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A. M. 2553.
B. C. 1451.

A. M. 2553. B. C. 1 451. An. Exod. Isr.

40. Anno ante

40. Anno ante

Joshua sends messengers

JOSHUA.

for the stolen articles. weight, then I coveted them, and í 24 And Joshua, and all Israel An. Exod. Isr. took them; and, behold, they are with him, took Achan the son

hid in the earth in the midst of of Zerah, and the silver, and the I. Olymp. 675. my tent, and the silver under it. garment, and the wedge of gold,

I. Olymp. 675. 22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and his tent, and the silver under it.

all that he had : and they brought them unto 23 And they took them out of the midst of the valley of Achor. the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and 25 And Joshua said, iWhy hast thou trouunto all the children of Israel, and 8 laid them bled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. out before the Lord.

k And all Israel stoned him with stones, and

6 Heb. poured.

Lh Ver. 26 ; chap. xv. 7.

i Chap. vi. 18; 1 Chron. ii. 7; Gal. v. 12.

k Deut. xvii. 5.

nar,

some

but as Babylon or Bahel was built in the plain of Ski- ruption of the word lingot, signifying a little tongue,

the word has in general been translated Babylon of fifty shekels weight. These fifty shekels, in weight in this place. It is very probable that this was the 29 oz. 15}{ gr., at 21. 58. 2} jd. per shekel, would robe of the king of Jericho, for the same word is used, be worth about 1131. Os. 10 d. Jonah iii. 6, to express the royal robe, of the king of This verse gives us a notable instance of the proNineveh, which he laid aside in order to humble him- gress of sin. It 1. enters by the eye ; 2. sinks into self before God.

the heart; 3. actuales the hand; and, 4. leads to seBochart and Calmel have shown at large that Ba- crecy and dissimulation. I saw, &c. I coveted, &c. bylonish robes were very splendid, and in high repu- I took and hid them in the earth. Thus says St. tation. “They are,” says Calmet, “ generally allowed James : “When lust (evil desire) is conceived it to have been of various colours, though some suppose bringeth forth sin; and when sin is finished it bringeth they were woven thus; others, that they were embroi- forth death," chap. i. 15. dered with the needle ; and others, that they were Verse 24. Joshua-look Achanand all that he had] painted. Silius Italicus appears to think they were He and his cattle and substance were brought to the woven thus :

valley to be consumed ; his sons and his daughters,

probably, to witness the judgments of God inflicted on Vestis spirantes referens sublemine vultus,

their disobedient parent.

See ver. 25. Quos radio cælat BABYLON.

Verse 25. Why hast thou troubled us?] Here is a Punic. lib. xiv., ver. 657.,

reference to the meaning of Achan's or Achar's name, MARTIAL seems to say they were embroidered with 1.20 meh ACHAR-lanu ; and as dy achar is used the needle :

here, and not ja achan, and the valley is called the Non ego prætulerim BABYLONICA PICTA superbe

valley of Achor, and not the valley of Achan, hence

have Texta, Semiramia quce variantur acu.

supposed that Achar was his proper name, Lib. viii., E. 28, ver. 17.

as it is read in i Chron. ii. 7, and in some MSS. and

ancient versions. See the note on ver. ' 17. Pliny (lib. viii., c. 48) and APULEIUS (Florid. lib. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned i.) speak of them as if painted : Colores diversos them with fire, after they had stoned them wilh stones.] picturæ intexere Babylon maxime celebravit, el nomen With great deference to the judgment of others, I ask, imposuit.

Can it be fairly proved from the text that the sons and Thus far Calmet : but it may be observed that the daughters of Achan were stoned to death and burnt clothes woven of divers colours at Babylon, which as well as their father? The text certainly leaves it were so greatly celebrated, and hence called Baby- doublful, but seems rather to intimate that Achan alone lonish garments, appear rather to have had the pictures was stoned, and that his substance was burnt with fire. woven or embroidered in them than painted on them, The reading of the present Hebrew text is, They as Calmet supposes, though it is most likely the figures stoned him with stones, and burnt them with fire, after referred to were the work of the needle after the cloth they had stoned them with stones. The singular came from the loom.

