Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 3:10

Joshua said, "By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will assuredly dispossess from before you the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Hivite, the Perizzite, the Girgashite, the Amorite, and the Jebusite.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Amorites;   Girgashites;   Miracles;   Scofield Reference Index - Israel;   Miracles;   Thompson Chain Reference - Girgashites;   Knowledge;   Knowledge-Ignorance;   Living God;   Miracles;   Names;   Titles and Names;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Jordan, the River;   Miracles Wrought through Servants of God;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Heshbon;   Hittites;   Miracle;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Hittites;   Hivites;   Joshua the son of nun;   Miracles;   Perizzites;   Yahweh;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Nations, the;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Canaanites;   Heshbon;   Kenizzite;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Canaan;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Joshua, the Book of;   Life;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Girgashites;   Jericho;   Jerusalem;   Joshua;   Perizzites;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Living (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Canaanites, the ;   Girgasites, Girgashites;   Jordan ;   Perizzites ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Ark;   Journeyings of israel from egypt to canaan;   Lachish;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Hornet;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Alive;   Death;   Girgashite;   Lively;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Amorites;   Hittites;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you - The Israelites were apt to be discouraged, and to faint at even the appearance of danger; it was necessary, therefore, that they should have the fullest assurance of the presence and assistance of God in the important enterprise on which they were now entering. They are to combat idolaters, who have nothing to trust in and help them but gods of wood, stone, and metal: whereas they are to have the living God in the midst of them - He who is the author of life and of being - who can give, or take it away, at his pleasure; and who by this miracle proved that he had undertaken to guide and defend them: and Joshua makes this manifestation of God the proof that he will drive out the Hittites, Hivites, etc, before them. With regard to the situation of each of these nations in the land of Canaan, Calmet remarks, that those called Canaanites chiefly inhabited what is called Phoenicia, the environs of Tyre and Sidon: the Hittites occupied the mountains, southward of the promised land: the Hivites dwelt by Ebal and Gerizim, Sichem and Gibeon, towards the mountains of Hermon: the Perizzites were probably not a distinct nation or tribe, but rather villagers, scattered through the country in general: the Girgashites possessed the country beyond the Jordan, towards the lake of Gennesareth: the Jebusites possessed Jerusalem: and the Amorites occupied the mountainous country in the vicinity of the western part of the Dead Sea, and also that part of the land of Moab which the Israelites conquered from Sihon and Og.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 3:10". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The living God - Compare the marginal reference. The gods of the pagan are “dead idols.” On the names of the seven nations, see Genesis 10:16, etc., note.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Joshua 3:10". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-3.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Joshua said,.... To the people as follows:

hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you; who has life in and of himself, and is the author of life to all his creatures; and is so called in opposition to the lifeless idols of the Gentiles: and it may be, as Abarbinel observes, to suggest to them, that though Moses was dead, the Lord lived, and lives for evermore; and by the following miracle of dividing the waters of Jordan, it would be a plain case that the Lord was yet among them, to protect and defend them, deliver and save them:

and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites; all the seven nations are mentioned, even the Girgashites, who are sometimes omitted, to assure them of the expulsion of them all, to make way for their entire possession of the land of Canaan, as had been promised 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 3:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And Joshua said, d Hereby ye shall know that the living God [is] among you, and [that] he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.

(d) By this miracle in dividing the water.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 3:10". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-3.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.

Ye shall know — By experience and sensible evidence.

The living God — Not a dull, dead, senseless God, such as the gods of the nations are; but a God of life, and power, and activity to watch over you, and work for you.

Among you — Is present with you to strengthen and help you.

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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.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 3:10". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-3.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 3:10 And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God [is] among you, and [that] he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.

Ver. 10. Hereby ye shall know that the living God.] "Living" and "giving," as 1 Timothy 6:17. "Trust in the living God, who giveth us all things richly to enjoy."

The Canaanites, and the Hittites, &c.] To these seven were those ten nations [Genesis 15:19] reduced, belike, either by mixture, or diminution of some of them.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 3:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-3.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Hereby ye shall know, to wit, by experience and sensible evidence.

