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BOOK OF JOAHUS CHAPTER ONE

Major characters in the passage.
a. Moses
b. Joshua
c. Israelites.
2. IMPORTANT PASSAGES CORRESPOND TO TO LET THE SCRIPTURE INTERPRET SCRIPTURES
, ; ; ; ; ; ; ; . Be strong and of good courage was repeated by God again to Joshua. God has said this to him through Moses before he died.
3. SUMMARIZE YOUR PASSAGE
4. BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE PASSAGE
NASB-
COMMENTARY
I. The Invasion of Canaan (1:1–5:12)
A. The commissioning of Joshua (chap. 1)
1. joshua’s listening to the lord (1:1–9)
1:1. The words, After the death of Moses, link this book with Deuteronomy (cf. ). Before Moses’ death Joshua was designated his successor (cf. ; ; ). Joshua had been Moses’ young aide for a number of years (; ; ). Joshua was from the tribe of Ephraim (), and lived 110 years ().
Joshua may have felt a sense of loneliness, and waited expectantly near the Jordan River to hear the voice of God. He was not disappointed. When God’s servants take time to listen, He always communicates. In the present Age He usually speaks through His written Word. But in the Old Testament He spoke in dreams by night, in visions by day, through the high priest, and occasionally in an audible voice.
1:2. In whatever way God communicated with Joshua, the message came through clearly. Moses God’s servant was dead. (Interestingly Moses is called “the servant of the Lord” 3 times in [vv. 1, 13, 15; cf. ], and 13 times elsewhere in the Book of Josh. And at the end of Joshua’s life he too was called “the servant of the Lord” [].) But though Moses was dead, God’s purpose was quite alive, and Joshua was now the key figure to fulfill God’s program. His instructions were explicit. Joshua was to assume immediate command of all the people and lead them across the Jordan River into the land God was about to give to them. No one can question God’s right to give Canaan to the Israelites for He owns all the earth. As a psalmist later affirmed, “The earth is the Lord‘s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” ().
1:3–4. Though the land was God’s gift to Israel, it could be won only by hard fighting. The Lord gave them title to the territory but they had to possess it by marching on every part. The boundaries established by God and promised to Abraham () and Moses () were to extend from the wilderness on the south to the Lebanon mountain range on the north, and from the Euphrates River on the east to the Great Sea, the Mediterranean, on the west. The added expression, all the Hittite country, probably refers not to the extensive empire of that name north of Canaan but to the fact that in ancient times the whole population of Canaan or any part of it was sometimes called “Hittite” (cf. ). “Pockets” of Hittite peoples existed here and there in Canaan.
Thirty-eight years earlier Joshua had explored this good and fruitful land as 1 of the 12 spies (; there [] he is called “Hoshea,” a variant spelling of his name). The memory of its beauty and fertility had not dimmed. Now he was to lead the armies of Israel to conquer that territory.
What is the extent of these boundaries? The territory actually conquered and possessed in the time of Joshua was much less than what was promised in . Even in the time of David and Solomon, when the land reached its greatest extent, the outlying districts were only within Israel’s sphere of influence.
When will the nation of Israel fully possess the land? The prophets have declared that at the time of Christ’s return to earth He will regather the Jews and reign in the land over a converted and redeemed Israel. Full and complete possession of the land awaits that day (cf. ; ; ).
1:5. As Joshua faced the tremendous task of conquering Canaan, he needed a fresh word of encouragement. From personal observation Joshua knew that the Canaanites and others were vigorous people who lived in strongly fortified cities (cf. ). Frequent battles kept their warriors in trim fighting condition. And for the most part the land was mountainous, a fact that would make war maneuvers most difficult. But when God gives a command He often accompanies it with a promise, so He assured Joshua a lifetime of continuous victory over his enemies, based on His unfailing presence and help. The words I will never leave you (cf. ) may be rendered, “I will not drop or abandon you.” God never walks out on His promises.
1:6. Flowing from this strong affirmation that God would never let Joshua down was God’s threefold call to courage. First, Joshua was commanded to be strong and courageous (cf. vv. 7, 9, 18) because of God’s promise of the land. Strength and fortitude would be required for the strenuous military campaign just ahead, but Joshua was to keep uppermost in his mind the fact that he would succeed in causing Israel to inherit the land because it had been promised to their forefathers, that is, to Abraham (; ; ; ), Isaac (), Jacob (; ), and the entire nation, the seed of Abraham (), as an eternal possession. And Joshua now at last was to lead the children of Israel into possession of this Promised Land. What a strategic role he was to play at this crucial time in his nation’s history!
While in any given generation the fulfillment of this great and significant promise depends on Israel’s obedience to God, there can be no question that the Bible affirms her right to the land. By divine contract the title is hers even though she will not possess it totally and enjoy it fully until she is right with God.
1:7–8. Second, Joshua was again commanded to be strong and very courageous, being careful to obey all the Law of Moses. This command is based on God’s power through His Word. This is a stronger exhortation, indicating that greater strength of character would be required to obey God’s Word faithfully and fully than to win military battles! The emphasis in these verses is clearly on a written body of truth. Many critics argue that the Scriptures did not appear in written form until several centuries later but here is a clear reference to an authoritative Book of the Law.
To enjoy prosperity and be … successful in the Conquest of Canaan Joshua was to do three things with regard to the Scriptures: (a) The Law was not to depart from his mouth; he was to talk about it (cf. ); (b) He was to meditate on it day and night, to think about it (cf. ; ); (c) He was to do everything written in it, to obey its commands fully and to act by it (cf. ; ).
Joshua’s life demonstrates that in a practical way he lived according to the teachings of the Law of Moses, the only portion of the Word of God then in written form. This alone explains the victories he achieved in battle and the success that marked his entire career. In one of his farewell addresses to the nation just before he died he urged the people to live in submission to the Scriptures (). Tragically they heeded this charge for only a short time. In succeeding generations the people of Israel refused to be guided by God’s authoritative revelation, and they all did what they chose (Jud. 21:25). Rejecting an objective standard of righteousness, they chose a subjective one characterized by moral and spiritual relativism. This in turn plunged the nation into centuries of religious apostasy and moral anarchy.
1:9. The third call to courage addressed to Joshua was based on the promise of God’s presence. This did not minimize the task Joshua faced. He would encounter giants and fortified cities, but God’s presence would make all the difference.
Joshua probably had times when he felt weak, inadequate, and frightened. Perhaps he considered resigning before the Conquest even began. But God knew all about his feelings of personal weakness and fear and told Joshua three times, Be strong and courageous (vv. 6–7, 9; cf. v. 18). God also urged him not to be afraid or discouraged (cf. ; ; ). These charges with their accompanying assurances (God’s promise, God’s power, and God’s presence) were sufficient to last a lifetime. Believers in all ages can be uplifted by the same three assurances.
2. joshua’s commanding the officers (1:10–15)
The Lord had spoken to Joshua. Now Joshua was to speak to the people, which he did without delay. Joshua’s commands had a ring of certainty. The new leader had taken charge with confidence. The situation Joshua and the people faced was not easy. In fact his situation closely paralleled the dilemma Moses and the Israelites encountered at the Red Sea (). In both cases the obstacle occurred at the beginning of the leaders’ ministries. Both were impossible to overcome by natural means. Both demanded implicit trust in and absolute dependence on God’s miracle-working power.
1:10–11. Two matters demanded attention. First, provisions had to be gathered, for even though the daily manna had not yet ceased the people were to gather some of the fruit and grain from the plains of Moab for themselves and their cattle. The order to “prepare” was given by Joshua to the officers (lit., “scribes”), who like present-day adjutants or staff officers relayed their commanding officer’s orders to the people. In three days (cf. 2:22) the Conquest would begin.
1:12–15. Joshua’s second item of business was to remind the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh that though they had received their inheritance east of the Jordan, they were committed to fight with their brothers and assist in conquering the land west of Jordan (; ). The key word here is remember, and their response () shows they had not forgotten their promise and were ready to stand by it. In fact they were to serve as shock troops in leading the attack on Canaan (v. 14, cross over ahead of your brothers).
3. joshua’s receiving support from the people (1:16–18)
1:16–18. The response of the two and one-half Transjordanian tribes was enthusiastic and wholehearted. It must certainly have reflected the attitude of all the tribes at this crucial time of preparation for the invasion. What an encouragement this was to the new leader to be sure that the people were united in supporting him. Their pledge of loyalty and obedience (we will go.… we will obey you) included the solemn declaration that anyone guilty of disobedience would be executed. The tribes even encouraged Joshua to be strong and courageous! (cf. vv. 6–7, 9)
But there was one condition: they were willing to follow Joshua if he showed clear evidence that he was being led by God (v. 17). This was a wise precaution and one to be carefully followed lest Israel’s leaders turn out to be false prophets or “blind leaders of the blind.“
B. The spying out of Jericho (chap. 2)
Joshua had been 1 of the 12 spies who had explored the land (). Now as he faced westward and viewed the land God promised across the turbulent Jordan, it was natural for him to secure information necessary for a successful battle. That battle was the first in a long, difficult war.
Campbell, D. K. (1985). Joshua. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, pp. 327–330). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Commentary

