|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
23:1-10 Joshua was old and dying, let them observe what he said now. He put them in mind of the great things God had done for them in his days. He exhorted them to be very courageous. Keep with care, do with diligence, and regard with sincerity what is written. Also, very cautiously to endeavour that the heathen idolatry may be forgotten, so that it may never be revived. It is sad that among Christians the names of the heathen gods are so commonly used, and made so familiar as they are. Joshua exhorts them to be very constant. There might be many things amiss among them, but they had not forsaken the Lord their God; the way to make people better, is to make the best of them.
Verse 9. - For the Lord your God hath driven out. So the Masora and the LXX. The Vulgate and the margin of our version translate by the future. So Luther also. The next verse is undeniably future. An appeal to their experience, which did not fail (see Joshua 24:31) to be effective as long as the memory of these things was fresh in their minds. So in the Prayer Book of the Church of England we find the appeal, "O God, we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have declared unto us, the noble works that thou didst in their days, and in the old time before them." And the passage (Psalm 44:1-3), from which the idea of this petition is taken, is an allusion to this speech of Joshua. And we often, in times of faintheartedness or sloth, need to be thus reminded of the moral and spiritual victories of the true Israel, under the true Joshua the Saviour, over the enemies with whom we are forbidden to make a compromise.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the Lord hath driven out before you great nations and strong,.... Especially as they were reckoned in those times, before any great monarchies had existed, as did afterwards; and indeed these were, considering the land they inhabited, very numerous and populous, and were very stout and able bodied men, and some of a gigantic stature; and all dwelt in strong fortified cities, and were able to bring out large armies into the field, with chariots of iron, so that they were very formidable; but notwithstanding all this, the Lord drove them out of their strong holds, and put Israel into the possession of them, and of their land:
but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day; that is, of those that came out against them, and fought with them; these were all to a man cut off by them, or fled before them, and became tributaries to them; otherwise there were many, who as yet were not expelled by them; this the Lord had promised, and now had fulfilled, Deuteronomy 11:25.
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