number being used in the first clause of the verse, and Aquila translates the original, WJy 1778 addereth the plural in the last, leaves the matter doubtful. The shinar, by orohm Baßvàovikiv, a Babylonish robe ; VULGATE is very clear : Lapidavitque eum omnis IsSYMMACHUS, evðvua ovvap, a robe of Synar; the Sep- rael ; et cuncta quæ illius erant, igne consumpta sunt, TUAGINT, Wanu TOIKĀNU, a fine garment of different “ All Israel stoned him; and all that he had was concolours; and the VULGATE, pallium coccineum, a scar- sumed with fire." The Septuagint add this and the let cloak. There is no doubt it was both beautiful and first clause of the next verse together : Kai exl8oßocostly, and on these grounds it was coveted by Achan. | λησαν αυτον λιθοις πας Ισραηλ, και επεστησαν αυτο

Two hundred shekels of silver] At three shillings owpov howv meyav : And all Israel stoned him with per shekel, amount to about 30l. sterling.

stones, and raised over him a great heap of stones. A wedge of gold] A tongue of gold, ani poo's leshon The Syriac says simply, They stoned him with stones, zahab what we commonly call an ingot of gold, a cor- land burned what pertained to him with fire. The

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trouble.

Achan is stoned to death,

CHAP. VIII.

and his property burnt. A. M. 2553. burned them with fire, after Som the Lord turned from the

A. M. 2553 B. C. 1451. An. Exod. Isr. they bad stoned them

with fierceness of his anger. ' Where An. Exod. Isr. stones.

fore the name of that place was Anino ante 1. Olymp. 675. 26 And they raised over called, " The valley of Achor,

I. Olymp. 675. him a great heap of stones 'ynto this day. unto this day. 'Capviii, 20 ; 2 San. xviii. 17; Lam. 11i. 53. - Deut.

Ver. 24 ; Isa. Ixv. 10; Hos. ii. 15. That is, xii, 17; 2 Sam. xxi. 14. Targum is the same as the Hebrew. The Anglo- no necessity of this kind urged it, and therefore I conSaxon seems to refer the whole to Achan and his clude that Achan alone suffered, and that his repentGOODS : And hing pæn stændon, and his ping forbærnden, ance and confession were genuine and sincere ; and And him they stoned there, and burnt his goods. The that, while, JUSTICE required his life, MERCY was exArabic version alone says, They stoned him and his tended to the salvation of his soul. Children, and his goods, alloy tuisg ud Instead Verse 26. They raised over him a great heap of of burni Them, onx otham, two of De Rossi's MSS. stones) The burial-places, both of heroes and eminent read in otho, Him; which reading, if genuine, would culprits, were anciently thus distinguished ; and transmake the different members of the verse agree better. actions of this kind gave rise to those great piles of It is possible that Achan, his 'oren, asses, sheep, tent, stones called caisns, that are so frequently to be met and all his household goods, were destroyed, but his with, especially in northern countries. sons and daughters left uninjured. But it may be asked, Why are they brought out into the valley with From the whole of this account we may see the the rest? Why, that they might see and fear, and be exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the great danger of for ever deterred by their father's punishment from not withstanding its first approaches. By covetousness imitating his example.