1:1–18 Prologue

1:1–9 The Lord commands Joshua

1:1 Historical background. The reference to ‘the death of Moses’ (1) links the book of Joshua with Dt. 34:5 (cf. Jdg. 1:1; 2 Sa. 1:1; 2 Ki. 1:1) and signals the time for renewing the conquest. Moses is called servant of the LORD both to honour him and to legitimize his instructions to possess the land.

Moses renamed Hoshea (meaning ‘Salvation’) Joshua, which means ‘The LORD is salvation’ (Nu. 13:16). The name later became yēšûa whence the Greek Iēsous, and the English, ‘Jesus’.

Joshua’s title, Moses’ assistant (cf. 1 Sa. 3:1; 1 Ki. 19:21), recalls that Joshua had been groomed for this leadership by gift, training and experience (cf. Ex. 17:8–15; 24:12–13; Nu. 14:6–12; 27:12–23; 32:12; Dt. 1:37–38; 34:9).

1:2–9 The Lord’s command. The Lord’s speech echoes those of Moses in Deuteronomy (cf. v 2 with Dt. 10:11; v 3 with Dt. 11:23–24; v 5a with Dt. 7:24; vs 5b–7a, 9, with Dt. 31:6–8). Vs. 7b–8 recall texts in Deuteronomy which identify it as the Book of the Law and stress the importance of meditating on and obeying this law (see Dt. 5:32–33; 30:10). The promise, As I was with Moses, so I will be with you (5), recalls God’s response to Moses’ objection in Ex. 3:12. The book of Joshua picks up where the Pentateuch left off.

The commands and promises in vs 2–9 set out the covenant relationship between God and his people. On God’s side, he chose Israel to inherit the land (6). On Israel’s side, they must now by faith claim the gift (3–4). It is not so much a matter of obedience, to cross the Jordan, important as that is, as a matter of trust in God (6–7, 9). He gives them reason to trust: his promised presence with them (5, 9b). Likewise the trusting church obeys its Lord’s command to evangelize the world (Mt. 28:18–20). The command not to fear is a rule of holy war.

2–5 The first charge is to cross the Jordan. V 2 reads literally, ‘Now arise, cross …’ (i.e. ‘cross immediately, do not delay’. Christ commands the church: ‘Follow me’, and he too allows no procrastination (cf. Lk. 9:59–62). In v 4 the outmost boundaries of the land are defined, though the southern boundary is sketchy. Only during the reign of Solomon did Israel control such an area (see 13:1–7). The desert refers to the eastern desert that begins in Trans-Jordan. Lebanon is included in the promised land in Jos. 13:5.

6 The second charge is to inherit the land. Inherit recalls God’s grant of land to the patriarchs as a reward for their faithful service. Now Joshua must conquer (chs. 1–12) and distribute it (chs. 13–21).

7–9 The third charge, to be courageous and meditate on the law vs 7–8, shows that possessing the land depends on faith’s obedience to the Book of the Law. Trust and obedience kiss, not fight (cf. Rom. 1:5; 16:26; Jas. 2:14–26). Though Joshua was groomed for this war, obedience, not might, guaranteed the success of the operation. Christians under the new covenant have the two-fold advantage that Christ satisfied the law’s demands and promises (Mt. 5:17; Rom. 3:21–26) and through the Spirit has written the law upon their hearts (2 Cor. 3:3–6; Heb. 8:7–13; 10:15–18).

