|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:16-26 See the folly of those that promise themselves secrecy in sin. The righteous God has many ways of bringing to light the hidden works of darkness. See also, how much it is our concern, when God is contending with us, to find out the cause that troubles us. We must pray with holy Job, Lord, show me wherefore thou contendest with me. Achan's sin began in the eye. He saw these fine things, as Eve saw the forbidden fruit. See what comes of suffering the heart to walk after the eyes, and what need we have to make this covenant with our eyes, that if they wander they shall be sure to weep for it. It proceeded out of the heart. They that would be kept from sinful actions, must mortify and check in themselves sinful desires, particularly the desire of worldly wealth. Had Achan looked upon these things with an eye of faith, he would have seen they were accursed things, and would have dreaded them; but looking on them with an eye of sense only, he saw them as goodly things, and coveted them. When he had committed the sin, he tried to hide it. As soon as he had got this plunder, it became his burden, and he dared not to use his ill-gotten treasure. So differently do objects of temptation appear at a distance, to what they do when they have been gotten. See the deceitfulness of sin; that which is pleasing in the commission, is bitter in the reflection. See how they will be deceived that rob God. Sin is a very troublesome thing, not only to a sinner himself, but to all about him. The righteous God will certainly recompense tribulation to them that trouble his people. Achan perished not alone in his sin. They lose their own, who grasp at more than their own. His sons and daughters were put to death with him. It is probable that they helped to hide the things; they must have known of them. What fatal consequences follow, even in this world, to the sinner himself, and to all belonging him! One sinner destroys much good. What, then, will be the wrath to come? Let us flee from it to Christ Jesus as the sinner's Friend. There are circumstances in the confession of Achan, marking the progress of sin, from its first entrance into the heart to its being done, which may serve as the history of almost every offence against the law of God, and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Verse 16. - The family of Judah. The expression מִשְׁפַתַת is remarkable. Many commentators would read מִשְׁפְחֹת, not without some MSS. authority. Keil objects that the Chaldee and Syriac have the singular. But the LXX. has κατὰ δήμους, and the Vulgate juxta familias. On the whole it seems more probable that as מִשְׁפַחַת occurs twice in this passage, it has been so pointed where the same letters occur for the third time, than that, with Peele, it means tribe (so also Gesenius and Winer); or that, as others suggest, it is used for omnes or singulas genres. See, however, Judges 13:2, where it is unquestionably used in the sense of tribe.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So Joshua rose up early in the morning,.... Which showed his readiness and diligence to obey the command of God; and as there was much work to do, it required that he should rise early:
and brought Israel by their tribes: before the Lord, at the tabernacle, where he and the high priest and elders attended; each tribe was thither brought by their representatives:
and the tribe of Judah was taken: either his stone in the breastplate of the high priest looked dull, as some say, or rather the lot being cast fell on that tribe.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16-18. So Joshua rose up early, and brought Israel by their tribes—that is, before the tabernacle. The lot being appealed to (Pr 16:33), he proceeded in the inquiry from heads of tribes to heads of families, and from heads of households in succession to one family, and to particular persons in that family, until the criminal was found to be Achan, who, on Joshua's admonition, confessed the fact of having secreted for his own use, in the floor of his tent, spoil both in garments and money [Jos 7:19-21]. How dreadful must have been his feelings when he saw the slow but certain process of discovery! (Nu 32:23).
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