Joshua 1:5: God’s Promise of Assistance, Part 1

Verse 5:[1] (Deut. 7:24) There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: (Ex. 3:12) as I was with Moses, so (Deut. 31:8, 23; Josh. 1:9, 17; 3:7; 6:27; Isa. 43:2, 5) I will be with thee: (Deut. 31:6, 8; Heb. 13:5) I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

[No one shall be able, etc.] Not one of those enemies shall bear your sight, still less be able to resist you. In this verse He removes from him the fear of enemies, etc.; in the following verse, the fear of the difficulty of government: or, it is possible that both are conjoined here; that is to say, none, either of thine enemies, or of thy people, against thee (Masius).

[The days of thy life] He promises continual success to him. Some think that those calamities are tacitly indicated into which the Israelites cast themselves after the death of Joshua: which I do not approve. For, 1. for thus the exhortation would be hardly effective, especially when Joshua, as the highest Prince, was not able to be take care of his people after him. 2. It does not agree with these super-abounding promises, in which He was saying that the borders were to be extended even unto Euphrates, which, nevertheless, was not to be done while Joshua was living (Masius).

[Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee] This is not a comparison of familiarity (which with God Moses had above all others, Deuteronomy 34:10), but of Divine aid (Masius, Menochius[2]). I will be with thee, helping thee, fighting for thee (Lapide). And who shall resist him by whom God stands? Romans 8:31. The Chaldean has, thus shall my word be with thee as a help.[3] Thus he is wont to translate, when in Hebrew there is mention that Jehovah is with mortals, etc., so that it is plausible that even he, being unaware set forth the mystery of the Word begotten by the Father. For, as often as God declared His presence with the Fathers, most Theologians suppose that it was then accomplished through Christ. Just as with Moses: We are taught that neither Moses, nor any other, by their own strength and industry conducted those most illustrious matters, but that all things ought to be set to the account of the one God. See Isaiah 10:5 and 45:1 (Masius). To be with someone is to be present with and favor him (Vatablus).

As I was with Moses, to assist him against all his enemies, and in all the difficulties of governing this stiff-necked people, which Joshua might justly fear no less than the Canaanites.

[I will not abandon (thus Munster), לֹ֥א אַרְפְּךָ֖[4]] I will not forsake, or desert, or leave, thee (Septuagint, Syriac, Pagnine, Junius and Tremellius, Arabic); I will not loosen thee (Montanus[5]). I will not cause thee to relax; that is, I will not permit thee to faint in heart, and to be slack in strength. See what things we said on Deuteronomy 4:31[6] (Malvenda). I will not cause thee to be slack (Tigurinus, Drusius). I will not allow thee to be of sagging strength, or of a neglectful spirit (Masius, Drusius). Or rather, I shall not be negligent, or insufficiently attentive, in sustaining thee. For this remissness or relaxation appears rather to pertain to God. God here promises two things; 1. That He is going to be near to him, 2. That He will on no occasion be absent, lest on any occasion he, permission having been granted to his, that is, human, nature, might stray from the true path of virtue. For, without God, we are not only not able to do any good, John 15:5, but also not able to omit any evil. Neither is it sufficient for human weakness, if unto the duties of virtues it be occasionally helped by God; unless it also be supported by His perpetual grace, as if by a hand, lest by the defective character of its nature it run continually into all vices. Therefore, this is not at all an unnecessary appendix (Masius).

[I will not forsake] Unless thou or thine first forsake me, as in Joshua 7 (Lapide, Bonfrerius). God promises that He is going to be constant and firm in His friendship and promised help (Serarius).

I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee; I will not leave thee destitute either of inward support, or of outward assistance.

[1] Hebrew: לֹא־יִתְיַצֵּ֥ב אִישׁ֙ לְפָנֶ֔יךָ כֹּ֖ל יְמֵ֣י חַיֶּ֑יךָ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֙ר הָיִ֤יתִי עִם־מֹשֶׁה֙ אֶהְיֶ֣ה עִמָּ֔ךְ לֹ֥א אַרְפְּךָ֖ וְלֹ֥א אֶעֶזְבֶֽךָּ׃

[2] John Stephen Menochius (1576-1656) joined the Society of Jesuits at an early age.  His superiors in the order, recognizing his academic abilities, set him apart for training in the exposition of Holy Scripture.  His Commentarii in Sacram Scripturam displays great learning and sound judgment.

