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2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore 6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land unto the land which I do give to them, even to the which I sware unto their fathers to give them. children of Israel.
7 Only be "thou strong and very courageous, that 3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall thou mayest observe to do according to all the law tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn unto Moses.
not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. night, that thou mayest observe to do according to
5 There shall not any man be able to stand be- all that is written therein : for then thou shalt make fore thee all the days of thy life: as 'I was with thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, success. nor forsake thee.
9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and c Deut. 11. 24. d Gen. 15. 18. Num. 34. 9-12. e Deut. 7. 24. S c. 3. 7. 6. 27. A Deut. 31.7, 23. Eph. 6. 10. 2 Tim. 2. 1. tor, do wiaely. Deut. 29. 9. 1 or, do & Deut. 31.6, 8. Heb. 13. 5. • or, thou shalt cause this people to inherit. wisely. ver. 1. i l'Chr. 28. 20. Hag. 2.4. Zech. 8. 9. Eleazar had the breastplate of judgment, which Joshua was could never be done by the law of Moses, justifies, Acts 13. 39, directed to consult as there was occasion, (Num. 27. 21,) yet, and sanctifies, Rom. 8. 3. The life of Moses made way for for his greater encouragement, God here speaks to him imme Joshua, and prepared the people for what was to be done by diately, somo think, in a dream or vision, (as Job 33. 15;) for him: thus the law is a schoolmaster to bring us to Chrisi. though God has tied us to instituted ordinances, in them to at. And then the death of Moses made room for Joshua : thus we tend him, yet he has not lied himself to them, but that he may, are dead to the law our first husband, that we may be married without them, make himself known to his peoplo, and speak to to Christ, Rom. 7. 4. their hearts otherwise than by their ears.
3. The particular service he was now called out to. “ Arise, Concerning Joshua's call to the government, observe here, go over this Jordan, this river, which you have in view, and on
I. The time when it was given him, After the death of Moses. the banks of which you lie encamped." This was a trial to As soon as ever Mosos was dead, Joshua took upon him the the faith of Joshua, whether he would give orders to make administration, by virtue of his solemn ordination in Moses's preparation for passing the river, when there was no visible lifetime; an interregnum, though but for a few days, might way of getting over it, at least, not at this place and at this have been of bad consequence; but, it is probable that God did time, when all the banks were overflown, ch. 3. 15. He had no not speak to him to go forward toward Canaan, till after the pontons or bridge of boats by which to convey them over, and thirty days of mourning for Moses were ended; not, as the Jews yet he must believe that God, having ordered them over, would say, because the sadness of his spirit during those days unfitted open a way for them. Going over Jordan was going into him for communion with God; (he sorrowed not as one that had Canaan ; thither Moses might not, could not bring them, Deut. no hope ;) but by this solemn pause, and a month's adjournment / 31.2. Thus the honour of bringing the many sons to glory is of the public councils, even now when time was so very pre- reserved for Christ the Captain of our salvation, Heb. 2. 10. cious to them, God would put an honour upon the memory of 4. The grant of the land of Canaan to the children of Israel Moses, and give time to the people not only to lament their loss is here repeated, v. 2—4, I do give it them. To the patriarchs of him, but to repent of their miscarriages toward him during it was promised, I will give it, but now that the fourth generathe forty years of his government,
tion was expired, the iniquity of the Amorites was full, and the II. The place Joshua had been in before he was thus pre- time was come for the performance of the promise, it is actually ferred. He was Moses's minister, that is, an immediate conveyed, and they are put in possession of that which they attendant upon his person and assistant in his business. The had long been in expectation of, " I do give it, enter upon it, it LXX translate it u toãoyos, a workman under Moses, under | is all your own, nay, v. 3, I have given it; though it be yet unhis direction and command. Observe, 1. He that was here conquered, it is as sure to you as if it were in your hands." called to honour, had been long bred to business. Our Lord Observe, (1.) The persons to whom the conveyance is made, Jesus himself took upon him the form of a servant, and then to them, even to the children of Israel, v. 2, because they are the God highly exalted him.2. He was trained up in subjection seed of Jacob, who was called Israel then when this promise and under command. Those are fittest to rule, that have was made to him, Gen. 35. 10, 12. The children of Israel, learned to obey. 3. He that was to succeed Moses was inti-though they had been very provoking in the wilderness, yet for mately acquainted with him, that he might fully know his their fathers' sakes should have the entail preserved. And it doctrine and manner of life, his purpose and long-suffering, was the children of the murmurers that God said should enter (2 Tim. 3. 10,) might take the same measures, walk in the Canaan, Num. 14. 31. (2.) The land itself that is conveyed, same spirit, in the same steps, having to carry on the same from the river Euphrates eastward to the Mediterranean sea work. 4. He was herein a type of Christ, who might there westward, v. 4. Though their sin cut them short of this large fore be called Moses's minister, because he was made under possession, and they never replenished all the country within the law, and fulfilled all the righteousness of it.
