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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 1:9

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."


John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Have not I commanded thee?.... The above things, to go over Jordan with the people into the land of Canaan, and to observe the law of Moses in all things, and to be of good courage, which is again repeated; consider who it is that has given these orders and instructions, the great Jehovah, the everlasting I AM, who is faithful to his promises, and able to perform. The consideration of which would serve to animate him to the work he was called unto, to encourage his faith in God, to engage in his service cheerfully and readily:

be strong, and of a good courage; See Gill on Joshua 1:6; See Gill on Joshua 1:7.

be not afraid, nor be thou dismayed; at his enemies, numerous and powerful, nor discouraged at anything in himself, any unfitness for such service, as he might think, or at any difficulties he might fear from the people he had the government of, and was to lead on; it was enough that the divine Presence was promised him, and which is repeated:

for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest: or, as the Targum of Jonathan,"for thy help is the Word of the Lord thy God;'See Gill on Joshua 1:5.


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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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 1:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-1.html. 1999.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

In conclusion, the Lord not only repeats His exhortation to firmness, but the promise that He gave in Joshua 1:5 and Joshua 1:6. “ Have I not” ( nonne ) is a rhetorical mode of saying, “Behold, I have,” the assurance being clothed in the form of an affirmative question. On the words “ be not afraid ,” etc., see Deuteronomy 31:6 and Deuteronomy 31:8.


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The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Joshua 1:9". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/joshua-1.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

I commanded thee — I whom thou art obliged to obey: I who can carry thee through every thing I put thee upon: I of whose faithfulness and almighty power thou hast had large experience?


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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 1:9". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-1.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

9.Have not I commanded, etc Although in Hebrew a simple affirmation is often made in the form of a question, and this phraseology is of very frequent occurrence, here, however, the question is emphatic, to give an attestation to what had previously been taught, while the Lord, by bringing his own authority distinctly forward, relieves his servant from care and hesitancy. He asks, Is it not I who have commanded thee? I too will be present with thee. Observe the emphasis: inasmuch as it is not lawful to resist his command. (24) This passage also teaches that nothing is more effectual to produce confidence than when trusting to the call and the command of God, and feeling fully assured of it in our own conscience, we follow whithersoever he is pleased to lead.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Joshua 1:9". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-1.html. 1840-57.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

LION-HEARTED

‘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.’

Joshua 1:9

This expression ‘Be strong’ does not mean ‘Be strong in body,’ but ‘Be strong in mind;’ ‘Be strong in spirit;’ ‘Be brave.’

An order like this could not have been a mere mockery, an order which Joshua was unable to obey. The word which bade him be strong was an assurance at the same time that if he would, he might be strong according to his day.

I. The first secret of true courage is to know and be sure that we have some power.—Hence the wisdom of the maxim of the ancients, ‘Know thyself’—learn to see what thy real capacity is, and knowing that, shrink not from venturing on putting it to the proof. It is not too much to say that all men go wrong by underestimating themselves. For what deeper self-depreciation is there than for a man to live in the world forgetful of what he is brought here for—forgetful of his Christian privileges, of his Christian name, of his Christian freedom?

II. We all have some power; the question is, How much and what?—That is the question we should ask ourselves every day; it is the great question of our early life especially, for on the right answering of it all our success depends. Our weaknesses guarded against often become our strength; and our best lessons, if we heed them, are our mistakes. Joshua’s strength was a knowledge of his weakness. Beware of thinking you have no strength because you are not omnipotent. God says to us all, whatever worthy work we are entering upon, ‘Be of good courage; be strong!’

—Canon A. Jessopp.

Illustrations

(1) ‘“After I had been about two years in London,” said George Moore, “I had a great and anxious desire to see the House of Commons. I got a half-holiday for the purpose. I didn’t think of getting an order from an M.P. Indeed I hadn’t the slightest doubt of getting into the House. I first tried to get into the Strangers’ Gallery, but failed. I then hung about the entrance to see whether I could find some opportunity. I saw three or four members hurrying in, and I hurried in with them. The door-keepers did not notice me. I walked into the middle of the House. When I got in I almost fainted with fear lest I should be discovered. I first got into a seat with the name of ‘Canning’ on it. I then proceeded to a seat behind, and sat there all the evening. I heard Mr. Canning bring forward his motion to reduce the duty on corn. He made a brilliant speech, and was followed by many others. I sat out the whole debate. Had I been discovered I might have been taken up for breach of privilege. Some men are born great; others have greatness thrust upon them.”’

