There shall not any man be able to stand before you all the days of your life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with you: I will not fail you, nor forsake you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.—Compare Genesis 28:15. And consider Hebrews 13:5 as a combination of the two Old Testament passages.
(6,7) Be strong and of a good courage . . . that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law.—This command to “be strong,” repeated again and again to Joshua, may perhaps be taken as reflecting light upon his natural character, which might not have led him to desire so prominent a position. But it may also be observed that courage was especially needed to carry out the conquest of Canaan in the way that was ordered by the law. For a discussion of this question and its difficulties, see Joshua 13Joshua 1:5. I was with Moses — To assist him against all his enemies, and in all the difficulties of governing this stiff-necked people, which Joshua might justly fear no less than the Canaanites. Forsake thee — I will not leave thee destitute, either of inward support, or of outward assistance.Deuteronomy 3:8-9.) "The wilderness" of the text is the Desert of Arabia, which forms the southern, as Lebanon does the northern, limit of the promised land. The boundaries on the east and west are likewise indicated; and the intervening territory is described generally as "all the land of the Hittites." The Hittites are properly the inhabitants of northern Canaan and Phoenicia (see Exodus 3:8 note), but the name appears to be used here for the Canaanites in general, as in 1 Kings 10:29. On the boundaries of the promised land compare Deuteronomy 11:24; Genesis 15:18. As I was with Moses, to assist him against all his enemies, and in all the difficulties of governing this stiff-necked people, which Joshua might justly fear no less than the Canaanites.
I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee; I will not leave thee destitute either of inward support, or of outward assistance. Deuteronomy 11:25; is here particularly promised to Joshua their general; and which was fulfilled in him, and still more in Christ his antitype, who made an end of sin, destroyed the devil, spoiled principalities and powers, abolished death, and overcame the world:
as I was with Moses, so will I be with thee; to counsel and advise, guide and direct, protect and defend, prosper and succeed; the Targum of Jonathan is, as my Word"was for the help of Moses, so will I be with thee:"
I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee; but grant him his presence, communicate strength unto him, make good his promises, and leave him not till he had made an entire conquest of the land of Canaan, and even not till the end of his days; and was true of Christ in his state of humiliation, in his sufferings and death, and even in the grave, where he was not left so long as to see corruption; as this is applied to particular believers; see Gill on Hebrews 13:5.There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. as I was with Moses] “The narrative labours to impress upon us the sense that the continuity of the nation and of its high purpose was not broken by the choice of person and situation.”
I will not fail thee] Comp. Deuteronomy 31:6; Deuteronomy 31:8; 1 Chronicles 28:20. The words are cited in Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”Verse 5. - There shall not any man be able to stand before thee. Literally, no one shall set himself up against thee, i.e., successfully resist thee (ἀντιστήσεται, LXX.). As I was with Moses. Literally, as I have been with Moses: that is to say, was with him and remained with him unto the end. The continuity of the work of God under the old dispensation is thus as clearly marked as that of the new in Matthew 28:20, and John 20:21-23. The promises made to Abraham, the law given to Moses, the gift of a new life in Christ, are so many parts of one great work, and that work the regeneration of mankind. I will not fail thee. Literally, I will not be weak towards thee, relax towards thee. God is ever the same, If His attitude to us be altered, it is not He who has changed, but ourselves. Numbers 27:18). And the people obeyed him; but he was not like Moses. "There arose no more a prophet in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face," i.e., so far as the miracles and signs were concerned which Moses did, by virtue of his divine mission, upon Pharaoh, his servants, and his land, and the terrible acts which he performed before the eyes of Israel (Deuteronomy 34:11 and Deuteronomy 34:12; vid., Deuteronomy 26:8, and Deuteronomy 4:34). "Whom Jehovah knew:" not who knew Him, the Lord. "To know," like γινώσκειν in 1 Corinthians 8:3, relates to the divine knowledge, which not only involves a careful observance (Deuteronomy 2:7), but is also a manifestation of Himself to man, a penetration of man with the spiritual power of God. Because he was thus known by the Lord, Moses was able to perform signs and wonders, and mighty, terrible acts, such as no other performed either before or after him. In this respect Joshua stood far below Moses, and no prophet arose in Israel like unto Moses. - This remark concerning Moses does not presuppose that a long series of prophets had already risen up since the time of Moses. When Joshua had defeated the Canaanites, and conquered their land with the powerful help of the Lord, which was still manifested in signs and wonders, and had divided it among the children of Israel, and when the tribes had settled down in their inheritance, so that the different portions of the land began to be called by the names of Naphtali, Ephraim, Manasseh, and Judah, as is the case in Deuteronomy 34:2; the conviction might already have become established in Israel, that no other prophet would arise like Moses, to whom the Lord had manifested Himself with such signs and wonders before the Egyptians and the eyes of Israel. The position occupied by Joshua in relation to this his predecessor, as the continuer of his work, would necessarily awaken and confirm this conviction, in connection with what the Lord had said as to the superiority of Moses to all the prophets (Numbers 12:6.). Moses was the founder and mediator of the old covenant. As long as this covenant was to last, no prophet could arise in Israel like unto Moses. There is but One who is worthy of greater honour than Moses, namely, the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, who is placed as the Son over all the house of God, in which Moses was found faithful as a servant (compare Hebrews 3:2-6 with Numbers 12:7), Jesus Christ, the founder and mediator of the new and everlasting covenant.
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