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The waters of Jordan are divided, CHAP. Iy.
and the people pass over. A. M. 2553. sea of the plain, even a the salt covenant of the LORD stood firm
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Anno ante and the people passed over right Jordan, band all the Israelites
passed over on dry ground, until 1. Olymp. 675. 17 And the priests that bare the ark of the all the people were passed clean over Jordan. a Gen. xiv. 3; Num. xxxiv. 3.
b See Exod. xiv. 29. channel toward the source, and the adjacent ground 1. Is it not surprising that the Canaanites did not over which they were now spread, to a much greater dispute this passage with the Israelites ? It is likely depth, the power of God giving a contrary direction they would, had they had any expectation that such a to the current. We need not suppose them to be passage would have been attempted. They must have gathered up like a mountain, instar montis, as the Vul- known that the Israelitish camp was on the other side gale expresses it, but that they continued to flow back of the Jordan, but could they have supposed that a in the course of the channel; and ere they could have passage for such a host was possible wlien the banks reached the lake of Gennesareth, where they might of the Jordan were quite overflowed ? It was not have been easily accumulated, the whole Israelitish merely because they were panic-struck that they did army would have all got safely to the opposite side. not dispute this passage, but because they must have
Very far from the city Adam—beside Zaretan] supposed it impossible ; and when they found the atWhere these places were it is difficult to say. The tempt was made, the passage was effected before they city Adam is wholly unknown. From 1 Kings iv. 12 could prepare to prevent it. we learn that Zartanah was below Jezreel near Beth 2. God now appears in such a way, and works in shean, or Scythopolis, and not far from Succoth, 1 such a manner, as to leave no doubt concerning his Kings vii. 46. And it appears from Gen. xxxiii. 17, presence or his power, or of his love to Israel. After Josh. xiii. 27, that Succoth lay on the east side of this, was it possible for this people ever to doubt his Jordan, not far from the lake of Gennesareth; and being or his bounty? This, with the miraculous pasprobably Adam was on the same side to the north of sage of the Red Sea, were well calculated to have Succoth. It is probable that the Israelites crossed the established their faith for ever; and those who did not Jordan near Bethabara, where John baptized, John i. yield to the evidence afforded by these two miracles 28, and which probably had its name, the house of were incapable of rational conviction. passage, from this very circumstance. After all, it is 3. In some respects the passage of the Jordan was extremely difficult to ascertain the exact situation of more strikingly miraculous than that even of the Red these places, as in the lapse of upwards of 3,000 years Sea. In the latter God was pleased to employ an the face of the country must have been materially agent; the sea went back by a strong east wind all changed. Seas, rivers, and mountains, change not; that night, and made the sea dry land, Exod. xiv. 21. and though we cannot ascertain the spot, it is suffi- Nothing of this kind appeared in the passage of the ciently evident that we can come near to the place. Jordan; a very rapid river (for so all travellers allow It has been considered a lame objection against the it to be) went back to its source without any kind of truth of the Iliad that the situation of Troy cannot agency but the invisible hand of the invisible God. now be exactly ascertained. There are even many 4. Through the whole period of the Jewish history ancient cities and considerable towns in Europe, that, these miracles, so circumstantially related, were never though they still bear their former names, do not oc- denied by any, but on the contrary conscientiously cupy the same spot. There are not a few of those believed by all. Nor did any of them in their revolts even in England; among such Norwich, Salisbury, &c., from God, which were both 'foul and frequent, ever may be ranked, neither of which is in its primitive call these great facts in question, when even so full situation.
of enmity against God as to blaspheme his name, and Right against Jericho.) It would be impossible for give his glory to dumb idols! Is not this a manifest the whole camp to pass over in the space opposite to proof that these facts were incontestable ? and that Jericho, as they must have taken up some miles in Jehovah had so done his marvellous works that they breadth, besides the 2,000 cubits which were left on should be had in everlasting remembrance? Reader, the right between them and the ark; but the river the same God who is over all is rich in mercy to all was divided opposite to Jericho, and there the camp that call upon him.. He changes not, neither is he began to pass over.
weary : trust in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord JeVerse 17. The priests—stood firm on dry ground) hovah is everlasting strength ; and he ever saves his They stood in the mid channel, and shifted not their po- followers out of the hands of all their enemies, and, sition till the camp, consisting of nearly 600,000 effective having guided them by his counsel, will receive them men, besides women, children, &c., had passed over. into his glory.
