Joshua 10:7, 8: Joshua Relieves Gibeah

Verse 7:[1] So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and (Josh. 8:1) all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour.

So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, etc.: Having, no doubt, asked advice of God first, which is implied by the answer God gives to him, verse 8.

[And all the army of warriors, וְכָל־עַ֤ם הַמִּלְחָמָה֙] And all the war-like men (Arabic, similarly the Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac, Vatablus), the people bellicose (Munster), or, apt for war (Tigurinus). I understand the bravest and most pugnacious soldiers chosen from the rest. For who would believe that most were not left to defend the camp in Gilgal (Masius)?

[The mightiest men, גִּבּוֹרֵ֥י הֶחָֽיִל׃] Powerful, or mighty, in strength (Drusius), who are mighty in strength, not so much of the body, but of the soul. Thus חַיִל is taken in Genesis 47:6;[2] Ruth 3:11;[3] Proverbs 31:10[4] (Drusius out of Masius).

And all the mighty men, or, even, or that is, as this particle is oft used, as hath been noted before. So it seems put here by way of explication and restriction; having said all the people of war, he now adds, even all the mighty men, etc., that is, an army of the most valiant men picked out from the rest; for it is not probable, either that he would take so many hundred thousands with him, which would have hindered one another, or that he would leave the camp without an army to defend it.

 

Verse 8:[5] And the LORD said unto Joshua, (Josh. 11:6; Judg. 4:14) Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; (Josh. 1:5) there shall not a man of them stand before thee.

[And He said] They translate it, He had said (Masius, Drusius, Junius and Tremellius), before the expedition (Drusius out of Masius). This was consistent with the character of Joshua, who was unwilling to lead soldiers from the camp before consulting God. But that Venerable man perceives this oracle, not sought from God, but voluntarily given (Masius).

[Fear not] For the holiest men are not free from all fear; nevertheless, God most graciously pardons us for it, and shows in words of this sort that boldness is His own gift (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּ֙עַל יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ מִן־הַגִּלְגָּ֗ל ה֚וּא וְכָל־עַ֤ם הַמִּלְחָמָה֙ עִמּ֔וֹ וְכֹ֖ל גִּבּוֹרֵ֥י הֶחָֽיִל׃

[2] Genesis 47:6:  “The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell:  and if thou knowest any men of activity (אַנְשֵׁי־חַיִל) among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.”

[3] Ruth 3:11:  “And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest:  for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous womanכִּ֛י אֵ֥שֶׁת חַ֖יִל) אָֽתְּ׃).”

[4] Proverbs 31:10:  “Who can find a virtuous woman (אֵשֶׁת־חַיִל)? for her price is far above rubies.”

[5] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֙אמֶר יְהוָ֤ה אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ אַל־תִּירָ֣א מֵהֶ֔ם כִּ֥י בְיָדְךָ֖ נְתַתִּ֑ים לֹֽא־יַעֲמֹ֥ד אִ֛ישׁ מֵהֶ֖ם בְּפָנֶֽיךָ׃

1 thought on “Joshua 10:7, 8: Joshua Relieves Gibeah

  1. Matthew Henry: “Here…Joshua resolves to assist the Gibeonites, and God encourages him in this resolve. 1. He ascended from Gilgal (Joshua 10:7), that is, he designed, determined, and prepared for, this expedition to relieve Gibeon, for it is probable it was before he stirred a step that God spoke to him to encourage him. It was generous and just in Joshua to help his new allies, though perhaps the king of Jerusalem, when he attacked them, little thought that Joshua would be so ready to help them, but expected he would abandon them as Canaanites, the rather because they had obtained their league with him by fraud; therefore he speaks with assurance (Joshua 10:4) of smiting Gibeon. But Joshua knew that his promise to let them live obliged him, not only not to slay them himself, but not to stand by and see them slain when it was in the power of his hand to prevent it, Proverbs 24:11, 12. He knew that when they embraced the faith and worship of the God of Israel they came to trust under the shadow of his wings (Ruth 2:12), and therefore, as his servants, he was bound to protect them. 2. God animated him for his undertaking, (Joshua 10:8): Fear not, that is, (1.) “Doubt not of the goodness of thy cause and the clearness of thy call; though it be to assist Gibeonites, thou art in the way of duty, and God is with thee of a truth.” (2.) “Dread not the power of the enemy; though so many kings are confederate against thee, and are resolved to make their utmost efforts for the reduction of Gibeon, and it may be will fight desperately in a desperate cause, yet let not this discourage thee, I have delivered them into thy hand;” and those can make neither resistance nor escape whom God has marked for destruction.”

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