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thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in, and they departed: and she bound the scarthe window which thou didst let us down let line in the window. by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and 22 And they went, and came unto the thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy mountain, and abode there three days, until father's houshold, home unto thee.
the pursuers were returned : and the pur19 And it shall be, that whosoever shall suers sought them throughout all the way, go out of the doors of thy house into the but found them not. street, his blood shall be upon his head, and 23. ( So the two men returned, and dewe will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be scended from the mountain, and passed over, with thee in the house, his blood shall be on and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and our head, if
told him all things that befell them : 20 And if thou utter this our business, 24 And they said unto Joshua, Truly the then we will be quit of thine oath which thou Lord hath delivered into our hands all the hast made us to swear.
land; for even all the inhabitants of the 21 And she said, According unto your country do 'faint because of us. words, so be it. And she sent them away,
Verse 1. “ Jericho."-See the note to ch. vi. 26, and I Kings xvi. 34.
“ They went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahnb." —As this woman is honourably mentioned in the New Testament for her faith; and as, moreover, it appears from Matt. i. 5, that she was ultiinately married to Salmon, by which marriage she became an ancestress of our Saviour, there has been considerable anxiety to rescue her name from the imputation which rests upon her character. Her vindication is made to rest, chiefly, upon the derivation of the word rendered “harlot.” This is 77311, zunah; and it is contended that this word ought not to be here derived from 1731, zanah," to commit fornication;" but from 71, zun, “to nourish,” and, consequently, that it should be rendered not “harlot,” but “ hostess.” The Chaldee paraphrase of Onkelos, Josephus, and several rabbins, agree in the same view; but the balance of epinion is against it. We feel obliged to express our entire concurrence in the common translation. The word zonah does not occur any where else in a sense whích the context will allow to be rendered “hostess” (see Lev. xxi. 7. 14; Deut. xxi. 18); and there is no sufficient reason for giving it here a different derivation from that which it elsewhere bears. Moreover, the Septuagint, and the apostles Paul (Heb. xi. 31) and James (ii. 25) have given it the common interpretation. It will also be observed that, while Rahab so anxiously provides for the safety of her relations, she does not say a word about her husband or children: which is a more remarkable circumstance than it would be in England, as, in the East, scarcely any.women but those of low character remain single. Another reason, which has escaped the notice of expositors, but which seems to us of considerable weight, is, that in the East there aró no such persons as hostesses. The places of public entertainment (caravanserais) in towns only furnish empty lodging, and cannot be said to have even a host, much less a hostess ; and if a stranger be accommodated in a private house, he never sees the lady of the house, or hears or asks any thing about her. The only woman in general who has a house to herself, and certainly the only woman to whose house a stranger can have access, is one who bears the stigma which attaches to the name of Rahab. To the house of such a woman, therefore, the spies went. Probably also they did not overlook the advantageous situation of the house, which was built against the town wall and had a window towards the open country, thus affording facilities for escape, of which they afterwards actually had occasion to avail themselves. The story of the Jews concerning Rahab is, that she was ten years of age when the Hebrews left Egypt, that she had followed evil courses all the time that they were in the wilderness, and that after the destruction of Jericho she was married to Joshua himself, and had daughters by him, to whom eight prophets traced their origin, namely Jeremiah, Hilkiah, Maasia, Hanameel, Shallum, Baruch, Ezekiel, and Huldab the prophetess. This, although wrong, is valuable; because it shows that the Jews themselves thought that the faith and repentance of this woman rendered her worthy to be the wife of Joshua and the mother of prophets; and they would not therefore have deemed her unworthy to have been the wife of Salmon, and the ancestress of David, Solomon, Hezekiah, Josiah, and Christ. (See Matt. i.)
6. “ Stalks of flax," lyyn nwa, pishtai ha-aitz.)-Gesenius and others say this was cotton ; but this could not be, for the time is early spring, and cotton is not gathered till autumn ;-not to mention the improbability that cotton was at this early period cultivated in Palestine. Understood, then, as flax, the text reads literally, “fax of the wood," that is, undressed flax, or flax with its ligneous parts. Rahab had doubtless placed it on the roof of her house to dry; the flat roofs of the Oriental houses (see Deut. xxii. 8) being, from their full exposure to the air and secure situation, admirably suited to, and much employed for, laying out such vegetable products, of whatever kind, as require to be dried in the sun.