The living God; not a dull, dead, senseless, and unactive god, such as the gods of the nations are; but a God of life, and power, and activity, to watch over you, and work for you.

Is among you; is present with you to strengthen and help you, as the phrase signifies, Exodus 17:7 Deuteronomy 31:17 Joshua 22:31.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 3:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-3.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

And Joshua said, “By this you will know that the living God is among you, and will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.” ’

His emphasis was that they might be aware as a result of what happened that their God was a living God, One Who was there, One Who acted, One Who did wonders. And as they saw what He did there they would realise that this was proof that He would indeed without fail drive out from before them the inhabitants of Canaan.

This idea of ‘the living God’ comes from Deuteronomy 5:26. There it was linked to God’s revelation of Himself on Sinai. No one knew better than Moses that He was ‘the living God’. He had met Him at the burning bush, experienced His wonders in Egypt, been guided by Him at the Sea of Reeds, and spoken with Him on Mount Sinai. Now Joshua wanted them to know that the God of Sinai was to be seen as among them again, as ‘the living God’, the God Who would reveal Himself in action on their behalf..

The seven Canaanite peoples are as mentioned in Deuteronomy 7:1 but not in the same order. They are not simply a repetition of Deuteronomy. ‘Seven’ nations, the number of divine perfection, signifies all the peoples in Canaan. See also Joshua 24:11. The terms Canaanites and Amorites were both terms regularly used to describe the general population of the country and the terms were often interchangeable. However there was sometimes some distinction in that often the Canaanites was the term for those occupying the coastlands and the Jordan valley while the Amorites could be seen as dwelling in the hill country east and west of Jordan. And as here they could also be distinguished from other inhabitants of the land.

The Hittites were settlers who had come from the Hittite Empire further north and had settled in Canaan. The Hivites may have been the equivalent of the Horites (see on Genesis 36). Their principal location was in the Lebanese hills (Judges 3:3) and the Hermon range (Joshua 11:3; 2 Samuel 24:7), but there were some in Edom in the time of Esau (Genesis 36), in Shechem (Genesis 34) and in Gibeon (Joshua 9:7). The Perizzites were hill dwellers (Joshua 11:3; Judges 1:4 on) and possibly country peasantry, their name being taken from ‘peraza’ = hamlet. This is supported by the fact that they were not named as Canaan’s sons in Genesis 10:15 on. The Girgashites were mentioned in Genesis 10:16 as descendants of Canaan, see also Genesis 15:21 and Nehemiah 9:8. They were attested at Ugarit in terms of the names ‘grgs’ and ‘ben-grgs’. The Jebusites were the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the hills round about (Numbers 13:29; Joshua 11:3; Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:16). Thus the population was very mixed and open to invasion and infiltration.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 3:10". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-3.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

10.The living God is among you — The adjective living is here and elsewhere applied to God in the sense of true, in opposition to the false pagan gods; and also in the sense of efficient, in opposition to the dead idols of the heathen world. In Psalms 106:28, the heathen are spoken of as eating the sacrifices of the dead — that is, dead idol gods. Jeremiah (Jeremiah 10:3-10) gives a detailed account of the process of manufacturing an idol, and then, in striking contrast, sets forth Jehovah as the living God. We may also with equal truth affirm that the attribute living signifies the providential care of the personal God, instead of the blind, impersonal force, the nondescript agency, which, entombed in matter, is indifferent to the wants and progress of men. The design of Joshua is to inspire faith and courage in the hearts of his people. Hence he represents to them that God will demonstrate by a series of astonishing miracles that he dwells not in serene repose, careless of their good, but that he is alive to their interests, and will overrule the laws of nature to secure their triumph.

Without fail drive out — A strong promise, yet not unconditional. When man fails, God refuses. See notes on Joshua 1:4-6.