CHAPTER IV. When the people are passed over, Joshua.commands twelve men, one taken out of each tribe. lo take up a stone
on his shoulder out of the midst of the river, and carry it to the other side, to be set up as a memorial of this miraculous passage, 1-7. They do so, and set up the stones in the place where they encamp the first Vol. II. ( 2 )
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Twelve stones, taken out of Jordan, JOSHUA.
are set up as a memorial. night, 8, 9. The priests stand in the river, till all the people are passed over, 10, 11. Of the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, 40,000 fighting men pass over with the other tribes, 12, 13. Joshua is magnified in the sight of the people, and they fear him as they did Moscs, 14. The priests are commanded to come up out of the river, which, on their leaving it, immediately returns, and overflows its banks as before, 15-18. This miraculous passage takes place the tenth ay of the first month, 19. The stones are set up in Gilgal, and Joshua teaches the people what use they are to make of them, 20–24. AND it came to pass, when 6 That this may be a sign
B. C. 1451. An. Exod. Isr. all the people were clean among you, that when your An. Exod. Isr.
passed over Jordan, that the children ask their fathers fin I. Olymp. 675.
LORD spake unto Joshua, saying, time to come, saying, What 1. Olymp. 675 2 6 Take you twelve men out of the people, mean ye by these stones? out of every tribe a man,
7 Then, ye shall answer them, That the 3 And command ye them, saying, Take you waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the of the covenant of the LORD ; when it passed place where the priests' fect stood firm, twelve over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut stones, and ye them over with
off: and these stones shall be for ha memoand leave them in d the lodging place, where rial unto the children of Israel for ever. ye shall lodge this night.
8 And the children of Israel did so, 4 Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones he had prepared of the children of Israel, out out of the midst of Jordan, as the Lord spake of every tribe a mano:
unto Joshua, according to the number of the 5 And Joshua said unto them, Pass over be-tribes of the children of Israel, and carried fore the ark of the Lord your God into the them over with them unto the place where midst of Jordan, and take you up every man they lodged, and laid them down there. of you a stone upon his shoulder, according 9 And Joshua set up twelve stones in the unto the number of the tribes of the children midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of Israel;
of the priests which bare the ark of the cove
a Deut. xxvii. 2; chap. iii. 17. Chap. 111. 12. Chap. Deut. vi. 20; Psa. xliv. 1 ; lxxviii. 3, 4, 5, 6. f Heb. to-mor iii. 13.-_ Ver. 19, 20.-e Ver. 21; Exod. xii. 26 ; xiii. 14; row. -8 Chap. iii. 13, 16. h Exod. xii. 14; Num. xvi. 40.
NOTES ON CHAP. IV.
the Israelites over Jordan, he was commanded to take Verse 2. Take you twelve men] From chap. iii. 12, twelve slonès out of the midst of Jordan, to be a meit appears that the twelve men had been before ap- morial that the ground in the very midst of that river pointed, one taken out of each of the twelve tribes ; had been made dry. But where was this memorial to and now they are employed for that purpose for which be set up? The ninth verse says"; Joshua set up these they had been before selected.
stones in the midst of Jordan. But is it likely that Verse 3. Where ye shall lodge this night.] This the stones should be placed or set down where they was in the place that was afterwards called "Gilgal. were taken up; and that the memorial should be erected See ver. 19.