(2) ‘An English admiral used to be fond of relating that on leaving his first lodgings—he was then very poor—to join his ship as a midshipman, his landlady presented him with a Bible and a guinea, saying, “God bless you and prosper you, my lad; and, as long as you live, never suffer yourself to be laughed out of your money or your prayers.” The young sailor carefully followed this advice through life, and had reason to rejoice that he did so.’

(3) ‘Mrs. Hutchinson, describing certain passages in the Puritan defence of Nottingham against the Cavaliers, adds quaintly, “It was a great instruction that the best and highest courages are beams of the Almighty.” No one except our Redeemer can redeem us from the sin of cowardice. Jesus Christ is the only man in history who never knew what it was to be afraid. And He demands some element of this same virtue in His disciples.’

(4) ‘At the coronation of Edward VI, the boy-king, the sword of state was delivered to him, when he quietly remarked, “There is yet another sword to be brought.” The lords in attendance looked perplexed, when he added, “I mean the Holy Bible—the Sword of the Spirit; without this we are nothing, and can do nothing.” King Edward not only prized the Bible for himself, but he insisted on having it read to the people in their native tongue.’


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Joshua 1:9". Church Pulpit Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/joshua-1.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 1:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-1.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Joshua 1:9

This expression "Be strong" does not mean "Be strong in body," but "Be strong in mind;" "Be strong in spirit;" "Be brave."

An order like this could not have been a mere mockery, an order which Joshua was unable to obey. The word which bade him be strong was an assurance at the same time that if he would, he might be strong according to his day.

I. The first secret of true courage is to know and be sure that we have some power. Hence the wisdom of the maxim of the ancients, "Know thyself"—learn to see what thy real capacity is, and knowing that, shrink not from venturing on putting it to the proof. It is not too much to say that all men go wrong by underestimating themselves? For what deeper self-depreciation is there than for a man to live in the world forgetful of what he is brought here for—forgetful of his Christian privileges, of his Christian name, of his Christian freedom?

II. We all have some power; the question is, How much and what? That is the question we should ask ourselves every day; it is the great question of our early life especially, for on the right answering of it all our success depends. Our weaknesses guarded against often become our strength; and our best lessons, if we heed them, are our mistakes. Joshua's strength was a knowledge of his weakness. Beware of thinking you have no strength because you are not omnipotent. God says to us all, whatever worthy work we are entering upon, "Be of good courage; be strong!"

A. Jessopp, Norwich School Sermons, p. 97.


References: Joshua 1:9.—J. Ellison, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xv., p. 305; Congregationalist, vol. vii., p. 400. Joshua 1:16-18.—Parker, Pulpit Analyst, vol. i., p. 626. 1, etc.—G. Gilfillan, Alpha and Omega, vol. i., p. 156. 2—A. Saphir, Found by the Good Shepherd, p. 383.




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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Joshua 1:9". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/joshua-1.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 9. Have not I commanded thee? &c.— These are the grounds of that intrepid courage which was to animate the soul of Joshua 1 st, The calling wherewith God had dignified him. 2nd, The positive promise of a lasting protection.

REFLECTIONS.—Moses had been a faithful servant; but death is the common lot of man. By removing from the people this most useful minister, God will call them off from dependance on, and attachment to men. Joshua must arise; and, though conscious of great inferiority of abilities, yet at God's command he may comfortably address himself to the work, assured that he who sends will strengthen him. Note; (1.) It is a comfort to the people of God, that, though ministers die, Jesus their Lord for ever lives to provide for and direct them. (2.) Those whom God calls to succeed eminent ministers, though they may feel their own insufficiency, must not be discouraged, but rely upon his grace and strength who gives the mission. 1. Here is the work enjoined him, to pass Jordan, and to possess the land of Canaan. An arduous task! how shall he cross this deep river, without bridge or pontoons, especially now, when overflowing its banks? and how possess a land where all the inhabitants are mighty? here he must rely upon God: if he commands, he will make the way plain and easy. Note; Divine faith overcomes the greatest difficulties; and they can do all things, who have Christ strengthening them. 2. The promises made to him for his encouragement, [1.] The gift of the land is confirmed to the children of Israel. It was their own, as certainly as if they were in possession. The bounds are wide and extended; and had they been faithful to God, he had not suffered a tittle to have been unfulfilled: if they never occupied the whole, they must blame their own unbelief and disobedience. [2.] God assures Joshua, that his never-failing presence and blessing shall be with him, as they had been with Moses; and the consequence of these must be victory. He shall tread on the necks of his enemies, and divide the land, to be possessed in peace by the tribes of Israel. Note; They who have God's presence with them, may cheerfully and confidently go forth against a host of enemies. (3.) Victory over all the powers of evil is obtained for us by our divine Joshua, and we may triumph already in our glorious head over sin, and death, and hell, as vanquished enemies. (4.) He bids him be of good courage, repeats it again and again, and urges it with renewed assurances that he would be with him: and need there was of such encouragement, though his valour had been tried and known, for his difficulties were now greater than ever. His own insufficiency for such an enterprize, the people's well-known rebellious spirit, his enemies' power and numbers, might shake the most confirmed constancy; but fear is banished, whilst he who supremely commands inspires him with strength and courage irresistible. Note; (1.) The strongest have need of daily support and encouragement from God, or their strength would quickly prove but weakness. (2.) When we go forth to fight the Lord's battles, as ministers, we should take with us that encouraging promise, Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. (3.) When God is pleased to work, none shall hinder: the mountains of difficulty shall, before our divine Zerubbabel, become a plain.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 1:9". 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

