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de cou" - stolen, the love
his name might not be dishononred. Note, a true christian regards the Lord's glory more than his own comfort.
Ver. 13. “ For thus saith 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 ye take away the accursed thing from among you.”]-The accursed thing was what Achan, the son of Carmi, bad stolen, and it was accursed because it belonged to " the treasury of the house of the Lord,” Josh. vi, 19. and was a breach of the divine command, Josh. vi. 18. Now this accursed thing, with the punishment of death upon the guilty person, was to be put away before that Israel conld enjoy the blessings of victory over their enemies : which was accordingly done, as the sequel of the chapter shews; and then Israel enjoyed the blessings of his power and faithfulness, which the Lord had promised. Note, If we would desire to go on prosperously, let us hate and avoid the accursed evil of sin.
The embarrassment which Achan's sin gave to the affairs of Israel being
over, we have them here in a very good posture again, the affairs both of war and religion. Here is, (1.) The glorious progress of their arnis, in the taking of Ai, before which they had lately received a disgrace. 1. God encourageth Joshua to attack it, with the assurance of success, and directs him what method to take, ver. 1, 2. 2. Joshua gives orders accordingly to the men of war, ver, 3-9. 3. The stratagem is managed as it was projected, and succeeds as it was desired, ver. 9-22. 4. Joshua becomes master of this city, puts all the inhabitants to the sword, burns it, langs the king, but gives the plunder to the soldiers, ver. 23-29. (2.) The great solemnity of writing and reading the law before a general assembly of all Israel, drawn up for that purpose upon the two mountains of Gerizim and Ebal, according to an order which Moses had received from the Lord, and delivered to them, ver. 30--35. Thus did they take their work before them, and made the business of their religion to keep pace with their secular business.
VER. 32. " And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses.”—The altar that Joshua built was a figure of Christ, and being built of whole stones may denote Christ, the stone of Israel, cut out of the mountains without bands; and no iron tool being to be lifted upon it, may point out that salvation by Christ is complete without the creature's assistance; and by the law being engraved or written upon the stones of the altar, the stones
being plaistered with plaister, (which is observed by Josephus, and in the Jewish Mishnah) Deut. xxvii. 4. it may spiritually denote the law of God written in the heart of Christ, Psalm xl. 8. the holiness or perfection of Christ's human nature answering the full demand of the law for our spiritual meetness, purity, and sanctification before God. And as the altar was built at mount Ebal, where the curses were denounced, it sliews that Christ, as our altar of atonement, has removed the curse of the law from us, see Gal. iii. 13. and that he has answered in the perfection of bis nature, life, and death; the whole that the law commands.
Here is in this chapter, 1. The impolitic confederacy of the kings of
Cauaan against Israel, ver. 1, 2. 2. The politic cunfederacy of the inbabitants of Gibeon with Israel. 1. How it was subtilly proposed and petitioned for by the Gibeonites pretending to come from a far country, ver. 3—13. 2. How it was unwarily consented to by Joshua and the Israelites, to the disgust of the congregation when the frand was discovered, ver. 14-18. 3. How the matter was adjusted to the satisfaction of all sides, by giving these Gibeonites their lives, because they had covenanted with them, yet depriving them of their liberties, because the covenant was not fairly obtained, ver, 19–27.
VER. 23. “ Now therefore ye are cursed.”]—This curse was not designed to be an eternal curse upon the Gibeonites, but they were to be under a servile state; and they being of the posterity of Canaan, it was a fulgiment of Noah's prophecy concerning them, Gen. xix. 25. “And he said, Cursed be Canaan ; a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren :" now the posterity of Shem, of whom the Jews were descended, were brethren to Canaan; but Noah said of Canaan, “A servant of servants shall he be :" which was fully accomplished; for the Levites were servants to the priests, and these Gibeonites, so called from their dwelling in Gibeon, were Hivites, one of the seven nations of Canaan, Joshua ix. 1. and xi. 19. Now these were servants to the Levites, who were servants to the priests; and thus we see the prophecy of Noah was accomplished, “ A servant of servants shall he be to his brethren." Yet there was a blessing contained therein, for though their office was mean, and their labour hard, yet they had a place in the sanctuary, and an opportunity of bearing and learning the law of God, and were an emblem and pledge of the salvation of the gentiles, and of their being brought into the church of God.
We have in this chapter an account of the conquest of the kings and kingdoms
of the southern part of the land of Canaan, as in the next chapter of the reduction of the northern parts, which together completed the glorious successes of the wars of Canaan. In this, 1. Of the routing of their forces in the field. In which observe, (1.) Their confederacy against the Gibeonites, ver. 1-5. (2.) The Gibeonites' request to Joshua to assist them, ver. 6. (3.) Joshua's speedy march under divine encouragement for their reliet, ver. 7-9. (4.) The defeat of the arinies of these confederate kings, ver. 10, 11. (5.) The miraculous prolonging of the day, by the standing still of the sun, in favour of the conquerors, ver. 12–14. 2. Of the execution of the kings that escaped out of the battle, ver. 15-27. 3. Of the taking of the particular cities, and the total destruction of all that were found in them. Makkedah, ver. 28. Libralı, ver. 29, 30. Lachish, ver. 31, 32. and the king of Gezer that attempted its rescue, ver. 33. Eglon, ver. 34, 35. Hebron, ver. 36, 37. Debir, ver. 38, 39. And the bringing of all that country into the hands of Israel, ver. 40-42. And lastly, the return of the army to their head quarters.
