonem, ad extremum Jordanis ad meridiem: iste est terminus austri.
20. And Jordan was the border of it on the east side. This was the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, by the coasts thereof round about, according to their families. 20. Et Jordanes terminat eum ad latus orientis. Ista est haereditas filiorum Benjamin per terminos suos in circuitu per familias suas.
21. Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, and Bethhoglah, and the valley of Keziz, 21. Fueruntque urbes istae tribus filiorum Benjamin per familias suas Jericho, et Beth-hoglah, et vallis Cesis,
22. And Betharabah, and Zemaraim, and Bethel, 22. Et Beth-araba, et Semaraim, et Beth-el,
23. And Avim, and Parah, and Ophrah, 23. Et Avim, et Parah, et Ophrah,
24. And Chepharhaammonai, and Ophni, and Gaba; twelve cities with their villages: 24. Et villa Haamonai, et Ophni, et Gaba: civitates duodecim, et villae carum.
25. Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth, 25. Gibon, et Ramah, et Beeroth,
26. And Mizpeh, and Chephirah, and Mozah, 26. Et Mispeh, et Chephirah, et Mosah,
27. And Rekem, and Irpeel, and Taralah, 27. Et Recem, et Irpeel, et Tharalah,
28. And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is Jerusalem, Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families. 28. Et Sela, Eleph, et Jebusi (ipsa est Jerusalem,) Gibath, Cirjath: civitates quatuordecim, et villae earum. Ista est haereditas filiorum Benjamin per familias suas.

In the lot of Benjamin nothing occurs particularly deserving of notice, unless that a small tribe takes precedence of the others. I admit, indeed, that its limits were narrowed in proportion to the fewness of its numbers, because it obtained only twenty-six cities; but still an honor was bestowed upon it in the mere circumstance of its receiving its inheritance before more distinguished tribes. We may add, that in this way they were conjoined and made neighbors to the other f159 children of Joseph, with whom their relationship was more immediate. For they were placed in the middle between the children of Ephraim and Manasseh on the one side, and those of Judah on the other. They had also the distinguished honor of including Jerusalem in their inheritance, though they afterwards granted it by a kind of precarious tenure to the children of Judah for a royal residence. f160
It is strange, however, that having obtained such a quiet locality, they did not live on peaceful and friendly terms with their neighbors. But we possess the prophecy of Jacob,
"Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil." (<014927>Genesis 49:27)
They must, therefore, have been by nature of a covetous and turbulent disposition, or from some necessity not now known to us, they must have been impelled to live upon plunder. In regard to the city of Luz, the other name is added, ("the same is Bethel,") because then only did the name given by Jacob come into common use. (<012819>Genesis 28:19) It was at no great distance from Beth-Aven, whose name, as it was opprobrious and infamous, was transferred to Bethel itself, after it was corrupted and polluted by impious superstitions. f161 It is probable that Ciriath-Baal was called Ciriath-Jeharim, to take away the name of the idol, which would have been a stain on its true piety. For it certainly would have been base and shameful that the lips of the people should have been polluted by the name of a protector who was an enemy to the true God.
Joshua 19:1-9
1. And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah. 1. Egressa est autem sors secunda ipsi Simeon, tribui filiorum Simeon per familias suas: et fuit haereditas eorum in medio haereditatis filiorum Jehuda.
2. And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, or Sheba, and Moladah, 2. Fuitque eis in haereditate eorum Beer-seba, et Seba, et Moladah,
3. And Hazarshual, and Balah, and Azem, 3. Et Hasar-sual, et Balah, et Asen,
4. And Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah, 4. Et Eltholad, et Bethul, et Hormah,
5. And Ziklag, and Bethmarcaboth, and Hazarsusah, 5. Et Siclag, et Beth-Marcaboth, et Hasarsusa,
6. And Bethlebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages: 6. Et Beth-Lebaoth, et Saruhen: urbes tredecim, et villae earum.
7. Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages: 7. Aim, Rimmon, et Ether, et Asan: urbes quatuor, et villae earum.
8. And all the villages that were round about these cities to Baalathbeer, Ramath of the south. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families. 8. Et omnes villae quae erant per circuitus urbium istarum usque ad Baalath-beer, Ramath Australem. Ista est haereditas tribus filiorum Simeon per familias suas.
9. Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them. 9. De portione filiorum Jehuda facta fuit haereditas filiorum Simeon: erat enim portio filiorum Jehuda major ipsis; itaque haereditatem acceperunt filii Simeon in medio haereditatis eorum.

Next followed the lot of the tribe of Simeon, not as a mark of honor, but rather as a mark of disgrace. Jacob had declared with regard to Simeon and Levi, "I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel." (<014907>Genesis 49:7) The punishment of Levi, indeed, was not only mitigated, but converted into an excellent dignity, inasmuch as his posterity were placed on a kind of watch-towers to keep the people in the paths of piety. In regard to Simeon, the dispersion of which Jacob prophesied, manifestly took place when certain cities within the territory of Judah were assigned to his posterity for their inheritance. For although they were not sent off to great distances, yet they dwelt dispersed, and as strangers in a land properly belonging to another. Therefore, on account of the slaughter which they had perpetrated with no less perfidy than cruelty, they were placed separately in different abodes. In this way the guilt of the father was visited upon his children, and the Lord ratified in fact that sentence which he had dictated to his servant. The truth of the lot also was clearly proven.
In the circumstance of a certain portion being withdrawn from the family of Judah, we again perceive that though the dividers had carefully endeavored to observe equity, they had fallen into error, which they were not ashamed to correct as soon as it was discovered. And though they were guided by the Spirit, there is nothing strange in their having been partially mistaken, because God sometimes leaves his servants destitute of the spirit of judgment, and suffers them to act like men on different occasions, that they may not plume themselves too much on their clear-sightedness. We may add that the people were punished for their carelessness and confident haste, because they ought at the outset to have ascertained more accurately how much land could be properly assigned to each. This they neglected to do. Through their unskillful procedure, the children of Judah had received a disproportion accumulation of territory, and equity required that they should relinquish a part. It would also have been better for themselves to have their limits fixed with certainty at once than to be subjected to a galling spoliation afterwards. Add that each tribe had indulged the vain hope that its members would dwell far and wide, as if the land had been of unlimited extent.
9. Out of the portion of the children of Judah, etc The praise of moderation is due to the tribe of Judah for not contending that the abstraction of any part of the inheritance already assigned to them was unjust. They might easily have obtruded the name of God, and asserted that it was only by his authority they had obtained that settlement. But as it is decided by the common consent of all the tribes that more has been given to them than they can possess without loss and injury to the others, they immediately desist from all pretext for disputing the matter. And it is certain that if they had alleged the authority of God, it would have been falsely and wickedly, inasmuch as though their lot had been determined by him in regard to its situation, an error had taken place with regard to its extent, their limits having been fixed by human judgment wider than they ought. Therefore, acknowledging that it would have been wrong to give them what would occasion loss to others, they willingly resign it, and give a welcome reception to their brethren, who must otherwise have remained without inheritance, nay, submit to go shares with them in that which they supposed they had acquired beyond controversy.
Joshua 19:10-31
10. And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their families: and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid: 10. Ascendit autem sors tertia filiis Zabulon per familias suas: et fuit terminus haereditatis eorum usque ad Sarid.
11. And their border went up toward the sea, and Maralah, and reached to Dabbasheth, and reached to the river that is before Jokneam; 11. Ascenditque terminus eorum ad mare: et Maralah, et pertingit ad Dabbaseth: pervenitque ad flumen quod est e regione Jocneam.
12. And turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrising unto the border of Chislothtabor, and then goeth out to Daberath, and goeth up to Japhia, 12. Revertiturque a Sarid ad orientem, id est, ad ortum solis, ad terminum Chisloth-Thabor, et illinc egreditur ad Dobrath, et ascendit in Japhia.
13. And from thence passes on along on the east to Gittahhepher, to Ittahkazin, and goeth out to Remmonmethoar to Neah; 13. Inde praeterea transit ad orientem, ad ortum, ad Githah-Hepher, et ad Ihtah-casin: et illinc exit in Rimmon, et gyrat ad Neah:
14. And the border compasseth it on the north side to Hannathon: and the outgoings thereof are in the valley of Jiphthahel: 14. Gyrat item idem terminus ab aquilone ad Hannathon: suntque egressus ejus ad vallem Iphthael.
15. And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages. 15. Et Catthath, et Nahalal, et Simron, et Idalah, et Bethlehem: urbes duodecim, et villae earum.
16. This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages. 16. Haec est haereditas filiorum Zabulon per familias suas: urbes istae, et villae earum.
17. And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families. 17. Ipsi Issachar egressa est sors quarta, filiis inquam, Issachar per familias suas.
18. And their border was toward Jezreel, and Chesulloth, and Shunem, 18. Et fuit terminus eorum Jezrael, et Chesuloth, et Sunem,
19. And Hapharaim, and Shion, and Anaharath, 19. Et Hapharaim, et Sion, et Anaharath,
20. And Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez, 20. Et Rabbith, et Cicion, et Abeth,
21. And Remeth, and Engannim, and Enhaddah, and Bethpazzez; 21. Et Remeth, et Engannin, et Enhaddah, et Beth-passes.
22. And the coast reacheth to Tabor, and Shahazimah, and Bethshemesh; and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan: sixteen cities with their villages. 22. Et pervenit terminus in Thabor, et Sahasima, et Beth-semes: eruntque exitus termini eorum ad Jordanem: urbes sedecim, et villae earum.
23. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities and their villages. 23. Haec est haereditas tribus filiorum Issachar per familias suas: urbes et villae earum.
24. And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families. 24. Egressa est autem sors quinta tribui filiorum Aser per familias suas.
25. And their border was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph, 25. Fuitque terminus eorum Helcath, et Hali, et Bethen, et Achsaph,
26. And Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal; and reacheth to Carmel westward, and to Shihorlibnath; 26. Et Alamelech, et Amad, et Misal, et pervenit in Carmel ad mare, et in Sihor Libnath.
27. And turns toward the sunrising to Bethdagon, and reacheth to Zebulun, and to the valley of Jiphthahel toward the north side of Bethemek, and Neiel, and goeth out to Cabul on the left hand, 27. Et revertitur ad ortum solis in Beth-dagon, et pervenit in Zabulon, et in vallem Iphtahel ad aquilonem, et in Beth-emec, et Neel: et exit ad Chabul a sinistra.
28. And Hebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon; 28. Et Ebron, et Rehob, et Hamon, et Canah, usque ad Sidon magnam:
29. And then the coast turns to Ramah, and to the strong city Tyre; and the coast turns to Hosah; and the outgoings thereof are at the sea from the coast to Achzib: 29. Revertiturque terminus in Rama, usque ad urbem munitam petrae: inde revertitur terminus in Hosah: suntque exitus ejus ad mare a funiculo Achzib,
30. Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty and two cities with their villages. 30. Et Ummah, et Aphec, et Rehob: urbes viginti duae, et villae earum.
31. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages. 31. Haec est haereditas tribus filiorum Aser per familias suas: urbes istae, et villae earum.

10. And the third lot came up, etc In the lot of Zebulun there is a clear fulfillment of the prophecy of Jacob, which had foretold that they would dwell on the sea-coast. An old man, an exile who could not set a foot on his own land, f162 assigned a maritime district to the posterity of his son Zebulun. What could be more extravagant? But now, when the lot assigns them a maritime region, no clearer confirmation of his decision could be desired. It was just as if God were twice thundering from heaven. The tribe of Zebulun, therefore, do not occupy the shore of their own accord or by human suffrage, but a divine arrangement fixes their habitation contiguous to the sea. Thus, although men erred, still the light was always seen shining brightly in the darkness. Jacob goes farther, and makes a clear distinction between Zebulun and Issachar. The former tribe will travel far and wide, carrying on trade and commerce; the latter remaining in his tents, will cultivate ease and a sedentary life. (<014913>Genesis 49:13-15) Hence it is probable that the sea-coast where Zebulun settled, was provided with harbors and well adapted for the various forms of commercial intercourse, f163 whereas the children of Issachar were contented with their own produce, and consumed the fruits which they had raised by their own labor and culture at home.
Those who are thought to be well acquainted with these countries, affirm that the land of the tribe of Asher was fertile in corn. f164 This is in complete accordance both with the letter and the spirit of Jacob's prophecy. (<014920>Genesis 49:20) From the fact that only a small number of cities are designated by name, we may infer that there were then many ruined cities which were not taken into account, and from the other fact that the people dwelt commodiously, we may also infer that they built many cities, with which it is plain from other passages that the land was adorned. And it is certainly apparent that only a summary of the division is briefly glanced at, and that thus many things were omitted which no religious feeling forbids us to investigate, provided we do not indulge in an excessive curiosity leading to no beneficial result. There cannot be a doubt that those to whom twenty or even only seventeen cities are attributed, had more extensive territories. Therefore, all we have here is a compendious description of the division as it was taken from the general and confused notes of the surveyors.
The next lot mentioned is that of Naphtali, and it seems to correspond with the disposition and manners of that tribe. For Jacob had testified, Naphtali is a hind let loose; he gave goodly words. For this reason they seem to have been contiguous on one side to the children of Judah, and to have been surrounded on other sides by the enclosures of their brethren. f165 Indeed, in its being said that the tribe of Dan took Lesen, there seems to be a tacit comparison, because the children of Naphtali did not employ arms to force their way into their inheritance, but kept themselves quietly in a subdued territory, and thus enjoyed safety and tranquillity under the faith, and, as it were, protection of Judah and the other tribes. The capture of Lesen by the children of Dan, in accordance with the divine grant which they had received of it, did not take place till after the death of Joshua. But the fact which is more fully detailed in the book of Judges is here mentioned in passing, because praise was due to them for their boldness and activity in thus embracing the right which God had bestowed upon them, and so trusting in him as to go down bravely and defeat the enemy.
Joshua 19:32-51
32. The sixth lot came out to the children of Naphtali, even for the children of Naphtali according to their families. 32. Filiis Nephtali exivit sors sexta, filiis inquam, Nephtali, per familias suas.
33. And their coast was from Heleph, from Allon to Zaanannim, and Adami, Nekeb, and Jabneel, unto Lakum; and the outgoings thereof were at Jordan: 33. Fuitque terminus eorum ab Heleph, et ab Elon in Saanannim, et Adami, Neceb, et Jabneel, usque ad Lacum: suntque exitus ejus ad Jordanem.
34. And then the coast turns westward to Aznothtabor, and goeth out from thence to Hukkok, and reacheth to Zebulun on the south side, and reacheth to Asher on the west side, and to Judah upon Jordan toward the sunrising. 34. Postea revertitur terminus ad mare ad Aznoth-thabor: et progreditur illinc in Huccoc, et pervenit ad Zabulon a meridie, et ad Aser pervenit ab occidente, et ad Jehuda in Jordanem, ad ortum solis.
35. And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and Chinnereth, 35. Et urbes munitae, Siddim, Ser, et Hammath, Raccath, et Chinnereth.
36. And Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor, 36. Et Adamah, et Ramah, et Hasor,
37. And Kedesh, and Edrei, and Enhazor, 37. Et Cedes, et Hedrei, et En-Hasor,
38. And Iron, and Migdalel, Horem, and Bethanath, and Bethshemesh; nineteen cities with their villages. 38. Et Iron, et Migdal-el, Horem, et Beth-anath, et Beth-semes: urbes novemdecim, et villae earum.
39. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali according to their families, the cities and their villages. 39. Haec est haereditas tribus filiorum Nephtali per familias suas, urbes istae et villae earum.
40. And the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families. 40. Tribui filiorum Dan per familias suas exivit sors septima.
41. And the coast of their inheritance was Zorah, and Eshtaol, and Irshemesh, 41. Fuitque terminus haereditatis eorum, Sorah, et Esthaol, et Itsemes,
42. And Shaalabbin, and Ajalon, and Jethlah, 42. Et Saalabbin, et Ajalon, et Ithlah,
43. And Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron, 43. Et Elon, et Thimnathah, et Ecron,
44. And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath, 44. Et Elthece, et Gibbethon, et Baalath,
45. And Jehud, and Beneberak, and Gathrimmon, 45. Et Jehud, et Bene-berak, et Gath-rimon,
46. And Mejarkon, and Rakkon, with the border before Japho. 46. Et Mehajarcon, et Raccon, cum termino contra Japho.
47. And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father. 47. Et exivit terminus filiorum Dan ab eis ascenderuntque filii Dan, et pugnaverunt cum Lesem, ceperuntque eam, ac percusserunt eam acie gladii, et haereditate acceperunt eam, habitaveruntque in ea: et vocaverunt Lesem Dan, secundum nomen Dan patris sui.
48. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages. 48. Haec est haereditas tribus filiorum Dan per familias suas, civitates istae, et villae earum.
49. When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them: 49. Quum autem finem fecissent partiendi terram ut possiderent singuli terminos suos, dederunt filii Israel haereditatem ipsi Josue filio Nun in medio sui.
50. According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein. 50. Secundum sermonem Jehovae dederunt ei urbem quam petivit, Thimnath-serah in monte Ephraim, et edificavit urbem, habitavitque in ea.
51. These are the inheritances, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. So they made an end of dividing the country. 51. Istae sunt haereditates quas tradiderunt possidendas Eleazar sacerdos, et Josue filius Nun, et principes patrum tribuum filiorum Israel per sortem in Silo coram Jehova ad ostiam tabernaculi conventionis, et finem fecerunt dividendi terram.

49. When they had made an end of dividing, etc We have here, at length, an account of the gratitude of the people towards Joshua. For although the partition of the land of Canaan, among the posterity of Abraham, behooved to be equitable, yet Joshua, by his excellent virtues, deserved some honorary reward. Nor could any complain that a single individual was enriched at their expense. For, first, in the delay there was a striking proof of the moderation of this holy servant of God. He does not give any heed to his own interest till the commonweal has been secured. How seldom do we find any who, after they have given one or two specimens of valor, do not forthwith make haste to the prey? Not so Joshua, who thinks not of himself till the land has been divided. In the reward itself also the same temperance and frugality are conspicuous. The city he asks to be given to himself and his family was a mere heap of stones, either because it had been demolished and converted into a heap of ruins, or because no city had yet been built upon it.
It is conjectured with probability, that with the view of making the grant as little invidious as possible, the city he requested was of no great value. If any one thinks it strange that he did not give his labor gratuitously, let him reflect that Joshua liberally obeyed the divine call, and had no mercenary feelings in undergoing so many labors, dangers, and troubles; but having spontaneously performed his duty, he behooved not to repudiate a memorial of the favor of God, unless he wished by perverse contempt to suppress his glory. For the grant voted to him was nothing else than a simple testimonial of the divine power, which had been manifested through his hand. Truly no ambition can be detected here, inasmuch as he desires nothing for himself, and does not rashly act from a feeling of covetousness, but seeks in the popular consent a confirmation of the honor which God had already bestowed upon him. To have been silent in such a case, would have been more indicative of heartlessness than of modesty. The statement in the concluding verse of the chapter, that Joshua and Eleazar made an end of dividing the land, points to the perpetuity of the boundaries, which had been fixed, and warns the children of Israel against moving in any way to unsettle an inviolable decree.
Joshua 20:1-9
1. The LORD also spoke unto Joshua, saying, 1. Loquutus est autem Jehova ad Josue, dicendo,
2. Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spoke unto you by the hand of Moses: 2. Alloquere filios Israel, his verbis, Date urbes refugii, de quibus loquutus sum ad vos per manum Mosis:
3. That the slayer that kills any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood. 3. Ut fugiat illuc homicida qui percusserit animam per errorem, absque scientia: eruntque vobis in refugium a propinquo sanguinis.
4. And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them. 4. Et fugiet ad unam ex civitatibus istis, stabitque ad ostium portae urbis, ac loquetur in auribus seniorum urbis ipsius verba sua, et recolligent eum in urbem ad se, dabuntque ei locum, ac habitabit apud eos.
5. And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbor unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime. 5. Quum autem persequutus fuerit eum propinquus sanguinis, non tradent homicidam in manum ejus: quia absque scientia percussit proximum suum, neque odio habuerat eum ab heri et nudiustertius.
6. And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled. 6. Et habitabit in ea civitate donec stet ante coetum ad judicium, aut donec moriatur sacerdos magnus qui erit in diebus illis: tunc enim revertetur homicida venietque ad urbem suam, et ad domum suam, ad urbem unde fugerat.
7. And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah. 7. Et addixerunt Cedes in Galil in monte Nephtali, et Sechem in monte Ephraim, et Cirjath-arba (ipsa est Hebron) in monte Jehudae.
8. And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh. 8. De trans Jordane autem Jericho, ad orientem dederunt Beser in deserto in planitie, de tribu Ruben: et Ramoth in Gilead, de tribu Gadi: et Golan in Basan, de tribu Manasse.
9. These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourns among them, that whosoever kills any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation. 9. Istae fuerunt urbes conventionis omnibus filiis Israel, et peregrino qui peregrinatur in medio eorum: ut fugeret illuc quicunque interfecisset aliquem per errorem, et non moreretur manu propinqui sanguinis, donec stetisset coram coetu.

1. The Lord also spoke unto Joshua, etc In the fact of its not having occurred to their own minds, to designate the cities of refuge, till they were again reminded of it, their sluggishness appears to be indirectly censured. The divine command to that effect had been given beyond the Jordan. When the reason for it remained always equally valid, why do they wait? Why do they not give full effect to that which they had rightly begun? We may add, how important it was that there should be places of refuge for the innocent, in order that the land might not be polluted with blood. For if that remedy had not been provided, the kindred of those who had been killed would have doubled the evil, by proceeding without discrimination to avenge their death. It certainly did not become the people to be idle in guarding the land from stain and taint. f166 Hence we perceive how tardy men are, not only to perform their duty, but to provide for their own safety, unless the Lord frequently urge them, and prick them forward by the stimulus of exhortation. But that they sinned only from thoughtlessness, is apparent from this, that they are forthwith ready to obey, neither procrastinating nor creating obstacles or delays to a necessary matter, by disputing the propriety of it.
The nature of the asylum afforded by the cities of refuge has been already explained. It gave no impunity to voluntary murder, but if any one, by mistake, had slain a man, with whom he was not at enmity, he found a safe refuge by fleeing to one of these cities destined for that purpose. Thus God assisted the unfortunate, and prevented their suffering the punishment of an atrocious deed, when they had not been guilty of it. Meanwhile respect was so far paid to the feelings of the brethren and kindred of the deceased, that their sorrow was not increased by the constant presence of the persons who had caused their bereavement. Lastly, the people were accustomed to detest murder, since homicide, even when not culpable, was followed by exile from country and home, till the death of the high priest. For that temporary exile clearly showed how precious human blood is in the sight of God. Thus the law was just, equitable, and useful, as well in a public as in a private point of view. f167 But it is to be briefly observed, that everything is not here mentioned in order. For one who had accidentally killed a man might have remained in safety, by sisting himself before the court to plead his cause, and obtaining an acquittal, after due and thorough investigation, as we explained more fully in the books of Moses, when treating of this matter.
7. And they appointed Kedesh, etc The Hebrew word Kedesh here used, signifies also to fit and consecrate. Accordingly, I interpret, that cities were selected according as common use required. f168 Hence it is inferred that matters were well arranged so as to make private yield to public interest. Moreover, we shall see in the next chapter, that Ciriath-Arbah, which was afterwards called Hebron, was transferred to the Levites, though it had formerly been the property of Caleb. Hence appeared the rare, nay, the incomparable moderation of this aged saint, who readily gave up to others both the city and suburbs, which he had justly claimed as his right, the moment the lot showed that this was pleasing to God. It was necessary to advert briefly to this change, because the Lord was pleased that asylums should be found only in the Levitical cities, that their innocence might be defended with greater fidelity and authority.
Joshua 21:1-19
1. Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites unto Eleazar the priest, and unto Joshua the son of Nun, and unto the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel; 1. Accesserunt autem principes patrum Levitarum ad Eleazar sacerdotem, et ad Josue filium Nun, et ad principes patrum tribuum filiorum Israel.
2. And they spoke unto them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, The LORD commanded by the hand of Moses to give us cities to dwell in, with the suburbs thereof for our cattle. 2. Loquutique sunt ad eos in Silo in terra Chanaan, dicendo, Jehova praecepit per manum Mosis ut daretis nobis urbes ad habitandum, et suburbana earum pro animalibus nostris.
3. And the children of Israel gave unto the Levites out of their inheritance, at the commandment of the LORD, these cities and their suburbs. 3. Dederunt ergo filii Israel Levitis de haereditate sua, secundum sermonem Jehovae, urbes istas et suburbana earum.
4. And the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites: and the children of Aaron the priest, which were of the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the tribe of Simeon, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities. 4. Egressa est autem sors per familias Caethitarum: fueruntque filiis Aaron sacerdotis de Levitis, de tribu Juda, et de tribu Simeon, et de tribu Benjamin per sortem, urbes tredecim.
5. And the rest of the children of Kohath had by lot out of the families of the tribe of Ephraim, and out of the tribe of Dan, and out of the half tribe of Manasseh, ten cities. 5. Filiis autem Ceath reliquis, de familiis tribus Ephraim, et de tribu Dan, et de dimidia tribu Manasse, per sortem, urbes decem.
6. And the children of Gershon had by lot out of the families of the tribe of Issachar, and out of the tribe of Asher, and out of the tribe of Naphtali, and out of the half tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, thirteen cities. 6. Filiis vero Gerson de familiis tribus Issachar, et de tribu Aser, et de tribu Nephthali, et de dimidia tribu Manasse in Basan per sortem, urbes tredecim.
7. The children of Merari by their families had out of the tribe of Reuben, and out of the tribe of Gad, and out of the tribe of Zebulun, twelve cities. 7. Filiis Merari per familias suas, de tribu Ruben, et de tribu Gad, et de tribu Zabulon, urbes duodecim.
8. And the children of Israel gave by lot unto the Levites these cities with their suburbs, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses. 8. Dederunt, inquam, filii Israel Levitis urbes has, et suburbana earum, sicut praeceperat Jehova per manum Mosis, per sortem.
9. And they gave out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, these cities which are here mentioned by name, 9. Dederunt ergo de tribu filiorum Juda, et de tribu filiorum Simeon, urbes istas quas vocavit nomine.
10. Which the children of Aaron, being of the families of the Kohathites, who were of the children of Levi, had: for theirs was the first lot. 10. Fueruntque filiis Aaron de familiis Ceath, de filiis Levi: illis enim fuit sors prima.
11. And they gave them the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron, in the hill country of Judah, with the suburbs thereof round about it. 11. Dederuntque eis Ciriath-arba patris Anac (ipsa est Hebron) in monte Juda, et suburbana ejus per circuitum ejus.
12. But the fields of the city, and the villages thereof, gave they to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for his possession. 12. Agrum vero ejus urbis et villas ejus dederunt Caleb filio Jephune in possessionem ejus.
13. Thus they gave to the children of Aaron the priest Hebron with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Libnah with her suburbs, 13. Filiis, inquam, Aaron sacerdotis dederunt urbem refugii homicidae, Hebron, et suburbana ejus, et Libna et suburbana ejus.
14. And Jattir with her suburbs, and Eshtemoa with her suburbs, 14. Et Jathir et suburbana ejus, et Esthemoa et suburbana ejus.
15. And Holon with her suburbs, and Debir with her suburbs, 15. Holon et suburbana ejus, et Debir et suburbana ejus.
16. And Ain with her suburbs, and Juttah with her suburbs, and Bethshemesh with her suburbs; nine cities out of those two tribes. 16. Et Ain et suburbana ejus, et Jutta et suburbana ejus: et Bethsemes et suburbana ejus: urbes novem de duabus tribubus istis.
17. And out of the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon with her suburbs, Geba with her suburbs, 17. De tribu vero Benjamin, Gibeon et suburbana ejus, et Geba et suburbana ejus.
18. Anathoth with her suburbs, and Almon with her suburbs; four cities. 18. Anathoth et suburbana ejus, Almon et suburbana ejus: urbes quatuor.
19. All the cities of the children of Aaron, the priests, were thirteen cities with their suburbs. 19. Omnes urbes filiorum Aaron sacerdotum, tredecim urbes et suburbana earum.

1. Then came near the heads, etc Here we have at a later period a narrative of what ought to have preceded. For no cities of refuge were appointed before they had been assigned to the Levites. To this may be added what was formerly said, that Joshua and Eleazar had made an end of dividing the land. Now, the land was not truly divided till the habitation of the Levites was fixed. We must understand, therefore, that when the lot was cast in the name of the ten tribes, a reservation was made of cities in the land of Canaan for the habitation of the Levites. Beyond the Jordan their portion had already been assigned to them. But as the Levites come forward and request a ratification of the divine grant, it is probable that they were neglected till they pleaded their own cause. For so it is apt to happen, every one being so attentive in looking after his own affairs that even brethren are forgotten. It was certainly disgraceful to the people that they required to be pulled by the ear, and put in mind of what the Lord had clearly ordered respecting the Levites. But had they not demanded a domicile for themselves, there was a risk of their being left to lie in the open air; although, at the same time, we are permitted to infer that the people erred more from carelessness and forgetfulness than from any intention to deceive, as they make no delay as soon as they are admonished; nay, they are praised for their obedience in that they did what was just and right according to the word of the Lord.
4. And the lot came out for the families, etc Here is first described the number of cities of which we shall have to speak by and bye. Secondly, it is distinctly said that the lot fell out to the children of Aaron in the tribe of Judah. This did not happen fortuitously, because God in his admirable counsel placed them in that locality where he had determined to choose a temple for himself. Thirdly, the narrative proceeds to give the exact names of the cities, of which the first mentioned is Hebron, of which Caleb, with great equanimity, allowed himself to be deprived. Should any one object that the first city of all that ought to have been given them was Jerusalem, where they were to have their future station, it is easy to answer, that moderate sized cities were delivered to them as their condition required. Moreover, Jerusalem was not then subjugated, as it continued under the power of the Jebusites. In short, it would have been absurd to assign a royal seat to priests. And their religion and faith was the better proved by this, that they migrated of their own accord from their native soil to devote their attention to sacred things. For no priest performed the office without becoming a stranger. Their weakness, however, was so far indulged by giving them a grant of neighboring cities, that they might not have the fatigue of a long journey in going to perform their function. Moreover, the giving of thirteen cities for a habitation to one family, and that not very numerous, confirms what I have elsewhere said, that the other tribes possessed very many cities, f169 of which no mention is made; in a short time this will be more certainly confirmed.
Joshua 21:20-45
20. And the families of the children of Kohath, the Levites which remained of the children of Kohath, even they had the cities of their lot out of the tribe of Ephraim. 20. Familiis vero filiarum Cahath Levitarum, qui residui erant de filiis Cahath (fuerunt autem urbes sortis eorum de tribu Ephraim.)
21. For they gave them Shechem with her suburbs in mount Ephraim, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Gezer with her suburbs, 21. Dederunt, inquam, illis urbem refugii homicidae Sechem, et suburbana ejus in monte Ephraim: et Geser et suburbana ejus.
22. And Kibzaim with her suburbs, and Bethhoron with her suburbs; four cities. 22. Et Cibsaim et suburbana ejus: et Beth-horon et suburbana ejus: urbes quatuor.
23. And out of the tribe of Dan, Eltekeh with her suburbs, Gibbethon with her suburbs, 23. De tribu vero Dan, Elthece et suburbana ejus: et Gibbethon et suburbana ejus.
24. Aijalon with her suburbs, Gathrimmon with her suburbs; four cities. 24. Et Ajalon et suburbana ejus, et Gath-rimmon et suburbana ejus: urbes quatuor.
25. And out of the half tribe of Manasseh, Tanach with her suburbs, and Gathrimmon with her suburbs; two cities. 25. De dimidia vero tribu Manasse Thaanach, et suburbana ejus: Gathrimmon et suburbana ejus: urbes duae.
26. All the cities were ten with their suburbs for the families of the children of Kohath that remained. 26. Omnes urbes decem, et suburbana earum, familiis filiorum Cahath residuis.
27. And unto the children of Gershon, of the families of the Levites, out of the other half tribe of Manasseh they gave Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Beeshterah with her suburbs; two cities. 27. Porro filiis Gerson de familiis Levitarum, de dimidia tribu Manasse urbem refugii homicidae, Golan in Basan, et suburbana ejus, Beesthera et suburbana ejus: urbes duae.
28. And out of the tribe of Issachar, Kishon with her suburbs, Dabareh with her suburbs, 28. De tribu Issachar, Cision et suburbana ejus: Dabrath et suburbana ejus.
29. Jarmuth with her suburbs, Engannim with her suburbs; four cities. 29. Iarmuth et suburbana ejus: Engannim et suburbana ejus: urbes quatuor.
30. And out of the tribe of Asher, Mishal with her suburbs, Abdon with her suburbs, 30. De tribu autem Aser, Misal et suburbana ejus: Abdon et suburbana ejus.
31. Helkath with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs; four cities. 31. Helcath et suburbana ejus, et Rehob et suburbana ejus: urbes quatuor.
32. And out of the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Hammothdor with her suburbs, and Kartan with her suburbs; three cities. 32. De tribu vero Nephthaliurbem refugii homicidae, Cedes in Galil et suburbana ejus: et Hamoth-dor et suburbana ejus: et Carthan et suburbana ejus: urbes tres.
33. All the cities of the Gershonites according to their families were thirteen cities with their suburbs. 33. Omnes urbes Gersonitarum per familias suas, tredecim urbes, et suburbana earum.
34. And unto the families of the children of Merari, the rest of the Levites, out of the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam with her suburbs, and Kartah with her suburbs, 34. Familiis autem filiorum Merari Levitarum residuorum, de tribu Zabulon: Jocneam et suburbana ejus: Cartha et suburbana ejus.
35. Dimnah with her suburbs, Nahalal with her suburbs; four cities. 35. Dimnah et suburbana ejus, Nahalal et suburbana ejus: urbes quatuor.
36. And out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer with her suburbs, and Jahazah with her suburbs, 36. De tribu vero Ruben, Beser et suburbana ejus: et Jehasa et suburbana ejus.
37. Kedemoth with her suburbs, and Mephaath with her suburbs; four cities. 37. Cedemoth et suburbana ejus: Mephaath et suburbana ejus: urbes quatuor.
38. And out of the tribe of Gad, Ramoth in Gilead with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Mahanaim with her suburbs, 38. Et de tribu Gad, urbem refugii homicidae, Ramoth in Gileath et suburbana ejus: et Mahanaim et suburbana ejus.
39. Heshbon with her suburbs, Jazer with her suburbs; four cities in all. 39. Hesbon et suburbana ejus: Jaazer et suburbana ejus: urbes quatuor.
40. So all the cities for the children of Merari by their families, which were remaining of the families of the Levites, were by their lot twelve cities. 40. Omnes urbes filiorum Merari per familias suas qui residui erant de familiis Levitarum, ut fuit sors eorum, urbes duodecim.
41. All the cities of the Levites within the possession of the children of Israel were forty and eight cities with their suburbs. 41. Omnes urbes Levitarum, in medio possessionis filiorum Israel, urbes quadraginta octo et suburbana earum.
42. These cities were every one with their suburbs round about them: thus were all these cities. 42. Fuerunt urbes istae singulae, et suburbana earum per circuitum ipsarum: sic omnibus urbibus istis.
43. And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he swear to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. 43. Dedit itaque Jehova Israeli universam terram de qua juraverat se daturum eam patribus eorum: et possederunt eam, habitaveruntque in ea.
44. And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he swear unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. 44. Requiem quoque dederit eis Jehova in circuitu prosus ut juraverat Jehova patribus eorum: neque fuit quisquam qui resisteret illis ex omnibus inimicis eorum: omnes inimicos eorum tradidit Jehova in manum eorum.
45. There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass. 45. Non cecidit ullum verbum ex omni bono quod loquutus fuerat Jehova ad domum Israel, omnia evenerunt.