the bounds here mentioned ; yet had they been obedient, God III. The call itself that God gave him, which is very full. would have given them this and much more. Out of all these
1. The consideration upon which he was called to the govern countries, and many others, there were in process of time ment; Moses my servant is dead, v.2. All good men are God's proselytes to the Jewish religion, as appears, Acts 2. 5, &c. servants; and it is no disparagement, but an honour, to the If their church was enlarged, though their nation was not mulgreatest of men to be so; angels themselves are his ministers. tiplied, it cannot be said that the promise was of none effect. Moses was called to extraordinary work, was a steward in And if this promise had not its full accomplishment in the letter; God's house, and in the discharge of the trusts reposed in him, believers might thence infer that it had a further meaning, and he served not himself but God who employed him; he was was to be fulfilled in the kingdom of the Messiah, both that of faithful as a servant, and with an eye to the Son, as is inti- grace and that of glory. (3.) The condition is here implied, mated, Heb. 3. 5, where what he did is said to be for a testi- upon which this grant is made, in those words, as I said unto mony of the things that should be spoken after; God will own Moses, that is, "upon the terms that Moses told you of many a his servants, will confess them in the great day. But Moses, time; 'if ye will keep my statutes, you shall go in and possess though God's servant, and one that could ill be spared, is dead ; that good land. Take it under those provisoes and limitations, for God will change hands, to show that whatever instruments and not otherwise. The precept and promise must not be he uses, he is not tied to any. Moses, when he has done his separated.” (4.) It is intimated with what ease they should work as a servant, dies and goes to rest from his labours, and gain the possession of this land, if it were not their own fault, enters into the joy of his Lord. Observe, God takes notice of in these words, “ Every place that the sole of your foot shall the death of his servants. It is precious in his sight, Ps. 116.15. tread upon (within the following bounds) shall be your own.
2. The call itself; Now therefore arise. (1.) Though Moses Do but set your foot upon it, and you have it." is dead, the work must go on, therefore arise, and go about it. 5. The promises God here makes to Joshua for his enLet not weeping hinder sowing, nor the withering of the most couragement. (1.) That he should be sure of the prosence of useful hands be the weakening of ours; for when God has work God with him in this great work to which he was called; v. 5, to do, he will either find or make instruments fit to carry it on. “ds I was with Moses to direct and strengthen him, to own Moses the servant is dead, but God the Master is not, he lives and prosper him, and give him success in bringing Israel out for ever. (2.) “ Because Moses is dead, therefore the work of Egypt, and leading them through the wilderness, so I will be devolves upon thee as his successor, for hereunto thou wast with thee to enable thee to settle them in Canaan." Joshua appointed. Therefore there is need of thee to fill up his place, was sensible how far he came short of Moses, in wisdom and Up, and be doing.” Note, [1.] The removal of useful men grace, but what Moses did was done by virtue of the presence should quicken survivors to be so much the more diligent in of God with him; and though Joshua had not always the same doing good. Such and such are dead, and we must die shortly, presence of mind that Moses had, yet if he had always the same therefore let us work while it is day. [2.] It is a great mercy presence of God, he would do well enough. Note, It is a great to a people, if, when useful men are taken away in the midst of comfort to the rising generation of ministers and Christians, their usefulness, others are raised up in their stead to go on that the same grace which was sufficient for those that went where they broke off. Joshua must arise to finish what Moses before them, shall not be wanting to them, if they be not wantbegan, thus the latter generations enter into the labours of the ing to themselves in the improvement of it. It is repeated here former. And thus Christ, our Joshua, does that for us which again, v. 9, “ The Lord thy God is with thee as a God of
of a good courage ; be 'not afraid, neither be thousand to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, dismayed : 'for the LORD thy God is with thee saying, whithersoever thou goest.
13 Remember the word which Moses the servant 10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the of the LORD commanded you, saying," The LORD people, saying,
your God hath given you rest, and hath given you ii Pass through the host, and command the peo- this land. ple, saying, Prepare you victuals; for "within three 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to pos- shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on sess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your to possess it.
brethren "armed, all the mighty men of valour, and 12 And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, help them; k Gen. 28. 15. Ps. 27. 1. Jer. 1.8.1 P. 46. 7. Is. 43. 1,5. m c. 3. 2.
n Num. 32. 20—28. c. 22. 1-4. * mer shalled by five. Ex. 13. 18. power,
and that power engaged for thee whithersoever thou God's commandments, even those which are most displeasing to goest. Note, Those that go where God sends them, shall have Aesh and blood. Fourthly, He must observe to do so, observe him with them wherever they go, and they need desire no more the checks of conscience, the hints of providence, and all the to make them easy and prosperous. (2.) That the presence advantages of opportunity : careful observance is necessary to of God should never be withdrawn from him, I will not fail thee, universal obedience. Fifthly, He must not turn from it, either nor forsake thee, v. 5. Moses had assured him of this, Deut. in his own practice, or in any act of government, to the right 31. 8, that though he must now leave him, God never would; hand or to the left, for there are errors on both hands, and virtue and here God himself confirms that word of his servant Moses, is in the mean. Sixthly, He must be strong and courageous, (Is. 44. 26,) and engages never to leave Joshua. We need the that he may do according to the law. So many discouragepresence of God, not only when we are beginning our work to ments there are in the way of duty; but those who will proceed set us in, but in the progress of it to further us with a continual and persevere in it, must put on resolution. And (lastly) to help. If that at any time fail us, we are gone ; but this we encourage him in his obedience, he assures him, that then he may be sure of, that the Lord is with us while we are with him. shall do wisely, (as it is in the margin,) and make his way prosThis promise here made to Joshua is applied to all believers, perous, v. 7,8. They that make the word of God their rule, and improved as an argument against covetousness, Heb. 13.5, and conscientiously walk by that rule, shall both do well and Be content with such things as ye have, for he hath said, I wil speed
