Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 23:16

When you transgress the covenant of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, then the anger of the Lord will burn against you, and you will perish quickly from off the good land which He has given you."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Anger;   Fear of God;   The Topic Concordance - Covenant;   Idolatry;   Perishing;   Service;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Anger of God, the;  
Dictionaries:
Holman Bible Dictionary - Covenant;   God;   Joshua, the Book of;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Ye shall perish quickly from off the good land - The following note from Mr. John Trapp is very judicious: "This judgment Joshua inculcates Joshua 23:13, Joshua 23:15, and here, because he knew it would be a very grievous thing to them to forego so goodly a land, so lately gotten, and so short a while enjoyed. In the beginning of a speech τα ηθη, the milder affections, suit best; but towards the end τα παθη, passionate and piercing passages; according to the orator. This rule Joshua observes, being Ex utroque Caesar; no less an orator than a warrior."

In all this exhortation we see how closely Joshua copies the example of his great master Moses. See Leviticus 26:7, Leviticus 26:8, Leviticus 26:14, etc.; Deuteronomy 28:7; Deuteronomy 32:30. He was tenderly concerned for the welfare of the people, and with a deeply affected heart he spoke to their hearts. No people ever were more fairly and fully warned, and no people profited less by it. The threatenings pronounced here were accomplished in the Babylonish captivity, but more fully in their general dispersion since the crucifixion of our Lord. And should not every Christian fear when he reads, If God spared not the natural branches, take heed that he spare not thee? Surely a worldly, carnal, and godless Christian has no more reason to expect indulgence from the justice of God than a profligate Jew. We have a goodly land, but the justice of God can decree a captivity from it, or a state of bondage in it. The privileges that are abused are thereby forfeited. And this is as applicable to the individual as to the whole system.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 23:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-23.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

When ye have transgressed the covenant of the Lord your God,

which he commanded you,.... The law, so called, and the several precepts of it, particularly those which relate to the faith and worship of the one only true God; see Exodus 24:7;

and have gone and served other gods, and have bowed down yourselves unto them; been guilty of idolatry, of having and worshipping other gods, which are no gods, with or besides the God of Israel, see Joshua 23:7,

then shall the anger of the Lord be kindled against you; nothing being more provoking to him than idolatry, he being a jealous God of his honour and worship:

and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you; as they did at the time of the Babylonish captivity, and at the last destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans.

Copyright Statement
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 23:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-23.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

When ye have h transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.

(h) He shows that no evil can come to man, except he offend God by disobedience.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 23:16". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-23.html. 1599-1645.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

REFLECTIONS

BLESSED Jesus! In the close of Joshua's ministry and labours, I see that all things and all men come to an end. But though Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and Joshua must die, yet thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. Oh! the sweet consoling thought! the Lord liveth, and blessed be my strong helper; and praised be the God of my salvation.

But though the saints and servants of my God go the way of all the earth, yet through thy grace, O Lord, the fruits of their labours, their zeal and patience, their prayers and examples, are left behind. Here would I, for myself and Reader, pray that the dying words and legacy of the man of God, might live in my remembrance. Oh! for grace to cleave unto thee, thou dearest Jesus, for thou art indeed my life. And in the awful day of idolatry, and the pleasure-loving age, in which the Lord hath cast our lot, Oh! for faith to resist stedfastly all the enemies of our salvation. Make them, O Lord, thorns and briars in our path; hedge up our way with thorns if need be, that we may never find such lovers. Keep our souls close unto thee, and so powerfully restrain us, by the sweet influences of thy Spirit, that we may be more and more dead unto the world, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Joshua 23:16". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/joshua-23.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.

It will aggravate their perdition, that the land from which they shall perish is a good land, and a land which God himself had given them: and which therefore he would have secured to them, if they had not thrown themselves out of it. "Thus the goodness of the heavenly Canaan, says Mr. Henry, and the free and sure grant God has made of it, will aggravate the misery of those that shall forever be shut out and perish from it. Nothing will make them see how wretched they are, so much as to see, how happy they might have been." Might have been! What on the supposition of absolute decrees? How happy might a person not elected have been? And if he was elected, how could he be wretched for ever? What art of man can reconcile these things? Again, shall any of the elect perish for ever? or has God made to any others, a free and sure grant of the heavenly Canaan? If not, how can the misery of those that perish be aggravated, by a free and sure grant which they never had any share in?

