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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 24:12

Then I sent the hornet before you and it drove out the two kings of the Amorites from before you, but not by your sword or your bow.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Amorites;   Animals;   Hornet;   Shechem;   Thompson Chain Reference - Amorites;   Hornets;   Insects;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Shechem;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Covenant;   War, Holy War;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Hornet;   Shechem;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Og;   Pillars;   Shechem (1);   Holman Bible Dictionary - Arms and Armor;   Confessions and Credos;   Covenant;   Ebal;   Forerunner;   Insects;   Joshua;   Joshua, the Book of;   Mission(s);   Shechem;   Temple of Jerusalem;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Hornet;   Shechem;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Hornet;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Flies;   Hornet;   Plagues of Egypt;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Hornet;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Bow;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Elohist;   Insects;   Pharaoh;   Shechem;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Verse Joshua 24:12. I sent the hornet before youExodus 23:28.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 24:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-24.html. 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary


23:1-24:33 JOSHUA’S FAREWELL

Nothing is recorded of events that occurred between Joshua’s division of the land and his farewell addresses to the nation many years later. His life was now drawing to a close (see v. 14), and he called Israel’s leaders together to pass on some encouragement and warning (23:1-2). He assured them that God would continue to fight for his people till all the remaining Canaanites were destroyed, provided his people remained true to the covenant. They were to love God, keep his commandments, and avoid the worship of all other gods (3-11). They were not to intermarry with the Canaanites who still lived among them (12-13), and were to remember that loyalty to God would bring his continued blessing, but disloyalty would bring his judgment (14-16).
Just as the people had once gone to Shechem to declare their loyalty to the covenant (see 8:30-35), so now the leaders, on behalf of the people, returned to Shechem to make a fresh declaration of loyalty (24:1). The covenant had originated with God, who brought Abraham from Mesopotamia into Canaan and promised to make from him a nation that would one day possess Canaan as its homeland (2-4). Centuries later God fulfilled that promise when he brought Israel out of Egypt (5-7), through the wilderness (8-10) and finally into Canaan (11-13). Sadly, the Israelites had demonstrated a tendency towards idolatry, whether the idolatry of Abraham’s ancestors, of the Egyptians, or of the Canaanites. Therefore, they had to make a firm decision whether they were going to serve one of these gods or serve the true God, Yahweh (14-15).
The people readily declared that they would serve Yahweh alone (16-18). Joshua knew that to declare loyalty was easy, but to maintain it was not so easy. He therefore reminded the people of the terrible consequences if they broke their covenant with such a holy God (19-20). When the people swore that they knew what they were doing, Joshua challenged them to put their professed loyalty into practice immediately (21-24). He then ceremonially sealed the renewed covenant, wrote the covenant laws in a book, and set up a stone as a memorial of the people’s promise to be loyal and obedient (25-28).

Joshua died in the knowledge that his strong leadership had helped the people maintain their allegiance to God. He was buried in his own piece of land in the tribal area of Ephraim (29-31). Joseph’s bones, which the Israelites had brought with them from Egypt, were also buried within the area of the Joseph tribes. This was in accordance with Joseph’s instructions, given centuries earlier, by which he had openly declared his faith in God’s promises (32; cf. Genesis 50:24-25; Exodus 13:19; Hebrews 11:22). The high priest also was buried in Ephraim (33).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Joshua 24:12". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/joshua-24.html. 2005.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Chapter 24

Chapter twenty-four, Joshua is continuing this final charge to the children of Israel. Picture now this old man he was. He was faithful to the Lord. He has done a good job, but now he is bent over with age. He has been weakened. His voice is probably shaky and trembling.

And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, [Right in the heart of the land there between mount Ebal, and Gerezim.] and he called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, the officers; and they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said to all the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old times, even Terah, the father of Abraham, the father of Nachor: and they served other gods. And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac. And I gave unto Isaac, Jacob and Esau: I gave to Esau the area of mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. And I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out. And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and you came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with their chariots and horsemen unto the Red Sea. And when they cried unto the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and you dwelt in the wilderness a long season. And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, that dwelt here on the other side of Jordan; [And I fought with you] and they fought with you: [rather] and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you. Then Balak the son of Zippor, the king of Moab, arose and he warred against Israel, and he called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you: But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand ( Joshua 24:1-10 ).

Now you'll notice that this has gone into the first person. So actually Joshua at this point is prophesying to the leaders of Israel and God is now speaking through Joshua a word of prophecy to these people. Having gone into the first person here, as God declares, "I destroyed them", and "I delivered you out of his hand."