[3] Chaldean: כְמָא דַהְוָה מֵימְרִי בְסַעְדֵיה.

[4] רָפָה signifies to sink or relax; in the Hiphil, to cause to sink, to let drop, and thus to abandon.

[5] Benedict Arias Montanus (1527-1598) was a Spanish Benedictine monk.  He attended the Council of Trent, and was heavily involved in the production of the Polyglot Bible.  He wrote commentaries on several books of the Bible, including Joshua.

[6] Deuteronomy 4:31:  “(For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee (לֹ֥א יַרְפְּךָ֖), neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.”

Joshua 1:4: The Borders of the Promised Land

Verse 4:[2] (Gen. 15:18; Ex. 23:31; Num. 34:3-12) From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.

[From the wilderness, etc.] He defines the land by three regions of heaven: The Wilderness in the South; Libanus,[3] and far beyond that the Euphrates, in the North; The Great Sea in the West. Jordan is omitted, which was in the East, because from it those borders are shown by God to Joshua (Masius), who was not standing far from it (Lapide). To others, Euphrates is here set forth as the eastern boundary (Drusius,[4] Malvenda). See Genesis 15:18 and Deuteronomy 11:24 (Malvenda).

[From the wilderness] Namely, Sin and Kadesh[5] (Masius, Serarius, Vatablus, Drusius), which is called the wilderness by antonomasia,[6] because from recent experience it was in the memory of all (Serarius). From the Arabian desert (Lapide).

[And Libanus (thus Targum Jonathan,[7] Syriac, Munster,[8] Pagnine,[9] Tigurinus,[10] Junius and Tremellius, Malvenda)] But the Septuagint has Anti-libanus. This is not strange: For Libanus and Anti-libanus are actually one mountain, but divided by a valley lying between, as Pliny testifies in his Natural History 5:20 (Masius). Now, Libanus is the tallest, largest, and most pleasant of all the mountains of Syria: so called, either from לָבָן/laban/white, because it is always white with snow at its peak (Lapide); or, from frankincense,[11] because it was fruitful with cedars and other resinous trees, from which at least a certain sort of frankincense was extracted (Masius). Hebrew: from that Libanus,וְהַלְּבָנ֙וֹן הַזֶּ֜ה; either, because from that place it was able to be discerned, and it was pointed out be God, who was speaking; or, on account of eminence. I translate it, all the way unto Libanus. To the noun הַלְּבָנוֹן, the Libanus, I applied ἀπὸ κοινοῦ, from common usage, the עַד/unto, which immediately follows;[12] and the ה, set before the names of places, often means unto. A twin construction is clearly found in 1 Kings 4:21[13] (Masius).

This Lebanon; this emphatically, as being the most eminent mountain in Syria, and the northern border of the land: or this which is within my view; as if the Lord appeared to him in the form of a man, and pointed to it.

[Unto the great river] Thus Lucan[14] calls the Euphrates in Pharsalia 3, …with Tigris, the great Euphrates (Malvenda). [Concerning this river and its name, see what things are on Genesis 2 concerning Paradise.] Or, it is called great with respect to the rivers that are in the Holy Land (Vatablus).

[All the land of the Hethites, הַחִתִּים] Either it is a Synecdoche; from the one nation he understands the remaining six (Vatablus, Lapide, Tostatus in Bonfrerius, a great many interpreters in Malvenda); just as elsewhere he calls the same nations Amorites: thus Heth in Genesis 27:46 is explained by Canaan in Genesis 28:1 (Lapide). Or he names the Hethites, 1. Because they dwelt in the West. The more learned find satisfaction in this (Vatablus). They join it to what follows, the land of the Hitties, unto the great sea, toward the setting of the sun (Malvenda). [Others otherwise.] These were evidently inhabiting the eastern tract (Junius), and therefore are joined to the description of the eastern border; whence they translate it, unto…Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites (Malvenda). 2. Because these were more formidable than the others, He rouses Josua against them. See Numbers 13:33 and 14:1 (Masius, Bonfrerius, Lapide). For these were the most bellicose of all, as it is evident from 2 Kings 7:6 (Masius). Uriah was a Hittite, 2 Samuel 12:9. And they were called חִתִּים, that is to say, those striking fear[15] (Lapide). In this place, they were the Anakim: for, that the Hethites inhabited the places around Beersheba and around Hebron,[16] is evident from Genesis 23; 25:9, 10; 26:34; 27:46 (Masius).