there where, when the river was again united, it would Verse 4. Twelve men, whom he had prepared] This be concealed, and of course could be no memorial at must refer to their appointment, chap. iii. 12. all ? This however flatly contradicts the rest of the
Verse 6. This may be a sign Stand as a con- chapter, which says these stones were pitched in Giltinual memorial of this miraculous passage, and con- gal, where Israel lodged in Canaan for the first time. sequently a proof of their lasting obligation to God. The solution of this difficulty is, that tina bethoch in
Verse 9. And Joshua set up twelve stones in the the midst, should be here fino mittoch, from the midst, midst of Jordan] It seems from this chapter that as in ver. 3, 8, 20, and as the word is here also in the there were two sets of stones erected as a memorial of Syriac version. The true rendering therefore is, And this great event; twelve at Gilgal, ver. 20, and twelve Joshua set up the twelve stones (taken) From the midst in the bed of Jordan, ver. 9. The twelve stones in of Jordan,” &c. I confess I see no need for this critithe bed of Jordan might have been so placed on a base cism, which is not supported by a siogle MS. either in of strong stone-work so high as always to be visible, his own or De Rossi's collection, though they amount and serve to mark the very spot where the priests to four hundred and ninety-four in number. Twelve stood with the ark. The twelve stones set up at Gil- stones might be gathered in different parts of the bed gal would stand as a monument of the place of the of the Jordan, and be set up as a pillar in another, and first encampment after this miraculous passage. Though be a continual visible memorial of this grand evento this appears to me to be the meaning of this place, yet And if twelve were set up in Gilgal as a memorial of Dr. Kennicott's criticism here should not be passed by their first encampment in Canaan, it is still more likely " It is well known," says he, “that when Joshua led that twelve would be set up in the bed of the river to
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Joshua is magnified in the
sight of all the people. A. M. 2553.
nant stood : and they are there 14 On that day the LORD 'magAn. Exod. Isr. unto this day.
nified Joshua in the sight of all An. Exod. Ist. 10 For the priests which bare Israel; and they feared him, as 1. Olymp 675. the ark stood in the midst of they feared Moses, all the days
I. Olymp. 675. Jordan, until every thing was finished that the of his life. Lord commanded Joshua to speak unto the 15 And the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying, people, according to all that Moses com 16 Command the priests that bear m the ark of manded Joshua : and the people hasted and the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan. passed over.
17 Joshua therefore commanded the priests, 11 And it came to pass, when all the people saying, Come ye up out of Jordan. were clean passed over, that the ark of the 18 And it came to pass, when the priests Lord passed over, and the priests, in the that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD presence of the people.
were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and 12 And the children of Reuben, and the the soles of the priests' feet were a lifted up children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manas- unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan seh, passed over armed before the children of returned unto their place, and p flowed over Israel, as Moses spake unto them:
all his banks, as they did before. 13 About forty thousand prepared for war 19 And the people came up out of Jordan on passed over before the Lord unto battle, to the tenth day of the first month, and encamped the plains of Jericho.
9 in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.
Num. XX11 20, 27, 28. * Or, ready armed.-Chap. iii. 7.
m Exod. xxv. 16, 22.
Hebrew, plucked up.
Chapter iii. 15.--Hebrew, went. 9 Chap. v. 9
show where it had been divided, and the place where entered into Canaan the tenth of the first month, the whole Israelitish host had passed over dry-shod. A. M. 2553, it is evident that forty years, wanting The reader may follow the opinion he judges most five days, had elapsed from the time of their exodus likely.
from Egypt to their entrance into the promised Verse 10. And the people hasted and passed over.) inheritance. How very natural is this circumstance! The people Encamped in Gilgalj That is, in the place that seeing the waters divided, and Jordan running back, was afterwards called Gilgal, see chap. v. 9; for here might be apprehensive that it would soon resume its the name is given it by anticipation. In Hebrew, 22 wonted course ; and this would naturally lead them gal signifies to roll; and the doubling of the root, Saha to hasten to get over, with as much speed as possible. galgal or gilgal, signifies rolling round and round, or The circumstance itself thus marked is a proof that rolling off or away, because, in circumcising the chilthe relater was an eyewitness of this miraculous pas-dren that had been born in the wilderness, Joshua rolled sage.
