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all that are with her in the house, because | woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware "she hid the messengers that we sent. unto her.
18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
23 And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her "kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.
24 And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.
19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are 'consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down 'flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
22 But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot's house, and bring out thence the Chap. 2. 4. 7 Heb, holiness. Heb. 11.30. 9 Heb. under it.
Verse 1. "Now Jericho," &c.-The chapter would much better have begun at the end of verse 5. The present verse reads as a parenthesis, and the next verse continues the address from "the captain of the Lord's host" to Joshua, which was commence in the last verse of the preceding chapter.
25 And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot
alive, and her father's houshold, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
26 And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, "Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.
27 So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country.
10 Chap. 2. 14. Heb. 11. 31. 11 Heb. families. 121 Kings 16. 34.
Ox's HORN BLOWER.
4. "Trumpets of raïms' horns”
17. "The city shall be accursed."-That is, devoted by solemn bann, or cherem (see Levit. xxvii. 28), to destruction. This is the most striking and complete instance of the cherem as operating against a city, and we see its effect fully developed. When it was intended to proceed against a hostile city with extreme severity, it was previously devoted to God: and, in such cases, not only were all the inhabitants put to death, but also, according as the terms of the vow declared, no booty was made by any Israelite; the beasts were slain; what would not burn, as gold, silver, and other metals, was added to the treasure of the sanctuary; and every thing else, with the whole city, burnt, and an imprecation pronounced upon any attempt that should ever be made to rebuild it. We see from Deut. xiii. 16-18, that if an Israelitish city introduced the worship of false gods, it was, in like manner, to be utterly destroyed, and to remain unbuilt for ever. (See Michaelis, Commentaries,' Art. 145.) There were two transgressors against this cherem on Jericho. The first, Achan, whose transgression was two-fold; first, by taking articles that ought to have been destroyed, and, secondly, the robbery and sacrilege of taking other articles that belonged to the sanctuary. The other transgressor was Hiel, by whom Jericho was rebuilt.
20. "The wall fell down flat.”—There have been some reflections upon the alleged unnecessary character of this miracle, on the supposition that such a vast army as that of Israel ought to have been able to take Jericho, without a miracle to throw down the walls for them; particularly when the generally miserable character of Oriental fortifications is considered. But the reader has only to turn to Num. xiii. 28, and Deut. i. 28, to perceive that the Hebrews themselves considered the walled towns of Palestine a great and insurmountable obstacle to the conquest of the country; whence Moses had expressly assured them that the "cities great, and fenced up to heaven," of the Canaanites would avail nothing before the power of their Almighty Leader, who went before them: "As a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face." (Deut. ix. 1-3.) In the note to the last cited chapter, we explained the general inefficiency of Oriental forces in the siege of walled or fortified places, however insignificant such fortifications might seem to European engineers. And if this is the case even now, when the use of gunpowder and cannon is known, and some military engines are in use,-how much more so must it have been in those early times, when not even the present limited use of such assistance could be obtained in the most difficult of military operations. And this applies with peculiar force to the Israelites, who, from their long bondage in Egypt, and long wandering in the desert, where most of them were born, were all but wholly ignorant of military affairs, and we now, perhaps for the first time, to assault a fortified town-a town which, from its importance, was probably one of the most strongly fortified in all the country. We may therefore readily believe that they were of themselves wholly unequal to the undertaking, and that the exhibition of the Divine power, which was promised to them, and which they received, was, in their circumstances, absolutely necessary. Moreover, as Dr. Hales remarks, "This stupendous miracle, at the beginning of the war, was well calculated to terrify the devoted nations, and to encourage the Israelites, by showing that the loftiest walls and strongest barriers afforded no protection against the Almighty God of Israel.”
26. "Cursed be the man," &c.—Dr. Boothroyd's clearer version of this is: "Accursed be the man before Jehovah, who attempteth to rebuild this city Jericho: with the loss of his firstborn son shall he lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son shall he set up its gates." This implies that the man should lose all his sons in the course of this forbidden undertaking; the eldest when he began, the rest in the progress of the work, and the last at its completion. For the completion of this prediction, between five and six centuries afterwards, see Kings xvi. 34, where, also, an account of Jericho will be given. It was probably intended, as Maimonides intimates, that the town should have remained a ruined heap, as an enduring memorial of the miracle which God had wrought. In the ancient history of other nations, we meet with many instances of prohibitions to rebuild a city destroyed in war, with imprecations against those who should attempt it. Strabo states, that it was believed that Troy had not been rebuilt on its former site from the dread of a curse which Agamemnon was supposed to have pronounced against him that should do so. This, he adds, was an ancient custom; and, as a further instance, mentions that Croesus, after he had destroyed Sidene, uttered a curse against him who should rebuild its walls. The Romans also, after the destruction of Carthage by Scipio Africanus, pronounced a curse upon him who should presume to rebuild that city.
