Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 22:22

"The Mighty One, God, the Lord , the Mighty One, God, the Lord ! He knows, and may Israel itself know. If it was in rebellion, or if in an unfaithful act against the Lord do not save us this day!
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - God Continued...;   Government;   Haste;   Misjudgment;   Motive;   Phinehas;   Prudence;   Reubenites;   Uncharitableness;   War;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Gad, the Tribe of;   Reuben, the Tribe of;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Phinehas;   Reuben;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Manasseh;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ir-Ha-Heres;   Jordan;   Phinehas;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Apostasy;   High Priest;   Joshua, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Joshua;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - God;   Phinehas ;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Phin'ehas;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Altar;   Government of the Hebrews;   Vow;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Gods;   Joshua, Book of;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Apostasy and Apostates from Judaism;   Jonathan ben Eleazar;   Trinity;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The Lord God of gods - The original words are exceedingly emphatic, and cannot be easily translated. יהוה אלהים אל El Elohim Yehovah, are the three principal names by which the supreme God was known among the Hebrews, and may be thus translated, the strong God, Elohim, Jehovah, which is nearly the version of Luther, der starcte Gott der Herr, "The strong God the Lord." And the Reubenites, by using these in their very solemn appeal, expressed at once their strong unshaken faith in the God of Israel; and by this they fully showed the deputation from the ten tribes, that their religious creed had not been changed; and, in the succeeding part of their defense they show that their practice corresponded with their creed. The repetition of these solemn names by the Reubenites, etc., shows their deep concern for the honor of God, and their anxiety to wipe off the reproach which they consider cast on them by the supposition that they had been capable of defection from the pure worship of God, or of disaffection to their brethren.

Save us not this day - This was putting the affair to the most solemn issue; and nothing but the utmost consciousness of their own integrity could have induced them to make such an appeal, and call for such a decision. "Let God the Judge cause us to perish this day, if in principle or practice we have knowingly departed from him."

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 22:22". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-22.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The repeated invocation of God, and that by His three names - אל 'êl אלהים 'ĕlohı̂ym יהוה yehovâh compare Psalm 50:1 - marks the earnestness of the protestation. The conduct of the two tribes and a half has often been noted as exemplary. They had had a grave and capital crime most unexpectedly laid to their charge, of which they were entirely innocent. Yet there is no word of reproach or recrimination in their vindication of themselves. They are contented simply to repudiate the false accusation and to explain the real motives of conduct perhaps suggested to them by a precedent set by Moses Exodus 17:15.

Save us not this day - The words are a direct appeal to God, exactly equivalent in effect to our form “So help me God.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Joshua 22:22". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-22.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Joshua 22:22

The Lord God of gods, He knoweth.