1:10–15 Joshua’s charge to the people

Joshua’s commands, both to the officers (10–11) and to the eastern tribes (12–15), echo Deuteronomy. Compare v 11 with e.g. Dt. 1:8; 4:1; 6:18; 8:1; 9:1, and, note that as the text itself states, Joshua’s instruction to the eastern tribes is taken almost word for word from Moses’ command (Dt 3:18–20; cf. Nu. 32).

1:10–11 Charge to the officers. The pattern of divine command followed now by Joshua’s wholehearted and careful obedience shows how a holy war should be conducted. The narrator’s concern with spiritual preparation, the real cause of victory, not with martial details, the apparent cause of success, is reflected in the lack of specificity about supplies in v 10 (covering everything needed for violent war) and the lack of detail in the command. Israel, now reckoned as an army camp, took three days (i.e. part of today, tomorrow, and part of the next day) to prepare itself for battle before breaking camp at Shittim (11; cf. Mi. 6:5). It takes time to ready oneself for battle (cf. Gal. 1:17–18). These three days prior to breaking up the camp, at the earliest 6 Nisan (April) (see 4:19), are not the same as the three days after they had left Shittim and camped at the Jordan itself (cf. 2:16, 22; 3:2).

Canaan before the conquest.

1:12–15 Charge to the eastern tribes. God promised his people rest, that is, peace from enemy attacks, after taking possession of the land (13–15). The promise of rest comes out of the covenant relationship with God (Ex. 33:12–16). The rest into which Moses and Joshua led Israel prefigures the final and perfect rest into which Jesus leads his faithful church (Heb. 4:1–11).

1:16–18 The people’s response to Joshua

The people responded with wholehearted faith and obedience (whatever … wherever), guaranteeing the continued success of the conquest. They promised to put the unfaithful to death and themselves commanded Joshua, be strong and courageous!

COMMENTARY

I. The Conquest of the Land (1–12)

A. Preparations (1–5). The explicit topic of chapter 1 is the confirmation of God’s chosen leader for the conquest of the land. The chapter also describes the character of the ideal covenant leader as illustrated in the person of Joshua.

Joshua had already been selected as Moses’ successor (Deut. 31:1–8). Israel is camped east of the Jordan River at Shittim (cf. 3:1), awaiting God’s command to enter the land. Great leadership is needed for the tremendous task before them.

God commands Joshua to assume active leadership (1:1–9). He is to lead the people across the Jordan into the land. The land will be given to Joshua in accordance with the covenant promised to Moses. The bounds of the land are described in very general terms. Toward the east and south, the cultivated land of Palestine was bordered by a belt of “wilderness” (NIV desert) of the Negeb and the Jordan Valley. This wilderness, or desert (Heb. midbār), could refer to semidesert pasturage as well as to deep, sandy desert. In the north the land extended as far as Mount Lebanon, although the phrase this Lebanon (exact translation) might indicate a white limestone range closer to the Israelite camp. Toward the northeast the land extended as far as the Euphrates. Since the term Hittites routinely occurs in the lists of people living in Canaan, “all the Hittite country” in this context is best taken as another way of describing the land of Canaan. The Mediterranean marked the western boundary. God’s presence and the resulting victory are prerequisites for possessing the land.

Finally, Joshua is challenged to perpetual faithfulness to the covenant. The preeminent duty of the ideal leader is to exemplify perfect obedience to the covenant demands of the law. He is to be “strong and courageous” (vv. 6–7), a recurrent covenant challenge. This phrase embraces such overtones as strength in conflict, firmness in resolution, and victory over enemies. The covenant law is to color the leader’s speech, fill his mind, and govern his entire life, thus producing prosperity. The ideal leader can be strong, brave, and unafraid because God is always with him. Normally, God’s presence with the leader also implies his presence with the people.

Joshua immediately obeys God’s commands (1:10–11). He orders the people to prepare to take the land promised by the covenant, though his intention to cross in three days turns out to be overly optimistic.

The Trans-Jordanian tribesmen demonstrate the proper reaction of God’s people to his chosen leader (1:12–18). Their faithfulness is all the more impressive in that they are the ones who stand to realize the least personal gain from obedience; they already have their inheritances. Their obedience demonstrates faith since their own families and goods will be vulnerable to attack while the men are away.

First, they affirm that they will obey Joshua with the same obedience they gave to Moses, the first and greatest of the theocratic leaders. Second, they wish for God’s presence with Joshua (v. 17b); this is significant since God’s presence with his people is one of the great theological themes of the book. Third, they vow to support Joshua’s leadership by imposing the death penalty on those who are disobedient. And, finally, they add their weight to the recurrent covenant challenge to “be strong and courageous” (v. 18b).

CHAPTER 1

1:1 Joshua (Je-hoshua, meaning Jehovah-Saviour) is a type of Christ, the “Captain of our salvation” (Heb. 2:10, 11). The more important points are: (1) He comes after Moses (John 1:17; Rom. 8:3, 4; 10:4, 5; Heb. 7:18, 19; Gal. 3:23–25). (2) He leads to victory (Rom. 8:37; 2 Cor. 1:10; 2:14). (3) He is our Advocate when we have suffered defeat (Josh. 7:5–9; 1 John 2:1). (4) He allots our portions (Eph. 1:11, 14; 4:8–11).

Joshua

1:1–18 Joshua 1:1–5:15 describes the Israelites’ preparations, under Joshua’s leadership, for taking possession of the land. In the first chapter, Yahweh charges Joshua to keep His law diligently (vv. 1–9). Joshua then assumes command (vv. 10–18).

The conquest of Canaan described in the book of Joshua is set sometime in the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1550–1200 BC). The Israelites under Joshua invade Canaan from the eastern side of the Jordan River from their encampment in the plains of Moab (see Num 33:48–50). The preparation and the invasion itself is mainly recounted in Josh 1–12. The allotment of the land to the various tribes of Israel is the main focus of the second half of the book (chs. 13–24).

Introduction to Joshua

The Historical Books

How to Study the Bible

1:1 the death of Moses The man under whom God delivered the Israelites from Egypt (Exod 7–14) and gave Israel the law (Exod 20; 24; compare Deut 34:1–5).

Joshua Moses’ trusted second-in-command.