well ; it will furnish them with the best maxims by which never leave thee. (3.) That he should have victory over all the to order their conversation, Ps. 111. 10.. And it will entitle enemies of Israel, v. 5, There shall not any man, that comes them to the best blessings; God shall give them the desire of against thee, be able to stand before thee. Note, There is no their heart. standing before those that have God on their side; If he be for (2.) That he encourage himself herein with the promise and us, who can be against us? God promises him clear success, presence of God, and make those his stay, v. 6, Be strong and the enemy should not make any head against him; and constant of a good courage. And again, v. 7, as if this was the one thing success, all the days of his life; however it might be with needful only be strong and very courageous. And he concludes Israel when he was gone, all his reign should be graced with with this, v. 9, Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, triumphs. What Joshua had himself encouraged the people neither be thou dismayed. Joshua had long since signalized his with long ago, Num. 14. 9, God here encourages him with. valour, in the war with Amalek, and in his dissent from the (4.) That he should himself have the dividing of this land report of the evil spies, and yet God sees fit thus to inculcate among the people of Israel, v. 6. It was a great encourage- this precept upon him. Those that have grace, have
need to ment to him in beginning this work, that he was sure to see it be called upon again and again to exercise grace and to improve finished, and his labour should not be in vain. Some make it in it. Joshua was humble and low in his own eyes,
not disa reason why he should arm himself with resolution, and be of trustful of God, and his power, and promise, but diffident of good courage, because of the bad character of the people whom himself
, and of his own wisdom and strength, and sufficiency he must cause to inherit that land; he knew well what a froward for the work, especially coming after so great a man as Moses; discontented people they were, and how unmanageable they had and therefore God repeats this so often, "Be strong and of a been in his predecessor's time; let him therefore expect vexa- good courage; let noi the sense of thine own infirmities distion from them and be of good courage.
hearten thee, God is all-sufficient, Have not I commanded 6. The charge and command he gives to Joshua, which is, thee?” (1.). "I have commanded the work to be done, and
(1.) That he conform himself in every thing to the law of therefore it shall be done, how invincible soever the difficulties God, and make that his rule, v. 7, 8. God does as it were put may seem that lie in the way.". Nay, (2.) “I have comthe book of the law into Joshua's hand; as when Joash was manded, called, and commissioned thee to do it, and therefore crowned, they gave him the testimony, 2 Kings 11. 12. And will be sure to own thee and strengthen thee, and bear thee out concerning this book, he is charged, (1.) To meditate therein in it.” Note, When we are in the way of our duty, we have day and night, that he might understand it, and have it ready reason to be strong and very courageous; and it will help very to him upon all occasions. If ever any man's business might much to animate and imbolden us, if we keep our eye upon have excused him from meditation, and other acts of devotion, the divine warrant, and hear God saying, “ Have noi I comone would think Joshua's might at this time; it was a great manded thee? I will therefore help thee, succeed thee, accept trust that was lodged in his hands, the care of it was enough thee, reward thee." Our Lord Jesus, as Joshua here, was to fill him, if he had had ten souls, and yet he must find time and borne up under his sufferings by a regard to the will of God, and thoughts for meditation. Whatever affairs of this world we the commandment he had received from his Father, John 10, 18. have to mind, we must not neglect the one thing needful. V. 10–15. Joshua, being settled in the government, imme[2.) Not to let it depart out of his mouth, that is, all his orders diately applies himself to business ; not to take state or to take to the people, and his judgments upon appeals made to him, his pleasures, but to further the work of God among the people must be consonant to the law of God; upon all occasions he over which God bad set him. As he that desiros the office of a must speak according to this rule, Is. 8. 20. Joshua was to minister, (1 Tim. 3. 1,) so he that desires the office of a magismaintain and carry on the work that Moses had begun, and trate, desires a work, a good work; neither is preferred to be therefore he must not only complete the salvation Moses had idle. wrought for them, but must uphold the holy religion he had I. He issues out orders to the people to provide for a march; established among them. There was no occasion to make new and they had been so long encamped in their present post, that laws, but that good thing which was committed to him, he must it would be a work of some difficulty to decamp. The officers carefally and faithfully keep, 2 Tim. 1. 14. (3.) He must of the people, that commanded under Joshua in their respective observe to do according to all this law. To this end he must tribes and familjes, attended him for orders, which they were meditate therein, not for contemplation's sake only, or to fill his to transmit to the people. Inferior magistrates are as neceshead with notions, or that he might find something to puzzle the sary and as serviceable to the
public good in their places as the priests with, but that he might both as a man and as a magis- supreme magistrate in his. What could Joshua have done trate observe to do according lo what was written therein ; and without officers? We are therefore required to be subject, not several things were written there, which had particular reference only to the king as supreme, but to governors, as to them that are to the business he had now before him, as the laws concerning sent by him, 1 Pet. 2. 13, 14. By these officers, 1. Joshua gives their wars, the destroying of the Canaanites, and the dividing public notice, that they were to pass over Jordan within three of Canaan, &c. these he must religiously observe. Joshua was days. These orders, 1 suppose, were not given till after the a man of great power and authority, yet he must himself be return of the spies that were sent to bring an account of Jericho, under command and do as he is bidden. No man's dignity or though the story of that affair follows, ch. 2. And perhaps that dominion, how great soever, sets him above the law of God. was such an instance of his jealousy, and excessive caution, as Joshua must not only govern by law, and take care that the make it necessary that he should be so often bidden as he was, peopis observe the law, but he must observe in himself, and so to be strong and of a good courage. Observe with what assu
own example maintain the honour and power of it. rance Joshua says it to the people, because God had said to First, He must do what was written; it is not enough to hear him, Ye shall pass over Jordan, and shall possess the land. and read the word, to commend and admire it, and know and We greatly honour the truth of God, when we stagger not at remember it, to talk and discourse of it, but we must do it. the promise of God. 2. He gives them directions to prepare Secondly, He must do according to what was written, exactly victuals, not to prepare transport vessels ; he that bore them observing the law as his copy, and doing, not only that which out of Egypt upon eagles' wings, would in like manner bear was there required, but in all circumstances according to the them into Canaan, to bring them to himself, Ex. 19. 4. But appointment. Thirdly, He must do according to all that was those that were minded to have other victuals beside the manna, written, without exception or reserve, having a respect to all' which had not yet ceased, must prepare it, and have it ready
: 15 Until the Lord have given your brethren rest, in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to as he hath given you, and they also have possessed death: only rbe strong and of a good courage. the land which the LORD your God giveth them : then ye shall return unto the land of your posses
CHAPTER II. sion, and enjoy it, which Moses, the Lord's servant, gave you on this side Jordan, toward the sun in chin chapler we have an account of the scouts that were employed to bring an acrising.