Of the Hittites, that is, of the Canaanites, who elsewhere are all called Amorites, as Genesis 15:16, and here Hittites, by a synecdoche; the Hittites being the most considerable and formidable of all, as may appear from Numbers 13:33; 14:1; 2 Kings 7:6; and many of them being of the race of the giants, dwelling about Hebron. See Genesis 25:9, 10; 26:34; 27:46.

[Unto the great sea] That is, the Mediterranean (Masius, Vatablus, Malvenda); which is called Great with respect to the other seas of the Holy Land, namely, the salt sea[17] and the lake of Gennesaret[18] (Vatablus).

The great sea; the midland sea, great in itself, and especially compared with those lesser collections of waters, which the Jews called seas.

[Toward the setting of the sun (thus Munster, Tigurinus), מְב֣וֹא הַשָּׁ֑מֶשׁ] From the setting of the sun (Septuagint, Pagnine, similarly the Arabic, Junius and Tremellius). Unto the great sea of the setting of the sun (Jonathan).

[Your border] That is, your region, which, as is apparent, which shall be marked by those boundaries (Vatablus). Question: But how was this land given to the Israelites? Response 1: This entire land was delivered to them, that it might be subject to taxation and tribute, although not as inheritance (Augustine in Masius). [This does not satisfy:] For the entire land is promised to them for an inheritance, as it is evident from Deuteronomy 19:8-10 (Masius, Serarius). That external empire of David and Solomon, which they were holding even beyond Euphrates, was only furnishing security for the Israelites, but not larger properties. It is not able to be proven that the Hebrews got possession of any of these provinces as their own possessions, nor that they sent colonies of their own nation there, nor that (which God had commanded in Deuteronomy 19) they had established new cites of refuge in them. Even in the time of Solomon the borders are set from Dan[19] unto Beersheba, 1 Kings 4:25, and from the entering of of Hamath[20] unto the river of Egypt.[21] And of those twelve prefectures, 1 Kings 4:7, none were established outside of Canaan (Masius). Response 2: God promised and determined two different borders for His Israel; one narrower, the other broader, all the way to Euphrates: and indeed with those narrower borders He will that they live content at first, right until they, growing more and more, had need of a larger space; for then all the places unto Euphrates, with the original possessors driven out, they were able to claim for themselves, if in the meantime by their piety they present themselves worthy of God’s greater liberality. The truth of the Divine promises is not thus endangered in any way: for it is not absurd, if what things are promised under a condition, if I might make use of forensic language, with the condition never appearing, they are never fulfilled (Masius). Those spacious tracts the Hebrews did not obtain on account of their faintheartedness and other sins, as it is proven out of Judges 2:20 (Lapide). From a compact and agreement God treated with the Israelites, as it is evident from Deuteronomy 11:22-25, which these words in verse 3, as I said to Moses, also indicate (Masius on verse 3). Add that in the kingdom of Christ these promises have been fulfilled lavishly and abundantly to true Israelites, even the seed of Abraham by faith[22] (Masius).

Your coast: Objection. The Israelites never possessed all this land. Answer 1. That was from their own sloth and cowardice, and disobedience to God, and breach of those conditions upon which this promise was suspended. See Judges 2:20, 21. 2. This land was not all to be possessed by them at once, but by degrees, as their numbers and necessities increased; but Canaan being fully sufficient for them, and many of the Israelites being from time to time either cut off or carried captive for their sins, there was never any need of enlarging their possessions. 3. Though their possessions extended not to Euphrates, yet their dominion did, and all those lands were tributary to them in David’s and Solomon’s time.

