Joshua 1:17
According as we listened to Moses in all things, so will we listen to you: only the LORD your God be with you, as he was with Moses.
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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).

The same obedience which we owed, and those of us who are now alive generally performed, to Moses, we promise unto thee.

Only the Lord thy God be with thee: this is not a limitation of their obedience, as if they would not obey him any further or longer than he was prosperous or successful; 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. According as we have hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee,.... Not right or wrong, but in all things that were according to the laws and will of God made known to them; and particularly it may refer to the above affair, which was settled between Moses and them, to whom they then hearkened, and now promise to confirm the same, and hearken to whatsoever orders and instructions Joshua should give them relative to it, according to the plan agreed upon:

only the Lord thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses; which is not mentioned as a condition of their obedience to him, but rather as a reason of it, and as an encouraging motive to it; for, according to Kimchi, the true sense and meaning is,"for the Lord thy God will be with thee, as he was with Moses;''so Noldius renders it,"seeing the Lord thy God is with thee.''

According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, {k} so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses.

(k) They not only promise to obey him as long as God is with him: but to help punish all who rebel against him.

17. only the Lord thy God] The promise of the Two Tribes and a Half closes with the same call to trust and confidence in the Most High, which God Himself had already addressed to Joshua.Verse 17. - As we hearkened unto Moses. Calvin remarks that the Israelites did not hearken unto Moses, but replies that, compared with the conduct of their fathers whose bodies lay in the wilderness, the conduct of this generation was obedience itself. It certainly appears as though for the last two years of the wandering in the wilderness there was far less rebellion against Moses than before; and after the solemn repetition of the precepts of the law to the new generation which had arisen, given in the Book of Deuteronomy, there seems to have been no rebellion at all (see Numbers 26:63). Joshua 1:10-11

Preparations for Crossing the Jordan. - Joshua 1:10-11. For the purpose of carrying out the commands of the Lord, Joshua first of all directed the officers of the people (shoterim: see at Exodus 5-6), whose duty it was, as the keepers of the family registers, to attend not only to the levying of the men who were bound to serve in the army, but also to the circulation of the commands of the general, to issue orders to the people in the camp to provide themselves with food, so that they might cross the Jordan within three days, and take the land that was promised them by God. By zedah, provision for a journey (Genesis 42:25, etc.), we are not to understand manna, for that had already ceased (see at Joshua 5:12), but simply the natural produce of the inhabited country. The expression "in three days," i.e., as we may see from comparing Genesis 40:13, Genesis 40:19, with Genesis 40:20, on the third day from the publication of the command, "will ye go over the Jordan," is not to be regarded as a prediction of the time when the crossing actually took place, but to be taken as the latest time that could be allowed to the people to prepare for crossing: viz., in this sense, "Prepare you victuals for crossing over the Jordan within three days," i.e., that you may be able to leave Shittim within that time, to cross over the Jordan, and commence the conquest of Canaan. If we understand the words in this way, they are in perfect harmony with Joshua 2 and 3. According to Joshua 2, Joshua sent out spies from Shittim to Jericho, who were obliged to hide themselves for three days in the mountains after their flight from that city (Joshua 2:22), before they could return to the Israelitish camp; so that they were absent three or four days at any rate, and came back at the earliest in the evening or night of the fourth day after they had been sent out. It was not till the morning after this that the Israelites left Shittim and proceeded to the Jordan, where they halted again. Then, three days afterwards, they went across the river (Joshua 3:1-2), so that at least 4 + 1 + 3, i.e., eight whole days must have intervened between the day when the spies were sent out and the day on which the people crossed the river. Joshua no doubt intended to proceed to the Jordan and cross it within three days after despatching the spies; he therefore sent the spies to Jericho on the same day on which he issued the command to the people to prepare for crossing within three days, so that he might reasonably hope that they would fulfil their commission and return in two or three days. But as they were compelled to hide themselves for three days in the mountains, in consequence of the unexpected discovery of their arrival in Jericho, and the despatch of men in pursuit of them, Joshua could not remove with the people from Shittim and proceed to the Jordan till the day after their return; and even then he could not cross the river at once, but waited three days after reaching the bank of the river before he crossed to the other side (vid., Joshua 3:1.).

(Note: In this way the different statements in the three chapters harmonize perfectly well. But the majority of commentators have arranged the order of succession differently and in a very arbitrary way, starting with the unwarrantable assumption that the time referred to in this verse, "within three days," is identical with that in Joshua 3:2, "it came to pass after three days." Upon the strength of this groundless assumption, Knobel maintains that there is great confusion in the order of succession of the events described in Joshua 1-3, that Joshua 1:11 is irreconcilable with Joshua 3:1-6, and that accounts written by three different authors have been mixed up together in these chapters. (For the different attempts to reconcile the accounts, see Keil's Commentary on Joshua, pp. 72-75, note, Eng. trans. Clark, 1857.))

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