And I sent the hornet before you, and drove out the Amorites; but not with your sword, nor with your bow. And I have given you a land for which you did not labour, cities which you did not build, that you might dwell in them; vineyards and oliveyards which you did not plant and yet you eat of them. Now therefore fear [or reverence] the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods that your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. Now if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord ( Joshua 24:12-15 ).

So Joshua stands before these people, declares to them the marvelous works of God, and then he challenges them to choose this day, whom you're going to serve, recognizing that God has given man the power and capacity of choice. Each man chooses, not if you will serve or not, but who you will serve. For every man is serving somebody. Every man is governed by some passion, some guiding principle, some philosophy, which has become his god. He reminds them that in ancient times before the flood, people were worshiping gods. The Amorites in whose land they were now dwelling had their own gods. There are many different gods that a man can worship, many governing principles by which his life can be directed. A man can live after his own flesh that can become his god. A man can live obsessed by the desire for success, and that can become his god. A man can live obsessed with the desire of wealth, that becomes his god. But you must choose which god you are going to serve, the true and the living God, or the gods that the people worshiped and served who lived before the flood.

Even Terah the father of Abraham worshiped other gods. The Amorites worshiped other gods, "Choose whom you will serve," then declaring, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Though he's old and stricken in years, still he rules his house. It's marvelous when the husband, the father, can speak for his house. "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." The people responded and said to Joshua, "Oh, we also will serve the Lord,"

and Joshua said, You can't serve the Lord ( Joshua 24:19 ).

They said, "We will," he said, "You can't," for he said, God is a jealous God and when you start turning away from Him, turning your backs upon Him; He won't take that lightly but He will bring his judgments among you.

For if you forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he has done good. And the people said to Joshua, No; we will serve the Lord. And Joshua said to the people, You are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen to serve the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. He said, All right then put away the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto Jehovah God of Israel. And the people said to Joshua, Jehovah our God we will serve and his voice we will obey. And Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance there in Shechem. Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the Lord which he spake unto us: and it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God. So Joshua let the people depart, and every man went to his own inheritance. Now it came to pass at this time, that Joshua, died, being a hundred and ten years old. And they buried him actually there in mount Ephraim in this city that was given to him for his inheritance. And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, which had known all the works of the Lord, that he had done for Israel ( Joshua 24:16-31 ).

Now it is interesting how that as you go back in history, that God had done marvelous works among people. Those that have seen that work of God remain committed and true, but rarely does a work continue into a second generation.

We look at the church and there have been marvelous spiritual revivals in the history of the church. Usually new denominations have been born out of spiritual revivals. But it is tragic that rarely does a work of God continue through a second generation. Those that have seen the work of God continue to relay that which God has done. But you get into a new generation, and there comes modifications, there comes organization, there comes structure. The seeking to more or less codify that which God has done.

Rarely does the work of God go on into another generation, which makes me glad that I'm living in this last generation. I don't have to worry about this thing going on. We're going up, we're not going on. But that would be my chief concern if I didn't believe that the rapture was so close. It's beautiful what God has done for us. I'm thrilled with what God has done for us, but my chief concern would be that after we have gone, we have been able to see this glorious work of God, that others would come in and they'd analyze it and get the thing all structured. They'd be able to tell you all of the reasons why it was such a success. They'd get the whole thing organized, developed, and the whole thing went down the tubes like everything else has done in the past, as far as denominations and all. Thank God that we won't have to see that day.

But it's been true through the history. Those that have been privileged to see that work of God usually remain true. It's the next generation, somehow there is a failure to adequately communicate to the next generation the marvelous things of God. In trying to analyze the failure, I think that perhaps when God blesses us, the blessings are usually multi-faceted. It's a blessing in almost every area, spiritual blessings, material blessings, physical blessings. But we went through a lot of struggles, a lot of testing of faith, a lot of deprivations, a lot of hardships. We went without so many times. Now that we are blessed, we don't want our children to have, to experience the same hardships that we experienced. We don't want them to have to live by faith, as we had to live by faith, to have to just trust in God for the next meal. Thus, we seek to keep our children from a lot of the same hardships that we endured.

And I think in that, we are keeping them from learning a lot of important lessons of trust, and faith, and being able to see the miraculous work of God in response to that faith, and believing, and trusting in Him. Thus they don't have the same privileges of knowing the miracle working power of God that we experienced, because we were going through the periods of deprivation and hardship. Thus God doesn't become as real to them as He was to us because they haven't had to trust Him for that meal, to believe Him for a set of tires.

