Joshua 1:1
Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,
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(1) After the death of Moses . . . the Lord spake unto Joshua . . . Moses’ minister.—Joshua’s commission was the first of its kind, but not the last. No man before Joshua had received orders to regulate his conduct by the words of a written book. Abraham and his household had kept God’s laws. Moses had acted by Divine commission. But Abraham and Moses received their orders from the mouth of Jehovah. Joshua and all his successors must fulfil the orders of “this book of the law.” Thus Joshua was Moses’ minister in more than one sense. He was Moses’ confidential agent and personal attendant while he lived, and afterwards the executor of that which Moses had written. But the position of Joshua, though at first unique and without precedent, was the position designed for all his successors, more especially for that great Personage whose name Joshua was the first to bear. Joshua and the Book of the Law come before us together, without introduction, in the same passage of the law (Exodus 17:9), “Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek;” and in Joshua 1:14, “Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua.” The book was prepared for Joshua; Joshua came to fulfil the words of the book. Compare Psalm 40:7, “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God.” “Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers” (Romans 15:8; see also Matthew 5:17).

For the use of the word minister” (Heb., m’shârêth) compare 2Kings 4:43; 2Kings 6:15; 2Chronicles 9:4; Ezra 8:17; Psalm 103:21; Psalm 104:4; Proverbs 29:12; Ezekiel 44:11. From these references it will be seen that the word may signify a personal attendant, a minister of state, or a minister of religion.



Joshua 1:1 - Joshua 1:11

The closest connection exists between Deuteronomy and Joshua. The narrative may be read as running on without a break. It turns away from the lonely grave up on the mountain to the bustling camp and the new leader. No man is indispensable. God’s work goes on uninterrupted. The instruments are changed, but the Master-hand is the same, and lays one tool aside and takes another out of the tool-chest as He will. Moses is dead,-what then? Does his death paralyse the march of the tribes? No; it is but the ground for the ringing command, ‘Therefore arise, go over this Jordan.’ The immediate installation of his successor, and the uninterrupted continuance of the advance, do not mean that Moses is not honoured or is forgotten, for the narrative lovingly links his honorific title, ‘the servant of the Lord,’ with the mention of his death; and God Himself does the same, for he is thrice referred to in the divine command to Joshua, as the recipient of the promise of the conquest, as the example of the highest experience of God’s all-sufficing companionship, and as the medium by which Israel received the law. Joshua steps into the empty place, receives the same great promise, is assured of the same Presence, and is to obey the same law. The change of leaders is great, but nothing else is changed; and even it is not so great as faint hearts in their sorrow are apt to think, for the real Leader lives, and Moses and Joshua alike are but the transmitters of His orders and His aids to Israel.

The first command given to Joshua was a trial of his faith, for ‘Jordan was in flood’ {Joshua 3:15},-and how was that crowd to get across, when fords were impassable and ferry-boats were wanting, to say nothing of the watchful eyes that were upon them from the other bank? To cross a stream in the face of the enemy is a ticklish operation, even for modern armies; what must it have been, then, for Joshua and his horde? Not a hint is given him as to the means by which the crossing is to be made possible. He has Jehovah’s command to do it, and Jehovah’s promise to be with him, and that is to be enough. We too have sometimes to face undertakings which we cannot see how to carry through; but if we do see that the path is one appointed by God, and will boldly tread it, we may be quite sure that, when we come to what at present seems like a mountain wall across it, we shall find that the glen opens as we advance, and that there is a way,-narrow, perhaps, and dangerous, but practicable. ‘One step enough for me’ should be our motto. We may trust God not to command impossibilities, nor to lead us into a cul de sac.

The promise to Moses {Deuteronomy 2:24} is repeated almost verbally in Joshua 1:4. The boundaries of the land are summarily given as from ‘the wilderness’ in the south to ‘this Lebanon’ in the north, and from the Euphrates in the east to the Mediterranean in the west. ‘The land of the Hittites’ is not found in the original passage in Deuteronomy, and it seems to be a designation of the territory between Lebanon and the Euphrates, which we now know to have been the seat of the northern Hittites, while the southern branch was planted round Hebron and the surrounding district. But these wide boundaries were not attained till late in the history, and were not long retained. Did the promise, then, fail? No, for it, like all the promises, was contingent on conditions, and Israel’s unfaithfulness cut short its extent of territory. We, too, fail to possess all the land destined for us. Our charter is much wider than our actual wealth. God gives more than we take, and we are content to occupy but a corner of the broad land which He has given us. In like manner Joshua did not realise to the full the following promise of uniform victory, but was defeated at Ai and elsewhere. The reason was the same,-the faithlessness of the people. Unbelief and sin turn a Samson into a weakling, and make Israel flee before the ranks of the Philistines.

