|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:30-35 As soon as Joshua got to the mountains Ebal and Gerizim, without delay, and without caring for the unsettled state of Israel, or their enemies, he confirmed the covenant of the Lord with his people, as appointed, De 11; 27. We must not think to defer covenanting with God till we are settled in the world; nor must any business put us from minding and pursuing the one thing needful. The way to prosper is to begin with God, Mt 6:33. They built an altar, and offered sacrifice to God, in token of their dedicating themselves to God, as living sacrifices to his honour, in and by a Mediator. By Christ's sacrifice of himself for us, we have peace with God. It is a great mercy to any people to have the law of God in writing, and it is fit that the written law should be in a known tongue, that it may be seen and read of all men.
Verse 32. - And he wrote there upon the stones; i.e., upon the plaster, as we read in Deuteronomy 27:2, 4. "The wall destined to receive the picture," and it was just the same with inscriptions - was covered with a coating of lime and gypsum plaster. The outline was then sketched with red chalk, and afterwards corrected and filled in with black (Keurick's 'Egypt,' 1, p. 271). Thomson ('Land and the Book,' Io. 471) says that he has seen writings in plaster which could not have been less than two thousand years old. This passage shows that our author had Deuteronomy 28:2, 3 in his mind. The stones of the altar, which alone have been mentioned, are clearly not meant here, but the erection of plastered stone on which the law was to be written. A copy of the law of Moses, "Deuteronomium legis," Vulgate. So also LXX. Not the whole law, nor yet the Book of Deuteronomy, for time would not permit,but the decalogue, as the word מִשְׁנֶה duplicate, from whence the word Mishna comes, signifies. It is to be observed that the word is definite, the copy, not a copy, of the law. This (Deuteronomy 5:22) was what was written on the two tables of stone, which (Exodus 24:12, 31:18) God gave to Moses. Yet it is possible that, as some commentaters suggest, and as ver. 34 may be held to imply, what is meant is the curses and blessings mentioned in Deuteronomy 27, and 28. The formal setting up of this memorial was intended to remind the Israelites, by a perpetual standing witness, of the conditions on which they held the land of Canaan. And it is to be observed that the moral, rather than the positive, precepts of the law were thus solemnly enjoined on them, since neglect of the moral law of God is the invariable source of national degradation and decay. Which he wrote. Namely, Joshua.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses,.... Not upon the stones of which the altar was made, though some have so thought; but upon other stones erected in the form of a pillar, and plastered over, Deuteronomy 27:4; which copy of the law was not the whole book of Deuteronomy, as some, at least only an abstract of the laws in it; but rather the decalogue, as Abarbinel; or the blessings and curses later read, as Ben Gersom:
which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel: they being witness of it, that he did what was enjoined.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
32. he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses—(See on De 27:2, 3, 5); that is, the blessings and curses of the law. Some think that the stones which contained this inscription were the stones of the altar: but this verse seems rather to indicate that a number of stone pillars were erected alongside of the altar, and on which, after they were plastered, this duplicate of the law was inscribed.
Joshua 8:32 Parallel Commentaries
Joshua 8:32 NIV
Joshua 8:32 NLT
Joshua 8:32 ESV
Joshua 8:32 NASB
Joshua 8:32 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible