Joshua 24:4-7: Memorial of God’s Covenant Faithfulness to Israel, Part 2

Verse 4:[1] And I gave unto Isaac (Gen. 25:24-26) Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto (Gen. 36:8; Deut. 2:5) Esau mount Seir, to possess it; (Gen. 46:1, 6; Acts 7:15) but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.

[Jacob and Esau] He makes mention of Esau as born from the same parents, even indeed in the first place, yet rejected by God, with Jacob at the same time made heir, and that freely, Romans 9:11, so that he might rouse them exceedingly to love God in return, etc. (Masius)

I gave unto Esau Mount Seir to possess it, that he might leave Canaan entire to his brother Jacob and his posterity, Genesis 36:7, 8.

[They went down into Egypt] He relates this in a unique summary, and he skillfully passes over that exceedingly cruel servitude, because it was his intention to bring the benefits to them back into memory, neither was he willing to interrupt their abiding happiness by recording such a sad event (Masius).

Jacob and his children went down into Egypt, where they long lived in grievous bondage; which God having delivered us from, I shall now pass it over.


Verse 5:[2] (Ex. 3:10) I sent Moses also and Aaron, and (Ex. 7-10; 12) I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out.

[And I smote Egypt, etc.,וָאֶגֹּ֣ף אֶת־מִצְרַ֔יִם כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשִׂ֖יתִי בְּקִרְבּ֑וֹ וְאַחַ֖ר הוֹצֵ֥אתִי אֶתְכֶֽם׃] And I smote, or, injured, or, afflicted with plagues,[3] Egypt (that is, the Egyptians [Piscator]), just as I did in the midst of it, and finally I led you out (Pagnine, Junius and Tremellius, Tigurinus, Dutch, English). Just as, or according as, I did, understanding, plagues, in its midst, that is, for so long as I sent various plagues among them (Vatablus). And I smote Egypt: and after I did that in its midst, I led you out (Munster). [He supplies the ו/and, and translates כַּאֲשֶׁר/ after.]

According to that which I did, that is, in such manner, and with such plagues as I inflicted, and are recorded.


Verse 6:[4] And I (Ex. 12:37, 51) brought your fathers out of Egypt: and (Ex. 14:2) ye came unto the sea; (Ex. 14:9) and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea.


Verse 7:[5] And when they (Ex. 14:10) cried unto the LORD, (Ex. 14:20) he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, (Ex. 14:27, 28) and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and (Deut. 4:34; 29:2) your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness (Josh. 5:6) a long season.

[Your eyes have seen] But almost all that had been in the desert had perished (Masius). Response: They were able to see, even all that [in the time of the murmuring] were less than twenty years old (see Numbers 14; 26 [Estius, Masius]), the Levites (Estius, Lyra) (who are believed to have been free from the sin of murmuring, because no one from that tribe was sent as a spy [Masius]), the women (Estius), Joshua and Caleb (Lyra), and Elders and Tribunes, etc., since those that go before others in age are wont to ascend into the seats of those dignities (Masius).

And your eyes have seen: He speaketh this to the elders, Joshua 24:1, who were so, not only by power and dignity, but many of them by age; and there being now not sixty years past since those Egyptian plagues, it is very probable that a considerable number of those here present had seen those things in Egypt, and being not twenty years old, were exempted from that dreadful sentence of destruction, passed upon all who were then of more years standing, Numbers 14.

[Ye dwelt in the wilderness, etc.] Where the marvelous kindness of God appeared to them, where He miraculously fed and preserved them, and revealed His presence, prescribed the Law, and bore patiently their peevishness (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וָאֶתֵּ֣ן לְיִצְחָ֔ק אֶֽת־יַעֲקֹ֖ב וְאֶת־עֵשָׂ֑ו וָאֶתֵּ֙ן לְעֵשָׂ֜ו אֶת־הַ֤ר שֵׂעִיר֙ לָרֶ֣שֶׁת אוֹת֔וֹ וְיַעֲקֹ֥ב וּבָנָ֖יו יָרְד֥וּ מִצְרָֽיִם׃

[2] Hebrew: וָאֶשְׁלַ֞ח אֶת־מֹשֶׁ֤ה וְאֶֽת־אַהֲרֹן֙ וָאֶגֹּ֣ף אֶת־מִצְרַ֔יִם כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשִׂ֖יתִי בְּקִרְבּ֑וֹ וְאַחַ֖ר הוֹצֵ֥אתִי אֶתְכֶֽם׃

[3] נָגַף signifies to smite.

[4] Hebrew: וָֽאוֹצִ֤יא אֶת־אֲבֽוֹתֵיכֶם֙ מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם וַתָּבֹ֖אוּ הַיָּ֑מָּה וַיִּרְדְּפ֙וּ מִצְרַ֜יִם אַחֲרֵ֧י אֲבוֹתֵיכֶ֛ם בְּרֶ֥כֶב וּבְפָרָשִׁ֖ים יַם־סֽוּף׃

[5] Hebrew: וַיִּצְעֲק֣וּ אֶל־יְהוָ֗ה וַיָּ֙שֶׂם מַֽאֲפֵ֜ל בֵּינֵיכֶ֣ם׀ וּבֵ֣ין הַמִּצְרִ֗ים וַיָּבֵ֙א עָלָ֤יו אֶת־הַיָּם֙ וַיְכַסֵּ֔הוּ וַתִּרְאֶ֙ינָה֙ עֵינֵיכֶ֔ם אֵ֥ת אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂ֖יתִי בְּמִצְרָ֑יִם וַתֵּשְׁב֥וּ בַמִּדְבָּ֖ר יָמִ֥ים רַבִּֽים׃

2 thoughts on “Joshua 24:4-7: Memorial of God’s Covenant Faithfulness to Israel, Part 2

  1. In the midst of our present pains, difficulties, and trials, it is important to remember what God has done for us in times past.

    –Dr. Dilday

  2. Matthew Henry: ‘The doctrinal part is a history of the great things God had done for his people, and for their fathers before them. God by Joshua recounts the marvels of old: “I did so and so.”… He brought him to Canaan, and built up his family, led him through the land to Shechem, where they now were, multiplied his seed by Ishmael, who begat twelve princes, but at last gave him Isaac the promised son, and in him multiplied his seed. When Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau, God provided an inheritance for Esau elsewhere in Mount Seir, that the land of Canaan might be reserved entire for the seed of Jacob, and the posterity of Esau might not pretend to a share in it…. He delivered the seed of Jacob out of Egypt with a high hand (Joshua 24:5, 6), and rescued them out of the hands of Pharaoh and his host at the Red Sea, Joshua 24:6, 7. The same waters were the Israelites’ guard and the Egyptians’ grave, and this in answer to prayer; for, though we find in the story that they in that distress murmured against God (Exodus 14:11, 12), notice is here taken of their crying to God; he graciously accepted those that prayed to him, and overlooked the folly of those that quarrelled with him…. He protected them in the wilderness, where they are here said, not to wander, but to dwell for a long season, Joshua 24:7. So wisely were all their motions directed, and so safely were they kept, that even there they had as certain a dwelling-place as if they had been in a walled city.’

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