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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 1:7

"Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.


Adam Clarke Commentary

Only be thou strong, and very courageous - Ισχυε ουν, και ανδριζου σφοδρα . - Sept. Be strong therefore, and play the man to the uttermost. Though God had promised him that no man should be able to stand before him, yet it was on condition that he should use all his military skill, and avail himself to the uttermost of all the means, natural and providential, which God should place within his reach. God will not have them who refuse to help themselves.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 1:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Prosper - See the margin. The literal rendering should be retained here since the notion of prosperity is separately introduced by a different word in Joshua 1:8.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Joshua 1:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-1.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Only be thou strong, and very courageous,.... For though Joshua was a man of valour and courage, as appears by his war with Amalek, yet there was need of this exhortation, and of repeating it, since he was to engage with a people more and mightier than those with him, and who dwelt in strong and fortified places, and had been preparing for some time, having had notice, and were in expectation of the Israelites' attempt upon them:

that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded thee; not only as a private man obliged to observe the whole law, and act according to it in all things; though no mere man is capable of it, only Joshua's antitype, who is the end of it for righteousness to all that believe, having fulfilled it in all respects; but as the supreme magistrate under God, who was to see that the law was obeyed by the people in all things, and particularly as the general of the army, who was to observe to do what had been ordered, with respect to the Canaanites, see Deuteronomy 7:1,

turn not from it to the right hand or to the left: from the law, by adding to it, or taking from it; so Ben Gersom explains it,"turning to the right hand is, when any adds to its words; and turning to the left hand, when he diminishes from them;'or "from him"F11ממנו "ab so", Montanus, Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius. , that is, from Moses; from his good way, as Kimchi; though he adds, or else from the book of the law; for though he does not mention the book, he does the law; so Ben Melech:

that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest; succeed in every battle he engaged in; it would be well if generals of armies would observe this; the way to obtain victory over enemies being to be observant of the laws of God themselves, and to take care that they be observed by the soldiers under their command: or "that thou mayest act wisely"F12למען תשכיל ινα συνης, Sept. "ut intelligas", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; "ut prudenter agas", Tigurine version. ; the word of God furnishing out instruction to men in every station of life, see Luke 3:10.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 1:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-1.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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 e prosper whithersoever thou goest.

(e) He shows where true prosperity consists, even to obey the word of God.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 1:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-1.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Commanded thee — Remember, that though thou art the commander of my people, yet thou art my subject, and obliged to observe all my commands.

To the right hand or to the left — That is, in any kind, or upon any pretence; which plainly shews, that God's assistance promised to him and the Israelites, was conditional, and might justly be withdrawn upon their breach of the conditions.

Whithersoever thou goest — That is, whatsoever thou doest. Mens actions are often compared to ways, or steps by which they come to the end they aim at.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 1:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-1.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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)


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 1:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 7. Only be thou strong and very courageous, &c.— God requires of Joshua fortitude and courage; which, indeed, ought necessarily to adorn the character of every person raised to the government of a nation; that so, being always faithful in the cause of religion, he may enforce its duties on his subjects, both by his injunctions and his example. Jehovah requires his observance of no other rule for his conduct, than that law which had been deposited with him. He forbids him in any thing to deviate from that law; and, on this condition, assures to him the most happy success.

That thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest The sense given to this passage by the LXX, is very fine: That thou mayest perform wisely whatsoever thou hast to do. It is the greatest policy to be truly religious. Princes who govern by pretended reasons of state, in contempt of the commands of God, are strangers both to true wisdom and their real interest.

Joshua was to entertain far other sentiments. It was essential to the success of his ministry and arms, that his whole disposition, from the very beginning, should display his fear of God. We should observe, however, that the expression in the original, which primarily signifies to have intelligence, signifies also, frequently, to prosper; inasmuch as prudence is the path to success.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 1:7". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/joshua-1.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Remember that though thou art the captain and commander of my people, yet thou art my subject, and obliged to observe all my commands.

To the right hand or to the left, i.e. in any kind, or upon any pretence.

That thou mayest prosper, or, that thou mayest do wisely; whereby he instructs him in the true art of government; and that his greatest wisdom will lie in the observation of all God’s commands. and not in that pretended reason of state which other princes govern all their affairs by. And this plainly shows that God’s assistance promised to him and to the Israelites was conditional, and might justly be withdrawn upon their breach of the conditions.

