Joshua 24:28
So Joshua let the people depart, every man to his inheritance.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(28-31) So Joshua let the people depart . . .—This passage is recited in Judges 2:6-9.

24:15-28 It is essential that the service of God's people be performed with a willing mind. For LOVE is the only genuine principle whence all acceptable service of God can spring. The Father seeks only such to worship him, as worship him in spirit and in truth. The carnal mind of man is enmity against God, therefore, is not capable of such spiritual worship. Hence the necessity of being born again. But numbers rest in mere forms, as tasks imposed upon them. Joshua puts them to their choice; but not as if it were indifferent whether they served God or not. Choose you whom ye will serve, now the matter is laid plainly before you. He resolves to do this, whatever others did. Those that are bound for heaven, must be willing to swim against the stream. They must not do as the most do, but as the best do. And no one can behave himself as he ought in any station, who does not deeply consider his religious duties in family relations. The Israelites agree with Joshua, being influenced by the example of a man who had been so great a blessing to them; We also will serve the Lord. See how much good great men do, by their influence, if zealous in religion. Joshua brings them to express full purpose of heart to cleave to the Lord. They must come off from all confidence in their own sufficiency, else their purposes would be in vain. The service of God being made their deliberate choice, Joshua binds them to it by a solemn covenant. He set up a monument of it. In this affecting manner Joshua took his last leave of them; if they perished, their blood would be upon their own heads. Though the house of God, the Lord's table, and even the walls and trees before which we have uttered our solemn purposes of serving him, would bear witness against us if we deny him, yet we may trust in him, that he will put his fear into our hearts, that we shall not depart from him. God alone can give grace, yet he blesses our endeavours to engage men to his service.Consult the marginal references.

That was by the sanctuary of the Lord - i. e. the spot where Abraham and Jacob had sacrificed and worshipped, and which might well be regarded by their posterity as a holy place or sanctuary. Perhaps the very altar of Abraham and Jacob was still remaining.

26. Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God—registered the engagements of that solemn covenant in the book of sacred history.

took a great stone—according to the usage of ancient times to erect stone pillars as monuments of public transactions.

set it up there under an oak—or terebinth, in all likelihood, the same as that at the root of which Jacob buried the idols and charms found in his family.

that was by the sanctuary of the Lord—either the spot where the ark had stood, or else the place around, so called from that religious meeting, as Jacob named Beth-el the house of God.

No text from Poole on this verse. So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance. Dismissed them, and took his final leave and farewell of them, dying soon after; upon which they returned to the possessions and inheritances assigned by lot to the several tribes, of which they were the heads and princes. So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
28. let the people depart] On the breaking up of this august assembly every man returned to the lot of his inheritance in the newly acquired and goodly Land of Promise. For the section to Joshua 24:31 comp. Jdg 2:6-10. “Nothing can be conceived more impressive or more sublime than the circumstances of this last public interview of the aged Leader with the people whom he had put in possession of the goodly land of Canaan, and who had so often followed him in his victorious path. In the midst of the elders, the chiefs, and magistrates of Israel; surrounded by a respectful people, formerly bondsmen of Pharaoh, but now in possession of a rich and beautiful country, and the sole survivors of an untoward generation, their illustrious and venerable commander—the oldest man in all their nation—spoke to them as to his sons. And of what did he speak? He was a soldier, and his career had been essentially military; but he spoke to them, not of conquest—the sound of the trumpet and the gleam of the sword cannot be recognised in his address—but of the holiness and the obedience which become the people chosen of God. It is such a discourse as a patriarch might have given upon his deathbed, or a prophet might have uttered from the valley of vision.”—Kitto’s Bible Illustrations, ii. 314.Upon this repeated declaration Joshua says to them, "ye are witnesses against yourselves," i.e., ye will condemn yourselves by this your own testimony if ye should now forsake the Lord, "for ye yourselves have chosen you Jehovah to serve Him;" whereupon they answer עדים, "witnesses are we against ourselves," signifying thereby, "we profess and ratify once more all that we have said" (Rosenmller). Joshua then repeated his demand that they should put away the strange gods from within them, and incline their hearts (entirely) to Jehovah the God of Israel. בּקבּכם אשׁר הנּכר אלהי might mean the foreign gods which are in the midst of you, i.e., among you, and imply the existence of idols, and the grosser forms of idolatrous worship in the nation; but בּקרב also signifies "within," or "in the heart," in which case the words refer to idols of the heart. That the latter is the sense in which the words are to be understood is evident from the fact, that although the people expressed their willingness to renounce all idolatry, they did not bring any idols to Joshua to be destroyed, as was done in other similar cases, viz., Genesis 35:4, and 1 Samuel 7:4. Even if the people had carried idols about with them in the desert, as the prophet Amos stated to his contemporaries (Amos 5:26; cf. Acts 7:43), the grosser forms of idolatry had disappeared from Israel with the dying out of the generation that was condemned at Kadesh. The new generation, which had been received afresh into covenant with the Lord by the circumcision at Gilgal, and had set up this covenant at Ebal, and was now assembled around Joshua, the dying servant of God, to renew the covenant once more, had no idols of wood, stone, or metal, but only the "figments of false gods," as Calvin calls them, the idols of the heart, which it was to put away, that it might give its heart entirely to the Lord, who is not content with divided affections, but requires the whole heart (Deuteronomy 6:5-6).
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