Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 24:23

"Now therefore, put away the foreign gods which are in your midst, and incline your hearts to the Lord , the God of Israel."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Backsliders;   Covenant;   Decision;   Polytheism;   Shechem;   The Topic Concordance - Heart;   Idolatry;  
Dictionaries:
Fausset Bible Dictionary - Joshua;   Pillars;   Shechem (1);   Holman Bible Dictionary - Covenant;   Ebal;   Joshua;   Joshua, the Book of;   Temple of Jerusalem;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Shechem;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Idolatry;   Smith Bible Dictionary - She'chem;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Heart;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Gods;   Joshua (2);   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Shechem;   Teraphim;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Now therefore put away - As you have promised to reform, begin instantly the work of reformation. A man's promise to serve God soon loses its moral hold of his conscience if he do not instantaneously begin to put it in practice. The grace that enables him to promise is that by the strength of which he is to begin the performance.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 24:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-24.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Now therefore put away, said he,.... Which last words are rightly supplied, for they are the words of Joshua:

the strange gods which are among you; not their private notions and secret sentiments that some of them had imbibed in favour of idols, and the worship of them, as Ben Gersom thinks; but, as the Targum expresses it,"the idols of the Gentiles;'either such as they had brought out of Egypt, or had found among the plunder of the Canaanites, and had secretly retained; or, as others think, their "penates", or household gods, they had privately kept and worshipped, such as those that were in Jacob's family, which he caused to be delivered to him, and which he hid under an oak in this place where Israel were now assembled, Genesis 35:2; and which Joshua by a prophetic discerning spirit perceived were now among them:

and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel; to love, fear, and serve him; that is, pray that your hearts may be inclined thereunto, and make use of all means that may tend to direct your hearts to him, and his service; so the Targum,"to the worship of the Lord God of Israel.'

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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 24:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-24.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Now therefore put away, [said he], the strange k gods which [are] among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.

(k) Out of your hearts and otherwise.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 24:23". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-24.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.

Strange gods — Those idols which you either brought out of Egypt, or have taken in Canaan, which some of you keep contrary to God's command, whether for the preciousness of the matter, or rather for some secret inclination to superstition and idolatry.

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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 24:23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-24.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 24:23 Now therefore put away, [said he], the strange gods which [are] among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.

Ver. 23. Now therefore.] Set forthwith upon the work of reformation which you have covenanted.

Put away the strange.] Out of doors with those Balaam’s blocks, those mawmets and monuments of idolatry, those images of jealousy which provoke to jealousy: [Ezekiel 8:3] throw also all your sinful lusts out of service, and serve the Lord. See Joshua 24:14.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 24:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-24.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 23. Now, therefore, put away—the strange gods See ver. 14. All this evidently shews, that Joshua was a prophet, that he could penetrate the secret intentions of the Israelites, and was certain of their propensity to idolatry. Publicly they worshipped only the true God, but in secret they had their penates (as the Romans termed them), their household gods; idols which they worshipped clandestinely, teraphim, little statues, magical rings, and other such instruments of superstition. See Spencer de Leg. Heb. lib. 3: dissert, 1 cap. 3. Of these we have more than once had occasion to speak.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 24:23". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/joshua-24.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The strange gods which are among you; those idols which yon either brought out of Egypt, or have taken in Canaan, which I have too much reason to believe that some of you, contrary to God’s command, do keep, whether for the preciousness of the matter, or rather for some secret inclination to superstition and idolatry, as the following words imply. See Joshua 24:14.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 24:23". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-24.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

23.The strange gods The teraphim. See note on Joshua 24:14.

Incline your heart — By the free act of your will in the use of the power by God’s grace conferred on all.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 24:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-24.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

Now therefore put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your hearts to YHWH, the God of Israel.”

The reply in Joshua 24:22 b had been an interjection. Now Joshua continued with his exhortation. In the course of their lives, and in the course of receiving spoils from captured Canaanite cities, many Israelites had accumulated mascots and amulets and suchlike, including possibly images of Baal and Ashtoreth, in which they possibly placed much faith for protection and ‘luck’ without realising that it was derogatory to YHWH. Now he called on them to put them away (compare Genesis 35:2). The phrase ‘foreign gods’ was very significant. Such things were foreign to those who were His people, to those who worshipped YHWH. They had no place in Israel where YHWH was supreme and unique and sole divinity.

“And incline your hearts to YHWH, the God of Israel.” All that they had looked to receive from their charms and amulets they must now look to Him to provide. Their response to Him and worship of Him must be total. Again there is the emphasis that Israel has no God but YHWH.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 24:23". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-24.html. 2013.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 24:23. Put away the strange gods which are among you — Meaning those idols which they had either brought out of Egypt, or had taken in Canaan, and which some of them kept, contrary to God’s command, whether for the preciousness of the matter, or rather from some secret inclination to superstition and idolatry.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 24:23". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-24.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

strange gods = strangers" (or foreigners") gods.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 24:23". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-24.html. 1909-1922.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.
put away
14; Genesis 35:2-4; Exodus 20:23; Judges 10:15,16; 1 Samuel 7:3,4; Hosea 14:2,3,8; 1 Corinthians 10:19-21; 2 Corinthians 6:16-18
incline
Proverbs 2:2; Hebrews 12:28,29
Reciprocal: Joshua 24:19 - Ye cannot;  1 Kings 18:21 - if the Lord;  Job 31:28 - for;  Psalm 119:112 - inclined

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 24:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-24.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

23.Now, therefore, put away the strange gods, etc How can it be that those who were lately such stern avengers of superstition, have themselves given admission to idols? Yet the words expressly enjoin that they are to put away strange gods from the midst of them. If we interpret that their own houses were still polluted by idols, we may see, as in a bright mirror, how complacently the greater part of mankind can indulge in vices which they prosecute with inexorable severity in others. But, as I do not think it probable that they dared, after the execution of Achan, to pollute themselves with manifest sacrilege, I am inclined to think that reference is made not to their practice but to their inclinations, and that they are told to put all ideas of false gods far away from them. For he had previously exhorted them in this same chapter to take away the gods whom their fathers had served beyond the river and in Egypt. But nobody will suppose that the idols of Chaldea were treasured up in their repositories, or that they had brought impure deities with them from Egypt, to be a cause of hostility between God and themselves. The meaning, therefore, simply is, that they are to renounce all idols, and clear themselves of all profanity, in order that they may purely worship God alone. (205) This seems to be the purport of the clause, incline your heart unto the Lord, which may be taken as equivalent to, rest in him, and so give up your heart to the love of him, as to delight and be contented only with him.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Joshua 24:23". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-24.html. 1840-57.