The great encouragement given to Joshua in entering on his hard and perilous enterprise is twice repeated here: ‘As I was with Moses, so will I be with thee.’ Did Joshua remember how, nearly forty years since, he had fronted the mob of cowards with the very same assurance, and how the answer had been a shower of stones? The cowards are all dead,-will their sons believe the assurance now? If we do believe that God is with us, we shall be ready to cross Jordan in flood, and to meet the enemies that are waiting on the other bank. If we do not, we shall not dare greatly, nor succeed in what we attempt. The small successes of material wealth and gratified ambition may be ours, but for all the higher duties and nobler conflicts that become a man, the condition of achievement and victory is steadfast faith in God’s presence and help.

That assurance-which we may all have if we cling to Jesus, in whom God comes to be with every believing soul-is the only basis on which the command to Joshua, thrice repeated, can wisely or securely be rested. It is mockery to say to a man conscious of weakness, and knowing that there are evils which must surely come, and evils which may possibly come, against which he is powerless, ‘Don’t be afraid’ unless you can show him good reason why he need not be. And there is only one reason which can still reasonable dread in a human heart that has to front ‘all the ills that flesh is heir to,’ and sees behind them all the grim form of death. He ought to be afraid, unless-unless what? Unless he has heard and taken into his inmost soul the Voice that said to Joshua, ‘I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee: be strong and of a good courage,’ or, still more sweet and peace-bringing, the Voice that said to the frightened crew of the fishing-boat in the storm and the darkness,’ It is I; be not afraid.’ If we know that Christ is with us, it is wise to be strong and courageous; if we are meeting the tempest alone, the best thing we can do is to fear, for the fear may drive us to seek for His help, and He ever stretches out His hand to him who is afraid, as he ought to be, when he feels the cold water rising above his knees, and by his very fear is driven to faith, and cries, ‘Lord, save; I perish!’

Courage that does not rest on Christ’s presence is audacity rather than courage, and is sure to collapse, like a pricked bladder, when the sharp point of a real peril comes in contact with it. If we sit down and reckon the forces that we have to oppose to the foes that we are sure to meet, we shall find ourselves unequal to the fight, and, if we are wise, shall ‘send the ambassage’ of a humble desire to the great King, who will come to our help with His all-conquering powers. Then, and only then, shall we be safe in saying,’ I will not fear what man can do unto me, or devils either,’ when we have said,’ In God have I put my trust,’ and have heard Him answering, ‘I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Joshua 1:1. After the death of Moses — Either immediately after it, or when the days of mourning for Moses were expired. Joshua was appointed and declared Moses’s successor in the government before this time; and here he receives confirmation from God therein. The servant of the Lord — This title is given to Moses here, and Joshua 1:2, as also Deuteronomy 34:5, and is repeated, not without cause, to reflect honour upon him, to give authority to his laws and writings, in publishing whereof he acted as God’s servant, in his name: and that the Israelites might not think of Moses above what was meet, remembering that he was not the Lord himself, but only the Lord’s servant; and therefore not to be too pertinaciously followed in all his institutions, when the Lord himself should come and abolish part of the Mosaical dispensation; it being but reasonable that he, who was only a servant in God’s house, should give place to him who was the son, and heir, and lord of it. The Lord spake — Either in a dream or vision, or by Urim, Numbers 27:21. Moses’s minister — Who had waited upon Moses in his great employments, and thereby been privy to his manner of government, and so was prepared for it.

1:1-4 Joshua had attended upon Moses. He who was called to honour, had been long used to business. Our Lord Jesus took upon him the form of a servant. Joshua was trained up under command. Those are fittest to rule, who have learned to obey. The removal of useful men should quicken survivors to be the more diligent in doing good. Arise, go over Jordan. At this place and at this time the banks were overflowed. Joshua had no bridge or boats, and yet he must believe that God, having ordered the people over, would open a way.Now ... - Hebrew: "and, ..." The statement following is thus connected with some previous one, which is assumed to be known to the reader. So Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, etc., are by the same means linked on to the books preceding them. The connection here is the closer, since the Book of Deuteronomy concludes, and the book of Joshua opens, by referring to the death of Moses.

