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Bible Commentaries
Joshua 8

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-35

Joshua 8:4 . Ye shall lie in wait: la ruse du guerre. The craft of war is lawful, if war itself be lawful; and experience is often of more avail than strength.

Joshua 8:25 . Twelve thousand. Here is proof of the truth of the report of the twelve spies, who said, “The people are more numerous than we.” The country was full of towns, and the towns full of people. The walls of the towns had greatly preserved them in their wars with one another.

Joshua 8:32 . He wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law; that is, the blessings and curses of the law; which in future years were annually read by the levites with much pomp. See on Deuteronomy 27:0.


The camp being purified of Achan’s sin, “we see God,” says a late author, “ready to return to his people when they put away their sin. When that is removed, God returns graciously; he is disposed to renew the friendship and union, and then also we may expect to receive direction, encouragement, and assistance from him. This is encouraging to all who forsake their sins, and cultivate that godly sorrow for sin which worketh repentance that never needs to be repented of. The language of his grace under the law and gospel too is, Return unto me, and I will return unto thee.

We learn that amidst the greatest hurry of business, and the most agreeable scenes of life, the worship of God must not be neglected. Joshua and the people had great work before them; their enemies were intimidated, and we may be ready to think they should now have pushed forward. But they must take time to observe God’s laws; pay their thanks to him for what is past, and seek further success. Amidst all the joy the victory occasioned, God was to be revered, and his blessings and curses pronounced, read and regarded. The more we are hurried with the affairs of this life, the more need we have to call off our thoughts, by renewing our dedication to God, recognizing our solemn covenant, and attending to the words of his law. The more pleasant our circumstances are, and the greater prosperity we meet with, the more peculiar reason have we to acknowledge God, lest prosperity should prove a snare. Persons of every rank, sex, and station, should join in worshipping God, and attending on the instructions of his word. The elders, officers, and judges of Israel, were all to come to hear the word of God’s law, and attend to the sacrifices. The poor stranger also is to join himself to the Lord. The women and children were to attend these sacrifices and religious instructions. The greatest of men are not to think themselves above religious duties, not for their own sakes only, but that their example may influence others, and engage them to the service of God. Heads of families should bring their wives and little ones to public ordinances, and make it their resolution that they and their household shall serve the Lord. Remember that religion is the concern of every man; that fearing God, and keeping his commandments, is the way to all prosperity in both worlds.”

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 8". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/joshua-8.html. 1835.
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