20. And the families of the children of Kohath, etc Why it was necessary that the Levites should be dispersed among the different tribes, the reader may see in my Commentaries on the Books of Moses. This dispersion had, indeed, been imposed on their progenitor as a punishment for the cruelty and perfidy of which he had been guilty toward the children of Shechem, but the disgrace of it had been converted into the highest honor by their appointment as a kind of guardians in every district to retain the people in the pure worship of God. It is true, they were everywhere strangers; but still it was with the very high dignity of acting as stewards for God, and preventing their countrymen from revolting from piety. This is the reason for stating so carefully how many cities they obtained from each tribe; they were everywhere to keep watch, and preserve the purity of sacred rites unimpaired.
41. All the cities of the Levites, etc This passage more especially shows what I have already more than once adverted to, that the boundaries of the other tribes were not so confined as not to comprehend a far larger number of cities than is actually mentioned. It is perfectly well known that Levi was the least numerous of all the tribes. With what equity, then, could it have been allowed to expand itself over four times the space allowed to the tribe of Zebulun, which, though more populous, is mentioned as only possessing twelve cities. Only sixteen are enumerated as belonging to the tribe of Issachar, nineteen to the tribe of Naphtali, and twenty-two to the tribe of Asher. It would surely have been an unequal division to give the greater number of cities for habitation to the smaller population. Hence we infer, that not only the villages which are here set down as accessories of the cities were fit for habitation, but that other cities also, of which no mention is made, were included. In short, the extent of the lot of Levi makes it perfectly obvious how large and ample the territories of the other tribes must have been.
43. And the Lord gave unto Israel, etc Should any one raise a question as to this rest, the answer is easy. The nations of Canaan were so completely overcome with fear, that they thought they could not better consult their interest than by servility flattering the Israelites, and purchasing peace from them on any terms. f170 Plainly, therefore, the country was subdued and rendered peaceful for habitation, since no one gave any annoyance, or dared to entertain any hostile intentions, since there were no threats, no snares, no violence, no conspiracies.
A second point, however, raises some doubt, f171 namely, how the children of Israel can be said to have been settled in the possession of the land promised to them, and to have become masters of it, in such a sense that in regard to the enjoyment of it, not one syllable of the promises of God had failed. For we have already seen that many of the enemy were intermingled with them. The divine intention was, that not one of the enemy should be permitted to remain; on the other hand, the Israelites do not drive out many, but admit them as neighbors, as if the inheritance had been common to them; they even make pactions with them. How then can these two things be reconciled, that God, as he had promised, gave possession of the land to the people, and yet they were excluded from some portion by the power or obstinate resistance of the enemy?
In order to remove this appearance of contradiction, it is necessary to distinguish between the certain, clear, and steadfast faithfulness of God in keeping his promises, and between the effeminacy and sluggishness of the people, in consequence of which the benefit of the divine goodness in a manner slipped through their hands. Whatever war the people undertook, in whatever direction they moved their standards, victory was prepared; nor was there any other delay or obstacle to their exterminating all their enemies than their own voluntary torpor. Wherefore, although they did not rout them all so as to make their possession clear, yet the truth of God came visibly forth, and was realized, inasmuch as they might have obtained what was remaining without any difficulty, had they been pleased to avail themselves of the victories offered to them. The whole comes to this, that it was owing entirely to their own cowardice that they did not enjoy the divine goodness in all its fullness and integrity. This will be still clearer from the following chapter.
Joshua 22:1-9
1. Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, 1. Tunc accersivit Josue Rubenitas et Gaditas ac dimidiam tribum Manasse,
2. And said unto them, You have kept all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you: 2. Dixitque ad eos, Vos custodistis omnia quae praecepit vobis Moses servus Jehovae, et obedistis voci meae in cunctis quae praecepi vobis.
3. You have not left your brethren these many days unto this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of the LORD your God. 3. Non deseruistis fratres vestros jam diebus multis usque ad diem hanc, sed custodistis custodiam praecepti Jehovae Dei vestri.
4. And now the LORD your God has given rest unto your brethren, as he promised them: therefore now return you, and get you unto your tents, and unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side Jordan. 4. Nunc autem requiem dedit Jehova Deus vester fratribus vestris, quemadmodum dixerat eis: nunc igitur revertimini, et proficiscimini ad tabernacula vestra, ad terram possessionis vestrae, quam dedit vobis Moses servus Jehovae trans Jordanem.
5. But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. 5. Tantum observate diligenter ut faciatis praeceptum et legem quam praecepit vobis Moses servus Jehovae, ut diligatis Jehovam Deum vestrum, et ambuletis in omnibus viis ejus, servetisque praecepta ejus, et adhaereatis ei, atque serviatis ei toto corde vestro, et tota anima vestra.
6. So Joshua blessed them, and sent them away: and they went unto their tents. 6. Benedixitque eis Josue, ac dimisit eos, abieruntque in tabernacula sua.
7. Now to the one half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given possession in Bashan: but unto the other half thereof gave Joshua among their brethren on this side Jordan westward. And when Joshua sent them away also unto their tents, then he blessed them, 7. Dimidiae autem tribui Manasse dederat Moses in Basan: alteri autem ejus parti dedit Josue cum fratribus suis trans Jordanem ad occidentem. Et etiam quum dimitteret eos Josue in tabernacula sua, et benedixisset eis.
8. And he spoke unto them, saying, Return with much riches unto your tents, and with very much cattle, with silver, and with gold, and with brass, and with iron, and with very much raiment: divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren. 8. Tunc dixit ad eos, dicendo. Cum divitiis multis revertimini ad tabernacula vestra, et cum aquisitione multa valde, cum argento, et auro, et aere, et ferro, et vestibus multis valde: dividite spolia inimicorum vestrorum cum fratribus vestris.
9. And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh returned, and departed from the children of Israel out of Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go unto the country of Gilead, to the land of their possession, whereof they were possessed, according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses. 9. Reversi sunt itaque, et abierunt filii Ruben, et filii Gad, et dimidia tribus Manasse a filiis Israel de Silo quae est in terra Channan, ut irent ad terram Gilead, ad terram possessionis suae, in qua possessionem acceperunt secundum sermonem Jehovae per manum Mosis.

1. Then Joshua called the Reubenites, etc Here is related the discharge of the two tribes and half-tribe, who had followed the rest of the people, not that they might acquire anything for themselves, but that, as they had already obtained dwellings and lands without lot, they might carry on war in common with their brethren, until they also should have a quiet inheritance. Now, as they had been faithful companions and helpers to their brethren, Joshua declares that they were entitled to their discharge, and thus sends them back to their homes released and free. It is asked, however, how he can consider them to have performed their due measure of military service, while the enemy were still in possession of part of the land, of which the sole possession was to be the proper termination of the war? f172 But if we bear in mind what I lately said, the knot will be loosed. Had the Israelites followed the invitation of God, and seconded his agency, nay, when he was stretching out his hand to them, had they not basely drawn back, f173 the remaining part of the war would have been finished with no danger and little trouble. From their own sloth, therefore, they refused what God was ready to bestow. And thus it happened that the agreement by which the two tribes and half-tribe had bound themselves, ceased to be binding. For the only obligation they had undertaken was to accompany the ten tribes, and contend for their inheritance as strenuously as if their condition had been exactly the same. Now, when they have perseveringly performed their part as faithful allies, and the ten tribes contented with their present fortune, not only do not demand, but rather tacitly repudiate their assistance, a free return to their homes is justly allowed them. They, indeed, deserve praise for their patient endurance, in not allowing weariness of the service to make them request their discharge, but in waiting quietly till Joshua of his own accord sends for them. f174
5. But take diligent heed, etc He thus releases and frees them from temporary service, that he may bind them for ever to the authority of the one true God. He therefore permits them to return home, but on the condition that wherever they may be they are to be the soldiers of God; and he at the same time prescribes the mode, namely, the observance of his Law. But since such is the vanity and inconstancy of the human mind, that religion easily fades away from the heart, while carelessness and contempt creep in, he requires of them zeal and diligence in executing the Law. He calls it the Law of Moses, that they may not be carried to and fro by airy speculations, but remain fixed in the doctrine which they had learned from the faithful servant of God. He touches also on the end and sum of the Law, love to God, and adherence to him, because outward worship would otherwise be of little value. He confirms the same thing by other words, by which sincerity is denoted, namely, serving the Lord with their whole heart and soul.
8. Return with much riches, etc As it was formerly seen that the greater part of the two tribes were left in their territories beyond the Jordan, when the others passed over to carry on the war, it was fair that, as they had lived in case with their families, or been only occupied with domestic concerns, they should be contented with their own livelihood and the produce of their own labor. And they certainly could not, without dishonesty, have demanded that any part of the booty and spoil should be distributed among them, when they had taken no share in all the toil and the danger. Joshua, however, does not insist on the strictly legal view, but exhorts the soldiers to deal liberally with their countrymen, by sharing the prey with them. Here some one may unseasonably raise the question, Whether or not the booty was common? For Joshua does not decide absolutely that it is their duty to do as he enjoins; he admonishes them that, after they have been enriched by the divine blessing, it would betray a want of proper feeling not to be liberal and kind towards their brethren, especially as it was not their fault that they did not take part in the same expedition. Moreover, when he bids them divide, he does not demand an equal partition, such as that which is usual among partners and equals, but only to bestow something that may suffice to remove all cause of envy and hatred. f175
Joshua 22:10-20
10. And when they came unto the borders of Jordan, that are in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by Jordan, a great altar to see to. 10. Devenerunt autem ad limites Jordanis qui erant in terra Chanaan, et aedificaverunt filii Ruben, et filii Gad, et dimidia tribus Manasse, ibi altare juxta Jordanem, altare magnum visu.
11. And the children of Israel heard say, Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh have built an altar over against the land of Canaan, in the borders of Jordan, at the passage of the children of Israel. 11. Audierunt autem filii Israel dici, Ecce aedificaverunt filii Ruben, et filii Gad, et dimidia tribus Manasse, altare e regione terrae Chanaan, in confinibus Jordanis in transitu filiorum Israel.
12. And when the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered themselves together at Shiloh, to go up to war against them. 12. Audierunt, inquam, filii Israel, et convenerunt universus coetus filiorum Israel in Silo, ut ascenderent contra eos ad pugnam.
13. And the children of Israel sent unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, 13. Miserunt autem filii Israel ad filios Ruben, et ad filios Gad, et ad dimidiam tribum Manasse, ad terram Gilead, Phinees filium Eleazar sacerdotis.
14. And with him ten princes, of each chief house a prince throughout all the tribes of Israel; and each one was an head of the house of their fathers among the thousands of Israel. 14. Et decem principes cum eo, singulos principes per singulas domos avitas ex omnibus tribubus Israel: singuli namque principes familiarum patrum suorum erant in millibus Israel.
15. And they came unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, unto the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them, saying, 15. Venerunt ergo ad filios Ruben, et ad filios Gad, et ad dimidiam tribum Manasse, ad terram Gilead, loquutique sunt cum eis, dicendo,
16. Thus says the whole congregation of the LORD, What trespass is this that you have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following the LORD, in that you have built you an altar, that you might rebel this day against the LORD? 16. Sic dicunt universus coetus Jehovae, Quae est praevaricatio ista, qua praevaricati estis contra Deum Israel, ut avertamini hodie ne eatis post Jehovam aedificando vobis altare, ut rebelletis hodie contra Jehovam?
17. Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we are not cleansed until this day, although there was a plague in the congregation of the LORD, 17. An parum nobis est cum iniquitate Peor, a qua nec dum sumus mundati etiam hodie, et tamen fuit plaga in coetu Jehovae?
18. But that you must turn away this day from following the LORD? and it will be, seeing you rebel to day against the LORD, that to morrow he will be wroth with the whole congregation of Israel. 18. Vos autem avertimini hodie ne eatis post Jehovam, et erit, vos rebellabitis hodie contra Jehovam, et cras in totum coetum Israel irascetur.
19. Notwithstanding, if the land of your possession be unclean, then pass you over unto the land of the possession of the LORD, wherein the LORD'S tabernacle dwells, and take possession among us: but rebel not against the LORD, nor rebel against us, in building you an altar beside the altar of the LORD our God. 19. Et quidem si immunda est terra possessionis vestrae, transite ad terram possessionis Jehovae, in qua habitat tabenaculum Jehovae, et possessiones accipite in medio nostrum et contra Jehovam ne rebellitis: neque a nobis deficiatis, aedificendo vobis altare praeter altare Jehovae Dei nostri.
20. Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and that man perished not alone in his iniquity. 20. Nonne Achan filius Zerah praevaricatus est praevaricatione in anathemate, et contra omnem coetum Israel fuit ira? Et ille vir unus non obiit propter iniquitatem suam.

10. And when they came unto the borders, etc The history here is particularly deserving of notice, when the two tribes and half-tribe, intending to erect a memorial of common faith and fraternal concord, allowed themselves from inconsiderate zeal to adopt a method which was justly suspected by their brethren. The ten tribes, thinking that the worship of God was violated with impious audacity and temerity, were inflamed with holy wrath, and took up arms to use them against their own blood; nor were they appeased till they had received full satisfaction. The motive for erecting the altar was right in itself. For the object of the children of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, was to testify that though they were separated from their brethren by the intervening stream, they were, however, united with them in religion, and cherished a mutual agreement in the doctrine of the Law. Nothing was farther from their intention than to innovate in any respect in the worship of God. But they sinned not lightly in attempting a novelty, without paying any regard to the high priest, or consulting their brethren, and in a form which was very liable to be misconstrued.
We know how strictly the Law prohibited two altars, (<022024>Exodus 20:24) for the Lord wished to be worshipped in one place only. Therefore, when on the very first blush of the case, all were at once led to think that they were building a second altar, who would not have judged them guilty of sacrilege in framing a ritual of a degenerate description, at variance with the Law of God? Seeing, then, that the work might be deemed vicious, they ought, at least, in so great and so serious a matter, to have made their brethren sharers in their counsel; more especially were they in the wrong in neglecting to consult the high priest, from whose lips the divine will was to be ascertained. They were, therefore, deserving of blame, because, as if they had been alone in the world, they considered not what offence might arise from the novelty of the example. Wherefore, let us learn to attempt nothing rashly, even should it be free from blame, and let us always give due heed to the admonition of St. Paul, (<460612>1 Corinthians 6:12; <461023>1 Corinthians 10:23) that it is necessary to attend not only to what is lawful, but to what is expedient; more especially let us sedulously beware of disturbing pious minds f176 by the introduction of any kind of novelty.
11. And the children of Israel heard say, etc There is no doubt that they were inflamed with holy zeal, nor ought their vehemence to seem excessive in taking up arms to destroy their countrymen on account of a pile of stones. For they truly and wisely judged that the lawful sanctuary of God was polluted and his worship profaned, that sacred things were violated, pious concord destroyed, and a door opened for the license of superstitious practices, if in two places victims were offered to God, who had for these reasons so solemnly bound the whole people to a single altar. Not rashly, therefore, do the ten tribes, on hearing of a profane altar, detest its sacrilegious audacity.
Here, then, we have an illustrious display of piety, teaching us that if we see the pure worship of God corrupted, we must be strenuous, to the utmost of our ability, in vindicating it. The sword, indeed, has not been committed to the hands of all; but every one must, according to his call and office, study manfully and firmly to maintain the purity of religion against all corruption's. More especially deserving of the highest praise was the zeal of the half-tribe of Manasseh, who, setting aside all regard to the flesh, did not spare their own family. I admit, however, that this zeal, though pious, was not free from turbulent impetuosity, inasmuch as they hasten to declare war before they inquired concerning the mind of their brethren, and properly ascertained the state of the case. War, I admit, was declared only under conditions; for they send ambassadors to bring back word after they had carefully investigated the matter, and they move not a finger in the way of inflicting punishment till they are certified of the existence of the crime. Excuse, therefore, may be made for the fervor of their passion, while they prepare for battle in the event of any defection being discovered. f177
16. Thus says the whole congregation, etc Just as if it had been known that this second altar was opposed to the one only altar of God, they begin with upbraiding them, and that in a very harsh and severe manner. They thus assume it as confessed, that the two tribes had built the altar with a view of offering sacrifices upon it. In this they are mistaken, as it was destined for a different use and purpose. Moreover, had the idea which they had conceived been correct, all the expostulation which they employ would have been just; for it was a clear case of criminal revolt to make any change in the Law of God, who values obedience more than all sacrifices, (<091522>1 Samuel 15:22) and there would have been perfect ground for condemning them as apostates, in withdrawing from the one only altar.
17. Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us? etc They represent the crime as more heinous, from their perverse obstinacy in not ceasing ever and anon to provoke the Lord by their abominations. They bring forward one signal example of recent occurrence. While they were encircling the sanctuary of God from the four cardinal points, like good watchmen of God, and when they had received the form of due worship, and were habituated to it by constant exercise, they had allowed themselves, through the seductive allurements of harlots, to be polluted by foul superstitions, and had worshipped Baal-Peor. As the whole people were implicated in this crime, the ten ambassadors do not hesitate to admit, that they were partners in the guilt. They therefore ask, Is not the iniquity which we contracted in the matter of Baal-Peor sufficient? They add, that they were not yet purified from it, just as if they had said, that the remembrance of it was not yet entirely buried, or that the vengeance of God was not yet extinguished; and hence they infer, that the two tribes and the half tribe, while with impious contumacy they turn aside from God, and shake off his yoke, not only consult ill for themselves, but are calling down similar destruction on the whole people, because God will avenge the insult offered him to a wider extent. This they confirm by the example of Achan, who, though he was alone when he secretly stole of the accursed thing, did not alone undergo the punishment of his sacrilege, but also dragged others along with him, as it was seen that some fell in the line of battle, while all were shamefully put to flight, because pollution attached to the people.
They reason from the less to the greater. If the anger of God burnt against many for the clandestine misdeed of one man, much less would he allow the people to escape if they connived at manifest idolatry. A middle view, however, is inserted, that if the two tribes and half tribe built up an altar, and if their condition was worse from not dwelling in the land of Canaan, let them rather come and obtain a settlement also in the land of Canaan, but let them not provoke God by a wicked rivalship. f178 Hence we infer, that they were not urged by some turgid impetus, since, even at their own loss and expense, they are willing kindly to offer partnership to those who had demanded a settlement and domicile for themselves elsewhere.
Joshua 22:21-34
21. Then the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh answered, and said unto the heads of the thousands of Israel, 21. Responderunt autem filii Ruben, et filii Gad, et dimidia tribus Manasse, loquutique sunt cum principibus millium Israel.
22. The LORD God of gods, the LORD God of gods, he knoweth, and Israel he shall know; if it be in rebellion, or if in transgression against the LORD, (save us not this day,) 22. Deus deorum Jehova, Deus deorum Jehova ipse novit, et Israel cognoscet, si per rebellionem, et si per prevaricationem in Jehovam, ne serves nos die hac.
23. That we have built us an altar to turn from following the LORD, or if to offer thereon burnt offering or meat offering, or if to offer peace offerings thereon, let the LORD himself require it; 23. Si cogitavimus aedificare nobis altare, ut averteremur ne iremus post Jehovam, et si ad immolandum super illud holocausta et sacrificium, et si ad faciendum super illud sacrificia prosperitatum, Jehova ipse inquirat.
24. And if we have not rather done it for fear of this thing, saying, In time to come your children might speak unto our children, saying, What have you to do with the LORD God of Israel? 24. Et si non potius timore hujusce rei fecimus hoc dicendo: Cras dicent filii vestri filiis nostris dicendo: Quid vobis et Jehovae Deo Israel?
25. For the LORD has made Jordan a border between us and you, you children of Reuben and children of Gad; you have no part in the LORD: so shall your children make our children cease from fearing the LORD. 25. Nam terminum posuit Jehova inter nos et vos filii Ruben et filii Gad, Jordanem: non est vobis portio in Jehova: et cessare facient filii vestri filios nostros, ut non timeant Jehovam.
26. Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice: 26. Et diximus, Demus nunc operam ut aedificemus altare, non pro holocausto, nec pro sacrificio:
27. But that it may be a witness between us, and you, and our generations after us, that we might do the service of the LORD before him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices, and with our peace offerings; that your children may not say to our children in time to come, You have no part in the LORD. 27. Sed ut testis sit inter nos et vos, et inter generationes nostras post nos, ut serviamus servitutem Jehovae coram eo in holocaustis nostris, et in sacrificiis nostris, et prosperitatibus nostris: et ne dicant filii vestri cras filiis nostris, Non est vobis pars in Jehova.
28. Therefore said we, that it shall be, when they should so say to us or to our generations in time to come, that we may say again, Behold the pattern of the altar of the LORD, which our fathers made, not for burnt offerings, nor for sacrifices; but it is a witness between us and you. 28. Diximus itaque, Et erit, si dixerint nobis aut generationibus nostris cras, tum dicemus, Videte similitudinem altaris Jehovae quod fecerunt patres nostri, non pro holocausto, neque pro sacrificio, sed ut testis sit inter nos et vos.
29. God forbid that we should rebel against the LORD, and turn this day from following the LORD, to build an altar for burnt offerings, for meat offerings, or for sacrifices, beside the altar of the LORD our God that is before his tabernacle. 29. Absit a nobis ut rebellemus contra Jehovam, et avertamur hodie ne eamus post Jehovam, aedificando altare pro holocausto, pro oblatione, et pro sacrificio, ultra altare Jehovae Dei nostri quod est ante tabernaculum ejus.
30. And when Phinehas the priest, and the princes of the congregation and heads of the thousands of Israel which were with him, heard the words that the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the children of Manasseh spoke, it pleased them. 30. Porro quum audisset Phinees sacerdos, et principes coetus, capitaque millium Israel qui cum eo erant, verba quae loquuti fuerant filii Ruben, et filii Gad, et filii Mannasse, placuit in oculis eorum.
31. And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the children of Manasseh, This day we perceive that the LORD is among us, because you have not committed this trespass against the LORD: now you have delivered the children of Israel out of the hand of the LORD. 31. Dixitque Phinees filius Eleazar sacerdotis filiis Ruben, et filiis Gad, et filiis Manasse, Hodie novimus quod in medio nostri sit Jehova, quod non praevaricati sitis contra Jehovam praevaricationem istam: tunc liberastis filios Israel de manu Jehovae.
32. And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and the princes, returned from the children of Reuben, and from the children of Gad, out of the land of Gilead, unto the land of Canaan, to the children of Israel, and brought them word again. 32. Reversus est igitur Phinees filius Eleazar sacerdotis, et principes illi a filiis Ruben, et a filiis Gad, de terra Gilead ad terram Chanaan ad reliquos filios Israel, et retulerunt eis rem.
33. And the thing pleased the children of Israel; and the children of Israel blessed God, and did not intend to go up against them in battle, to destroy the land wherein the children of Reuben and Gad dwelt. 33. Placuitque res in oculis filiorum Israel, atque benedixerunt Deo filii Israel: neque decreverunt ascendere contra eos ad pugnam, ut disperderent terram in qua filii Ruben et filii Gad habitabant.
34. And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar Ed: for it shall be a witness between us that the LORD is God. 34. Vocaverunt autem filii Ruben et filii Gad altare Hed, dicendo: Quia testis erit inter nos quod Jehova est Deus.

21. Then the children of Reuben, etc The state of the case turns on the definition. For the children of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, explain that they had a different intention, and thus exculpate themselves from the charge, inasmuch as the nature of the proceeding was quite different from what the others supposed. In not making a disturbance, f179 nor picking a quarrel for the injustice done, to them they give an example of rare modesty, which is held forth for our imitation; so that if at any time anything we have rightly done happen to be unjustly and falsely blamed by those not acquainted with its nature, we may deem it sufficient to refute the censure only so far as may be necessary for clearing ourselves. Moreover, that the more credit may be given to them, and that they may the better attest their integrity, they, by a solemn protest, put far from them the wickedness of which they were suspected. For there is force and meaning in the reduplication, The Lord God of gods, the Lord God of gods, by which they with vehemence affirm, how faithfully they desire to persevere in the doctrine of the Law, and how greatly they abhor all contrary superstitions. But as their intention was not patent to men, and every one explained it variously, according to his own sense, they appeal to the judgment of God, and offer to submit to punishment if he decide that they had attempted anything wickedly. And to prove that they are not like hypocrites who, with abandoned wickedness, appeal to God a hundred times as judge even when they are convicted in their own minds, they not only bring forward conscience, but at the same time declare, that the whole people will be witness; as if they had said, that it will be made palpable by the fact itself, that they never had any intention of devising any new form of worship; and they rightly explain, how the altar would have been unlawful, namely, if they had built it for the purpose of offering sacrifice. For the Law did not condemn the mere raising of heaps of stones, but only enjoined that sacrifices should be offered in one place, for the purpose of retaining the people in one faith, lest religion should be rent asunder, lest license should be given to human presumption, and thus every man might turn aside to follow his own fictions. We thus see how an explanation of the nature of the deed removes the detestation which the ten tribes had conceived of it. f180
It is not strictly correct, though appropriate enough, for the rudeness of sense, to place our God above all gods. For it is impossible to compare him with others, seeing that no others actually exist. Hence, in order to avoid the apparent absurdity, some interpreters substitute angels for gods; this meaning holds in some cases, though not in all. It ought not, however, to seem harsh when he who is the one sole supreme being is called the God of gods, inasmuch as he has no equal, standing forth conspicuous above all other height, and so, by his glory, obscuring and annihilating all names of deity which are celebrated in the world. Hence this mode of speaking ought to be viewed with reference to the common sense of the vulgar.
26. Therefore we said, etc The gross impiety of which they had been accused was now well refuted; and yet they seem not to have been in every respect free from blame, because the Law forbids the erection of any kind of statues. It is easy, however, to excuse this by saying, that no kind of statues are condemned except those which are intended to represent God. To erect a heap of stones as a trophy, or in testimony of a miracle, or a memorial of some signal favor of God, the Law has nowhere prohibited. (<022004>Exodus 20:4; <032601>Leviticus 26:1; <050508>Deuteronomy 5:8) Otherwise, Joshua and many holy judges and kings after him, would have defiled themselves by profane innovation. But the only thing displeasing to God was to see the minds of men drawn hither and thither, so as to worship him in a gross and earthly manner. The children of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh do all that is required for their exculpation, when they declare that they would use the altar only as a bond of brotherly union; and add a sufficient reason, namely, the danger there was, lest, after a long course of time, the ten tribes might exclude the others as strangers, because they did not inhabit the same land. For as the country beyond the Jordan was not at first comprehended in the covenant, a difference of habitation might ultimately prove a cause of dissension. They therefore consult timelessly for their posterity, that they may be able by means of the altar as a kind of public document to defend their right, that they may mutually recognize each other, and unite in common in serving one God.
30. And when Phinehas the priest, etc Phinehas and the ambassadors rightly temper their zeal, when, instead of harshly insisting and urging the prejudice which they had conceived, they blandly and willingly admit the excuse. Many persons, if once offended and exasperated by any matter, cannot be appeased by any defense, and always find something maliciously and unjustly to carp at, rather than seem to yield to reason. The example here is worthy of observation. It teaches us that if at any time we conceive offence in regard to a matter not sufficiently known, we must beware of obstinacy, and be ready instantly to take an equitable view. Moreover, when the children of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh are found free from crime, Phinehas and the ambassadors ascribe it to the grace of God. For by the words, We know that Jehovah is in the midst of us, they intimate that God was propitious to them, and had taken care of their safety.
This is to be carefully observed; for we are able to infer from it that we never revolt from God, or fall off to impiety unless he abandon us, and give us up when thus abandoned to a reprobate mind. All idolatry, therefore, shows that God has previously been alienated, and is about to punish us by inflicting judicial blindness. Meanwhile, we must hold that we persevere in piety only in so far as God is present to sustain us by his hand, and confirm us in perseverance by the agency of his Spirit. Phinehas and the ambassadors speak as if they had been delivered by the children of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, because there was no longer any ground to fear the divine vengeance, when all suspicion of criminality had been removed. At last similar equity and humanity are displayed by the whole people, when accepting the defense of their brethren they gave thanks to God for having kept his people free from criminality.
Though they had been suddenly inflamed, they depart with calm minds. In like manner the two tribes and the half tribe carefully exert themselves to perform their duty by giving a name to the altar, which, by explaining its proper use, might draw off the people from all superstition.
Joshua 23:1-11
1. And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age. 1. Fuit autem post dies multos postquam requiem dedit Jehova Israeli ab omnibus inimicis eorum in circuitu, Josue senuit, et venit in dies:
2. And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them, I am old and stricken in age: 2. Tunc vocavit Josue omnem Israel, seniores ejus, et capita ejus, et judices ejus, et praefectos ejus, dixitque ad eos, Ego senui, et veni in dies:
3. And you have seen all that the LORD your God has done unto all these nations because of you; for the LORD your God is he that has fought for you. 3. Vosque vidistis omnia quae fecerit Jehova Deus vester omnibus gentibus istis in conspectuf181 vestro, quod Jehova Deus vester pugnaverit pro vobis.
4. Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even unto the great sea westward. 4. Videte, sorte distribui vobis gentes istas residuas in haereditatem per tribus vestras, a Jordane, atque omnes gentes quas disperdidi usque ad mare magnum ab occasu solis.
5. And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight; and you shall possess their land, as the LORD your God has promised unto you. 5. Jehova autem Deus vester ipse propulsabiteas a facie vestra, et expellet eas a conspectu vestro, et jure haereditario possidebitisf182 terram earum, quemadmodum loquutus est Jehova Deus vester vobis.
6. Be you therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that you turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left; 6. Robrate igitur vos valde, ut custodiatis, et faciatis quicquid scriptum est in libro Legis Mosis, ut non recedatis ab eo neque ad dextram, neque ad sinistram.
7. That you come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them: 7. Neque commisceamini gentibus istis quae remanent vobiscum et nomen deorum earum ne commemoretis, nec adjuretis, neque serviatis eis, neque incurvetis vos eis.
8. But cleave unto the LORD your God, as you have done unto this day. 8. Sed Jehovae Deo vestro adhaereatis, sicut fecistis usque ad diem hanc.
9. For the LORD has driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man has been able to stand before you unto this day. 9. Propterea expulit a facie vestra gentes magnas et fortes, nec stetit quisquam in conspectu vestro usque ad diem hanc.
10. One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fights for you, as he has promised you. 10. Vir unus ex vobis persequutus est mille, quia Jehova Deus vester est qui pugnat pro vobis sicut loquutus fuerat vobis.
11. Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that you love the LORD your God. 11. Custodite valde super animabus vestris ut diligatis Jehovam Deum vestrum.