sent them, v.1. II. How Rahab received them, and protected them, and told a
le for them, v. 2-7, so that they escaped out of the hands of the enemy. 111. The 16 And they answered Joshua saying, All Othat account she gave them of the present posture of Jericho, and the panic-lear they thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever were struck with upon the approach of lsrael, v. 8-11. IV. The bargain sbe
made with them for the security of herself and her relations in the ruin she sw thou sendest us we will go.
coming upon her city, v. 19-21. V. Their safe return to Joshua, and the 17 According as we hearkened unto Moses in all
account they gave him of their expedition, v. 22-24. And that which makes this
story most remarkable, is, that Rahab, the person principally concerned in it, is things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD twice celebrated in the New Testament as a great believer, Heb. II. 31, and as thy God be with thee, as Phe was with Moses.
oue who&e faith proved itself by good works, Jam. 2. 25.
ND Joshua the son of Nun *sent out of Shittim commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words two men to spy “secretly, saying, Go view the . Deut. 5.27. p ver. 5. 1 Sam. 2. 13. 1 Kings 1,37, & Rom. 13. 1-5.
ver. 6, 7, 9. I Cor. 16.13. or, had rent, & Num. 13. 2. against the time appointed. Perhaps, though the manna did and bind ourselves to do what he commands us by his word, not quite cease till they were come into Canaan, ch. 5. 12, yet and to go whither he sends us by his providence. since they were come into a land inhabited, (Ex. 16. 35,) where And since Joshua, being humbly conscious to himself how they might be furnished in part with other provisions, ii did not far short he came of Moses, feared he should not have such fall so plentifully, nor did they gather so much as when they influence upon the people, and such an interest in them, as had it first given them in the wilderness, but decreased gradu- Moses had, they here promise that they would be as obedient ally, and therefore they are ordered to provide other victuals, to him as ever they had been to Moses, v. 17. To speak truth, in which perhaps was included all other things necessary to they had no reason to boast of their obedience to Moses, he their march. And some of the Jewish writers considering that had found them a stiff-necked people, Deut. 9. 24. But they having manna, they needed not to provide other victuals, under- mean that they would be as observant of Joshua as they should stand it figuratively, that they must repent of their sins, and have been, and as some of them were (the generality of them make their peace with God, and resolve to live a new life, that at least sometimes) of Moses. Note, We must not so magnify they might be ready to receive this great favour. See Ex. 19. them that are gone, how eminent soever they were, either in 10, 11.
