Joshua 1:16
And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) They answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do.—This promise of obedience may be taken as the reply of the whole people to Joshua’s orders, not that of the two and a half tribes alone. It is remarkable that they repeat to him the words of Jehovah, as most appropriate in their judgment: “Be strong and of a good courage” (Joshua 1:18).

Joshua 1:16-17. And they answered — Not the two tribes and a half only, but the officers of all the people, in their name, concurring with the divine appointment, by which Joshua was set over them. Thus must we swear allegiance to our Lord Jesus, as the captain of our salvation. Will we hearken unto thee — The same obedience which we owed to Moses, we promise unto thee. With Moses — This is not a limitation of their obedience, as if they would not obey him any longer than he was prosperous, but an additional prayer for him. As we have hereby promised thee our obedience, so our prayer shall be, that God would bless and prosper thee, as he did Moses.

1:16-18 The people of Israel engage to obey Joshua; All that thou commandest us to do we will readily do, without murmuring or disputing, and whithersoever thou sendest us we will go. The best we can ask of God for our magistrates, is, that they may have the presence of God; that will make them blessings to us, so that in seeking this for them, we consult our own interest. May we be enabled to enlist under the banner of the Captain of our salvation, to be obedient to his commands, and to fight the good fight of faith, with all that trust in and love his name, against all who oppose his authority; for whoever refuses to obey him must be destroyed.Armed - Rather, "arrayed" (see Exodus 13:18 note).

On this side Jordan - Compare Deuteronomy 1:1, note.

14. ye shall pass … armed—that is, officered or marshalled under five leaders in the old and approved caravan order (see on [174]Ex 13:18).

all the mighty men of valour—The words are not to be interpreted strictly as meaning the whole, but only the flower or choice of the fighting men (see on [175]Jos 4:12).

They answered, i.e. the Reubenites, &c., mentioned Joshua 1:12, to whom Joshua’s discourse is confined, Joshua 1:13-15. No doubt the other tribes expressed the same thing; but this is only recorded concerning these, because that might seem most doubtful, and the obedience of the rest was unquestionable.

And they answered Joshua,.... The two tribes of Gad and Reuben, and the half tribe of Manasseh, the heads of them, such as were deputed for that purpose, and were their mouths to him:

saying, all that thou commandest we will do; with respect to this affair of going over Jordan with their brethren, to assist them in the conquest of the land of Canaan:

and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go; in what position he would have them be in the army, and to whatsoever part of the country he should send them to subdue, and to whatsoever city he should order them to besiege.

And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. All that thou commandest us] A joyful answer instinct with a spirit of true fraternal love and resolute obedience.

Verse 16. - And they answered Joshua, saying. We may compare this joyful willingness with the murmurings of the people in the wilderness, and their rebellion after the death of those who led them into the promised land (cf. Joshua 24:31 with Judges 2:10, 11, etc.). Obedience is easy when all goes well with us, and when it makes no demand upon our faith. The Israelites murmured when the promise was as yet unfulfilled. They rebelled against God when obedience entailed serf sacrifice. But now all was hope and eagerness. So it is often with the young Christian at the outset of life's battle, before he has begun to realise the exertion and self denial that can alone ensure him victory. Joshua 1:16Joshua's appeal to the two tribes and a half, to remember the condition on which Moses gave them the land on the east of the Jordan for an inheritance, and to fulfil it, met with a ready response; to that these tribes not only promised to obey his commandments in every respect, but threatened every one with death who should refuse obedience. In recalling this condition to the recollection of the tribes referred to, Joshua follows the expressions in Deuteronomy 3:18-20, where Moses himself recapitulates his former command, rather than the original passage in Numbers 32. The expression "this land" shows that the speaker was still on the other side of the Jordan. חמשׁים, with the loins girded, i.e., prepared for war, synonymous with חלצים in Deuteronomy 3:18 and Numbers 32:32 (see at Exodus 13:18). חיל כּל־גּבּורי, all the mighty men of valour, i.e., the grave warriors (as in Joshua 6:2; Joshua 8:3; Joshua 10:7, and very frequently in the later books), is not common to this book and Deuteronomy, as Knobel maintains, but is altogether strange to the Pentateuch. The word "all" (v. 14, like Numbers 32:21, Numbers 32:27) must not be pressed. According to Joshua 4:13, there were only about 40,000 men belonging to the two tribes and a half who crossed the Jordan to take part in the war; whereas, according to Numbers 26:7, Numbers 26:18, Numbers 26:34, there were 110,000 men in these tribes who were capable of bearing arms, so that 70,000 must have remained behind for the protection of the women and children and of the flocks and herds, and to defend the land of which they had taken possession. On Joshua 1:15 see Deuteronomy 3:18; and on the more minute definition of "on this side (lit. beyond) Jordan" by "toward the sun-rising," compare the remarks on Numbers 32:19. The answer of the two tribes and a half, in which they not only most cheerfully promise their help in the conquest of Canaan, but also express the wish that Joshua may have the help of the Lord (Joshua 1:17 compared with Joshua 1:4), and after threatening all who refuse obedience with death, close with the divine admonition, "only be strong and of a good courage" (Joshua 1:18, cf. Joshua 1:6), furnishes a proof of the wish that inspired them to help their brethren, that all the tribes might speedily enter into the peaceable possession of the promised inheritance. The expression "rebel against the commandment" is used in Deuteronomy 1:26, Deuteronomy 1:43; Deuteronomy 9:23; 1 Samuel 12:14, to denote resistance to the commandments of the Lord; here it denotes opposition to His representative, the commander chosen by the Lord, which was to be punished with death, according to the law in Deuteronomy 17:12.
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