dway, rolled off completely, the reproach of the people. Verse 12. The children of Reuben, and—Gad] From this time Gilgal became a place of considerable Concerning the numbers of these tribes that stayed be- eminence in the sacred history. 1. It was the place bind to take care of the women, children, and cattle, where the Israelitish camp rested the first night of and which amounted to 70,580 men, see the note on their entering into that land, which had been promised Num. Xxxii, 17.
to their fathers from the days of Abraham. 2. It was Passed over armed] See the note on chap. i. 14. the place in which Joshua circumcised all the people
Verse 14. The Lord magnified Joshua) See the who had been born in the wilderness, during the forty note on chap. iii. 7.
years of their wandering, after they left Egypt. 3. Verse 18. The waters of Jordan returned unto their It was the place in which Joshua had what we place] It is particularly remarked by the sacred his might term his fortified camp, and to which he and his torian, that as soon as the soles of the priests' feet army constantly returned after each of their expeditions touched the water, the stream of the Jordan was cut against the inhabitants of the land.
4. It appears to off, chap. iii. 15, and the course of the river continued have been the place where all the women, children, to be inverted all the time they continued in its chan- cattle, and goods, &c., were lodged, probably during nel; and that as soon as the soles of their feet had the whole of the Canaanitish war. 5. It was the place touched the dry land, on their return from the bed of where they celebrated the first passover they kept in the river, the waters immediately resumed their natural the promised land. 6. It was the place where Saul, course. All this was done by the sovereign influence the first king of Israel, was proclaimed. 7. There of that God whose presence was represented by the the manna ceased to fall. And, 8. There the ark was ark of the covenant.
fixed till, after the conquest of the country, it was reVerse 19. On the tenth day of the first month] As moved to Shiloh. the Israelites left Egypt on the fifteenth day of the Gilgal was about ten furlongs from Jericho, and fifty first month, A. M. 2513, (see Exod. xiv.,) and they from Jordan : Jericho being on the west, and Jordan
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The Canaanites are terrified
on hearing of the late miracle 20 And those twelve stones, 23 For the LORD your God An. Exod. Isr. which they took out of Jordan, dried up the waters of Jordan An. Exod. Isr.
did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. from before you, until ye were 1. Olymp. 675. 21 And he spake unto the passed over, as the LORD your
I. Olymp. 675. children of Israel, saying, "When your chil. God did to the Red Sea,' which he dried up dren shall ask their fathers, in time to come, from before us, until we were gone over: saying, What mean these stones?
24 "That all the people of the earth might 22 Then ye shall let your children know, know the hand of the Lord, that it is ' mighty : saying, "Israel came over this Jordan on dry that ye mighty fear the LORD your God z for land.
r Ver..3.4 Ver. 6. Heb. to-morrow.
-u Chap. iii. 17. 8. - Exod. xv. 16; 1 Chron. xxix. 12 ; Psa. Ixxxix. 13.-- Ex. Exod. xiv. 21.-"1 Kings viii. 42, 43; 2 Kings xix. 19; Psa. cvi. xiv. 31 ; Deut: vi. 2; Psa. Ixxxix. 7; Jer. 1.7.2 Heb. all days.
on the east, Gilgal being between both. See Josephus, heathen, were well calculated to make these things De Bello, &c., lib. V., C. 4, and Calmet on this place., known. Calmet supposes there was neither city nor town here before the arrival of the Israelites.