Here we have a narrative of the solemn protestation which Joshua used towards the time of his death, that he might leave the pure worship of God surviving him. But although the peace and quiet which the Israelites obtained among the nations of Canaan is described as an excellent blessing from God, it is necessary to keep in mind what I formerly taught, that it was owing to their cowardice that they dwelt among their enemies, whom it would not have been difficult to rout and destroy. But thanks are justly rendered to God for his goodness in pardoning their ingratitude.
The pious solicitude of Joshua is here also set forth, for the imitation of all who are in authority. For as the father of a family will not be considered sufficiently provident if he thinks of his children only till the end of his own life, and does not extend his care farther, studying as much as in him lies to do them good even when he is dead; so good magistrates and rulers ought carefully to provide that the well arranged condition of affairs as they leave them, be confirmed and prolonged to a distant period. For this reason Peter writes, (2 Peter 1:15) f182a that he will endeavor after he has departed out of the world to keep the Church in remembrance of his admonitions, and able to derive benefit from them.
From its being said that he invited all Israel, and its being immediately after added that he invited their elders, and heads, and judges, and prefects, I understand the meaning to be that all were indeed permitted to come, but that the summons was addressed specially to the heads and prefects. And thus the last clause appears to me to be explanatory of the former. And, indeed, it is not at all credible that the whole people were invited; for no such meeting could possibly take place. The sense, therefore, in which the people were invited was simply this, that the elders, judges, and others were commanded to come, and might bring as many persons as were disposed to come along with them.
The speech of Joshua, as quoted, is double; but it appears to me that the historian first, as is often done, gives a brief summary of the whole speech, and then follows it out more in detail, introducing the particulars which he had omitted. f183 In the one which is first given, Joshua briefly animates the people, and exhorts them to sure confidence in the continued and unwearying grace of God. For, seeing they had experienced that God is true in all things, they could have no doubt for the future, that they might safely hope for the same success in vanquishing and destroying the enemy. The partition also by which he had distributed the remainder of the land, he set before them as an earnest or pledge of their undoubted fruition, because it was not at random but by the order of God he had marked out the seat, and fixed the boundaries of each tribe.
6. Be you therefore very courageous, etc He now shows them the mode of conquering, — not to indulge gross security, as too often happens, as a substitute for genuine confidence. He affirms that God will be propitious to them, and promises that whatever they attempt will turn out prosperously, provided they are steadfast in obeying the Law. However confidently hypocrites may contemn and deride God, they would wish, however, to have him astricted to them; nay, they often, with no small pomposity, boast of his promises. But true faith, while it reclines upon God, keeps those who possess it in his fear. In short, those who would find God must seek him sincerely, and if we desire to be regarded by him, we must beware of turning our backs upon him. The expression, Be you very courageous, as has elsewhere been said, denotes serious study, because in the great weakness of our nature no man will set about the thorough observance of the Law, if he does not exert himself above his strength. Attention ought also to be paid to the definition of true obedience which is here repeated from Moses, (<050532>Deuteronomy 5:32) and said to consist in not turning either to the right hand or the left.
7. That you come not among these nations, etc He distinctly admonishes them that it will be impossible rightly to discharge their duty if they be not carefully on their guard against all sources of corruption. This it was very necessary to enforce upon them. For they were surrounded on all sides by the snares of Satan, and we know how great their proneness to superstition was, or rather how headlong their eagerness for it. First, then, he warns them that intimate intercourse with the nations may involve them in fellowship in crime; for the term mingling used in this passage is equivalent to what is termed by St. Paul, being yoked. (<470614>2 Corinthians 6:14) In short, he first removes the incitements or allurements to idolatry, and then declares his detestation of idolatry itself. It is to be observed, however, that he does not expressly mention either bending of the knee, or sacrifices, or other rites, but designates all perverse modes of worship by the terms naming them and swearing by them. Whence we infer that God is defrauded of his honor when ever any particle, however small, of all the things which he claims for himself is transferred to idols. He accordingly concludes that they are to adhere to God alone; in other words, they are to be bound to him out and out.
9. For the Lord has driven out from before you, etc He intimates that so long as they do not themselves change, there will certainly be no change on the part of God. Therefore he asserts that, provided they conciliate the favor of God, they shall have an uninterrupted course of victory. At length he again exhorts them, as they value their life and safety, to be careful in maintaining love to God. From this source all true obedience springs; for if we do not cling to him with free and ardent affection, we shall study in vain to frame our lives in accordance with the external form of the Law.
Joshua 23:12-16
12. Else if you do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you: 12. Quia si avertendo aversi fueritis, et adhaeseritis residuis gentibus istis, residuis, inquam, istis quae sunt vobiscum: et affinitatem contraxeritis cum eis, et misceatis vos cum eis, et ipsae vobiscum:
13. Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which the LORD your God has given you. 13. Jam nunc scitote quod posthac Jehova Deus vester non expellet omnes gentes istas a facie vestra: sed potius erunt vobis in laqueum, et offendiculum, et flagellum in lateribus vestris, et in spinas in oculis vestris, donec pereatis e terra optima ista quam dedit vobis Jehova Deus vester.
14. And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing has failed thereof. 14. En autem ego ingredior hodie viam universae terrae: cognoscite ergo toto corde vestro, et tota anima vestra quod non cecidit verbum unum ex omnibus verbis optimis quae loquutus est Jehova Deus vester super vos: omnia evenerunt vobis, non cecidit ex eis verbum unum.
15. Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God has given you. 15. Sicut ergo evenit vobis omne verbum bonum quod loquutus est Jehova Deus vester ad vos, sic adducet Jehova super vos omne verbum malum, donec disperdat vos e terra optima ista, quam dedit vobis Jehova Deus vester.
16. When you have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from off the good land which he has given unto you. 16. Quum transgressi fueritis pactum Jehovae Dei vestri quod praecepit vobis, et abieritis, et servieritis diis alienis, incurvaveritisque vos eis, irascetur furor Jehovae contra vos, et peribitis cito e terra optima quam dedit vobis.

12. Else if you do in any wise go back, etc According to the usual method observed in the Law, he adds threatening, in order that if they are not sufficiently allured by the divine goodness, they may be aroused by fear to the performance of their duty. It is, indeed, disgraceful for men, when God graciously condescends to invite them, not at once to run forward and meet the invitation by prompt and alert obedience; but such is the lethargy of the flesh, that it always requires to be stimulated by threats. Joshua, therefore, adopts the usual method of the Law, while he reminds the Israelites of the terrors of the Lord, provided they do not of their own accord embrace his offered favor. Moreover, it is not once only that, he sets before them the denunciation that the nations of Canaan will be scourges to their sides and thorns in their eyes if they become familiar with them. First, inasmuch as God had consecrated the land to himself, he wished it to be purged of all impurities; and secondly, inasmuch as he saw how prone the people were to be corrupted by bad example, he wished also to provide a remedy for this evil. Then, while on the one hand the people counted it as nothing that the land should be contaminated by impious superstitions, and that idols should be worshipped in it instead of the true God, and on the other hand, eagerly contracted contagion from their vices, it was only a just punishment of this gross contempt that they should experience molestation and hostility from those whom they had improperly f184 spared.
That the threatening which both Moses and Joshua thus denounced were openly accomplished, is but too plain from the Book of Judges. And yet this promulgation of the divine vengeance was not altogether useless; for after Joshua was dead, they became courageous enough to engage in war. Their ardor, however, proved evanescent, f185 and they shortly after were initiated in nefarious Gentile rites. Hence, we perceive in the human mind an intemperate longing for perverse worship, a longing which no curbs are able to restrain.
It is now proper to consider how far this doctrine is applicable to us. It is true a special command was given to the ancient people to destroy the nations of Canaan, and keep aloof from all profane defilement's. To us, in the present day, no certain region marks out our precise boundaries; nor are we armed with the sword to slay all the ungodly; we have only to beware of allowing ourselves to become involved in fellowship with wickedness, by not keeping at a sufficient distance from it. For it is almost impossible, if we mingle with it, spontaneously to avoid receiving some spot or blemish. But this point having been elsewhere expounded, I now merely advert to it in passing.
14. And, behold, this day I am going, etc As it has been appointed unto all men once to die, (<580927>Hebrews 9:27) Joshua says that in regard to himself the common end of all is at hand, inasmuch as he, too, was born mortal. These expressions are evidently adapted to console the people, and prevent them from feeling immoderate grief at the bereavement when he should be taken from them. For there cannot be a doubt that his loss filled the people with the deepest regret, when they saw themselves reduced, as it were, to a mutilated trunk, by being deprived of their head. He therefore admonishes them, that since the race of life is ended by having reached the goal, they were not to ask that his condition should be different from that of the whole human race. Meanwhile he does not intimate that the form of dying is the same in all, because the believers of heavenly doctrine are distinguished from unbelievers by an incorruptible seed, not allowing them in like manner to perish, but only adverts to that which is common, namely, departure from the world after the course of life is ended. The substance of his whole address amounts to this, that as God had proved himself true by his favors and the fulfillment of his promises, so his threatening would not be empty or vain, and he would certainly avenge the profanation of his worship by their final destruction. f186
Joshua 24:1-14
1. And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God. 1. Congregavit itaquef187 Josue omnes tribus Israel in Sichem, vocavitque seniores Israel, et capita ejus, judicesque ejus, ac praefectos ejus: steteruntque coram Deo.
2. And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus says the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods. 2. Dixitque Josue ad universum populum, Sic dicit Jehova Deus Israel, Trans flumen habitaverunt patres vestri a seculo, ut Thare pater Abraham, et pater Nachor, servicruntque diis alienis.
3. And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac. 3. Et tuli patrem vestrum Abraham e loco qui erat trans flumen, et deduxi per universam terram Chanaan: multiplicavique semen ejus, et dedi ei Isaac.
4. And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. 4. Et dedi ipsi Isaac Jacob et Esau: tradidique ipsi Esau montem Seir, ut possideret eum: Jacob autem et filii ejus descenderunt in Aegyptum.
5. I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out. 5. Misique Mosen et Aharon, et percussi Aegyptum, quemadmodum feci in medio ejus, et postea eduxi vos.
6. And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and you came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea. 6. Et eduxi patres vestros ex Aegypto, deveniestique ad mare, et persequuti sunt Aegyptii patres vestros cum curribus, et equitibus usque ad mare rubrum.
7. And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and you dwelt in the wilderness a long season. 7. Tum clamaveruntf188 ad Jehovam, et posuit caliginem inter vos et Aegyptios: induxitque super eum mare, ac operuit eum: et viderunt oculi vestri quae feci in Aegypto, et habitastis in solitudine in diebus multis.
8. And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that you might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you. 8. Postea adduxi vos ad terram Aemorrhaei habitantis trans Jordanem: praeliatique sunt vobiscum, et tradidi eos in manum vestram: possedistisque terram eorum, ac delevi eos a facie vestra.
9. Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you: 9. Surrexit autem Balac filius Sippor rex Moab, et praeliatis est cum Israel: misitque et vocavit Bileam filium Beor, ut malediceret vobis:
10. But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand. 10. Et nolui audire Bileam, sed benedixi benedicendo vobis, et liberavi vos e manu ejus.
11. And you went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand. 11. Transistisque Jordanem, et venistis ad Jericho: pugnaveruntque contra vos viri Jericho, Aemorrhaeus, et Perizaeus, et Chananaeus, et Hittaus, et Girgasaeus, et Hivaeus, et Jebusaeus: tradidique eos in manum vestram.
12. And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow. 12. Et misit ante vos crabrones, qui expulerunt eos a facie vestra duos reges Aemorrhaei, non gladio tuo, nec arcu tuo.
13. And I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you built not, and you dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which you planted not do you eat. 13. Dedique vobis terram in qua non laborastis, et urbes quas non aedificastis, et habitastis in eis: vineas et oliveta quae non plantastis, comedetis.
14. Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve you the LORD. 14. Nunc ergo timete Jehovam, et servite ei in perfectione, et veritate, et auferte deos quibus servierunt patres vestri trans flumen, et in Aegypto, et servite Jehovae.

1. And Joshua gathered all the tribes, etc He now, in my opinion, explains more fully what he before related more briefly. For it would not have been suitable to bring out the people twice to a strange place for the same cause. Therefore by the repetition the course of the narrative is continued. And he now states what he had not formerly observed, that they were all standing before the Lord, an expression which designates the more sacred dignity and solemnity of the meeting. I have accordingly introduced the expletive particle Therefore, to indicate that the narrative which had been begun now proceeds. For there cannot be a doubt that Joshua, in a regular and solemn manner, invoked the name of Jehovah, and, as in his presence, addressed the people, so that each might consider for himself that God was presiding over all the things which were done, and that they were not there engaged in a private business, but confirming a sacred and inviolable compact with God himself. We may add, as is shortly afterwards observed, that there was his sanctuary. Hence it is probable that the ark of the covenant was conveyed thither, not with the view of changing its place, but that in so serious an action they might sist themselves before the earthly tribunal of God. f189 For there was no religious obligation forbidding the ark to be moved, and the situation of Sichem was not far distant.
2. Your fathers dwelt on the other side, etc He begins his address by referring to their gratuitous adoption by which God had anticipated any application on their part, so that they could not boast of any peculiar excellence or merit. For God had bound them to himself by a closer tie, having, while they were no better than others, gathered them together to be his peculiar people, from no respect to anything but his mere good pleasure. Moreover, to make it clearly appear that there was nothing in which they could glory, he leads them back to their origin, and reminds them how their fathers had dwelt in Chaldea, worshipping idols in common with others, and differing in nothing from the great body of their countrymen. Hence it is inferred that Abraham, when he was plunged in idolatry, was raised up, as it were, from the lowest deep.
The Jews, indeed, to give a false dignity to their race, fabulously relate that Abraham became an exile from his country because he refused to acknowledge the Chaldean fire as God. f190 But if we attend to the words of the inspired writer, we shall see that he is no more exempted from the guilt of the popular idolatry than Terah and Nachor. For why is it said that the fathers of the people served strange gods, and that Abraham was rescued from the country, but just to show how the free mercy of God was displayed in their very origin? Had Abraham been unlike the rest of his countrymen, his own piety would distinguish him. The opposite, however, is expressly mentioned to show that he had no peculiar excellence of his own which could diminish the grace bestowed upon him, and that therefore his posterity behooved to acknowledge that when he was lost, he was raised up from death unto life.
It seems almost an incredible and monstrous thing, that while Noah was yet alive, idolatry had not only spread everywhere over the world, but even penetrated into the family of Shem, in which at least, a purer religion ought to have flourished. How insane and indomitable human infatuation is in this respect, is proved by the fact that the holy Patriarch, on whom the divine blessing had been specially bestowed, was unable to curb his posterity, and prevent them from abandoning the true God, and prostituting themselves to superstition.
3. And I took your father Abraham, etc This expression gives additional confirmation to what I lately showed, that Abraham did not emerge from profound ignorance and the abyss of error by his own virtue, but was drawn out by the hand of God. For it is not said that he sought God of his own accord, but that he was taken by God and transported elsewhere. Joshua then enlarges on the divine kindness in miraculously preserving Abraham safe during his long pilgrimage. What follows, however, begets some doubt, namely, that God multiplied the seed of Abraham, and yet gave him only Isaac, because no mention is made of any but him. But this comparison illustrates the singular grace of God towards them in that, while the offspring of Abraham was otherwise numerous, their ancestor alone held the place of lawful heir. In the same sense it is immediately added, that while Esau and Jacob were brothers and twins, one of the two was retained and the other passed over. We see, therefore, why as well in the case of Ishmael and his brother as in that of Esau, he loudly extols the divine mercy and goodness towards Jacob, just as if he were saying, that his race did not excel others in any respect except in that of being specially selected by God.
4. But Jacob and his children went down, etc After mentioning the rejection of Esau, he proceeds to state how Jacob went down into Egypt, and though he confines himself to a single expression, it is one which indicates the large and exuberant and clear manifestation of the paternal favor of God. It cannot be doubted, that although the sacred historian does not speak in lofty terms of each miracle performed, Joshua gave the people such a summary exposition of their deliverance as might suffice. First, he points to the miracles performed in Egypt; next, he celebrates the passage of the Red Sea, where God gave them the aid of his inestimable power; and thirdly, he reminds them of the period during which they wandered in the desert.
8. And I brought you into the land, etc He at length begins to discourse of the victories which opened a way for the occupation of their settlements. For although the country beyond the Jordan had not been promised as part of the inheritance, yet, as God, by his decree, joined it to the land of Canaan as a cumulative expression of his bounty, Joshua, not without cause, connects it with the other in commending the divine liberality towards the people, and declares, not merely that trusting to divine aid, they had proved superior in arms and strength, but had also been protected from the fatal snares which Balak had laid for them. For although the impostor Balaam was not able to effect anything by his curses and imprecations, it was, however, very profitable to observe the admirable power of God displayed in defeating his malice. For it was just as if he had come to close quarters, and warred with everything that could injure them.
The more firmly to persuade them that they had overcome not merely by the guidance of God, but solely by his power, he repeats what we read in the books of Moses, (<050720>Deuteronomy 7:20) that hornets were sent to rout the enemy without human hand. This was a more striking miracle than if they had been routed, put to flight, and scattered in any other way. For those who, contrary to expectation, gain a victory without any difficulty, although they confess that the prosperous issue of the war is the gift of God, immediately allow themselves to become blinded by pride, and transfer the praise to their own wisdom, activity, and valor. But when the thing is effected by hornets, the divine agency is indubitably asserted. Accordingly, the conclusion is, that the people did not acquire the land by their own sword or bow, a conclusion repeated in the 44th Psalm, and apparently borrowed from the passage here. Lastly, after reminding them that they ate the fruits provided by other men's labors, he exhorts them to love God as his beneficence deserves.
Joshua 24:15-24
15. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. 15. Quod si molestum estf191 vobis servire Jehovae, eligite vobis hodie quos colatis: sive deos, quibus servierunt patres vestri, qui fuerunt trans flumen, sive deos Aemorrhaei, in quorum habitatis terra: ego vero, et domus mea colemus Jehovam.
16. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; 16. Cui respondit populus, dicens, Absit a nobis ut derelinquamus Jehovam, serviendo diis alienis.
17. For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: 17. Jehova enim Deus noster ipse est qui eduxit nos et patres nostros e terra AEgypti, e domo servorum,f192 et qui fecit in oculis nostris signa ista magna: servavitque nos in omni via per quam ambulavimus, et in omnibus populis per quorum transivimus medium.
18. And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God. 18. Expulitque Jehova omnes populos, atque adeo Aemorrhaeum habitatorem terrae a facie nostra: etiam nos serviemus Jehovae, quiae ipse est Deus noster.
19. And Joshua said unto the people, You cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. 19. Dixitque Josue ad populum Non poteritis servire Jehovae, quia Deus sanctus est, Deus aemulator est: non parcet sceleribus vestris, atque peccatis vestris.
20. If you forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he has done you good. 20. Si dereliqueritis Jehovam, et servieritis deo alieno, convertet se et malefaciet vobis, consumetque vos, postquam benefecerit vobis.
21. And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD. 21. Cui respondit populus, Nequaquam: sed Jehovae serviemus.
22. And Joshua said unto the people, You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. 22. Dixitque Josue ad populum, Testes estis contra vos quod vos elegeritis vobis Jehovam ut illi serviatis. Et dixerunt, Testes.f193
23. Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel. 23. Nunc ergo auferte deos alienos, qui sunt in medio vestri, et inclinate cor vestrum ad Jehovam Deum Israel.
24. And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey. 24. Cui respondit populus Jehovae Deo nostro serviemus, et voci ejus obediemus.

15. And if it seem evil unto you, etc It seems here as if Joshua were paying little regard to what becomes an honest and right-hearted leader. If the people had forsaken God and gone after idols, it was his duty to inflict punishment on their impious and abominable revolt. But now, by giving them the option to serve God or not, just as they choose, he loosens the reins, and gives them license to rush audaciously into sin. What follows is still more absurd, when he tells them that they cannot serve the Lord, as if he were actually desirous of set purpose to impel them to shake off the yoke. But there is no doubt that his tongue was guided by the inspiration of the Spirit, in stirring up and disclosing their feelings. For when the Lord brings men under his authority, they are usually willing enough to profess zeal for piety, though they instantly fall away from it. Thus they build without a foundation. This happens because they neither distrust their own weakness so much as they ought, nor consider how difficult it is to bind themselves wholly to the Lord. There is need, therefore, of serious examination, lest we be carried aloft by some giddy movement, and so fail of success in our very first attempts. f194 With this design, Joshua, by way of probation, emancipates the Jews, making them, as it were, their own masters, and free to choose what God they are willing to serve, not with the view of withdrawing them from the true religion, as they were already too much inclined to do, but to prevent them from making inconsiderate promises, which they would shortly after violate. For the real object of Joshua was, as we shall see, to renew and confirm the covenant which had already been made with God. Not without cause, therefore, does he give them freedom of choice, that they may not afterwards pretend to have been under compulsion, when they bound themselves by their own consent. Meanwhile, to impress them with a feeling of shame, he declares that he and his house will persevere in the worship of God.
16. And the people answered and said, etc Here we see he had no reason to repent of the option given, when the people, not swearing in the words of another, nor obsequiously submitting to extraneous dictation, declare that it would be an impious thing to revolt from God. And thus it tends, in no small degree, to confirm the covenant, when the people voluntarily lay the law upon themselves. The substance of the answer is, that since the Lord has, by a wonderful redemption, purchased them for himself as a peculiar people, has constantly lent them his aid, and shown that he is among them as their God, it would be detestable ingratitude to reject him and revolt to other gods.
19. And Joshua said unto the people, etc Here Joshua seems to act altogether absurdly in crushing the prompt and alert zeal of the people, by suggesting ground of alarm. For to what end does he insist that they cannot serve the Lord, unless it be to make them, from a sense of their utter powerlessness, to give themselves up to despair, and thus necessarily become estranged from the fear of God. It was necessary, however, to employ this harsh mode of obtestation, in order to rouse a sluggish people, rendered more lethargic by security. And we see that the expedient did not fail to obtain, at least, a momentary success. For they neither despond nor become more slothful, but, surmounting the obstacle, answer intrepidly that they will be constant in the performance of duty.
In short, Joshua does not deter them from serving God, but only explains how refractory and disobedient they are, in order that they may learn to change their temper. So Moses, in his song, (Deuteronomy 32) when he seems to make a divorce between God and the people, does nothing else than prick and whet them, that they may hasten to change for the better. Joshua, indeed, argues absolutely from the nature of God; but what he specially aims at is the perverse behavior and untamed obstinacy of the people. He declares that Jehovah is a holy and a jealous God. This, certainly, should not by any means prevent men from worshipping him; but it follows from it that impure, wicked, and profane despisers, who have no religion, provoke his anger, and can have no intercourse with him, for they will feel him to be implacable. And when it is said that he will not spare their wickedness, no general rule is laid down, but the discourse is directed, as often elsewhere, against their disobedient temper. It does not refer to faults in general, or to special faults, but is confined to gross denial of God, as the next verse demonstrates. The people, accordingly, answer the more readily, f195 that they will serve the Lord.
22. And Joshua said unto the people, etc We now understand what the object was at which Joshua had hitherto aimed. It was not to terrify the people and make them fall away from their religion, but to make the obligation more sacred by their having of their own accord chosen his government, and betaken themselves to his guidance, that they might live under his protection. They acknowledge, therefore, that their own conscience will accuse them, and hold them guilty of perfidy, if they prove unfaithful. f196 But although they were not insincere in declaring that they would be witnesses to their own condemnation, still how easily the remembrance of this promise faded away, is obvious from the Book of Judges. For when the more aged among them had died, they quickly turned aside to various superstitions. By this example we are taught how multifarious are the fallacies which occupy the senses of men, and how tortuous the recesses in which they hide their hypocrisy and folly, while they deceive themselves by vain confidence. f197
23. Now, therefore, put away the strange gods, etc How can it be that those who were lately such stern avengers of superstition, have themselves given admission to idols? Yet the words expressly enjoin that they are to put away strange gods from the midst of them. If we interpret that their own houses were still polluted by idols, we may see, as in a bright mirror, how complacently the greater part of mankind can indulge in vices which they prosecute with inexorable severity in others. But, as I do not think it probable that they dared, after the execution of Achan, to pollute themselves with manifest sacrilege, I am inclined to think that reference is made not to their practice but to their inclinations, and that they are told to put all ideas of false gods far away from them. For he had previously exhorted them in this same chapter to take away the gods whom their fathers had served beyond the river and in Egypt. But nobody will suppose that the idols of Chaldea were treasured up in their repositories, or that they had brought impure deities with them from Egypt, to be a cause of hostility between God and themselves. The meaning, therefore, simply is, that they are to renounce all idols, and clear themselves of all profanity, in order that they may purely worship God alone. f198 This seems to be the purport of the clause, incline your heart unto the Lord, which may be taken as equivalent to, rest in him, and so give up your heart to the love of him, as to delight and be contented only with him.
Joshua 24:25-33
25. So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. 25. Percussit itaque Josue foedus cum populo in die illa: et prosposuit ei praeceptum et judicium in Sechem.f199
26. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. 26. Scripsit Josue verba ista in libro Legis Dei: tulit quoque lapidem magnum, statuitque eum ibi subter quercum, quae erat in sanctuario Jehovae.
27. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it has heard all the words of the LORD which he spoke unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest you deny your God. 27. Dixitque Josue ad universum populum, En lapis iste erit nobis in testimonium: ipse enim audivit omnia verba Jehovae quae loquutus est nobiscum, eritque contra vos in testimonium, ne forte mentiamini contra Deum vestrum.
28. So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance. 28. Remisitque Josue populum, quemlibet in haereditatem suam.
29. And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. 29. His autem gestis, mortuus est Josue filius Nun servus Jehovae centum et decem annorum.f200
30. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash. 30. Sepelieruntque eum in termino haereditatis ejus in Thimnatserah, quae est in monte Ephraim ad aquilonem montis Gaas.
31. And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel. 31. Servivitque Israel Jehovae cunctis diebus Josue, cunctisque diebus eniorum qui diu vixerunt post Josue, quinque noverunt omne opus Jehovae quod fecerat ipsi Israel.
32. And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph. 32. Ossa autem Joseph quae detulerant filii Israel ex Aegypto, sepelierunt in Sechem, in parte agri quam acquisierat Jacob a filiis Hamor patris Sechem centum nummis, et fuerunt filiis Joseph in possessione sua.
33. And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim. 33. Porro Eleazar filius Aharon mortuus est, et sepelierunt eum in Gibeath Phinees filii ejus, qui datus fuit illi in monte Ephraim.

