Joshua 24:16-18: Israel’s Response to Joshua’s Challenge

Verse 16:[1] And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods…


Verse 17:[2] For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed…


Verse 18:[3] And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.

[And He cast out all nations, the Amorite] Hebrew: and the Amorite[4] (Junius and Tremellius, Tigurinus, etc.). All nations here are the seven peoples of the Canaanites on this side Jordan; the Amorites are the Transjordanian peoples of Sihon and Og (Bonfrerius). Others thus; nations (understanding, particularly, or especially), the Amorite (Munster, Pagnine, Osiander).

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּ֤עַן הָעָם֙ וַיֹּ֔אמֶר חָלִ֣ילָה לָּ֔נוּ מֵעֲזֹ֖ב אֶת־יְהוָ֑ה לַעֲבֹ֖ד אֱלֹהִ֥ים אֲחֵרִֽים׃

[2] Hebrew: כִּ֚י יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֔ינוּ הוּא֩ הַמַּעֲלֶ֙ה אֹתָ֧נוּ וְאֶת־אֲבוֹתֵ֛ינוּ מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרַ֖יִם מִבֵּ֣ית עֲבָדִ֑ים וַאֲשֶׁ֧ר עָשָׂ֣ה לְעֵינֵ֗ינוּ אֶת־הָאֹת֤וֹת הַגְּדֹלוֹת֙ הָאֵ֔לֶּה וַֽיִּשְׁמְרֵ֗נוּ בְּכָל־הַדֶּ֙רֶךְ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הָלַ֣כְנוּ בָ֔הּ וּבְכֹל֙ הָֽעַמִּ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָבַ֖רְנוּ בְּקִרְבָּֽם׃

[3] Hebrew: וַיְגָ֙רֶשׁ יְהוָ֜ה אֶת־כָּל־הָעַמִּ֗ים וְאֶת־הָאֱמֹרִ֛י יֹשֵׁ֥ב הָאָ֖רֶץ מִפָּנֵ֑ינוּ גַּם־אֲנַ֙חְנוּ֙ נַעֲבֹ֣ד אֶת־יְהוָ֔ה כִּי־ה֖וּא אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ׃

[4] Hebrew: וְאֶת־הָאֱמֹרִי.

1 thought on “Joshua 24:16-18: Israel’s Response to Joshua’s Challenge

  1. Matthew Henry: ‘The matter being thus put to their choice, they immediately determine it by a free, rational, and intelligent declaration, for the God of Israel, against all competitors whatsoever, Joshua 24:16-18. Here, [1.] They concur with Joshua in his resolution, being influenced by the example of so great a man, who had been so great a blessing to them (Joshua 24:18): We also will serve the Lord. See how much good great men might do, if they were but zealous in religion, by their influence on their inferiors. [2.] They startle at the thought of apostatizing from God (Joshua 24:16): God forbid; the word intimates the greatest dread and detestation imaginable. “Far be it, far be it from us, that we or ours should ever forsake the Lord to serve other gods. We must be perfectly lost to all sense of justice, gratitude, and honour, ere we can harbour the least thought of such a thing.” Thus must our hearts rise against all temptations to desert the service of God. Get thee behind me, Satan. [3.] They give very substantial reasons for their choice, to show that they did not make it purely in compliance to Joshua, but from a full conviction of the reasonableness and equity of it. They make this choice for, and in consideration, First, Of the many great and very kind things God had done for them, bringing them out of Egypt through the wilderness into Canaan, Joshua 24:17, 18. Thus they repeat to themselves Joshua’s sermon, and then express their sincere compliance with the intentions of it. Secondly, Of the relation they stood in to God, and his covenant with them: “We will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:18), for he is our God, who has graciously engaged himself by promise to us, and to whom we have by solemn vow engaged ourselves.”‘

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