many lives and many souls have been destroyed, and I have gone thus far into this important iransaction; yet the living lay it not to heart! Who fears the love in which the justice and mercy of God are so much of money, provided he can get riches? Through the concerned, that I might be able to assign to each its intensity of this desire, every part of the surface of due. That Achan’s life was forfeited to justice by the earth, and as far as possible its bowels, are ranhis transgression, no one 'doubts : che sinned against a sacked in order to get wealth ; and God alone can koown and positive law. His . children could not tell, who sees all things, to how many private crimes,' suffer with him, because of the law, Deut. xxiv, 16, frauds, and dissimulations, this gives birth ; by which unless they had been accomplices in his guilt: of this the wrath of God. is brought down upon the community there is no evidence; and the text in question, which at large! Who is an enemy to his country?' The speaks of Achan's punishment, is extremely dubious, sinner against his God. An open foe may be resisted as far as it relates to this point. One circumstance and repelled, because he is known ; but the covetous that strengthens the supposition that the children were man, who, as far as his personal safety will admit, is not included, is the command of the Lord, ver. 15 : outraging all the requisitions of justice, is an unseen “ He that is taken, with the accursed thing, shall be pestilence, sowing the seeds of desolation and ruin in burnt with fire ; he, and all that he hath.Now, all society. Achan's covetõusness, which led him to that he hath may certainly refer to his goods, and not break the law of God, had nearly proved the destructo his children, and his punishment, and the destruction of the Israelitish camp ; nor would the Lord turn tion of his property would answer every purpose of away from his displeasure till the evil was detected, public justice, both as a punishment and preventive of and the criminal punished. the crime; and both mercy and justioe require that : Reader, is the face of God turned against thee, bethe innocent shall not suffer with the guilty, unless in cause of some private transgression ? Are not thy very extraordinary cases, where God may permit the circumstances and family suffering in consequence of righteous or the innocent to be involved in those pub- something in thy private life? O search and try thy lic calamities by wluch ihe ungodly, are swept away ways, return to God, and humble thyself before him, from the face of the earth : "but in the case before us, lést thy iniquity instantly find thee out !

1

CHAPTER VIII.,

The Lord encourages Joshua, and promises to deliver Ai into his hands, and instructs him how he is to pro

ceed against it, 1, 2. Joshua takes thirty thousand of his besl troops, and gives them instructions concerning his intention of taking Ai by stralagem, 3–8. The men dispose themselves according to these directions, 9-13. The king of Ai attacks the Israelites, who, feigning to be beaten, fly before him, in consequence of which all the troops of Ai issue out, and pursue the Israelites, 14-17. Joshua, at the command of God, stretches out his spear towards Ai, and then five thousand men that he had placed in ambush in the valley rise up, enter the city, and set it on fire, 18, 19. Then Joshua and his men turned against the men of Ai, and, al the same time, those who had taken the city sallied forth and attacked them in the rear ; thus the men of Ai were defeated, their king taken prisoner, the city sacked, and twelve thousand persons şlain, 20-26. VOL. II. ( 3 )

33

b

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12;

Joshua is encouraged

JOSHUA.

to proceed against At. The Israelites "take the spoils, and hang the king of Ai, 27–29. Joshua builds an altar to God on Mount Ebal, and writes on it a copy of the law of Moses,' 30–32. The elders, officers, and judges, stand on each side of the ark, one half over against Mount Gerizim, and the other against Mount Ebal, and read all the blessings and curses of the law, according to the command of Moses, 33–35. A M. 2553.

3 So Joshua arose, and all the

A. M. 2553. AND the Lord said unto Joshua, B. C. 1451. An. Exod. Isr. - Fear not, neither be thou dis- people of war, to go up against · An. Exod. 1st. Anno ante

mayed : take all the people of war Ai :, and Joshua chose out thirty' Anno ante 1. Olymp. 675. with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: thousand mighty men of valour, 1. Olymp. 675. see, b I have given into thy hand the king of and sent them away by night. Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land . 4 And he commanded them, saying, Behold,

2 And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as ye shall lie in wait against the city, even thou didst unto • Jericho and her king only behind the city: go not very far from the city, ď the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall but be ye all ready : ye take for a prey unto yourselves : lay thee 5 And I, and all the people that are with an ambush for the city behind it.

me, will approach unto the city and it shall a Deut. i. 21; vii. 18; xxxi. 8; chap. i... -6 Chap, vi. 2.

• Chap. vi. 21.-
d Deut. xx. 14.

Judg. xx. 29,
NOTES ON CHAP. VIII.

thousand were directed to lie in ambush between Verse 1. Fear noij The iniquity, being 'now. purged Beth-el and Ai, on the west side of the city, ver. away, because of which. God had turned his hand the twenty-five thousand having taken a position on against Israel, there was now no cause to dread any the north side of the city, ver. 11. 5. That the whole other disaster, and therefore Joshua is ordered to take of the troops employed against Ai on this occasion courage.