1 The Israelites are smitten at Ai. Joshua's com-
BUT the children of Israel committed a tres
Chap. 22. 20.
pass in the accursed thing: for 'Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.
2 And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth-aven, on the cast 1 Chron. 2. 7.
side of Beth-el, and spake unto them, say- | ing, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.
3 And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few.
4 So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai.
5 And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and
became as water.
6 And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.
7 And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord GOD, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan!
8 O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies!
9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth and what wilt thou do unto thy great name?
10 ¶ And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore 'liest thou thus upon thy face?
11 Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.
12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.
13 Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies,
2 Heb. about 2000 men, or about 3000 men, 3 Or, in Morad.
until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.
14 In the morning therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be, that the tribe which the LORD taketh shall come according to the families thereof; and the family which the LORD shall take shall come by housholds; and the houshold which the LORD shall take shall come man by man.
15 And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel.
16 So Joshua rose up early in the morning, and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken :
17 And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken:
18 And he brought his houshold man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.
19 And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.
20 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:
21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a 'wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.
22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it.
23 And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD.
24 And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his
5 Heb. fallest. 6 Or, wickedness,
7 Heb, tongue
4 Heb. necks.
tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor.
25 And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.
26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.
9 That is, trouble.
Verse 2. "Ai, which is beside Beth-aven, on the east side of Beth-el."-This "Ai" is the "Hai" of Gen. xii. 8, and xiii. 3; and is usually mentioned together with Bethel, which lay a few miles westward from it. Masius says that Ai was one league east from Bethel, and about three north from Jericho. Eusebius and Jerome say that in their time some small remains of the place were still extant; but this is not now the case, nor is there any thing to indicate the site beyond the probable distances compared with the indications which the sacred text affords. From these, Mr. Buckingham thinks that he finds a probable site at a distance of about two hours' journey nearly north from Jericho; and as in this part of his travels he reckons six hours' journey as equivalent to twenty miles, the distance is not much at variance with that assigned by Masius. It seems that Ai was afterwards rebuilt and occupied by the Hebrews, as we find people of Bethel and Ai included in the number of those who returned from the captivity in Babylon. See Ezra xi. 28; and Neh. vii. 32.
"Beth-aven.”—This name means "the house of emptiness," usually as applied to idolatry; and as Hosea (iv. 5; v. 8 ; x. 5) affixes this name, derisively, to Bethel (which means "house of God"), on account of its having become a conspicuous seat of idolatrous worship, it has been commonly thought that Bethel and Bethaven are always to be understood as the same place. But it is evident from this text that there was near Bethel a distinct place called Bethaven; and that what the prophet intended, was, to apply to it, in the literal meaning, the name which actually belonged to a place in the neighbourhood. We know nothing about Bethaven but what the text tells us, that it was near Bethel, and, as we learn from ch. xviii. 12, that it lay, as Bethel did, on the north border of the tribe of Benjamin.
5. "Wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water."-Michaelis regards the dispiriting effect of so trifling a loss upon some hundred thousands of men, as a manifest proof that there was no right arrangement of military affairs among them; for when all is rightly ordered in an army, a panic will not arise from so small a cause. This is partly right. But we are to consider that the Hebrews had not been taught to place any reliance on numbers or military skill, but rather that, under all circumstances, they must be invincible with the Divine assistance which had been promised to them. Any defeat, therefore, would seem to show that the promised aid had been withheld; and they could not but be aware that the smallest defeat must have much effect in encouraging their enemies who had hitherto beheld resistance hopeless. This, more than the loss itself, gave just cause for the consternation with which the defeat of three thousand men, with the loss of thirty-six, inspired the host of Israel. But even in a military point of view their consternation is not unaccountable, considering that they were nomades, fresh from the desert. What the Bedouins of Arabia now feel in this matter will illustrate the probable feeling of the Israelites on the occasion before us. Burckhardt says: "There is one circumstance that greatly favours the chance of a foreign general in his contest with the Bedouins. They are but little accustomed to battles in which much blood is shed. When ten or fifteen men are killed in a skirmish, the circumstance is remembered as an event of great importance for many years by both parties. If, therefore, in a battle with foreign troops, several hundreds are killed at the first onset, and if any of their principal men should be among the slain, the Bedouins become so disheartened that they scarcely think of further resistance; while a much greater loss on the side of their enemies could not make a similar impression on mercenary soldiers. But even the Arabs would only feel this impression at the beginning of a severe contest; and they would soon, no doubt, accustom themselves to bear greater losses in support of their independence, than they usually suffer in their petty warfare about wells and pasture grounds." (Notes on the Bedouins,' p. 167.)
