Joshua 1:8
This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) Thou shalt meditate therein day and night . . . then thou shalt make thy way prosperous.—These words are taken up again in Psalm 1:2-3, and a blessing is pronounced on every man who takes Joshua’s position in relation to the written law of God (see Note, Joshua 1:1). Thus the true significance of Joshua’s position appears, and also the difference between Moses and all who followed him. Moses was the prophet whom the Lord knew face to face.” Joshua and all his successors, from the least to the greatest, find their blessing and their portion in the careful study and fulfilment of the written word of God. It is also worthy of notice that God’s Word, from its very first appearance as a collective book (viz., the law), occupies the same position. It is supreme. It is set above Joshua. It is never superseded. And its authority is independent of its quantity. “The law of Moses,” “Moses and the prophets,” “The law, the prophets, and the Psalms,” are descriptions of the Bible differing in the quantity of the matter, but not differing in the authority they exercise or in their relation to the living church. “Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear the words of the prophecy of this book, and keep those things that are written therein,” are words that apply to Holy Scripture equally, in every stage, from the completion of the law of Moses to the completion of the entire book.

Joshua 1:8-9. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth — That is, thou shalt constantly read it, and upon occasion discourse of it, and the sentence which shall come out of thy month, shall in all things be given according to this rule. Day and night — That is, diligently study, and upon all occasions consider what is God’s will and thy duty. The greatness of thy place and employments shall not hinder thee from this work, because this is the only rule of thy private actions and public administrations. I command thee — I whom thou art obliged to obey: I who can carry thee through every thing I put thee upon: I of whose faithfulness and almighty power thou hast had great experience!1:5-9 Joshua is to make the law of God his rule. He is charged to meditate therein day and night, that he might understand it. Whatever affairs of this world we have to mind, we must not neglect the one thing needful. All his orders to the people, and his judgments, must be according to the law of God. Joshua must himself be under command; no man's dignity or dominion sets him above the law of God. He is to encourage himself with the promise and presence of God. Let not the sense of thine own infirmities dishearten thee; God is all-sufficient. I have commanded, called, and commissioned thee to do it, and will be sure to bear thee out in it. When we are in the way of duty, we have reason to be strong and very bold. Our Lord Jesus, as Joshua here, was borne up under his sufferings by a regard to the will of God, and the commandment from his Father.Prosper - See the margin. The literal rendering should be retained here since the notion of prosperity is separately introduced by a different word in Joshua 1:8. 5-9. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee—Canaan was theirs by a divine grant; and the renewed confirmation of that grant to Joshua when about to lead the people into it, intimated not only a certain but an easy conquest. It is remarkable, however, that his courage and hope of victory were made to depend (see on [171]De 17:18) on his firm and inflexible adherence to the law of God, not only that regarding the extirpation of the Canaanites, but the whole divine code. Shall not depart out of thy mouth, i.e. thou shalt constantly read it, and upon occasion discourse of it, and the sentence which shall come out of thy mouth shall in all things be given according to this rule.

Meditate therein, i.e. diligently study, and frequently and upon all occasions consider what is God’s will and thy duty. The greatness of thy place and employments shall not hinder thee from this work, because this is the only rule of all thy private actions and public administrations.

According to all that is written therein; whereby he teacheth him that it is his duty to see with his own eyes, and to understand the mind and law of God himself, and not blindly to follow what any other should advise him to. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth,.... He was often to read it, frequently repeat it, and speak of it, to refresh his own memory with it, and the memory of those about him. Jarchi restrains it to the book of Deuteronomy now before him:

but thou shalt meditate therein day and night; whenever he had any leisure from the important business of his office, whether by day or night, see Psalm 1:2,

that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; which frequent speaking of it, and constant meditation on it, would lead unto:

for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success; in his wars with the Canaanites.

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and {f} night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

(f) Showing that it is not possible to govern well, without the continual study of God's word.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. This book of the law] Joshua is admonished that the Law must be strictly and carefully observed, if the great work, to which he had been called, was to be successfully accomplished. He was “to read, mark, and inwardly digest it,” and carry out its provisions to the letter.Verse 8. - This book of the law. The law was, therefore, embodied in a written document when the Book of Joshua was written; and as the antiquity of this Book may be regarded as proved, we may quote thus an early authority for the genuineness of at least some portions of the Pentateuch. There was a "book of the law" in Joshua's time, according to this early testimony, and we may conclude from vers. 3-7 that Deuteronomy formed a part of it (see also Deuteronomy 17:19 for a similar precept. And for the fact see Deuteronomy 31:24-26). Meditate therein (cf. Psalm 1:2, 63:7, 143:5, in the original. Also Deuteronomy 31:26). Observe to do. Literally, keep to do, thus impressing on us the care necessary in deciding on our actions. All that is written therein (cf. for the expression Deuteronomy 28:58, 61; Deuteronomy 29:19, 20, 26; Deuteronomy 30:10). Shall have good success. The word is the same as is translated "prosper" above, and not the same as that rendered "prosperous" in this verse. "Men," says Calvin, "never act skilfully, except in so far as they allow themselves to be ruled by the Word of God." Have I not commanded thee? "An emphatic inquiry is a stronger form of affirmation, and is generally employed by those who wish to infuse into another courage and alacrity" (Michaelis). Moreover repetition is a remarkable feature of Hebrew composition, as we may observe from the second chapter of Genesis onward, and is designed to give emphasis to what is commanded or related. Calvin would lay stress on I: "Have not I commanded thee?" But this is not borne out by the Hebrew.

CHAPTER 1:10-15. JOSHUA'S COMMAND TO THE PEOPLE, - As Moses had died without having brought the Israelites to Canaan, Joshua was to arise and go with all the nation over this Jordan (i.e., the river then before him) into the land which the Lord would give them.
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