Joshua 24:3
And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) The flood—i.e., the river, as in Joshua 24:2; and so also in Joshua 24:15.

Joshua 24:3. I took — I snatched him out of that idolatrous place, and took him into acquaintance and covenant with myself, which was the highest honour and happiness he was capable of. And led — That is, I brought him after his father’s death into Canaan, (Genesis 12:1,) and I conducted and preserved him in all his travels through the several parts of Canaan. And multiplied — That is, gave him a numerous posterity, not only by Hagar and Keturah, but even by Sarah and Isaac. Gave him Isaac — By my special power and grace, to be heir of my covenant, and all my promises, and the seed in or by which all the nations were to be blessed.24:1-14 We must never think our work for God done, till our life is done. If he lengthen out our days beyond what we expected, like those of Joshua, it is because he has some further service for us to do. He who aims at the same mind which was in Christ Jesus, will glory in bearing the last testimony to his Saviour's goodness, and in telling to all around, the obligations with which the unmerited goodness of God has bound him. The assembly came together in a solemn religious manner. Joshua spake to them in God's name, and as from him. His sermon consists of doctrine and application. The doctrinal part is a history of the great things God had done for his people, and for their fathers before them. The application of this history of God's mercies to them, is an exhortation to fear and serve God, in gratitude for his favour, and that it might be continued.The other side of the flood - Better "On the other side of the river," i. e. the Euphrates. See the marginal reference.

They served other gods - Possibly the "images," or teraphim, which we find their ancestor Laban calling "his gods" (see the marginal reference); and of which it would seem that there were, as Joshua spoke, some secret devotees among the people Joshua 24:14, Joshua 24:25. It is not stated that Abraham himself was an idolater, though his fathers were. Jewish tradition asserts that Abraham while in Ur of the Chaldees was persecuted for his abhorrence of idolatry, and hence, was called away by God from his native land. The reference in the text to the original state of those who were the forefathers of the nation, is made to show that they were no better than others: God chose them not for their excellences but of His own mere motion.

3. I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan—It was an irresistible impulse of divine grace which led the patriarch to leave his country and relatives, to migrate to Canaan, and live a "stranger and pilgrim" in that land. I took your father; I apprehended him by my grace, and snatched him out of that idolatrous and wicked place, and took him into acquaintance and covenant with myself, which was the highest honour and happiness he was capable of.

Led him throughout all the land of Canaan, i.e. I brought him after his father’s death into Canaan, Genesis 12:1, and I conducted and preserved him in safety in all his travels through the several parts of Canaan.

Multiplied his seed, i.e. gave him a numerous posterity, not only by Hagar and Keturah, but even by Sarah and by Isaac, as it follows.

Gave him Isaac, by my special power and grace, to be the heir of my covenant, and all my promises, and the seed in or by which all nations were to be blessed, Genesis 12:3 21:2. And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood,.... The river Euphrates, as before: or "your father, to wit, Abraham", as Noldius (x); he took him not only in a providential way, and brought him from the other side of the Euphrates, out of an idolatrous country and family, but he apprehended him by his grace, and called and converted him by it, and brought him to a spiritual knowledge of himself, and of the Messiah that should spring from his seed, and of the Covenant of grace, and of the blessings of it, and of his interest therein; which was a peculiar and distinguishing favour:

and led him throughout all the land of Canaan; from the northern to the southern part of it; he led him as far as Shechem, where Israel was now assembled, and then to Bethel, and still onward to the south, Genesis 12:6; that he might have a view of the land his posterity was to inherit, and, by treading on it and walking through it, take as it were a kind of possession of it:

and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac; he multiplied his seed by Hagar, by whom he had Ishmael, who begat twelve princes; and by Keturah, from whose sons several nations sprung; see Genesis 17:20; and by Sarah, who bore him Isaac in old age, in whom his seed was called; and from whom, in the line of Jacob, sprung the twelve tribes of Israel, and which seed may be chiefly meant; and the sense is, that he multiplied his posterity after he had given him Isaac, and by him a numerous seed; so Vatablus: Ishmael is not mentioned, because, as Kimchi observes, he was born of an handmaid; but Abarbinel thinks only such are mentioned, who were born in a miraculous manner, when their parents were barren, as in this and also in the next instance.

(x) Concord. Ebr. Part. p. 119.

And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. And I took] Joshua says nothing more of the life of Abraham than that Jehovah caused him to wander through the Land of Canaan, and finally gave him a son Isaac.

and gave him Isaac] Which means “Laughter” as one “born out of due time,” when Hope might have ceased to hope, and all fulfilment of the Promise seemed impossible. It was either at Gerar or Beersheba that Sarah gave birth to him (Genesis 21:2).For this reason the Lord had driven out great and strong nations before the Israelites, so that no one was able to stand before them. The first hemistich points to the fulfilment of 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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