Joshua

Joshua is first mentioned in the OT when Moses appoints him to command the Israelite army in the battle against the Amalekites (Exod 17:8–13). Joshua is regularly identified as Moses’ servant in the sense of an executive officer or aide-de-camp (Exod 24:13; 33:11; Num 11:28). Moses formally identifies Joshua as his successor to lead the Israelites in Num 27:18–20.

1:2 cross the Jordan The Jordan River was the eastern boundary to the promised land (except for the Transjordan regions noted in Num 32).

that I am giving to them Yahweh promised Abraham that his descendants would possess the land of Canaan (see Gen 12:1–7; compare Num 14:23; 32:11; Deut 4:1–5).

the Israelites The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel; compare Gen 32:28).

1:4 the wilderness A general term for the desert regions either south of Canaan or west of the Jordan River. Often describes the northern Sinai region south of Israel, but refers to other areas in Joshua (see Josh 8:15, 20; 12:8; 15:61; 16:1; 18:12).

the Lebanon Territory north of Israel, roughly corresponds with modern-day Lebanon.

the land of the Hittites The Hittite Empire was centered in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) but controlled territory north of Lebanon (and north/northwest of the Euphrates). However, some OT references to Hittites are most likely referring to a group of native Canaanites, descendants of Heth, son of Canaan (1 Chr 1:13), and not to the Hittite Empire (see Gen 23:10; 27:46). The Canaanite Hittites are most likely meant here (compare Deut 7:1; Ezek 16:3). See note on Josh 3:10.

great sea The Mediterranean Sea.

in the west The west (where the sun sets).

will be your territory Compare Gen 10:19; 15:16–20; Num 13:17, 21–22; 34:3–12.

1:5 will I be with you; I will not fail See Josh 1:17; compare Exod 3:12.

1:6 I swore to their ancestors See Gen 12:1–3; 15:1–6, 18; 28:13; 35:12; 48:21.

1:7 very courageous Though this encouragement does not seem to coincide with the following phrase, it is intentionally tied to Torah obedience. The phrase points to the laws delineated in Deuteronomy in Moses’ farewell sermons to the Israelites.

Do not turn aside from it, to the right or left This formulaic expression occurs many times in Deuteronomy, indicating that Yahweh is referring to the laws of that book (see Deut 2:27; 5:32; 17:11, 20; 28:14). Joshua’s primary duty is not military but spiritual. Without obedience to the law, military success will not follow. God is the one who gives such victories.

1:8 The scroll of this law Likely refers to the laws of Deuteronomy.

you will meditate on it day and night Yahweh commands Joshua specifically, not the nation. Copies of the Torah were not available to the populace; the only copy available was likely kept in the tent of meeting.

1:9 I not command you Joshua should be certain that it is Yahweh speaking to him. Having accompanied Moses in earlier divine encounters, he had heard Him before (see Exod 24:13; 33:11; Deut 31:14).

1:10 the officers of the people See note on Josh 7:6; compare Num 11:16 and note; Deut 1:15 and note; 16:18.

1:12 Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had earlier requested to settle in the Transjordan, which was outside Canaan. See Num 32.

1:14 will cross armed in front of your families In Num 32:28–32, Moses charged Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh with helping the other tribes win their land before permanently settling in the Transjordan.

1:15 beyond the Jordan Refers to the Transjordan; see note on Josh 1:12.

1:17 so will we obey you The men of the tribes in the Transjordan honor their promise to Moses by pledging their allegiance to Joshua, his successor.

Holman Concise Bible Commentary Purpose and Theology

Purpose and Theology

1. The Book of Joshua traces the victory of God’s people when they possessed the land of Canaan. The book continues the story of Israel’s pilgrimage from Egypt to the promised land, demonstrating to all nations that Yahweh is God and He alone is to be worshiped (2:11; 4:24).

2. The Book of Joshua explains that God acts as the sovereign Lord of history who fulfills His promises to His people. The Lord is depicted as Israel’s mighty warrior (5:14) who fights for His people and gives them rest from their enemies (11:20; 23:4).

3. The land is an important motif in the book. The promise of land for the patriarchs finds fulfillment in the conquering tribes who received what their fathers failed to enjoy (1:6; 11:23; 21:43–44). The importance of this theme is indicated by the detailed distribution of the land (13:1–21:45).

4. However, God grants His blessing only to a holy and obedient people (3:5; 4:10). Because the Lord is holy (5:15), He punishes the sin of His people (23:15–16) and restores them only upon their repentance (7:11–13).

5. The word of God given through Moses was the standard by which both God’s faithfulness and Israel’s fidelity were measured. God keeps His promises (21:45; 23:9). The people were to be careful to live according to the law of Moses (1:7, 16–17).

6. The Lord accomplishes His purposes for Israel through a chosen leader. Joshua followed in the footsteps of Moses as God’s ordained spokesperson (1:5; 4:14).

7. The book also has a message of hope for later generations of the Hebrew people who had lost the land through dispersion or captivity. Future generations of God’s people could take hope that since God had achieved this victory for ancient Israel, He could do it again for them.

8. God’s people will enter into a final rest through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Heb. 4:6–11).

CLAIMING THE LAND (1:1–5:15)

The opening section shows how God enabled Israel to enter the land. The commander was chosen and the land surveyed (2:1–24). The people crossed the Jordan with the help of the Lord, which was memorialized for future generations. Once in the land, the people renewed their commitment to the Lord and worshiped in celebration.

Joshua’s Commission (1:1–18). The Lord commissioned Joshua as Moses’ successor (see Num. 27:18; Deut. 34:9) to lead Israel into the promised land. God instructed Joshua to be obedient to the law of Moses and to be courageous so that he might succeed.

Joshua commanded the officers of the camp to prepare the people for crossing the Jordan. He reminded the Transjordan tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh that they had committed themselves under Moses (see Num. 32) to cross and help their brothers.

The people agreed and echoed the exhortation of God to Joshua, “Only be strong and courageous!”

