Joshua 1:10
Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,
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JOSHUA’S FIRST ORDERS (Joshua 1:10-15).

(10) Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people.—Joshua’s first orders to the people were to prepare for the passage of Jordan within three days. We may compare this event, in its relation to Joshua, with the giving of the law from Sinai to Moses. Both were preceded by a three days’ notice and a sanctification of the people. Both were means employed by God to establish the leaders whom He had chosen in the position which He designed for them. (Comp. Exodus 19:9; Exodus 19:11 with Joshua 1:11; Joshua 3:7; Joshua 4:14.)

Joshua 1:10-11. The officers of the people — Those who commanded under Joshua, in their respective tribes and families, attended him for orders, which they were to transmit to the people. Prepare you victuals — For although manna was given them to supply their want of ordinary provisions in the wilderness; yet they were allowed, when they had opportunity, to purchase other provisions, and did so, Deuteronomy 2:6; Deuteronomy 2:28. And now, having been some time in the land of the Amorites, and, together with manna, used themselves to other food, with which that country plentifully supplied them, they are warned to furnish themselves therewith for their approaching march. Within three days — These words, though placed here, seem not to have been delivered by Joshua till after the return of the spies, such transpositions being frequent in Scripture. And hence it is, that these three days, mentioned here, are again repeated below, after the history of the spies, Joshua 3:2.1:10-15 Joshua says to the people, Ye shall pass over Jordan, and shall possess the land; because God had said so to him. We honour the truth of God, when we stagger not at the promise of God. The two tribes and a half were to go over Jordan with their brethren. When God, by his providence, has given us rest, we ought to consider what service we may do to our brethren.Officers - The "scribes." (See the Exodus 5:6 note, and Deuteronomy 16:18.) 10-18. Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people—These were the Shoterim (see on [172]Ex 5:6; [173]De 20:5). No text from Poole on this verse. Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people,.... The same word is used in Deuteronomy 16:18; where it seems to design such officers that attended on the judges, and executed their orders; but one would think it should here rather signify officers in the army, as captains, and the like; unless it should design a sort of heralds, who were to make proclamation throughout the camp, each of the orders issued by Joshua, immediately upon his having the above directions and instructions from the Lord:

saying; as follows.

Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,
10–18. The Command of Joshua to the People

10. the officers] Or, Shoterim. The word denotes (1) literally a “writer,” or “scribe;” then (2) an overseer, in whose office were combined various duties, including enrolments, orders &c., also genealogies; (3) a magistrate, prefect, leader of the people, especially, as here, the leaders, officers, of the Israelites in Egypt and in the desert. Comp. Numbers 11:16; Numbers 31:14; Numbers 31:48; Deuteronomy 1:15; Deuteronomy 16:18; Deuteronomy 20:5; Deuteronomy 20:8-9; Deuteronomy 31:28. Their duties were at once civil and military.Verse 10. ? Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people. The Shoterim, a term derived from the same root as an Arabic word signifying "to write." Different ideas have been entertained of their duties. Keil, Jahn (Hebrew Commonwealth), and others believe that they were genealogists; but it seems more probable that their original duties were to keep processes and minutes, and that, like our Indian "writers" and the "Master of the Rolls" at home, they exercised some kind of judicial functions, with which, moreover, active duties were sometimes combined. The idea that they were genealogists is contrary, as Gesenius shows, to the context in many places. Thus in Exodus 5:6-19, they seem to have had to see that the specified tale of bricks was delivered up; and we know from the recently deciphered Egyptian inscriptions that very accurate registers of such matters were kept. In Deuteronomy 1:16 (cf. Deuteronomy 16:18; Joshua 8:33; Joshua 23:2; Joshua 24:1, etc.) they appear to have exercised judicial functions in connection with the "princes" (not "captains," as in our version, which would lead to the idea that they were military officers). In Numbers 11:16 they are connected with the elders. In 1 Chronicles 26:29 they seem again to have exercised judicial functions, whereas in 2 Chronicles 26:11 their duty appears to have been to keep the muster rolls. In Proverbs 6:7 we find them once more with active duties as in the text. The LXX. equivalent; γραμματεύς, is rendered in Acts 19:35 by "town clerk," an officer with active as well as merely secretarial duties. Here they seem to have acted as officers of the commissariat, civil and military functions being naturally largely interchangeable in the then condition of the Israelitish people, just as they were in the early days of our Indian empire. The boundaries of the land are given as in Deuteronomy 11:24, with the simple difference in form, that the boundary line from the desert (of Arabia) and Lebanon, i.e., from the southern and northern extremity, is drawn first of all towards the east to the great river, the Euphrates, and then towards the west to "the great sea, toward the going down of the sun," i.e., the Mediterranean; and then between these two termini ad quem the more precise definition is inserted, "all the land of the Hittites;" whereas in Deuteronomy the southern, northern, and eastern boundaries are placed in antithesis to the western boundary, and the more precise definition of the country to be taken is given by an enumeration of the different tribes that were to be destroyed by the Israelites (Deuteronomy 11:23). On the oratorical character of these descriptions, see at Genesis 15:18. The demonstrative pronoun "this," in connection with Lebanon, may be explained from the fact that Lebanon, or at all events Anti-libanus, was visible from the Israelitish camp. The expression "the Hittites" (see at Genesis 10:15) is used here in a broader sense for Canaanites in general, as in 1 Kings 10:29; 2 Kings 7:6; Ezekiel 16:3. The promise in Joshua 1:5 is adopted from Deuteronomy 11:25, where it was made to the whole nation, and specially transferred to Joshua; and Joshua 1:5 is repeated from Deuteronomy 31:8, as compared with Joshua 1:6.
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