Joshua 7:20: Achan’s Confession, Part 2

Verse 20:[1] And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done…

[Truly I have sinned,[2] etc.] The individual words, proceeding from an afflicted soul, have their own emphasis (Menochius). Truly; It is the language of one ingenuously and openly confessing; he does not excuse, after the manner of hypocrites: I; It is not the case that I would accuse another; I myself have erred (Malvenda): Against the Lord; Against the precept of the Lord, or, with the Lord alone knowing (Menochius): The God of Israel; that is to say, God, by whom I was made, even indeed as an Israelite, so that I might with good reason be held as altogether ungrateful (Masius).

Indeed I have sinned: He seems to make a sincere and ingenuous confession, and loads his sin with all just aggravations.  Against the Lord; against his express command, and just rights, and glorious attributes.  The Lord God of Israel; the true God, who hath chosen me and all Israel to be the people of his peculiar love and care.

[And thus and thus have I done] It contains a Hypotyposis[3] of what happened and a clear explanation, in which he progresses in an orderly fashion; first from the very sense of sight, as the instigator of evil things, to the soul inflamed with lust; thence unto the deed; finally unto sting of conscience, whence also the concealment followed. Which sort of series we observe to be in almost all sins (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּ֧עַן עָכָ֛ן אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁ֖עַ וַיֹּאמַ֑ר אָמְנָ֗ה אָנֹכִ֤י חָטָ֙אתִי֙ לַֽיהוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְכָזֹ֥את וְכָזֹ֖את עָשִֽׂיתִי׃

[2] Hebrew: אָמְנָ֗ה אָנֹכִ֤י חָטָ֙אתִי֙.

[3] That is, a vivid depiction of scenes or events.

1 thought on “Joshua 7:20: Achan’s Confession, Part 2

  1. Thomas Boston, “A MEMORIAL CONCERNING PERSONAL AND FAMILY FASTING AND HUMILIATION”: “Be very particular in your confession, opening out your spiritual sores before the Lord; Psalm 51:4, ‘I have done this evil in thy sight;’ Joshua 7:20, ‘I have sinned; and thus, and thus, have I done.’ To confess the several kinds of your sin, in general, without descending to particulars, is too superficial work on such an occasion. The particular abominations of your heart and life are raised up in meditation, to be laid before the Lord in humble confession. I suppose you to be at this work in a secret place, where you may freely utter before him, what it would not be proper you should say in the hearing of others. No doubt, a great deal of freedom may be used in secret prayer, in narrating of thoughts and actions, with the designation of time, place, and persons, so as may tend to one’s deeper humiliation, which would not be to edification in social prayer.

    Now, in order to your being the more full and particular in your confession, I would recommend the same method and order to be observed therein, as in the review of your sins. I believe that, so doing, you will find the advantage of it. Go orderly through the several periods of your life, and through all the ten commandments, making your confession; where also you may take in the confession of public sins, always so as may best tend to the further humiliation of yourself. In a special manner, be very particular as to the signal miscarriages of your life, and aggravate your guilt, acknowledging the aggravating circumstances thereof. And unto the confession of your known sins, against all the ten commandments, add a humble acknowledgment of a large void and blank to be left for your unknown sins against every one of them; which you can by no means fill up, but the all-knowing God can: ‘for who can understand his errors?’ Psalm 19:12. And, considering the commands of the perfect law, as binding you to embrace the Gospel, confess your atrocious guilt in sinning against the remedy of sin, therein revealed, offered, and exhibited unto you.”

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