the magistracy or in the ministry, as to be wanting in the honour II. He reminds the two tribes and a half of the obligation and duty we owe to those that survive and succeed them, though they were under to go over Jordan with their brethren, though in gifts they may come short of them. Obedience for conscience they left their possessions and families on this side. Interest sake will continue, though Providence change the hands by would make the other tribes glad to go over Jordan, but in these it which it rules and acts. was an act of self-denial, and against the grain : therefore it was 2. They pray for the presence of God with him, v. 17, "Only needful to produce the agreement which Moses had made with the Lord thy God be with thee, to bless and prosper thee, and them, when he gave them their possession before their brethren, give thee success, as he was with Moses." Prayers and supv. 13, Remember the word which Moses commanded you. Some plications are to be made for all in authority, 1 Tim. 2. 1, 2. of them perhaps were ready to think now that Moses was dead, And the best thing we can ask of God for our magistrates, is, who they thought was too hard upon them in this matter,
they that they may have the presence of God with them; that will might find some excuse or other to discharge themselves from make them blessings to us, so that in seeking this for them, this engagement, or might prevail with
Joshua to dispense with we consult our own interest. A reason is here intimated, them ; but he holds them to it, and lets them know, though why they would obey him as they had obeyed Moses, because Moses was dead, his commands and their promises were still they believed (and in faith prayed) that God's presence would in full force. He reminds them, 1. or the advantages they had be with him as it was with Moses. Those that we have reareceived in being first settled: "The Lord your God hath given son to think have favour from God, should have honour and you rest, given your minds rest, you know what you have to trust respect from us. Some understand it as a limitation of their to, and are not as the rest of the tribes, waiting the issue of the obedience; “We will obey only as far as we perceive the Lord war first and then of the lot. He has also given your families is with thee, but no further. While thou keepest close to God, rest, your wives and children, whose settlement is your satis- we will keep close to thee; hitherto shall our obedience come, faction. He has given you rest, by giving you this land, this but no further." But they were so far from having any suspigood land, which you are in full and quiet possession of.” Note, cion of Joshua's deviating from the divine rule, that there needed When God by his providence has given us rest, we ought to not such a proviso. consider how we may honour him with the advantages of it, 3. They pass an act to make it death for any Israelite to and what service we may do to our brethren who are unsettled, disobey Joshua's orders, or rebel against his commandment, v. 18. or not so well settled as we are. When God had given David Perhaps, if such a law had been made in Moses's time, it might rest, (2 Sam. 7. 1,) see how restless he was till he had found have prevented many of the rebellions
formed against out a habitation for the ark, Ps. 132. 4, 5. When God has given him, for most men fear the sword of the magistrate more than us rest, we must take heed of slothfulness, and of settling upon the justice of God. Yet there was a special reason for the our lees. 2. He reminds them of their agreement to help their making of this law, now that they were entering upon the wars brethren in the wars of Canaan, till God had in like manner of Canaan, for in time of war the severity of military discipline given them rest, v. 14, 15. This was, (1.) Reasonable in itself; is more necessary than at other times. Some think that in this so closely were all the tribes incorporated, that they must needs statute they have an eye to that law concerning the prophet look upon themselves as members one of another. (2.) It was God would raise up like unto Moses, which they think, though enjoined them by Moses, the servant of the Lord; he com- it refer chiefly to Christ, yet takes in Joshua by the way, as a manded them to do this, and Joshua his successor would see type of him, that whosoever would not hearken to him, should his commands observed. (3.) It was the only expedient they be cut off from his people, Deut. 18. 19, I will require it of him. had to save themselves from the guilt of a great sin in settling 4. They animate him to go on with cheerfulness in the work on that side Jordan, a sin which would one time or other find to which God had called him; and, in desiring that he would them out, Num. 32. 23. (4.) It was the condition of the grant be strong and of a good courage, they do in effect promise him Moses had made them of the land they were possessed of, so that they would do all they could, by an exact bold and cheerful that they could not be sure of a good title to, or a comfortable observance of all his orders, to encourage him. It very much enjoyment of, the land of their possession, as it is here called, heartens those that lead in a good work, to see those that folv. 15, if they did not fulfil the condition. (5.) They themselves low, follow with a good will. Joshua, though of approved valour, had covenanted and agreed thereunto, Num. 32. 25, Thy ser- did not take it as an affront, but as a great kindness, for the vants will do as my lord commandeth. Thus we all lie under people to bid him be strong and of a good courage. manifold obligations to strengthen the hands one of another, and not to seek our own welfare only, but one another's.
NOTES TO CHAPTER II, V.16–18. This answer was given not by the two tribes and V.1–7. In these verses we have, a half only, (though they are spoken of immediately before,) I. The prudence of Joshua, in sending spies to observe this but by the officers of all the people, (v. 10,) as their representa- important pass, which was likely to be disputed at the entrance tivos, concurring with the divine appointment, by which Joshua of Israel into Canaan, v. 1, Go view the land, even Jericho. was set over them, and they did it heartily, and with a great Moses had sent spies, Num. 13. (Joshua himself was one of deal of cheerfulness and resolution.
them,) and it proved of ill consequence: yet Joshua now sends 1. They promise him obedience, v. 16, not only as subjects spies, not as the former were sent, to survey the whole land, to their prince, but as soldiers to their general, of whose par- but Jericho only; not to bring the account to the whole congreticular orders they are to be observant; he that hath soldiers gation, but to Joshua only; who, like a watchful general, was under huim, saith to this man, Go, and he goeth ; and to another, continually projecting for the public good, and was particularly Come, and he cometh, Matt. 8. 9. Thus the people of Israel careful to take the first step well, and not to stumble at the here engage themselves to Joshua, “ All that thou commandest threshold. It was not fit that Joshua should venture over Jorus to do we will readily do, without murmuring or disputing; and dan, to make his remarks incognito-in disguise, but he sends whithersoever thou sendest us, though upon the most difficult two men, two young men (say the LXX) to view the land, and perilous expedition, we will go. Wo must thus swear that from their report he might take his measures in attacking allegiance to our Lord Jesus, as the Captain of our salvation, I Jericho. Observe, 1. There is no remedy, but great men must
land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into 5 And it came to pass, about the time of shutting an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged* there. of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out:
2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them Behold, there came men in hither to-night of the quickly; for ye shall overtake them. children of Israel, to search out the country.
6 But dshe had brought them up to the roof of 3 And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, say- the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, ing, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which she had laid in order upon the roof. which are entered into thine house: for they be come 7 And the men pursued after them the way to to search out all the country.
bordan, unto the fords: and as soon as they which 4 And the woman took the two men, and hid pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate. them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but 8 And before they were laid down, she came up I wist not whence they were :
unto them upon the roof;
b Matt. 1.5. Heb. 11, 31. Jam. 2. 25.