THE BOKE OF JOSHUA
the argument
IN this boke the holy Gost setteth moste lively before our eyes the accomplishement of Gods promes, who as he promised by the mouthe of Moses, that a Prophet shulde be raised up unto the people like unto him, whome he willeth to obey, : so he sheweth him selfe here true in his promes, as at all other times, and after the deathe of Moses his faithful servant, he raiseth up Joshúa to be ruler and governour over his people, that nether they shulde be discouraged for lacke of a captaine, nor have occasion to distrust Gods promises hereafter. And because that Joshúa might be confirmed in his vocation, and the people also might have none occasion to grudge, as thogh he were not approved of God: he is adorned with moste excellent giftes and graces of God, bothe to governe the people with counsel, and to defend them with strength, that he lacked nothing which ether belonged to a valiant captaine or a faithful minister. So he overcometh all difficulties and bringeth them in to the land of Canáan: the which according to Gods ordinance he devideth among the people & appointeth their borders: he establisheth lawes and ordinances, and putteth them in remembrāce of Gods manifolde benefites, assuring them of his grace and favour, if they obey God, and contrariewise of his plagues and vengeance, if they disobey him. This historie doeth represent Jesus Christ the true Joshúa, who leadeth us into eternal felicitie, which is signified unto us by this land of Canáan. From the beginning of the Genesis to the end of this boke are conteined 2597 yeres. For from Adám unto the flood are 1656. from the flood unto the departure of Abrahám out of Caldea, 363. and from thence to the death of Joseph 290. So that the Genesis conteineth 2390. Exodus 140. the other thre bokes of Moses 40. Joshúa 27. So the whole maketh 2597 yeres.
CHAPTER 1
Verse 1
a. The beginning of this boke dependeth on the last chap. of Deut, which was writen by Joshúa as a preparaciō to his historie.
Verse 3
* Chap. 14:9.
Verse 4
* .
b. Of Zin, called Kadésh & Paran.
Or. Eupbrates.
c. Meaning the whole land of Canáan.
d. Called, Mediterraneum.
Verse 5
* Ebr. 13:5.
Verse 7
Or, growe stronger & stronger.
* .
e. He sheweth wherein consisteth true prosperitie, even to obey the worde of God.
Verse 8
f. Shewīg that it was not possible to governe wel without cōtinual studie of Gods worde.
Or, governe wisely.
Verse 11
g. Meaning frō the day yt this was proclaimed.
Verse 13
* Nomb. 32:20.
h. Which belonged to Sihón the King of the Amorites, & Og Kīg of Bashan.
Verse 14
Or, beyonde Jorden, frō Jericho.
Verse 15
i. By your request, but yet by Gods secret appointemēt, .
Verse 17
k. They do not onely promise to obey him so lōg as God is wt him. but to helpe to punish all that rebelle against him.
Geneva Bible: Notes. (1560). (Vol. 1, pp. 96–97). Geneva: Rovland Hall.

COMMENTARY ON

Joshua

I. Israel’s Entrance into Canaan (1:1–6:27)

A. God’s Commission; Joshua’s Acceptance (1:1–18)

1. God’s promise to Joshua (1:1–5)

NOTES

1:1 After the death of Moses. The opening of the book of Joshua ties it firmly to the account of Moses’s death at the end of Deuteronomy (Deut 34), which it follows. Moses, who had led Israel out of Egypt and throughout the years in the wilderness, had died on Mount Nebo east of the Jordan. Now it was time to cross the Jordan and enter Canaan. The first order of business was to confirm Joshua as Moses’s successor.

1:2 Moses my servant is dead. This first short sentence is laden with finality: Moses was gone; he had fulfilled the tasks God had assigned to him; Israel had grieved for him the customary and respectful 30 days; Moses would not be back. Therefore, it was time for Joshua and Israel to rise up from their grief and enter into the land God was giving them. Even unconditional gifts must be received; Israel could receive the land only by going into it.

1:3 I promise you what I promised Moses. God took pains throughout this charge to assure Joshua that Moses’s death would not end God’s presence with Israel, nor God’s guidance of Israel’s leaders.

1:4 the Negev wilderness in the south. This is the area around Beersheba, stretching westward toward the Mediterranean and eastward toward the Dead Sea. “Negev” is not in the Hebrew text, but is a legitimate inference here, because the Negev was the southernmost region of settlement proper for ancient Israel. See also “The Negev” under “The Central Hill Country” in the Introduction.

Lebanon mountains. The northernmost of Israel’s tribes settled southern portions of these mountains, becoming neighbors of the Phoenicians. Joshua did not lead Israel as far as the Euphrates River, but later David and Solomon ruled some of the kings of those regions in a suzerain-vassal relationship.

1:5 No one will … stand against you.… I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. This is a fantastic set of promises, and Joshua and Israel needed them. Moses, their father figure, was gone. They had very little confidence without him, either in themselves, or in God’s steadfastness now that the one who had talked with God face-to-face was no longer present to talk with God for them. The modern Christian believer must understand and act on these promises in the light of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling. God promises to be with us, never to fail us or abandon us.

Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: Joshua, Judges & Ruth 2. God’s Command to Joshua to Heed the Torah (1:6–9)

2. God’s command to Joshua to heed the Torah (1:6–9)

NOTES

1:6 Be strong and courageous. Three times in this short paragraph (also 1:7, 9), God repeats this specific instruction to Joshua. Joshua had been Moses’s assistant for nearly 40 years, and now he was in charge. His need for encouragement is understandable.

you. This is a subject pronoun, not required in the grammar of the Hebrew text at this point; it is there for emphasis. God was saying, “You, Joshua—you, and no one else—will do this.” This is both instruction and reassurance.

all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. This is God’s reminder to Joshua of his ancient promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Gen 17:8; 26:3; 28:13). Joshua now would become God’s agent in its fulfillment. A God who remembers his promises over the centuries is a God to be trusted.

1:7 Be strong and very courageous. God’s command is repeated with even greater emphasis. But now God’s instruction takes an unexpected turn. God had been talking about taking possession of the land of Canaan. Strength and boldness certainly were necessary for this enterprise. The Canaanites outnumbered Israel, and Israel had relatively little experience in battle, none in conducting sieges against fortified cities.

1:8 Book of Instruction. Heb., torah [8451, 9368], which is better translated as “instruction” than “law” (as in many English versions). Certainly, the foundations of Israel’s law codes are included, but it is much more than that. God’s nature and character are revealed in God’s Torah, coupled with God’s unveiling of himself to those who desire to have an intimate relationship with him.

Meditate on it day and night. Joshua was to think and speak of God’s instruction, discuss and ponder it, study and learn it continually. He was not to let time go by without occupying his mind and heart with the word of God as given to Moses. Such careful attention to God’s written word is a good model to follow.

