|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:1-14 We must never think our work for God done, till our life is done. If he lengthen out our days beyond what we expected, like those of Joshua, it is because he has some further service for us to do. He who aims at the same mind which was in Christ Jesus, will glory in bearing the last testimony to his Saviour's goodness, and in telling to all around, the obligations with which the unmerited goodness of God has bound him. The assembly came together in a solemn religious manner. Joshua spake to them in God's name, and as from him. His sermon consists of doctrine and application. The doctrinal part is a history of the great things God had done for his people, and for their fathers before them. The application of this history of God's mercies to them, is an exhortation to fear and serve God, in gratitude for his favour, and that it might be continued.
Verse 14. - Sincerity and truth. These words, rendered by the LXX. ἐν εὐθύτητι καὶ ἐνδικαιοσύνῃ, are not the precise equivalent of those so translated in other passages in the Bible, nor is St. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 5:8, quoting this passage. The word translated sincerity is rather to be rendered perfection, or perfectness. The Hebrew word signifying truth is derived from the idea of stability, as that which can stand the rude shocks of inquiry.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now therefore fear the Lord,.... Since he has done such great and good things, fear the Lord and his goodness, fear him for his goodness sake; nothing so influences fear, or a reverential affection for God, as a sense of his goodness; this engages men sensible of it to fear the Lord, that is, to worship him both internally and externally in the exercise of every grace, and in the performance of every duty:
and serve him in sincerity and in truth: in the uprightness of their souls, without hypocrisy and deceit, and according to the truth of his word, and of his mind and will revealed in it, without any mixture of superstition and will worship, or of the commands and inventions of men:
and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; that is, express an abhorrence of them, and keep at a distance from them, and show that you are far from giving in to such idolatries your ancestors were guilty of, when they lived on the other side Euphrates, in Chaldea, or when they were sojourners in Egypt; for it cannot be thought that the Israelites were at this time guilty of such gross idolatry, at least openly, since Joshua had bore such a testimony of them, that they had cleaved to the Lord unto that day, Joshua 23:8; and their zeal against the two tribes and a half, on suspicion of idolatry, or of going into it, is a proof of it also:
and serve ye the Lord: and him only.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14-28. Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth—After having enumerated so many grounds for national gratitude, Joshua calls on them to declare, in a public and solemn manner, whether they will be faithful and obedient to the God of Israel. He avowed this to be his own unalterable resolution, and urged them, if they were sincere in making a similar avowal, "to put away the strange gods that were among them"—a requirement which seems to imply that some were suspected of a strong hankering for, or concealed practice of, the idolatry, whether in the form of Zabaism, the fire-worship of their Chaldean ancestors, or the grosser superstitions of the Canaanites.
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