Page images

and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. 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 27 oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. And Joshua

(c) the sprinkling of one half of the blood of the victims on the altars

and the roll containing the covenant conditions, and the other half

on the people (Exod. xxiv. 3–8; Heb. ix. 19, 20). This covenant Moses had renewed in the field” of Moab (Deut. xxix. I), with (a) a transcription of the blessings and curses of the Law; (6) a solemn delivery of it to the priests, to be placed beside the Ark in the Holy of Holies, and to be read, in the hearing of all the people, once every seven years, at the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut.

xxxi. 9-11, 25, 26). Joshua, who had been present at the ratification of both the previous covenants, renews it now, and doubtless with august cere. monial.

and set them a statute] “ And settide forth to je puple comaundementis and domes in Sichen,” Wyclif. Comp. Exod. xv. 25. He determined and established “what in matters of religion should be with Israel law and right.”

26. And Joshua wrote] As Moses at Sinai wrote all the words that Jehovah lad spoken in a book, probably a papyrus-roll (Exod. xxiv. 4), so Jowhua now inscribed “minutes” of the transactions connected with this renewal of the covenant at Shechem.

in the book of the law of God] This protocol he placed inside the roll of the Law of Moses.

and took a great stone] Like
(a) The stone which Jacob set up at Bethel (Gen. xxviii. 18);
(6) The pillar of stones which the same patriarch set up on his return

'from Padan-aram (Gen. xxxi. 44–46);
(c) The twelve pillars which Moses set up at Sinai (Exod. xxiv. 4);
(d) The twelve stones set up to mark the passage of the Jordan

(Josh. iv. 3). under an oak] Or rather, under the oak which was in the sanctuary of Jehovah. See above, ch. xxiv. 1. “This spot, called in Gen. xii. 6 and Gen. xxxv. 4, 'Allon-Moreh,' 'the oak of Moreh' or of Shechem, is called by the Samaritans Ahron-Moreh, “the Ark of Moreh,' from a supposition that in a vault underneath is buried the Ark. The Mussulmans call it “Rigad el Amad,' the place of the Pillar,' or 'Sheykh-el-Amad,' the Saint of the Pillar. "*" Stanley's Lectures, I. 280, n. Possibly beside the old consecrated oak of Abraham and Jacob their altar was still remaining, and it is to be remembered that Joshua himself had built an altar on Mount Ebal, and therefore close to Shechem (Josh. viii. 30). Thus many reasons conspired to give a sacred character to “the border of the sanctuary,” the mountain " which the right hand of the Lord had purchased(Ps. lxxviii. 54) at Shechem.




[ocr errors]



said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us : it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.

So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his in- 28 heritance.

29-33. Death of Joshua and Eleazar. And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua 29

this stone shall be a witness] So in Gen. xxxi. 48, 52, Laban says to Jacob, “This heap is a witness between me and thee this day;" and in Deut. xxxi. 19, 21, 26, Moses says, “ Write ye this song for you...... that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.”

for it hath heard] By a poetical prosopopæia Joshua describes the stone as hearing the words of God, since it had been set up for the purpose of reminding the people of the promise which they had made unto the Lord, and, in case they should be unfaithful, of bearing witness against them.

lest. ye deny your God] “Ne forte postea negare velitis et mentiri Domino Deo vestro,” Vulgate. Lest perauenture 3e wolden denye aftirward, and lye to youre Lord God," Wyclif. Comp. Josh. vii. ir (Heb.); Job xxxi. 28; Prov. xxx. 9; Lev. xix. II, 12.

let the people depart] On the breaking up of this august assembly every man returned to the lot of his inheritance in the newly acquired and goodly Land of Promise. For the section to verse 31 comp. Judg. ii. 6—10. “Nothing can be conceived more impressive or more sublime than the circumstances of this last public interview of the aged Leader with the people whom he had put in possession of the goodly land of Canaan, and who had so often followed him in his victorious path. In the midst of the elders, the chiefs, and magistrates of Israel ; surrounded by a respectful people, formerly bondsmen of Pharaoh, but now in possession of a rich and beautiful country, and the sole survivors of an untoward generation, their illustrious and venerable commander-the oldest man in all their nation-spoke to them as to his

And of what did he speak ? He was a soldier, and his career had been essentially military; but he spoke to them, not of conquestthe sound of the trumpet and the gleam of the sword cannot be recognised in his address-but of the holiness and the obedience which become the people chosen of God. It is such a discourse as a patriarch might have given upon his deathbed, or a prophet might have uttered from the valley of vision.”—Kitto's Bible Illustrations, II. 314.


