Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 8:32

He wrote there on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written, in the presence of the sons of Israel.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Altar;   Commandments;   Curse;   Government;   Law;   Stones;   Word of God;   Worship;   Thompson Chain Reference - Commandments;   Decalogue, the;   Law;   Ten Commandments;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Strangers in Israel;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Samaritans;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ebal;   Joshua the son of nun;   Shechem;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Government;   War, Holy War;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ebal;   Gerizim;   Pentateuch;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Bible;   Ebal;   Hilkiah;   Pentateuch;   Plaster;   Writing;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ark of the Covenant;   Covenant;   Deuteronomy, the Book of;   Ebal;   Gerizim and Ebal;   Joshua;   Joshua, the Book of;   Shechem;   Temple of Jerusalem;   Torah;   Writing;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Israel;   Joshua;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Plaster, Plaister;   Stones;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Ebal;   Gerizim;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Ebal;   Gerizim;   Journeyings of israel from egypt to canaan;   Writing;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Tabernacle;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Writing;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Bible, the;   Deuteronomy;   Law, Judicial;   Moses;   Writing;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Deuteronomy;   Ebal;   Shechem;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

A copy of the law of Moses - תורת משנה mishneh torath, the repetition of the law; that is, a copy of the blessings and curses, as commanded by Moses; not a copy of the Decalogue, as some imagine, nor of the book of Deuteronomy, as others think; much less of the whole Pentateuch; but merely of that part which contained the blessings and curses, and which was to be read on this solemn occasion. See the note on Deuteronomy 27:3.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 8:32". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-8.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses,.... Not upon the stones of which the altar was made, though some have so thought; but upon other stones erected in the form of a pillar, and plastered over, Deuteronomy 27:4; which copy of the law was not the whole book of Deuteronomy, as some, at least only an abstract of the laws in it; but rather the decalogue, as Abarbinel; or the blessings and curses later read, as Ben Gersom:

which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel: they being witness of it, that he did what was enjoined.

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 8:32". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-8.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And he wrote there upon the stones a n copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.

(n) Meaning, the ten commandments, which are the sum of the whole Law.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 8:32". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-8.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses — (See on Deuteronomy 27:2, Deuteronomy 27:3, Deuteronomy 27:5); that is, the blessings and curses of the law. Some think that the stones which contained this inscription were the stones of the altar: but this verse seems rather to indicate that a number of stone pillars were erected alongside of the altar, and on which, after they were plastered, this duplicate of the law was inscribed.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 8:32". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-8.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.

Upon the stones — Not upon the stones of the altar, which were to be rough and unpolished, verse31, but upon other stones, smooth and plaistered, as is manifest from Deuteronomy 27:2.

The law of Moses — Not certainly the whole five books of Moses, for what stones and time would have sufficed for this, but the most weighty parts of the law, and especially the law of the ten commandments.

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 8:32". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-8.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 8:32 And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.

Ver. 32. A copy of the law of Moses,] i.e., The decalogue or ten commandments, and therewith, likely, the blessings and curses here pronounced on these two mountains: to the end that all the people might read them, and be well versed in them. But what a sot was that Popish doctor, who, being asked whether he had read the decalogue, denied that he had ever had any such book in his study. (a)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 8:32". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-8.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Not upon the stones of the altar, which were to be rough and unpolished, Joshua 8:31, but upon other stones, smooth and plastered, as is manifest from Deuteronomy 27:2.

A copy of the law of Moses; not certainly the whole five books of Moses, for what stones and time would have sufficed for this! nor the blessings and the curses here following, which never are nor can without great impropriety be called the law of Moses, seeing they presuppose the law, and the observation or transgression thereof, to which they belong, only as rewards of the one, and punishments of the other: but the most weighty and substantial parts of the law, as may be gathered from the laws which are mentioned, and to the violators whereof the curses are applied, Deuteronomy 27:15, and especially the law of the ten commandments.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 8:32". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-8.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

And he wrote there on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.’