18. “ This line of scarlet thread." ---Boothroyd renders: “This scarlet coloured rope.” It was probably the same cord or rope by which they were let down from the window. As it was to be a sign by which her house should be recognized when the city was sacked, it must have been something too conspicuous to be easily overlooked by those who were acquainted with its purport.
10 And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall
know that the living God is among you, and 1 Joshua cometh to Jordan. 2 The officers instruct that he will without fail drive out from be
the people for the passage. 7 The Lord encourageth Joshua. 9 Joshuu encourageth the people.
you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, 14 The waters of Jordan are divided.
and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the
Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the JeAnd Joshua rose early in the morning; and busites. they removed from Shittim, and came to 11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and Lord of all the earth passeth over before lodged there before they passed over.
you into Jordan. 2 And it came to pass after three days, 12 Now therefore take you twelve men that the officers went through the host; out of the tribes of Israel, out of
3 And they commanded the people, saying, When
see the ark of the covenant of 13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the Lord your God, and the priests the Le- the soles of the feet of the priests that bear vites bearing it, then ye shall remove from the of the LORD, the Lord of all the your place, and go after it.
earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, 4 Yet there shall be a space between you
that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off and it, about two thousand cubits by mea- from the waters that come down from above; sure: come not near unto it, that ye may and they shall stand upon an heap. know the way by which ye must go: for ye 14 | And it came to pass, when the people have not passed this way 'heretofore. removed from their tents, to pass over Jor
5 And Joshua said unto the people, 'Sanc- dan, and the priests bearing the 'ark of the tify yourselves : for to morrow the LORD will covenant before the people; do wonders among you.
15 And as they that bare the ark were 6 And Joshua spake unto the priests come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests saying, Take up the ark of the covenant that bare the ark were dipped in the brim and pass over before the people. And they of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his took up the ark of the covenant, and went banks all the time of harvest,) before the people.
16 That the waters which came down from 7 And the LORD said unto Joshua, above stood and rose up upon an heap very This day will I begin to magnify thee in the far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaresight of all Israel, that they may know that, tan: and those that came down toward the 8as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee. sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and
8 And thou shalt command the priests were cut off: and the people passed over that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, right against Jericho. When ye are come to the brink of the water 17 And the priests that bare the ark of of Jordan,
shall stand still in Jordan. the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry 9 And Joshua said unto the children of ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of Israelites passed over on dry ground, until the LORD your God.
all the people were passed clean over Jordan. · Heb, since yesterday, and the third day. 2 Levit. 20.7. Num. 11. 18. Chap 7. 13. 1 Sam. 16. 5. * Chap. 1.5.
* Psal. 114. 3.
5 Acts 7. 45.
61 Chron. 12. 15. Ecclus. 24, 26.
Verse 14. “ When the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan."— The great event described in this chapter took place on the tenth day of the first month (iv. 19), wanting therefore only five days to complete the forty years from the day (the 15th of the first month) when the Israelites left Egypt. The manner in which the passage took place seems to be this. The priests, bearing the ark at the distance of two thousand cubits from the host, marched onward, and, in full confidence in the Divine promise, proceeded, as if to enter the river ; but no sooner did their feet touch its waters, which then overflowed the banks from the melting of the snows in Lebanon (see Gen. xiv.), than the waters divided from shore to shore. The stream that was then coining from above, stood still at that point : while that which had passed the point of separation, continued to flow to the Dead Sea, and, arriving there, left all the channel open between the sea and the point of separation.
As we cannot determine the site of the cities of Adam and Zaretan, mentioned in v. 16, we do not know the extent to which the channel was laid open; but from a reference to the direction of the journey, and the situation of Gilgal, where they formed their first encampment in Canaan (ch. iv. 19), we may suppose it to have been about seven miles. The river, in this part, has a firm pebbly bottom, on which the host might pass without inconvenience, when the waters had been cleared before them. The priests entered first, and stood still in the mid-channel, until the entire host had passed over. They seem to have been placed not so that the people passed on each side of them as they stood there, but only below them, that is, between them and the sea-the ark of God being thus interposed between the people and the suspended waters, that the faint-hearted might feel the more assured. It must have taken a considerable time for 50 vast a multitude, with women, children, and baggage, to pass over; and the constancy which the priests exhibited on this occasion bears honourable testimony to their faith, and ought not to pass unnoticed. When all had passed, the priests also went up with the ark out of the channel ; and no sooner had they left it than the suspended waters abuve returned to their place, and overflowed the banks as before. Professor Jahn informs us (but we do not know on what authority) that when the river is thus overflowed, its breadth is nearly two hundred fathoms, and its greatest depth fourteen feet. (* Heb. Commonwealth,' b. iii. $ 19.)