[1] Hebrew: כָּל־מָק֗וֹם אֲשֶׁ֙ר תִּדְרֹ֧ךְ כַּֽף־רַגְלְכֶ֛ם בּ֖וֹ לָכֶ֣ם נְתַתִּ֑יו כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבַּ֖רְתִּי אֶל־מֹשֶֽׁה׃

[2] Hebrew: מֵהַמִּדְבָּר֩ וְהַלְּבָנ֙וֹן הַזֶּ֜ה וְֽעַד־הַנָּהָ֧ר הַגָּד֣וֹל נְהַר־פְּרָ֗ת כֹּ֚ל אֶ֣רֶץ הַֽחִתִּ֔ים וְעַד־הַיָּ֥ם הַגָּד֖וֹל מְב֣וֹא הַשָּׁ֑מֶשׁ יִֽהְיֶ֖ה גְּבוּלְכֶֽם׃

[3] The Libanus and Antilibanus are parallel mountain ranges, running north-south through Syria.

[4] John Drusius (1550-1616) was a Protestant scholar; he excelled in Oriental studies, Biblical exegesis, and critical interpretation, as is evident from his Annotationes in Pentateuchum, Josuam, Judices, Ruth, Samuelem, Estheram, Jobum, Coheleth, seu Ecclesiasten, Prophetas Minores, Ecclesiasticum, Tobit, 1 Librum Machabæorum and Notæ Majores in Genesin, Exodum, Leviticum, et Priora 18 Capita Numerorum.  He served as Professor of Oriental Languages at Oxford (1572), at Louvain (1577), and at Franeker (1585).

[5] The Desert of Sin and Kadesh-Barnea are roughly fifty miles southwest of the Dead Sea.  See Exodus 16:1 and Numbers 13:26.

[6] Antonomasia is a kind of metonymy; an epithet or appellative takes the place of a proper name.

[7] Jonathan ben Uzziel (first century) was one of the great pupils of Hillel.  It is a matter of some doubt whether Jonathan ben Uzziel is actually responsible for the translation of this portion of the Chaldean Version.  For the most part, Targum Jonathan tends to be more paraphrastic and expansive than Targum Onkelos.

[8] Sebastian Munster (1489-1552) was a German scholar of great talent in the fields of mathematics, Oriental studies, and divinity.  He joined the Lutherans, became Professor of Hebrew at Basil, and produced important early Reformation commentaries on the Old Testament (Annotationes in Vetus Testamentum).

[9] Pagnine (1466-1541) was an Italian Dominican.  He was a gifted Hebraist, exegete, and preacher.  He was commissioned by Pope Leo X to produce a new Latin translation of the Scripture.

[10] Leo Jud (1482-1542) was a co-laborer of Ulrich Zwingli during the time of the Swiss Reformation.  His translation work might be his most important contribution to the reformation of Zurich.  He labored with other divines to produce a vernacular version for the Swiss people, and he produced a Latin version of the Old Testament, usually known as “Tigurinus”, which would be translated, “of Zurich”.

[11] Hebrew: לְבֹנָה.

[12] Joshua 1:4a:  “From the wilderness and this Lebanon (וְהַלְּבָנ֙וֹן הַזֶּ֜ה) even unto (וְעַד) the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites…”

[13] 1 Kings 4:21:  “And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt (מִן־הַנָּהָר֙ אֶ֣רֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּ֔ים וְעַ֖ד גְּב֣וּל מִצְרָ֑יִם):  they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life.”  In the translation, the עַד/unto is borrowed from what follows, and applied to the land of the Philistines.

[14] Marcus Annæus Lucanus (39-65) was a Roman poet.

[15] Here, חִתִּים is being related to the verbal root חָתַת, to be broken or dismayed.

[16] Hebron is about seventeen miles west of the Dead Sea.  Beersheba is about twenty-six miles south-west of Hebron.

[17] That is, the Dead Sea.

[18] That is, the Sea of Galilee.

[19] Dan is twenty-four miles north of the Sea of Galilee.

