Joshua 6:24, 25: The Salvation of Rahab and Her House, Part 2

Verse 24:[1] And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: (Josh. 6:19) only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.

 

Verse 25:[2] And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and (see Matt. 1:5) she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

[And he caused to live, הֶחֱיָה[3]] He vivified, that is, he preserved unharmed (Vatablus, similarly Masius, Drusius, Lapide). Others: he gave a livelihood, that is, fields and possessions whence they might be able to sustain life (Kimchi in Masius). Question: How were they able to preserve her against the commandments of God, Exodus 23; 34? Responses: 1. That Law was to be moderated by this equity, that unto those that might seek peace, and abjure their false gods, it might not pertain. See more on Joshua 11 (Masius). It was dispensed with here (Lapide).

And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, etc.: For that general command of rooting out the Canaanites seems to have had some exception, in case any of them had sincerely and seasonably cast off their idolatry and wickedness, and submitted themselves to the Israelites, as we shall see hereafter.

[Unto the present day] There is a similar thing in Joshua 4:9. Was this added by Joshua, or by Ezra (Grotius)?

[1] Hebrew: וְהָעִ֛יר שָׂרְפ֥וּ בָאֵ֖שׁ וְכָל־אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֑הּ רַ֣ק׀ הַכֶּ֣סֶף וְהַזָּהָ֗ב וּכְלֵ֤י הַנְּחֹ֙שֶׁת֙ וְהַבַּרְזֶ֔ל נָתְנ֖וּ אוֹצַ֥ר בֵּית־יְהוָֽה׃

[2] Hebrew: וְֽאֶת־רָחָ֣ב הַ֠זּוֹנָה וְאֶת־בֵּ֙ית אָבִ֤יהָ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לָהּ֙ הֶחֱיָ֣ה יְהוֹשֻׁ֔עַ וַ֙תֵּשֶׁב֙ בְּקֶ֣רֶב יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל עַ֖ד הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה כִּ֤י הֶחְבִּ֙יאָה֙ אֶת־הַמַּלְאָכִ֔ים אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַ֥ח יְהוֹשֻׁ֖עַ לְרַגֵּ֥ל אֶת־יְרִיחֽוֹ׃

[3] Here חָיָה, to live, is in the Hiphil conjugation, which frequently conveys a causative sense.

Joshua 6:20, 21: The Destruction of Jericho

Verse 20:[1] So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that (Josh. 6:5; Heb. 11:30) the wall fell down flat (Heb. under it[2]), so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

[With the people shouting, etc.] Hebrew: and the people shouted, and they sounded with trumpets.[3] It is a hysteron proteron: For the sounding of the trumpets was the signal to the people to shout. Hence Vatablus in his notes, The people shouted after they had sounded with horns (Bonfrerius). The people was howling while they were sounding the trumpets, that is, when they began to sound. Note the faith of the people, who with such a glad acclamation had celebrated the triumph, as having the victory in hand, before they had seen the wall fall (Masius).

 

Verse 21:[4] And they (Deut. 7:2) utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.

[And they killed all, etc.] Or, and they destroyed whatever was, etc. Note the singular restraint of the soldiers, that, although in need of all things, they abstained in such great abundance of all things, having been commanded with one little word, etc. But, that the elderly, children, infants, etc., are killed, it could appear to be cruelty and brutality. Responses: 1. The judgments of God (the reason of which far surpasses our understanding, Job 42:3) ought to be admired by mortals with modesty and submission, and not to be evaluated according to our reasonings perplexed with manifold darkness and error, Job 40:2. 2. Life itself is the gratuitous gift of God; and no one is able to complain whenever He that gave freely recalls it again. 3. All sin is such a foul thing, even that common defect of human origin, that by no sufficiently worthy punishment is it able to be expiated according to the righteousness of God. By that defect, if infants be expurgated, God has not caused them pain to punish, but so that He might bless them with greater glory (Masius). They urge Exodus 20:5. [See the response in the Notes on that place.]