25. So Joshua made a covenant, etc This passage demonstrates the end for which the meeting had been called, namely, to bind the people more completely and more solemnly to God, by the renewal of the covenant. Therefore, in this agreement, Joshua acted as if he had been appointed on the part of God to receive in his name the homage and obedience promised by the people. It is accordingly added, exegetically, in the second clause, that he set before them precept and judgment. For the meaning is corrupted and wrested by some expositors, who explain it is referring to some new speech of Joshua, whereas it ought properly to be understood of the Law of Moses, as if it had been said that Joshua made no other paction than that they should remain steadfast in observing the Law, and that no other heads of the covenant were brought forward; they were only confirmed in that doctrine which they had formerly embraced and professed. In the same way, Malachi, to keep them under the yoke of God, demands nothing more than that they should remember the Law of Moses. (<390404>Malachi 4:4)
26. And Joshua wrote these words, etc Understand that authentic volume which was kept near the ark of the covenant, as if it contained public records deposited for perpetual remembrance. And there is no doubt that when the Law was read, the promulgation of this covenant was also added. But as it often happens, that that which is written remains concealed in unopened books, f201 another aid is given to the memory, one which should always be exposed to the eye, namely, the stone under the ark, near the sanctuary. Not that the perpetual station of the ark was there, but because it had been placed there, in order that they might appear in the presence of God. Therefore, as often as they came into his presence, the testimony or memorial of the covenant which had been struck was in their view, that they might be the better kept in the faith.
Joshua's expression, that the stone heard the words, is indeed hyperbolical, but is not inapt to express the efficacy and power of the divine word, as if it had been said that it pierces inanimate rocks and stones; so that if men are deaf, their condemnation is echoed in all the elements. To lie is here used, as it frequently is elsewhere, for acting cunningly and deceitfully, for frustrating and violating a promise that has been given. Who would not suppose that a covenant so well established would be firm and sacred to posterity for many ages? But all that Joshua gained by his very great anxiety was to secure its rigorous observance for a few years.
29. And it came to pass after these things, etc The honor of sepulture was a mark of reverence, which of itself bore testimony to the affectionate regard of the people. But neither this reverence nor affection was deeply rooted. The title by which Joshua is distinguished after his death, when he is called the servant of the Lord, took away all excuse from those miserable and abandoned men who shortly after spurned the Lord, who had worked wonders among them. Accordingly, attention is indirectly drawn to their inconstancy, when it is said that they served the Lord while Joshua survived, and till the more aged had died out. For there is a tacit antithesis, implying lapse and alienation, when they were suddenly seized with a forgetfulness of the Divine favors. It is not strange, therefore, if, in the present day also, when God furnishes any of his servants with distinguished and excellent gifts, their authority protects and preserves the order and state of the Church; but when they are dead, sad havoc instantly commences, and hidden impiety breaks forth with unbridled license. f202
32. And the bones of Joseph, etc The time when the bones of Joseph were buried is not mentioned; but it is easy to infer that the Israelites had performed this duty after they obtained a peaceful habitation in the city of Shechem. For although he had not designated a particular place for a sepulchre, they thought it a mark of respect to deposit his bones in the field which Jacob had purchased. It may be, however, that this is expressed as a censure on the sluggishness of the people, to which it was owing, that Joseph could not be buried with Abraham, that locality being still in the power of the enemy. Stephen (Acts 7) mentions the bones of the twelve patriarchs, and it is not impossible that the other tribes, from feelings of emulation, gathered together the ashes of their progenitors. It is there said that the field was purchased by Abraham; but obviously an error in the name has crept in. With regard to sepulture, we must hold in general, that the very frequent mention of it in Scripture is owing to its being a symbol of the future Resurrection.
1 And it came to pass after the death of Moses, that Jehovah addressed Joshua, saying, —
2 Moses my servant is dead: now therefore rise, pass over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, to the land which I give to them, namely, to the children of Israel.
3 Every place which the sole of your foot shall have trod upon, I have given to you; as I said to Moses,
4 From the desert and that Lebanon, even to the great sea, the river Euphrates, the whole land of the Hittites, even to the great sea toward the setting of the sun, will be your boundary.
5 No one shall stand before thee all the days of thy life; because as I was with Moses, so will I be with thee: I will not desert nor forsake thee.
6 Be firm therefore and strong; for thou shall divide to this people as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers that I would give them.
7 Only be firm and strong exceedingly; that thou may keep and do according to the whole law which Moses my servant commanded thee: thou shall not draw back to the right hand or to the left, that thou may act prudently (or prosperously) in all things.
8 Let not the book of this law depart from thy mouth; but meditate in it day and night, that thou may keep and do according to all which has been written in it. For then shall thou render thy ways prosperous, and then shall thou act prudently.
9 Have not I commanded thee to make thyself firm and strong? Fear not, nor be dispirited; since I, Jehovah thy God, am with thee in all the places to which thou goes.
10 Then Joshua commanded the prefects of the people, saying, —
11 Pass through the midst of the camp, and command the people, saying, Make ready provision for yourselves; for after three days shall you pass over this Jordan, that you may enter and possess the land, which Jehovah your God give you to possess.
12 And to the Reubenites, and Gadites, and half-tribe of Manasseh, spoke Joshua, saying, —
13 Remember the word which Moses, the servant of Jehovah, commanded you, saying, Jehovah your God has rendered you quiet, and has given you this land:
14 Your wives, your little ones, and your flocks will remain in the land which Moses has given you beyond the Jordan; but you, as many of you as are men of war, will pass over armed before your brethren, and assist them,
15 Until Jehovah shall have given rest to your brethren as to you; and they, too, possess the land which Jehovah your God give to them; and then shall you return to the land of your inheritance, and possess that which Moses, the servant of Jehovah, gave you beyond Jordan toward the rising of the sun.
16 Then they answered Joshua, saying, All things which thou has commanded us will we do, and to all places to which thou shall send us, will we go.
17 As in all things we obeyed Moses, so will we obey thee; only let Jehovah thy God be with thee as he was with Moses.
18 Whoever he shall be that shall rebel against thy mouth, and shall not acquiesce in thy words in all the things which thou shall command him, let him be put to death. Only be thou firm and strong.
1 Now, Joshua, the son of Nun, had sent from Sittim two men as spies secretly, saying: Go, examine the land and Jericho. They accordingly set out and entered the house of a woman, a harlot, whose name was Rahab, and slept there.
2 And it was told to the king of Jericho, Behold, men of the children of Israel have come hither to-night to spy out the land.
3 Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, Bring out the men who have gone in to thee, who have come to thy house; for they have come to spy out the whole land.
4 Now the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. Then she says, The men, indeed, came to me, but I knew not whence they were.
5 And it was when the gate was shut in the darkness that the men went out, and I know not whither they went. Follow them quickly, for you shall apprehend them.
6 Now she had caused them to go up upon the roof, and had hidden them under stalks of flax, arranged by her on the roof.
7 And the men pursued them by the way of the Jordan, even to the fords; they, moreover, shut the gate as soon as those who pursued them went out.
8 But before they were asleep, she herself went up on the roof to them.
9 And she says to the men, I know that Jehovah has given you the land, inasmuch as your terror has fallen upon us, and all the inhabitants of the land have melted at your presence.
10 For we heard how the Lord dried up the waters of the sea of Suph (the Red Sea) from before you when you went out from Egypt; and what things you did to the two kings of the Amorite, who were beyond Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you slew.
11 We heard, and our heart was melted, neither had we any more spirit before you. For Jehovah your God is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath.
12 Now therefore swear unto me, I pray, by Jehovah, (for I have dealt mercifully with you,) that you will also deal mercifully with the house of my father, and give me a true sign,
13 That you will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brothers, and my sisters, and all who are theirs, and will rescue our souls from death.
14 The men said unto her, Our life for you unto death; only you will not betray this our conversation; then it will be that when Jehovah shall have delivered the land to us, we will deal truly and mercifully with you.
15 She therefore let them down through the window by a rope; for her house was in the building of the wall, and she herself dwelt on the wall.
16 And she said to them, Hasten to the mountain, lest perchance those who are pursuing fall in with you, and keep lurking there for three days, till those who are pursuing return, and afterwards you will go on your way.
17 Then the men said to her, We shall be blameless from this your oath by which you have bound us.
18 Behold, when we shall enter the land, you will bind this line of purple thread in the window by which you have let us down; moreover, you will assemble in the house with you, your father, and your mother, and all the family of your father.
19 And it shall be that whoever shall go outside beyond the doors of the house, his blood shall be upon his head, but we shall be blameless; and whoever shall be with you, his blood shall be upon our head, if a hand be laid upon him.
20 But if you shall betray this our conversation, we shall be free from the oath by which you have bound us.
21 She answered, As you have spoken, so be it. Then she sent them away, and they departed; and she bound the scarlet thread in the window.
22 Having set out, they came to the mountain, and remained there three days, till the return of those who had pursued, who searched over the whole way, and did not find them.
23 Those two, therefore, returning after they came down from the mountain, passed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and related to him whatever things had happened to them.
24 And they said to Joshua, Jehovah has delivered the whole land into our hands. For all the inhabitants of the land have become melted before our face.
1 And Joshua rose up very early in the morning, and he and all the children of Israel set out from Sittim, and came as far as the Jordan, and passed the night there before crossing.
2 And it was at the end of three days, and the prefects passed through the midst of the camp,
3 And commanded the people, saying, When you see the ark of the covenant of Jehovah your God, and the priests bearing it, you shall set out from your place, and go after it.
4 Nevertheless, between it and you there will be an interval of about two thousand cubits in length: do not approach it that you may know the way by which you are to go. For you have not passed by that way yesterday or the day before yesterday.
5 Now Joshua had said to the people, Sanctify (or Prepare) yourselves: for to-morrow Jehovah will do wonders in the midst of you.
6 And Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass before the people. They accordingly bare the ark of the covenant, and walked before the people.
7 Now Jehovah had said to Joshua, To-day will I begin to magnify thee in the eyes of all Israel, that they may know that in the same way as I was with Moses will I be with thee.
8 Thou, therefore, wilt command the priests bearing the ark of the covenant, saying, When you shall have gone in as far as the extremity (outer edge) of the water of the Jordan, you shall stand in the Jordan.
9 And Joshua said to the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of Jehovah your God.
10 Joshua likewise said, Hereby shall you know that there is a living God in the midst of you, and that he will thoroughly drive out before you the Canaanite, the Hittite, and the Hivite, and the Perizzite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Jebusite.
11 Behold the ark of the covenant of the ruler of the whole earth will pass before you through the Jordan.
12 Now, therefore, select for you twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one for each tribe.
13 And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of Jehovah, the ruler of the whole earth, shall have rested in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, and the waters flowing from above shall stand in one heap.
14 And it was that when the people set out to cross the Jordan, the priests who bore the ark of the covenant were before the people.
15 And after those who bare the ark came even to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the extremity of the waters, (now the Jordan was full beyond all its banks the whole time of harvest,)
16 The waters which descended from above stood, and rose up into one heap very far, from the city Adam which is at the side of Sarthan, and those which descended to the sea of the desert, the sea of salt, were consumed, were cut off: and the people crossed over against Jericho.
17 And the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood unencumbered (or prepared) on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, while all Israel crossed through dry ground, until the whole people made an end of passing the Jordan.
1 And it was after the whole people made an end of passing the Jordan; because Jehovah had spoken to Joshua, saying,
2 Take for you from the people twelve men, one man from each tribe;
3 And command them, saying, Take for you hence out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the feet of the unencumbered priests stand, twelve stones which you shall carry with you, and deposit in the place where you shall remain this night.
4 Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed out of the children of Israel, one from each tribe.
5 And Joshua said to them, Pass before the ark of Jehovah your God through the midst of the Jordan, and let every one of you take up one stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel.
6 That it may be among you, (Hebrew, in the midst of you,) when your children shall to-morrow ask their fathers, What are those stones beside you?
7 Then you may answer them, When the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, when, I say, it was crossing the Jordan, and the waters of the Jordan were cut off, then were those stones made to be a memorial to the children of Israel for ever.
8 The children of Israel accordingly did as Joshua had commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the middle of the Jordan, as Jehovah had spoken to Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and they brought them with them to the place where they passed the night, and laid them down there.
9 Joshua also erected twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan under the station of the feet of the priests who were carrying the ark of the covenant, and they have remained there even to this day.
10 And the priests, bearing the ark, kept standing in the midst of the Jordan, till all the speech which Jehovah had commanded Joshua to speak to the people was finished; exactly as Moses had commanded Joshua himself: but the people made haste in passing.
11 And when the whole people had made an end of passing, the ark of Jehovah passed, and the priests in presence of the people.
12 The children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh also passed over armed before the children of Israel; in like manner as Moses had spoken to them.
13 Forty thousand armed men passed over in presence of Jehovah to battle to the plains of Jericho.
14 On that day Jehovah magnified Joshua in the eyes of all Israel, and they feared him just as they had feared Moses all the days of his life.
15 And Jehovah spoke unto Joshua, saying,
16 Command the priests bearing the ark of the testimony to ascend from the Jordan.
17 And Joshua commanded the priests, saying, Ascend from the Jordan.
18 Moreover, when the priests, bearing the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, had ascended from the midst of the Jordan, and the soles of the feet of the priests were transferred to the dry land, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place, and they flowed as yesterday and the day before yesterday above all its banks.
19 Now the people ascended from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal in the east district of Jericho.
20 And the twelve stones which they had brought out of the Jordan, Joshua placed in Gilgal.
21 And he spoke to the children of Israel, saying, When your sons shall to-morrow ask their sons, saying, What mean those stones?
22 You shall explain to your sons, saying, Israel passed through the dry land across that Jordan:
23 Since Jehovah your God dried the waters of Jordan from before your face until you passed over; in like manner as Jehovah your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up from before our face till we passed over;
24 That all the nations of the earth may recognize the hand of Jehovah, how mighty he is; that you may, during all days, fear Jehovah your God.
1 And it was when all the Amorite kings who were beyond the Jordan, on the west, and all the Canaanitish kings who were near the sea, had heard that Jehovah had dried up the waters of the Jordan from before the children of Israel till they passed over, their heart was melted, and there was no longer any spirit in them before the children of Israel.
2 At that time Jehovah said to Joshua, Make for thee sharp knives, and again circumcise the children of Israel the second time.
3 And Joshua made himself sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel on the hill of foreskins.
4 Now this is the reason why Joshua circumcised them. The whole people who had come out from Egypt, all the males, men of war, had died in the desert on the way after they had come out from Egypt.
5 For the whole people who came out had been circumcised, but the whole people who had been born in the desert on the way, after they had come out from Egypt, they had not circumcised.
6 For the children of Israel walked through the desert till the extinction of the whole race of the men of war, who had come out from Egypt, who had not listened to the voice of Jehovah, to whom Jehovah had sworn that he would not show the land of which he had sworn to their fathers that he would give them — a land flowing with milk and honey.
7 Their sons accordingly whom he substituted in their place, Joshua circumcised, because they were uncircumcised; for they had not circumcised them by the way.
8 And when the whole people were circumcised, they remained in their place in the camp till they were healed.
9 Jehovah said to Joshua, This day have I rolled off the reproach of Egypt from you. And he called the name of that place Gilgal even to this day.
10 The children of Israel therefore encamped in Gilgal, and they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at evening in the plains of Jericho.
11 And they ate unfermented bread of the produce of the land, the day after the Passover, and cake on the very same day.
12 And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the corn of the country, nor had the children of Israel manna any longer, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
13 And it happened when Joshua was at Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold a man stood over against him, in whose hand was a drawn sword, and Joshua went to him, and said to him, Art thou on our side? or art thou on our enemies' side?
14 And he said, Nay, but I am prince of the army of Jehovah: I have now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the ground, and worshipped, and said to him, What says my Lord to his servant?
15 And the prince of the army of the Lord said to Joshua, Loose thy shoe from thy feet: for the place on which thou stands is holiness. And Joshua did so.
1 And Jericho was closed, and was shut up because of the children of Israel, nor could any one go out or come in.
2 And Jehovah said to Joshua, Behold, I have delivered into thy hand Jericho, and its king, and its men of valor.
3 You shall therefore compass the city, all the men of war, going round it once: thus shall thou do six days.
4 Moreover, seven priests shall bear seven rams' horns before the ark: But on the seventh day you shall compass the city seven times, and let the priests themselves sound with the trumpets.
5 And when they shall have prolonged the sound with the ram's horn, as soon as you shall have heard the sound of the trumpet, the whole people will shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall to pieces (under itself): and the people will go up every one from his own place.
6 Accordingly Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said to them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests take seven trumpets of rams' horns in front of the ark of Jehovah.
7 He said also to the people, Pass over, and go round the city, and let every man armed go before the ark of the Lord.
8 And it was after Joshua spoke to the people, seven priests bore seven trumpets of rams' horns, and passing over before the ark of Jehovah sounded with the trumpets. And the ark of the covenant of Jehovah followed them.
9 And every man armed went before the priests sounding with the trumpets; and he who brought up the rear followed the ark while going and sounding with the trumpets.
10 And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, You shall not shout, neither will you let your voice be heard, neither will a word proceed from your mouth, until the day when I shall have said to you, Shout: then shall you shout.
11 The ark of Jehovah therefore compassed the city, going round once, and they returned to the camp; and they remained there.
12 Joshua rose again in the morning, and the priests bore the ark of Jehovah.
13 And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of ram's horn preceded the ark of Jehovah in going; and they sounded with the trumpets. But he that was armed preceded them, and he who brought up the rear followed the ark of Jehovah in going, and in sounding with the trumpets.
14 They accordingly compassed the city on the second day another time, and returned to the camp; thus did they six days.
15 But when the seventh day arrived, they rose up as soon as it was dawn, and they went round the city after the same manner seven times; only on that day they went round the city seven times.
16 And on the seventh time when the priests sounded with the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, Shout, Jehovah has delivered you the city.
17 And the city will be anathema (set apart) to Jehovah, it and whatever things are in it; only Rahab, the harlot, shall live, she and all who shall be at home with her; because she concealed the messengers whom we sent.
18 Nevertheless, beware you of the anathema, lest perhaps you touch something of the anathema, and take away of the anathema, and make the camp of Israel anathema, and trouble it.
19 But all the silver and gold, and the iron and brazen vessels, will be holiness to Jehovah; they will go into Jehovah's treasury.
20 The people accordingly shouted after they sounded with the trumpets. For when the people had heard the noise of the trumpets, they shouted with a very great shout, and the wall fell down, and the people went up, every one from his place, and they took it.
21 And they destroyed all things which were in the city, from the man even to the woman, from the boy even to the old man, to the ox, and the sheep, and the ass, by the edge of the sword.
22 But to the two men who had explored the land Joshua said, Go into the house of the woman, the harlot, and thence lead out her and whatever she has, as you have sworn to her.
23 The spies, therefore, having gone in, led out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brothers, and whatever she had, and led out her whole kindred, and placed them without the camp of Israel.
24 But they consumed the city with fire, and every thing therein; only the gold and silver, the brazen and iron vessels, they placed in the treasury of the house of Jehovah.
25 Therefore Rahab the harlot, and the house of her father, and whatever she had, Joshua caused to live; and she dwelt in the midst of Israel even to this day, because she had concealed the messengers whom Joshua had sent to spy out Jericho.
26 And Joshua made an adjuration at that time, saying, Cursed before Jehovah be the man who shall rise to build that city Jericho. In his first-born shall he found it, and in his younger son shall he set up its gates.
27 And Jehovah was with Joshua, and his fame was in the whole land.
1 Now the children of Israel transgressed with transgression (grievously) in the anathema, inasmuch as Achan, son of Charmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the anathema; and the wrath of Jehovah was kindled against the children of Israel.
2 Moreover, Joshua sent men from Jericho against Hai, which was near Bethaven to the east of Bethel, and he spoke with them, saying, Go up and explore the land. The men accordingly went up and explored Hai.
3 And having returned to Joshua, they said to him, Let not the whole people go up; let about two thousand men, or about three thousand men go up, and they shall smite Hai.
4 About three thousand men therefore went up from the people, and they fled before the men of Hai.
5 And they smote about thirty-six men of them, and pursued them from the gate even to Sebarim, and smote them in the descent; and thus the heart of the people was melted, and was like water.
6 Moreover, Joshua rent his clothes, and fell on his face to the ground before the ark of Jehovah even till evening, himself and the elders of Israel, and they put dust upon their head.
7 And Joshua said, Ah, ah! Sovereign Jehovah, how is it that thou has brought this people across the Jordan, that thou might deliver us into the hand of the Amorite, who will destroy us? Would that it had pleased us to remain in the desert beyond the Jordan!
8 O Lord, what shall I say after Israel turns his back before his enemies?
9 And the Canaanite and all the inhabitants of the land will hear, and will turn against us, and will destroy our name from the earth; and what wilt thou do to thy great name?
10 Then Jehovah said to Joshua, Arise. Why is it that thou thus falls upon thy face?
11 Israel has sinned, and they have even transgressed my paction which I enjoined upon them, and they have also taken of the anathema, and they have also stolen, and they have also lied, and they have also deposited it among their vessels.
12 Therefore the children of Israel have not been able to stand before their enemies; they will turn their back before their enemies; because they are in anathema, I will not continue to be with you, unless you destroy the anathema from the midst of you.
13 Arise, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to-morrow; for thus says Jehovah, God of Israel, there is anathema in the midst of thee, Israel.
14 You shall therefore come near in the morning by your tribes; and the tribe which Jehovah shall detect will come near by families; and the family which Jehovah shall detect shall come near by houses; and the house which Jehovah shall detect will come near by men.
15 And the man who shall be detected in the anathema, will be burnt with fire, himself and all things which are his, because he has transgressed the paction of Jehovah, and has done iniquity in Israel.
16 Joshua accordingly rose early in the morning, and caused Israel to draw near by their tribes, and the tribe of Judah was taken.
17 Then he put in the kindreds of Judah, and took the kindred of Zera; then he put in the families of Zari by men, and the family of Zabdi was taken.
18 And he took his house by men, and Achan, son of Charmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zera, was taken.
19 Then said Joshua to Achan, My son, now give glory to Jehovah, God of Israel, and make confession to him, and discover to me what thou has done; do not conceal it from me.
20 Achan replied to Joshua and says, Truly I have sinned to Jehovah God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done.
21 I saw among the spoils a good Babylonish cloak, and two hundred shekels of silver, and one wedge of gold, whose weight was fifty shekels, which I coveted and carried off; and, behold, they are hidden in the ground, in the midst of my tent, and the silver beneath.
22 Joshua therefore sent messengers, who ran to the tent; behold it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it.
23 And they took them from the midst of the tent, and they brought them to Joshua, and to all the children of Israel, and placed them before Jehovah.
24 Joshua, therefore, taking Achan, the son of Zera, and the silver, and the cloak, and the golden wedge, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his flocks, and his tent, and all things which were his, and at the same time all Israel with him, led them down into the valley of Achor.
25 And Joshua said, Why has thou troubled us? Jehovah trouble thee this day. And all Israel overwhelmed him with stones, and burnt them with fire after they stoned them with stones.
26 And they placed over him a great heap of stones, even to this day, and Jehovah was turned from his hot anger; therefore they called the name of that place The valley of Achor, even to this day.
1 And Jehovah said to Joshua, Fear not, dread not; take with thee all the men of war, and arise, go up to Hai. See, I have given into thy hand the king of Hai, and his people, his city, and his land.
2 And thou shall do to Hai and its king, as thou has done to Jericho and its king; yet its spoil and animals you shall take to yourselves as booty. But place an ambuscade for the city in its rear.
3 Joshua accordingly arose, and all the people of war, that they might go up against Hai; and Joshua selected thirty thousand men of strength and valor, and sent them by night.
4 And he commanded them, saying, Give heed, you shall lay an ambuscade for the city in its rear; do not remove far from it, but be all of you ready.
5 And I, and all the people who are with me, will draw near the city; and when they will come out to encounter us as formerly, we will flee before them.
6 Then they will come out after us, until we draw them away from the city; for they will say, They flee before us as before; and we will flee before them.
7 But you will rise from the ambush, and will drive out the inhabitants of the city, and Jehovah your God will deliver it into your hand.
8 When you shall have taken the city, you shall set it on fire; according to the word of Jehovah shall you do. See, I have commanded you.
9 Joshua accordingly sent them, and they proceeded to the ambush, and remained between Bethel and Hai, on the west of Hai. But Joshua remained that night in the midst of the people.
10 Afterwards Joshua rose up very early, and reviewed the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people toward Hai.
11 And all the men of war who were with him, went up and drew near, and came opposite to the city, and encamped on the north of Hai. And there was a valley between them and Hai.
12 And he brought besides about five thousand men, whom he placed in ambush between Bethel and Hai, on the west of the city.
13 And the people approached nearer to the whole camp which was on the north of the city, and their ambuscade was on the west of the city itself; and Joshua proceeded that night into the midst of the valley.
14 Moreover, when the king of Hai saw, the men of the city hastened, and rose up early, and came out to meet Israel in battle, he and all his people, at the appointed time before the plains; but he knew not that there was an ambuscade for him behind the city.
15 And they routed Joshua and all Israel before them, who fled by the way of the desert.
16 And the whole people who were in the city mustered to pursue them. And they pursued Joshua, and were drawn away from the city.
17 Nor did any one remain of Bethel and Hai who did not go out after Israel; and they left the city open, and pursued Israel.
18 And Jehovah said to Joshua, Lift up the spear which is in thy hand against Hai, for I will give it into thy hand. And Joshua lifted up the spear which was in his hand against the city.
19 Then those in ambush rose suddenly from their place, and ran when he had lifted up his hand, and they came to the city, and took it, and hastened to set fire to the city.
20 And the men of Hai turning, saw, and lo, the smoke of the city was rising up to heaven, and they had no room to flee this way or that. And the people who had fled turned against their pursuers.
21 Joshua, therefore, and all Israel, when they saw that the ambuscade had taken the city, and the smoke of the city had ascended, returned and smote the men of Hai.
22 Those besides came out of the city to encounter them, and they were in the middle between Israel, part of whom were on this side and part on that. And they smote them, till not one remained who had survived and escaped.
23 They also took the king of Hai alive, and placed him before Joshua.
24 And when the men of Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Hai in the desert whither they had pursued them, and they had all fallen by the edge of the sword till they were consumed, all Israel returned to Hai, and smote it with the edge of the sword.
25 And the number of all who fell on that day, male and female, was about twelve thousand, all people of Hai.
26 Moreover, Joshua did not draw back his hand which he had raised to the spear, until he slew all the inhabitants of Hai.
27 Only the animals and the spoils of that city the children of Israel took to themselves for booty, according to the word of Jehovah, which Joshua had commanded them.
28 Joshua therefore burnt Hai, and made it an eternal heap, a devastation even to this day.
29 And he hung the king of Hai on a gibbet even until the time of evening; and when the sun had gone down, Joshua commanded, and they took down his corpse from the gibbet, and cast it forth at the entrance of the gate of the city, and placed over it a great heap of stones, even to this day.
30 Then Joshua built an altar to Jehovah the God of Israel in mount Ebal,
31 According as Moses, the servant of Jehovah, had commanded the children of Israel; as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of entire stones, on which they had lifted an iron, and they sacrificed upon it holocausts to Jehovah, and they sacrificed victims of prosperity.
32 He also wrote there on stones a duplicate law of Moses, which he wrote in presence of the children of Israel.
33 And the whole of Israel, and their elders and prefects, and their judges, stood on this side and on that at the ark before the priests the Levites, bearing the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, as well the stranger as the native, half of them against mount Garizin, and half of them against mount Ebal, as Moses, the servant of Jehovah, had commanded, that he might first bless the people.
34 And after these things he read all the words of the law, blessing and cursing according to all that which is written in the book of the law.
1 And when all the kings had heard, who were beyond Jordan in the mountain, and in the plain, and in the whole coast of the great sea from the region of Lebanon, the Hittite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite,
2 They assembled together to fight with Joshua and Israel with one consent.
3 But the inhabitants of Gibeon hearing what Joshua had done at the city of Jericho and to Hai,
4 They too acted craftily. For they went away, and pretended that they were ambassadors, and brought old sacks on their asses, and wine-bladders, old, and broken, and bound up;
5 And old and patched shoes on their feet, and old clothes upon them, and the whole bread for their journey was dry and musty.
6 They proceeded therefore to Joshua to the camp in Gilgal, and they said to him and to the men of Israel, We have come from a far country, now therefore make a covenant with us.
7 Then the men of Israel replied to the Hivite, Perhaps thou dwells in the midst of me, and how shall I make a league with thee?
8 But they said to Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua says to them, Who are you, and whence have you come?
9 They answered him, From a very far country have thy servants come in the name of Jehovah thy God. For we have heard his fame, and what things he did in Egypt,
10 Likewise what things he did to the two Amorite kings, who were beyond Jordan, Sihon, king of Hesbon, and Og, king of Basan in Astaroth.
11 And our elders, and all the inhabitants of our land said to us, Take in your hand food for the journey, and go to meet them, and say to them, We are your servants, and now make a league with us.
12 That is our bread; we brought it warm from our houses on the day on which we left to come to you, and now it is hard and dry.
13 And those are the wine-bladders, which we filled when new, and behold they are burst. And those our clothes, and our shoes have become worn by reason of the long journey.
14 The men therefore took of their victuals, and did not inquire at the mouth of Jehovah.
15 And Joshua made peace with them, and entered into a league with them, that they would permit them to live, and the princes of the congregation swear to them.
16 But three days after they had entered into covenant with them, they heard that they were their neighbors, and dwelt in the midst of them.
17 And the children of Israel set out and came to their cities on the third day. And their cities were Gibeon, Chephirat, Beeroth, Ciriath-Jearim.
18 And the children of Israel did not smite them, because the princes of the congregation had sworn to them by Jehovah God of Israel; and the whole congregation murmured against the princes.
19 Then all the princes said to all the congregation, We have sworn to them by Jehovah God of Israel, therefore we cannot now touch them.
20 This we will do to them, we will save them alive, lest wrath be against us because of the oath which we have sworn to them.
21 Therefore the princes said to them, Let them live, and hew wood, and dig water for the whole congregation, as all the princes have spoken to them.
22 Joshua therefore called them, and spoke unto them, saying, How is it that you have deceived us, saying, We are very remote from you, seeing you dwell in the midst of us.
23 Now, therefore, are you cursed, and there shall never cease among you slaves, both hewing wood and digging water for the house of my God.
24 And they answered Joshua and said, When it was distinctly told (by telling it was told) to thy servants how Jehovah thy God had commanded Moses his servant to give you the land, and utterly destroy all the dwellers of the land from before you, we feared greatly for our lives from before you, and did that thing.
25 And now, behold, we are in thy hand; as it pleases, and as it is right in thy eyes to do to us, thou shall do.
26 And he did to them thus, and delivered them in the hand of the children of Israel, and they did not slay them.
27 And Joshua, on that day, appointed them to be hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of Jehovah, even to this day, in the place which he shall have chosen.
1 When Adoni-zedec king of Jerusalem had heard that Joshua had taken Hai and destroyed it, (that as he had done to Jericho and its king, so had he done to Hai and its king,) and that the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them;
2 Then they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a large city, (citizenship or territory,) as one of the Royal cities, inasmuch as. it was greater than Hai, and all its men brave.
