Joshua 3:5: Instructions for Crossing Jordan, Part 3

Verse 5:[1]  And Joshua said unto the people, (Ex. 19:10, 14, 15; Lev. 20:7; Num. 11:18; Josh. 7:13; 1 Sam. 16:5; Joel 2:16) Sanctify yourselves:  for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.

[He said]  I translate it, he had said (Masius).

Joshua said, or rather had said, to wit, the day before their passage; for it follows, tomorrow.

[Be sanctified (thus the Syriac), הִתְקַדָּשׁוּ]  [They render it variously:]  Be prepared, or, prepare yourselves (Arabic, Pagnine, Munster, Tostatus in Serarius).  Let nothing impede you from crossing Jordan (Munster).  Prepare yourselves, that is, for the crossing (the Chaldean in Masius).  Gather up your vessels (Kimchi in Munster).  [This satisfies neither Serarius nor Masius.]  1.  This is refuted by the reason for the preparation, which is subjoined, namely, the greatness of the thing to be done, but not the crossing (Masius).  2.  This was a daily preparation in the desert:  They, having been commanded three days previously, were not now in need of that command.  They had already come from Shittim and gathered their vessels; and, since they were expecting to cross the next day, they did not much unpack those things (Serarius).  Others translate it, Sanctify yourselves (Montanus, Munster, Junius and Tremellius, similarly the Syriac).  Be purified (Septuagint).  Consecrate yourselves (Tigurinus).  Atone for yourselves (Masius).  Externally, by the washing of garments, and sleeping apart from their wives, Exodus 19:10, 15.  Internally, by a firm faith and certain hope, etc. (Tirinus and Menochius out of Lapide, similarly Masius, Bonfrerius, Serarius).  The law speaks only of the purification of the body; but it is understood, since the soul is much superior to the body, that this is much more to be kept in their their souls (Masius).  It was necessary that the souls of all be informed and stirred up beforehand, so that they might be most intent to perceive the machination of God, and then to preserve what they had perceived in eternal memory; and so that they might touched with greater reverence toward God, while they were reflecting upon His immense power.  For, the more intense the admiration is, the greater and longer lasting the vestiges of the events it impresses upon our souls (Masius).

Sanctify yourselves, both in soul and body, that you may be meet to receive such a favour, and with more attention and reverence observe and ponder this great work, and fix it in your hearts and memories.  See on Exodus 19:10; Leviticus 20:7.

[1] Hebrew:  וַיֹּ֧אמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁ֛עַ אֶל־הָעָ֖ם הִתְקַדָּ֑שׁוּ כִּ֣י מָחָ֗ר יַעֲשֶׂ֧ה יְהוָ֛ה בְּקִרְבְּכֶ֖ם נִפְלָאֽוֹת׃

1 thought on “Joshua 3:5: Instructions for Crossing Jordan, Part 3

  1. George Swinnock helps us get ready for the Lord’s Supper, “How a Christian May Exercise Himself to Godliness at the Table”: “Reader, thy care must be to trim thy lamp, and make sure of oil in the vessel, now thou art going to meet the bridegroom. Samuel spake to the inhabitants of Bethlehem, ‘Sanctify yourselves, and come to the sacrifice;’ so say I to thee, Sanctify thy soul, and then come to the sacrament, 1 Samuel 16:9. Joseph prepared himself, by shaving himself, and changing his raiment, before he went unto Pharaoh; and wilt not thou prepare thyself by putting thy soul into the holiest posture thou canst, when thou art to go in unto the king of heaven and earth? He that would make a good meal, even when he is to feast at another’s cost, must prepare his stomach beforehand by moderate fasting or exercise. God expecteth that the hands be pure, but especially that the heart be prepared. ‘The good Lord,’ saith Hezekiah, ‘pardon every one that prepareth his heart, though it be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary,’ 2 Chronicles 30:18-19. The king speaketh of those who came to the passover with some ceremonial pollution, yet had moral purity; and his words are to this purpose: Lord, though several of my people have failed in regard of external purification, let it please thee to pardon them, if they have minded internal preparation. Friend, there is no hope of remission without this heart preparation; the devil himself would not come into a house till it was ‘ready, swept, and garnished,’ Matthew 12. And dost thou think that Jesus Christ will come into thy heart while it lieth nastily and sluttishly, before the filth of sin be swept out, and it be garnished with the graces of his Spirit? Surely that room had need be richly hung with the embroidery of the Spirit, in which the glorious and blessed potentate will sup and lodge. Where thy expectation is great from a person, there thy preparation must be great for him. Dost thou not look, like Herod, to see some miracle done by Jesus, some extraordinary thing for thy soul? Therefore I say to thee, as Joshua spake to the Israelites, ‘Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders amongst you,’ Joshua 3:5. Oh sanctify thyself, and tomorrow—on the sacrament day—the Lord will do wonders for thee; he will feast thee at his own table, he will feed thee with his own flesh, he will give thee that love which is better than wine, he will embrace thee in his arms, and kiss thee with the kisses of his mouth; he will delight thine eyes with the sight of his beautiful person, ravish thine ears with the sound of his precious promises, and rejoice thine heart with the assurance of his gracious pardon. Oh do but sanctify thyself, and tomorrow the Lord will do wonders for thee! This preparation consisteth in a serious examination of thyself, and a sincere humiliation for thy sins.”

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