were those on the north and west, ver, 13, which we Take all the people of war with thee] From the know from the preceding verses were composed of letter of this verse it appears that all that were capa- thirty thousand chosen men. 6. That Joshua went ble of carrying arms were to march out of the camp in the course of the night, probably before daybreak, on this occasion : thirty thousand chosen men formed into the valley between Beth-el and Ai, where the an ambuscade in one place ; five thousand he placed ambuscade of five thousand men was placed, ver. 13, in another, who had all gained their positions in the and gave them the proper directions how they were to night season : with the rest of the army he appeared proceed, and agreed on the sign he was to give them the next morning before Ai, which the men of that at the moment he wished them to act, see ver. 18: city would naturally suppose were the whole of the and that, after having done so, he put himself at the Israelitish forces; and consequently be the more em- head of the twenty-five thousand men on the north boldened to come out and attack them. But some side of the city : for we find him among them when think that thirty. thousand men were the whole that the men of Af issued out, ver. 15, though he was the were employed on this occasion ; five thousand of night before in the valley on the west side, where the whom were placed as an ambuscade on the west side ambuscade lay, ver. 13. 7. That as Ai was but a of the city between Beth-el and Ai, ver. 12, and with small city, containing only twelve thousand inhabitants, the rest he appeared before the city in the morning. it would have been absurd to have employed an army The king of Ai seeing but about twenty-five thousand of several hundred thousand men against them. 8. This coming against him, and being determined to defend is confirmed by the opinion of the spies, chap. vii. 3, his city and crown tơ the last extremity, though he who, from the smallness of the place, the fewness of had but twelve thousand persons in the whole city, its inhabitants, and the panic-struck state in which ver. 25,scarcely one half of whom we can suppose to they found them, judged that three thousand troops be effective men, hè was determined to risk a battle ; would be quite sufficient to reduce the place. : 9. That and accordingly issued out, and was defeated by the it appears this judgment was correctly enough formed, stratagem mentioned in the preceding part of this as the whole population of the place amounted only to chapter.

twelve thousand persons, as we have already seen, Several eminent commentators are of opinion that ver. 25. 10. That even a less force might have been the whole Israelitish force was employed on this occa- | sufficient for the reduction of this place, had they been sion, because of what is said in the first versė; but supplied with battering-rams, and such like instruments, this is not at all likely. . 1. It appears that but thirty which it does not appear the Israelites possessed. thousand were chosen out of the whole camp for this 11. That this is the reason why Joshua employed the expedition, the rest being drawn up in readiness should stratagems detailed in this chapter : having no proper their co-operation be necessary. See verses 3 and 10. instruments or machines by means of which he might 2. That all the people were mustered in order to make hope to take the city by assault, (and to reduce it by this selection, ver. 1. 3. That these thirty thousand famine, which was quite possible, would have conwere sent off by night, ver. 3, Joshua himself continu- sumed too much time,) he used the feigned flight, ver. ing in the camp a part of that night, ver. 9', with the 19, to draw the inhabitants from the city, that the desig9 of putting himself at the head of the army next ambush, ver. 12, 15, might then enter, and take posmorning. 4. That of the thirty thousand men five session of it. 12. That had he advanced with a

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He prepares to besiege the city. CHAP. VIII.

The men of Ai meet Israel. A. M. 2553.

A. M. 2553. come to pass, when they come and set them to lie in ambush B. C. 1451. An. Exod. Isr. out against us, as at the first, that between Beth-el and Ai, on the An. Exod. Isr. f we will flice before them, west side k of the city.

Anno ante 1. Olymp. 675.

6 (For they will come out after 13 And when they had set the 1. Olymp. 675. us,) till we have 6 drawn them from the city : people, even all the hosts that was on the north for they will say, They flee before us, as at the of the city, and their liers in wait on the west first : therefore we will flee before them. of the city, Joshua went that night into the

7 Then ye shall rise up from the ambush, midst of the valley. and seize upon the city : for the Lord your 14 And it came to pass, when the king of Ai God will deliver it into your hand.

saw it, that they hasted and rose up early, and 8 And it shall be, when ye have taken the the men of the city went out against Israel to city, that ye shall set the city on fire : accord- battle, he and all his people, at a time appointed, ing to the commandment of the Lord shall ye before the plain"; but he m wist not that there do. h See, I have commanded you.

were liers in ambush against him behind the city. 9 Joshua therefore sent them forth : and they 15 And Joshua and all Israel - made as if went to lie in ambush, and abode between Beth- they were beaten before them, and fled by the el and Ai, on the west side of Ar: but Joshua way of the wilderness, lodged that night among the people.

