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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Joshua 1

 

 

Verse 1

Joshua 1:1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,

The Book of Joshua] Who was a book man as well as a sword man: (a) and might well give for his motto, Ex utroque Caesar. Julius Caesar wrote his own acts; witness his learned Commentaries - for so he called them, in modesty, rather than histories; and the like did his successors, Augustus Caesar, in four books, and Adrian the Emperor, with great diligence. That Joshua himself was penman of this book, or of most part of it, is probably gathered from Joshua 24:26, and that he wrote also the end of Deuteronomy - viz., from the death of his master Moses - may be gathered from the copulative and, wherewith this book beginneth - And it came to pass, &c.; so the original hath it. See the like in 1:1, Ruth 1:1, 1 Samuel 1:1, 2 Samuel 1:1, &c. Indeed, the whole law - so the whole Scripture - is but one copulative, say the schoolmen; and "God spake by the mouth" - not mouths - "of his holy prophets which have been since the world began." [Luke 1:1-4] Joshua is here set forth both as a pattern to princes - far beyond Xenophon’s Cyrus or Machiavel’s Borgia - and as a type of Christ, the great Conqueror. [Revelation 6:2] He had his name changed, when he was sent as a spy into Canaan, [Numbers 13:16] from Oshea to Joshua; from Let God save, to God shall save. Under the Law, which bringeth us as it were into a wilderness, we may desire and pray that there were a Saviour: but under the Gospel we are sure of salvation; and that our Jehoshua hath bound himself to fulfil all righteousness, and to land us safe at the key of Canaan, at the kingdom of heaven.

Ver. 1. Now after the death of Moses.]

Sic uno avulso non deficit alter Aureus. ” - Virgil.

The Church shall never want a champion of Christ’s own providing; but Moses shall revive in Joshua, and there shall be a succession of godly governors, till the headstone be laid with, "Grace, grace unto it." [Zechariah 4:7]

That the Lord spake unto Joshua.] Not immediately, as to Moses, but some other way, [Numbers 12:7-8] probably by Urim and Thummin, as in Numbers 27:18; Numbers 27:21. Not so to Saul [1 Samuel 28:6] - for the high priest Abiathar was fled from him to David, with an ephod in his hand. [1 Samuel 23:6] Similarily, Christ answered nothing to Herod, [Luke 23:9] who had cut off the head of the Baptist, that was vox clamantis, the voice whereby he had cried.


Verse 2

Joshua 1:2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, [even] to the children of Israel.

Ver. 2. Moses my servant.] My menial servant, faithful in all my house. This was a higher title than that of king in Jeshurun. [Deuteronomy 33:5] {See Trapp on "Psalms 36:1"}

Now therefore arise, go.] Up, and act vigorously: surge, age, summe Pater, said Mantuan to the Bishop of Rome, stirring him up to withstand the Turk.

Go over this Jordan.] A famous river rising from a double fountain, Jor and Dan, say some, (a) and falling into the Dead Sea, with which it mingleth. Whereas some rivers will not do so: as the Danube and Sava in Hungary, whose waters meeting mingle no more than water and oil, as an eye-witness affirmeth: so the river Dee, in Merionethshire in Wales, running through Pimblemeer remaineth entire, and mingleth not her streams with the waters of the lake. (b)


Verse 3

Joshua 1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

Ver. 3. Every place that the sale, &c.] I, who am the true proprietary and lord paramount, [Psalms 24:1] do give you this land, but yet you must fight for it: and so must the saints for the heavenly Canaan.

Nunquam bella bonis, nunquam diserimina desunt.


Verse 4

Joshua 1:4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.

Ver. 4. From the wilderness.] Here we have the topography of the promised land, as it hath the wilderness of Arabia on the south, Mount Lebanon on the north, the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and Euphrates on the east.

All the land of the Hittites.] Those sturdiest of all the Canaanites.


Verse 5

Joshua 1:5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, [so] I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Ver. 5. I will not fail thee.] This promise is five times, at least, found in Scriptures, and in Hebrews 13:6, applied to all true believers. As for others, let them read that terrible text, Ezekiel 22:20; Ezekiel 29:5; - "I will gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there." Lord, "leave us not," saith the Church, [Jeremiah 14:9] and, "Let him not leave us, nor forsake us," saith Solomon in his prayer. [1 Kings 8:57] The promises must be sued out. {See Trapp on "Hebrews 13:6"}


Verse 6

Joshua 1:6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.

Ver. 6. Be strong and of a good courage.] This is often charged upon Joshua, though he were very valiant, and of the best mettle; because he was sure to be put to it. (a) Stand fast, for ye shall be shaken, said that prophetic Simeon in the ecclesiastical history, to the pillars which he whipped before the earthquake.

Si tamen horteris, fortior ibit equus. ” - Ovid.