These need not have been the same as the altar stones. The Hebrew definite article is not specific. It can simply mean ‘on the stones I am now talking about’. The stones would be plastered white (an Egyptian method) and then written on in a kind of primitive ink. The copy of the Law of Moses probably refers to the covenant containing the ten commandments of Exodus 20:1-17. It may, however have included parts of Deuteronomy.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 8:32". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-8.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

32.He wrote there upon the stones — Whether these stones were the same as those of which the altar was built, or others, erected solely for the purpose of inscription, is not positively determined either by this passage or that of Deuteronomy 27:2-8. But the more probable opinion, and the one adopted by most expositors, is that it was a separate monument of stones on which the law was written. According to the original command, (Deuteronomy 27:4,) the stones were to be smeared with cement, and the words to be written upon it. At first thought this would seem to lack the chief quality of a memorial, durability. But travelers in the east assert that such inscriptions are as lasting as those cut in the rock. Says Dr. Thomson: “A careful examination of Deuteronomy 27:4; Deuteronomy 27:8, and Joshua 8:30-32, will lead to the opinion that the law was written upon, or in, the plaster with which these pillars were coated. This could be done, and such writing was common in ancient times. I have seen numerous specimens of it certainly two thousand years old, and still as distinct as when they were first inscribed on the plaster. In this hot climate, where there is no frost to dissolve the cement, it will continue hard and unbroken for thousands of years, which is certainly long enough. The cement on Solomon’s pools remains in admirable preservation, though exposed to all the vicissitudes of climate, and with no protection. The cement in the tombs about Sidon is still perfect, and the writing entire, though acted upon for perhaps two thousand years by the moist damp air always found in caverns.” Respecting the mode of writing on the cement, he says: “What Joshua did, therefore, when he erected these great stones at Mount Ebal, was merely to write in the still soft cement with a stile, or, more likely, on the polished surface, when dry, with red paint, as in ancient tombs.”

A copy of the law of Moses — The chief difficulty which critics have here is in the size of the work, if the whole of the Torah, or Mosaic law, is to be deemed as thus inscribed. The Hebrew word for copy is mishneh, (משׁנה,) and signifies a repetition, a duplicate, “an apograph next to the original.” The Septuagint and the Vulgate translate it by the word Deuteronomy, which, though literally meaning a repetition of the law, had already acquired a narrower signification. Several Rabbins make the incredible statement that the whole law, word for word, was written on the monuments, in seventy different languages, that all the people of the earth might be able to read it! Clarke and Bush suppose ‘“that only a copy of the blessings and curses, recorded in Deuteronomy 27, 28, was written.” But Keil well says, “To limit ‘the law’ to the blessings and curses is out of the question, for these are not ‘the law.’ but motives added to impel, or rather adjure, the people to keep the law inviolate.” [The opinion of Grotius seems at first very plausible, that the Decalogue is meant, for it contains the essence of the whole law, all else being accessory to it. But against it is the insuperable objection, that to call” the words of the covenant” — “the ten words,” (Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 4:13,) which are ever associated with “the two tables of the testimony” — to call these a copy of the law of Moses would be inexplicably strange. In the absence of any specific statement it is impossible to decide the question positively, but we incline to the view of Hengstenberg, Keil, and others, that the so-called “second law” is meant, which is embodied in Deuteronomy, between Deuteronomy 4:44, and Deuteronomy 26:19, omitting, of course; the exhortations and historical incidents with which it is now associated in the Book of Deuteronomy. This would be the essence of all the law of Moses.]