€ 2 Sam. 17. 19, 20. dEx. 1.15–21.
see with other people's eyes, which makes it very necessary works, and this is instanced in that she received the messengers, that they be cautious in the choice of those they employ, since and sent them out another way, and she did it by faith, such a so much often depends upon their fidelity. 2. Faith in God's pro- faith as set her above the fear of man, even of the wrath of the mise ought not to supersede but encourage our diligence in the king. She believed, upon the report she had heard of the wonuse of proper means. Joshua is sure he has God with him, and ders wrought for Israel, that their God was the only true God, yet sends men before him. We do not trust God, but tempt and that therefore their declared design upon Canaan would him, if our expectations slacken our endeavours. 3. See how undoubtedly take effect, and in this faith she sided with them, ready these men were to go upon this hazardous enterprise ; protected them, and courted their favour. Had she said," though they put their lives in their hands, yet they ventured in believe God is yours and Canaan yours, but I dare not show obedience to Joshua their general, in zeal for the service of you any kindness," her faith had been dead and inactive, and the camp, and in dependence upon the power
of that God, who would not have justified her. But by this it appeared to be being the keeper of Israel in general, is the Protector of every both alive and lively, that she exposed herself to the utmost particular Israelite in the way of his duty.
peril, even of life, in obedience to her faith. Note, Those only II. The providence of God, directing the spies to the house are true believers, that can find in their hearts to venture for of Rahab. How they got over Jordan we are not told, but into God; and those that by faith take the Lord for their God, take Jericho they came, which was about seven or eight miles from his people for their people, and cast in their lot among them. the river, and there seeking for a convenient inn, were directed They that have God for their refuge and hiding-place, must to the house of Rahab, here called a harlot; a woman that had testify their gratitude by their readiness to shelter his people formerly been of ill fame, the reproach of which stuck to her when there is occasion: let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Is. name, though of late she had repented and reformed. Simon 16.3, 4. And we must be glad of an opportunity of testifying the leper, (Matt. 26. 6,) though cleansed from his leprosy, wore the sincerity and zeal of our love to God, by hazardous services the reproach of it in his name as long as he lived, so Rahab to his church and kingdom among men. the harlot; and she is so called in the New Testament, where But, (2.) There is that in it which it is not easy to justify, both her faith and her good works are praised; to teach us, and yet it must be justified, or else it could not be so good a 1. That the greatness of sin is no bar to pardoning mercy, if it work as to justify her. [1.] It is plain that she betrayed her be truly repented of in time. We read of publicans and harlots country by harbouring the enemies of it, and aiding those that entering into the kingdom of the Messiah, and being welcomed were designing its destruction, which could not consist with her to all the privileges of that kingdom, Matt. 21. 31. 2. That allegiance to her prince, and her affection and duty to the comthere are many, who before their conversion were very wicked munity she was a member of. But that which justifies her in and vile, and yet afterward come to great eminence in faith and this, is, that she knew the Lord had given Israel this land, v. 9, holiness. 3. Even those that through grace have repented of knew it by the incontestable miracles God had wrought for them, the sins of their youth, must expect to bear the reproach of them, which confirmed that grant; and ber obligations to God were and when they hear of their old faults must renew their repent higher than her obligations to any other. If she knew God ance; and as an evidence of that, hear of them patiently. had given them this land, it would have been a sin to join with
God's Israel, for aught that appears, had but one friend, but those that hindered them from possessing it. But since no such one well-wisher in all Jericho, and that was Rahab, a harlot. grant of any land to any people can now be proved, this will by God has often served his own purposes and his church's in- no means justify, any such treacherous practices against the terests by men of indifferent morals. Had these scouts gone public welfare. [2.] It is plain that she deceived the officers to any other house than this, they had certainly been betrayed that examined her, with an untruth, That she knew not whence and put to death without mercy. But God knew where they the men were, that they were gone out, that she knew not had a friend that would be true to them, though they did noi, whither they were gone. What shall we say to this? If she and directed them thither. Thus that which seems to us most had either told the truth, or been silent, she had betrayed the contingent and accidental, is often overruled by the Divine spies, and that had certainly been a great sin: and it does not Providence to serve its great ends. And those that faithfully appear that she had another way of concealing them, than by acknowledge God in their ways, he will guide them with his eye, this ironical direction to the officers to pursue them another See Jer. 36, 19, 26.