Have not I commanded thee; I whom thou art obliged to obey; I who can carry thee through every thing I put thee upon; I of whose faithfulness and almightiness thou hast had large experience?


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 1:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-1.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

Have not I commanded you? Be strong, and of a good courage. Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for YHWH your God is with you wherever you go.”

God had pointed to the land he was to possess (Joshua 1:2-4), He had pointed to the enemy (Joshua 1:5), He had pointed to the purpose (Joshua 1:6), He had pointed to the word of God and the need for obedience (Joshua 1:7-8), now He pointed to Himself. It is He Who has commanded. That is why Joshua can have strength and courage. That is why he need not be afraid, because YHWH his God was with him wherever he went.

He had, of course, indirectly pointed to Himself all the way through. ‘I give it to them -- to you I have given it -- I was with Moses -- I will be with you -- I will not fail you or forsake you -- I swore to your fathers to give them’, God was in it all, but here He laid the greatest stress on it, ‘is it not I Who have commanded? -- it is YHWH your God Who is with you’. YHWH, ‘the One Who is there’, ‘the One Who causes to be’, the One Who always is, the God of creation, the God of battle, remember that it is He Who is with you, and with you wherever you go.

“Do not be afraid, nor be you dismayed.” He would face many problems, many enemies, many seemingly insurmountable difficulties, but he need not fear any, he need not be dismayed at any, because it was his God YHWH Who would be with him wherever he went. And He can surmount anything.

With these words God bolstered the courage of Joshua, who was apprehensive as a result of taking over the role of Moses and apprehensive as he looked across at that unknown land. What did lie before them? But knowing that he had God with him, what else could he need? He was content.

These words have much to say to us. Whatever our calling in life God calls us to be strong and courageous. He also calls us to meditate in His word day and night with a view to obeying all His commands. We must remember that obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). If we are not obeying Him in the details of our lives there is little point in making great offerings.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 1:9". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-1.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

[9.

Have not I commanded thee? — Such an emphatic interrogation is often the strongest possible form of affirmation.

Thy God is with thee — As the soldier’s valour is stimulated by the eye of his captain, so a vivid realization of the immediate presence of God is the best safeguard against unmanly terror.]


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 1:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-1.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

This was not just good advice. Joshua was receiving orders from his Commander. Trembling or fearing would betray lack of confidence in God.

Notice the chiastic structure of God"s charge to Joshua.

A I will be with you ( Joshua 1:5).

B Be strong and courageous ( Joshua 1:6-7).

C That you may have success ( Joshua 1:7).

D This book of the law ( Joshua 1:8).

C" Then you will have success ( Joshua 1:8).

B" Be strong and courageous ( Joshua 1:9).

A" The Lord your God is with you ( Joshua 1:9).

This structure emphasizes the centrality of the book of the law of God as the key to Israel"s success, Joshua"s effective leadership, and God"s enabling presence with His people. With this challenge Joshua could advance into Canaan confidently.

This passage contains the principles necessary for spiritual success in every age. We must know what God requires, maintain perpetual awareness of that, and be consistently and completely obedient to it in our daily experience to gain victory over our spiritual adversaries. [Note: See Harry Foster, " Joshua , Walking into Battle," Toward the Mark 11:6 (November-December1982):116-19.]


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Joshua 1:9". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/joshua-1.html. 2012.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Have not I? Figure of speech Erotesis (App-6), for emphasis.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

with thee. Compare Exodus 3:12.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 1:9". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-1.html. 1909-1922.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
Have
Deuteronomy 31:7,8,28; Judges 6:14; 2 Samuel 13:28; Acts 4:19
Be strong
6,7
be not
Genesis 28:15; Deuteronomy 20:1; Psalms 27:1,2; Jeremiah 1:7,8
for the Lord
Psalms 46:7; Isaiah 43:1,5

Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 1:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-1.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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