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 8:32". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-8.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 8:32. Upon the stones — Not upon the stones of the altar, which, were to be rough and unpolished, (Joshua 8:13,) but upon other stones, smooth and plastered, as is manifest from Deuteronomy 27:2. A copy of the law of Moses — Not certainly the whole five books of Moses, for what stones or time would have sufficed for this? but the most weighty parts of the law, and especially the law of the ten commandments.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 8:32". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-8.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Stones, of which the altar was formed, (Calmet) or on a separate monument, (Masius) consisting of two stones of black marble, so as to leave the letters prominent, and to fill up the vacuities with white plaster, that they might be seen more plainly, and might, at the same time, be more durable than if they had been only written on the cement, whatever some may have said of the tenacity of the ancient plaster. --- Deuteronomy. &c., or copy of the Decalogue which, by way of eminence, is called the law, Acts vii. 53. It is distinguished from the blessings and the curses; (ver. 34,) and Moses referred to it, as already existing, (Deuteronomy xxvii. 3, 8,) though the Book of Deuteronomy was not finished till afterwards. He might point to the very tables contained in the ark. "This law, consisting of only 16 verses, might easily be engraved on this solemn day; whereas to engrave the 80 verses of blessings and cursings, would be improbable; and engraving the Pentateuch, or indeed the Book of Deuteronomy, had been impossible." That the Decalogue was to be thus solemnly proclaimed is evident, from the Samaritan text, Exodus xx. 18. (Kennicott) --- This was the covenant which God had made with his people, (Deuteronomy iv. 13,) and which Moses cautions the Israelites to observe; as upon their fidelity, their present and future happiness entirely depended. It was on this title alone that they could hold the land of Chanaan; and therefore Josue takes care thus publicly to admonish them of their duty. (Haydock) --- The Rabbins say that the whole Pentateuch was written on this occasion in 70 languages, that no nation might plead ignorance. But we can hardly believe that even the Book of Deuteronomy could be written, and read, and explained to the people, as that would require many days. (Calmet)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 8:32". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-8.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

he wrote. See note on Exodus 17:14.

a copy = duplicate.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 8:32". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-8.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.

He wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law [ mishneeh (Hebrew #4932), a copy, a duplicate (see the note at Deuteronomy 27:2-8) - i:e., the blessings and curses of the law]. It is impossible that it could be a transcript of the whole law, as Baumgarten thinks, and very improbable of all Deuteronomy. Kurtz ('History of the Old Covenant,' 1:, p. 57, English translation) and Keil suppose that it comprised only 'the legal portions of that book;' Michaelis, 'the essential parts of all the books in the Pentateuch;' Knobel, 'not the Mosaic, law in general, but only the commandments;' Rosenmuller, Maurer, and many others, consider the copy as confined to the blessings and warnings enumerated in Deuteronomy 27:1-26; while Kennicott, Gerlach, and others, limit it to the 'ten words' of the Decalogue. The hope has been expressed by eminent writers that those plastered stones may one day be discovered (Michaelis, 'Laws of Moses,' art. 69:); and the Palestine Exploration Society has included a search for them in the list of subjects for the inquiry of their scientific agents. Some (Maurer, etc., after Josephus, 'Antiquities,' b. 4:, ch. 8:, sec. 44; also b. 5:, ch. 1:, sec. 19) think that the stones which contained this inscription were the stones of the altar; but this verse seems rather to indicate that a number of stone pillars were erected alongside of the altar, and on which, after they were plastered, this duplicate of the law was inscribed.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 8:32". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-8.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.
Deuteronomy 27:2,3,8
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 8:32". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-8.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

32.And he wrote there upon the stones, etc A different rule is applicable to the stones here mentioned, on which God wished that a memorial of his Law should always appear, in order that, a kind of barrier might be interposed to protect the pure religion against the superstitions of Egypt. They were therefore covered with lime, that they might be more conspicuous, and the writing upon them more distinct. I willingly subscribe to the opinion of those who understand by the repeated Law a written form, or what is commonly called a copy or duplicate. I cannot, however, believe that the whole volume was traced upon it; for no stones however large could suffice to contain all the details. I therefore think that by the term Law only its substance and sanctions (79) are denoted. This made it palpable even to strangers entering the land what God was worshipped in it, and all excuse for error was taken away, when the Law was not treasured up in a book, but made manifest to the eyes of all. In short, though the priests should have been dumb, the stones themselves spoke clearly.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Joshua 8:32". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/joshua-8.html. 1840-57.