way, which if they would suffer themselves to be deceived by, III. The piety of Rahab in receiving and protecting these let them be deceived. None are bound to accuse themselves, Israelites. Those that keep public houses, entertain all comers, or their friends, of that which, though inquired after as a crime, and think themselves obliged to be civil to their guests. But they know to be a virtue. This case was altogether extraordiRahab showed her guests more than common civility, and went nary, and therefore cannot be drawn into a precedent; and that upon an uncommon principle in what she did ; it was by faith may be justified here, which would be by no means lawful in a that she received those with peace, against whom her king and common case. Rahab knew by what was already done on the country had denounced war, Heb. 11. 31. 1. She bid them other side Jordan, that no mercy was to be showed to the Cawelcome to her house, they lodged there, though it appears by naanites, and from thence inferred, if mercy were not owing what she said to them, v. 9, she knew both whence they came, them, truth was not; they that might be destroyed, might be and what their business was. 2. Perceiving that they were deceived. Yet divines generally conceive that it was a sin, observed coming into the city, and that umbrage was taken at which however admitted of this extenuation, that being a it, she hid them upon the roof of the house, which was flat, and Canaanite she was not better taught the evil of lying ; but God covered them with stalks of Aax, (v. 6,) so that if the officers accepted her faith and pardoned her infirmity: however it was should come thither to search for them, there they might lie in this case, we are sure it is our duty to speak every man the undiscovered. By these stalks of flax, which she herself had truth to his neighbour, to dread and detest lying, and never to do laid in order upon the roof to dry in the sun, in order to the evil, that evil, that good may come of it, Rom. 3. 8; but God acbeating of it, and making it ready for the wheel, it appears she cepts what is sincerely and honestly intended, though there be a had one of the good characters of the virtuous women, however mixture of frailty and folly in it, and is not extreme io mark what in others of them she might be deficient, that she sought wool we do amiss. Some suggest that what she said might possibly and flar, and wrought willingly with her hands, Prov. 31. 13. be true of some other men.* From which instance of her honest industry, one would hope, V. 8-21. The matter is here settled between Rahab and that whatever she had been formerly, she was not now a harlot | the spies, respecting the service she was now to do for them, 3. When she was examined concerning them, she denied they and the favour they were afterward to show to her. She sewere in her house, turned off the officers that had a warrant to cures them on condition that they should secure her. search for them with a sham, and so secured them. No marvel I. She gives them, and by them sends to Joshua and Israel, that the king of Jericho sent to inquire after them, v. 2, 3, he all the encouragement that could be desired, to make their inhad cause to fear when the enemy was at his door, and his fear tended descent upon Capaan. This was what they came for, made him suspicious and jealous of all strangers; he had reason to demand from Rahab that she should bring forth the men to
* However the guilt of Rahab's falsehood may be extenuated, it be dealt with as spies: but Rahab not only disowned that she knew them, or where they were, but, that no further search
seems best to admit nothing which tends to explain it away. We
are sure that God discriminated between what was good in her conmight be made for them in the city, told the pursuers they were duct, and what was bad, rewarding the former, and pardoning the gone away again, and in all probability might be overtaken, latter. Her views of the divine law must have been exceedingly v. 4, 5.
Jim and contracted ; a similar falsehood, told by those who enjoy Now, (1.) We are sure this was a good work : it is canonized the light of revelation, however laudable the motive, would of by the apostle, Jam. 2. 25, where she is said to be justified by course deserve much heavier censure. VoL, 1.-64
( 505 )
9 And she said unto the men, I know that the 14 And the men answered her, Our life for yours, Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will land faint* because of you.
deal kindly “and truly with thee. 10 For we have heard how the LORD dried sup 15 Then she let "them down by a cord through the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came the window : for her house was upon the town wall, out of Egypt; and what Eye did unto the two kings and she dwelt upon the wall. of the Amorites that were on the other side Jordan, 16 And she said unto them, Get you to the mounSihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.
tain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide your11 And as soon as we had heard these things, selves there three days, until the pursuers be reour hearts "did melt, neither did there remain any turned: and afterward may ye go your way: more courage in any man, because of you: for the 17 And the men said unto her, We will be blameLORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in less "of this thine oath which thou hast made us earth beneath.
swear. 12 Now, therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by 18 Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt the Lord, since I have showed you kindness, that bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which ye will also show kindness unto my kfather's house, thou didst let us down by; and Pthou shalt Spring and give me a true token ::
thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and 13 And that ye will save alive my father, and my all thy father's household, home unto thee. mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all 19 And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out that they have, and deliver our lives from death. of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood e Gen. 35. 5. Ex. 15. 15, 16. 23. 27. Deut. 2. 25. 11. 25. • melt. 1 Sam. 14. 16. 5. 8. ! Ex. 12. 13. ver. 18. Ex. 9. 1-6. I instead of you to die. Gen. 2. 49. 2 San. 17. 10. Ex. 14. 21. & Num. 21. 21-35. hc.5, 1. 7.5. Is. 13. 7. Judg. 1. 24. I Sam. 20.8. n Acts 9. 25. o Lev, 19. 11, 12. Num. 30. 2. 2 Sam.