Whithersoever thou goest, i.e. whatsoever thou doest. Men’s actions are oft compared to ways, or journeys, or steps, by which they come to the end they aim at.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 1:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-1.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7. All the law — The Torah, the body of moral, ceremonial, and political precepts given from Jehovah by the hand of Moses. The very conception of a moral agent involves the idea of a law. They who have not the written law are a law unto themselves. Their own conscience perceives the immutable distinction between right and wrong. In addition to this, God has added positive commands and prohibitions. These from the days of our first parents till the completion of the Torah, were of a fragmentary character; as, for example, the penalties against murder, adultery, and fornication, (Genesis 9:6; Genesis 38:24,) the Levirate law, (Genesis 38:8,) the distinctions of the clean and unclean beasts, (Genesis 8:20,) and the sacredness of the Sabbath, (Exodus 16:23-29.) The first revelation of the law in any thing like a perfect form is found in the Book of Deuteronomy at a period when the people, educated to freedom and national responsibility, were prepared to receive it, and carry it with them to the land of promise. In this present passage we are assured that it was written in the form of a book, and appealed to as of supreme authority. When we consider the reverence with which all subsequent generations of Hebrews have regarded this “book of the law” — their jealous care lest it should be corrupted, counting the words and letters, and recording their number, indicating the middle word and the middle letter by peculiar signs — the argument amounts to a certainty that we have in our Hebrew Bibles the very Torah which Joshua is here commanded to take as his authoritative guide. Add to these considerations the respect which Jesus Christ always pays to the law, which he came not to destroy but to fulfil, and we can reasonably demand no stronger proof of the authoritative character of the Torah as a rule of life for us in all things which are not manifestly ceremonial.

To the right… or to the left — Perfect obedience is represented by a straight line, and a course of sin by a crooked way. Hence the terms righteousness, rectitude, uprightness, and, in matters of opinion, orthodox; while the word wrong is etymologically akin to wrung, twisted.

That thou mayest prosper — Rather act wisely. Sin is the highest folly, virtue is the only true wisdom.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 1:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-1.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

Only be strong, and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.”

Here the strength and courage is related to the keeping of God’s Instruction, ‘the Law’. He was not only to be strong and courageous in battle but also in life. He was strictly to observe God’s moral law. Obedience was more important than physical strength and physical courage, although it would enable him in both. But failure in obedience would mean that it did not matter whether he was strong in any other way or not.

“Observe to do.” See Deuteronomy 5:1; Deuteronomy 5:32; and regularly in Deuteronomy (fourteen times). It is something that requires hard work and deliberate and constant attention and determination. It will not just happen. It requires careful study of the word of God and a heart fully responsive to God.

“Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.” See Deuteronomy 5:32; Deuteronomy 17:11; Deuteronomy 17:20. Success would depend on strict conformity to the will of God. Indeed that would guarantee success. But treating God’s law lightly and deviating from it one way or another would result in disaster, for God would no longer act for him.

“Turn not from it.” The ‘it’ is masculine and has in mind the law thought of as ‘the book of the law’ (law is feminine). However LXX omits ‘law’, and the ‘it’ therefore there refers to what Moses had commanded. It may be that that was the original Hebrew reading, but it is more probable that it is simply LXX correcting a seeming difficulty which it does regularly.


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Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 1:7". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-1.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Joshua"s responsibility included unswerving obedience to the Mosaic Law. This would be the key to his success. Knowing the law was only the first step. Practicing it was what would make Joshua effective (cf. Deuteronomy 5:32-33).

"The important lesson which we hence learn Isaiah , that in nothing is there more scope for the display of the highest moral heroism than in daring, in all circumstances, to cleave steadfastly to the word of God as the rule of our conduct. It is in this chiefly that the fortitude of the Christian soldier is to evince itself." [Note: Bush, p20.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Joshua 1:7". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/joshua-1.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 1:7. Commanded thee — Remember, that though thou art the commander of my people, yet thou art my subject, and obliged to observe all my commands. To the right hand or to the left — That is, in any kind, or upon any pretence; which plainly shows, that God’s assistance, promised to him and the Israelites, was conditional, and might justly be withdrawn upon their breach of the conditions. Whithersoever thou goest — That is, whatsoever thou doest. Men’s actions are often compared to ways, or steps, by which they come to the end they aim at. This charge, given by God himself to Joshua, highly deserves our notice. Though Joshua was to be, in his place, as great a man as Moses; though the Lord was to do signs and wonders by him, as he did by the hand of Moses; and though he was to settle the people in the promised land, which Moses was not allowed to do, yet he was to do according to all the law which Moses had commanded. And we find that, amid all his successes, and all the wonders that the Lord did by him, Joshua made the book of the law the guide of his conduct, strictly adhering to it in every point, and always recommending the strict observation of it to the people. In this he is an example worthy of the imitation, as of all professors of Christianity in general, so of all Christian magistrates and generals, in particular, who are under equal obligations to make God’s laws or revealed will the rule of their conduct, in all affairs, public and private. For no man’s dignity or dominion, how great soever, sets him above the law of God.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 1:7". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-1.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

From it. Hebrew him, Moses. But the Masorets order us to read it. (Haydock) --- Understand, or "succeed." (Chaldean) (Vatable)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 1:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-1.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

observe = take

heed. Some codices, with two early printed editions, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read "observe and do".

prosper = deal wisely.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 1:7". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-1.html. 1909-1922.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
which Moses
1; 11:15; Numbers 27:23; Deuteronomy 31:7
turn not
Deuteronomy 5:32; 12:32; 28:14; Proverbs 4:27; 8:20
that
Deuteronomy 29:9; 1 Kings 2:3; 1 Chronicles 22:13
prosper
or, do wisely.
8; *marg:

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 1:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-1.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, November 28th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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