[20] Hamath itself is one hundred and sixty-seven miles north of the Sea of Galilee.

[21] The River of Egypt is forty-six miles south of the old Philistine city Gaza.

[22] See Galatians 3.

Joshua 1:3: God Commands Joshua to Lead on, Part 3

Verse 3:[1] (Deut. 11:24; Josh. 14:9) Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

[Every place upon which the step of your foot shall tread, etc.] The blind Talmudists thus take it, that it was here permitted to the Israelites to go on to occupy whatever countries, but only if they had first brought the entirety of Canaan under their rule. They were not understanding that that whole is limited in the next verse with definite bounds (Masius); every place, that is, the entirety of Canaan (Lapide). See concerning this and the following verse on Deuteronomy 11:24 (Bonfrerius). It was able to suffice that He said, I am giving, etc., but our faith does not readily rest with assurance in the omnipotence of God, while it ponders the difficulty of affairs. Therefore, God now more clearly and explicitly promises that He is going to remove those things that might be able to stand in the way (Masius).

[I shall give to you] Just as in the case of items that have no owner, possession gives the right; so also here, because they are to be considered as no one, whom God has condemned to punishment (Grotius).

Every place, to wit, within the following bounds.

[Just as I said to Moses] He names Moses rather than Abraham, 1. because He had spoken those very words to Moses: 2. because the more recent memory of Moses and his familiarity with God were bound to procure the weightiest authority by far for those oracles in his writing (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: כָּל־מָק֗וֹם אֲשֶׁ֙ר תִּדְרֹ֧ךְ כַּֽף־רַגְלְכֶ֛ם בּ֖וֹ לָכֶ֣ם נְתַתִּ֑יו כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבַּ֖רְתִּי אֶל־מֹשֶֽׁה׃

Joshua 1:2: God Commands Joshua to Lead on, Part 2

Verse 2:[1] (Deut. 34:5) Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

[Moses…is dead] And hence the republic is bereft of its Guide; wherefore, come now, thou, etc. (Masius).

[Arise, וְעַתָּה וגו״] Now therefore. It does not so much signify the present time as the consequence of the matter that is narrated; as in Genesis 3:22;[2] 4:11;[3] 21:23.[4] And, when it is joined with words in the imperative mood, it has at the same time an urging and hastening force: He urges Joshua, therefore, to make hasten to undertake the government of the republic (Masius). Arise, that is, Up then: It is the language of one exhorting and inciting, not commanding, that he get to his feet (Lapide, Masius).

[That Jordan[5]] He calls it that, either demonstratively, because it was not far away; or emphatically, because it was celebrated and famous. Concerning the Jordan see Tacitus’[6] Histories[7] in the beginning of book 5, Pliny’s Natural History[8] 5:15, and Pausanias’[9] Description of Greece 5 (Malvenda,[10] Masius).

This Jordan; this which is now near thee, which is the only obstacle in thy way to Canaan.

[Thou] Thou in the first place, so that thou mightest encourage the others by thine example (Masius).

[And all the people] That is, with the exception of the Reubenites, Gadites, etc. See Numbers 32 (Masius, Lapide).

[Into the land, אֶל־הָאָרֶץ] Unto the land. Understanding לָלֶכֶת, that thou mightest go, or לָבוֹא, that thou mightest enter, unto the land, etc. (Vatablus). Thou art about to come into the land (Junius[11] and Tremellius[12]).

[Which I shall give[13]] That I has emphasis: and in this there is a peculiar force for confirming and stirring up Joshua, by what is useful, by what is ready, by what is honest, by the contrary evil. That which is given by God is not able not to be the best. I; that is to say, who am the Lord of the entire earth, and therefore am able to give to you a country seized from others. It is not needful for us to have recourse to that which Augustine, Epiphanius,[14] and others say was delivered by the Fathers, namely, that in the distribution of lands the land of Canaan fell to Shem[15] (from whom Abraham was to arise), and that his posterity were at length driven out by the Canaanites, and that hence it was now restored to the descendants of Shem by right. But this is not able to be proven with sufficiently firm arguments, neither is it ever alleged by the Israelites (Masius).