rose up. i Deut. 4.39. k Gen. 24.3, 9. 1 Sam. 20. 16, 17. Rom. 1.31. 1 Tim. 21. 1, 2, 7. p e. 6. 23. S gather. and it was worth coming for. Being got clear of the officers, being moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house, she comes up to them to the roof of the house where they lay and the condemning of the world, Heb. 11. 7. They who truly hid, finds them perhaps somewhat dismayed at the peril they believe the divine revelation, concerning the ruin of sinners, apprehended themselves in from the officers, and scarcely re- and the grant of the heavenly land to God's Israel, will give covered from the fright, but has that to say to them which will diligence to fee from the wrath to come, and to lay hold on give them abundant satisfaction. 1. She lets them know that eternal life, by joining themselves to God and to his people. the report of the great things God had done for them was come 2. The provision she made for the safety of her relations, as to Jericho, v. 10, not only that they had an account of their
late well as for her own, is a laudable instance of natural affection, victories obtained over the Amorites, in the neighbouring coun and an intimation to us in like manner to do all we can for the try, on the other side the river, but that their miraculous salvation of the souls of those that are dear to us, and, with doliverance out of Egypt, and passage through the Red sea, a ourselves, to bring them, if possible, into the bond of the covegreat way off, and forty years ago, were remembered and talked No mention is made of her husband and children, but of afresh in Jericho, to the amazement of every body. Thus only her parents and brothers and sisters, whom, though she this Joshua and his fellows were men wondered at, Zech. 3. 8. was herself a housekeeper, she retained a due concern for. See how God makes his wonderful works to be remembered, Ps. 3. Her request that they would swear unto her by Jehovah, is 111. 4, so that men shall speak of the might of his terrible acts, an instance of her acquaintance with the only true God, and Ps. 145. 6. 2. She tells them what impressions the tidings of her faith in him, and devotion toward him, one act of which these things had made upon the Canaanites, your terror has is religiously to swear by his name. 4. Her petition is very fallen upon us, v. 9, our hearts did mell, v 11. If she kept a just and reasonable, that since she had protected them, they public house, that would give her an opportunity of understand should protect her; and since her kindness to them extended to ing the sense of various companies, and of travellers from other their people, for whom they were now negotiating, their kindparts of the country; so that they could not know this any way ness to her should take in all hers. It was the least they could better than by her information; and it would be of great use to do for one that had saved their lives with the hazard of her own, Joshua and Israel to know it, it would put courage into the most Note, Those that show mercy, may expect to find mercy, cowardly Israelite to hear how their enemies were dispirited; Observe, She does not demand any preferment by way of reand it was easy to conclude, that they who now fainted before ward for her kindness to them, though they lay so much at her them, would infallibly fall before them: especially because it mercy that she might have made her own terms, but only indents was the accomplishment of a promise God had made them, that for her life, which in a general destruction would be a singular he would lay the fear and dread of them upon all this land, Deut. favour. Thus God promised Ebed-Melec, in recompense for 11. 25, and so it would be an earnest of the accomplishment of his kindness to Jeremiah, that in the worst of times he should all the other promises God had made them. Let not the stout have his life for a prey, Jer. 39. 18. Yet this Rahab was afterman glory in his courage, any more than the strong man in his ward advanced to be a princess in Israel, the wife of Salmon, strength, for God can weaken both mind and body. Let not and one of the ancestors of Christ, Matt. 1.5. Those that God's Israel be afraid of their most powerful enemies, for their faithfully serve Christ and suffer for him, he will not only proGod can, when he pleases, make their most powerful enemies tect, but prefer, and will do for them more than they are able to afraid of them. Let none think to harden their hearts against ask or think, God and prosper, for he that made man's soul, can at any time III. They solemnly engaged for her preservation in the commake the sword of his terrors approach to it. 3. She hereupon mon destruction, v. 14, "Our life for yours. We will take makes the profession of her faith in God and his promise ; and as much care of your lives as of our own, and would as soon perhaps there was not found so great faith, (all ihings consi- hurt ourselves as any of you.” Nay, they imprecate God's dered,) no, not in Israel, as in this woman of Canaan. (1.) She judgments on themselves, if they should violate their promise to believes God's power and dominion over all the world, v. 11. her. She had pawned her life for theirs, and now they in "Jehovah your God whom you worship and call upon, is so far requital pawn their lives for hers, and (as public persons) with above all gods, that he is the only true God; for he is God in them they pawn the public faith and the credit of their nation, heaven above and in earth beneath, and is served by all the hosts for they plainly interest all Israel in the engagement in those of both." A vast distance there is between heaven and carth, words, When the Lord has given us the land, meaning not themyet both are equally under the inspection and government of the selves only, but the people whose agents they were. Nodoubt, great Jehovah, Heaven is not above his power, nor earth below they knew themselves sufficiently authorized to treat with Rahis cognizance. (2.) She believes his promise to his people hab concerning this matter, and were confident that Joshua Israel, v. 9, I know that the Lord hath given you the land. The would ratify what they did, else they had not dealt honestly; king of Jericho had heard as much as she had of the great things the general law, that ihey should make no covenant with the God had done for Israel, yet he cannot infer from thence that Canaanites, (Deut. 7.2,) did not forbid them to take under their the Lord had given them this land, but resolves to hold it out protection a particular person, that was heartily come into against them to the last extremity : for the most powerful means iheir interests, and had done them real kindnesses: The law of conviction will not of themselves attain the end without of gratitude is one of the laws of nature. Now observe here, divine grace, and by that grace, Rahab the harlot, who had only 1. The promises they made her. In general, “ We will deal heard of the wonders God had wrought, speaks with more ase kindly and truly with thee, v. 14. We will not only be kind in surance of the truth of the promise made to the fathers, than promising now, but true in performing what we promise ; and all the elders of Israel had done who were eyewitnesses of not only true in performing just what we promise, but kind in those wonders, many of whom perished through unbelief of this outdoing thy demands and expectations.' The goodness of promise. Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have God is often expressed by his kindness and truth, (Ps. 117. 2,) believed ; so Rahab did; O woman, great is thy faith!
and in both these we must be followers of him. In particular, II. She engaged them to take her and her relations under "If a hand be upon any in the house with thee, his blood shall be their protection, that they might not perish in the destruction of on our head, v. 19. If hurt come through our carelessness to Jericho, v, 12, 13. Now, 1. It was an evidence of the sincerity those whom we are obliged to protect, we thereby contract guilt, and strength of her faith concerning the approaching revolution and blood will be found a heavy load.”. in her country, that she was so solicitous to make an interest 2. The provisnes and limitations of their promises. Though for herself with the Israelites, and courted their kindness, She they were in haste, and it may be in some confusjon, yet we foresaw the conquest of her country, and in the belief of that find them very cautious in setting this agreement and the bespoke in time the favour of the conquerers. Thus Noah,' terms of it, not to bind themselves to more than was fit for them