1:9 be strong and courageous! This is the climax of God’s speech of instruction and encouragement to Joshua. Repetition in a biblical passage marks the importance of what is repeated; this is the third time in four verses God tells Joshua, “Be strong and courageous.” God’s people can easily allow fear and discouragement to undercut strength and courage, so God warned Joshua to keep those emotions in hand, and not let them rule him. God’s continuous presence, promised here at the conclusion of God’s speech, gave Joshua the confidence to follow God’s instruction. The modern believer, too, has the promise of God’s continuous presence, and so may go in strength and courage.

Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: Joshua, Judges & Ruth 3. Joshua’s Charge to Israel; Israel’s Charge to Joshua (1:10–18)

3. Joshua’s charge to Israel; Israel’s charge to Joshua (1:10–18)

NOTES

1:11 In three days. God had been ready to bring the parents of these Israelites into the Promised Land from the south about 38 years earlier, but they had refused because of fear and unbelief (Num 13–14). Now, at last, their children would enter from the east, across the Jordan River.

1:12 Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. These tribes had asked and received from Moses the land on the east side of the Jordan, which Israel had taken from the two defeated Amorite kings, Sihon and Og (Num 32:33).

1:13 rest. This is not only the physical, material rest of a secure, abundant land in which to live, as important as that is; God’s intended rest for the people of Israel included the spiritual, cultural, psychological, and emotional rest of a right relationship with God and with God’s people. This is a significant theme in Joshua (e.g., 1:15; 21:44; 22:4; 23:1), and indeed throughout the Bible.

this land. Since Israel still was on the east side of the Jordan, all the tribes were at that time within the territory of the two and a half tribes to whom Moses had given it.

1:15 rest. See note on 1:13.

JOSHUA

1:1–9 THE LORD COMMISSIONS JOSHUA

OVERVIEW: The Lord Jesus assumed power after the death of the law, which is prefigured by Joshua’s succession of Moses (ORIGEN). Joshua’s greatness resulted from his continual union with Moses (AMBROSE). Since Moses changed his name from Hoshea to “Jesus” (Joshua), he prefigured Christ by victoriously leading the Israelites into the promised land (LACTANTIUS, CHRYSOSTOM) and by ushering in the new law (LACTANTIUS).

Joshua was renowned, foremost, for his generalship in possessing and dividing the inheritance (GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS). Representing vices to be conquered, the land’s pagan inhabitants must be removed in order to receive the fullness of the promised inheritance. By moving from the letter of the law to its spirit, which facilitates a mystical understanding of history, the journey to one’s lofty inheritance is made (ORIGEN).

God’s promise to never forsake or abandon should be relied upon—not money (AUGUSTINE). It also ensures that those who strive to draw near to God by subduing the passions will find the Lord’s yoke easy (CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA). God’s promise dispels the fear of just punishment for sins yet explains the presence of terrors and trials in this life (CHRYSOSTOM). God’s presence offers protection from the enticements of the wicked (CASSIODORUS).

Being valiant brings deliverance (PACHOMIUS). Whether rich or poor, one should mind his own business and meditate on the oracles of God (APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS). We must be zealous in learning sacred literature and in praying for it to be unveiled to us (ORIGEN). While the remembrance of God should be continual, limits are necessary for the discussion and discipline of theology (GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS).

1:1–2 The Lord Calls Joshua

THE DEATH OF THE LAW. ORIGEN: The book does not so much indicate to us the deeds of the son of Nun as it represents for us the mysteries of Jesus my Lord. For he himself is the one who assumes power after the death of Moses; he is the one who leads the army and fights against Amalek. What was foreshadowed there on the mountain by lifted hands was the time when “he attaches [them] to his cross, triumphing over the principalities and powers on it.”2

Thus Moses is dead; for the law has ceased, because “the law and the prophets extend only up to John.” Do you want me to bring forth proofs from the Scriptures that the law is called Moses? Hear what he says in the Gospel: “They have Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them.”4 Here, without any doubt, he calls the law Moses.

Therefore “Moses, the servant of God, is dead”; for the law is dead, and the legal precepts are now invalid. HOMILIES ON JOSHUA 1.3.

MOSES’ CONSTANT COMPANION. AMBROSE: Joshua the son of Nun became so great, because his union with Moses was the means not only of instructing him in a knowledge of the law but also of sanctifying him to receive grace. When in his tabernacle the majesty of the Lord was seen to shine forth in its divine Presence, Joshua alone was in the tabernacle. When Moses spoke with God, Joshua too was covered by the sacred cloud. The priests and people stood below, and Joshua and Moses went up the mount to receive the law. All the people were within the camp; Joshua was without the camp in the tabernacle of witness. When the pillar of a cloud came down and God spoke with Moses, Joshua stood as a trusty servant beside him. He, a young man, did not go out of the tabernacle, though the old men who stood far off trembled at these divine wonders. DUTIES OF THE CLERGY 2.20.98.

THE SUCCESSOR TO MOSES. LACTANTIUS: For the prophet does not speak this way: “And the Lord said to me,” but to Jesus [Joshua], in order to show that he was not speaking of himself but of Christ to whom God was then speaking. For that Jesus [Joshua] was a figure of Christ. Although he was first called Hoshea, Moses, foreseeing the future, ordered him to be called Joshua (or Jesus), so that, since he was selected leader of the soldiery against Amalek who was attacking the children of Israel, he might overcome the adversary through the figure of his name and lead the people into the land of promise.10 And for this reason also he succeeded Moses, to show that the new law given through Jesus Christ would succeed the old law which was given through Moses. EPITOME OF THE DIVINE INSTITUTES 4.17.

JOSHUA AS TYPE OF CHRIST. CHRYSOSTOM: The name of Jesus [Joshua] was a type. For this reason then, and because of the very name, the creation reverenced him. What then! Was no other person called Jesus [Joshua]? But this man was on this account so called as a type; for he used to be called Hoshea. Therefore the name was changed: for it was a prediction and a prophecy. He brought in the people into the promised land, as Jesus into heaven; not the law; since neither did Moses [enter the promised land] but remained outside. The law has not power to bring in, but grace. HOMILIES ON HEBREWS 27.6.

1:3–4 The Promise of Land

THE CONTRIBUTION OF JOSHUA. GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS: What is the special excellence of Joshua? His generalship, and the distribution of the inheritance, and the taking possession of the Holy Land. ON BASIL THE GREAT, ORATION 43.72.