16 And all the people that were in Ai were 10 And Joshua rose up early in the morning, called together to pursue after them: and they and numbered the people, and went up, he and pursued after Joshua, and were drawn away the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai. 1 from the city. 11 i And all the people, even the people of

17 And there was not a man left in Ai or war that were with him, went up, and drew Beth-el, that went not out after Israel: and they nigh, and came before the city, and pitched left the city open, and pursued after Israel. on the north side of Ai: nowo there was a 18 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch valley between them and Ai..

out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; 12 And he took about five thousand men, for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua "Judg. II. 32. — Heb. pulled.—2 Sam. xiii. 28. Ver. 5. Heb. their lying in wait, ver, 4. Judg. xx. 34 ; Eccles. ix. 12. k Or, of Ai.

Judg. xx.*36, &c. greater force against the city the inhabitants would remove a part of the difficulty which arises from verses have had no confidence in risking a batile, and conse- 1, 3, and 10, colated with other parts of this chapter. quently would have kept within their walls, which would Had he brought all his troops in sight, the people of have defeated the design of the Israelites, which was Ai would not have attempted to risk a batile, and to get them to issue from their city. 13. That; all would consequently have kept within their walls, from these circumstances considered, thirty, thousand men, which it was the object of Joshua to decoy them, See disposed as above, were amply sufficient for the re- the preceding observations, particularly 10, 11, and 12. duction of the city, and were the whole of the Israelitish Verse 17. There was not a man left in Ai or Beth-el] troops which were employed on the occasion. It is very likely that the principal strength of Beth-el

Verse 8. Ye.shall set the city on fire] · Probably, had been previously brought into Ai, as the strongest this means no more than that they should kindle a fire place to make a stand in ; Beth-el being but about in the city, the smoke of which should be an indica- three miles distant from Ai, and probably not greatly tion that they had taken it. For as the spoils of the fortified. Therefore Ai contained on this occasion all city were to be divided among the people, had they the men of Beth-el-alļ the warriors of that city, as at this time set fire to the city itself, all the property well as its own troops and inhabitants. Others think must have been consumed, for the five thousand men that the Beth-elites, seeing the Israelites fly, sallied did not wait to save any thing, as they immediately out of their city as against a common enemy; but that, issued out to attack the men of Ai in the rear. finding the men of Ai discomfited, and the city taken,

Verse 10. Numbered the people} dyn. nx poi they returned to Beth-el, which Joshua did not think vaiyiphkod eth haam, he visited the people—inspected proper to attack at this time. From Judges i. 24 we their ranks to see whether every thing was in perfect find that Beth-el was then a walled cily, in the hands readiness, that in case they should be needed they of the Canaanites, and was taken by the house of Joseph. Inight be led on to the attack. There is no doubt that Verse 18. Stretch out the spear] It is very proJoshua had left the rest of the army so disposed and bable that Joshua had a flag or ensign at the end of ready, part of it having probably advanced towards Ai, hiş spear, which might be easily seen at a considerable that he might easily receive reinforcements in case of distance; and that the unfurling or waving of this any disaster to the thirty thousand which had advanced was the sign agreed on between him and the ambush, against the city; and this consideration will serve to (see ver. 13, and the preceding observations on verse

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Ai is taken by stratagem,

JOSHUA.

and all its inhabitants slain. A. M. 2553. stretched out the spear that he

24 And it came to

Á. M. 2553. when pass,

B. C. 1451. An. Exod. Isr. had in his hand toward the city. Israel had made an end of slay- An. Exod. Isr.

19 And the ambush 'arose ing all the inhabitants of Ai in the I. Olymp. 675.

quickly out of their place, and field, in the wilderness wherein 1. Olymp. 675. they ran as soon as he had stretched out his they chased them, and when they were all hand : and they entered into the city, and took fallen on the edge of the sword, until they it, and hasted and set the city on fire. were consumed, that all the Israelites returned

20 And when the men of Ai looked behind unto Ai, and smote it with the edge of the them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the sword. city ascended up to heaven, and they had no 25 . And so it was, that all that fell that day, o power to flee this way or that way : and the both of men and women, were twelve thousand, people that fled to the wilderness turned back even all the men of Ai. upon the pursuers.