1. God intends that his religion should be maintained Verse 20. Those twelve stones] It is very likely and propagated in the earth; therefore he has given a that a base of mason-work was erected of some con- revelation of himself to men, that it may be taught in siderable height, and then the twelve stones placed on the world ; and he particularly requires that parents the top of it ; and that this was the case both in Jor should be diligent and servent in teaching their children dan and in Gilgal : for twelve such stones as a man the knowledge of his name. 2. This is one great use could carry a considerable way on his shoulder, see of the ordinances of the Gospel, and the rites of reliver. 5, could scarcely have made any observable altar, gion. They are all significators of sacred things, and or pillar of memorial : but erected on a high base of point out matters of infinite importance beyond themmason-work they would be very conspicuous, and thus selves. 3. A spirit of inquiry is common to every properly answer the end for which God ordered them child : the human heart is ever panting after knowto be set up.
ledge; and if not rightly directed when young, will, Verse 22. Then ye shall let your children` know] like that of our first mother, goʻastray after forbidden The necessity of an early religious education is incul- science. 4. If we wish our children to be happy, we cated through the whole oracles of God. The parents should show them where happiness is to be found. If who neglect it have an awful account to give to the we wish them to be wise, we should lead them unto Judge of quick and dead.
God by means of his word and ordinances. It is natuVerse 24. That all the people of the earth might ral for a child to inquire, “What do you mean by this know] . It is very likely that puso y no col ammey baptism ?—by this sacrament ?—by praying ?—by singhaarets means simply, all the people of this land all ing psalms and hymns ?" &c. And what fine opporthe Canaanitish nations, to whom, by the miracles tunities do such questions give pious and intelligent wrought in behalf of his people, he intended to show parents to instruct their children in every article of his eternal power and Godhead, the excellence of the Christian faith, and in every fact on which these his protection, and the unavailableness of human articles are established ! Oh why is this neglected, might against his omnipotence; and the miracles while the command of God is before our eyes, and the he wrought for this people, in the sight of the importance of the measure so strikingly obvious ?
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The effect produced on the minds of the Canaanites by the late miracle, 1. Joshua is commanded to circum
cise the Israelites, 2. He obeys, 3. Who they were that were circumcised, and why it was now done, 4-7. They abide in the camp till they are whole, 8. The place is called Gilgal, and why, 9. They keep the passover in the same place, 10. They eat unleavened cakes and parched corn, on the morrow after the passover, 11.
The manna ceases, 12. The captain of the Lord's host appears to Joshua, 13–15.
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Anno ante rites, which were on the side Lord had dried up the waters Anno ante 1. Olymp. 675. of Jordan westward, and all the of Jordan from before the chil- I. Olymp. 675. a Num. xiii. 29. Exod. xv. 14, 15; chap. ii. 9, 10, 11; Psa. xlvii. 6; Ezek. xxi. 7. NOTES ON CHAP. V.
the term Amorite is applied sometimes to signify all Verse 1. The Amoriles which were on the side of the nations or tribes of Canaan. It appears from this Jordan westward] It has already been remarked that verse that there were people thus denominated that
Joshua is commanded to
circumcise the Israelites.
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A. M. 2553. B. C. 1451. dren of Israel, until we were again the children of Israel the
B. C. 1451. An. Eod. Isr. passed over, that their heart second time.
An. Exod. Isr. melted, e neither was their spirit 3 And Joshua made him sharp Anno ante 1 Olymp. 675.
in them any more, because of knives, and circumcised the child I. Olymp. 675. the children of Israel.
dren of Israel at fthe hill of the foreskins. 2 At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, 4 And this is the cause why Joshua did Make thee a sharpe knives, and circumcise circumcise : 6 All the people that came out of el Kings 1. 5.- Or, knives of flints. Exodus 'Or, Gibeath-haaraloth. -5 Num. xiv. 29; xxvi. 64, 65;
Deut. ii. 16. dwelt on both sides of the Jordan. Those on the east The great aptitude of iron to be oxidized, i. e., to be side had already been destroyed in the war which the converted to rust, is well known; but how far this Israelites had with Sihon and Og ; with those on the reasoning, thus applied, may be supported by fact, I west side Joshua had not yet waged war. It is pos- cannot pretend to determine : it is sufficiently evident sible however that the Amorites, of whom we read in that it was a common custom to use knives of stone this verse, were the remains of those who dwelt on in circumcision, and in all operations on those parts of the east side of the Jordan, and who had taken refuge the human body. I shall give a few examples. Pliny here on the defeat of Og and Sihon.