Now here at the end of Joshua there's a very interesting notation, and why this would come here at the end of Joshua, I am sure I don't know. Chuck Misler could probably give you some suggestions.

And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought out of Egypt, they buried in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob had bought from Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph ( Joshua 24:32 ).

Now the children of Joseph did inhabit this Ephraim, tribe of Ephraim, it did inhabit this particular area of the land, Shechem, and that area through there, so they were the sons of Joseph. But why at this point in the text it would refer to the burial of Joseph's bones, I don't know. We did read where the children of Israel made their exodus out of Egypt, that they brought the bones of Joseph with them. But the recording of the burial of the bones is left here for the end of Joshua.

And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given to him also there in mount Ephraim ( Joshua 24:33 ).

So the old guard is passing away and the new guard is coming in. And as we move into Judges we'll begin to see how soon they moved away from God, how soon they went into apostasy. I think that prosperity is probably one of the most difficult things to handle.

My father used to have a little motto on his desk. "God please never prosper me above my capacity to maintain my love for You." He recognized that there was a weakness in his own life. He knew what money could do to him. He knew what it did to his family. Thus it was his constant prayer, "God never bless me beyond my capacity to maintain my love for you." I think that was a rather wise prayer. So many people have been blessed beyond the capacity of maintaining that deep devotion for God. Their love begins to wane as the love of the world, and the things of the world begins to occupy their lives.

Next week we'll move on in the book of Judges. Shall we stand? There is one charge that we skipped over in chapter twenty-two that Joshua gave to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, as they were returning back, and it's found in verse five.

He said, "Love the Lord your God, walk in His ways, keep His commandments, cleave unto Him, and serve Him with all your heart and soul." I think that's a tremendous exhortation. "Love the Lord your God, walk in His ways, keep His commandments, stick to Him, cleave unto Him, and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul. Thus may you be blessed of God this week, as you walk with Him, as you serve Him, as you cleave unto Him. "





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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Joshua 24:12". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/joshua-24.html. 2014.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

C. Israel’s second renewal of the covenant 24:1-28

"Joshua did not merely settle for a series of public admonitions in order to guide Israel after his death. The twenty-fourth chapter describes a formal covenant renewal enacted at the site of Shechem for the purpose of getting a binding commitment on the part of the people of Israel to the written Word of God." [Note: Davis and Whitcomb, pp. 87-88.]

The structure of this covenant renewal speech is similar to the typical Hittite suzerainty treaty. It includes a preamble (Joshua 24:1-2 a), historical prologue (Joshua 24:2-13), stipulations for the vassals with the consequences of disobedience (Joshua 24:14-24), and the writing of the agreement (Joshua 24:25-28).

"Joshua 24 completes the book by giving the theological definition of the people of God. Here we suddenly find highly loaded theological language, defining God and the God-man relationship. This makes the chapter one of the most important chapters in the OT for biblical theologians." [Note: Butler, p. 278.]

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Joshua 24:12". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/joshua-24.html. 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

2. Historical prologue 24:2-13

Joshua introduced what follows as the words of Yahweh, Israel’s God (Joshua 24:2). Then he reviewed God’s great acts on behalf of His people, going back to the call of Abraham in Mesopotamia.

The "River" (Joshua 24:2) is the Euphrates. Abraham’s family members were idolaters in Mesopotamia, and we may safely assume that Abraham was too. God’s call of Abraham was pure grace; there was nothing in Abraham that resulted in God choosing him for special blessing. Joshua probably mentioned Nahor because Rebekah, Leah, and Rachel descended from him. Two of the nations that had come from Abraham were Israel and Edom (Joshua 24:4).

The Exodus was a second great proof of God’s grace to Israel (Joshua 24:5-7). The provision of Moses and Aaron, as well as the sending of the plagues, were special gifts then. Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and her preservation in the wilderness were also highlights of God’s faithfulness during this period of Israel’s history.

God’s third great act for Israel was the Israelites’ victory over the Amorites east of the Jordan (Joshua 24:8-10). God also frustrated Moab’s hostility by turning Balaam’s oracles into blessings.

The fourth divine provision was the crossing of the Jordan River and the consequent victory over the Canaanites (Joshua 24:11-13). God routed Israel’s enemies for her by using various hornet-like terrors (Joshua 24:12; cf. Exodus 23:28; Deuteronomy 7:20).