Moses, the servant of the Lord - On the epithet, see the marginal reference "b."

Moses' minister - It is impossible altogether to pass by the typical application of this verse. Moses, representing the law, is dead; Joshua, or, as that name is written in Greek, Jesus, is now bidden by God to do what Moses could not - lead the people into the promised land. Joshua was "Moses' minister," just as Christ was "made under the Law;" but it was Joshua, not Moses, who worked out the accomplishment of the blessings which the Law promised. On the name Joshua, see Exodus 17:9 note, and Numbers 13:16.

Saying - No doubt directly, by an immediate revelation, but not as God spake to Moses, "mouth to mouth" Numbers 12:8. Though upon Joshua's appointment to be Moses' successor (Numbers 27:18 ff), it had been directed that "counsel should be asked" for him through the medium of Eleazar "after the judgment of Urim," yet this was evidently a resource provided to meet cases of doubt and difficulty. Here there was no such case; but the appointed leader, knowing well the purpose of God, needed to be stirred up to instant execution of it; and the people too might require the encouragement of a renewed divine command to set out at once upon the great enterprise before them (compare Joshua 1:13).

THE BOOK OF JOSHUA. Commentary by Robert Jamieson


Jos 1:1-18. The Lord Appoints Joshua to Succeed Moses.

1. Now after the death of Moses—Joshua, having been already appointed and designated leader of Israel (Nu 27:18-23), in all probability assumed the reins of government immediately "after the death of Moses."

the servant of the Lord—This was the official title of Moses as invested with a special mission to make known the will of God; and it conferred great honor and authority.

the Lord spake unto Joshua—probably during the period of public mourning, and either by a direct revelation to the mind of Joshua, or by means of Urim and Thummim (Nu 27:21). This first communication gave a pledge that the divine instructions which, according to the provisions of the theocracy, had been imparted to Moses, would be continued to the new leader, though God might not perhaps speak to him "mouth to mouth" (Nu 12:8).

Joshua—The original name, Oshea, (Nu 13:8), which had been, according to Eastern usage, changed like those of Abram and Sarai (Ge 17:5-15) into Jehoshua or Joshua (that is, "God's salvation") was significant of the services he was to render, and typified those of a greater Saviour (Heb 4:8).

Moses' minister—that is, his official attendant, who, from being constantly employed in important services and early initiated into the principles of the government, would be well trained for undertaking the leadership of Israel.

JOSHUA Chapter 1

God commands Joshua to lead the people unto the land of Canaan, Jos 1:1-3. Its borders, Jos 1:4. God promises to assist him, Jos 1:5,6; commanding him to observe the law, Jos 1:7-9. He prepares the people to pass over Jordan, Jos 1:10,11. Reminds the Reubenites, Gadites, and half tribe of Manasseh of their promise to Moses, Jos 1:12-15; which they are ready to do, and all promise to obey, Jos 1:16-18.

After the death of Moses; either immediately after it, or when the days of mourning for Moses were expired. Joshua was appointed and declared Moses's successor in the government before this time, and therefore doubtless entered upon the government instantly after his death; and here he receives confirmation from God therein.

The servant of the Lord: this title is given to Moses here and Jos 1:2, as also Deu 34:5, and is oft repeated, not without cause; partly, to reflect honour upon him; partly, to give authority to his laws and writings, in publishing whereof he only acted as God's servant, in his name and stead: and partly, that the Israelites might not think of Moses above what was meet, remembering that he was not the Lord himself, but only the Lord's servant; and therefore not to be worshipped, nor yet to be too pertinaciously followed in all his institutions, when the Lord himself should come and abolish part of the Mosaical dispensation; it being but reasonable that he who was only a servant in God's house, should give place to him who was the Son, and Heir, and Lord of it, as Christ was. See Heb 3:3,5,6. The Lord spake; either in a dream or vision, or by Urim, Num 27:21.

Moses's minister, i.e. who had waited upon Moses in his great employments, and thereby been privy to his managery of the government, and so fitted and prepared for it.