ON CONQUERING VICES. ORIGEN: But let us consider what is promised to us in these words.

There are certain diabolical races of powerful adversaries against whom we wage a battle and against whom we struggle in this life. However many of these races we set under our feet, however many we conquer in battle, we shall seize their territories, their provinces and their realms, as Jesus our Lord apportions them to us. For they were once angels; they were glorified in the kingdom of God. Or do we not read that Isaiah says of one of them, “How did Lucifer fall, the one who rose in the morning?” That Lucifer, without a doubt, had a throne in the heavens until he became a fugitive angel. If I should conquer him and set him under my feet, if I should deserve that the Lord Jesus “crush Satan under my feet,”15 I shall be ready as a consequence to receive the place of Lucifer in heaven.

Thus we understand the promise to us from our Lord Jesus that “every place we set the soles of our feet” will be ours. But let us not imagine that we may be able to enter into this inheritance yawning and drowsy, through ease and negligence. The wrath of his own race possesses the angel [Lucifer]. Unless you vanquish this [wrath] in yourself and cut off all violent impulses of anger and rage, you will not be able to claim as an inheritance the place that angel once had. For you will not expel him from the land of promise by your slothfulness. In like manner, some angels incite pride, jealousy, greed and lust and instigate these evil things. Unless you gain the mastery over their vices in yourself and exterminate them from your land—which now through the grace of baptism has been sanctified—you will not receive the fullness of the promised inheritance. HOMILIES ON JOSHUA 1.6.

THE JOURNEY TO INHERITANCE. ORIGEN: What are the places we ascend with the soles of our feet? The letter of the law is placed on the ground and lies down below. On no occasion, then, does the one who follows the letter of the law ascend. But if you are able to rise from the letter to the spirit and also ascend from history to a higher understanding, then truly you have ascended the lofty and high place that you will receive from God as your inheritance. For if in these things that are written you perceive types and observe figures of heavenly things, and with reflection and intuitive feeling “you seek those things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God,” then you will receive this place as your inheritance. For our Lord and Savior says, “Where I am, there also will be my servant.”19

If therefore you have arrived all the way to Christ, who sits at the right hand of God, by your faith, life, purity and virtue, and by those “soles of your feet” that Jesus washed, you have approached that place. God will give it to you. Then not only “will you be made heirs of God” but also “co-heirs with Christ.”21 HOMILIES ON JOSHUA 2.3.

1:5 I Will Not Forsake You

GOD WILL PROVIDE. AUGUSTINE: Pay attention to what comes next: “Without love, a measure of money is sufficient for present needs,” because he himself said, “ ‘I will not forsake you, I will not desert you.’24 You were afraid of I don’t know what evils, for that reason you were saving up money; count me as your guarantor.” That’s what God says to you. It isn’t a man, not your equal or you yourself, but God who says to you, “I will not forsake you, I will not desert you.” If a man made such a promise, you would trust him; God makes it, and you hesitate? He made the promise, put it in writing, made out the bond; you needn’t worry at all. Read what you’ve got in your hand, you’re holding God’s bond; as your debtor you hold the one whom you have asked to cancel your debts. SERMON 177.11.

SELF-DISCIPLINE. CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA: We must join in disciplining ourselves to beware of all that is subject to the passions. We must, like true philosophers, escape from any foods that arouse sexual desire, from a dissolute relaxation in bed, from luxury and all the passions that make for luxury. We realize that others find this a grievous struggle. It is no longer so for us, since self-discipline is God’s greatest gift. “He has said, ‘I will never forsake you or abandon you,’ ” who has judged you worthy by a decision that is wholly genuine. In this way, as we carefully strive to go to him, the Lord’s “easy yoke” will receive us. STROMATEIS 2.20.126.

FEAR NOT. CHRYSOSTOM: Nevertheless, I say, fear not. Paul comforts you saying, “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able, but will with the temptation also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” He indeed himself has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” For had he resolved to punish us in deed and in actual endurance, he would not have given us over to terror during so many days. For when he would not punish, he frightens; since if he were intending to punish, fear would be superfluous, and threatening superfluous. But now, we have sustained a life more grievous than countless deaths; fearing and trembling during so many days, and being suspicious of our very shadows; and paying the punishment of Cain;29 and in the midst of our sleep, starting up, through constant agony of mind. So that if we have kindled God’s wrath, we have appeased him in the endurance of such a punishment. For if we have not paid the satisfaction due to our sins, yet it has been enough to satisfy the mercy of God. HOMILIES CONCERNING THE STATUES 6.3.

GOD’S PRESENCE. CASSIODORUS: The fifth kindness follows, which is bestowed with true certainty on every really staunch Catholic. He means: “Even if I were to walk among heretics and schismatics” (they are rightly called the shadow of death since they have the form of death as they lead us to hell) “I will not fear their foul enticements, for you defend me with the protection of your presence.” In the prophet’s words: I will not leave you or forsake you; for in this world the church walks among the wicked, until he who separates the good from the evil shall come on judgment day. EXPOSITION OF THE PSALMS 22.4.

1:6–9 Be Strong and Courageous

BE VALIANT. PACHOMIUS: Still, toss all pride far from your side, and be valiant. Look: when Joshua [son] of Nun was valiant, God delivered his enemies into his hands. If you are fainthearted, you become a stranger to the law of God. Faintheartedness fills you with pretexts for laziness, mistrust and negligence, until you are destroyed. INSTRUCTIONS 21.

CONTEMPLATE SCRIPTURE. APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONS: You should not be like a wanderer, rambling about the streets, without just cause, to spy out those who live wickedly. But by minding your own trade and employment, endeavor to do what is acceptable to God. And keeping in mind the oracles of Christ, meditate in the same continually. For so the Scripture says to you: “You shall meditate in his law day and night; when you walk in the field, and when you sit in your house, and when you lie down, and when you rise up, that you may have understanding in all things.” No, although you are rich and so do not want a trade for your maintenance, don’t be one that wonders and walks around at random; but either go to some that are believers, and of the same religion, and confer and discourse with them about the lively oracles of God. Or if you stay at home, read the books of the Law, of the Kings, with the Prophets; sing the hymns of David; and peruse diligently the gospel, which is the completion of the other. CONSTITUTIONS OF THE HOLY APOSTLES 1.2.4–5.

