Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 4:24

that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Fear of God;   Gilgal;   God Continued...;   Hand;   Instruction;   Miracles;   Stones;   Thompson Chain Reference - Divine;   Fear;   Fear of God;   God;   God's;   Hand, Divine;   Reverence-Irreverence;   The Topic Concordance - Fear;   God;   Power;   Strength;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Fear, Godly;   Jordan, the River;   Pillars;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Family;   Miracles;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Joshua, the Book of;   Pilgrimage;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Jericho;   Joshua;   Quarry;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Jordan ;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Fear;   Joshua, Book of;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - God;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

That all the people of the earth might know - It is very likely that הארץ עמי כל col ammey haarets means simply, all the people of this land - all the Canaanitish nations, to whom, by the miracles wrought in behalf of his people, he intended to show his eternal power and Godhead, the excellence of his protection, and the unavailableness of human might against his omnipotence; and the miracles he wrought for this people, in the sight of the heathen, were well calculated to make these things known.

  1. God intends that his religion should be maintained and propagated in the earth; therefore he has given a revelation of himself to men, that it may be taught in the world; and he particularly requires that parents should be diligent and fervent in teaching their children the knowledge of his name.
  • This is one great use of the ordinances of the Gospel, and the rites of religion. They are all significators of sacred things, and point out matters of infinite importance beyond themselves.
  • A spirit of inquiry is common to every child: the human heart is ever panting after knowledge; and if not rightly directed when young, will, like that of our first mother, go astray after forbidden science.
  • If we wish our children to be happy we should show them where happiness is to be found. If we wish them to be wise, we should lead them unto God by means of his word and ordinances. It is natural for a child to inquire, "What do you mean by this baptism? - by this sacrament? - by praying - by singing psalms and hymns?" etc. And what fine opportunities do such questions give pious and intelligent parents to instruct their children in every article of the Christian faith, and in every fact on which these articles are established! Oh why is this neglected, while the command of God is before our eyes, and the importance of the measure so strikingly obvious?
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    Bibliographical Information
    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 4:24". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-4.html. 1832.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty,.... Even almighty, and can do that which is marvellous and surprising, and above the power of nature to effect; things unsearchable and past finding out, which cannot be expressed, or conceived how and by what means they are brought about; this the very Heathens would own and acknowledge when they should see these stones, and be told the meaning of them, or should hear of this amazing event:

    that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever; as the above mentioned end was to be answered among the people of the earth by these stones, this among the people of Israel; who upon sight of them would call to mind the power and goodness of God, which would serve to keep an awe of his majesty on their mind, a due reverence of him and his greatness, and engage them to fear, serve, and worship him; who by such acts as these had abundantly showed himself to be the only true and living God, and the covenant God of them his people Israel; the Septuagint version is,"that ye may worship the Lord your God in every work.'

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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.
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    Bibliographical Information
    Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 4:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-4.html. 1999.

    Geneva Study Bible

    That all the people of the i earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it [is] mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

    (i) God's benefits serve as a further condemnation to the wicked, and stir up his own to reverence and obey him.
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    Bibliographical Information
    Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 4:24". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-4.html. 1599-1645.

    Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

    REFLECTIONS

    HERE would I pause, and in the contemplation of Israel's passing over Jordan, look back upon that sacred stream, and cry out, What hath God wrought? Surely, not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord promised Israel. Well may they look forward to the sure conquest of Canaan, since God hath thus begun to magnify the riches of his grace towards them, and set up the pillars of remembrance to the divine glory.

    My soul! hast thou no part in this history? Is not thy Joshua here beautifully represented? Was it not Jesus and his power over all the Jordans, which rolled to keep him and his people back which are here set forth? Fear not then. Set up thy Ebenezer in Gilgal. And when thy children ask thee in time to come, what mean these things? Point to Jesus. Direct them to the Red Sea in his blood. And let them know that all his people are more than conquerors through his grace helping them, that neither death nor life, nor things present nor things to come, nor all the Jordans of sin and the grave, shall be able to separate from Christ Jesus our Lord.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Joshua 4:24". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/joshua-4.html. 1828.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    Joshua 4:24 That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it [is] mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

    Ver. 24. That all the people of the earth might know.] And acknowledge God’s power and providence: for at his own glory he aimeth in all his actions, and at the good of his people.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 4:24". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-4.html. 1865-1868.

    Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

    Ver. 24. That all the people of the earth might know, &c.— "That all the nations in this country and its adjacencies, to which the fame of this prodigy shall spread itself, may learn the infinite power of the Lord, the only true God, to whom you peculiarly belong; and that you, O Israelites, especially, for whom that God hath performed so many miracles, may inviolably persevere to render him that worship and obedience which he requires at your hands." To fear God, it is well known, has all the energy that we apply to it in this paraphrase; and therefore the LXX have rendered the latter clause of the verse, that ye may worship the Lord your God in every thing you do, i.e. in your whole conduct.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 4:24". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/joshua-4.html. 1801-1803.

    Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

    “That all the people of the earth might know the hand of YHWH, that it is mighty, that they might fear YHWH your God for ever.”

    These two great events were not just a witness to the children of Israel but to the whole world far and wide. They too would be made to recognise the great power of YHWH, and learn to ‘fear’ Him (compare Deuteronomy 28:10), especially when One Who was greater than all would one day come up out of that Jordan to become a witness to and sacrifice for that world.

    For the fear of YHWH compare Deuteronomy 6:2; Deuteronomy 6:13; Deuteronomy 4:10; Deuteronomy 5:29. Joshua was steeped in the ancient traditions and especially in Moses’ teaching in Deuteronomy. It signified reverent awe. We too must remember that like them we must love God and fear Him. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. He is not to be treated lightly.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 4:24". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-4.html. 2013.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    24.All the people of the earth — We need not limit this expression to mean merely the nations of the land of Canaan, for this amazing miracle was doubtless designed to teach impressive lessons of divine power to the nations of all coming ages.

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    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 4:24". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-4.html. 1874-1909.

    Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

    Joshua 4:24. That all the people of the earth might know, &c. — Although this may primarily mean the neighbouring nations, yet there is great reason to think that both this and Exodus 9:16, That my name may be declared throughout all the earth, had a prophetic aspect, and looked to distant ages, even to the end of time, and to all the nations on the face of the earth; to whom these wonderful facts should bear witness of the true God, as well as to the surrounding nations. And when we consider how the Holy Scriptures, the record of these facts, have been already carried into almost every nation, what a forcible evidence they bear with them, how entire they still remain after so many thousands of years, and what probability there is, when the Jews are converted, that they will be made more known in every nation and language, we may see great reason to conclude that these miracles were intended to make known the power of the true God to all nations, as well as to the Israelites; and in fact they do equally declare him to us, as they did to them.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 4:24". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-4.html. 1857.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    People = Peoples.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 4:24". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-4.html. 1909-1922.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.
    all the people
    Exodus 9:16; Deuteronomy 28:10; 1 Samuel 17:46; 1 Kings 8:42,43; 2 Kings 5:15; 19:19; Psalms 106:8; Daniel 3:26-29; 4:34,35; 6:26,27
    that it is
    Exodus 15:16; 1 Chronicles 29:12; Psalms 89:13
    ye might
    Exodus 14:31; 20:20; Deuteronomy 6:2; Psalms 76:6-8; 89:7; Jeremiah 10:6,7; 32:40
    for ever
    Heb. all days. Reciprocal: Exodus 10:1 - that I;  Joshua 2:10 - For we;  1 Kings 8:60 - That all;  Daniel 4:32 - until;  Habakkuk 3:10 - the overflowing

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    Bibliographical Information
    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 4:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-4.html.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    24.That all people of the earth might know, etc He states that God had put forth that manifestation of his power that it might not only be proclaimed among his own people, but that the form of it might spread far and wide among the nations. For although it pleased him that his praise should dwell in Zion, it pleased him also that his works should so far be made known to strangers that they might be forced to confess that he is the true God, and compelled unwillingly to fear him whom they had willingly contemned, as it is said in the song of Moses, (Deuteronomy 32:31) “Our enemies are judges.” For he means that unbelievers, whether they will or not, have this confession extorted from them by a knowledge of the works of God. But as it did not at all profit them to know how great the might of God was, Joshua distinguishes them from the Israelites, to whom he attributes a special knowledge, namely, that which begets serious fear of God. That the nations may know, he says; but that thou may fear thy God. Therefore while unbelievers extinguish the light by their darkness, let us learn from considering the works of God to advance in his fear. He says all days, because the favor here spoken of was diffused over several generations.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Calvin, John. "Commentary on Joshua 4:24". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-4.html. 1840-57.