The Lord Appoints Joshua to Succeed
1. Now after the death of Moses—Joshua,
having been already appointed and designated leader of Israel (Nu
27:18-23), in all probability
assumed the reins of government immediately "after the death of
the servant of the Lord—This was the
official title of Moses as invested with a special mission to make
known the will of God; and it conferred great honor and authority.
the Lord spake unto Joshua—probably
during the period of public mourning, and either by a direct revelation
to the mind of Joshua, or by means of Urim and Thummim (Nu 27:21). This first communication gave a pledge
that the divine instructions which, according to the provisions of the
theocracy, had been imparted to Moses, would be continued to the new
leader, though God might not perhaps speak to him "mouth to mouth"
Joshua—The original name, Oshea,
13:8), which had been,
according to Eastern usage, changed like those of Abram and Sarai
17:5-15) into Jehoshua or
Joshua (that is, "God's salvation") was significant of the services he
was to render, and typified those of a greater Saviour (Heb 4:8).
Moses' minister—that is, his official
attendant, who, from being constantly employed in important services
and early initiated into the principles of the government, would be
well trained for undertaking the leadership of Israel.
2-9. now therefore arise, go over this
Jordan—Joshua's mission was that of a military leader. This
passage records his call to begin the work, and the address contains a
literal repetition of the promise made to Moses (De 11:24,
25; 31:6-8, 23).
3, 4. Every place that the sole of your foot shall
tread upon that have I given you—meaning, of course, not
universal dominion, but only the territory comprised within the
boundaries here specified (see on De 19:8).
4. all the land of the Hittites—These
occupied the southern extremities and were the dominant tribe of
Canaan. Their superior power and the extent of their dominions are
attested by the mention of them under the name of Khita, on the
Assyrian inscriptions, and still more frequently on the Egyptian
inscriptions of the eighteenth and nineteenth Dynasties. What life and
encouragement must have been imparted to Joshua by the assurance that
his people, who had been overwhelmed with fear of that gigantic race,
were to possess "all the land of the Hittites"!
5-9. There shall not any man be able to stand
before thee—Canaan was theirs by a divine grant; and the
renewed confirmation of that grant to Joshua when about to lead the
people into it, intimated not only a certain but an easy conquest. It
is remarkable, however, that his courage and hope of victory were made
to depend (see on De 17:18) on his firm and
inflexible adherence to the law of God, not only that regarding the
extirpation of the Canaanites, but the whole divine code.
10-18. Then Joshua commanded the officers of the
people—These were the Shoterim (see on Ex
5:6; De 20:5).
11-13. command the people, saying, Prepare you
victuals—not manna, which, though it still fell, would not
keep; but corn, sheep, and articles of food procurable in the conquered
for within three days ye shall pass over this
Jordan—that is, the third day, according to Hebrew
idiom—the time allotted for getting ready before the encampment
in Abel-Shittim broke up and they removed to the desert bank of the
river where no victuals were available. At the same time Joshua himself
convened the two and a half tribes which had settled east of Jordan, to
remind them of their promise (Nu 32:1-42) to assist their brethren in the
conquest of western Canaan. Their readiness to redeem their pledge and
the terms in which they answered the appeal of Joshua displayed to
great advantage their patriotic and pious feelings at so interesting a
14. ye shall pass … armed—that is,
officered or marshalled under five leaders in the old and approved
caravan order (see on Ex 13:18).
all the mighty men of valour—The words
are not to be interpreted strictly as meaning the whole, but only the
flower or choice of the fighting men (see on Jos