VER. 8. “ And the Lord said unto Joshua, Fear them not."]~As the Gibeonites in joining the Israelites were figurative of the conversion of the gentiles, so the opposition they met with from the five kings was figurative of the opposition the church meets with in the ways of God. Note, the Lord's promise and presence are the only grounds of our confidence, as they remove our fears, and give us strength and triumph of faith. Secondly, as the Gibeonites fled to Joshua, in their day of distress, to escape from their enemies, so let the christian learn in all his days of trouble to fly to Jesus, who is his spiritual Josbua, for help against bis spiritual enemies.
Ver. 12. “Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou moon in the valley of Ajalon."]-Some think that this valley of Ajalon was the same with that called the valley of Gibeon, where Joshua fought with the five kings, Isaiah xxviii. 21. and if it was new moon, it might appear over the valley of Ajalon, and the sun over Gibeon : but some rather think that it was full moon, which arose over the valley of Ajalon, that the sun was setting over Gibeon, and that Joshua's prayer or wish was that the sun and moon
might both stand still till he was avenged upon his enemics ; the sun, that he might bave day-light, and the moon, that there might be no confusion among the heavenly bodies ; in which respect Joshua was a type of Christ, of whoin the mariners said, " What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him ?” Matt. viii. 27.
Ver. 13. “ And the sun stood still.”]-For the Lord heard the prayer of Joshua, and wrought a great miracle to strengthen his faith. Thus the “ heavens bear the earth ;" and ihe great God will change the course of nature, as he did at the Red Sea, and at the waters of Jordan, or stop the course of nature, as he did in the valley of Ajalon, that his promise might be made good to his people.
" Is not this written in the book of Jasher?"']_There are various opinions about this book, but probably it was a book of annals, or state poems, which were written by Jasher upon the miraculous appearances of the Lord for his people. Jasher signifies righteous, and he recorded the righteous acts of the Lord : this is probably the same book as that which is called, “ The book of the wars of the Lord,” Numb. xxi, 14.
Ver. 42. “ Because the Lord God of Israel fought for Israel.” 7—The Lord appeared to be Israel's God, in de. livering them, guiding them, feeding them, protecting them, and fighting for them ; which shews that he is a gracious God to his spiritual Israel, in feeding them with heavenly manna, in refreshing them with bis presence, and fighting for them against all their enemies.
This chapter continues and concludes the history of the conquest of Canaan :
the sonthern parts of it we had an account of the reduction of, in the foregoing chapter; after which we may suppose Joshua allowed his forces some breathing-time ; now here we have the story of the war in the north, and the happy success of that war. 1. The confederacy of the northern crowns against Israel, ver. 1-5. 2. The encouragement which God gave to Joshua to eagage them, ver. 6. 3. His victory over them, ver. 7-9. 4. The taking of the cities, ver, 10-15. 5. The destruction of the Anakims, ver. 21, 22. 6. The general conclusion of the story of this war, ver. 16-20, 23.
VER. 15. “He left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses.”]-Ile destroyed the Canaanites, their idols, images, and high places, Exod. xxxiv. 11, 12, 13. This shews Joshua's faithfulness, bis zeal for God, and his concern for the good of Israel; so Jesus, our spiritual Joshua, is faithful to all his engagements for the good of his people. The destruction of the Canaanites, with their bigh places and idols, may be figurative of Christ by his power and presence overcoming our spiritual enemies, and saving us from onr sins, the Canaanites of our hearts, Gal. v. 24.
Ver. 19. “ There was not a city that made peace, save the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon.”]-The Hivites were to be destroyed, Exod. xxxiv. 11. but here we find that Joshua saved the Hivites, called Gibeonites, from their dwelling in Gibeon ; and yet it is said, “ there failed not ought" of what the Lord had promised to them, Josh. xxiii. 14. Concerning this it may be observed, that there were several cities of the Hivites, which were destroyed, Josh. ix. 17, and that it was only the Hivites, that dwelt in Gibeon, who were saved.
This chapter is a summary of Israel's conquests; 1. Their conquests under
Moses on the other side Jordan (for we now suppose ourselves in Canaan) eastward, which we bad the history of, Numb. xxi. 24. And here the abridgment of that history, ver. 1-6. 2. Their conquests under Joshua, on this side Jordan, westward. (1.) The country they reduced, ver. 7, 8. (2.) The kings they subdued, thirty-one in all, ver. 9-34. And this comes in here, not only as a conclusion of the history of the wars of Canaan, that we might at one view see what they had got, but as a preface to the history of the dividing of Canaan, that all might be put together which they were now to make a dis. tribution of
VER. 7. 66 Which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel for a possession, according to their divisions.”]The plentiful land of Canaan was a figure of the many blessings of the gospel, called the church's rest, Heb. iy. 10. and the division of the land among the tribes of Israel by Joshua, may be figurative of the possession of the blessings of the gospel, which Christ divides among his people. We find that some enjoy a large measure of the blessings of the gospel in full assurance of faith, and others have a lively hope: moreover there are others who have many doubts and fears about their having true faith and an