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Bible Commentaries

Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books

Joshua 23

Verses 1-16

As Joshua neared the end of his life, he called for all the leaders of the people to meet with him. He reminded them that it was God who fought for them in the conquest of the land. How else could the walls of Jericho fall down and the sun stand still? The parts of the land remaining to be conquered were their's for the taking because God would drive the people out.

Joshua did place a burden of responsibility upon the people of Israel as well. First, they had to keep the law of Moses. Second, stay free from the idols and people of the nations around them. Third, they should remain loyal in their service to and love of the one true God ( Deu_6:5 ). As long as they did these things, God would cause one Israelite to be able to chase a thousand of their enemies. He warned the leaders that failure to follow God would result in him turning from them just as surely as he had fought for them. They would perish like the wicked people they had driven out of the land with God's help ( Jos_23:1-16 ).

Then, Joshua called for all the people to come with their leaders to Shechem to present themselves before God. Since the expression, "before God" indicates before the ark of the covenant, it must be assumed the tabernacle, or at least the ark, was moved for this solemn renewal of Israel's commitment to God. Shechem was the place Abraham first received the promise of the land ( Gen_12:6-7 ), Jacob set up his tent upon his return from Laban ( Gen_33:18-20 ) and apparently Jacob called for his family to cleanse itself from false gods ( Gen_35:1-4 ).

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Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Joshua 23". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghc/joshua-23.html. 2014.