Joshua 22:20
Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and that man perished not alone in his iniquity.
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(20) That man perished not alone.—His whole household was exterminated. (See on Joshua 7:24.)

Joshua 22:20. Achan the son of Zerah — That is, one of Zerah’s posterity. That man perished not alone — But brought destruction on his whole family, and on part of our forces sent against Ai.

22:10-20 Here is the care of the separated tribes to keep their hold of Canaan's religion. At first sight it seemed a design to set up an altar against the altar at Shiloh. God is jealous for his own institutions; we should be so too, and afraid of every thing that looks like, or leads to idolatry. Corruptions in religion are best dealt with at first. But their prudence in following up this zealous resolution is no less commendable. Many an unhappy strife would be prevented, or soon made up, by inquiries into the matter of the offence. The remembrance of great sins committed formerly, should engage us to stand on our guard against the beginnings of sin; for the way of sin is down-hill. We are all concerned to reprove our neighbour when he does amiss, lest we suffer sin upon him, Le 19:17. The offer made that they should be welcome to come to the land where the Lord's tabernacle was, and settle there, was in the spirit of true Israelites.Unclean - i. e. unholy because the sanctuary was not in it, but on the other side of Jordan. Jos 22:11-29. Contention Thereupon.

11-29. and the children of Israel heard say—Fame speedily spread intelligence of what the trans-jordanic tribes had done. The act being suspected of some idolatrous design, the tribes rose in a mass, and repairing to the tabernacle at Shiloh, resolved to declare war against the two tribes and a half as apostates from God. On calmer and more mature consideration, however, they determined, in the first instance, to send a deputation consisting of the son of the high priest, and ten eminent persons from each tribe, to make inquiry into this rumored rebellion against God (De 13:13-15). The quality of the deputies evinced the deep solicitude that was felt on the occasion to maintain the purity of the divine worship throughout Israel. In the presumptive belief that the two tribes and a half had really built an altar, the deputies expressed astonishment at their so soon falling into such a heinous crime as that of violating the unity of divine worship (Ex 20:24; Leviticus 17:8, 9; De 12:5-13). They reminded their eastern brethren of the disastrous consequences that were entailed on the nation at large by the apostasy at Peor and by the sin of Achan, and finally exhorted them, if they felt the want of the tabernacle and altar and repented of their rash choice in preferring worldly advantages to religious privileges, to remove to the western side of the Jordan, where all the tribes would form a united and obedient community of worshippers.

The son of Zerah, i.e. one of his posterity, Joshua 7:17,18.

Perished not alone, but brought destruction upon his whole family, and part of our forces sent against Ai.

In his iniquity, or, for his sin; of which see Joshua 7:24.

Did not Achan the son of Zerah,.... One that descended from Zerah the son of Judah, Joshua 7:18,

commit a trespass in the accursed thing; in taking what was devoted to sacred uses:

and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and which was what was feared now; and this instance is brought to show that such fears were not groundless:

and that man perished not alone in his iniquity: which seems to confirm the notion of those who think that his children suffered with him; though it may be observed, that it was through his sin that thirty six men were slain by the men of Ai, Joshua 7:5.

Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and that man {m} perished not alone in his iniquity.

(m) Signifying, that if many suffered for one man's sin, for the fault of many, all should suffer.

20. Did not Achan] Phinehas finally reminds the tribe of the recent crime of Achan (Joshua 7:1 ff.) which had involved in its consequences not only the man himself, but his children, and the entire people (Joshua 7:1-5).

Verse 20. - Did not Achan the son of Zerah. Here again the reference to the past history of Israel is suited to the speaker and the circumstances, and this appeal, therefore, strengthens our conviction that in the history of Achan we have fact and not fiction. The case of Achan is even more in point than that of Peer. In his case the Israelites had a clear proof that "one man's sin," unless completely and absolutely put away, brought God's dis. pleasure on "all the congregation" (Numbers 16:22). The repulse at Ai, fresh as it must have been in the memory of all, was sufficient evidence of this. How much more then would His displeasure fall upon Israel, if they condoned this act (as it seemed) of gross and open rebellion against the Lord who had brought them out of Egypt, and had put them in possession of the land He had promised them? Commit a trespass (see note on ver. 16). In the accursed thing (see note on Joshua 7:1). And that man perished not alone in his iniquity. Literally, and he, one man, did not expire in his iniquity. The Vulgate has, "and he was one man, and would that he had perished alone in his iniquity." The sense is the same as in our version. Achan did not perish alone, for not only did he involve his family in his ruin, but the loss of life at the first assault of Ai lay also at his door (see Joshua 7:5). Joshua 22:20He finally reminded them of the sin of Achan, how that had brought the wrath of God upon the whole congregation (Joshua 7); and, moreover, Achan was not the only man who had perished on account of the sin, but thirty-six men had fallen on account of it at the first attack upon Ai (Joshua 7:5). The allusion to this fact is to be understood as an argument a minori ad majus, as Masius has shown. "If Achan did not perish alone when he committed sacrilege, but God was angry with the whole congregation, what think ye will be the consequence if ye, so great a number, commit so grievous a sin against God?"
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