:26. For Joshua drew not his hand back, 21 And when Joshua and all Israel saw that wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he the ambush had taken the city, and that the had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. smoke of the city ascended, then they turned 27 9 Only the cattle and the spoil of that again, and slew the men of Ai.

city Israel took for a prey unto themselves, 22 And the other issued out of the city against according unto the word of the LORD which them : so they were in the midst of Israel, he's commanded Joshua. some on this side, and some on that side : and 28 And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it sa they smote them, so that hey P let none of heap for ever even a desolation unto this day. them remain or escape.

29 And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree 23 And the king of Ai they took-alive, and until eventide :, u and as soon as the sun was brought him to Joshua.

down, Joshua commanded that they should . Heb. hand.

-9 Num. xxxi. 22, 26.

Deut. xiii. 16. - Chap. x. 26 ; Psalm cvii. 40; cx. 5.

Deut. xxi. 23; chap. x. 27. 1, observation 6;) and on seeing this flag or ensign Job xli. 29 ; Jer, vi. 23. I cannot therefore think that unfurled, the men who lay in ambush arose and en- it has any metaphorical meaning, such as that attritered the city, making the fire previously agreed on. buted to the holding up of Moses's hands, Exod: xvii. See ver. 8.

19-12, which is generally allowed to have a spiritual Verse 19. Set the city on fire.] See on-ver. 8. meaning, though it might be understood as the act of

Verse 20. They had no power to flee this way or Joshua is here'; and to this meaning an indirect glance that way] They were in utter consternation; they is given in the note on the above place. But howsaw that the city was taken, they found themselves in ever the place in Exodus may be understood, that bethe midst of their foes; that their wives, children, and fore'us does not appear to have any metaphorical or property, had fallen a prey".to their enemies, in conse- equivocal meaning; Joshua continued to hold up or quence of which they were so utterly panic-struck as stretch out his spear, and did not slack from the purto be incapable of making any resistance.

suit till the forces of Ai were utterly discomfited. Verse 24. Returned unto Ai, and smote it with the Verse 27. Only the cattle and the spoil] · In the edge of the sword. This must refer to the women, case of Jericho these were all consigned to destrucchildren, and old persons, left behind; for it is likely tion; and therefore it was criminal to take any thing that all the effective men had sahied out when they pertaining to the city, as we have alrcady seen; but imagined the Israelites had fled. See ver. 16. in the case before us the cattle and spoils were ex

Verse 26. Joshua drew niọt his hand back] . He pressly given to the conquerors by the order of God. was not only the general, but the standard-bearer or See ver. 2. ensign of his own army, and continued in this employ Verse 28. Unto this day.). This last clause was ment during the whole of the battle. See on ver. probably added-by a later hand. 18. Some commentators understand this and ver. 18 Verse 29. The king of. Ai he hanged on a tree) He. figuratively, as if they implied that Joshua continued had gone out at the head of his men, and had been in prayer to God for the success of his troops ; nor taken prisoner, ver. 23; and the battle being over, he did he cease till the armies of Ai were annihilated, was ordered to be hanged, probably after having been and the city taken and destroyed. The Hebrew word strangled, or in some way deprived of life, as in the 777') kidon, which we render spear, is rendered by the case mentioned chap. X. 26, for in those times it was Vulgate clypeum, buckler ; and it must be owned that not customary to hang people alive. it seems to have this signification in several passages As soon as the sun was down] It was not lawful of Scripture : (see 1 Sam. xvii 6, 45; Job xxxix. 23 :) to let the bodies remain all night upon the tree. See but it is clear enough also that it means a spear, or the note on Deut. xxi. 23. The Septuagint say the some kind of offensive armour, in other places : see king of Ai was hanged ette Evaov Sediyov, upon a double

- Deut. vii. 2.

Ver. 2.

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