says, when they amputate certain parts they do it with Verse 2. Make thee sharp knives) o'ng nint char- a sharp stone, because nothing else could be employed both isurim, knives of rock, stone, or flint. Before the without danger. Samia testa virililalem amputabant : use of iron was common, all the nations of the earth nec aliter citra perniciem. had their edge-tools made of stones, flints, &c. In Ovid, Fast. lib. iv., ver. 237, relates a circumstance the lately discovered islands this is found to be a com- where the sarum acutum; or sharp stone, was used
Our ancestors in these countries made their about those parts :arrow and spear-heads of flint: these I have often seen Ille etiam saxo corpus laniavit acuto, turned up by the plough. But we cannot suppose that Longaque in ihmundo pulvere tracta coma est. at the time here referred to the Israelites were desti Voxque fuit, Merui ; meritas dem sanguine penas; tute of iron, and were therefore obliged to use knives
Ah! pereant partes, quæ nocuere mihi ; made of stone or flint; their different manufactures in
Ah! pereant; dicebat adhuc, onus inguinis aufert ; the wilderness prove that they must have had both iron
Nullaque sunt subito signa relicta viri. and steel. Why.then use knives made of stone ? Probably it was unlawful to use melal of any kind in this knife made of a sharp stone was used in making in
This quotation is produced in order to prove that a religious rite ; and indeed this seems likely from the cisions and amputations of certain parts of the body, circumstance of Zipporah (Exod. iv. 25) taking a sharp stone and circumcising her son ; and we find, translation of the verse is not necessary, and would be
even when the use of iron was well known; but a from the most ancient and authentic accounts, that the
Phe Egyptians considered it unlawful or profane to use any kind of metal to make incisions, in the human body,
Mollia qui RAPTA secuit GENITALIA TESTA . when preparing it for embalming ; see the note on Gen. of Juvenal (Sat. vi., ver. 513) is a farther proof of 1. 2, and on Exod. iv. 25. That it was deemed im- this. Many other proofs might be produced ; but those proper to use any other kind of instrument in circum- who wish for more may consult Calmet and Scheuchzer. cision we have a proof in the tribe Alnajab, in Ethi Circumcise again the children of Israel the second opia, who follow the Mosaic institution, and perform lime.) This certainly does not mean that they should the rite of circumcision, according to Ludolf, cultris repeat circumcision on those who had already received lapidibus, with knives made of slone.--Hist. Æthiop., it. This would have been as absurd as impracticable. lib. ii., c. 1. And as God commanded the people to But the command implies that they were to renew the make him an altar of unhewn stone, on which no tool observance of a rite which had been neglected in their of iron had been lifted up, because this would pollute travels in the desert: this is sufficiently evident from it, (see Exod. xX. 25, and Deut. xxvii. 5,) he might the following verses. require that no instrument of iron should be used in a Verse 4. This is the cause why Joshua did circumcise) rite by which the body and soul of the person were in The text here explains itself. Before the Israelites the most solemn and sacred manner dedicated to him left Egypt all the males were circumcised ; and some to be his house and temple, the heart itself being the learned men think that all those who were born during altar on which continual sacrifices to God-must be of their encampment at Sinai were circumcised also, befered. A physical reason has been given for prefer- cause there they celebrated the passover ; but after ring knives of slone in this operation, " the wound suf- . that time, during the whole of their stay in the wilderfers less through inflammation, and is sooner healed." ness, there were none circumcised till they entered For this a reason may be given. It is almost impos- into the promised land. Owing to their unsettled state, sible to get an edge made so even and firm as not to God appears to have dispensed, for the time being, with leave particles of the metal in the incisions made even this rite; but as they were about to celebrate another in the most delicate flesh; these particles would soon passover, it was necessary that all the males should be become oxidized by the action of the air, and extra circumcised; for without this they could not be conioflammation in the part would be the consequence. sidered within the covenant, and could not keep the