In this section of verses (Joshua 24:2-13), God said 17 times "I" did such and such for you. The emphasis is clearly on God’s great acts for Israel.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Joshua 24:12". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/joshua-24.html. 2012.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And I sent the hornet before you,.... Of which

:-;

which drave them out from before you, [even] the two kings of the Amorites; who were Sihon and Og, and not only them, and the Amorites under them, but the other nations, Hivites, Hittites, c.

[but] not with thy sword, nor with thy bow but by insects of the Lord's sending to them, which, as Kimchi says, so blinded their eyes, that they could not see to fight, and so Israel came upon them, and slew them; in which the hand of the Lord was manifestly seen, and to whose power, and not, their own, the destruction of their enemies was to be ascribed.

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 24:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-24.html. 1999.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Joshua's Farewell Address to Israel. B. C. 1427.

      1 And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.   2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.   3 And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.   4 And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.   5 I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out.   6 And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea.   7 And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season.   8 And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.   9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you:   10 But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.   11 And ye went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand.   12 And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow.   13 And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.   14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.

      Joshua thought he had taken his last farewell of Israel in the solemn charge he gave them in the foregoing chapter, when he said, I go the way of all the earth; but God graciously continuing his life longer than expected, and renewing his strength, he was desirous to improve it for the good of Israel. He did not say, "I have taken my leave of them once, and let that serve;" but, having yet a longer space given him, he summons them together again, that he might try what more he could do to engage them for God. Note, We must never think our work for God done till our life is done; and, if he lengthen out our days beyond what we thought, we must conclude it is because he has some further service for us to do.

      The assembly is the same with that in the foregoing chapter, the elders, heads, judges, and officers of Israel,Joshua 24:1; Joshua 24:1. But it is here made somewhat more solemn than it was there.

      I. The place appointed for their meeting is Shechem, not only because that lay nearer to Joshua than Shiloh, and therefore more convenient now that he was infirm and unfit for travelling, but because it was the place where Abraham, the first trustee of God's covenant with this people, settled at his coming to Canaan, and where God appeared to him (Genesis 12:6; Genesis 12:7), and near which stood mounts Gerizim and Ebal, where the people had renewed their covenant with God at their first coming into Canaan, Joshua 8:30. Of the promises God had made to their fathers, and of the promises they themselves had made to God, this place might serve to put them in mind.

      II. They presented themselves not only before Joshua, but before God, in this assembly, that is, they came together in a solemn religious manner, as into the special presence of God, and with an eye to his speaking to them by Joshua; and it is probable the service began with prayer. It is the conjecture of interpreters that upon this great occasion Joshua ordered the ark of God to be brought by the priests to Shechem, which, they say, was about ten miles from Shiloh, and to be set down in the place of their meeting, which is therefore called (Joshua 24:26; Joshua 24:26) the sanctuary of the Lord, the presence of the ark making it so at that time; and this was done to grace the solemnity, and to strike an awe upon the people that attended. We have not now any such sensible tokens of the divine presence, but are to believe that where two or three are gathered together in Christ's name he is as really in the midst of them as God was where the ark was, and they are indeed presenting themselves before him.

      III. Joshua spoke to them in God's name, and as from him, in the language of a prophet (Joshua 24:2; Joshua 24:2): "Thus saith the Lord, Jehovah, the great God, and the God of Israel, your God in covenant, whom therefore you are bound to hear and give heed to." Note, The word of God is to be received by us as his, whoever is the messenger that brings it, whose greatness cannot add to it, nor his meanness diminish from it. His sermon consists of doctrine and application.