[I shall give] Hebrew: I am giving.[16] I am now beginning to give (Lapide). When God promised this to the Fathers, He made use of the future: Therefore, He does not without reason now make use of the present, namely, so that they might understand that the iniquities of the Canaanites had reached a peak, and the fourth age was finished, Genesis 15:16; and that the time was at hand for the fulfillment of the promises, and God even now pronounces in this little word that the Israelites are the lord of Canaan, etc. (Masius). These words express, not so much the promise, as the actual donation and consigning, of the inheritance (Bonfrerius).

Which I do give, that is, am now about to give the actual possession of it, as I formerly gave a right to it by promise.

[To the sons of Israel] Hebrew: to them, to the sons of Israel.[17] Spoken appositively; for He declares what He would signify by the pronoun לָהֶם, to them (Vatablus). It is a Hebraism, in which those names are added that were able to appear to have been adequately expressed before in their pronouns; Exodus 2:6. The name of Israel here is not without significance: For, when He put the name of Israel upon Jacob, He promised this land, Genesis 35:10, 12 (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: משֶׁ֥ה עַבְדִּ֖י מֵ֑ת וְעַתָּה֩ ק֙וּם עֲבֹ֜ר אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֣ן הַזֶּ֗ה אַתָּה֙ וְכָל־הָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֔ה אֶל־הָאָ֕רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֧ר אָנֹכִ֛י נֹתֵ֥ן לָהֶ֖ם לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

[2] Genesis 3:22:  “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:  and now (וְעַתָּה), lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever…”

[3] Genesis 4:10, 11:  “And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.  And now (וְעַתָּה) art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand…”

[4] Genesis 21:22, 23a:  “And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest:  Now therefore (וְעַתָּה) swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son…”

[5] Hebrew: אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֣ן הַזֶּ֗ה.

[6] Publius Cornelius Tacitus (c. 56-c. 117) was a Roman historian.  The information that he preserves about his era and its emperors is invaluable, especially to the interpreter of Scripture.

[7] Historiæ.

[8] Gaius Plinius Secundus, or Pliny the Elder (23-79), distinguished himself as a learned author, a celebrated Roman Procurator, and a courageous soldier.  In his Natural History, Pliny in encyclopedic fashion attempts to cover the entire field of human knowledge as it stood in his day.  It remains an invaluable resource in the fields of history, geography, literature, and Biblical studies.

[9] Pausianas was a Greek geographer of the second century AD.

[10] Thomas Malvenda (1566-1628) was a Spanish Dominican.  Within his order, he was widely regarded for his abilities in philosophy and divinity.  His exegetical labors are preserved in his Commentaria in Sacram Scripturam à Genesi ad Ezechielem.

[11] Francis Junius (1545-1602) was a Huguenot divine of great learning.  He suffered the varied fortunes of his people; but he had the opportunity to study in Geneva, and he was eventually appointed Professor of Divinity at Leiden (1592).  He labored with Tremellius in the production of their famous Latin Version of the Old Testament.  He is also remembered for his disputations with Jacob Arminius.

[12] John Immanuel Tremellius (1510-1580) converted from Judaism to Christianity and quickly embraced the principles of the Reformation.  He taught Hebrew at Strasburg (1541) and at Cambridge (succeeding Paul Fagius in 1549), and served as Professor of Old Testament at Heidelberg (1561).

[13] Hebrew: אֲשֶׁ֧ר אָנֹכִ֛י נֹתֵ֥ן.

[14] The profound erudition of Epiphanius (c. 310-403) led to his installation as Bishop of Salamis.  He was something of a heresy hunter, combating Apollinaris, the disciples of Origen, and even at one point Chrysostom.

[15] See Genesis 10.

[16] Hebrew: נֹתֵן.

[17] Hebrew: לָהֶ֖ם לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃.

Joshua 1:1: God Commands Joshua to Lead on, Part 1

[1451 BC] Verse 1:[1] Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ (Ex. 24:13; Deut. 1:38) minister, saying…

[And it came to pass[2]] The particle ו/AND either is superfluous, after the custom of the Hebrews at the beginning of books (Bonfrerius); or continues the narration (Masius), and connects this book with the end of Deuteronomy: for this book follows the Acts of that in order (Lapide). And Joshua, who wrote this books, also wrote the end of Deuteronomy (Vatablus).