3 Therefore Adoni-zedec king of Jerusalem sent to Hoham king of Hebron, and to Piram king of Jarmuth, and to Japhiam king of Lachis, and to Debir king of Eglon, saying,
4 Come up to me, and bring reinforcements to me, that we may smite Gibeon who has made peace with Joshua, and the children of Israel.
5 Accordingly, the five Amorite kings, — the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachis, the king of Eglon, they and all their armies assembled, and went up and encamped near Gibeon, and fought against it.
6 Therefore the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua to the camp in Gilgal, saying, Do not keep back thy hands from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and assist us, for all the Amorite kings, dwelling in the mountain, have assembled against us.
7 Joshua therefore came up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, all the men of might.
8 And Jehovah said to Joshua, Be not afraid of them; for I have delivered them into thy hand, nor shall any one of them stand in thy presence.
9 And Joshua came upon them suddenly; for during the whole night he went up from Gilgal
10 And Jehovah crushed them before Israel, and smote them with a great overthrow in Gibeon, and pursued them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon, and smote them even to Azecah, and even to Malzeda.
11 And when they were fleeing from the face of Israel, and were on the descent of Beth-horon, Jehovah sent down upon them great stones from heaven even to Azecah, and they died; more died by the hailstones than those whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.
12 Then Joshua spoke to Jehovah on the day on which Jehovah delivered up the Amorite before the children of Israel. And he said in the eyes of Israel, Sun, wait in Gibeon, and Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.
13 And the sun waited, and the moon stood until the people avenged themselves on their enemies. Has this not been written in the book of Jasar? (or, of right.) The sun therefore stood in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to set for about one entire day.
14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, on which Jehovah hearkened to the voice of a man; for Jehovah was fighting for Israel.
15 And Joshua and all Israel with him returned to the camp in Gilgal.
16 But the kings themselves had fled, and hid themselves in a cave in Malzeda.
17 And it was told to Joshua in these words, The five kings have been found hidden in a cave in Malzeda.
18 Then Joshua said, Roll great stones to the mouth of the cave, and set men near it to guard them.
19 But do you follow after your enemies, and cut off their tail, (or, rear,) and allow them not to enter their cities; for Jehovah your God has delivered them into your hand.
20 And when Joshua and the children of Israel had made an end of smiting them with a very great overthrow till they were consumed, and the survivors who had escaped had entered into fortified cities,
21 The whole people returned to the camp to Joshua in Malzeda in peace; no one moved his tongue against the children of Israel.
22 Then said Joshua, Open the mouth of the cave, and bring me those five kings from the cave.
23 And they did so, namely, they brought to him those five kings from the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachis, the king of Eglon.
24 And when they had brought out those five kings to Joshua, Joshua called all the men of Israel, and he said to the leaders of the men of war who had accompanied him Come near, put your feet upon the necks of those kings. And they came near and put their feet upon their necks.
25 Then Joshua said to them, Fear not and dread not, be strong and of good courage; for Jehovah will do thus to all your enemies against whom you fight.
26 After this Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hung them on five gibbets; and they were suspended on the gibbets till evening.
27 Moreover, at the time when the sun goes down, Joshua commanded, and they took them down from the gibbets, and cast them into the cave in which they had hid themselves, and they placed great stones at the mouth of the cave until this day.
28 But Joshua on that day took Malzeda, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and slew their king along with them, and left no soul which was in it surviving; and did to the king Malzeda as he had done to the king of Jericho.
29 Thereafter, Joshua, and all Israel with him, passed over from Malzeda to Libna, and besieged Libna.
30 And Jehovah delivered it also, and its king, into the hand of Israel, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and did not leave surviving a single soul which was in it; and did to its king in like manner as he had done to the king of Jericho.
31 Joshua afterwards passed, and all Israel with him, from Libna to Lachis, and encamped near it, and besieged it.
32 And Jehovah gave Lachis into the hand of Israel, and he took it on the second day, and struck it with the edge of the sword, and every soul which was in it, exactly as he had done to Libna.
33 And Horam king of Gezer, went up to give assistance to Lachis, and Joshua smote him and his people, so that he did not leave a survivor.
34 Joshua, moreover, and all Israel with him, passed from Lachis to Eglon, and they encamped against it, and besieged it.
35 And they took it on that day and smote it with the edge of the sword; and every soul which was there Joshua slew on that day exactly as he had done to Lachis.
36 Joshua thereafter went up, and all Israel with him, from Eglon to Hebron, and besieged it.
37 And they took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and its king, and all its towns, and he did not leave surviving a single soul which was in it, exactly as he had done to Eglon. He accordingly destroyed it, and every soul which was in it.
38 Afterwards Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to Debir, and besieged it.
39 And they took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and its king and all its towns, and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and slew every soul which was there; he did not leave a survivor; as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir and its king, as he had done to Libna and its king.
40 And thus Joshua smote all the land of the mountain, and the south, and the plain, and the slopes, and all their kings; he did not leave a survivor; he slew every soul, as Jehovah the God of Israel had commanded.
41 Wherefore, Joshua smote from Cades-Barne even to Asa, and the whole land of Gosen even to Gibeon.
42 And all those kings and their land Joshua took at the same time, for Jehovah the God of Israel was fighting for Israel.
43 Thence Joshua, and all Israel with him, returned to the camp in Gilgal.
1 And when Jabin king of Hasor had heard, he sent to Jobab king of Madam, and to the king of Simerom, and to the king of Achsaph,
2 To the kings also who dwelt in the north among the mountains and in the plain to the south of Cineroth, and in the plain in Naphoth-Dor on the west.
3 To the Canaanite on the east and west, and to the Amorite and Hittite, and Perizzite, and Jebusite among the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mispah.
4 And they went out, themselves, and all their armies with them, many people, like the sand which is near the sea-shore for multitude, and horses and chariots very many.
5 All those kings assembled, and coming encamped together at the waters of Merom, that they might fight with Israel.
6 And Jehovah said unto Joshua, Fear not before them; for to-morrow, at this time, I will deliver them all up slain before Israel: their horses thou shall hough, and their chariots thou shall burn with fire.
7 Joshua therefore came, and all the people of war with him, against them to the waters of Merom suddenly, and they rushed upon them.
8 And Jehovah delivered them into the hand of Israel, and they smote them, and pursued them as far as great Sidon, and even to the boiling springs, and even to the plain of Mispe on the east; and they smote them till he left none of them surviving.
9 And Joshua did to them as Jehovah had said to him; he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire.
10 And Joshua having returned, at the same time took Hasor, and smote its king with the sword. For Hasor had formerly been the head of all those kingdoms.
11 They also smote every soul which was therein, destroying by the edge of the sword; no soul remained; and he burnt Hasor with fire.
12 All the cities of those kings Joshua took, and smote them with the edge of the sword, destroying them as Moses the servant of Jehovah had commanded.
13 Only all the cities which remained in their state Joshua burned not, except Hasor alone, which Joshua burnt.
14 And all the spoils of those cities, and the cattle, the children of Israel took as booty to themselves; nevertheless all the men they smote with the edge of the sword, they did not leave any soul.
15 As Jehovah had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did so, that he might not omit any one of all the things which Jehovah had commanded Moses.
16 And Joshua took all that mountain land, and all the south, and all the land of Goshen, and the plain and level lands, the mountain of Israel also, and its plain.
17 From the mountain of the left, which rises towards Seir, as far as Baal-gad, in the plain of Lebanon under Mount Hermon; also all their kings he took, and smote and slew them.
18 Many days did Joshua carry on war with all those kings.
19 There was no city which made peace with the children of Israel except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon; they took them all in battle.
20 Because it was from Jehovah to harden their heart to encounter Israel in war, that he might destroy them, and no pity might remain for them; but that he might destroy them, as Jehovah had commanded Moses.
21 And Joshua came at that time and cut off Analzim from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Juda, and from all the mountains of Israel; Joshua destroyed them along with their cities.
22 There remained not of the Analzim in the land of the children of Israel; only in Gad and in Ashdod was there a residue.
23 Accordingly Joshua took all the land according as Jehovah had said to Moses, and he gave it over as an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes; and the land rested from war.
1 These are the kings of the land whom the children of Israel smote, and whose land they possessed beyond the Jordan, towards the rising of the sun, from the torrent Arnon even to Mount Hermon, and all the eastern plain.
2 Sehon the Amorite king, who dwelt in Hesbon, who ruled from Aroer to the bank of the torrent Arnon, and to the middle of the torrent, and to the middle part of Gilead, even to the torrent Jabbolz, which is the boundary of the children of Ammon.
3 And from the plain even to the sea of Cineroth on the east, and even to the sea of the desert, the sea of salt on the east, by the way of Beth-hagesimoth, and from the south under the outpourings (springs) of Pisgah.
4 The boundary besides of Og king of Basan, of the residue of the Rephaim, who dwelt in Astaroth and Hedrei,
5 Who ruled in mount Hermon, and in Salchah, and in all Basan, even to the border of Gessuri and Maachathi, and the middle part of Gilead: (such was) the boundary of Sehon king of Basan.
6 Moses, the servant of Jehovah, and the children of Israel, smote them, and Moses, the servant of Jehovah, gave it for a possession to the Reubenites, and Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh.
7 Now these are the kings whom Joshua and the children of Israel smote beyond the Jordan on the west, from Baal-gad in the plain of Lebanon even to the mountain Laevis which rises in Seir; and Joshua delivered it to the tribes of Israel for a possession according to their portions.
8 Among the mountains, and in the plain, and in the lowlands, and in Asdoth, and in the desert, and in the south; the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:
9 The king of Jericho, one; the king of Hai, who was on the side of Bethel, one;
10 The king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one;
11 The king of Jarmath, one; the king of Lachis, one;
12 The king of Eglon, one; the king of Jeser, one;
13 The king of Debir, one; the king Jeder, one;
14 The king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one;
15 The king of Libna, one; the king of Adulam, one;
16 The king of Makeda, one; the king of Bethel, one;
17 The king of Tapuah, one; the king of Epher, one;
18 The king of Aphek, one; the king of Lasaron, one;
19 The king of Madon, one; the king of Asor, one;
20 The king of Simron Meron, one; the king of Achsaph, one;
21 The king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one;
22 The king of Kedesch, one; the king of Jocnam at Carmel, one;
23 The king of Dor, at Naphath-dor, one; the king of Grim in Gilgal, one;
24 The king of Thirsa, one; all the kings thirty and one.
1 And when Joshua had become old and stricken in years, Jehovah said to him, Thou has become old and stricken in years, and very much land still remains to be possessed.
2 This is the land which remains: all the limits of the Philistines, and all Gessuri,
3 From the Nile, which is in the direction of Egypt, even to the border of Ekron, which is on the north, which is considered part of Canaan: five princedoms of the Philistines, Azath, Asdod, Askalon, Gittha, Ekron, and Avei.
4 From the south, the whole land of the Canaanite and Meara, which belongs to the Sidonians, even to Paera, even to the border of the Amorite;
5 And the land of Gibli, and all Lebanon toward the sun-rising, from Baal-gad under mount Hermon, until you come to Haemath.
6 All the inhabitants of the mountain, from Lebanon even to the boiling springs, all the Sidonians will I drive out from before the children of Israel; only do thou cast the lot, that it may be for an inheritance to Israel, as I have commanded thee.
7 Now, therefore, divide the land for an inheritance to the nine tribes and the half tribe of Manasseh;
8 Besides it the Reubenites, and Gadites have received their portions, which Moses gave them beyond Jordan on the east, as Moses, the servant of Jehovah, gave them;
9 From Aroer, which is near the bank of the river Arnon, and the city itself, which is in the midst of the valley, and the whole plain of Medeba as far as Debon;
10 And all the cities of Sihon, the Amorite king, who reigned in Hesbon, even to the boundary of the children of Ammon;
11 And Gilead, and the border of Gessuri, and Maachathi, and the whole of mount Hermon, and all Basan as far as Salchah;
12 The whole kingdom of Og in Basan, who reigned in Astaroth, and in Edrei; the remains of the residue of the Rephaim, whom Moses smote and expelled.
13 But the children of Israel did not expel the Geshurites and Maacathites; therefore Geshur and Maachath have dwelt in the midst of Israel even to this day.
14 Only to the tribe of Levi did he not give an inheritance: the sacrifices of Jehovah the God of Israel are their inheritance, as he spoke concerning it.
15 Moses therefore gave to the tribe of Reuben by their families:
16 And their border was from Aroer, which is near the bank of the torrent Arnon, and the city which is in the midst of the valley, and the whole plain which is near Medeba.
17 Hesbon and all its cities which were in the plain; Debon and Bamoth-baal, and Beth-baalmeon,
18 And Jahasah, and Cedemoth, and Mephaath.
19 And Ciriathaim, and Sibmah, and Sereth-sahar in the mountain of the valley,
20 And Beth-peor, and Asdoth-Pisgah, and Beth-Jesimoth.
21 And all the cities of the plain, and the whole kingdom of Sihon the Amorite king, who reigned in Hesbon, whom Moses slew: and the princes of Midian, Evi, and Rekem, and Sur, and Hur, and Reba, leaders of Sihon, inhabitants of the land.
22 And Balaam son of Beor, the diviner, the children of Israel slew with the sword among their slain.
23 And the boundary of the children of Israel was the Jordan and its boundary. This is the inheritance of the children of Reuben by their families, cities, and villages.
24 And Moses gave to the tribe of Gad, to the children of Gad by their families:
25 And their boundary was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and the half of the land of the children of Ammon, even to Aroer which is before Rabbah:
26 And from Hesbon even to Ramath of Mispe itself, and Bethonim; and from Mahanaim even to the border of Debir itself;
27 And in the valley of Beth-haran, and Beth-nimrah, and Succoth, and Saphon; a remnant of the kingdom of Sihon king of Hesbon, the Jordan and its confines, even to the extremity of the Sea of Chinnereth, beyond Jordan on the east.
28 This is the inheritance of the children of Gad, by their families, their cities, and their villages.
29 Moses, moreover, gave to the half tribe of Manasseh: and there was to the half tribe of the children of Manasseh by their families,
30 Their border, I say, was from Mahanaim, all of Basan, the whole kingdom of Og king of Basan, and all of Havoth-Jair which are in Basan, sixty cities ·
31 And the half of Gilead, and Astaroth, and Edrei, cities of Og king of Basan, of the sons of Machir, the son of Manasseh, to the half part of the sons of Machir by their families.
32 Those are the inheritances which Moses delivered in the plains of Moab, from the passage of Jordan to Jericho itself, on the east.
33 But to the tribe of Levi Moses did not give an inheritance; Jehovah the God of Israel himself is their inheritance, as he said to them (or concerning them.)
1 These are the territories which the children of Israel received as an inheritance, in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the tribes of the children of Israel, delivered to them, for an inheritance,
2 By the lot of their inheritance, as Jehovah had commanded by the hand of Moses, to give to the nine tribes and the half tribe.
3 For Moses had given to the two tribes and to the half tribe beyond the Jordan. But he had not given to the Levites an inheritance in the midst of them.
4 For the sons of Joseph were the two tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim: accordingly they did not give a portion to the Levites in the land except cities to dwell in, and the suburbs of them for their herds and flocks.
5 As Moses had commanded, so did the children of Israel, and they divided the land.
6 And the children of Judah came near to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said to him, Thou knowest the word which Jehovah spoke to Moses the man of God, concerning me and concerning thee in Cades-barnea.
7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of Jehovah sent me from Cades-Barnea to explore the land, and I reported the matter to him as it was in my heart.
8 And when my brethren who had come down with me melted the heart of the people, I perseveringly followed Jehovah my God.
9 And Moses swear on that day, saying, Surely the land which thy foot has trod shall be thine for an inheritance, and to thy children for ever, because thou has perseveringly followed Jehovah thy God.
10 And now Jehovah has granted me life as he had said. Forty-five years have elapsed since the time when the Lord declared this matter to Moses, and since Israel has walked through the desert: and now, indeed, this day am I eighty-five years of age.
11 And still am I this day vigorous as on that day on which Moses sent me; as great as my vigor was then, so great is my vigor this day for battle, both for going out and coming in.
12 Now, therefore, give me that mountain, as Jehovah spoke on that day, For thou did hear on that day that the Anakim are there, and cities great and fortified: perhaps Jehovah will be with me, and I shall drive them out, as Jehovah said.
13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb himself the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance.
14 Therefore has Hebron belonged to Caleb himself the son of Jephunneh, the Kenezite for an inheritance unto this day, because he perseveringly followed Jehovah, the God of Israel.
15 Now the name of Hebron was formerly Ciriath-arba, which Arba was a great man among the Anakim, and the land rested from war.
1 And there was a lot to the children of Judah by their families near the border of Edom, and the desert of Sin towards the south, from the extremity of the south.
2 And their south boundary was from the extremity of the salt sea, that is, from the rock which looks towards the south.
3 And it goes out towards the south of Maale-acrabim, and thence passes over into Sin: and proceeding from the south in Cades-barnea, it passes over thence into Esron, and again goes up in Adar, and makes a circuit in Carcaa.
4 Thence it passes into Asmon, and goes out to the torrent of Egypt: and the outgoings of this boundary are toward the west: that will be your boundary toward the south.
5 And the boundary toward the east is the salt sea, even to the extremity of the Jordan; and the boundary of the north corner is from the rock of the sea, from the extremity of the Jordan.
6 And that boundary goeth up into Beth-hoglah, and passes from the north to Beth-araba: and thence that boundary goeth up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben.
7 That boundary, moreover, goeth up into Debir from the valley of Achor, and towards the north looks to Gilgal, which is over against the ascent of Adummim, which, indeed, is to the torrent on the south: and that boundary passes to the waters of En-semes, and its outgoings are at En-rogel.
8 And that boundary goeth up to the valley of the son of Hinnom, to the side of the Jebusite on the south; the same is Jerusalem: that boundary, moreover, goeth up to the top of the mountain which is over against the valley of Hinnom on the west, which valley is at the extremity of the valley of Rephaim on the north.
9 And the boundary goes round from the top of the mountain, to the fountain of the water of Nephthoah, and goeth out to the cities of mount Ephron, and that boundary makes a circuit in Baala, the same is Ciriath-Jearim.
10 And thence that boundary winds round from Baala on the west to mount Seir, and thence passes through to the side of mount Jearim on the north, the same is Chesalon, and it goeth down into Beth-semes, and passes over into Timna.
11 And the boundary goeth out to the side of Ecron on the north, and that boundary makes a circuit to Sichron, and passes through even to mount Baala: and thence goes out into Jabneel: and the outgoings of this boundary are at the sea.
12 Moreover, the west boundary is at the great sea and its coast: that is the boundary of the children of Judah round about, by their families.
13 And he gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh in the midst of the children of Judah, according to the word of Jehovah to Joshua, the portion of Ciriath-arba, the father of Anac, the same is Hebron.
14 Caleb drove thence the three sons of Anac, Sezadi, and Haiman, and Thalmai, who were sons of Anac.
15 And he went up from thence to the inhabitants of Debir, whose name was formerly Ciriath-sepher.
16 And Caleb said, To him who shall smite Ciriath-sepher and take it, will I give my daughter Achsa to wife.
17 And Othoniel the son of Cenas, the brother of Caleb, took it, and he gave him Achsa his daughter to wife.
18 And it was when she came, that she persuaded him to ask a field of her father, and she dismounted from the ass, and Caleb said to her, What would thou?
19 She answered, Give me a blessing; since thou has given me an arid land, give me springs of water. And he gave her upper springs and lower springs.
20 That is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Judah by their families.
21 And the cities in the extremity of the tribe of Judah, near the border of Edom on the south were Capsee, and Eder, and Jagur,
22 And Cina, and Dimona, and Adada,
23 And Cedes, and Hasor, and Ithnan,
24 Ziph, and Telem, and Bealot,
25 And Hazor, and Hadatha, and Cerioth, Hesron, the same is Hazor.
26 Amam, and Sema, and Molada,
27 And Hasar-Gadda, and Hesmon, and Beth-phelet,
28 And Hasar-sual, and Beerseba, and Biziotheia,
29 Baala, and Jim, and Asem,
30 And Eltholad, and Chesil, and Hormah,
31 And Siclag, and Madmannah, and Sensannah,
32 And Lebaoth, and Silhim, and Ain, and Rimon: all the cities twenty-nine, and their villages.
33 In the plain Esthaol, and Sora, and Asnah,
34 And Zanoah, and En-gannim, and Thaphuah, and Enam,
35 Jarmuth, and Adulam, Sochoch, and Azecah,
36 And Saaraim, and Adithaim, and Gederah, and Gederothaim: fourteen cities and their villages.
37 Senam, and Hadasa, and Migdalgad,
38 And Dilan, and Mispeh, and Jocteel,
39 Lachis, and Boscath, and Eglon,
40 And Chabbon, and Lahmam, and Chithlis,
41 And Gederoth, Beth-dagon, and Naamah, Makeda: sixteen cities and their villages.
42 Liona, and Ether, and Asan,
43 And Jephtha, and Asna, and Nesib,
44 And Cheila, and Achzib, and Marezah: nine cities and their villages.
45 Ecron, and its towns and its villages.
46 From Ecron, and to the sea, all which are on the side of Asdod, and their villages.
47 Asdod, its towns and its villages: Azza, its towns and its villages, even to the torrent of Egypt, and the great sea; and this is its boundary.
48 And in the mountain, Samir and Jarbur, and Sochoch,
49 And Dannah, and Ciriath-sannah, the same is Debir,
50 And Ahab, and Estemoth, and Anim,
51 And Gosan, and Holon, and Giloh: eleven cities and their villages.
52 Arab, and Dumah, and Esan,
53 And Janum, and Beth-thappuah, and Aphecah,
54 And Humtha, and Ciriath-Arba, the same is Hebron, and Sior: nine cities and their villages.
55 Mahon, Carmel, and Ziph, and Juttah,
56 And Jezreel, and Jocdean, and Zaura,
57 Cain, Giba, and Thimna: ten cities and their villages.
58 Hal-hul, and Beth-sur, and Gedor,
59 And Maarath, and Bethanoth, and Elthecon: six cities and their villages.
60 Ciriath-baal, the same is Ciriath-Jearim, and Rabba: two cities and their villages.
61 In the desert Beth-arabah Middin, and Sech-acha,
62 And Nibsan, and the city of Salt, and En-gedi: six cities and their villages.
63 Moreover, the children of Judah were not able to expel the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem; therefore the Jebusite has dwelt with the children of Judah in Jerusalem even to this day.
1 And the lot for the children of Joseph fell out from the Jordan to Jericho, to the waters of Jericho on the east, to the desert which goeth up from Jericho to mount Bethel.
2 And it goeth out from Bethel into Luz, and hence passes through to the boundary of Archi Atharoth.
3 It afterward goeth up to the sea, to the border of Japhletus, even to the border of lower Beth-horon, and even to Gazer, and its outgoings are at the sea.
4 And thus the children of Joseph, Manasseh, and Ephraim received their inheritance.
5 And this was the boundary of the children of Ephraim by their families; the border of their inheritance was, I say, on the east from Atroh-Addar, even to upper Beth-horon.
6 And that border goes out to the sea, to Michmethath on the north; and the boundary goes round to the east, to Thaanath-Siloh, and crosses it from the east to Janoah.
7 And it descends from Janoah in Atharoth, and Maarath, and reaches to Jericho, and goeth out to Jordan.
8 From Thappuah the boundary proceeds to the sea, to the torrent of reeds, and its outgoings are at the sea; this is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Ephraim by their families.
9 And cities were set apart for the children of Ephraim in the midst of the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities and their villages.
10 Nor did they expel the Canaanite dwelling in Gazer; wherefore the Canaanite has dwelt in the middle of Ephraim to this day, and been tributary to him.
1 There was also a lot to the tribe of Manasseh, (for he was the first-born of Joseph,) to Machir himself, the first-born of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, (for he was a man of war,) to him, I say, there was Gilead and Basan.
2 There was likewise to the other children of Manasseh by their families, to the sons of Abiezer, and the sons of Helec, and the sons of Asriel, and the sons of Sechem, and the sons of Hepher, and the sons of Semida. These are the children of Manasseh, the male children by their families.
3 Moreover, to Selophead, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, there were no sons but daughters whose names are these, Mahala, and Noa, Hogla, Milcha, and Thirsa.
4 These came into the presence of Eleazar the priest, and into the presence of Joshua, the son of Nun, and into the presence of the princes, saying, Jehovah commanded Moses to give us an inheritance in the midst of our brethren. He therefore gave them according to the word of Jehovah, an inheritance in the midst of the brethren of their father.
5 And there fell to Manasseh ten inheritances, besides the land of Gilead and Basan, which were beyond Jordan.
6 For the daughters of Manasseh obtained an inheritance in the midst of the sons; and the land of Gilead was to the other children of Manasseh.
7 And the boundary of Manasseh was from Aser to Michmethath, which is before Sechem, and the boundary proceeds to the right, to the inhabitants of En-thappua.
8 To Manasseh himself belonged the land of Thappua; but the Thappua which was at the border of Manasseh belongs to the children of Ephraim.
9 And the boundary descends to the torrent of reeds, to the south of the torrent itself; these cities in the midst of the cities of Manasseh belong to the tribe of Ephraim; but the boundary of Manasseh is on the north of the torrent itself, and its outgoings are at the sea.
10 On the south it belongs to Ephraim himself, and on the north to Manasseh himself, and the sea is its boundary, and they meet together in Aser on the north, and in Issachar on the east.
11 And it was to Manasseh himself in Issachar, and in Aser, Beth-sean, and its towns; and Ibleam and its towns; and the inhabitants of Dor and its towns; and the inhabitants of Endor and its towns, and the inhabitants of Thaanach, and its towns; and the inhabitants of Megiddo, three districts.
12 And the children of Manasseh were not able to expel the inhabitants of those cities, but the Canaanite began to dwell in the land itself.
13 But when the children of Israel had acquired strength, they made the Canaanite tributary, and did not by expelling expel (completely expel) him.
14 And the children of Joseph spoke unto Joshua, saying, Why has thou given me one lot for an inheritance, and one inheritance, seeing I am a numerous people, so has Jehovah hitherto blessed me?
15 And Joshua said unto them, If thou art a numerous people, go up into the wood, and cut down for thyself there, in the land of the Perizzite, and the Rephaim, if the mountain of Ephraim is narrow for thee.
16 And the children of Joseph replied to him, That mountain will not suffice us, and there are iron chariots to every Canaanite who dwells in the land of the valley, and to him who dwells in Beth-sean and its towns, and to him who dwells in the valley of Jezrael.
17 And Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph, namely, to Ephraim and Manasseh, saying, Thou art a numerous people and has great courage: thou shall not have (merely) a single lot.
18 For the mountain will be thine, inasmuch as it is a wood; thou shall therefore cut it down, and its outgoing shall be thine; for thou shall expel the Canaanite, though he have iron chariots, and though he be brave.
1 And the whole multitude of the children of Israel assembled in Silo, and placed there the tabernacle of convention, after the land was subdued before them.
2 And there had remained of the children of Israel, to whom they had not divided their inheritance, seven tribes.
3 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long do you delay to go in to possess the land which Jehovah the God of your fathers has given you?
4 Each tribe of you give up three men whom I will send; and they shall rise and walk through the land, and shall describe it according to its inheritance; afterwards they shall return to me.
5 And they shall divide it into seven portions; Judah will stand in his confines on the south, and the families of Joseph will stand in their confines on the north.
6 And do you describe the land in seven portions, and bring it hither to me: then I will cast the lot here before Jehovah our God.
7 For there is no part to the Levites in the midst of you, because the priesthood of Jehovah is their inheritance; and Gad, and Reuben, and the half tribe of Manasseh, have received their inheritance beyond the Jordan on the east, which Moses the servant of Jehovah gave to them.
8 And those men rose up, and went away; and Joshua commanded those who went to describe the land, saying, Go and walk through the land, and describe it; afterwards you will return to me, and I will cast the lot for you here in Silo.
9 The men therefore went away, and passed through the land, and described it by cities in seven parts, in a book: and they returned to Joshua, to the camp in Silo.
10 And Joshua cast a lot for them in Silo before the Lord; and there Joshua divided the land to the children of Israel according to their portions.
11 And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin by their families came up, and the boundary of their lot fell out between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph.
12 And their boundary was on the side of the north by the Jordan; and their boundary went up to the side of Jericho on the north, and went up to the mountain at the sea; and their outgoings are at the desert of Beth-aven.
13 And thence the boundary passes through into Luz to the side of southern Luz, (the same is Bethel,) and the boundary descends into Ateroth-Adar near the mountain which is on the south of lower Beth-horon itself.
14 And the boundary is marked out, and goes round to the side of the sea at the south, from the mountain which is over against Beth-horon on the south; and its outgoings are at Ciriath-Baal, (the same is Ciriath-Jearim,) a city of the sons of Judah, that is, the side of the sea.
15 And the side on the south is from the extremity of Ciriath-Jearim; accordingly the boundary goeth out to the sea, goeth out, I say, to the fountain of the waters of Nephthoah.
16 And the boundary descends to the extremity of the mountain which is over against the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and which is in the valley of the Rephaim on the north, and it descends to the valley of Hinnom to the side of the Jebusite on the south, and thence descends to En-rogel.
17 And it makes a circuit from the north, and goes out to En-semes, and proceeds outwards to Gehloth, which is over against the acclivity of Adummim; and descends to Eben of Bohan, the son of Reuben.
18 Thence it passes through to the side which is over against the plain on the north, and descends into Arabah.
19 Thence the boundary passes through to the side of Beth-hogla on the north; and the outgoings of its boundary are at the limit of the salt sea on the north, at the extremity of the Jordan on the south; that is the south boundary.
20 And the Jordan bounds it on the east side. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, by his boundaries round about by his families.
21 And these were the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin by their families, Jericho, and Beth-hoglah, and the valley of Cesis.
22 And Beth-araba, and Semarain, and Bethel,
23 And Avim, and Parah, and Ophrah,
24 And Haamonai, and Ophni, and Gaba; twelve cities and their villages.
25 Gibon, and Raamah, and Beeroth,
26 And Mispeh, and Chephirah, and Mosah,
27 And Recem, and Irpeel, and Tharalah.
28 And Sela Eleph, and Jebusi, (the same is Jerusalem,) Gibath, Ciriath, fourteen cities and their villages; this is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin by their families.
1 And the second lot came out to Simeon, the tribe of the children of Simeon by their families; and their inheritance was in the midst of the inheritance of the children of Judah.
2 And they had for their inheritance Beer-seba, and Seba, and Moladah,
3 And Hasar-Sual, and Balah, and Asen,
4 And Eltholad, and Bethul, and Hormah,
5 And Siclag, and Beth-Marcaboth, and Hasarsusa,
6 And Beth-Lebaoth, and Saruhen; thirteen cities and their villages.
7 Ain, Rimmon, and Ether, and Asan; four cities and their villages.
8 And all the villages which were around those cities even to Baalath-beer, southern Ramath. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon by their families.
9 Out of a portion of the children of Judah was made the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the portion of the children of Judah was too great for them, and thus the children of Simeon received an inheritance in the midst of their inheritance.
10 And the third lot came up for the sons of Zabulon, by their families, and the boundary of their inheritance was even to Sarid.
11 And their boundary goes up to the sea, and Maralah, and reaches to Dabbaseth, and arrives at the river which is over against Jocnea.
12 And returns from Sarid to the east, that is, to the sun-rising, to the border of Chisloth-Thabor, and thence goes out to Dabrath, and goes up to Japhia.
13 Thence, moreover, it passes to the east, at its rising, to Githah-Hepher, and Ihtahcasin: and thence it goes out into Rimmon, and winds round to Neah.
14 The same boundary likewise winds round from the north to Hannathon: and its goings out are to the valley of Iphthael,
15 And Catthath, and Nahalal, and Simron, and Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities and their villages.
16 This is the inheritance of the children of Zabulon by their families: these cities and their villages.
17 The fourth lot came out to Issachar, to the children of Issachar, I say, by their families.
18 And their boundary was Jezrael, and Chesuloth, and Sunem.
19 And Hapharaim, and Sion, and Ana-harat,
20 And Rabbith, and Cision, and Abeth,
21 And Remeth, and Engannim, and Enhaddad, and Beth-passes.
22 And their boundary reached to Thabor, and Sahasima, and Beth-semes: and the outgoings of their boundary will be at the Jordan sixteen cities and their villages.
23 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar by their families, their cities and villages.
24 And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Aser by their families.
25 And their boundary was Helcath, and Hali, and Bethen, and Achsaph,
26 And Alamelech, and Amad, and Misal: and it reached to Carmel at the sea, and to Sihor-libnath.
27 And it returns to the east in Beth-dagon, and reaches to Zabulon, and to the valley of Iphtahel on the north, and to Beth-emec, and Neel, and it goes out to Chabul on the left,
28 And Ebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Canah, even to great Sidon
29 And the boundary returns to Ramah, even to the fortified city of the rock; thence the boundary returns to Hosah, and its outgoings are at the sea by the coast of Achzib;
30 And Ummah, and Aphec, and Rehob: twenty-two cities and their villages.
31 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Aser by their families; those cities and their villages.
32 To the sons of Naphtali the sixth lot came out, to the sons of Naphtali, I say, by their families.
33 And their boundary was by Heleph, and by Elon in Saanannim, and Adami, Neceb, and Jabneel, even to the lake, and its outgoings are at the Jordan.
34 Afterwards the boundary returns to the sea at Aznoth-thabor, and proceeds thence to Huccoc, and reaches to Zabulon on the south, and reaches to Aser on the west, and to Judah on the Jordan on the east.
35 And the fortified cities are Siddim, Ser, and Hammath, Raccath, and Chinnereth,
36 And Adamah, and Ramah, and Hasor,
37 And Cedes, and Hedrei, and En-Hasor,
38 And Iron, and Migdal-el, Horem, and Beth-anath, and Beth-semes nineteen cities and their villages.
39 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali, by their families, their cities, and their villages.
40 The seventh lot came out to the tribe of the children of Dan, by their families.
41 And the boundary of their inheritance was Sorah, and Esthaol, and Ir-semes,
42 And Saalabbin, and Ajalon, and Ithlah,
43 And Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ecron,
44 And Elthece, and Gibbethon, and Baalath,
45 And Jehud, and Bene-berac, and Gath-rimon,
46 And Mehaiarcon, and Raccon, with its boundary against Japho.
47 And the boundary of the children of Dan went out from them: and the children of Dan went up and fought with Lesem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and received it with their inheritance, and dwelt in it, and they called Lesem Dan after the name of Dan their father.
48 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan, by their families; those cities and their towns.
49 And when they had made an end of dividing the land, assigning each their boundaries, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua himself the son of Nun, in the midst of them:
50 According to the word of Jehovah, they gave him the city which he asked, Thimnath-serah in mount Ephraim; and he built a city and dwelt in it.
