|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 26. - And the Lord turned from the heat of His anger. There is no contradiction between this and such passages as 1 Samuel 15:29; James 1:17. It is not God, but we who turn. Our confession and restitution, by uniting our will with His, of necessity turn His wrath away. Yet of course it is through Jesus Christ alone that such confession and restitution is possible, and they are accepted simply because by faith they are united with His.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day,.... That is, at the place where he suffered, or where they laid his ashes, they heaped up a pile of stones over him, as a monument whereby it might be known hereafter where he was executed and was buried; and which pile continued to the writing of this history: such sort of funeral monuments were usual with the Heathens (s) also as well as with the Jews, see Joshua 8:29; so the Lord turned from the fierceness of his anger; or the effects of it ceased; the outward face of things was altered, the dealings of God in his providence with Israel were changed; though, properly speaking, there is no change in God, nor such affections and passions in him as in man:
wherefore the name of the place was called the valley of Achor unto this day; from the trouble Achan met with, and the people of Israel on his account, see Joshua 7:24; and so it was called in the days of Isaiah and Hosea, Isaiah 65:10; and where it is prophesied of as what should be in time to come: according to Bunting (t), it was twelve miles from Jerusalem; Jerom (u) says it was at the north of Jericho, but Lamy (w), following Bonfrerius, places it to the south; see Joshua 15:7.
(s) Vid. Pausan. Arcadica, sive, l. 8. p. 477. & Phocica, sive, l. 10. p. 616, 617. (t) Travels of the Patriarchs, &c. p. 98. (u) De loc. Heb. fol. 88. B. (w) Apparat. Geograph. p. 61.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. they raised over him a great heap of stones—It is customary to raise cairns over the graves of criminals or infamous persons in the East still.
the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor—("trouble"),
unto this day—So painful an episode would give notoriety to the spot, and it is more than once noted by the sacred writers of a later age (Isa 65:10; Ho 2:15).
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