      1. The doctrinal part is a history of the great things God had done for his people, and for their fathers before them. God by Joshua recounts the marvels of old: "I did so and so." They must know and consider, not only that such and such things were done, but that God did them. It is a series of wonders that is here recorded, and perhaps many more were mentioned by Joshua, which for brevity's sake are here omitted. See what God had wrought. (1.) He brought Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees, Joshua 24:2; Joshua 24:3. He and his ancestors had served other gods there, for it was the country in which, though celebrated for learning, idolatry, as some think, had its rise; there the world by wisdom knew not God. Abraham, who afterwards was the friend of God and the great favourite of heaven, was bred up in idolatry, and lived long in it, till God by his grace snatched him as a brand out of that burning. Let them remember that rock out of which they were hewn, and not relapse into that sin from which their fathers by a miracle of free grace were delivered. "I took him," says God, "else he had never come out of that sinful state." Hence Abraham's justification is made by the apostle an instance of God's justifying the ungodly,Romans 4:5. (2.) He brought him to Canaan, and built up his family, led him through the land to Shechem, where they now were, multiplied his seed by Ishmael, who begat twelve princes, but at last gave him Isaac the promised son, and in him multiplied his seed. When Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau, God provided an inheritance for Esau elsewhere in Mount Seir, that the land of Canaan might be reserved entire for the seed of Jacob, and the posterity of Esau might not pretend to a share in it. (3.) He delivered the seed of Jacob out of Egypt with a high hand (Joshua 24:5; Joshua 24:6), and rescued them out of the hands of Pharaoh and his host at the Red Sea, Joshua 24:6; Joshua 24:7. The same waters were the Israelites' guard and the Egyptians' grave, and this in answer to prayer; for, though we find in the story that they in that distress murmured against God (Exodus 14:11; Exodus 14:12), notice is here taken of their crying to God; he graciously accepted those that prayed to him, and overlooked the folly of those that quarrelled with him. (4.) He protected them in the wilderness, where they are here said, not to wander, but to dwell for a long season,Joshua 24:7; Joshua 24:7. So wisely were all their motions directed, and so safely were they kept, that even there they had as certain a dwelling-place as if they had been in a walled city. (5.) He gave them the land of the Amorites, on the other side Jordan (Joshua 24:8; Joshua 24:8), and there defeated the plot of Balak and Balaam against them, so that Balaam could not curse them as he desired, and therefore Balak durst not fight them as he designed, and as, because he designed it, he is here said to have done it. The turning of Balaam's tongue to bless Israel, when he intended to curse them, is often mentioned as an instance of the divine power put forth in Israel's favour as remarkable as any, because in it God proved (and does still, more than we are aware of) his dominion over the powers of darkness, and over the spirits of men. (6.) He brought them safely and triumphantly into Canaan, delivered the Canaanites into their hand (Joshua 24:11; Joshua 24:11), sent hornets before them, when they were actually engaged in battle with the enemy, which with their stings tormented them and with their noise terrified them, so that they became a very easy prey to Israel. These dreadful swarms first appeared in their war with Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites, and afterwards in their other battles, Joshua 24:12; Joshua 24:12. God had promised to do this for them, Exodus 23:27; Exodus 23:28. And here Joshua takes notice of the fulfilling of that promise. See Exodus 23:27; Exodus 23:28; Deuteronomy 7:20. These hornets, it should seem, annoyed the enemy more than the artillery of Israel, and therefore he adds, not with thy sword nor bow. It was purely the Lord's doing. Lastly, They were now in the peaceable possession of a good land, and lived comfortably upon the fruit of other people's labours, Joshua 24:13; Joshua 24:13.

      2. The application of this history of God's mercies to them is by way of exhortation to fear and serve God, in gratitude for his favour, and that it might be continued to them, Joshua 24:14; Joshua 24:14. Now therefore, in consideration of all this, (1.) "Fear the Lord, the Lord and his goodness, Hosea 3:5. Reverence a God of such infinite power, fear to offend him and to forfeit his goodness, keep up an awe of his majesty, a deference to his authority, a dread of his displeasure, and a continual regard to his all-seeing eye upon you." (2.) "Let your practice be consonant to this principle, and serve him both by the outward acts of religious worship and every instance of obedience in your whole conversation, and this in sincerity and truth, with a single eye and an upright heart, and inward impressions answerable to outward expressions." This is the truth in the inward part, which God requires, Psalms 51:6. For what good will it do us to dissemble with a God that searches the heart? (3.) Put away the strange gods, both Chaldean and Egyptian idols, for those they were most in danger of revolting to. It should seem by this charge, which is repeated (Joshua 24:23; Joshua 24:23), that there were some among them that privately kept in their closets the images or pictures of these dunghill-deities, which came to their hands from their ancestors, as heir-looms of their families, though, it may be, they did not worship them; these Joshua earnestly urges them to throw away: "Deface them, destroy them, lest you be tempted to serve them." Jacob pressed his household to do this, and at this very place; for, when they gave him up the little images they had, he buried them under the oak which was by Shechem,Genesis 35:2; Genesis 35:4. Perhaps the oak mentioned here (Joshua 24:26; Joshua 24:26) was the same oak, or another in the same place, which might be well called the oak of reformation, as there were idolatrous oaks.

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Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Joshua 24:12". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/joshua-24.html. 1706.