51 Those are the inheritances, possession of which was delivered by Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the chiefs of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, by lot, in Silo, before Jehovah, at the door of the tabernacle of convention; and they made an end of dividing the land.
1 And Jehovah spoke to Joshua, saying,
2 Address the children of Israel in these words, Give cities of refuge of which I spoke to you by the hand of Moses;
3 That the homicide, who has taken away a life through mistake, not knowingly, may flee thither: and they will be to you for a refuge from the kinsman of blood.
4 And he shall fly to one of those cities, and shall stand at the door of the gate of the city, and speak his words in the ears of the elders of the city itself, and they will receive him into the city, and give him a place, and he shall dwell with them.
5 And when the kinsman of blood shall have pursued him, they shall not deliver up the homicide into his hand; because he smote his neighbor unknowingly, and had no hatred to him in time past, (yesterday and the day before yesterday.)
6 And he will dwell in that city until he stand before the assembly for judgment, even until the high priest, who shall be in those days, shall die: for then the homicide will return, and come to his city, and to his house, to the city whence he had fled.
7 And they assigned Cedes in Galilee, in mount Naphtali, and Sechem in mount Ephraim, and Ciriath-arba (the same is Hebron) in mount Judah.
8 And from beyond the Jordan of Jericho on the east, they gave Beser, in the desert in the plain, of the tribe of Reuben: and Ramoth in Gilead of the tribe of Gad; and Golan in Basan, of the tribe of Manasseh.
9 Those were the cities of convention to all the children of Israel, and to the stranger sojourning in the midst of them, that whosoever had slain any one by mistake might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the kinsman of blood before he had stood before the assembly.
1 And the princes of the fathers of the Levites came near to Eleazar the priest, and to Joshua the son of Nun, and to the princes of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel.
2 And spoke to them in Silo, in the land of Canaan, saying, Jehovah commanded by the hand of Moses, that you should give us cities to dwell in, and their suburbs for our cattle.
3 Therefore the children of Israel gave to the Levites of their inheritance, according to the word of Jehovah, those cities and their suburbs.
4 And the lot fell out by the families of the Ceathites, and there were to the children of Aaron the priest, of the Levites, of the tribe of Judah, and of the tribe of Simeon, and of the tribe of Benjamin, by lot, thirteen cities.
5 And to the remaining sons of Ceath, of the families of the tribe of Ephraim, and of the tribe of Dan, and of the half tribe of Manasseh, by lot, ten cities.
6 But to the sons of Gerson, of the families of the tribe of Issachar, and of the tribe of Aser, and of the tribe of Naphtali, and of the half tribe of Manasseh in Basan, by lot, thirteen cities.
7 To the children of Merari by their families, of the tribe of Reuben, and of the tribe of Gad, and of the tribe of Zabulon, twelve cities.
8 The children of Israel, I say, gave to the Levites those cities and their suburbs, by lot, as Jehovah had commanded by the hand of Moses.
9 They gave therefore of the tribe of the children of Judah, and of the tribe of the children of Simeon, those cities which he called by name.
10 And they were to the sons of Aaron, of the families of Ceath, of the sons of Levi; for theirs was the first lot:
11 And they gave to them Ciriath-arba of the father of Anac, (the same is Hebron,) in mount Judah, and its suburbs round about it.
12 But the field of that city and its villages they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh, for his possession.
13 To the sons of Aaron the priest, I say, they gave the city of refuge, for the homicide, Hebron and its suburbs, and Libna and its suburbs.
14 And Jathir and its suburbs, and Esthemoa and its suburbs,
15 Holon and its suburbs, and Debir and its suburbs,
16 And Ain and its suburbs, and Juttah and its suburbs, and Beth-semes and its suburbs: nine cities of those two tribes.
17 And of the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon and its suburbs, and Geba and its suburbs,
18 Anathoth and its suburbs, Almon and its suburbs: four cities.
19 All the cities of the sons of Aaron, the priests, were thirteen cities and their suburbs.
20 But to the families of the sons of Cahath, Levites who remained of the sons of Cahath, (now the cities of their lot were of the tribe of Ephraim.)
21 They gave to them, I say, as a city of refuge for the homicide, Sechem and its suburbs, in mount Ephraim, and Geser and its suburbs,
22 And Cibsaim and its suburbs, and Beth-boron and its suburbs: four cities.
23 And of the tribe of Dan, Elthece and its suburbs, and Gibbethon and its suburbs,
24 And Ajalon and its suburbs, and Gath-rimmon and its suburbs: four cities.
25 And of the half tribe of Manasseh, Thaanach and its suburbs, Gath-rimmon and its suburbs: two cities.
26 All the ten cities and their suburbs, to the remaining families of the sons of Cahath.
27 Moreover, to the sons of Gerson of the families of the Levites, from the half tribe of Manasseh, as a city of refuge for the homicide, Golan in Basan and its suburbs, Beesthera and its suburbs: two cities.
28 Of the tribe of Issachar, Cision and its suburbs, Dabrath and its suburbs,
29 Jarmuth and its suburbs, Engannim and its suburbs: four cities.
30 And of the tribe of Aser, Misal and its suburbs, Abdon and its suburbs,
31 Helcath and its suburbs, and Rehob and its suburbs: four cities.
32 And of the tribe of Naphtali, as a city of refuge for the homicide, Cedes in Galilee and its suburbs, and Hamath-Dor and its suburbs, and Carthan and its suburbs: three cities.
33 All the cities of the Gersonites, by their families, were thirteen cities and their suburbs.
34 And to the families of the sons of Merari remaining of the Levites, out of the tribe of Zabulon, Jocnea and its suburbs, Cartha and its suburbs,
35 Dimnah and its suburbs, Nahalal and its suburbs: four cities.
36 And of the tribe of Reuben, Beser and its suburbs, and Jehasa and its suburbs,
37 Cedemoth and its suburbs, Mephaath and its suburbs: four cities.
38 And of the tribe of Gad, as a city of refuge from the homicide, Ramoth in Gileath and its suburbs,
39 Hesbon and its suburbs, Jazer and its suburbs: four cities.
40 All the cities of the sons of Merari by their families which remained of the families of the Levites, as was their lot, were twelve cities.
41 All the cities of the Levites in the midst of the possession of the children of Israel, were eighty-four cities and their suburbs.
42 Those were single cities, and their suburbs were round about them; so was it with all those cities,
43 Jehovah, therefore, gave to Israel the whole land, of which he had sworn that he would give it to their fathers; and they possessed it and dwelt in it.
44 Jehovah also gave them rest round about, exactly as Jehovah had sworn to their fathers; nor was there any one of all their enemies who could resist them; Jehovah delivered all their enemies into their hand.
45 Not a word failed of all the good word which Jehovah had spoken to the house of Israel; all things were fulfilled.
1 Then Joshua called the Reubenites and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh,
2 And said to them, you have kept all things which Moses the servant of Jehovah commanded you, and you have obeyed my voice in all things which I have commanded you.
3 You have not deserted your brethren now for many days, even to this day, but you have carefully observed the command of Jehovah your God.
4 And now Jehovah your God has given rest to your brethren, as he had said to them; now, therefore, return and set out to your tents, to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of Jehovah gave you beyond the Jordan.
5 Only observe carefully to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of Jehovah commanded you, to love Jehovah your God, and walk in all his ways, and observe his precepts, and adhere to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.
6 And Joshua blessed them, and discharged them, and they went away to their tents.
7 Now, to the half tribe of Manasseh Moses had given (an inheritance) in Basan; and to the other half, Joshua gave (an inheritance) with their brethren beyond Jordan on the west. And also when Joshua was dismissing them to their tents, and had blessed them,
8 Then he spoke to them, saying, Return with much riches to your tents, and with very much property, with silver, and gold, and brass, and iron, and very much raiment; divide the spoils of your enemies with your brethren.
9 Accordingly, both the children of Reuben and the children of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh returned, and went away from the children of Israel, from Silo, which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the land of Gilead, to the land of their possession, in which they had received a possession, according to the word of Jehovah, by the hand of Moses.
10 And they came to the limits of the Jordan, which were in the land of Canaan, and the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, built there an altar near the Jordan, an altar of conspicuous appearance.
11 And the children of Israel heard it said, Behold, the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, have built an altar over against the land of Canaan, on the confines of the Jordan, at the crossing of the children of Israel.
12 The children of Israel, I say, heard, and the whole body of the children of Israel assembled in Silo, to go up against them to battle.
13 And the children of Israel sent to the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, Phinehas, son of Eleazar the priest,
14 And ten princes with him, a single prince for each house, selected from all the tribes of Israel; for there were single princes of the families of their fathers among the thousands of Israel.
15 They came, therefore, to the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, and spoke with them, saying,
16 Thus says the whole congregation of Jehovah, What falsehood is this which you have devised against the God of Israel, in turning away this day from going after Jehovah, by building an altar for yourselves to rebel this day against Jehovah?
17 Is it little for us to have been involved in the iniquity of Peor, from which we are not yet cleansed even at the present day, and yet there was a plague in the congregation of Jehovah?
18 Now you are turning aside this day from going after Jehovah, and it will be that you will rebel this day against Jehovah, and to-morrow he will be wroth against the whole congregation of Israel;
19 And, indeed, if the land of your possession is impure, pass over to the land of the possession of Jehovah, in which the tabernacle of Jehovah dwells, and receive possessions in the midst of us, and rebel not against Jehovah, nor revolt from us by building an altar for yourselves besides the altar of Jehovah our God.
20 Did not Achan, the son of Zerah, sin grossly in the anathema, and was (there not) anger against the whole congregation of Israel? That man did not die alone on account of his iniquity.
21 And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh answered and spoke with the princes of the thousands of Israel.
22 Jehovah, God of gods, Jehovah, God of gods, himself knoweth, and Israel will know; if it be through rebellion, if it be through falsehood, against Jehovah, save us not this day.
23 If we have thought to build for us an altar, to turn away from going after Jehovah; if to sacrifice upon it burnt-offerings and sacrifice; and if to make upon it sacrifices of prosperity, let Jehovah himself inquire:
24 And if we have not rather done it from a fear of this thing, saying, Your children will to-morrow speak unto our children, saying, What have you to do with Jehovah the God of Israel?
25 For Jehovah has put the Jordan as a boundary between us and you, you children of Reuben and children of Gad; you have no portion in Jehovah; and your children will make our children desist from fearing Jehovah.
26 And we said, Let us now give our endeavor to build an altar, neither for burnt-offerings nor for sacrifice;
27 But that it may be a witness betwixt us and you, and between our generations after us, that we may diligently serve Jehovah before him in our burnt-offerings, and our sacrifices, and our offerings of prosperity; and lest your children may to-morrow say to our children, You have no part in Jehovah.
28 We said therefore, And it shall be, if they say to us or to our generations to-morrow, then shall we say, You see the likeness of an altar to Jehovah, which our fathers made, not for burnt-offering, nor for sacrifice, but to be a witness between us and you.
29 Far be it from us to rebel against Jehovah, and to turn away this day from going after Jehovah, by building an altar for a burnt-offering, for oblation, and for sacrifice, beyond the altar of Jehovah our God, which is before his tabernacle.
30 Moreover, when Phinehas the priest, and the princes of the congregation, and the heads of the thousands of Israel who were with him, had heard the words which the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and the children of Manasseh had spoken, it was pleasing in their eyes.
31 And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the priest, said to the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the children of Manasseh, This day we know that Jehovah is in the midst of us, in that you have not sinned that sin against Jehovah; then you have freed the children of Israel from the hand of Jehovah.
32 Therefore Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the priest, and those princes returned from the children of Reuben, and from the children of Gad, from the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the other children of Israel, and reported the matter to them.
33 And the thing was pleasing in the eyes of the children of Israel, and the sons of Israel blessed God, and did not determine to go up against them to battle, to destroy the land in which the children of Reuben and the children of Gad were dwelling.
34 And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar Hed, saying, For it will be a witness between us that Jehovah is God.
1 And it was after many days, after Jehovah gave rest to Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua became old and stricken in years.
2 Then Joshua called all Israel, their elders, their heads, and their judges, and their prefects, and said to them, I am old and stricken in years,
3 And you have seen all that Jehovah your God has given to all those nations in your sight, because Jehovah your God has fought for you.
4 See that those remaining nations have been distributed to you for an inheritance by your tribes, from the Jordan, and all the nations which I have destroyed, even to the great sea towards the setting of the sun.
5 And Jehovah your God will himself drive them before you, and will drive them out from your presence, and you shall possess their land by hereditary right, as Jehovah your God spoke to you.
6 Be very strong, therefore, to keep and do whatever is written in the book of the law of Moses, not to recede from it, either to the right hand or the left;
7 Do not become mingled with those nations which remain with you, and do not make mention of the name of their gods, nor swear by them, nor serve them, nor bow yourselves to them;
8 But cleave to Jehovah your God, as you have done even to this day.
9 Therefore he has driven out before you great nations and strong, nor has any one stood in your presence even to this day.
10 One man of you has pursued a thousand, because Jehovah your God is he who fights for you, as he had spoken to you.
11 Be very watchful over your souls in loving Jehovah your God.
12 For if you shall turn and turn away, and adhere to those remaining nations, those remaining nations, I say, which are with you, and contract marriages with them, and mingle yourselves with them, and they with you;
13 Then know how that after this Jehovah your God will not drive out all those nations from your face; but they will be to you for a snare, and an offence, and a scourge in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from that best land which Jehovah your God has given you.
14 And lo, I am this day entering the way of all the earth; know, therefore, with your whole heart and your whole soul, that not one word has fallen of all the most excellent words which Jehovah your God spoke over you; all things have happened to you; not one word of them has fallen.
15 Therefore, as every good word which Jehovah your God spoke to you has been fulfilled, so Jehovah will bring upon you every evil word, until he destroy you from that best land which Jehovah your God has given you.
16 When you shall have transgressed the covenant of Jehovah your God, which he commanded you, and shall have gone away and served other gods, and bowed yourselves unto them, the wrath of Jehovah will be kindled against you, and you will perish quickly from the most excellent land which he has given you.
1 And thus Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel in Sichem, and called the elders of Israel, and their heads, and their judges, and their prefects; and they stood before God.
2 And Joshua said unto the whole people, Thus says Jehovah the God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt beyond the river at the beginning, as Terah, the father of Abraham and father of Nachor, and they served strange gods.
3 And I brought your father Abraham from the place which was beyond the river, and I led him through the whole land of Canaan, and I multiplied his seed and gave him Isaac.
4 And to Isaac I have Jacob and Esau; and to Esau I gave mount Seir, that he might possess it; but Jacob and his sons went down into Egypt.
5 And I sent Moses and Aaron, and smote Egypt, as I did in the midst of it, and I afterwards led you out.
6 And I led your fathers out of Egypt, and you came down to the sea, and the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horses even to the Red Sea.
7 Then they cried to Jehovah, and he placed darkness between you and the Egyptians, and he brought the sea over him and covered him; and your eyes saw what I did in the desert, and you dwelt in the desert during many days.
8 Afterwards I brought you to the land of the Amorite, dwelling beyond the Jordan; and they fought with you, and I delivered them into your hand; and you possessed their land, and I destroyed them before your face.
9 And Balac the son of Sippor, the king of Moab, rose up and fought with Israel; and he sent and called Bileam, the son of Beor, to curse you.
10 And I refused to hear Bileam; but blessing I blessed you, and freed you from his hand.
11 And you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho, and the men of Jericho, the Amorite, and the Perezite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Girgashite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite fought against you, and I delivered them into your hand.
12 And I sent before you hornets, who expelled them before your face, the two kings of the Amorite, not by thy sword nor by thy bow.
13 And I gave to you a land in which you labored not, and cities which you built not, and you dwelt in them; of vineyards and oliveyards which you planted not, you eat.
14 Now therefore fear Jehovah, and serve him in perfection and truth, and take away the gods which your fathers served beyond the river and in Egypt, and serve Jehovah.
15 But if it is irksome to you to serve Jehovah, choose you this day whom you are to worship; whether the gods whom your fathers who were beyond the river served, or the gods of the Amorite, in whose land you dwell; but I and my house will worship Jehovah.
16 And the people answered him, saying, Far be it from us to forsake Jehovah, by serving strange gods;
17 For Jehovah our God is he who led us and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves, and who did in our eyes those great signs: and he preserved us in all the way in which we walked, and among all the nations through the midst of whom we passed.
18 And Jehovah drove out all the nations, and also the Amorite, the inhabitant of the land, from our face; even will we serve Jehovah, for he is our God.
19 And Joshua said unto the people, You will not be able to serve Jehovah, inasmuch as he is a holy God, he is a jealous God; he will not spare your wickedness and your sins.
20 If you shall forsake Jehovah, and serve a strange god, he will turn, and do you evil, and consume you, after he has done you good.
21 And the people answered him, By no means; but we will serve Jehovah.
22 And Joshua said unto the people, You are witnesses against yourselves, that you have chosen Jehovah, to serve him; and they said, (We are) witnesses.
23 Now therefore take away the strange gods which are in the midst of you, and incline your heart to Jehovah the God of Israel.
24 And the people answered, Jehovah our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.
25 Joshua therefore made a covenant with the people on that day; and held forth to them precept and judgment in Sichem.
26 Joshua wrote those words in the book of the law of God; he also brought a great stone, and placed it there beneath the oak which was in the sanctuary of Jehovah.
27 And Joshua said to all the people, Behold, that stone will be for a testimony to you, for it has heard all the words of Jehovah which he has spoken to us, and it will be for a testimony against you, lest perchance you lie against your God.
28 And Joshua sent back the people, every one to his own inheritance.
29 And these things having been done, Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Jehovah, died at the age of a hundred and ten years.
30 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Thimnat-serah, which is on mount Ephraim, to the north of mount Gaas.
31 And Israel served Jehovah all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders, who lived long after Joshua, and who had known all the work of Jehovah, which he had done to Israel.
32 And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel had brought out of Egypt, they buried in Sichem, in a part of the field which Jacob had acquired from the children of Hamor, the father of Sichem, for a hundred pieces of money, and the children of Joseph had them in their possession.
33 Moreover, Eleazar the son of Aaron died, and they buried him in Gibeath, belonging to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim.
ft1 This practical conclusion, which is indeed the only one of real importance, is founded partly on the general consent of the Church, evinced by the place which the Book of Joshua has always held in the Sacred Canon, and partly on the strong sanction given to it by the direct or indirect references and quotations of the other inspired writers both of the Old and the New Testament, e.g., <111634>1 Kings 16:34; Psalm 44; <196812>Psalm 68:12-14; <197854>Psalm 78:54, 55; <19B404>Psalm 114:4, 5; <350311>Habakkuk 3:11; <440745>Acts 7:45; <580408>Hebrews 4:8; <581130>Hebrews 11:30, 31; <581305>Hebrews 13:5; and <590225>James 2:25. The authorship, however, is so uncertain that there is scarcely a writer of eminence from the period of the history itself down to the time of Ezra, for whom the honor has not been claimed. Among others may be mentioned Phinchas, Samuel, and Isaiah. The obvious inference is, that the question of authorship is one of those destined only to be agitated but never satisfactorily determined. The opinion above stated by Calvin is perhaps as plausible as any other, though he scarcely appreciates the claims which may be urged in favor of Joshua himself. It is, of course, impossible to attribute to him either the narrative of his own death, or the references to one or two events which happened subsequent to it. Such anachronisms, if they may be so called, only prove what has never been denied, that some insertions or interpolations have been made in the original work. But as the account of the death of Moses in the last book of the Pentateuch is not allowed to cast any doubt on the claim of Moses to have been the true author, it is not easy to see why similar insertions should be supposed to have any stronger effect in regard to the claim of Joshua. In addition to the evidence furnished by those passages in which the writer speaks as an eye-witness, and an actor in the events recorded, those who attribute the Book of Joshua find a strong argument in the position which Joshua occupied. He was not only the divinely appointed successor, but the ardent admirer and diligent imitator of Moses. It is reasonable to suppose, that while imitating him in the general principles of his government, he forgot to imitate him in the use of his pen, or that he was not as careful as Moses had been to draw up a written narrative of the wonderful events which the Lord performed by his hand? The important fact that Joshua did write is distinctly stated in <062426>Joshua 24:26; and though the writing there referred to seems to have been confined to the narrative of a special event, analogy goes far to justify the inference, that what he did on this occasion was in accordance with his usual practice, and that the record which we now possess of his eventful life, is, in substance at least, the production of his pen. — Ed.
ft2 The French here is, — "Car tout ainsi comme des gendarmes fuyars, qui laissent vilainement leur enseigne, oublians le serment par lequel ils se sont obligez, ils furent traitres et perjures a Dieu, sous lequel ils estoyent enrollez pour servir tout le temps par hiy ordonne;" "For just like fugitive soldiers, who villanously desert their standards, forgetting the oath by which they have bound themselves, they became perjured traitors to God under whom they were enlisted to serve for the whole period ordained by him." — Ed.
ft3 "Wickedly." Latin, "Male." French, "Contre leur devoir;" "Contrary to their duty." — Ed.
ft4 "Did not utterly fail." Latin, "Irrita caderet." French, "Ne tombast tout a plat sans avoir son effet;" "Did not fall quite flat without producing its effect." — Ed.
ft5 "Was founded on the mere good pleasure of God." French, "A este purement et simplement fondee au bon plaisir de Dieu, et non ailleurs;" "Was founded purely and simply on the good pleasure of God, and not on anything else." — Ed.
ft6 "Faithfulness of God." Latin, "Dei fides." French, "La certitude de la promesse de Dieu;" "The certainty of the promise of God." — Ed.
ft7 "Sustain." French, "Consoler et soustenir;" "Comfort and sustain." — Ed.
ft8 "Stability of the donation." Latin, "Donationis stabilitas." French, "La verite de la prophetie;" "The truth of the prophecy." — Ed.
ft9 "Sooner to destroy their kindred." Latin, "Suos consanguineos potius delere." French, "De plutost exterminer leur cousins, c'est a dire ces lignees-la qui estoyent de leur sang;" "Sooner to exterminate their cousins, (kindred,) that is to say, lineage which was of their own blood." — Ed.
ft10 Latin, "Quantopere solicitus fuerit Josue de propaganda Dei gloria." French, "Combien Josue a ete songneux de procurer qu'apres sa mort Dieu fust glorifie;" "How careful Joshua was to provide that God should be glorified after his death." — Ed.
ft11 In addition to the above excellent summary, it may be proper to mention that the Book of Joshua extends over a period, estimated by Josephus at twenty-five, and by other Jewish chronologists at twenty-seven, though others attempt to reduce it to only seventeen years, and that its contents are naturally divided into three great sections, — the first extending from Joshua 1-7 inclusive, and giving a continuous narrative of Joshua's conquests; the second from Joshua 13-23 inclusive, consisting chiefly of a description more or less detailed of the division of the country among the different tribes; and the third occupying the remainder of the book, Joshua 24, principally with an account of the great convention of the tribes held at Shechem, on Joshua's summons, and of the interesting and important proceedings which then took place. — Ed.
ft12 The copulative particle which commences the Book, and is usually translated and, or, as in our English version, now, evidently connects it with some previous writing, and seems to vindicate the place which it holds in the Canon as a continuation of the Book of Deuteronomy. In the first verse, Calvin's Latin version omits the epithets, "Servant of the Lord," and "Moses' minister," applied respectively to Joshua and Moses. The Hebrew contains both, but the former is omitted by the ordinary text of the Septuagint, though placed among its various readings. — Ed.
ft13 "A renewed commission." Latin, "Repetitis mandatis." French, "En reiterant les articles de sa commission;" "By reiterating the articles of his commission." — Ed.
ft14 Or rather, "Who they saw, did not advance a single step till the Lord had preceded him." — Ed.
ft15 "Which Moses had left vacant." Latin, "Ex qua decesserat Moses." French, "De laquelle Moyse estoit sorti ayant fait son temps;" "Which Moses had left, having held his own time of it." — Ed.
ft16 "To actual circumstances." Latin, "Ad circumstantiam loci." French, "A la circonstance du passage;" "To the circumstance of the passage." — Ed.
ft17 The French here gives the same meaning in a paraphrastic form, "Ou mesmes qu'a parler proprement, tout ce qui a este dit a Moyse dependoit de l'alliance perpetuelle que Dieu avoit mise en garde entre les mains d'Abraham quatre cens ans auparavant." "Or even, to speak properly, all that was said to Moses depended on the perpetual covenant which God had deposited in the hands of Abraham four hundred years before." — Ed.
ft18 The two last sentences form only one in the French, which is as follows, "Le peuple pouuoit du premier coup, et des l'entree s'estendre jusqu'aux bornes que Dieu lui mesme auoit marquees; il n'a pas voulu: il estoit bien digne d'en estre mis dehors, et du tout forclos." "The people might at the first blow, and immediately on their entrance, have extended themselves to the limits which God himself had marked; they would not: they well deserved to be put out and wholly foreclosed." — Ed.
ft19 Latin, "Qui praeter spem rebus perditis succurrerent;" French, "Qui outre toute esperance venoyent a remedier aux affaires si fort deplorez, et redresser aucunement l'estat du peuple;" "Who, beyond all hope, came to remedy the very deplorable affairs, and, in some degree, restore the condition of the people." — Ed.
ft20 Calvin's language here is not very clear, and seems to convey an erroneous impression. The desert or wilderness, instead of being comprehended under Lebanon, is obviously contrasted with it, and forms the south, while Lebanon forms the north frontier. We have thus three great natural boundaries — Lebanon on the north, the desert of Sin on the south, and the Mediterranean on the west. The eastern boundary occasions more difficulty. According to some, the Euphrates is expressly mentioned as this boundary, and an attempt is made to reconcile the vast difference between the actual possession of the Israelites, even in the most prosperous period of their history, and the tract of country thus bounded, by having recourse to the explanation of St. Augustine, who, in his Commentary on Joshua 21, gives it as his opinion that the country extending eastward beyond the proper limits of Canaan was intended to be given not so much for possession as for tribute. This view receives some confirmation from the extensive conquests which were made by David and Solomon. According to other expositors, the Euphrates is intended to be taken in connection with Lebanon so as to form, by one of its windings or branches, part of the north boundary, while the east boundary is left indefinite, or rather, was so well defined by the Jordan that it did not require to be separately mentioned. In this general uncertainty, there is much practical wisdom in Calvin's suggestion in his Argument, that the indefiniteness of the boundaries assigned to the promised land, contrasted with its actual limits, tended to elevate the minds of Old Testament believers, and carry them beyond the present to a period when, under a new and more glorious dispensation, the promise would be completely fulfilled. — Ed.
ft21 French, "Et il ne faut qu'un rien pour nous faire perdre courage;" "and a mere nothing is all that is necessary to make us lose courage." — Ed.
ft22 The French adds, "Ou en quelques points;" "Or in some points." — Ed.
ft23 The French paraphrases the whole sentence thus: "Ainsi la prudence et sagesse que les fideles apprennent de la parole de Dieu, est opposee a l'assurance de ceux auxquels il semble bien qu'ils se gouvernent assez discretement et sagement, quand ils besongnent selon leur propre sens;" "Thus the prudence and wisdom which believers learn from the word of God, is opposed to the assurance of those who think they govern themselves discreetly and wisely enough, when they manage according to their own sense." — Ed.
ft24 French, "C'est bien pour certain avec grande signifiance que ceci se dit d'autant qu'il n'est pas question de resister a son commandement;" "It is certainly with great significancy that this is said, inasmuch as there is no question of resisting his command." — Ed.
ft25 It is almost impossible to doubt that the view here taken is correct, and in confirmation of it, it may be observed, that it receives more countenance from the original than appears either from Calvin's or our verse by "Then," as if meaning, "At that precise time;" whereas the Hebrew is simply the copulative w, which only means "And," and is accordingly here rendered in the Septuagint by kai<. It implies, indeed that the order issued to the prefects by Joshua was given subsequently to the gracious and encouraging message which he had received, but not that it was given immediately or at that particular instant, and it thus leaves it open for us to infer, that a period of less or greater length intervened during which the spies were sent on their mission, and the proceedings detailed in the second chapter took place. The sacred writer in thus omitting to follow the order of time in his narrative, has only adopted a method which is often convenient in itself, and which has been repeatedly followed by the most celebrated historians, both of ancient and modern times, and nothing can be more absurd than the inference attempted to be drawn chiefly by some German Rationalists, from this and a few similar apparent anachronisms, that the Book of Joshua is not so much a continuous history as a patchwork of distinct or even contradictory narratives by different writers. — Ed.
ft26 This must be taken with some qualification, since, according to the view taken by Calvin himself, the river must, before this, have been forded by the spies, both in going and returning; and it is also obvious, from the direction which their pursuers took, in endeavoring to overtake them, that what are called "the fords," must have been understood to be practicable, even during the season of overflow. Still a spot or two where an individual might manage to cross was altogether unavailable for such a body as the Israelites, and therefore Calvin's subsequent statement cannot be disputed, that if they were to cross at all, human agency was unavailing, and the only thing which remained was for God himself to transport them miraculously. — Ed.
ft27 The agreement made with Moses was very explicit. As recorded in the thirty-second chapter of Numbers, he distinctly stipulates that they shall "go armed before the Lord to war," "armed over Jordan before the Lord, until he has driven out his enemies from before him, and the land be subdued before the Lord;" and they answer, "As the Lord has said unto thy servants so will we do: we will pass over armed before the Lord, into the land of Canaan, that the possession of our inheritance on this side Jordan may be ours." — Ed.
ft28 The objection taken to the modesty of the answer seems to be founded on a misinterpretation of its true meaning. For the original, literally interpreted, does not contain any assertion that they had obeyed Moses in all things, as implied both in Calvin's Latin and in our English version, but simply means, that "in everything," or, "according to everything," (lkk, kekol,) in which they had hearkened to Moses they would hearken to him: in other words, that they would hold his authority to be in every respect equal to that of Moses. This meaning is retained by the Septuagint, which renders Kata< pa>nta o[sa hjkou>samen Mwnush|~ ajkouso>meqa> sou. — Ed.
ft29 This emphasis is lost by the Septuagint, which renders not oJ Qeo>v sou, "thy God," but, "oJ Qeo<v hJmw~n," "our God." — Ed.
ft30 French, "Toutefois la maniere de parler qui est ici mise, est moyenne, et peut estre prise ou pour un glorifiement de la foy, ou pour un souhait;" "However, the manner of speaking which is here used is of a middle kind, and may be taken either for a glorying of faith, or for a wish." — Ed.
ft31 Calvin's "miserat," "had sent," is in accordance with his opinion, that the spies had been sent some time before the transactions with which the first chapter concludes actually took place, but is not justifed either by the Hebrew or by the Septuagint, which has simply ajpe>steilen. It is worthy of remark, however, that Luther's German agrees with Calvin, and renders "hatte zween funtidchafter heimlich ausgefaubt von Gittim;" "had sent out two spies secretly from Sittim." The mention of the place, Sittim or Shittim, occurs in the French version, but is omitted without explanation in Calvin's Latin. It was situated in the plains of Moab near the left bank of the Jordan, and is particularly mentioned in Numbers 25 as the abode of the Israelites, when they allowed themselves to be seduced into gross idolatry by the daughters of Moab, and were in consequence signally punished. — Ed.
ft32 This word "clam" may refer either to the secrecy of Joshua in sending the spies, or to the secrecy which they were to employ in making their inquiries. Either meaning seems good. The latter is countenanced by the Septuagint, which unites the secrecy and the spying in the single compound word kataskopeu~sai; but it is evident, both from the version and the Commentary, that Calvin prefers the former. — Ed.
ft33 In the present instance they set no limits to their extravagances, and gravely tell us, that instead of leading a life of infamy, she was merely an innkeeper or "hostess," and was afterwards honored to be the wife of Joshua. — Ed.
ft34 Had the season of the year when these transactions took place not been known from other sources, the mode of concealment to which Rahab resorted would have gone far to fix it. The "stalks of flax" with which she covered them, was evidently the crop of flax as it had been taken from the ground after attaining maturity, and laid out in the open air to dry, agreeably to a custom still practiced, before it was subjected to the process of skutching, for the purpose of being deprived of its woody fiber. The flax sown about the end of September was pulled in the end of March or beginning of April, which accordingly was the period when the Israelites began to move their camp. — Ed.
ft35 It may either mean that "they" (the Israelites) "had conspired," as here translated, or as the French has it, that "Rahab had conspired," — Ed.
ft36 Latin, "Nullum in proditione fuit crimen;" literally, "there was no crime in the treachery." French, "Il n'y a point eu de crime de trahison en ce faict;" "There was no crime of treachery in the act." Neither of these properly conveys Calvin's meaning. From what follows it is evident that he held all treachery to be criminal as implying a deviation from truth; while he also held, that under the special circumstances Rahab was justified in withdrawing her allegiance from her countrymen and transferring it to the Israelites. He therefore only justifies the act without approving of the mode of it. This view appears to be accurately expressed by the term "abandoning," which has accordingly been substituted in the translation. — Ed.
ft37 Latin, "Mendacium officiosum." French, "Le mensonge qui tend au profit du prochain;" "The lie which tends to our neighbor's profit." The mendacium officiosum is an expression of frequent use among the Casuists, and properly means, "a lie which it may be an act of duty to tell." One of the most common instances given is the case in which a simple statement of the truth might essentially endanger the interest, or, it may be, the life of an individual whom we are under a natural or conventional obligation to defend from all injury. A son, for example, is pursued by murderers; he takes shelter under the paternal roof; his mother has just succeeded in concealing him when the murderers arrive. Is she entitled to give a false answer to their interrogatories? The question is one of the most difficult and delicate that can be raised; but Calvin has undoubtedly given the right decision when he lays down the broad principle, that those who hold any lie to be excusable, "do not sufficiently consider how precious truth is in the sight of God." Were anything necessary to reconcile us to this decision, we may easily find it in the havoc which has been made of all morality by acting on its opposite, as evinced particularly in the case of Jesuit and other Romish casuists. — Ed.