PRAYERFUL MEDITATION. ORIGEN: I fear, however, lest by too much negligence and dullness of heart the divine volumes be not only veiled to us but also sealed, so that “if a book should be put into the hands of a man who cannot read, he would say, ‘I cannot read’; if it should be put into the hands of a man who can read, he would say, ‘It is sealed.’ ” Whence it is shown that we must not only employ zeal to learn the sacred literature, but we must also pray to the Lord and entreat “day and night”36 that the lamb “of the tribe of Judah” may come and himself taking “the sealed book” may deign to open it. HOMILIES ON EXODUS 12.4.

LIMITS FOR THEOLOGY. GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS: What aspects of theology should be investigated, and to what limit? Only aspects within our grasp, and only to the limit of the experience and capacity of our audience. Just as excess of sound or food injures the hearing or general health, or, if you prefer, as loads that are too heavy injure those who carry them, or as excessive rain harms the soil, we too must guard against the danger that the toughness, so to speak, of our discourses may so oppress and overtax our hearers as actually to impair the powers they had before.

Yet I am not maintaining that we ought not to be mindful of God at all times. My adversaries, ever ready and quick to attack, need not pounce on me again. It is more important that we should remember God than that we should breathe: indeed, if one may say so, we should do nothing else besides. I am one of those who approve the precept that commands us to “meditate day and night,” to tell of the Lord “evening, and morning, and at noon,”40 and to “bless the Lord at all times,” or in the words of Moses, “when we lie down, when we rise up, when we walk by the way,”42 or when we do anything else whatever, and by this mindfulness be molded to purity. So it is not continual remembrance of God I seek to discourage, but continual discussion of theology. I am not opposed either to theology, as if it were a breach of piety, but only to its untimely practice, nor to instruction in theology, except when this goes to excess. Fullness and surfeit even of honey, for all its goodness, produces vomiting; and “to everything there is a season,”44 as Solomon said I think, and “what’s well is not well if the hour be ill.” A flower is completely out of season in winter, a man’s clothing is out of place on a woman, a woman’s on a man. Immoderate laughter is unseemly during mourning, as are tears at a drinking party. Are we then to neglect “the due season” only in the discussion of theology, where observing the proper time is of such supreme importance? THEOLOGICAL ORATIONS 1 (27).3–4.

1:10–18 JOSHUA COMMANDS THE TRIBES

OVERVIEW: As Joshua commands the people to prepare food for the three-day journey to enter the land they are to possess, the mystery of the Trinity and the sacrament of baptism are signified. To follow the Lord into the promised land, the food of good works is needed for the journey (CAESARIUS OF ARLES). The inheritances determined through Moses and Joshua represent two groups: those who are firstborn according to nature and those who receive the blessing through grace. Strong men, who signify defenders of the truth, go out into the battle, while the infants and women, who signify those who are silent and weak, offer us no aid in the fight (ORIGEN).

1:10–11 Joshua Commands the Officers

THE MYSTERY OF THE TRINITY. CAESARIUS OF ARLES: At the death of Moses, Joshua received the rule; and when the law ended, our true Lord Jesus obtained the rule of the whole world. Therefore, Joshua who typified the Lord said to the people when he came to the Jordan: “Prepare your provisions until the third day.” The third day, dearly beloved, we recognize as the mystery of the Trinity. What food should we prepare so that we may come to the third day? It seems to me that this food should be understood as faith; for Christians it is by faith that they believe in the Trinity and arrive at the sacrament of baptism. Therefore, what Joshua then told his people, the true Joshua or Jesus now tells the Christian people through his ministers. Indeed, what else does this mean: “Prepare your provisions until the third day,” except to receive the mystery of the Trinity? After this the Jordan was crossed just as if the mystery of baptism were completed, and the people of Israel entered the promised land. It is true, brothers; unless a person crosses through the sacrament of baptism, he will not see the land of true promise, that is, eternal beatitude. SERMON 115.1.

THE FOOD OF GOOD WORKS. CAESARIUS OF ARLES: For this reason Joshua said to the people, “Prepare your provisions for the journey.” Today, if you willingly listen, Christ our Lord says to you, “If you will follow me, prepare food for the journey.” This food is good works which accompany us like faithful food for the journey to future bliss. Therefore, consider, brothers, that if each one does not prepare food for himself, he cannot follow Joshua when he enters the land of promise. SERMON 116.2.

1:12–15 A Reminder of Moses’ Words

INHERITANCE OF THE FIRSTBORN. ORIGEN: Let us look closely at what sign those two and a half tribes hold who receive the land of inheritance through Moses, and what sign the remainder of the nine and a half tribes hold who receive the promise of the holy land through Jesus [Joshua].

First of all, I think it is impossible for it to have happened accidentally that those who receive a portion through Moses were all firstborn. For Reuben was the firstborn of Leah; Gad, the firstborn of Zilpah;4 and Manasseh, the firstborn of Asenath the Egyptian whom Joseph married, the daughter of Potiphar the priest of Heliopolis. For myself, I can never be persuaded that it was by chance that the firstborn were the only ones whose inheritance was determined through Moses. Rather, I believe that in these things the design of two groups of people was already foreshadowed at that time: One would seem to be the firstborn according to the order of nature; the other, the people who would receive the blessing of their inheritance through faith and grace. HOMILIES ON JOSHUA 3.1.

ASSISTANCE IN THE BATTLE. ORIGEN: Rest is not given first to those who through Moses receive the inheritance—that is, those who pleased God through the law—unless they assist their brothers in the battles. Only women and infants receive rest through Moses. The others do not rest but go out to the aid of their brothers.…

Thus those who are strong men, their loins armed and girded with truth, go forth to our aid and fight with us. But “infants and women” do not go out to our battle. This is not an astonishing thing, for an infant is said to be one who does not speak. How is a person able to assist me who has spoken nothing, the one of whom I discover nothing that I may read, the one who does not instruct me by a word? But the apostle says that a woman is a “weak vessel.” Suitably, therefore, a weak vessel does not come to the conflict lest it be broken in pieces and destroyed. For concerning our Lord Jesus, it is also said in the Gospels that “he did not break a bruised reed.”8 HOMILIES ON JOSHUA 3.1.

Theological Principles Communicated in the Passage
1. Courage in Facing Enemies
2. Basis of Assurance
3.Sufficiency of the Scripture
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