|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:10-19 The priests with the ark did not stir till ordered to move. Let none be weary of waiting, while they have the tokens of God's presence with them, even the ark of the covenant, though it be in the depths of adversity. Notice is taken of the honour put upon Joshua. Those are feared in the best manner, and to the best purpose, who make it appear that God is with them, and that they set him before them.
Verse 15. - And the Lord spake unto Joshua, saying. Meyer and others, according to the method of a certain school, regard this as an extract from another document, which is equivalent to saying that the Book of Joshua is a compilation of the most unintelligent kind, a conclusion which is refuted by every line of the Book. A vivid and picturesque narrative, such as we have before us, could hardly have Been brought together by the liberal use of scissors and paste, with utter disregard of the coherence of the extracts. It is not denied that the writer Of the Book of Joshua may have compiled his history from contemporary documents (see Introduction). All that is affirmed is that in so doing he used his materials with ordinary common sense. As has been before remarked, a marked feature of early Hebrew composition was repetition; repetition with additional details to add to the completeness of the narrative, but designed principally to emphasise the principal facts. Thus we are now told that it was at the command of Joshua, on God's express intimation, that the priests left their post. And to mark more clearly the historian's sense of the importance of the miracle, it is added that, as soon as the priests' feet had left the channel in which the waters had flowed up to the moment that they entered the waters of Jordan on the other side, the waters which had been cut off returned, and flowed exactly where they had done before. This additional fact, supplementing as it does the briefer detail in Joshua 3:17 and Joshua 4:11, must be therefore regarded as a record of the solemn conviction of the historian that in the events he is narrating he recognised a special interposition of the hand of God (see vers. 23, 24), in which in like manner we find a repetition in fuller detail of the command concerning the stones, designed to mark more clearly the sense the historian wishes his readers to have of the direct interference of God in what he has recorded.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Lord spake unto Joshua,.... When all the people had passed over jordan:
saying; as follows.
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