The following observations on this most impressive transaction are from Dr. Hales's • New Analysis of Chronology,' vol. i. 412:" The passage of this deep and rapid, though not wide river, at the most unfavourable season, was more inanifestly miraculous, if possible, than that of the Red Sea ; because here was no natural agency whatsoever employed ; no mighty wind to sweep a passage, as in the former case; no reflux of the tide, on which minute philosophers might fasten to depreciate the miracle. It seems, therefore, to have been providentially designed to silence cavils respecting the former; and it was done in the noon-day, in the face of the sun, and in the presence, we may be sure, of the neighbouring inhabitants; and struck terror into the kings of the Amorites and Canaanites, westward of the river, * whose hearts melted, neither was there any spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel,'” (Josh. v. 1.)
unto the place where they lodged, and laid | Twelve men are appointed to take twelve stones
them down there. for a memorial out of Jordan. 9 Twelve other 9 And Joshua set up twelve stones in the stones are set up in the midst of Jordan. 10, 11 midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet
The people pass wer. 14 God magnifieth Joshua. of the priests which bare the ark of the co20 The twelve stones are pitched in Gilgal.
venant stood : and they are there unto this And it came to pass, when all the people day. were clean passed 'over Jordan, that the 10 For the priests which bare the ark LORD spake unto ‘Joshua, saying,
stood in the midst of Jordan, until every 2 Take you twelve men out of the people, thing was finished that the Lord comout of every tribe a man,
manded Joshua to speak unto the people, 3 And command ye them, saying, Take according to all that Moses commanded you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out Joshua: and the people hasted and passed of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them 11 And it came to pass, when all the over with
and leave them in the people were clean passed over, that the ark lodging place, where ye shall lodge this of the Lord passed over, and the priests, in night.
the presence of the people. 4 Then Joshua called the twelve men, 12 And the children of Reuben, and whom he had prepared of the children of the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Israel, out of every tribe a man:
Manasseh, passed over armed before the 5 And Joshua said unto them, Pass over children of Israel, as Moses spake unto before the ark of the LORD
God into them: the midst of Jordan, and take you up every | 13 About forty thousand 'prepared for man of you a stone upon his shoulder, ac- war passed over before the Lord unto cording unto the number of the tribes of the battle, to the plains of Jericho. children of Israel :
14 On that day the LORD magnified 6 That this may be a sign among you, Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they that when your children ask their fathers feared him, as they feared Moses, all the Sin time to come, saying, What mean ye by days of his life. these stones?
15 And the LORD spake unto Joshua, 7 Then ye shall answer them, That the saying, waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark *16 Command the priests that bear the of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed ark of the testimony, that they come up out over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut of Jordan. off: and these stones shall be for a memorial 17 Joshua therefore commanded the unto the children of Israel for ever.
priests, saying, Come ye up out of Jordan. 8 And the children of Israel did so as 18 And it came to pass, when the priests Joshua commanded, and took up twelve that bare the ark of the covenant of the stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD were come up out of the midst of Lord spake unto Joshua, according to the Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet number of the tribes of the children of were olifted up unto the dry land, that the Israel, and carried them over with them waters of Jordan returned unto their place,
» Deut. 97. 2.
* Chap. 3. 12.
3 Hel. to-morrow.
* Num. 32. 37.
Or, ready armned.
and ?flowed orer all his banks, as they dill 22 Then ye shall let your children know, before.
saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry 19 | And the people came up out of land. Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, 23 For the LORD your God dried up the and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border waters of Jordan from before you, until ye of Jericho.
were passed over, as the LORD your God 20 And those twelve stones, which they did to the Red sea, 'which he dried up from took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in before us, until we were gone over: Gilgal.
24 That all the people of the earth might 21 And he spake unto the children of know the hand of the LORD, that it is Israel, saying, When your children shall mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your ask their fathers "in time to come, saying, God ''for ever. What mean these stones?