Now after the death of Moses,.... Or "and after" (h); the book begins as if something went before, it is connected with; and indeed it seems to be the last chapter of the book of Deuteronomy, which treats of the death of Moses; and Joshua being the penman of Deuteronomy 34:5, as say the Talmudists (i), and of this book, as has been seen, having wrote them, he goes on with the history of his own affairs in strict connection with that account, beginning where that ended; namely, at the death of Moses, whose character here given is

the servant of the Lord; and a faithful one he was in all things belonging to it, and in whatsoever was enjoined him by the Lord, see Deuteronomy 34:5,

and it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun,

Moses's minister; either in a dream, or vision, or by an articulate voice out of the sanctuary: of Joshua's descent and relation, see Exodus 33:11; and of his office under Moses, not as a menial servant, but a minister of state, see Exodus 24:13,

saying; as follows.

(h) "et factum est", V. L. "et fuit", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus. (i) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 14. 2.

Now after the {a} death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,

The Argument - In this book the Holy Spirit sets most lively before us the accomplishment of God's promise, who as he promised by the mouth of Moses, that a prophet would be raised up to the people like him, whom he wills to obey, De 18:15: so he shows himself true to his promise, as at all other times, and after the death of Moses his faithful servant, he raises up Joshua to be ruler and governor over his people, that they should neither be discouraged for lack of a captain, nor have reason to distrust God's promises later. So that Joshua might be confirmed in his calling, and the people also might have no opportunity to grudge, as though he were not approved by God: he is adorned with most excellent gifts and graces from God, both to govern the people with counsel, and to defend them with strength, that he lacks nothing which either belongs to a valiant captain, or a faithful minister. So he overcomes all difficulties, and brings them into the land of Canaan: which according to God's ordinance he divides among the people and appoints their borders: he established laws and ordinances, and put them in remembrance of God's revealed benefits, assuring them of his grace and favour if they obey God, and of his plagues and vengeance if they disobey him. This history represents Jesus Christ the true Joshua, who leads us into eternal happiness, signified to us by this land of Canaan. From the beginning of Genesis to the end of this book is 2567 years. For from Adam to the flood are 1656, from the flood to the departure of Abraham out of Chaldea 423, and from then to the death of Joseph 290. So that Genesis contains 2369, Exodus 140, the other three books of Moses 40, Joshua 27. So the whole makes 2576 years.

(a) The beginning of this book depends on the last chapter of Deuteronomy which was written by Joshua as a preparation to his history.

Ch. Joshua 1:1-9. The Command of God to Joshua

1. Now] Rather, And. The usual connective particle. It implies that something has gone before, of which it is the continuation. Compare the opening words of the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Judges. Here, as often afterwards, the Book of Joshua presupposes that of Deuteronomy.

after the death of Moses] in the land of Moab on the eastern side of the Jordan, where he was buried over against the idol sanctuary of Beth-Peor (Deuteronomy 34:6). Through thirty days of stillness, the camp had been full of weeping and mourning for the great Lawgiver.

Joshua the son of Nun] For an outline of his life see Introduction.

Moses’ minister] Joshua is not spoken of as Moses’ “servant,” but as his “minister.” Comp. Exodus 24:13; Deuteronomy 1:38. For his formal appointment to the office see Numbers 27:15 ff.

