Whoever he be that does rebel against your commandment, and will not listen to your words in all that you command him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Exodus 13:18 note).
On this side Jordan - Compare Deuteronomy 1:1, note.
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 Jos 4:12).In all that thou commandest him, not repugnant to God’s commands; for none can be so foolish to think, that if he had commanded the people to blaspheme God, or worship idols, the people were obliged to obey him therein.
and will not hearken to thy words in all that thou commandest him; or, if he does go over, yet will not obey orders to take such a post, or go against such a city, or march into such a part of the country:
he shall be put to death; this part of military discipline they agree to, and hereby declare their entire submission to him as their general; some understand this as spoken by all Israel, and of their promise of obedience to Joshua, as their governor, in all things:
only be strong, and of a good courage; which also is not to be understood as a condition of their submission and obedience, but as a hearty wish and prayer for him, that he might have strength and courage necessary to the great work he was engaging in, and which to see would be no small encouragement to follow and obey him.Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 18. - Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment. A striking fulfilment of this promise appears in the case of Achan, who was put to death by the act of the whole congregation (see Joshua 7:25; and cf. Deuteronomy 17:12). Only be strong and of a good courage. The task of a leader in Israel is easy when he is sustained by the prayers of his people, and when their exhortations are an echo of the words of God (see vers. 6, 9).
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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