And it came to pass] With the close of Joshua's parting address comes the close also of his own life. The historian proceeds to bring the book to a conclusion, and tells us of (i) the death of Joshua; (ii) the




the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an 30 hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the

border of his inheritance in Timnath-serah, which is in

mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash. 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.

conduct of the people after his death; (iii) the burial of the remains of Joseph, which had been brought out of Egypt; (iv) the death of Eleazar the high-priest.

Foshua...the servant of the Lord, died] His work was now over. His work of war, and his work of peace. His age when he died was precisely that which Joseph reached (Gen. I. 26), a hundred and ten years.

30. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath. serah] For the probable site of this spot, see above, Josh. xix. 50. A photograph brought out by the “Palestine Exploration Committee gives a representation of the tomb of Joshua. “It is certainly the most striking monument in the country,” says Lieut. Conder, “and strongly recommends itself to the mind as an authentic site." The tomb is a square chamber, with five excavations in three of its sides, the central one forming a passage leading into a second chamber beyond. A great number of lamp-niches cover the walls of the porch-upwards of 200arranged in vertical rows. A single cavity with a niche for a lamp may be identified, it is thought, with the resting-place of the warrior-chief of Israel. the hill of Gaash] This mountain is also mentioned in Judg. ii

. 9; 2 Sam. xxiii. 30; i Chron. xi. 32. The Alexandrine and Arabic versions have appended to verse 30 the traditionary legend that the knives of stone, with which Joshua performed the rite of circumcision at Gilgal, were buried with him.

31. And Israei served the Lord] The remarks here made as to the conduct of the nation after the death of Joshua are quite in keeping with the design of the book. They afford "evidence of the fruit, which resulted from Joshua's faithful activity for the Lord in Israel.” “As on the dark sky when some flashing meteor has swept across it with a path of fire, there remains still after the glory has departed a lingering line of light, so was it with this mighty man, glorious in life, and leaving even after he was gone, the record of his abundant faithfulness still to hold for a season heavenward the too wandering eyes of Israel.”—Bp Wilberforce's Heroes of Hebrew History, p. 154.

that overlived Joshua] Heb. that prolonged their days after Joshua. Comp. Judg. ii. 7, margin.

all the works of the Lord] in the delivery of the nation from Egyptian bondage, their guidance through the desert, and their settlement in the Promised Land.


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. 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.



[ocr errors]

32. And the bones of Joseph] For the careful instructions of this patriarch respecting his remains, see Gen. 1. 24, 25; and for their careful removal from Egypt by Moses, see Exod. xiii. 19.

brought up out of Egypt] The body of the patriarch was embalmed, and placed in an Egyptian coffin. The sacred burden had been borne by the two tribes of the house of Joseph all through the wanderings of the wilderness, and was now reverently laid

in a parcel of ground] which Jacob had bought for a hundred pieces of silver, of the sons of Hamor (Gen. xxxiii. 19), and given "to the favourite son of his favourite Rachel."

an hundred pieces of silver) or lambs, "for an hundrid yonge scheep,” Wyclif. See Gen. xxxiii. 19, margin; but comp. Acts vii. 16.

and it became] i.e. the plot of ground, as well as Shechem.

33. Eleazar the son of Aaron] It seems probable that Eleazar had died during the lifetime of Joshua. He was the third son of Aaron, by Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab. After the death of Nadab and Abihu without children (Lev. X. 1, 2; Num. iii. 4), Eleazar was appointed chief over the principal Levites. He comes before us (a). Ministering with his brother Ithamar during their father's life

time. (6) Invested on Mount Hor, as the successor of Aaron, with the

sacred garments (Num. xx. 28). (C) Superintending the census of the people (Num. xxvi. 3, 4). (d) Taking part in the distribution of the Land after the conquest

(Josh. xiv. i). and they buried him in a hill] "Et sepelierunt eum in GabaathPhinees filii ejus,” Vulgate, which Wyclif curiously mistranslates “and Phynees and his sones birieden him in Gabaa.”

in a hill] The word here employed for “hill” is “Gibeah," which gives its name to several towns and places in Palestine, which would doubtless be generally on or near a hill. This place was GibeahPhinehas, the city of his son, which had been given to the latter on Mount Ephraim. Robinson identifies it with the Gaba of Eusebius and Jerome, and the modern Chirbet Jibia, 5 miles north of Guphna, towards Nablus or Shechem. “His tomb is still shewn in a little close overshadowed by venerable terebinths, at Awertah, a few miles S. E. of Nablûs.” Stanley's Lectures, I. 281, n.

