10. Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,
10. Tunc praecepit Josue praefectis populi dicendo,
11. Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days you shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God give you to possess it.
11. Transite per medium castrorum et praecipite populo, dicendo, Parate vobis annonam: quia post tres dies transibitis Jordanem hunc, ut intretis et possideatis terram, quam Jehova Deus vester dat vobis possidendam.
12. And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spoke Joshua, saying,
12. Ad Reubenitas vero et Gaditas et dimidiam tribum Manasse locutus est Josue, dicendo,
13. Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God has given you rest, and has given you this land.
13. Recordamini verbi quod praecepit vobis Moses servus Jehovae, dicendo, Jehova Deus vester reddidit vos quietos et dedit vobis terram hanc:
14. Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but you shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valor, and help them;
14. Uxores vestrae, parvuli vestri, et pecora vestra residebunt in terra quam dedit vobis Moses trans Jordanem; vos autem transibitis armati ante fratres vestros, quicunque erunt viri bellicosi, juvabitisque eos.
15. Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as he has given you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God give them: then you shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD'S servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.
15. Donec quietem praestiterit Jehova fratribus vestris sicut vobis et possideant ipsi quoque terram quam Jehova Deus vester dat eis: et tunc redibitis ad terram haereditatis vestrae, possidebitisque eam quam dedit vobis Moses servus Jehovae ultra Jordanem ad exortum solis.
16. And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commands us we will do, and whithersoever thou send us, we will go.
16. Tunc responderunt, dicendo, Omnia quae praecepisti nobis faciemus, et ad omnia ad quae miseris nos, ibimus.
17. According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses.
17. Sicut in omnibus obedivimus Mosi, sic obediemus tibi: tantum sit Jehova Deus tuus tecum sicut fuit cum Mose.
18. Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commands him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.
18. Quisquis fuerit qui rebellaverit ore tuo, nec verbis tuis aquieverit in omnibus quae ei mandaveris, interficiatur. Tantum confirmare et roborare.
After all necessary matters had been ascertained, he saw it was high time to proceed, and issued a proclamation, ordering the people to make ready for the campaign. With the utmost confidence he declares that they will pass the Jordan after the lapse of three days: this he never would have ventured to do, without the suggestion of the Spirit. No one had attempted the ford, nor did there seem to be any hope that it could be done.2 There was no means of crossing either by a bridge or by boats: and nothing could be easier for the enemy than to prevent the passage. The only thing, therefore, that remained was for God to transport them miraculously. This Joshua hoped for not at random, nor at his own hand, but as a matter which had been divinely revealed. The faith of the people also was conspicuous in the promptitude of their obedience: for, in the view of the great difficulties which presented themselves, they never would have complied so readily had they not cast their care upon God. It cannot be doubted that He inspired their minds with this alacrity, in order to remove all the obstacles which might delay the fulfillment of the promise.
When he orders them to precede or pass before, the meaning is, not that they were to be the first to enter into conflict with the enemy, and in all emergencies which might befall them, were to bear more than their own share of the burden; he only in this way urges them to move with alacrity, as it would have been a kind of tergiversation to keep in the rear and follow slowly in the track of others. The expression
Indeed, it is not so much to herald their own virtues as to extol the authority of Joshua, when they declare that they will regard him in the same light in which they regarded Moses. The groundwork of their confidence is at the same time expressed in their wish or prayer, that God may be present to assist his servant Joshua as he assisted his servant Moses. They intimate that they will be ready to war under the auspices of their new leader, because they are persuaded that he is armed with the power and hope that he will be victorious by the assistance of God, as they had learned by experience how wonderfully God assisted them by the hand of Moses. We may infer, moreover, that they actually felt this confidence, both because they call to mind their experiences of God's favor to animate themselves, and because they regard Joshua as the successor of Moses in regard to prosperous results.
1 It is almost impossible to doubt that the view here taken is correct, and in confirmation of it, it may be observed, that it receives more countenance from the original than appears either from Calvin's or our verse by "Then," as if meaning, "At that precise time;" whereas the Hebrew is simply the copulative
2 This must be taken with some qualification, since, according to the view taken by Calvin himself, the river must, before this, have been forded by the spies, both in going and returning; and it is also obvious, from the direction which their pursuers took, in endeavoring to overtake them, that what are called "the fords," must have been understood to be practicable, even during the season of overflow. Still a spot or two where an individual might manage to cross was altogether unavailable for such a body as the Israelites, and therefore Calvin's subsequent statement cannot be disputed, that if they were to cross at all, human agency was unavailing, and the only thing which remained was for God himself to transport them miraculously. -- Ed.
3 The agreement made with Moses was very explicit. As recorded in the thirty-second chapter of Numbers, he distinctly stipulates that they shall "go armed before the Lord to war," "armed over Jordan before the Lord, until he has driven out his enemies from before him, and the land be subdued before the Lord;" and they answer, "As the Lord has said unto thy servants so will we do: we will pass over armed before the Lord, into the land of Canaan, that the possession of our inheritance on this side Jordan may be ours." -- Ed.
4 The objection taken to the modesty of the answer seems to be founded on a misinterpretation of its true meaning. For the original, literally interpreted, does not contain any assertion that they had obeyed Moses in all things, as implied both in Calvin's Latin and in our English version, but simply means, that "in everything," or, "according to everything," (
5 This emphasis is lost by the Septuagint, which renders not oJ Qeo>v sou, "thy God," but, "oJ Qeo<v hJmw~n," "our God." -- Ed.
6 French, "