God knows

It is a great satisfaction when we feel that there is one Being who knows everything. After some great perplexity, some dark hour, or some mysterious visitation, when there seemed to be no clue to an event, no interpretation arching it, and not a spark of illumination about it, it is a blessed relief, both to mind and soul, when we feel that somebody can understand it, can thoroughly sift it, and will in good time bring out its illuminated side, and reveal the spiritual diamonds so long concealed in darkness, sorrow, and grief. God knows--what? The uses of things--why the world was made, why we were made, the meaning of the events that greet us, what lessons they convey, what benedictions they unfold, what promises they hold out, and how much culture we shall gain by them. Can anything be more cheering than this fact, and is there anything strange about it? Strange that the Maker should be familiar with what He has made, wonderful that the Architect should understand all about His building, peculiar that the Creator of the world should comprehend what He has produced? How is it in everyday affairs? Would it not be wonderful if Mozart and Beethoven did not understand their own music, stood apart from it as strangers, and were unable to comprehend the science of its melody? or if Powers stood before one of his statues dumb as an idiot, and unable to give an account of how it was shaped into its wondrous beauty? or if Rubens stared at one of his own pictures with a vacant gaze, and with a total inability to trace out the preparatory steps that led to its execution? Then is it not very natural that the Great Musician of earth and heaven should be able to explain all the grand chorus of the ages, that the Holy Sculptor of all time should be able to describe every particular of His work, or that the Great Painter of both worlds should, with a keen wisdom, delight in His own magnificent paintings? I come now to my second proposition, that grows out of the first--we do not know. Here we find two parties in the Church. One says, “We do not know anything, and never can know anything,” and the other says, “We do know something, but that something will not amount to much until God reveals more knowledge.” I confess, I do not think that, in order to exalt God, we must utterly extinguish ourselves. If I say that a human being is utterly incapable of ever being enlightened, has no power, and is bound irrevocably to sin, with no chance to escape, you may very properly ask me, “Who could have made such a being as that?” But, because we can do something--aye, many things--and because we are something--aye, much--it does not follow that we can do everything or that we are Self-sufficient. No, never. God made us, and therefore we are not failures; and let us not for a moment suppose that God has made a mistake in our creation, but, because we are made, we are dependent, frail, and we must often and always look to our Creator for aid and blessing. We are engirdled by mysteries. Yet is it not something that we can, by the grace of God, think, talk, write, walk, live? and can we speak meanly of one who can do all these things? Forbid it, Father! Make us humble, but do not let us be ungrateful. As we look at history and at historical results, it becomes very evident that all through the past ages there has been a providential plan. If we made ourselves Romans, Grecians, or Hebrews, and if we threw ourselves back thousands of years, we should hardly understand that some of our greatest trials were to prove such a vast benediction to after-ages. We could hardly believe that our decay would prove to others life, and that every pang we suffered, both as nations and as individuals, was in accordance with the great, glorious, and holy scheme of Providence. What would be called in ancient days subjugation, invasion, and a despotism, has since proved emancipation, while the baptism of blood then offered has resulted in the salvation of the future. Time explains a great many things that we do not understand to-day; and events always prove that He who rules the heavens and the earth is never bewildered, nor mistaken, nor vanquished. Let each one of us take our own personal experience and trace it back, and see what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go when God would not let us do it, and when God held us back, and when God seemed to be working against us, and how does the retrospect look with our present experience? Did not God know best? and has not everything come out right, and was it not well for us that years ago a restraining hand was placed upon our pleasures, appetites, and desires? And is it not better that we were turned aside from the road that we desired to travel? I think one of the bewitching attractions of biography rests in the fact that we often detect what appear to be very slight and trivial matters, changing the whole course of a person’s life. Washington gave up going into the navy in order to please his mother; and thus a hero was secured for America and a splendid monument of goodness and greatness for all the world. Franklin started on a journey to Philadelphia as a mere pauper, and went under false promises to London; and thus a philosopher was educated for all time. The eyesight of a Prescott was suddenly eclipsed, but out of that darkness an historian was born, whose sweet rhetoric will always prove a fascination and a culture. Yes, the slightest incidents that we call disappointments are often the turning-points in our experience, and prove the very moment when Heaven interposes, and shapes us for ends more consistent with the will of God. (Caleb D. Bradlee.)
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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Joshua 22:22". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/joshua-22.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The Lord God of gods, the Lord God of gods,.... They first set out in their answer with asserting their firm belief of Jehovah, the God of Israel, being the supreme God, God over all; over all that are called gods, whether angels, of whom Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it; or civil magistrates and judges of the earth, who bare the same name; nor are the gods of the Gentiles to be spoken of with Jehovah, the God of Israel, who is the supreme Being, self-existent, the Being of beings, eternal and immutable, all which is contained in his name Jehovah; now this is repeated by them for the confirmation of their faith in this great article of it, and shows the steadiness of it, and to express their earnest and vehement affection for this truth, and to clear themselves from any imputation of idolatry, or thought of it, or doing anything that might have a tendency to it:

he knoweth; he is the omniscient God, the searcher of the hearts and the trier of the reins of the children of men; he knows our cordial belief of this truth, the integrity of our hearts, the intention of our minds, that we never had a thought in us of departing from his worship, and of setting up an altar beside his in opposition to it:

and Israel he shall know; our brethren the Israelites that dwell in the land of Canaan, whose representatives you are, shall know, not only by our present declaration, but by our future conduct, and strict adherence to the pure worship of God in time to come, that it was never our view by what we have done to depart from it:

if it be in rebellion, or if in transgression against the Lord; with a design to rebel against his word, and transgress his command:

save us not this day; this is said with respect to God, and as an apostrophe to him, as Jarchi, Kimchi, and Abarbinel observe; as expressing their desire to have no mercy shown them by him, but that vengeance might be taken on them by him, to whom all things were naked and open, and who full well knew whether they were guilty or not; or else the address is to Phinehas, and the princes, that they would rise up and put them to death by sword, if this appeared to be the case; or that all the other tribes would rise up, and make war against them, and cut them off with the edge of the sword, and not spare them.

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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 Rights 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
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 22:22". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-22.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

The LORD God of gods, the LORD God of gods, he knoweth, and Israel he shall know; if it be in rebellion, or if in transgression against the LORD, (save us not this day,)

The Lord — That Jehovah, whom we no less than you acknowledge and adore as the God of gods, infinitely superior to all that are called gods. The multiplying of his titles, and the repetition of these words, shew their zeal and earnestness in this matter.

He knoweth — To him we appeal who knoweth all things, and the truth of what we are now saying. Not only our present words, but our future and constant course shall satisfy all Israel of our perseverance in the true religion.

In rebellion — If this have been done by us with such design, or in such a manner.

Save us not — Thou, O Lord, to whom we have appealed, and without whom we cannot be saved and preserved, save us not from any of our enemies, nor from the sword of our brethren. It is a sudden apostrophe to God, usual in such vehement speeches.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 22:22". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-22.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 22:22 The LORD God of gods, the LORD God of gods, he knoweth, and Israel he shall know; if [it be] in rebellion, or if in transgression against the LORD, (save us not this day,)

Ver. 22. The Lord God of gods, the Lord God of gods.] This repetition is very emphatical and pathetical, expressing "their carefulness, their apology, their indignation, their fear, their vehement desire, their zeal," [2 Corinthians 7:11] their utter detestation of such an abomination.

Save us not this day.] Let God deprive us, if. guilty, of safety here, and salvation hereafter.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 22:22". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-22.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The Lord God of gods; that Jehovah whom we, no less than you, acknowledge and adore as the God of gods, infinitely superior to all that are called gods. The multiplying of his titles, and the repetition of these words, show their zeal and earnestness in this matter, and their abhorrency of the very thoughts of it. He knoweth; to him we appeal who knoweth all things, and the truth of what we are now saying. Israel he shall know; not only our present words, but our future and constant course shall satisfy all Israel of our perseverance in the true religion.

If it be; if this have been done by us with such design, or in such a manner.

Save us not this day; thou, O Lord, to whom we have appealed, and without whom we cannot be saved or preserved, save us not from any of our enemies, nor from the sword of our brethren. It is a sudden apostrophe to God, usual in such vehement speeches.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 22:22". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-22.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

22.The Lord God of gods El Elohim Jehovah — This is a most solemn oath. They who twice utter the three names of God declare that they revere him as the mighty, living Being, and are not in rebellion against him.

Save us not this day — Or, help us not. This implies that they should be left to miserably perish.

Let the Lord himself require it — That is, Let him punish it. Another strong adjuration is here uttered.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 22:22". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-22.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 22:22. The Lord God of gods — In the Hebrew it is, The God of gods, Jehovah; the God of gods, Jehovah; or, rather, there are three names of God, El, Elohim, and Jehovah, signifying that they owned no other God but him whom their forefathers worshipped, by what name soever he was called, as if he had said, That Jehovah, who is infinitely above all creatures, and the fountain of all other beings, whom we no less than you acknowledge as the God of gods. The multiplying of his titles, and the repetition of these words, show their zeal and earnestness in this matter.

He knoweth — To him we appeal who knoweth all things, and the truth of what we are now saying. Not only our present words, but our future and constant course shall satisfy all Israel of our perseverance in the true religion. If it be in rebellion — If this have been done by us with such design, or in such a manner. Save us not — Thou, O Lord, to whom we have appealed, and without whom we cannot be saved and preserved, save us not from any of our enemies, nor from the sword of our brethren. It is a sudden apostrophe to God, usual in such vehement speeches.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 22:22". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-22.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

God. In Hebrew there are three terms, (Calmet) El, Elohim, Yehova, "the strong, the judge, the self-existent Being." To him they make their appeal. Him they acknowledge in the first place, as the only true God, as they had been accused of departing from him, ver. 19. (Haydock) --- They are willing to undergo any punishment, if they had any evil intention. (Menochius)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 22:22". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-22.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

The LORD GOD of gods. Hebrew. El Elohim Jehovah. Figure of speech Epizeuxis (App-6).

transgression. Hebrew. maal. App-44.

save us not this day. Note the Figure of speech Parentheaia. App-6.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 22:22". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-22.html. 1909-1922.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The LORD God of gods, the LORD God of gods, he knoweth, and Israel he shall know; if it be in rebellion, or if in transgression against the LORD, (save us not this day,)
Lord God
[ ()hîym
Exodus 18:11; Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalms 82:1; 95:3; 97:7; 136:2; Daniel 2:47; 11:36; 1 Timothy 6:16; Revelation 19:16
he knoweth
1 Kings 8:39; Job 10:7; 23:10; Psalms 7:3; 44:21; 139:1-12; Jeremiah 12:3; 17:10; John 2:24,25; 21:17; Acts 1:24; 2 Corinthians 11:11,31; Hebrews 4:13; Revelation 2:23
Israel
Psalms 37:6; Micah 7:9; Malachi 3:18; Acts 11:2-18; 2 Corinthians 5:11
if it be
1 Samuel 15:23; Job 31:5-8,38-40; Psalms 7:3-5; Acts 25:11
Reciprocal: Genesis 18:21 - I will know;  Genesis 20:5 - in the integrity;  Genesis 44:7 - General1 Samuel 20:8 - if there be;  1 Samuel 20:12 - O Lord;  Job 31:6 - know;  Job 31:22 - let;  Psalm 50:1 - mighty;  Psalm 89:8 - O Lord;  Amos 3:13 - the Lord;  1 Corinthians 13:6 - rejoiceth

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 22:22". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-22.html.