Verse 7

Joshua 1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it [to] the right hand or [to] the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

Ver. 7. Only be thou strong.] {See Trapp on "Joshua 1:6"}

That thou mayest observe to do.] Heb., To observe in doing; (a) as minding the manner, which either maketh or marreth any action.

According to all the law.] Integrity is the best ground of fortitude. "The spirit of power and of a sound mind," are fitly joined together by the apostle. [2 Timothy 1:7] A rotten rag hath no strength; a corrupt conscience no true courage. See Proverbs 28:1.

That thou mayest prosper.] Or, Do wisely; (b) for a good man ordereth his affairs with discretion, [Psalms 112:5] and speedeth accordingly for most part. Gaius’s prosperity he is sure of. The prudent person cannot be unprosperous. Of Cato, Censorius Paterculus saith, (c) that being homo virtuti simillimus semper fortunam in sua potestate habuit, a very virtuous man, he had what fortune soever he pleased. Scipio Africanus was wont before day to go into the capitol in cellam Iovis, and there to stay a great while, as it were to consult with Jupiter, concerning the government of the commonwealth: whence his deeds were plaeraque admiranda, saith Gellius, most of them very admirable and successful. (d)


Verse 8

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Ver. 8. This book of the law shall not depart.] Lex sola omnis sapientiae fons est. The Scripture is the only fountain of all wisdom, saith Luther: (a) who in the same place affirmeth, that he hated his own writings, and wished they were all burnt, because he feared that the reading of them kept men from reading the Bible, that book of books, in comparison whereof all other books are but as waste paper. Charles V, emperor, liked to read three books especially, - Polybius’s history, Machiavel’s Prince, and Castalian’s Courtier. He took such delight in the mathematics, that even in the midst of his whole army, in his tent, he stayed close at this study; having for that purpose, as his instructor, Turrianus of Cremona evermore with him. How well versed he was in the Scriptures, I know not, but at his baptism, among other great gifts bestowed upon him by his father’s friends - as a golden sword, a silver head piece, a charger of gold filled with pearls, &c. - the Abbot of Gaunt, where he was born, gave him a fair Bible with this inscription, scrutamini Scripturas, search the Scriptures. (b) Queen Elizabeth, soon after her coronation, being presented by the Londoners in Cheapside with a Bible, received it with both her hands; and kissing it, laid it to her breast, saying, that the same had ever been her chiefest delight, and should be the rule by which she meant to frame her government. (c) Alphonsus, king of Arragon, is said to have read over the Bible fourteen times with Lyra’s notes. And Charles the Wise of France, not only caused the Bible to be translated into French, but was himself very studious in "the holy Scriptures, which are able to make" a man "wise to salvation."

For then thou shalt make thy way prosperous.] Piety hath prosperity. {See Trapp on "Joshua 1:7"}


Verse 9

Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Ver. 9. Be strong and of a good courage.] Joshua was not faint hearted, but lowly minded: and hence he is so often cheered up and encouraged to the work. See on Joshua 1:6.


Verse 10

Joshua 1:10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,

Ver. 10. Then Joshua.] After the spies were returned. [Joshua 2:23]


Verse 11

Joshua 1:11 Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.

Ver. 11. Prepare you victuals.] Beside the manna, that cibus praeparatus, (a) as the word man signifieth; food prepared for them by God. See Deuteronomy 2:6.


Verse 12

Joshua 1:12 And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying,

Ver. 12. And to the Reubenites,] i.e., To the rulers of their tribes, who were their representatives.


Verse 13

Joshua 1:13 Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.

Ver. 13. Remember the word.] Your engagement to Moses, Numbers 32:17; Numbers 32:22.

Pollicitis dives quilibet est potest.


Verse 14

Joshua 1:14 Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them;

Ver. 14. All the mighty men of valour.] All beside a necessary guard for your country and families. See Numbers 32:2.


Verse 15

Joshua 1:15 Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as [he hath given] you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye 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.

Ver. 15. Until the Lord have given your brethren rest.] Whose welfare you are to tender no less than your own.

Et toti genitos vos credere genti.


Verse 16

Joshua 1:16 And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.

Ver. 16. And they answered.] Not the two tribes and half only, but the whole people promise homage and fidelity to Joshua, and wish well to his government.

All that thou commandest us.] A promise as large as that of Laelius in Lucan made to Caesar,

Iussa sequi tam velle mihi quam posse necesse est.


Verse 17

Joshua 1:17 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.

Ver. 17. Only the Lord thy God be with thee.] For else we shall stand thee and our brethren but in small stead.

As he was with Moses.] Who never miscarried in any enterprise.


Verse 18

Joshua 1:18 Whosoever [he be] that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.

Ver. 18. Only be strong and of a good courage.] Here Vox populi accordeth Vox Dei: this was a further confirmation. See Joshua 1:6.

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 1:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-1.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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