|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:10-15 Joshua says to the people, Ye shall pass over Jordan, and shall possess the land; because God had said so to him. We honour the truth of God, when we stagger not at the promise of God. The two tribes and a half were to go over Jordan with their brethren. When God, by his providence, has given us rest, we ought to consider what service we may do to our brethren.
Verse 10. ? Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people. The Shoterim, a term derived from the same root as an Arabic word signifying "to write." Different ideas have been entertained of their duties. Keil, Jahn (Hebrew Commonwealth), and others believe that they were genealogists; but it seems more probable that their original duties were to keep processes and minutes, and that, like our Indian "writers" and the "Master of the Rolls" at home, they exercised some kind of judicial functions, with which, moreover, active duties were sometimes combined. The idea that they were genealogists is contrary, as Gesenius shows, to the context in many places. Thus in Exodus 5:6-19, they seem to have had to see that the specified tale of bricks was delivered up; and we know from the recently deciphered Egyptian inscriptions that very accurate registers of such matters were kept. In Deuteronomy 1:16 (cf. Deuteronomy 16:18; Joshua 8:33; Joshua 23:2; Joshua 24:1, etc.) they appear to have exercised judicial functions in connection with the "princes" (not "captains," as in our version, which would lead to the idea that they were military officers). In Numbers 11:16 they are connected with the elders. In 1 Chronicles 26:29 they seem again to have exercised judicial functions, whereas in 2 Chronicles 26:11 their duty appears to have been to keep the muster rolls. In Proverbs 6:7 we find them once more with active duties as in the text. The LXX. equivalent; γραμματεύς, is rendered in Acts 19:35 by "town clerk," an officer with active as well as merely secretarial duties. Here they seem to have acted as officers of the commissariat, civil and military functions being naturally largely interchangeable in the then condition of the Israelitish people, just as they were in the early days of our Indian empire.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people,.... The same word is used in Deuteronomy 16:18; where it seems to design such officers that attended on the judges, and executed their orders; but one would think it should here rather signify officers in the army, as captains, and the like; unless it should design a sort of heralds, who were to make proclamation throughout the camp, each of the orders issued by Joshua, immediately upon his having the above directions and instructions from the Lord:
saying; as follows.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10-18. Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people—These were the Shoterim (see on Ex 5:6; De 20:5).
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