[ocr errors]



of, 170

Aaron, descendants of, provision for, 186,

Abel-Shittim. See Shittim
Abib. See Nisan
Abraham, history of, 204; tradition con-

cerning, 204; purchase of Machpelah, 33
Accursed thing, why so called, 59, 63, 66
Achan, sin of, 63; discovery of, 67, 68;

punishment of, 69, 196
Achar, name for Achan, 63
Achor, valley of. See Valley
Achsah, daughter of Caleb, 134; her

request, 135. See Othniel
Achshaph, city of, 97; king of, slain, 97,
Achzib, position of, 170; modern name
Acoustic properties of valley between

Ebal and Gerizim, 76
Adam, city of, 46; situation of, 46;

modern name, 46. See Zaretan
Adonizedek, significance of name, 83;

one of the kings of South Canaan, 83;

defeated and slain by Joshua, 92
Adullam, cave of, 110; city of, 110;

king of, slain, 110
Aduinmim, meaning of, 130; position of,

Ai, situation of, 63, 64; mentioned in

Genesis, 63; importance of its position,

64; final capture, 73. See Tel
Ain, meaning of, 163; words combined

with, 163
Ajalon, valley of. See Valley
Allon to Zaanannim, 172. See Zaanannim
Altar, “of Blessing and of Cursing,” 74,

75; its site called “Sanctuary of the
Lord,” 203; “on the Jordan,” 193 ;
description of, 193; title on, 199 (see

Ed); recent discovery of site, 193
Ammonites, special directions concern-

Anathoth, city of, 187
Aphek, or Aphekah, royal city of Ca-

naanites, 110, 140; given to Judah,
141; a city in the extreme north of
Asher, 114, 170; its classical and mo-

dern names, 114, 170
April, month of, 45
Arabah. See Plains, South
Arad, position of, 110
Arba, father of Anak, 84; called Arbah,

Archi, 143
Argob, position of, 122, 206; description

of, 122
Ark of covenant, names of, 42; descrip-

tion of, 42, 43; carried over Jordan,

46; round Jericho, 56
Arnon, iver, position, 44; meaning of,

106; course of, 106
Aroer, of Reuben, 107; built on an island,

107, 115, 117; of Gad, 120
Ashdod, town of Judah, 105, 140; the

Azotus of the N.T., 105; Scripture

references to, 105
Ashdod-pisgah, 96, 107, 118
Asher, tribe, territory of, 169–177;

character of, 171; extent of, 171; pro-
phecy concerning, 171; subsequent

history, 171
Asher, city of, town in W. Manasseh,

Ashkelon, position and importance of,

113; scripture events connected with,
113; prophecies concerning, 113; con-

nection with Crusaders, 113,
Ashtaroth, residence and capital of Og,

80, 108, 116, 122; why so called, 122;

modern name of, 108, 188
Authorship of Joshua, changes, 191
Avenger of blood, or Goel, 179-181.
Avim, the, or Avites, 113; their origin,

position, and migrations, 113
Azekah, position of, 86; references to, 86

Baalah, original name of Kirjath-jearim,

ing, 120
Amorites, meaning of, 44; position of,

44, 98; origin of, 44; migrations of, 44;
victory of, over Moabites, 44, 206 ;
subjugation of, 206; confederate kings

called, 85
Anab, city of Judah, 104
Anak, three sons of, 134
Anakims, origin of, 84; distribution of,

104; various names of, 104; coalesce
with Philistines, 105; destruction of, 105

81, 132. See Kirjath-jearim
Baalah, mount, 133
Baal-gad, position of, 102, 114: other

names of, called Cæsarea Philippi in
N. T., 102; great beauty of neighbour-

hood, 103

« PreviousContinue »