ft37a The original text had the reference to Genesis 28, an obvious typesetting error. —fj.
ft38 French, "Et y a eu un proverbe commun entre eux, pour signifier les frayeurs soudaines dont le cause n'apparoit point; (car ils les appeloyent Epouvantemens Paniques;) aussi ils faisoyent voeus a un Juppiter qu'ils appeloyent Stator, c'est a dire Arrestant; et a une deesse qu'ils nommoyent Pavor, c'est a dire Peur afin que les armees tinssent bon, et ne s'en fuissent de peur;" "And there was a common proverb among them to denote the sudden alarms of which the cause does not appear; for they called them Panic Terrors; in like manner they made vows to a Jupiter, whom they called Stator, that is, Staying; and to a goddess whom they named Pavor, that is Fear, in order that armies might stand good, and not flee from fear." — Ed.
ft39 French, "Que Dieu estoit le principal conducteur de l'entreprise du peuple d'Israel, et qu'il marchoit avec iceluy;" "That God was the principal conductor of the enterprise of the people of Israel, and that he was marching along with them." — Ed.
ft40 This is an instance of the quiet and almost sly humor which occasionally betrays itself in Calvin's other writings, and shows, that had it comported with the general gravity of his character, he might easily have added wit to the other weapons with which he fought the battles of the faith. In private life, when greater freedom was allowable, it appears, according to Beza's statement, to have not infrequently contributed to the charm of his conversations. — Ed.
ft41 The whole objection, as to the overleaping of walls, is so ridiculous in itself, and so very inapplicable to the circumstances of all parties at the time, that it is difficult to understand why Calvin should have condescended to notice it at all, or, at least, given himself so much trouble to refute it. If one might hazard a conjecture, it would be that some question of a similar nature had been raised in regard to the walls of Geneva, and given a local interest to a discussion which otherwise seems somewhat out of place. — Ed.
ft42 This seems to be the proper place to insert a short account of the Jordan, and more especially of that part of it in the neighborhood of which the Israelites were now encamped. This becomes necessary, because Calvin had altogether omitted it, partly, as some expressions in his Commentary would seem to indicate, from having unfortunately attached little comparative importance to geographical details, and partly, as he very modestly expresses it, from not having been very well acquainted with them. Indeed, at the period when he wrote, the geography of the Holy Land was very imperfectly known, but we have not the same excuse, as numerous well-qualified travelers have since traversed it in all directions, and published careful descriptions both of its general features and of almost all the localities possessed of much historical interest. In a single note, only a few leading points can be adverted to, but it seems not impossible in this way, to give a distinct idea of the nature of the passage which the Israelites were now preparing to make, and of the wonderful interposition by which they were enabled to accomplish it.
The Jordan, then, by far the most important river of Palestine, is formed, near its northern frontiers, by several streams which descend from the mountains of Lebanon, and after flowing nearly due south, for a direct distance of about 175 miles, discharges its waters into the north side of the Dead Sea. In the upper part of its course, before it reaches the late of Tiberius, more familiarly known by its usual scriptural name of the Sea of Galilee, it has much of the character of an impetuous torrent, and is hemmed closely in on both sides by loftly mountains, but on issuing from the south side of the lake, it begins to flow in a valley, the most remarkable circumstance connected with which, is its great depth beneath the level of the ocean. Even the Sea of Galilee is 84 feet, and the Dead Sea, where the Jordan falls into it is 1337 feet beneath this level. The intervening space between the two seas, forms what is properly called the valley of the Jordan, and consists of a plain, about six miles across in its northern, but much wider in its southern half, where it spreads out, on its east or left bank, into the plains of Moab, and on its west or right bank, into the plains of Jericho. This valley, throughout its whole length, is terminated on either side by a mountain chain, which in many parts rises so rapidly as soon to attain a height exceeding 2500. Within the valley thus terminated, a minor valley is enclosed. It is about three quarters of a mile in breadth, and consists, for the most part, of a low flat, bounded by sandy slopes, and covered by trees or brushwood. Nearly in the center of this flat the river, almost concealed beneath its overhanging banks, pursues its course, with few large windings, but with such a multiplicity of minute tortuosities, that though the direct distance is not more than sixty-five, the indirect distance or total length of the stream is estimated at not less than two hundred miles. The river, in its ordinary state, within its banks, has a width of from twenty to thirty yards, and a depth, varying from nine to fifteen feet. The banks are there from twelve to fourteen feet high, and immediately beyond them, the flat bears evident marks of being frequently inundated. These inundation's take place in spring, and are caused by the melted snow brought down, partly by the three principal tributaries of the Jordan, the Jarmuch, or Shurat-el-Mandour, the Jabbok, or Zerka, and the Arnon, or Wady Modjet, which all join it from the east, but chiefly by the main stream, which is then copiously supplied from the snowy heights of Lebanon. This rising of the waters, of course, begins as soon as the thawing influence of the returning heat begins to be felt, but does not attain its maximum till the impression has been fully made, or, in the first weeks of April. Such was the state of the stream as the Israelites now safely assumed to have been from seven to Twelve miles north of the Dead Sea, and not far from the Bethabarah, where our Savior, after condescending to receive baptism at the hands of his forerunner, went up from the banks, while the heavens opened, and the Spirit of God descended like a dove, and lighted upon him. — Ed.
ft43 These remarks are made on the assumption that the waters had risen so as not only to reach the highest edge of the banks, and make the usual channel what may be called brim-full, but had spread themselves to some distance over the plain. It may have been so, but there is no distinct statement to this effect, and the concluding clause of the fifteenth verse does not literally bear the meaning which Calvin and our English translators have assigned to it. His rendering is, "Jordanes autem erat plenus ultra omnes suas ripas;" literally, "Now Jordan was full beyond all his banks." The original only says that "Jordan fills up to (completely fills) all his banks." The Septuagint, in like manner, says, "O de< Iorda>nhv ejphrou~to kaq o[lhn thn krhpi>da aujtou~;" "Now the Jordan was filled as to all his embankment." The same meaning is very exactly given by Luther, whose version is "Der Jordan aber war voll an allen feinen ufern;" "Now Jordan was full on all his banks." The difference between the renderings is slight, but it is of importance not to overlook it, because even such slight differences have sometimes furnished the infidel with plausible grounds for assailing the credit of the sacred narrative. In the present instance it has been insinuated that the historian has exaggerated the extent of the inundation in order to heighten the importance of the miracle. — Ed.
ft44 French, "Si les eaux, selon lour nature, cussent alors recommence a eouler;" "Had the waters then according to their nature begun again to flow." — Ed.
ft45 This is not very explicit, and may have been left vague on purpose because the original itself, as it now stands, is obscure, and both translators and commentators, instead of throwing any light upon it, have rather increased the darkness. For Adam, the Vulgate substitutes Edom, and the Septuagint, the district of Kirjath-jearim (me>rouv Kariaqiari>m) Two towns near each other, and bearing the respective names of Adam and Zarethan, are mentioned in Scripture as situated in the tribe of Manasseh, the one on the right and the other the left bank of the Jordan. Their distance above the place at which the Israelites are presumed to have crossed is about forty miles; and the most natural meaning of the passage seems to be, that when the waters stood, as it were, congealed in a heap, they remained so long in that state, as to cause a kind of reflux tide, which was perceptible as far back as Adam on the one hand, and Zareptan on the other. — Ed.
ft46 "Joshua." Apparently a misprint for "Jehovah;" as the French says more accurately, "Le commandment de Dieu;" "The command of God." — Ed.
ft47 French, "Par un temps passe plus que parfait (comme parlent les Latins;)" "By a past time more than perfect, (as the Latins speak.)" — Ed.
ft48 French, "Et quant a ce mot Et, on peut aisement juger qu'il se prend pour Car;" And as to this word And, we may easily judge that it is taken for For." — Ed.
ft49 French, "Or ce passage est pour monstrer, que les gens anciens doivent etre affectionnez a la piete;" "Now this passage is to show that the aged ought to be attached to piety." — Ed.
ft50 French, "Or je confesse bien que c'eust este un tesmoignage du tout inutile, si on l'eust laisse la comme enseveli sans en parler;" "Now, I confess, that it would have been an entirely useless testimony had they left it there, as it were, buried without speaking of it." — Ed.
ft51 Calvin, still adhering to the view that part of the plain beyond the immediate bank was overflowed, seems to think that the priests, after climbing up the steep bank, continued to walk for some time among the shallow water. The other view which supposes that the banks were only filled and not overflowed, besides being more in accordance with the original, as was formerly shown, appears to derive additional confirmation from the language here used. It is said the waters returned the moment the priests touched the dry ground with the soles of their feet; in other words, so long as they were climbing up the steep bank, and, of course, had no firm footing, the heap of waters continued, but it was immediately dissolved as soon as they could set down their foot firmly in consequence of having reached the flat. — Ed.
ft52 "Dumb." Latin, "mutus." French, "une creature insensible et sans voix;" "An inanimate creature without voice." — Ed.
ft53 "Freed from the law." Latin, "Lege soluti." French, "Ont este exemptez et dispensez de ce a quoy la Loy les assujettissoit;" "Have been exempted and dispensed from that to which the law subjected them." — Ed.
ft54 These remarks place the view which Calvin takes in its most favorable light; but, on the other hand, it is strongly argued, 1. That the eating of the Passover by an uncircumcised person was expressly prohibited, (Exodus 12:48) 2. That the observance of it during the wandering in the desert is, by implication at least, dispensed with in the words, "And it shall come to pass, when you be come to the land which the Lord will give you, according as he has promised, that you shall keep this service." (Exodus 12:25) 3. That the observance of the Passover at Mount Sinai was in compliance with a special mandate, and would not have taken place without it. 4. The assumption that sacrifices were offered in the desert is questioned as inconsistent with <300525>Amos 5:25. It may be added, that the order to circumcise, evidently intended as a preparation for the celebration of the approaching Passover, seems to imply that there had previously been a similar omission of both ordinances. It must also have been difficult, if not impossible, while in the wilderness, to obtain flour in sufficient quantity to make unleavened Passover bread for a whole people. — Ed.
ft54a The original text had referenced Exodus 32:37, which is invalid. Certainly the passage now referenced makes mention of the angel, and that God will no longer 'go out before' the people of Israel, but, if Calvin had only the angel in mind, the reference could have been meant for Exodus 32:34. However, it could also be a general reference to events occurring throughout Chapter 32, (the making of the calf in verses 2-3, God saying He would not be their Leader in verse 10, and the reference to the angel in verse 34). — fj,sg.
ft55 French, "Mais comme le premier qui se rencontrera;" "But as it were the first who may happen to present himself." — Ed.
ft56 The French adds, "C'est a dire d'Eternel;" "That is to say of Eternal." — Ed.
ft57 Several modern commentators, among others Grotius, have maintained that the personage who thus appeared was merely a created angel. In this they have only followed in the steps of the Jewish Rabbis, who not satisfied with holding that he was an angel, have gone the farther length of fixing what particular angel it was. With almost unanimous consent they declare it to have been Michael, though they are unable to support their opinion by anything stronger than the first verse of the twelfth chapter of Daniel, [Da 12:1] in which it is said, that "at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of thy people." The sounder view here advocated by Calvin, and generally adopted by the early Christian Fathers, is well expressed by Origen, who says, in his Sixth Homily on this Book, "Joshua knew not only that he was of God, but that he was God. For he would not have worshipped, had he not recognized him to be God. For who else is the Captain of the Lord's host but our Lord Jesus Christ?" It would make sad havoc with our ideas of divine worship to admit that the homage which Joshua here pays could be lawfully received, or rather could, so to speak, be imperiously demanded by one creature from another. — Ed.
ft57a The original text had the reference to Genesis 26:17, an obvious typesetting error. —fj.
ft57b The original text had the reference to Psalm 132:11, an obvious typesetting error. —fj.
ft58 The incident here recorded is one of the principal reasons from the designation of the Holy Land usually applied to Palestine. — Ed.
ft59 The Septuagint has sugkekleisme>nh kai< wjcurwme>nh, "completely closed and made sure, by being barred or barricaded." — Ed.
ft60 French, "De ne dire mot, ne faire aucun bruit;" "Not to speak a word, not to make a noise." — Ed.
ft61 French, "Mais je l'ay traduit par un terme plus accoustume a la langue Francoise;" "But here I have translated it by a term more commonly used in the French language." — Ed.
ft62 In confirmation of the views thus admirably expressed, it is not out of place to add those of the profoundest and most philosophical English theologians on the same subject. Bishop Butler, in his Analogy, Part 2, chapter 3, after saying that "it is that province of reason to judge of the morality of Scripture; i.e., not whether it contains things different from what we should have expected from a wise, just, and good Being — but whether it contains things plainly contradictory to wisdom, justice, or goodness; to what the light of nature teaches us of God," continues thus: "I know nothing of this sort objected against Scripture, excepting such objections as are formed upon suppositions which would equally conclude, that the constitution of nature is contradictory to wisdom, justice, or goodness: which most certainly it is not. Indeed there are some particular precepts in Scripture, given to particular persons, requiring actions, which would be immoral or vicious, were it not for such precepts. But it is easy to see, that all these are of such a kind, as that the precept changes the whole nature of the case and of the action: and both constitutes and shows that not to be unjust or immoral, which, prior to the precept, must have appeared, and really have been so: which well may be, since none of these precepts are contrary to immutable morality. If it were commanded to cultivate the principles, and act from the spirit of treachery, ingratitude, cruelty; the command would not alter the nature of the case, or of the action, in any of these instances. But it is quite otherwise in precepts, which require only the doing an external action: for instance, taking away the property or life of any. For men have no right to either life or property, but what arises solely from the grant of God. When this grant is revoked, they cease to have any right at all in either: and when this revocation is made known, as surely it is possible it may be, it must cease to be unjust to deprive them of either. And though a course of external acts, which, without command, would be immoral, must make an immoral habit, yet a few detached commands have no such natural tendency. I thought proper to say thus much of the few Scripture precepts which require, not vicious actions, but actions which would have been vicious had it not been for such precepts: because they are sometimes weakly urged as immoral, and great weight is laid upon objections drawn from them. But to me there seems no difficulty at all in these precepts, but what arises from their being offences; i.e., from their being liable to be perverted, as, indeed, they are, by wicked designing men, to serve the most horrid purposes, and, perhaps, to mislead the weak and enthusiastic." — Ed.
ft63 French, "Car combien qu'il y ait en cela de la severite, toutes fois c'est un bon moyen par lequel ils sont appelez a renoncer a leur vie precedente;" "For though there is severity in this, it is, however a good method of calling upon them to renounce their previous life." — Ed.
ft64 This rebuilding by Hiel on the very site of the ancient city, took place, according to the ordinary chronology, 520 years after Joshua pronounced the curse. It would seem, however, that another Jericho had been built at a much earlier period, not actually on the former site which, while the memory of the curse remained, was probably avoided, but at no great distance from it. Of this fact, the mention made of Jericho in <061821>Joshua 18:21, as one of the cities of Benjamin, is not decisive, because it may have been intended to indicate merely a locality, and not an actually existing city, nor is it absolutely certain that the "city of palm trees" which Eglor captured, (Judges 3:13) was a rebuilt Jericho, though by that name Jericho was generally known. Its existence, however, at least a century before Hiel, is clearly established by the directions given to David's ambassadors, after their insulting treatment by the king of Ammon, "to tarry at Jericho." (2 Samuel 10:5) It may be worth while briefly to glance at the subsequent history of Hiel's sacrilegious city. As if the penalty of rebuilding had been fully paid by the exemplary punishment inflicted on the founder, the curse appears to have been withdrawn, and in the course of about twenty years we learn that it had not only been selected as a school of the prophets, (<120205>2 Kings 2:5,) but received a very important addition to its other attractions as a residence by the miraculous cure of its waters by Elisha. (2 Kings 2:18-22.) Its inhabitants, on the return from the Babylonish captivity, are mentioned as having assisted in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. (<160302>Nehemiah 3:2) At a later period Jericho was fortified by the Syrian general Bacchides, or rather received from him additions to its previously existing fortifications, (1 Maccabees 9:50) but does not seem to have acquired very much importance till the time of Herod the Great, who, after capturing and sacking it, rebuilt it in a much more magnificent form, and erected in it a splendid palace, where he often resided and ultimately died. It also became a favorite residence of his son but by the display of his miraculous agency. It appears in the latter period of the Roman empire to have ranked as one of the chief cities of Palestine. The general devastation of the country on the dissolution of that empire effected its final ruin, and its site is now only doubtfully represented by a miserable village called Riha, containing from 200 to 300 souls. — Ed.
ft65 Calvin's Latin as well as the French version omit the concluding clause of this verse, "Make not the whole people to labor thither: for they are few." The omission, for which no reason is assigned, is the more remarkable, as there appears to be no doubt as to the genuineness of the original clause, and its meaning is very exactly given not only in the Septuagint but other versions, such as Luther's, with which Calvin was well acquainted. — Ed.
ft66 French, "O que je voudrove que nous eussions prins a plaisir de demeurer au dela du Jordain;" "O how I wish that we had been pleased to remain beyond the Jordan." — Ed.
ft67 French, "Soit revoquee en doute, ou moins estimee devant le monde;" "Be called in question, or less esteemed before the world." — Ed.
ft68 The English version puts the verb in the past tense, and translates "turned their backs;" Calvin's "vertent cervicem," "will turn their neck;" making the expression not a declaration of what had taken place, but a denunciation of what was still to take place, is truer to the original, and has also the sanction of the Septuagint, which has aujce>na uJpostre>yousin. Luther even adds to the force of the expression by saying, "muffen ihren Feinven ven Ruden fehren;" "must turn the back on their enemies." Calvin's punctuation of the same verse is peculiar. By making a colon at enemies, he separates the words "quia sunt in anathema," from the end of the first, and makes it the beginning of the second clause, which accordingly reads thus: "Because they are in anathema, (have taken of the accursed thing,) I will not continue to go with you," etc. — Ed.
ft69 French, "C'est folie de chercher couverture et deguisement pour eschapper son jugement et l'abuser;" "It is folly to seek cover and disguise in order to escape his judgement and deceive him." — Ed.
ft70 These admirable remarks are well fitted to satisfy every candid mind, not only as to the nature of this very remarkable execution, but also as to its expediency and strict justice, notwithstanding its admitted severity. Several expositors, however, continue to be dissatisfied, and to bring it more into accordance with their views, attempt to explain parts of it away by means of a minute and forced criticism. On finding this process not very successful, they endeavor to supply its deficiency by extraordinary conjectures. First, with regard to the criticism, it is said that in the directions which the Lord gives to Joshua, (Joshua 7:10-15) {*} he receives no authority to put any person to death, except the one who should be found to have actually committed the crime. When the words of the 15th verse, "he and all that he has," are quoted in opposition to this view, the answer is, that the expressions does not necessarily mean more than the man himself, his cattle, and other property, and therefore may not have included his family, properly so called, or the persons who formed his household. Another criticism, still more extraordinary, would scarcely be deserving of notice had it not received the countenance of so distinguished a name as that of Grotius, who insists that Achan was the only person who actually suffered death, though his children were taken out to the place of execution and verse, in which it is said that "All Israel stoned him (Achan) with stones, and burned them with fire;" i.e., as he explains, stoned Achan only, and then burnt his dead body, and his cattle, and other effects designated by them. Such are specimens of the criticism which this transaction has called forth, and it would almost be an insult to the reader to give a serious refutation of them. The conjectures to which we have referred are equally extravagant. One of them is given in the Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature, under the article Achan, and as the writer appears both to have invented it, and to plume himself on the invention, it is but fair to give it in his own words; — "We prefer the supposition that they (Achan's family) were included in the doom by one of those sudden impulses of indiscriminate popular vengeance, to which the Jewish people were exceedingly prone, and which, in this case, it would not have been in the power of Joshua to control by any authority which he could, under such circumstances, exercise." — Ed.
{*} Original text had Joshua 8:10-15. — fj.
ft71 French, "Combien qu'il se peut faire, qu'Achan estant fier se soit plaint de ce qu'on ne se contentoit pas de la reparation, et payement qu'il avoit fait, par lequel il pensoit s'estre bien acquitte, et avoir grand devoir;" "Although it may be that Achan complained of their not being contented with the reparation and payment which he had made, and by which he thought that he had acquitted himself well, and performed a great duty." — Ed.
ft72 Ai and its apparently tributary town Bethel, thus subjected to a fearful destruction, were situated about twelve miles north from Jerusalem, and seventeen miles west-north-west from Jericho, and had previously been brought under the notice of the Israelites in very different circumstances. For they had read in the interesting narrative of Moses how Abraham had pitched his tent on a mountain, "having Bethel on the west and Hai (Ai) on the east; and there he built an alter unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord," (<011208>Genesis 12:8; <011303>Genesis 13:3;) and how Bethel, formerly called Luz, had changed its name, because Jacob, on awaking out of his wonderful dream, had declared it to be "none other but the house of God," and "the gate of heaven." (<012811>Genesis 28:11-19.) Notwithstanding of the doom pronounced and executed upon Ai, it appears to have been rebuilt, was occupied by the Benjamites after their return from the captivity, (<160732>Nehemiah 7:32; Nehemiah 11:31; {*} <150228>Ezra 2:28,) is mentioned by Josephus under the name of Aina, and still exhibits some indications of its site. — Ed.
{*} Original text had Nehemiah 11:32. — fj.
ft73 The 29th verse concludes the account of the destruction of Ai, and the 30th opens abruptly with the building of an alter on Mount Ebal. The distance between the two places is not less than twenty miles, Ai being only twelve and Ebal thirty miles north from Jerusalem. The journey of so many miles by the whole body of the Israelites, and through a country which, at least up to the victory of Ai, was in undisputed possession of the enemy, must have occupied a considerable time, and have been accomplished with no small labor and difficulty. How comes it that not one word is said in regard to it, and that we are led at once from Ai to Ebal just as if the two places, instead of being widely separated, had been actually contiguous to each other? Were the incidents of the journey so unimportant as not to require the slightest notice? Or is the narrative contained in the Book of Joshua so very succinct that even transactions which might occupy a large place in a more copious work have been purposely excluded from it? If both these questions are answered in the negative, and it would seem that they must be so answered, the only other question is, Has the order of time been observed? In other words, have we not in the interesting account now about to be given of one of the most wonderful national conventions on record, another instance of anticipation of narrative similar to that which we have already seen in the first chapter? Assuming this to be the case, the continuation of the narrative is to be looked for in the ninth chapter, while the account of the transaction on Mounts Ebal and Gerizim is to be regarded in the light of an episode. It is very remarkable that the whole episode is omitted by the Septuagint at this place, and not introduced before giving the account of the league of the Amorites, contained in the beginning of the ninth chapter. — Ed.
ft74 French, "Car quand il est parle de pierres entrieres sur lesquelles le fur n'avoit point passe, cela signifie des pierres, telles qu'elles viennent de la carriere, qui ne sont point polies ni accoustrees par artifice;" "For when mention is made of entire stones on which no tool had passed, it means stones as they are when they come from the quarry, without having been polished or hewn artificially." — Ed.
ft75 French, "Le sommaire, et les defenses et commandemens;" "The summary, and the prohibitions and commands." — Ed.
ft76 French, "Car c'estoit une stupidite par trop grande de ne se point tenir sur ses gardes, jusqu'a tant quils fussent resveillez comme par force de leur paresse oyans la ruine et le sac de deux villes;" "For it implied excessive stupidity not to stand upon their guard, until they were awakened, as if by force, from their indolence, on hearing of the run and sacking of two towns." — Ed.
ft77 To encounter them." Latin, "Ad eos excipiendos." French, "To give them a good reception, and repulse them bravely." — Ed.
ft78 French, "Dissippe et renverse leur conseils, entreprises, et machinations: et mesme il leur oste le sens et l'entendement;" "Dissipates and overturns their counsels, enterprises, and machinations; and even deprives them of sense and understanding." — Ed.
ft79 French, "Duquel les trois enfans, assavoir, Ruben, Levi et Simeon;" "Whose three sons, Reuben, Levi, and Simeon." — Ed.
ft80 Nothing could be more gross than the imposition thus practiced. The capital of the Gibeonites was not above fourteen miles west from Jericho, and scarcely half that distance south-west from Ai, where the Israelites had recently gained so signal a victory, and it is therefore not improbable that the Israelites, while pursuing the fugitives, had actually been within the territory which their leaders now ignorantly believe to be so very distant, as to be altogether beyond the limits of the promised land. The compliments paid to their prowess so flattered their pride, and the alliance of a powerful though distant nation held out the hope of so many advantages in the further prosecution of their conquests, that they fell at once into the snare, as if they had almost been willing to be deceived. — Ed.
ft81 Calvin was well qualified, by his legal education, to discuss the important question here raised, and it is impossible to dispute the soundness of his general positions in regard to it, both here and in the previous section of the Commentary on this chapter. There is, however, an appearance of inconsistency in some of the statements. In the section beginning with the third verse, he says in Latin, "Cum larvis ergo paciscitur Josue, nec quidquam obligationis contrahit, nisi secundum eorum verba;" or as it is in French, "Josue donques traitte alliance avec des masques ou phantosmes et n'est nullement oblige, sinon suivant leurs paroles;" "Joshua, then, makes an alliance with masks or phantoms, and is in no way bound, except according to their words." Again, in the section beginning with verse the sixth, he says, "Dixi summo jure evanidum et irritum fuisse ejusmodi foedus," or as it is in French, "J'ay dit qu'a la rigueur de droit une telle alliance estoit nulle et cassee;" "I have said, that in strict law such an alliance was null and void." And he gives the reason in the form of a question, when he asks, "What do they (the Gibeonites) gain when their request is granted, but just that they are to be kept safe, provided they have come from a distant country?" But if the Gibeonites did not gain, or, in other words, were not entitled to demand anything, it is perfectly obvious that the Israelites could not be bound to grant anything. They were the two parties to a mutual contract, in which the claims of the one party were exactly the counterpart or measure of the obligations of the other. It might have been expected, therefore, that after Calvin had decided that the Gibeonites had no claim, he would, of course, have decided that the Israelites had incurred no obligation. Here, however, when considering this latter point, he seems to change his ground, by distinctly asserting, that we may not resile even from pactions in which we have been deceived. The inconsistency, however, is only apparent. He does not say that we are bound by such pactions, as if they were valid in themselves, but he adverts to circumstances which may lay us under a formal obligation to act as if we were bound by them. In other words, he removes the case from a court of law into the court of conscience, and thus brings it under the class of cases to which St. Paul referred, when he drew a distinction between things lawful and things expedient. Joshua and the elders had sworn rashly, but having by so doing put the honor of the God of Israel, so to speak, in pledge, they were bound, at whatever cost, to redeem it. — Ed.
ft82 French, "Quand il ne passe point outre le murmure, et qu'il se contente de cela;" "When they do not proceed beyond murmuring, and rest contented with it." — Ed.
ft83 Latin, "Nec sine assentatione;" "Nor without flattery." French, "et sans flatterie;" "And without flattery." — Ed.
ft84 Among the many pernicious consequences resulting form this arrangement, was the formation of a degraded caste in the heart of the Israelitish commonwealth, and the consequent introduction of domestic slavery, in one of its worst forms. — Ed.
Ft85 An additional clause not found in the original, and excluded by the common versions, is here inserted in the Septuagint in the following terms, "hJni>ka sune>triyen aujtou<v ejn Gabaw<n kai< sunetri>bhsan ajpo< prosw>pou uiJw~n Israh>l;" "When he crushed them in Gibeon, and they were crushed before the face of the children of Israel." — Ed.
ft86 French, "Appela et suscita les autres a prendre les armes;" "Called upon, and stirred up the others to take up arms." Jerusalem was only about five miles S.S.E. from Gibeon, while the other towns, situated S.S.W., were at distances varying from twenty to thirty miles. — Ed.
ft87 The conjecture that the narrative is here inverted, seems somewhat gratuitous. Lachish, the most remote of the towns, was not more than thirty miles distant, and Jerusalem, as has been mentioned, was only five; and, therefore, in so far as distance merely is concerned, there is nothing to prevent us from holding in accordance with the literal purport of the narrative, that the kings had suddenly advanced against Gibeon, and were actually besieging it when the Gibeonites dispatched their embassy to Joshua.
ft88 Here, again, apparently from exaggerating the distance, Calvin thinks it necessary to resort to an ingenious explanation, and give a kind of coloring to the narrative. The distance from Gilgal to Gibeon was more than eighteen miles, and this might certainly be accomplished by a forced march in the course of a single night. Calvin says we are not to suppose that "Joshua accomplished three days' journey in a single night." But it is nowhere said that Gibeon was three days' journey from Gilgal. The words are,
"The Israelites journeyed and came into the cities on the third day." (<060917>Joshua 9:17).
In other words, the Israelites, on this particular occasion, employed three days, or rather, if we adopt the common Hebrew mode of computation, part of a first, the whole of a second, and part of a third day. Such a statement scarcely justifies the inference that the average time of making the journey between the two places was three days. — Ed.
ft89 The passage here inserted is a quotation from the Latin poet Claudian, who, in his panegyric on Theodosius, referring to a victory of that emperor, in which the elements seem to war in his favor, exclaims —
O nimium dilecte Deo, tibi militat aether,
Et conjurati veniunt ad classica venti!— Ed.
ft90 One might almost suspect from this concluding sentence, that Calvin was a stranger to the Copernican system, and still continued to believe that it was not the earth but the sun that revolved. As we know, however, that he was before his age in many points, so we cannot believe that he was behind it in this. — Ed.
ft91 The rebuke here administered to those who attempt to explain the miracle applies with double force to those who attempt to explain it away. It is rather strange that among this number are some of the most distinguished Jewish rabbis as Levi-ben-Gerson and Maimonides, both of whom maintain that there was no miracle, but only something very like one. Their chief inducement to adopt this very extraordinary view, is zeal for the honor of Moses, which they think would be seriously impugned by admitting that a miracle which he never performed was performed by the instrumentality of his successor Joshua. — Ed.
ft92 French "En somme, le soleil remonte estant ja commence a se coucher;" "In a word, the sun remounts after he had begun to set." — Ed.
ft93 French, "Quant a moy, pour dire la verite, je le prends comme s'il estoit parle de Dieu ou du peuple d'Israel, plutost que de celuy qui a escrit Phistoire;" "For my part, to tell the truth, I understand it as it were spoken of God, or of the people of Israel, rather than of him who wrote the history." The view here adopted as to the meaning of Jasher has the sanction of many expositors of eminence, both ancient and modern, who consider it to have been some record in which an account of the leading events in the history of the chosen people was regularly inserted, and which might thus come to be commonly spoken of as the Book of the Just, very much in the same way as we are accustomed to speak of the Book of Worthies, the Book of Martyrs, etc. The only other allusion to the Book of Jasher is in <100118>2 Samuel 1:18, where it is referred to as containing, or at least in connection with David's lament over Saul and Jonathan. Founding on this reference, De Wette and other rationalists argue that the Book of Joshua is not of the early date usually ascribed to it, and must have been written after the time of David. This argument assumes that Jasher is the name of an author living in the time, or subsequently to the time, of David, and, but for this assumption, for which no good grounds are shown, is utterly destitute of plausibility. — Ed.
ft94 French, "Neantmoins si est ce meilleur d'eviter toujours toutes facons de parler derogantes a la majeste de Dieu, comme s'il estoit question de la ranger;" "Nevertheless it is better to avoid all modes of speaking derogatory to the majesty of God, as if it were intended to make him subordinate." — Ed.
ft95 The words "stay you not," contained in the original, and in the Septuagint, the English, and other versions, are omitted in Calvin's Latin. — Ed.
ft96 It is altogether omitted in the Septuagint. — Ed.
ft97 "A bloodless victory." Latin, "Incruenta victoria." French, "De la part des Israelites ils ont acquis la victoire sans qu'il leur ait couste la vie d'un seul homme;" "On the part of the Israelites they gained the victory without its having cost them the life of a single man." — Ed.
ft98 French, "Or c'este une misericorde qui merite d'estre deteestee, quand elle derogue a l'authorite de Dieu, et qu'elle la deminue selon qu'il semble bon aux hommes;" "Now it is a mercy which deserves to be detested, when it derogates from the authority of God, and lessens it according as it seems good to men." — Ed.
ft99 French, "Tout le peuple qui n'estoit point sorti de la ville n'en a pas eut meilleur conte;" "All the people who had not come out from the town did not get easier off." — Ed.
ft100 French, "Ils pourroyentt servir de defense pour garder les villes;" "They might serve for defense to guard the towns." — Ed.
ft101 Latin, "Quam si mox ad mortem traherentur." French, "Que s'ils estoyent depeschez soudainement sur le champ;" "Than if they were dispatched suddenly on the spot." — Ed.
ft101a The original text had the reference to 2 Thessalonians 5:3, an obvious typesetting error. —fj.
ft102 Latin, "Ficus praecoces." French, "Les figues hastives;" "Precocious figs, or figs too hastily ripened." — Ed.
ft103 French, "Car cela n'empeschera point que le potier n'ait puissance de faire de ses pots tout ce qu'il luy plaira;" "For that will not hinder the potter from having power to make of his pots whatever he pleases." — Ed.
ft104 This verse is also omitted by the Septuagint. — Ed.
ft105 Latin, "Judundis praeludiis." French "Escarmouches plaisantes;" "Pleasing skirmishes." — Ed.
ft106 French, "Elle secoule et evanouist; "It" (faith) "melts and vanishes." — Ed.