[After the death] Either, immediately, although they had not yet honored Moses, lest they should lose more time there; and so that the Passover, which was nearly absent, in the Promised Land might be able to be celebrated with due observance (Masius). But concerning these things see verse 11. Or, after thirty days of mourning for Moses (thus Lapide, Bonfrerius out of Josephus,[3] Serarius); at which time it is not obscurely indicated that they rested, Deuteronomy 34 (certain interpreters).

After the death of Moses; either immediately after it, or when the days of mourning for Moses were expired. Joshua was appointed and declared Moses’s successor in the government before this time, and therefore doubtless entered upon the government instantly after his death; and here he receives confirmation from God therein.

[The Servant of the Lord] Thus Moses is called, not only the his painstaking diligence in duties, but because of the office of rule (Masius).

The servant of the Lord: this title is given to Moses here and verse 2, as also Deuteronomy 34:5, and is oft repeated, not without cause; partly, to reflect honour upon him; partly, to give authority to his laws and writings, in publishing whereof he only acted as God’s servant, in his name and stead: and partly, that the Israelites might not think of Moses above what was meet, remembering that he was not the Lord himself, but only the Lord’s servant; and therefore not to be worshipped, nor yet to be too pertinaciously followed in all his institutions, when the Lord himself should come and abolish part of the Mosaical dispensation; it being but reasonable that he who was only a servant in God’s house, should give place to him who was the Son, and Heir, and Lord of it, as Christ was. See Hebrews 3:3, 5, 6.

[The the Lord spake] Through an Angel, either spiritually, casting before his mind the notions of these words, or corporally, appearing in an assumed body. Either is plausible (Lapide). [Masius here discusses the various modes in which God revealed His will.] God imbued the mind of Joshua with the information of the matters that are here written, no otherwise than if he heard God speaking with him face-to-face with a most distinct voice (Masius).

The Lord spake; either in a dream or vision, or by Urim, Numbers 27:21.

[The son of Nun] Ναυῆ/Naue.[4] It appears to be an error of the scribes, in the place of Ναῦν/Naun (Grotius[5]).

[Minister] He does not call him עֶבֶד/servent, but מְשָׁרֵת/minister; for, as a man of the first rank, he had not been devoted to the servitude of Moses, but he had dutifully waited upon him as an attendant (Masius).

Moses’s minister, that is, who had waited upon Moses in his great employments, and thereby been privy to his managery of the government, and so fitted and prepared for it.

[1] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֗י אַחֲרֵ֛י מ֥וֹת מֹשֶׁ֖ה עֶ֣בֶד יְהוָ֑ה וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ בִּן־נ֔וּן מְשָׁרֵ֥ת מֹשֶׁ֖ה לֵאמֹֽר׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיְהִי.

[3] Flavius Josephus (37-93) was a priest in the Temple of Jerusalem, a Jewish general, and an eyewitness to the final siege of Jerusalem.  Josephus’ works are invaluable to the student of Jewish antiquities and of the history of the fall of Jerusalem.

[4] Thus the Septuagint.

[5] Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) distinguished himself in the field of international law, but he was interested in many scholarly disciplines, including Christian apologetics, theology, and Biblical criticism and exegesis.  His exegetical talents are displayed in his Annotationes in Vetus et Novum Testamentum.  His dual interest in international law and theology brought him into conflict with civil authorities:  Embracing Arminian doctrine, he was imprisoned from 1618-1621 after the Synod of Dort declared against the position.

Joshua 1 Outline

God commands Joshua to lead the people unto the land of Canaan, 1-3. Its borders, 4. God promises to assist him, 5, 6; commanding him to observe the law, 7-9. He prepares the people to pass over Jordan, 10, 11. Reminds the Reubenites, Gadites, and half tribe of Manasseh of their promise to Moses, 12-15; which they are ready to do, and all promise to obey, 16-18.