Verse 1. - Now after the death of Moses. The form of the Hebrew is the usual historical one for the continuation of a narrative before commenced. The Book of Joshua is thus shown to be, and to be intended to be, a continuation of the Book of Deuteronomy, which ends with the death of Moses (see Speaker's Commentary in loc.). This link of connection is lost in the English version. The question forces itself upon the critic, At what time was this consecutive narrative written, as is admitted, in various styles, in the language of obviously distinct periods - first composed and palmed off upon the Jews as the genuine work of a writer contemporary, or nearly contemporary, with the events he describes? The servant of the Lord. This term (Keil) is applied to the heavens and the earth (Psalm 119:91), to the angels (Job 4:18), to the prophets (Jeremiah 7:25, etc.), to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to the Jewish people (Exodus 19:5), to Zerubbabel (Haggai 2:23), and even to Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 25:9, etc.), as the appointed minister of God's wrath, and to pious men in general (Gesenius; see Psalm 34:23, etc.). It is also applied to the Messiah (Zechariah 3:8; comp. the word παῖς similarly applied in Acts 4:27). It originally implies the position of a slave, whether born in the house or bought with money (see Leviticus 25:39; and Genesis 9:25; Exodus 13:3, 14). In all cases it expresses a closer and more familiar relation than the term minister below. Keil says that it is applied so frequently to Moses that it has become almost his "official title" (see Deuteronomy 34:5, and the Book of Joshua passim, and cf. Hebrews 3:5). It is, however, still more frequently applied to David. But it suits well with the special and peculiar mission which Moses had above the rest of mankind. He was, as it were, the household servant of the Most High, His steward and representative, ruling over the family of God in His name, and giving to them the directions of which they stood in need. That the Lord spake unto Joshua. Either by Urim and Thummin, which seems at least probable (see Numbers 27:21, and Joshua 9:14). But the great majority of commentators prefer the idea of an inward revelation, since the words are frequently used in this Book of God's revelations to Joshua (Joshua 3:7; Joshua 4:1, 15; Joshua 5:2, 9; Joshua 6:2, etc.). The manner of these inward revelations is also a matter on which much difference of opinion exists. They, no doubt, were frequently made through a vision or dream, as to Abraham at Sodom (Genesis 18:1), Jacob at Bethel, and Joshua him. self (Joshua 5:13). But it is by no means clear that they were always so. The voice of God in answer to prayer is recognised by Christians in a strong inward persuasion of the desirability or necessity of a particular course. Of this kind would seem to be the answer to St. Paul's prayer in 2 Corinthians 12:9. And it is quite possible that in passages such as Genesis 12:1, 22:1, 2, nothing more is meant than that the persuasion, by God's permission or inspiration, was strongly felt within. And so it is possible that one so specially and divinely commissioned as Joshua discerned in a strong and apparently irresistible conviction, the voice of God (cf. Acts 16:7; 2 Corinthians 1:17). Joshua's name was originally Hoshea (like the prophet and the Israelitish king of that name). The name originally meant salvation, or deliverance, but it was changed, either when he entered into Moses' service, or when he was about to fight the Amalekites (Numbers 13:8, 16; Deuteronomy 32:44), into Jehoshua, or Joshua (either "God shall save," or "God's salvation"). It is not stated in Holy Writ when the name Joshua was given. In Exodus 17:9, where Joshua is named for the first time, he is called by the name Moses gave him, and is mentioned incidentally as a person well known to the writer and his readers. The reader need hardly be reminded that in the form Jeshua (Gr. Ἰησοῦς) it was the name of our Blessed Lord Himself, and that the Name which is now above all other names is used of Joshua in two places in the New Testament, in Acts 7:45, in Hebrews 4:8. It was a common name in later times, as Colossians 4:11 and Acts 13:6 will serve to show. In later Hebrew, as in Nehemiah 8:17, Joshua is called Jeshua, and the names of Joshua and Jeshua are given indiscriminately to the high priest, the son of Josedeeh, who was contemporary with the building of the second temple. For Joshua as a type of Christ the reader may consult a deep passage in 'Pearson on the Creed,' Art. II., from which some of the most striking parts are here quoted: - "First, it was he alone, of all which passed out of Egypt, who was designed to lead the children of Israel into Canaan, which land, as it is a type of heaven, so is the person which brought the Israelites into that place of rest a type of Him who only can bring us into the presence of God, and there prepare our mansions for us. Besides, it is further observable, not only what Joshua did, but what Moses could not do. The hand of Moses and Aaron brought them out of Egypt, but left them in the wilderness. Joshua, the successor, only could effect that in which Moses failed. Moses must die that Joshua may succeed (Romans 3:20-22). The command of circumcision was not given to Moses, but to Joshua; nor were the Israelites circumcised in the wilderness under the conduct of Moses and Aaron, but in the land of Canaan under their successor. Which speaketh Jesus to be the true circumciser, the author of another circumcision than that of the flesh (Romans 2:29; Colossians 2:11). If we look on Joshua as the 'minister of Moses,' he is even in that a type of Christ, 