And the LORD said to Moses, Behold, your days approach that you must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge. And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Deuteronomy 31:14-23. JOSHUA IS APPOINTED BY JEHOVAH TO MOSES’ PLACE.
(14) Thy days approach that thou must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves.—What Moses had already done before Israel (Deuteronomy 31:1-8) is now ratified by Jehovah to Joshua and Moses.
Moses and Joshua went.—We may compare this scene with that which is described in Numbers 20:25-28, when Aaron and Eleazar went up to Mount Hor, in order that the priesthood might be transferred from one to the other. Elijah and Elisha, in like manner, went together over Jordan, when Elijah was about to depart (2 Kings 2). For the last time it is recorded here that Jehovah met Moses face to face in the tabernacle. Their next meeting was on Mount Nebo, and the next “within the veil !”Deuteronomy 31:14. That I may give him a charge — Immediately from myself, for his great encouragement, and to gain him more authority with the people.Numbers 27:22 been called, and his recognition in it by God, which were manifested by his being summoned into the tabernacle with Moses while the Lord appeared in the pillar of cloud (compare Numbers 11:25; Numbers 12:5).In the tabernacle; either properly so called, for though the priests only might ordinarily enter there, yet others might go in upon a call and command from God, which here they had; or in the court of the tabernacle, at the door of which God stood in the cloudy pillar, Deu 31:15, the court coming here under the name of the tabernacle, as elsewhere it comes under the name of the temple.
That I may give him a charge, immediately from myself, for his greater encouragement, and to gain him more authority with the people.
behold, thy days approach that thou must die; which does not necessarily imply that he had some days to live, though but few; but that the time of his death drew nigh, his last moments were approaching; the time of his death being, as every man's is, fixed by the Lord, with whom is the number of his years, months, days, and moments, beyond which he cannot pass, Job 14:5,
call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge; this looks as if the people had been dismissed after the above exhortations given; and now Joshua was called, and Moses with him, to have a charge given him:
and Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation; before the Lord. Aben Ezra says, Moses went from the camp of Israel where he was, to the camp of the Shechinah; the Jews pretend to know in what form they walked thither. Moses, they say (a), went on the left hand of Joshua; and they went to the tabernacle, and the pillar of cloud descended and separated between them.And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thy days approach that thou must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge. And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold] No parallel passage in Deut. (Deuteronomy 1:42, Deuteronomy 2:9, Deuteronomy 3:2; Deuteronomy 3:26, Deuteronomy 4:10, Deuteronomy 5:28, Deuteronomy 9:13, Deuteronomy 10:1; cp. Deuteronomy 2:3; Deuteronomy 2:17) includes behold except Deuteronomy 31:16.
thy days, etc.] Lit. thy days for dying draw near. Only here and in J, Genesis 47:29, and 1 Kings 2:1.
present yourselves] Lit. take your stand, elsewhere in Deut. of standing up to a foe (Deuteronomy 7:24, Deuteronomy 9:2, Deuteronomy 11:25, Joshua 1:5), but in JE as here of taking up one’s position before the presence of God (Exodus 19:17; Exodus 34:5, Numbers 11:16; Numbers 23:3; Numbers 23:15, Joshua 24:1), or before Pharaoh (Exodus 8:16; Exodus 9:13).
tent of meeting] Heb. mo‘ed denotes what is fixed, ordained either, as in Deuteronomy 31:10 (q.v.), of time, or, as here, of place, where by appointment God meets with man, see Exodus 25:22, virtually therefore tent of revelation (Germ. ‘Offenbarungszelt’); both in E, Exodus 33:7, Numbers 11:16; Numbers 12:4, and no fewer than 132 times in P; not elsewhere in Deut., in which indeed the Tabernacle is mentioned only here.
that I may give him a charge] In Deuteronomy 3:28 Moses is commanded to charge Joshua.
14–23. Again Joshua’s Commission, with Introduction to Moses’ Song
The composition is very curious. In Deuteronomy 31:14-15; Deuteronomy 31:23 we have an account of the charge to Joshua, which is in substance not the continuation of the deuteronomic one in Deuteronomy 31:1-8, but parallel to that, and is couched in a phraseology resembling that of E (see notes), to which source it is generally assigned. It is interrupted by Deuteronomy 31:16-22, which have nothing to do with Joshua, but are an address of the Lord to Moses, and without connection with Deuteronomy 31:14-15, except that the motive in both cases is the imminent death of Moses. The language, while containing some phrases of E and some deuteronomic formulas, gives to the latter a peculiar turn, and contains besides elements not elsewhere found in the Hex. and speaks of Israel in the masc. sing. in a fashion confined to itself. The passage forms an introduction to the Song in ch. 32. Its source is uncertain.Verses 14-23. - After nominating Joshua as his successor, and assigning the keeping of the Law to the priesthood and body of elders, Moses was summoned by the Lord to appear with Joshua in the tabernacle, that Joshua might receive a charge and appointment to his office. At the same time, God announced to Moses that after his death the people would go astray, and turn to idolatry, and violate the covenant, so that God's anger should be kindled against them, and he would leave them to suffer the consequences of their folly and sin. In view of this, Moses was directed to write a song and teach it to the people, that it might abide with them as a witness against them, rising up, as songs will do, in the memory of the nation, even after they had apostatized from the path in which the author of the song had led them. Verse 14. - The tabernacle of the congregation; properly, the tent of meeting (cf. Exodus 33:7; Exodus 39:32). May give him a charge; may constitute him (צִוָּה; cf. Numbers 27:19; "and constitute him in their sight," Gesenius), appoint and confirm him in this office. Deuteronomy 1:38 and Numbers 27:18. את־העם תּבוא, "thou wilt come with this people into the land." These words are quite appropriate; and the alteration of תּבוא into תּביא, according to Deuteronomy 31:23 (Samar., Syr., Vulg.), is a perfectly unnecessary conjecture; for Joshua was not appointed leader of the people here, but simply promised an entrance with all the people into Canaan.
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