Copyright Statement
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 23:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-23.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 23:16 When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.

Ver. 16. And ye shall perish quickly from off the good land.] This judgment Joshua inculcateth, [Joshua 23:13-16] because he knew it would be very grievous to them to forego so goodly a land so lately gotten, and so little a while enjoyed. In the beginning of a speech τα ηθη milder affections suit best; but toward the end thereof τα παθη, saith the orator, passionate and piercing passages. This rule Joshua here observeth, being ex utroque Caesar, no less an orator than a warrior, as hath been already observed.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 23:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-23.html. 1865-1868.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“When you transgress the covenant of YHWH your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods, and bow down yourselves to them, then the anger of YHWH will be kindled against you, and you will perish quickly from off the good land which he has given you.”

All outwardly depends on obedience to His covenant. In that covenant they have bound themselves to Him as their Supreme Sovereign, and have sworn to love and serve Him and to obey His commandments. They have agreed only to offer sacrifices at the central sanctuary, or at places where God was pleased to record His name and reveal Himself, and to gather at the covenant festivals to worship Him. They have sworn to abjure idolatry and the ways of the Canaanites. But if they turn aside from this and seek and serve other gods, then they will have broken their covenant vows, and YHWH’s just anger will be roused and He will bring judgment on them. The covenant will lose its effect. They will be removed from the land.

Thus were covenant love and covenant obedience bound closely together. In the end God’s promises to Abraham were unconditional. He would bring about their fulfilment. But delay was possible through disobedience and during that process those who fell short would suffer the due reward for their disobedience. Yet as we see later in Judges, His wrath was tempered with mercy. If they repented then He would again act for them and deliver them from the position in which they had placed themselves.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 23:16". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-23.html. 2013.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 23:16. Ye shall perish quickly from off the good land — It would aggravate their misery in their destruction, that the land from which they perished was a good land, and a land which God himself had given them: and which therefore he would have secured to them, if they had not thrown themselves out of it. “Thus the goodness of the heavenly Canaan,” says Mr. Henry, “and the free and sure grant God has made of it, will aggravate the misery of those who shall for ever be shut out and perish from it. Nothing will make them see how wretched they are, so much so as to see how happy they might have been.”

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 23:16". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-23.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

And speedily. This word is added to express the force of the Hebrew term. (Menochius) --- "Punishment is seldom lame in overtaking the wicked. (Haydock) --- This. He emphatically sets before them what labours they had sustained in making the acquisition, and what ingratitude they will be guilty of, if they ever forfeit so great a blessing. (Menochius) --- The treat or prediction was verified during the captivity, and still more after the destruction of Jerusalem. (Calmet)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 23:16". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-23.html. 1859.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(16) The resemblance between this verse and an exhortation in Deuteronomy should be noticed, Joshua 11:16-17, “Take heed to yourselves, lest . . . ye turn aside and serve other gods and worship them; and then the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you . . . and ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you.”

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 23:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-23.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.
then shall
2 Kings 24:20
perish Reciprocal: Exodus 20:5 - bow down;  Exodus 22:20 - utterly;  Numbers 25:2 - bowed;  Numbers 33:56 - GeneralDeuteronomy 4:23 - lest ye forget;  Deuteronomy 4:26 - ye shall;  Deuteronomy 17:2 - in transgressing;  Deuteronomy 28:20 - until thou be;  Deuteronomy 30:18 - GeneralJoshua 7:11 - transgressed;  Judges 2:15 - had said;  Judges 2:20 - transgressed;  Judges 10:7 - was hot;  1 Kings 8:15 - hath;  1 Kings 9:6 - go;  1 Kings 14:15 - this good land;  2 Kings 17:7 - sinned;  2 Kings 17:13 - all;  2 Kings 17:35 - charged them;  2 Chronicles 7:19 - shall go;  2 Chronicles 28:6 - because;  2 Chronicles 34:24 - I will bring;  Ezra 8:22 - his power and his wrath;  Isaiah 24:6 - hath;  Jeremiah 16:13 - will I;  Jeremiah 17:4 - shalt;  Jeremiah 26:4 - If;  Jeremiah 32:23 - therefore;  Jeremiah 32:24 - what;  Jeremiah 34:18 - have transgressed;  Jeremiah 35:17 - Behold;  Ezekiel 33:26 - and shall;  Micah 2:10 - and;  Romans 11:22 - therefore;  Hebrews 8:9 - they continued

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 23:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-23.html.