Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come on you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring on you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God has given you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)As all good things are come upon you . . . so shall . . . all evil things.—Comp. Deuteronomy 8:19-20, and Deuteronomy 30:17-18, and Deuteronomy 28 throughout.
The above exhortations are upon matters that lie within the province of the ruler. The law must be forgotten if the magistrates will not enforce it. Marriages and treaties and public worship are matters under the control of the law. What the rulers will not tolerate, the people will find it hard to maintain.Joshua 23:15. Bring upon you all evil things — According to what Moses had predicted at large, Leviticus 26. and Deuteronomy 28. For God’s faithfulness is no less visible in fulfilling his threatenings than his promises. Indeed the accomplishment of his promises is a pledge that he will also fulfil his threatenings, both of them standing on the same ground, the truth of God.Deuteronomy 1:15. This gathering probably took place at the tabernacle at Shiloh.
12, 13. Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations—As marriage connections with the idolatrous Canaanites would present many and strong temptations to transgress it, these were strictly prohibited (Ex 34:12-16; De 7:3). With his eye, as it were, upon those prohibitions, Joshua threatens them with the certain withdrawal of the divine aid in the further expulsion of the Canaanites (a threat founded Ex 23:33; Nu 33:55; De 7:16).
so shall the Lord bring upon you all evil things; calamities and distresses, by his sore judgments of famine, sword, pestilence, evil beasts, and captivity, in case of disobedience to his commands:
until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you; for as he is faithful to his promises, so to his threatenings; and from his punctual performance of the one may be argued and expected the sure fulfilment of the other, and which has been abundantly verified in that people; see Leviticus 26:1 and the notes there.Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)15. it shall come to pass] He reiterates his solemn warning against backsliding, and recalls to their minds the promises and threats contained in the last address of Moses to the people.
all evil things] “whateuer thing of yuelis he manaasside;” Wyclif. Comp. Leviticus 26:14-39; Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Deuteronomy 29:14-28; Deuteronomy 30:1-15. The sublimity of the denunciations of the Hebrew lawgiver contained in these passages “surpasses anything in the oratory or the poetry of the whole world. Nature is exhausted in furnishing terrific images; nothing, excepting the real horrors of the Jewish history—the miseries of their sieges, the cruelty, the contempt, the oppressions, the persecutions, which, for ages, this scattered and despised and detested nation have endured—can approach the tremendous maledictions which warned them against the violation of their Law.” Milman’s History of the Jews, i. 211.Verse 15. - All good things. Literally, all the good word. That is to say, the prophecies of good had been fulfilled. Joshua uses this as an argument that the evil also will not fail to follow, if Israel provoke God to inflict it. But the memory of these words, and of the great deeds of Jehovah, faded quickly from their minds. And then, like the people of the earth before the flood, like the men of Sodom before it was destroyed, and like many other people since, they turned a deaf ear to the prophecies of evil which faithful souls foresaw and foretold. The warnings of the prophets are but a variation upon the predictions of Moses in Leviticus 26:14-33; Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Deuteronomy 29:14-28, and of Joshua, here addressed to a generation who had brought some of the predicted evil upon themselves, and would not see that by refusing to listen, they would bring upon themselves yet more. How terribly have these predictions been fulfilled! First, the Babylonish captivity; then the disorders and anarchy in a territory which the Jewish people inhabited, but which they were not strong enough to rule; then the siege of and destruction of Jerusalem under Titus with its accompanying horrors. Then the dispersion of the Jews among all the nations, the barbarous and inhuman persecutions they met with in the Middle Ages from priest and monarch alike: the Inquisition in Spain, the contempt and hatred which continued to be felt for them among more enlightened nations, as evidenced in Marlowe's 'Jew of Malta,' and Shakespeare's 'Merchant of Venice,' in the days of our own Queen Elizabeth. Only in our own age has a brighter day begun to dawn on them, and three thousand years of oppression, relieved only by the brief glories of David and his dynasty, are beginning to be compensated by a share in the world's rewards and honours. All evil things. Literally, all the evil word; or thing; every evil thing, that is, which had been foretold. Deuteronomy 4:38; Deuteronomy 7:1; Deuteronomy 9:1; Deuteronomy 11:23; the second to that of Deuteronomy 7:24; Deuteronomy 11:25. ואתּם is placed at the beginning absolutely. - In Joshua 23:10, the blessing of fidelity to the law which Israel had hitherto experienced, is described, as in Deuteronomy 32:30, upon the basis of the promise in Leviticus 26:7-8, and Deuteronomy 28:7, and in Joshua 23:10 the thought of Joshua 23:3 is repeated. To this there is attached, in Joshua 23:11-13, the admonition to take heed for the sake of their souls (cf. Deuteronomy 4:15), to love the Lord their God (on the love of God as the sum of the fulfilment of the law, see Deuteronomy 6:5; Deuteronomy 10:12; Deuteronomy 11:13). For if they turned, i.e., gave up the faithfulness they had hitherto displayed towards Jehovah, and attached themselves to the remnant of these nations, made marriages with them, and entered into fellowship with them, which the Lord had expressly forbidden (Exodus 34:12-15; Deuteronomy 7:3), let them know that the Lord their God would not cut off these nations before them any more, but that they would be a snare and destruction to them. This threat is founded upon such passages of the law as Exodus 23:33; Deuteronomy 7:16, and more especially Numbers 33:55. The figure of a trap, which is employed here (see Exodus 10:7), is still further strengthened by פּח, a snare (cf. Isaiah 8:14-15). Shotet, a whip or scourge, an emphatic form of the word derived from the poel of שׁוּט, only occurs here. "Scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes" (see Numbers 33:55). Joshua crowds his figures together to depict the misery and oppression which would be sure to result from fellowship with the Canaanites, because, from his knowledge of the fickleness of the people, and the wickedness of the human heart in its natural state, he could foresee that the apostasy of the nation from the Lord, which Moses had foretold, would take place but too quickly; as it actually did, according to Judges 2:3., in the very next generation. The words "until ye perish," etc., resume the threat held out by Moses in Deuteronomy 11:17 (cf. Josh Deu 28:21.).
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