« PreviousContinue »
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
27. 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 30ure Lord God," Wyclif. Comp. Josh. vii, 11 (Heb.); Job xxxi. 28; Prov. xxx. 9; Lev. xix. II, 12.
28. 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 sons. And of what did he speak? He was a soldier, and his career had been essentially military; but he spoke to them, not of conquest— the 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.
29-33. DEATH OF JOSHUA AND ELEAZAR.
29. 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.
Joshua...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. 1. 26), a hundred and ten years.
30. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah] 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; 1 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 Israel 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 33 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.
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 lifetime.
(b) 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. 1).
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 Fibia, 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 Nablus." Stanley's Lectures, I. 281, n.
Aaron, descendants of, provision for, 186,
Abel-Shittim. See Shittim
Abraham, history of, 204; tradition con-
cerning, 204; purchase of Machpelah, 33
Achar, name for Achan, 63
Asher, tribe, territory of, 169–171;
Asher, city of, town in W. Manasseh,
Baalah, original name of Kirjath-jearim,
Baal-hermon, border of Hivites' territory,
Baal-perazim, name explained, 132; po-
Balaam, killed among the Dukes of
Balak, king of Moab, 207
Banias. See Jordan, sources of
Beth-dagon, city of Judah, 139; city of
Bethel, or Luz. See Luz
ferred to on Flax Harvest and Pass-
Bohan, stone of, 130, 159
Book of the Law, importance of, 33; Cove.
Boundaries of Land of Promise, 32
Cabul, city and district of, 170
Camp, at Gilgal, strength of, 49, 50; be-
Eastern, partition of, 111-123
Captain of the Lord's host, appearance of
Cattle, sometimes preserved in capture
Caves, frequent in Palestine, 40, 41;
Chephirah, 77; situation of, 81; identifi-
Chinneroth, city of Naphtali, 98, 173,
51; renewed by Joshua, 19, 20, 51; to
181; numbers of, 181; laws concerning,