Verse 9. “ Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan.”—In the command given to Joshua, there is nothing said concerning these twelve stones to be set up in the midst of Jordan. It is also difficult to discover what purpose they could answer, under the water. Some commentators suppose that the stones were placed one upon another, so as to form a heap that appeared above water, or was at least visible through the water, when the river was low; but if so, it would seem that a heap thus loosely set up must soon be swept away by the rapidity of the stream. The Arabic has not the verse, and the Syriac reads it so as to make it refer to the stones taken out of Jordan, making it a continuation of the description of the manner in which the Lord's commands were fulfilled, as: “Thus Joshua set up the twelve stones which they had taken from the midst of Jordan,” &c. This is the reading followed by Kennicott: Boothroyd translates as in our version, but puts it in brackets, as of doubtful authority. It is very possible, however, that the text is correct, though we do not very clearly understand it. It may be that the stones were not intended to be visible, and that they were set up to replace those that had been taken out, in order to give an idea of completeness to the transaction.
13. " About forty thousand prepared for war."—At the second census, a little prior to the passage of the Jordan, the adult males in the tribe of Reuben were 43,730 ; in Gad, 40,500 ; and the half tribe of Manasseh must have had from 20.000 to 30,000 more: and yet, although the obligation to military service was universal, and the two and half tribes held their lands beyond Jordan on the condition of assisting their brethren in the conquest of Canaan, only 40,000 out of about 100,000 went to the war: and nevertheless they were held to have fulfilled the obligation they had incurred. This illustrates a point in the military history of a nation. At first, while their numbers are few, all go to the war; but when they so increase as to be unmanageable as a military force, difficult to bring into action, and unable to keep the field beyond a few days, a levy from the general body begins to be made of the number of men suited to the exigencies of the occasion. We see this principle regulates here the demand upon the services of the two and half tribes, more than half whose numbers remained behind to protect and provide for the families settled in the new country. Indeed, such partial levies occurred in the very first military undertakings of the Hebrews, as in their war with the Amalekites, when Joshua selected the men he required (Exod. xvii. 9, 10); and in that with the Midianites, when a thousand men were levied from each tribe (Num. xxxi. 1-6). The whole body of the people were never expected to take the field except on very extraordinary occasions (see Josh. viii. 7, 11, 12 ; Jud. xx. ; 1 Sam. xi. 7); and on all these occasions the war was terminated in a few days.
20. “ Those twelve stones....did Joshua pitch in Gilgal."— The definite object of this proceeding is explained in the following verses: and the principle exemplified by such memorials has already given occasion to remark in the note to Gen. xxxv. 20 (see also xxviii
. 18). Josephus says that an aliar was constructed with the twelve stones ; and as the stones were not, singly, larger than one man could carry, this seems not unlikely. However, we have seen, in the nute above referred to, that it was, and still is, a custom to set single stones as memorials of remarkable events. In the present instance, the stones, if set somewhat apart in an orderly manner and conspicuous situation, would seem likely to convey a more distinct reference to the twelve tribes than if united to form one altar.
melted, neither was there spirit in them any 1 The Canaanites are afraid. 2 Joshua reneweth more, because of the children of Israel.
circumcision. 10 The passover is kept at Gilgal. 2 | At that time the LORD said unto 12 Manna ceaseth. 13 An Angel appeareth to Joshua, Make thee 'sharp' knives, and cirJoshua.
cumcise again the children of Israel the seAnd it came to pass, when all the kings of cond time. the Amorites, which were on the side of 3 And Joshua made him sharp knives, Jordan westward, and all the kings of the and circumcised the children of Israel at Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard the hill of the foreskins. that the LORD had dried
the waters of 4 And this is the cause why Joshua did Jordan from before the children of Israel, circumcise : All the people that came out of until we were passed over, that their heart | Egypt, that were males, even all the men of
10r, knives if Perls.
2 Exoxl. 4. 23.
3 Or, Gibeah haaraloth.
war. died in the wilderness by the way,
fathers that he would give us, a land that they came out of Egypt.
floweth with milk and honey. 5 Now all the people that came out were 7 And their children, whom he raised up circumcised: but all the people that were in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: born in the wilderness by the way as they for they were uncircumcised, because they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not had not circumcised them by the way. circumcised.
8 And it came to pass, when they had 6 For the children of Israel walked forty done circumcising all the people, that they years in the wilderness, till all the people abode in their places in the camp, till they that were men of war, which came out of
were whole. Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed 9 And the LORD said unto Joshua, This not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the day have I rolled away the reproach of LORD sware that he would not shew them Egypt from off
Wherefore the name the land, which the LORD sware unto their of the place is called "Gilgal unto this day.
ottuns la 23
Heb. when the people had made an end to be circumciserta
6 That is, rolling