21. "A goodly Babylonish garment."-Literally, "a mantle of Shinar," of which Babylon was, in after-times, the famous and dominant capital. The robe was therefore manufactured somewhere in the plain of Shinar. We think it well to mention this, in order to preclude any inference, right or wrong, concerning the city of Babylon in particular, its early luxury, or its improved manufactures. That Babylon had been founded long before this time we know; but we have no evidence to show that it became of much importance, or was much distinguished for its luxury or refinement until between eight and nine centuries after the time of Joshua,-that is, not until the fall of Nineveh, when Babylon became the capital of Mesopotamia and of a large dependent empire. We are therefore only to understand that Achan's heart was seduced by a splendid mantle manufactured at some place in Shinar; but we cannot say that it was unquestionably "Babylonish," unless we refer the term rather to the district than to the city. However understood, it is interesting to find this indication, that this district had so early acquired that reputation for its manufactured robes, for which Babylon was in long subsequent times famous among the ancients: and it is certainly possible that the robe which tempted Achan, and also that which seemed such desirable spoil to the mother of Sisera (Judg. v. 30), was similar to that which we afterwards more distinctly know as a noted manufacture of Babylon. The mantles which were then held in such high esteem are agreed to have been of various colours, which seem to have been disposed in figures resembling those on Turkey carpets. But from what the Roman writers say about them, it is difficult to gather distinctly whether these figures were painted, woven in the loom, or embroidered with the needle. (See further on Judg. v. 30.) These robes, from their glossiness and tasteful combination of colours, produced a very splendid and rich effect. They were very costly, and considered in the highest degree luxurious. Plutarch relates that Cato, that great enemy to luxury, on receiving, by inheritance, a Babylonish garment, commanded it to be immediately sold. Josephus says that the robe concealed by Achan was "a royal garment interwoven with gold."
"Two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight.”—The value of the silver, reckoned at 5s. per oz. would be nearly 287.; and the ingot of gold would, at 47. per oz., be worth rather more than 90%. An estimate of this kind must however be very uncertain, because we are unacquainted with the value which precious metals bore in the time of Joshua.
25. "Burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.”—With respect to the capital punishment of stoning, and the subsequent one of burning, see the notes on Lev. xx. As we shall hereafter meet with various capital
punishments, introduced from foreign countries, it may be well again to direct attention to the fact that the only capital punishments directed by the law of Moses are stoning and slaying with the sword." The latter punishment may have included decapitation, which, as being in use among the Egyptians (Gen. xl. 17-19), must have been known to the Hebrews. But this use of the sword is certainly not mentioned in the laws of Moses; and it would seem to have been generally left to the discretion of the executioner to destroy the convict with the sword in such way as seemed to him most convenient or effective. The expression "to fall upon," or, more properly, "to rush upon," such persons, seems to imply this liberty in the executioner. As very cruel punishments hereafter are mentioned, we are anxious to have it clearly understood that they are not sanctioned by the law of Moses. There is not, even now, any Oriental code so mild in the form of its capital and corporal punishments as that of Moses. Even stoning is less severe than it might at the first view appear; for the first stone that struck the condemned man on the head would, in most instances, render him insensible to all that afterwards passed.
26. "Raised over him a great heap of stones."-See 2 Sam. xviii. 7.
"Valley of Achor."-The word means "trouble," and has evident reference to the name of Achan (1). Indeed it is generally agreed that the name here given to the valley (y) is the proper name of the man; the final, which makes all the difference, having been written, by some careless transcriber. Accordingly, the name is given as "Achar" in 1 Chron. ii. 7; and it is invariably so given in the Syriac version, and by Josephus. We know nothing about the valley. It could not have been at any great distance from Jericho; and in ch. xv. 7, we learn that it was on the northern border of the tribe of Judah.