'the minister of the circumcision for the truth of God.' If we look on him as the successor of Moses, in that he represented Jesus, inasmuch as 'the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.' If we look on him as judge and ruler of Israel, there is scarce an action which is not predictive of our Saviour. He begins his office at the banks of Jordan, where Christ was baptized and enters upon the public exercise of His prophetical office; he chooseth there twelve men out of the people to carry twelve stones over with them, as our Jesus thence began to choose His twelve apostles, those foundation stones in the Church of God (Revelation 21:14). Joshua smote the Amalekites and subdued the Canaanites, By the first making way to enter the land, by the second giving possession of it. And Jesus in like manner goeth in and out before us against our spiritual enemies, subduing sin and Satan, and so opening and clearing our way to heaven; destroying the last enemy, death, and so giving us possession of eternal life." Pearson quotes Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Theodoret, and others as justifying his view of the history. Theodoret, moreover, in his 'Questions on Joshua,' remarks on the coincidence between Joshua 1:17 and John 5:46. And Origen, in his first 'Homily on Joshua,' remarks on the fact that the first time the sacred name meets us in the Book of God, it is as the leader of an army (Exodus 17:9). Another way in which Joshua was a type of Christ is this. Under Moses there are constant murmurings and disputings, for "the law made nothing perfect" (Hebrews 7:19). Under Joshua all is confidence and triumph, for "by one offering Jesus hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Hebrews 10:14). Moses' minister. This word is principally used of service in the house of God. Thus it is used of Aaron and his sons, Exodus 28:43; Exodus 39:41, etc.: of Samuel, 1 Samuel 2:11; 1 Samuel 3:1, etc.: of the priests and Levites, 1 Chronicles 6:32; 1 Chronicles 16:4; Ezekiel 14:5; Joel 1:9, etc. In these places it seems to be equivalent to the LXX. λειτουργός. But it is by no means confined to such service. In Exodus 33:11, where it is applied to Joshua, it is rendered in the LXX. by θεράπων, and it is quite clear that Joshua's service to Moses was not exclusively of a religious character. Some commentators have suggested the word aide de camp, but this would be equally incorrect in the opposite direction, since Joshua's services (see Exodus 24:13; Exodus 33:11) were clearly not rendered only in time of war. The word is used of Abishag the Shunamite, 1 Kings 1:4, 15; and of Elisha, 1 Kings 19:21. Joshua 1:1The imperfect with vav consec., the standing mode of expressing a continued action or train of thought, "simply attaches itself by the conjunction 'and' to a completed action, which has either been mentioned before, or is supposed to be well known" (Ewald, 231, b.). "After the death of Moses," i.e., after the expiration of the thirty days of general mourning for him (vid., Deuteronomy 34:8). "Servant of Jehovah" is a standing epithet applied to Moses as an honourable title, and founded upon Numbers 12:7-8 (vid., Deuteronomy 34:5; 1 Kings 8:56; 2 Kings 18:12; Psalm 105:26, etc.). On "Joshua, Moses' minister," see at Exodus 17:9 and Numbers 13:16. Minister (meshareth), as in Exodus 24:13, etc. Although Joshua had already been called by the mouth of the Lord to be the successor of Moses in the task of leading the people into Canaan (Numbers 27:15.), and had not only been presented to the people in this capacity, but had been instituted in this office by the Lord, with the promise of His help (Deuteronomy 31:3-7 and Deuteronomy 31:23), the word of the Lord came to him a second time after the death of Moses, with the command to enter upon the office to which he had been called, and with the promise that He would help him to fulfil its duties, as he had already helped His servant Moses. "Because even some of the bravest men, although fully prepared beforehand, either stand still or hesitate when the thing has to be done: this exhortation to Joshua, to gird himself at once for the expedition, was by no means superfluous; though his call was ratified again not only for his own sake, but in order that the people might not hesitate to follow him with their minds collected and calm, when they saw that he took no step without the guidance of God" (Calvin). - Joshua received this word of the Lord by a direct address from God, and not through the intervention of the Urim and Thummim of the high priest; for this appointed medium for the revelation of the will of God, to which he had been referred on the occasion of his first call (Numbers 27:21), whenever difficulties should arise in connection with his office, was not sufficient for the renewal and confirmation of his divine calling, since the thing required here was not merely that the will of God should be made known to him, but that he should be inspired with courage and strength for the fulfilment of it, i.e., for discharging the duties of his office, just as he afterwards was then in front of the fortified town of Jericho which he was directed to take, where the angel of the Lord appeared to him and assured him of its fall (Joshua 5:13). Moreover, the conquest of Canaan formed part of the work which the Lord entrusted to His servant Moses, and in which therefore Joshua was now Moses' successor. Consequently the Lord would be with him as He had been with Moses (Joshua 1:5); and for this reason He revealed His will directly to him, as He had done to Moses, though without talking with him mouth to mouth (Numbers 12:8).
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