1. And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.
1. Congregavit itaque1Josue omnes tribus Israel in Sichem, vocavitque seniores Israel, et capita ejus, judicesque ejus, ac praefectos ejus: steteruntque coram Deo.
2. And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus says the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.
2. Dixitque Josue ad universum populum, Sic dicit Jehova Deus Israel, Trans flumen habitaverunt patres vestri a seculo, ut Thare pater Abraham, et pater Nachor, servicruntque diis alienis.
3. And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.
3. Et tuli patrem vestrum Abraham e loco qui erat trans flumen, et deduxi per universam terram Chanaan: multiplicavique semen ejus, et dedi ei Isaac.
4. And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.
4. Et dedi ipsi Isaac Jacob et Esau: tradidique ipsi Esau montem Seir, ut possideret eum: Jacob autem et filii ejus descenderunt in Aegyptum.
5. I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out.
5. Misique Mosen et Aharon, et percussi Aegyptum, quemadmodum feci in medio ejus, et postea eduxi vos.
6. And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and you came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea.
6. Et eduxi patres vestros ex Aegypto, deveniestique ad mare, et persequuti sunt Aegyptii patres vestros cum curribus, et equitibus usque ad mare rubrum.
7. And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and you dwelt in the wilderness a long season.
7. Tum clamaverunt2ad Jehovam, et posuit caliginem inter vos et Aegyptios: induxitque super eum mare, ac operuit eum: et viderunt oculi vestri quae feci in Aegypto, et habitastis in solitudine in diebus multis.
8. And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that you might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.
8. Postea adduxi vos ad terram Aemorrhaei habitantis trans Jordanem: praeliatique sunt vobiscum, et tradidi eos in manum vestram: possedistisque terram eorum, ac delevi eos a facie vestra.
9. Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you:
9. Surrexit autem Balac filius Sippor rex Moab, et praeliatis est cum Israel: misitque et vocavit Bileam filium Beor, ut malediceret vobis:
10. But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.
10. Et nolui audire Bileam, sed benedixi benedicendo vobis, et liberavi vos e manu ejus.
11. And you went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand.
11. Transistisque Jordanem, et venistis ad Jericho: pugnaveruntque contra vos viri Jericho, Aemorrhaeus, et Perizaeus, et Chananaeus, et Hittaus, et Girgasaeus, et Hivaeus, et Jebusaeus: tradidique eos in manum vestram.
12. And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow.
12. Et misit ante vos crabrones, qui expulerunt eos a facie vestra duos reges Aemorrhaei, non gladio tuo, nec arcu tuo.
13. And I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you built not, and you dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which you planted not do you eat.
13. Dedique vobis terram in qua non laborastis, et urbes quas non aedificastis, et habitastis in eis: vineas et oliveta quae non plantastis, comedetis.
14. Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve you the LORD.
14. Nunc ergo timete Jehovam, et servite ei in perfectione, et veritate, et auferte deos quibus servierunt patres vestri trans flumen, et in Aegypto, et servite Jehovae.
The Jews, indeed, to give a false dignity to their race, fabulously relate that Abraham became an exile from his country because he refused to acknowledge the Chaldean fire as God.4 But if we attend to the words of the inspired writer, we shall see that he is no more exempted from the guilt of the popular idolatry than Terah and Nachor. For why is it said that the fathers of the people served strange gods, and that Abraham was rescued from the country, but just to show how the free mercy of God was displayed in their very origin? Had Abraham been unlike the rest of his countrymen, his own piety would distinguish him. The opposite, however, is expressly mentioned to show that he had no peculiar excellence of his own which could diminish the grace bestowed upon him, and that therefore his posterity behooved to acknowledge that when he was lost, he was raised up from death unto life.
It seems almost an incredible and monstrous thing, that while Noah was yet alive, idolatry had not only spread everywhere over the world, but even penetrated into the family of Shem, in which at least, a purer religion ought to have flourished. How insane and indomitable human infatuation is in this respect, is proved by the fact that the holy Patriarch, on whom the divine blessing had been specially bestowed, was unable to curb his posterity, and prevent them from abandoning the true God, and prostituting themselves to superstition.
The more firmly to persuade them that they had overcome not merely by the guidance of God, but solely by his power, he repeats what we read in the books of Moses, (Deuteronomy 7:20) that hornets were sent to rout the enemy without human hand. This was a more striking miracle than if they had been routed, put to flight, and scattered in any other way. For those who, contrary to expectation, gain a victory without any difficulty, although they confess that the prosperous issue of the war is the gift of God, immediately allow themselves to become blinded by pride, and transfer the praise to their own wisdom, activity, and valor. But when the thing is effected by hornets, the divine agency is indubitably asserted. Accordingly, the conclusion is, that the people did not acquire the land by their own sword or bow, a conclusion repeated in the 44th Psalm, and apparently borrowed from the passage here. Lastly, after reminding them that they ate the fruits provided by other men's labors, he exhorts them to love God as his beneficence deserves.
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2 There is here a very abrupt transition from the first to the third person in the verbs "they cried" -- "he put" -- "he brought" -- "he covered," as if Joshua had ceased to deliver an actual message, and became merely a narrator. The message, however, is immediately resumed, "Your eyes have seen what I have done." The Septuagint, at the commencement of the verse, renders "ajneboh>samen," "we cried," and thereafter uses the narrative from to the end of Joshua 24:13, saying, in Joshua 24:8, "he brought," and in Joshua 24:10, "the Lord your God would not." -- Ed.
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4 One of the fables here alluded to is, that Terah was not only a worshipper but a maker of idols, and that Abraham, convinced of the absurdity of idolatrous worship, destroyed all his father's idols. After doing so he labored to convince his father of the propriety of his conduct by a series of arguments which are gravely recorded, but not having succeeded in his pious endeavors, was forced to flee, and thus became a wanderer. -- Ed.