Seven tribes are now enumerated, who shall, by the faithful co-operation of Israel with Jehovah, be driven from the Land of Promise. All of these tribes are of the same stock as the Phenicians. “It is startling to be reminded that the detested and accursed race, as it appears in the books of Joshua and Judges, is the same as that to which from Greece we look back as the parent of letters, of commerce, of civilization.” — Stanley. See note on Acts 8:40. Their character, as portrayed by Gentile writers, coincides substantially with that delineated by the Scriptures — their dusky complexion, their southern origin, their preservation of monarchical, federal, and aristocratic institutions, their superiority to surrounding nations in social arts, and their human sacrifices, licentious orgies, and multitudes of gods. In Genesis 15:19-21, ten nations are mentioned, whose land was promised to the seed of Abraham. It is impossible at present to tell the exact location of all these tribes. Some of them seem to have become divided, and, like the tribes of Dan and Manasseh in Israel, become settled in different parts of the land. The Canaanites were, strictly speaking, the lowlanders, who inhabited the lower tracts of Palestine, on the sea-coast and western bank of the Jordan. Numbers 13:29. But this term is often used in a wider sense, including all the tribes west of the Jordan and in Phenicia deriving their descent from Canaan. Genesis 10:15-18.

Hittites — Or, Chittites. Of these Abraham purchased Machpelah, (Genesis 23:10,) and among them Esau married two wives. Genesis 26:34. See note on Joshua 1:4.

Hivites — Or, the Chivite. The Hebrew name is always in the singular. This tribe dwelt at the foot of Hermon, (Joshua 11:3,) and “in mount Lebanon, from mount Baal-hermon unto the entering in of Hamath.” (Judges 3:3;) also at Gibeon (Joshua 9:7; Joshua 11:19) and at Shechem. Genesis 34:2. Gesenius and Furst explain the name as villagers. [Ewald explains it as mid-landers, and supposes that “they loved peaceful occupations and trading pursuits in well-ordered communities and fortified cities, and located themselves principally in districts the most suitable for peaceful civil life, and such as have from the earliest times possessed the most flourishing inland cities.”]

Perizzites — Hebrews, rustics or countrymen. They inhabited the mountainous regions subsequently allotted to Judah and Ephraim, a part of which was afterwards called Samaria. Joshua 11:13; Joshua 17:15. They were engaged in agricultural pursuits. Hence in a wider sense the term Perizzites sometimes includes all the agricultural Canaanites, in distinction from those engaged in trade and commerce.

Girgashites — The residence of this tribe is not distinctly specified in the Old Testament. Eusebius affirms that they dwelt east of the Jordan, and many writers incline to locate them east of lake Gennesaret. For here, according to Matthew 8:28, lay “the country of the Gergesenes,” identical with the name of this tribe, as given in the Septuagint and Vulgate versions.]

Amorites — The mountaineers; the largest, most powerful, and wide-spread tribe of all. Therefore their name is sometimes taken in a wide sense, to include all the Canaanitish tribes, as in Joshua 24:18. A part of them dwelt in the mountainous tract afterwards allotted to Judah, and were subject to five kings. Joshua 10:5. Another part had possession of the region east of the Jordan, between the Arnon and the Jabbok. See note on Joshua 2:10. The Jebusites inhabited the city and neighbouring mountains of Jebus — ancient Jerusalem. They were not expelled from the city till the time of David. 2 Samuel 5:6; 2 Samuel 5:8.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 3:10". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-3.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Living God, in opposition to the idols of the Gentiles, who were dead men, or at least incapable of affording any assistance to their votaries. Josue gives the people two signs of the divine protection, the destruction of the devoted nations, and the miraculous division of the Jordan, or rather the latter prodigy would be an earnest of the former event; and all, both friends and enemies, might be convinced, that the Lord was with his people, and their present leader, as he had been with Moses. No miracle could have been more suitable for the occasion, none more convincing or useful. (Calmet) --- It would naturally inspire the Israelites with confidence, at the revival of the miracles wrought 40 years before, when their fathers and some of themselves had passed the Red Sea, in a similar manner. At the same time, it would fill the Chanaanites with still greater dismay and teach them that all resistance would prove fruitless. Some have wondered that they did not oppose the passage of the Israelites on this occasion. But it is a greater matter of surprise that they should have ventured on the dangerous expedient of encountering them in war, after what they had seen and heard. It can be attributed to nothing but their infatuation, and that blindness with which God punished them, that they might draw on a more speedy and merited destruction for their crimes. (Haydock) --- Destroy. Hebrew. "dispossess, or drive out before you the Chanaanite," &c. These seven nations comprised the ten which are mentioned, Genesis xv. 19. The Chanaanite occupied the countries chiefly about Tyre, while the Hethite dwelt in the southern part of Palestine. The Hevite possessed Mount Hermon, Garizim, &c. The Pherezite were not perhaps a separate people, but employed in cultivating the country. The Gergesite were fixed to the east of the lake of Genesareth, the Jebusite at Jerusalem, and the Amorrhite about the Dead Sea. (Calmet) --- But they were often mixed with one another, so that their limits cannot be ascertained with any degree of precision. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 3:10". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-3.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