ft107 Latin, "Oraculo enim subnectitur expeditio Josue." French, "Car l'expedition de Josue est conjointe avec l'avertissement que Dieu luy donne;" "For the expedition of Joshua is conjoined with the intimation which God gives him." — Ed.
ft108 Latin, "Et lacus Merom, ubi castra locaverant, qui Jordani contiguns est, longe propius accedit ad Gilgal quam Gennesara ex cujus tractu pars hostium profecta erat." French, "Et le lac de Merom ou ils s'estoyent campez, qui est contigu au Jourdain, approche beaucoup plus pres de Gilgal que ne fait Genesara, du rivage duquel ume partie des ennemis s'estoit levee;" "And the lake of Merom, where they had encamped, which is contiguous to the Jordan, approaches much nearer to Gilgal than Gennesaret does, on the shores of which a part of the enemy had been raised." The geographical details here given, and more especially those relating to the lake of Merom, are both defective and inaccurate. The impression left by the Commentary is, that after the kings, composing this formidable league, had united their forces, they began to march southwards, and had arrived within a moderate distance of Gilgal, where they probably expected to come suddenly on Joshua, and take him by surprise. Meanwhile they encamped by the lake of Merom, and Joshua having, in consequence of a divine intimation, set out hastily with his army, gives them the surprise which they expected to have given him. According to this view, the lake of Merom was comparatively near to Gilgal, and hence this is distinctly asserted in the Latin and French quotation which commences this note. The French says plainly, that there was a shorter distance to Gilgal from the lake of Merom than from that of Gennesaret. And the Latin, though not free from ambiguity, says, either the same thing or something still more inaccurate, namely, that the lake of Merom was nearer to Gilgal than to the lake of Gennesaret. On the contrary, it is now well known that the lake of Merom, the modern El Hule, is situated ten miles to the north of the lake of Gennesaret, and consequently is exactly that number of miles farther from Gilgal than the lake of Gennesaret is, the distances of the lakes from Gilgal being respectively, for Merom, about seventy-five, and for Gennesaret sixty-five miles. Such being the fact, it is obvious that Joshua could not have been at Gilgal when he was honored with a divine communication, promising him the victory on the following day. The true state of the case seems to be, that after Joshua had conquered the central and southern parts of the country, a number of kings or chiefs, whose territories extended over the whole of the north of the promised land, entered into a common league, and appointed the lake of Merom as their place of rendezvous. Joshua, well informed of the league, and alive to its formidable nature, did not wait to give the enemy time to mature their schemes, or remain inert till they were actually within a day's march of his camp, but set out with a determination to act on the offensive, and with this view had advanced far to the north, into the very heart of the enemy's country, when any fears which their formidable array might have produced, either in himself or his army, were completely removed by the assurance of speedy and signal success. — Ed.
ft109 Latin, "Deum habere authorem." French, "Que nous ayons Dieu pour garant et autheur de ce que nous faisons;" "That we have God as guarantee and author of what we do." — Ed.
ft110 Latin, "Dissectus." French, "Couppee ou fendue;" "Cut, or cleft." — Ed.
ft111 According to Josephus, (Antiquit., 5:2,) the time which Joshua spent in his wars was five years; others make it seven, and justify their estimate by the following calculation: — In <061407>Joshua 14:7-10, Caleb says that he was forty years old when he was sent from Kadesh-Barnea to spy out the land, and that since then to the present time (apparently that when the wars had just terminated) forty-five years had elapsed. Of these forty-five years, thirty-eight were spent in the desert, and consequently the remaining seven constitute the whole period which had elapsed from the passage of the Jordan up to the time when Caleb made his statement. — Ed.
ft112 The Septuagint, as if influenced by considerations similar to those here mentioned, has evaded the apparent inconsistency, by rendering the 19th verse (<061119>Joshua 11:19) as follows, "And there was not a city which Israel did not take: they took all in war." There is a various reading, however, which correspond almost verbatim with the common rendering. — Ed.
ft113 French, "Dieu les endurcit, afin qu'ils se monstrent indigne de toute pitie et compassion qu'on eust peu avoir d'eux;" "God hardens them in order that they may show themselves unworthy of all pity and compassion which might have been felt for them." — Ed.
ft114 Latin, "Perquam noxium." French, "Fort dangereuse;" "Very dangerous." — Ed.
ft115 The Latin text of the 23rd verse, (<061123>Joshua 11:23), beginning thus, "Accepit itaque Josue totam terram prorsus ut dixerat Jehova Mosi;" "Joshua, therefore received the whole land entirely, as the Lord had said to Moses," removes the apparent inaccuracy, but it is only by a sacrifice of the literal meaning, which is perfectly rendered by the English version. "So (And) Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord said unto Moses." This is certainly superior to the Latin, which endeavors to obtain by a gloss that which the English equally well obtains by a literal rendering. In the commentary, the words of the 23rd verse, (<061123>Joshua 11:23), as quoted, are, Et cepit Josue. This makes it not improbable that the Accepit of the text is only a misprint of Et cepit.Ed.
ft116 French, "Or en la division nous verrons puis apres, que les regions qui furent assujetties a l'empire de peuple apres la mort de Josue, voire plusieurs siecles depuis, furent mises en sort pour voir a qui elles escherroyent;" "Now, in the division, we shall afterwards see that the countries which are subjected to the dominion of the people after the death of Joshua, nay, several ages after, were put into the lot, in order to see to whom they should fall."
ft117 Latin, "Exhibitum fuisse certum specimen promissionis ut secure licuerit terram sorte dividere." French, "La promesse fut tellement ratifice, et si bien eprouvee par effect, qu'il leur fut loisible de diviser la terre par sort;" "The promise was so far ratified and proved by fact, that they were able to leisure to divide the land by lot." — Ed.
ft118 Latin, "Quam si nos Deus in rem praesentem adduceret." French, "Comme si Dieu nous mettoit presentement sur le faict, pour nous faire voire la chose de nos yeux;" "As if God were putting us actually upon the spot to make us see the thing with our own eyes." — Ed.
ft119 French, "Comment un povre vieillard pouvoit-il estre si vigoureux;" "How could a poor old man be so vigorous." — Ed.
ft120 It is evident from these remarks, that though in some other passages Calvin seems to speak rather disparagingly of the elucidation which the Scripture narrative may receive from geography, he did not so much underrate its importance as lament its imperfection at the period when he wrote. All complaint on this head has now been happily removed; and it may safely be affirmed, that nothing has done more to clear up obscurities in the Sacred Volume and triumphantly establish its strict and literal accuracy, then the labors and discoveries of recent travelers.
ft121 Latin, "Ne horribili confusione, omnia miscerentur." French, "Que tout ne vint a estre brouille pesle mesle d'une confusion horrible;" "That every thing was not hurled pell-mell into horrible confusion." — Ed.
ft122 The words, "old and stricken in years," do not contain a tautology, but accurately express the period of life according to a division which was long familiar to the Jews, and may have been not unknown to them even at this early period. According to this division, old age consisted of three stages, — the first extending from the sixtieth to the seventieth year, constituting the commencement of old age properly so called; the second extending from the seventieth to the eightieth year, and constituting what was called hoary, or hoary-headed age; and the third extending from the eightieth year to the end of life, and constituting what was called advanced age, and caused the person who had reached it to be described as one stricken in years. At this closing stage Joshua had now arrived. — Ed.
ft122a The original text had the reference to Philippians 2:14, an obvious typesetting error. —fj.
ft123 The opinion generally entertained in Calvin's time, that the river here meant was the Nile, or at least one of its branches, was founded partly on the meaning of the word sihor, which is literally black, and was explained by expositors as equivalent to turbid, a term strictly applicable to the Nile; and partly from a passage in Jeremiah, (<240218>Jeremiah 2:18) in which the Prophet asks, "What has thou to do in the way of Egypt to drink the waters of Sihor?" — Sihor being here undoubtedly used as a proper name for the Nile. The second opinion mentioned by Calvin is now almost universally admitted to be the only one tenable. Even the description here given of Sihor, (<061303>Joshua 13:3,) as "before Egypt," is totally inapplicable to the Nile which, instead of being before Egypt, or on its frontiers, flows nearly through its center. The river meant and expressly referred to both by Moses (<043405>Numbers 34:5) and by Joshua (<061504>Joshua 15:4) under the name of the river of Egypt, is now called the Wady El-Arisch, from the town of that name situated near its mouth, and not far from the site of the ancient Rhinocolura, or perhaps more properly Rhinocorura. Calvin spells Rhinocornea, which if it had not been repeated by the French, might seem to be a misprint. — Ed.
ft124 It is here assumed that the only genuine sound represented by the Hebrew letter Ain is that of a. Is this the fact? Gesenius, on the contrary, while repudiating the modern Jewish pronunciation of it by the nasal gn or ng as decidedly false, says that its hardest sound is that of a g referring to Gaza and Gomorrha, the two words referred to by Calvin in illustration of the contrary. See Gesenius's Hebrew Grammar. (Bagster, 1852.)
ft125 The French adds, "Et qu'il signifie Richesses;" "And that it means Riches." — Ed.
ft126 French, "Quant au Liban, c'est une chose assez notoire quelle longeur d'etendue il a;" "As to Lebanon it is sufficiently well known what length of extent it has."
ft127 This is certainly incorrect. Antilibanus received its name, not from its length, but from its being a mountain chain opposite and parallel to Libanus or Lebanon proper, from which it is separated by the beautiful valley known to the Greeks and Romans by the names of Coele-Syria, or rather Koile (Hollow) Syria, and watered by the Leontes. — Ed.
ft128 The Septuagint avoids the appearance of tautology, both by abridging the verse and adopting a different punctuation, rendering it thus: "To Reuben and Gad the Lord gave (an inheritance) on the other side of the Jordan; towards the sun-rising did Moses the servant of the Lord give it to them." This, however, is not the only alteration made by the Septuagint version. For immediately before the verse now quoted, it interpolates another in the following terms, "From the Jordan unto the Great Sea on the west shall thou give it: the Great Sea will be the boundary of the two tribes and of the half tribe of Manasse." — Ed.
ft129 To the end of this verse the Septuagint adds the following clause: "kai< ou+tov oJ katamerismo<v o[n kateme>rise Mwnsh~v toi~v uiJoi~v Israh<l ejn Arabw<q Mwa<b ejn tw~| pe>ran tou~ Iorda>nou kata< Iericw<;" "And this is the division which Moses divided to the children of Israel in Araboth-Moab beyond Jordan opposite to Jericho." — Ed.
ft130 French, "Et de faict, s'il n'euste pourveu a cela de bonne heure, ils se fussent mangez et consumez les uns les autres en debatant entre eux;" "And in fact, had not this been provided for in good time, they would have eaten and consumed one another while debating among themselves." — Ed.
ft131 French, "Qui plus est, je suis content qu'on traduise en d'autres langues certains noms, qu'il m'a semble bon de laisser ici en la langue Hebraique comme noms propres;" "Moreover, I am content that certain words which I have thought good to leave here in the Hebrew tongue as proper names be translated into other languages." — Ed.
ft132 The curious contradictions in the behavior of this remarkable man whose fate is here recorded, and analogous exemplification's of them in ordinary life, are admirably delineated by Bishop Butler in a sermon on the subject. — Ed.
ft133 Latin, "Terminum illis fuisse Jordanem secundum suos fines." French, "Que le Jordain estoit leur borne selon ses limites;" "That the Jordan was their boundary according to its limits." The repetition is omitted by the Septuagint. — Ed.
ft134 The thirty-third verse is entirely omitted by the Septuagint. — Ed.
ft135 French, "Il est vrai que ce mot Peut estre, qui est une marque ordinaire de doute, semble estre estrange et ne convenir point, comme s'il se preparoit au combat a l'adventure;" "It is true, indeed, that this word Perhaps, which is an ordinary mark of doubt, seems strange and unsuitable, as if he were preparing himself for the combat at hap-hazard." — Ed.
ft136 Latin, "Ea munitione." French, "Cette forteresse si bien munie;" "That stronghold so well fortified." — Ed.
ft137 According to the explanation here given, the Levites held Hebron only by a kind of precarious tenure, dependent on the good will of Caleb, who gave them an hospitable reception, but might have declined it. It would seem, however, from other passages, and more particularly from <062007>Joshua 20:7, and <062109>Joshua 21:9-13, that their right to Hebron was as complete and absolute as that which they possessed to any of their other cities. Moreover, as these cities were allocated by lot, or in other words, by divine arrangement, no injustice was done to Caleb, and it would have been strangely inconsistent with all that we have previously learned of his conduct and character, had he on this occasion offered any remonstrance. — Ed.
ft138 French, "Jai desia par ci devant adverti que je ne seroye point curieux a desrire ou peindre la situation des lieux, et a espulcher tous les noms, en partie parce que je confesse franchement que je ne suis pas bien exerce a faire descriptions de lieux ou de regions; en partie d'autant que d'un grand travail qu'il faudroit prendre, il n'en reviendroit que bien peu de fruict aux lecteurs;" "I have already before this intimated that I would not be curious in describing or painting the situation of places, and in expiscating all the names, partly because, I frankly confess, that I am not much experienced in making descriptions of places or countries, partly because from the great labor which it would be necessary to take, very little benefit would redound to the reader." It may be added that these descriptions of boundaries, how minutely soever they may be detailed, must, from their very nature, leave a very vague impression on the mind of the most careful reader, and are much less adapted for the ear than for the eye, which, by a single glance at a map, furnishes information much more vivid, distinct, and accurate than can be obtained from pages of description. At the same time it ought to be remembered, that accurate and detailed descriptions of the boundaries of the different tribes were absolutely indispensable to the Israelites themselves, to whom they formed a kind of title-deeds, vindicating their right of possession, and securing them against encroachment. — Ed.
ft139 As originally laid out, it contained nearly a third of the whole Israelitish territory west of the Jordan. — Ed.
ft140 If we are to indulge in conjectures on the subject, this question might be answered by another, How do we know that Caleb had not consulted her inclinations, and instead of resting satisfied with the vague imaginings here ascribed to him, actually obtained her consent to the proposal which he was about to make? It may not have been, as Calvin supposes, a sudden thought which struck him in the heat of battle, but a calm resolve formed before he set out on his expedition against Debir, and intended to reward the most valiant of those who had assisted him in his war against the giants. And it is even not impossible that both he and his daughter, to whom Othniel, from his near relationship, must have been well known, had no doubt from the prowess he had previously exhibited, that he would outstrip all his competitors and carry off the prize. These, of course, are mere conjectures, but they are at least as plausible as those indulged in by other expositors, who, after raising the question, appear to have given themselves much unnecessary trouble in attempting to solve it. — Ed.
ft141 French, "Pource qu'un tel partie et condition si honorable ne pouvoit estre refusee honnestement et sans impudence;" "Because such a party and so honorable a condition could not be refused honestly (honorably) and without impudence." — Ed.
ft142 In other words, Caleb promises his daughter not absolutely to the man who should take the city, but to the man who, in addition to the prowess exerted in taking it, should also have the address to gain the daughter's consent. It is difficult to believe that the promise made was either so meant by Caleb, or so interpreted by his followers. He very probably and, as the event showed, justly judged that his influence as a parent would either win or command his daughter's consent. — Ed.
ft143 French, "Pour un salaire exquis et precieux;" "As an exquisite and precious recompense." — Ed.
ft144 Latin, "Foeminae tamen magis praecipites feruntur." French, "Les femmes sont beaucoup plus bouillantes, et se laissent transporter plus aisement. Et d'autant plus sogneusement les maris se doyvent donner garde, de peur que par leurs conseils importuns, qui sont comme des soufflets, ils ne soyent embrasez;" "Women are much more fervid, and allow themselves to be more easily carried away. And so much the more carefully should husbands be on their guard, lest by their importunate counsels, which are like bellows, they be blown into flame." — Ed.
ft145 French, "Quoy qu'il en soit, cette femme attira a soy par astuce et flatteries le droit d'autruy, et par ce moyen, la part et portion de ses freres en fut d'autant amoindrie;" "Be this as it may, this woman attracted to herself by craft and flattery the right of another, and by this means the part and portion of her brothers was so far lessened." The censure here passed upon Achsah is rather more severe than the circumstances seem to warrant. It ought to be remembered, that in cases of succession the preference given to males is only conventional, and that by natural law her brothers' title was not a whit better than her own. — Ed.
ft146 Some of the Jewish expositors, unwilling to admit the cowardice and sluggishness of their countrymen, fable that the Jebusites were permitted to remain in possession because they were descendants of Abimelech, and in consequence of the covenant made between him and Abraham, (<012122>Genesis 21:22, 32,) could not be lawfully expelled. — Ed.
ft147 Latin, "Quasi precario." French, "Comme par emprunt ou par prieres;" "As by loan or by entreaty." — Ed.
ft148 A long clause is here added by the Septuagint, to the effect that the Canaanite continued to dwell in Ephraim till Pharaoh, king of Egypt, came up and took it, drove out the Canaanites, Perizzites, and dwellers in Gezer, and gave it as a dowry to his daughter, (who had married Solomon.) — Ed.
ft149 Latin, "Quidam astute hunc scrupulum dissimulant." French, "Aucuns y vent a la finesse ne faisans nulle mention de ceste difficulte;" "Some have recourse to finesse, making no mention of this difficulty." — Ed.
ft150 Latin, "Nisi quia forte perspectum est; nec habitatio commodior obnoxia esset multis querimoniis." French, "Sinon possible qu'on voulust avoir esgard que s'ils eussent este plus a leur aise, cela eust engendre des complaintes;" "Unless it be possible that they were pleased to take it into consideration that if they had been more at their ease, that might have engendered complaints." — Ed.
ft151 Latin, "Turpi lucro adduti." French, "Sous couleur de quelque gain vilain et infame;" "Under color of some vile and infamous gain." — Ed.
ft152 In the French this section of the commentary stops here, and all that follows in the Latin is omitted. It only amounts, however, to a transposition, as the omitted paragraph is inserted under the section of <061714>Joshua 17:14, at the place indicated by a note. — Ed.
ft153 The omitted paragraph of the section of <061711>Joshua 17:11 is inserted here. — Ed.
ft154 It is impossible, of course, to make any suppositions at variance with the honor and integrity of Joshua, and it must therefore be held that in whatever manner the lot was taken for the children of Joseph, the strictest equity was observed. Is it necessary, however, to adopt one of the two alternatives, — either that separate lots were taken for Ephraim and Manasseh, or that Joshua deceived them? Though they counted as two tribes, they had only one patriarch for their ancestor, and it may therefore have been most expedient that, as they were brethren, their settlements should be adjacent to each other. This might, perhaps, have been obtained by taking separate lots, for we have already seen, on several occasions, how the lot, though apparently fortuitous, was providentially controlled, so as to give results at once confirmatory of ancient predictions, and conducive to the public good; and we may therefore presume that even if separate lots had been taken, the result might be still have been to place the two kindred tribes in juxtaposition. But this was only problematical, and the only way of placing the matter beyond doubt was to make one lot serve for both. And there was no necessary injustice in this, since, as has been repeatedly observed, the lot only fixed the locality, without determining its precise limits, and thus left it open to enlarge or curtail them according to the extent of the population. If injustice had been done to the children of Joseph, it would not have been merely because they had been placed in one lot, but because this lot, though really intended for two tribes, had been left as small as if it had been intended only for one. The unreasonableness and dishonesty of the complaint, therefore, lay, according to this view, in their insisting on the fact that only one lot had been taken, and at the same time keeping out of view the other equally important fact, that in fixing its boundaries due allowance had been made for their numbers, and distinct settlements of sufficient magnitude given to each. That only one lot had been taken is strongly confirmed by the whole tenor of the narrative: First, When the children distinctly put the question to Joshua, "Why has thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit?" he does not silence them at once by answering that the assertion which they thus broadly made in the form of a question was not true. On the contrary, the indirectness of his answer seems to imply that the truth of the assertion could not be denied. Secondly, The narrative in Joshua 16, in describing the allocations of Ephraim and Manasseh, speak of them as forming only one lot. Thus, it is said, (Joshua 16:1,)
"The lot of the children of Joseph fell from Jordan by Jericho,
unto the water of Jericho on the east;"
and (Joshua 16:4.)
"So the children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim,
took their inheritance."
ft155 This place, which afterwards became so celebrated as the fixed station of the ark and tabernacle during the remainder of Joshua's life and the rule of the Judges, down to the tragical death of Eli, is described in <072119>Judges 21:19, as "On the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah." This minute description corresponds with a place now called Seilun, which is situated about twenty miles N.N.E. from Jerusalem, and has several ruins indicative of an ancient site. If this was the place, it stood nearly in the center of the country, and was thus the most convenient which could have been selected. While its locality made it easily accessible from all quarters, its site, in the heart of a basin completely enclosed by hills except on the south, where a narrow valley opens into a plain, admirably adapted it for the still and solemn performance of religious services. — Ed.
ft156 Latin, "Quasi ex praesenti aspectu." French, "Comme s'ils eussent este presens sur le lieu;" "As if they had been present on the spot." — Ed.
ft157 Latin, "Innoxii hospites." French, "Estrangers innocens qui passent leur chemin;" "Innocent strangers passing on their way." — Ed.
ft158 These observations are made on the understanding that the survey made on this occasion was very minute, embracing, as Calvin here expresses it, all the "various windings and turnings," so as not to leave a single corner unexamined, and extending with the same minuteness, not only to the lands actually conquered, but to those still in the undisputed possession of the original inhabitants. Assuming this to be the fact, the dangers to be encountered by the surveyors are certainly not exaggerated in the very graphical description of them here given, and nothing but a series of miraculous interposition's could have saved them. It may be suggested, however, that the object of the surveyors was only to obtain such a general measurement as might suffice, in the manner already explained, for the taking of the lot, and that such a measurement might possibly have been made without much danger of awakening the suspicion, or rousing the hostility of the actual inhabitants. That the survey was more cursory than minute seems to be indicated by the description given of it in <061809>Joshua 18:9, "And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities." — Ed.
ft159 Latin, "Reliquis filiis." French, "Des autres enfans;" "The other children," — an apparent oversight, as if Benjamin had been a son and not a brother of Joseph. — Ed.
ft160 Latin, "Postea filiis Juda quasi precario sedem regiam concederent." French, "Depuis ils la baillerent aux enfans de Juda comme par emprunt, pour en faire le siege royal;" "Afterwards they let it to the children of Judah as by loan, to make it the royal residence." These words seem to imply that at some time or other a regular agreement to this effect had been made, but we nowhere find any mention of such an agreement. It would rather seem from <061563>Joshua 15:63, and <070108>Judges 1:8, 21, that the inhabitants of Judah possessed Jerusalem in consequence of their having wrested it from the Jebusites. — Ed.
ft161 This refers to the setting up of the golden calves by Jeroboam, and the idolatrous worship which thus impiously originated by him was long practiced by his successors. See <111228>1 Kings 12:28-33; 1 Kings 13; <121029>2 Kings 10:29-31; <122315>2 Kings 23:15; <300404>Amos 4:4; Amos 5:4-6; <280415>Hosea 4:15; <281005>Hosea 10:5,8. Bethel or "the house of God," so called by Jacob the morning after he had risen from his wonderful vision, having forfeited its name in consequence of the abominations practiced at it, became afterwards known by that of Bethaven, "the house of idols," or of vanity and iniquity. — Ed.
ft162 French, "Estant un vieillard, povre banni, qui n'avoit pas un pied de terre a luy ou il peust marcher;" "Being an old man, a poor exile, who had not a foot of land of his own on which he could walk." — Ed.
ft163 The extent of coast possessed by Zebulun was of very limited extent, but included the large and beautiful bay of Acre, which commences in the north at the promontory on which the town of Acre stands, and is terminated magnificently in the south by the lofty heights of Mount Carmel. — Ed.
ft164 The greater part of it consisted of a rich and undulating plain, diversified by gentle hills, well watered by the Leontes and other streams which derived their supplies from the snowy heights of Lebanon, and sloping gradually to that part of the sea-coast, on which were built the famous cities of Tyre and Sidon. According to Clarke, the plain of Asher and Zebulun bore a considerable resemblance to the southern districts of England. — Ed.
ft165 The tribe of Naphtali, as marked out by Joshua, Eleazar, and the heads of the tribes, harmonizes well with the figurative description of it given by Jacob, for both in scenery and fertility it is one of the fairest in the Promised Land, but the locality assigned to it in the Commentary is singularly inaccurate. In the Latin it is said that the children of Naphtali "Videntur contigui ab una parte fuisse filiis Juda: alibi autem cincti coste ils estoyent contigus aux enfans de Juda; et d'autrepart qu'ils estoyent environnez du secours de leurs freres;" "It seems that on one side that they were surrounded by the help of their brethren." The fact, however, is that Judah and Naphtali are at the opposite extremities of the country, and so far from being contiguous to each other, are widely separated by the intervention of no fewer than five tribes, which commencing on the frontiers of Judah, and proceeding northwards, are, in succession, Benjamin, Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun. Then, as it stretched from the shores of the lake of Gennesaret, north to the roots of Lebanon, it cannot well be said to have been surrounded on all sides by the enclosures of other tribes. It certainly had Zebulun on the south-west, and Asher on the west, but on the north and east, it formed the extreme frontiers of the Promised Land, and, of course, bounded with foreign and hostile settlements. — Ed.
ft166 Calvin is somewhat singular in holding that the message communicated to Joshua was an indirect censure of the Israelites, for not having previously of their own accord appointed cities of refuge. Other expositors think that till now the proper time of appointing them had not arrived, as it could not well precede, but rather behooved to be subsequent to the allocation of cities to the Levites, inasmuch as the nature of the case required that every city of refuge should be Levitical. — Ed.
ft167 It may be observed in passing, how strikingly the humanity and wisdom conspicuous in the appointment of the Mosaic cities of refuge contrast with the manifold abuses and abominations to which the numerous asylums and sanctuaries of Popish countries have led. — Ed.
ft168 Latin, "Prout communis usus ferebat." French, "Selon que le profit et l'utilite commune le requeroit;" "According as the common profit and utility required." — Ed.
ft169 Latin, "Plurimis urbibus." French, "Plusieurs villes:" "Several cities." — Ed.
ft170 French, "Ils penserent qu'il n'y avoit rien meilleur pour eux ni plus expedient, que de racheter la paix avec les enfans d'Israel, en faisans les chiens couchans (comme l'on dit) devant eux, et leur gratifiant en toutes choses;" "They thought there was nothing better for them, nor more expedient, than to purchase peace with the children of Israel by acting (so to speak) like fawning dogs before them, and gratifying them in all things." — Ed.
ft171 Latin, "Verum de secundo ambigitur." French, "Mais il y a plus grande difficulte sur le second point;" "But there is greater difficulty as to the second point." — Ed.
ft172 Latin, "Cujus sola possessio justum debuit bello imponere finem." French, "De laquelle il faloit qu'ils fussent paisibles possesseurs avant qu'ils peussent avoir licence de se desparter, et avant que finir la guerre;" "Of which it was necessary that they should be peaceful possessors before they could have license to depart, and before finishing the war." — Ed.
ft173 French, "Ou pour mieux dire, s'ils n'eussent vilainement tourne le dos arriere, quand il leur tendoit la main;" "Or, to speak more properly, if they had not villanously turned their back when he stretched out his hand to them." — Ed.
ft174 Jewish writers, founding on plausible data, calculate that the auxiliary tribes who crossed the Jordan to assist their brethren, had been absent from their homes for a period of fourteen years. — Ed.
ft175 The Septuagint alters the tenor of the whole passage by substituting the past tense for the imperative, and making it read not as a part of Joshua's address, but as the statement of a fact, "They departed with much riches," etc., and "they divided the spoil of their enemies with their brethren." — Ed.
ft176 Latin, "Pios animos." French, "Les bonnes consciences;" "Good consciences." — Ed.
ft177 French, "S'il se trouve que les autres se soyent revoltez de la religion;" "If it be found that the others have revolted from religion." — Ed.
ft178 Latin, "Prava aemulatione." French, "Abusant en mal de ce qu'ils ont veu faire aux autres;" "Making a wicked abuse of what they have seen others do." — Ed.
ft179 Latin, "Quod autem non tumultuantur." French, "Et en ce qu'ils n'escarmouchent point;" "And in not skirmishing." — Ed.
ft180 Several Romish writers endeavored to make the most of this transaction, and think they find in the apparent sanction which it gives to the erection of an altar similar to the one on which sacrifices were offered though intended for a different purpose, an authority for their endless forms of image worship. It is scarcely possible to treat such an argument seriously, but it is surely sufficient to answer, that while the Reubenites and their associates justified the erection of their altar, by declaring in the most solemn manner, that they never intended, and were firmly determined never to employ it for religious service, the Romanists, on the other hand, erect their images for the express purpose of so employing them, and are continually extolling the imaginary benefits which this sacrilegious employment of them confers. — Ed.
ft181 The original literally is "from before you," and is more exactly rendered by Calvin's Latin "In conspectu vestro," and by the English version "because of you." This English rendering is the more remarkable, as in the 5th verse, <062305>Joshua 23:5, the very same Hebrew word is literally rendered "From before you."
ft182 Simply "You shall inherit," seems to be better than the English version, "You shall possess," which is too weak, or than Calvin's Latin, "Jure haereditario possidebitis," which is too strong. — Ed.
ft182a The original text had the reference to 2 Peter 1:25, an obvious typesetting error. —fj.
ft183 According to this view, the details given in Joshua 23 and Joshua 24 refer only to one meeting. It may be so, but certainly the impression produced by a simple perusal of the chapters is, that they refer to two distinct meetings, between which some interval of time must have elapsed. It is only by means of labored criticism, accompanied with a degree of straining, that some expositors have arrived at a different conclusion. But why should it be deemed necessary to employ criticism for such a purpose? There is surely no antecedent improbability that Joshua, after all the turmoil's of war were over, should have more than once come forth from his retirement, and called the heads of the people, or even the whole body of them together to receive his counsels, when he felt that the time of his departure was at hand. Observe, moreover, that each meeting is ushered in by its own appropriate preamble, and has its own special business. In the one, Joshua speaks in his own name, and delivers his own message; in the other, all the tribes are regularly assembled, and are said to have "presented themselves before God," because, although Joshua was still to be the speaker, he was no longer to speak in his own name, but with the authority of a divine messenger, and in the very terms which had been put into his mouth. Accordingly, the very first words he utters are, "Thus said the Lord God of Israel." The message thus formally and solemnly announced in <062402>Joshua 24:2, is continued verbatim and without interruption to the end of <062413>Joshua 24:13. — Ed.
ft184 Latin, "Male." French, "A tort et contre leur devoir;" "Wrongfully and contrary to their duty." — Ed.
ft185 Latin, "Verum evanidus fuit fervor ille." French, "Mais c'a este un feu de paille comme on dit: car leur ardeur n'a gueres dure;" "But it was a fire of straw, as it is called; for their ardor was not durable." — Ed.
ft186 Latin, "Ultimo eorum interitu." French, "En les destruisant a toute rigeur;" "By destroying them in all rigor," (without mercy.) — Ed.
ft187 The "itaque" is here inserted without authority, but Calvin, as he explains in the commentary on the verse, thinks it necessary, in order to keep up the connection with the previous chapter, to show, according to his hypothesis, that both chapters contain the account of only one meeting. On the contrary, as has been observed in note, p. 264, the whole tenor of the narrative here given seems to indicate that it refers not to a continuation of the former meeting, but to one held on a subsequent occasion, and for a still more solemn purpose. — Ed.
ft188 There is here a very abrupt transition from the first to the third person in the verbs "they cried" — "he put" — "he brought" — "he covered," as if Joshua had ceased to deliver an actual message, and became merely a narrator. The message, however, is immediately resumed, "Your eyes have seen what I have done." The Septuagint, at the commencement of the verse, renders "ajneboh>samen," "we cried," and thereafter uses the narrative from to the end of <062413>Joshua 24:13, saying, in <062408>Joshua 24:8, "he brought," and in <062410>Joshua 24:10, "the Lord your God would not." — Ed.
ft189 Latin, "Terrestre Dei tribunal." French, "Le siege judicial que Dieu avoit en terre;" "The judicial seat which God had on earth." — Ed.
ft190 One of the fables here alluded to is, that Terah was not only a worshipper but a maker of idols, and that Abraham, convinced of the absurdity of idolatrous worship, destroyed all his father's idols. After doing so he labored to convince his father of the propriety of his conduct by a series of arguments which are gravely recorded, but not having succeeded in his pious endeavors, was forced to flee, and thus became a wanderer. — Ed.
ft191 Literally, "And if it be evil in your eyes." This differs little from the English version, "And if it seem evil unto you," and is preferable both to Calvin's Latin, "Quod si molestum est," "But if it is irksome;" and to the Septuagint, Eij de< mh< ajre>skei uJmi~n, "If it is not pleasing to you." The last is exactly followed by Luther, "Gefallt es euch aber nicht." — Ed.
ft192 The Septuagint omits the words "from the house of bondage." — Ed.
ft193 The Septuagint omits the response of the people. — Ed.
ft194 Latin, "Atque ita inter primos conatus nos successus destituet." French, "Et qu'ainsi entre les premiers efforts nous nous trouvions n'estre pas bien fournis pour rencontrer ainsi qu'il faut, et tenir bon;" "And that thus among the first efforts we may find ourselves not well furnished for encountering as is meet, and standing firm." — Ed.
ft195 Latin, "Liberius." French, "Plus hardiment et franchement;" "More boldly and frankly." — Ed.
ft196 French, "Leur propre conscience les redarguera comme coulpables et conveincus de desloyaute, et d'avoir fausse leur foy, s'ils ne tiennent leur promesse;" "Their own conscience will condemn them as guilty and convicted of disloyalty, and as having broken their faith, if they do not keep their promise." — Ed.
ft197 The French adds, "Comme s'il n'y avoit rien a redire en eux;" "As if there was nothing to gainsay in them." — Ed.
ft198 The words meaning literally, "The gods which are in the midst of you,' would rather seem to indicate that even at this time some of the Israelites were addicted to the secret practice of idolatry. — Ed.
ft199 The Septuagint says, "In Shiloh, before the tabernacle of the God of Israel;" and some expositors, induced by this and other considerations, labor, though with little plausibility, to show that the whole transaction here recorded took place at Shiloh, and that the name of Shechem is not here given to the town of that name, but to a district so large, that even Shiloh was included in it. — Ed.
ft200 The Septuagint here transposes Joshua 24:29 and 31, and to the end of <062429>Joshua 24:29, thus made its <062431>Joshua 24:31, appends the singular statement that they deposited, within the tomb which they erected for him there, the stone knives with which he circumcised the children of Israel at Gilgal, when he brought them out of Egypt, as the Lord commanded them; and there they are at this day. — Ed.
ft201 The French adds, "Et on le laisse la dormir;" "And it is left to sleep there." — Ed.
ft202 When these words were penned, the venerable writer, though it could scarcely be said of him that he was, like Joshua, "old and stricken in age," was, however, like him, visibly "going the way of all the earth." In such circumstances, can we doubt, that these words contain a presentiment of the fearful decline which, after his own death, was to take place in the Church of Geneva? — Ed.