They utterly destroyed all, etc.: Being commanded to do so by the sovereign Lord of every man’s life; and being informed by God before that the Canaanites were abominably wicked, and deserved the severest punishments. As for the infants, they were guilty of original sin, and otherwise at the disposal of their Creator, as the clay is in the hands of the potter; but if they had been wholly innocent, it was a great favour to them to take them away in infancy, rather than reserve them to those dreadful calamities which those who survived them were liable to.

[1] Hebrew: וַיָּ֣רַע הָעָ֔ם וַֽיִּתְקְע֖וּ בַּשֹּֽׁפָר֑וֹת וַיְהִי֩ כִשְׁמֹ֙עַ הָעָ֜ם אֶת־ק֣וֹל הַשּׁוֹפָ֗ר וַיָּרִ֤יעוּ הָעָם֙ תְּרוּעָ֣ה גְדוֹלָ֔ה וַתִּפֹּ֙ל הַֽחוֹמָ֜ה תַּחְתֶּ֗יהָ וַיַּ֙עַל הָעָ֤ם הָעִ֙ירָה֙ אִ֣ישׁ נֶגְדּ֔וֹ וַֽיִּלְכְּד֖וּ אֶת־הָעִֽיר׃

[2] Hebrew: תַּחְתֶּיהָ.

[3] Hebrew: וַיָּ֣רַע הָעָ֔ם וַֽיִּתְקְע֖וּ בַּשֹּֽׁפָר֑וֹת.

[4] Hebrew: וַֽיַּחֲרִ֙ימוּ֙ אֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר בָּעִ֔יר מֵאִישׁ֙ וְעַד־אִשָּׁ֔ה מִנַּ֖עַר וְעַד־זָקֵ֑ן וְעַ֙ד שׁ֥וֹר וָשֶׂ֛ה וַחֲמ֖וֹר לְפִי־חָֽרֶב׃

Joshua 6:19: Herem-Warfare against Jericho, Part 3

Verse 19:[1] But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated (Heb. holiness[2]) unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.

[Let it be consecrated to the Lord, קֹ֥דֶשׁ ה֖וּא לַֽיהוָ֑ה] Holiness, or holy, or consecrated, to Jehovah (Montanus, Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac, Junius and Tremellius). What previously was called חֵרֶם/devoted is here called holy (Masius). The sense: Just as if the thing be consecrated holy to God (Lapide).

But all…are consecrated unto the Lord: Except that of which images were made, which were to be utterly destroyed, Exodus 32:20; Deuteronomy 7:25. Consecrated unto the Lord; being first made to pass through the fire, Numbers 31:22, 23.

[Stored in His treasuries] Hebrew: let them be brought into the treasure of Jehovah;[3] that is, as things consecrated to Jehovah, let them be brought into His treasury (Vatablus). Into the treasury of the house of the sanctuary, etc. (Chaldean), suppose, into the Tabernacle, for its use or ornament (Lapide). There that loot was stored, Numbers 31 (Masius). But note that this is added because otherwise all accursed things belonged to the Priests by law, Numbers 18:14; that is, unless the contrary be expressly added by God, or by the one vowing or offering, that they might belong to the Temple (Bonfrerius).

They shall come into the treasury of the Lord, to be employed wholly for the service or uses of the tabernacle, not to be applied to the use of any private person or priest.

[1] Hebrew: וְכֹ֣ל׀ כֶּ֣סֶף וְזָהָ֗ב וּכְלֵ֤י נְחֹ֙שֶׁת֙ וּבַרְזֶ֔ל קֹ֥דֶשׁ ה֖וּא לַֽיהוָ֑ה אוֹצַ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה יָבֽוֹא׃

[2] Hebrew: קֹדֶשׁ.

[3] Hebrew: אוֹצַ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה יָבֽוֹא׃.