living. This title always has a latent reference to idols. Here, to the gods of the idolatrous nations named.

GOD. Hebrew. "el. App-4.

and. Note the Figure of speech Polysendeton (App-6), to emphasise the seven nations.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 3:10". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-3.html. 1909-1922.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.
Hereby ye
Numbers 15:28-30; 1 Kings 18:36,37; 22:28; Psalms 9:16; Isaiah 7:14; 2 Corinthians 13:2,3
living
Deuteronomy 5:26; 1 Samuel 17:26; 2 Kings 19:4; Jeremiah 10:10; Hosea 1:10; Matthew 16:16; John 6:69; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Hebrews 10:31
among
22:31; Exodus 17:7; Deuteronomy 31:17; Judges 6:12,13
drive out from
21:45; Genesis 15:15-18; Exodus 3:8; 23:27-30; 33:2; Deuteronomy 7:1; Psalms 44:2,3
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 4:38 - drive;  Deuteronomy 7:19 - so shall;  Deuteronomy 7:21 - the Lord;  Judges 2:1 - have brought;  Judges 11:24 - whomsoever;  1 Samuel 12:8 - made them;  1 Chronicles 1:14 - Amorite;  Amos 2:9 - I the;  Acts 14:15 - the living;  2 Corinthians 3:3 - the living;  1 Timothy 3:15 - the living;  Hebrews 12:22 - of the

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 3:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-3.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

10.Hereby you shall know, etc He makes the power of the miracle extend further than to the entrance of the land, and deservedly; for merely to open up a passage into a hostile territory, from which there was afterwards no retreat, would have been nothing else than exposure to death. For either entangled among straits, and in an unknown region, they would easily have been destroyed, or they would have perished, worn out by hunger and the absolute want of all things. Joshua therefore declares before hand, that when God would restore the river to its course, it would just be as if he were stretching forth his hand to rout all the inhabitants of the land; and that the manifestation of his power given in the passage of the Jordan, would be a sure presage of the victory which they would obtain over all the nations.

He says, Hence shall you know that the Lord is present with you; to what end? Not only to plant your feet in the land of Canaan, but also to give you full possession of it. For surely when mention is made of the overthrow of the nations, an ultimate, free, and peaceful possession is implied. Therefore, as the Lord by dividing the river clearly showed that his power resided with the Israelites, so the people must on their part have conceived hopes of perpetual assistance, as much as if they had already seen their enemies worsted and lying prostrate before them.

For God does not abandon the work of his hands midway, leaving it maimed and unfinished. (Psalms 138:8) When he leads his people unto the promised inheritance, he makes a dry passage for them by cutting off the course of the Jordan. How perverse then would it have been for the Israelites to stop short at that momentary act, instead of feeling confident in all time to come, until quiet possession of the land were actually obtained! Let us learn then from this example, prudently to combine the different acts of divine goodness relating to our final salvation, so that a happy commencement may cherish and keep alive in our minds the hope of an equally happy termination.

When Joshua says that the people will know the presence of God from the miracle, he indirectly upbraids them with their distrust, as the mere promise of God ought to have sufficed for a full assurance, and our faith, unless founded solely on this promise, must be continually wavering. But although faith ought properly to recline on the truth of God alone, it does not follow that experimental knowledge may not act as a secondary support to its weakness, and give subsidiary aid to its confirmation. For that which God promises to us in word he seals by act, and as often as he exhibits to us manifestations of his grace and might, he intends them to be so many confirmations of what he has spoken, and so many helps tending to suppress all our doubts.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Joshua 3:10". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-3.html. 1840-57.