Joshua 24:7
And when they cried to the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea on them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and you dwelled in the wilderness a long season.
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Joshua 24:7. Your eyes hare seen what I have done in Egypt — He speaks this to the elders, (Joshua 24:1,) who were such not only in power and dignity, but many of them by age; and as there were not sixty years past since the plagues were inflicted on Egypt, it is probable that a considerable number of those present had been witnesses of them, and had seen with their own eyes the Egyptians lie dead upon the sea-shore, Exodus 14:30. And, not being twenty years old at that time, they were exempted from the dreadful sentence denounced and executed upon all that were older.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.

4. I gave unto Esau mount Seir—(See on [206]Ge 36:8). In order that he might be no obstacle to Jacob and his posterity being the exclusive heirs of Canaan. He speaketh this to the elders, Joshua 24:1, who were so, not only by power and dignity, but many of them by age; and there being now not sixty years past since those Egyptian plagues, it is very probable that a considerable number of those here present had seen those things in Egypt, and being not twenty years old, were exempted from that dreadful sentence of destruction, passed upon all who were then of more years standing, Num 14. And when they cried unto the Lord,.... That is, the Israelites, being in the utmost distress, the sea before them, Pharaoh's large host behind them, and the rocks on each side of them; see Exodus 14:10,

he put darkness between you and the Egyptians; the pillar of cloud, the dark side of which was turned to the Egyptians, and which was the reason of their following the Israelites into the sea; for not being able to see their way, knew not where they were; see Exodus 14:20,

and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; or "upon him, and covered him" (y); on Pharaoh, as Kimchi; or on Egypt; that is, the Egyptians or on everyone of them, as Jarchi, none escaped; see Exodus 14:26,

and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt; what signs and wonders were wrought there, before they were brought out of it, and what he had done to and upon the Egyptians at the Red sea; some then present had been eyewitnesses of them:

and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season; forty years, where they had the law given them, were preserved from many evils and enemies, were fed with manna, and supplied with the necessaries of life, were led about and instructed, and at length brought out of it.

(y) "super eum, et operuit eum", Munster, Vatablus, Pagninus, Montanus.

And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a {d} long season.

(d) Even forty years.

7. when they cried unto the Lord] The Israelites were encamped on the western shore of the Red Sea, when suddenly a cry of alarm ran through the vast multitude. Over the ridges of the desert hills were seen the well-known horses, the terrible chariots of the Egyptian host; “Pharaoh pursued after the children of Israel, and they were sore afraid.”

he put darkness] “He settide derknessis bitwix зou and Egipcians,” Wyclif. A grand, poetical description. In the midst of the terror and perplexity of the Israelites the Angel of God, who went before them in the pillar of cloud and fire, stationed himself behind them so as to deepen the gloom in which the Egyptians were advancing, and afford light and encouragement to the Israelites. Comp. Exodus 14:20; Psalm 78:12-14.

and brought the sea upon them] Determined to prevent the escape of their prey, the Egyptians had rushed on amidst the pitchy darkness that surrounded them into the pass between the walls of water standing up on either side of the Chosen People, but the hand of Moses was uplifted, and straightway the waters began to break and give way, and the sea to return in his strength. The engulphing waves closed over them; all efforts to escape were fruitless; horse and chariot and horseman “sank like lead in the mighty waters” (Exodus 15:10).

and covered them] “And hilide hem,” Wyclif. A good illustration of the meaning of the A. S. hélen = to cover, conceal, whence the word Hell, the covered place, the invisible underworld.

your eyes have seen] The trembling panic-stricken host stood still and saw “the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13), and the great work which He did upon the Egyptians (Exodus 14:31).

a long season] Even forty years, a year for each day the spies had been engaged in searching out the land” (Numbers 14:33-34), during which time every one of the generation from twenty years old and upwards died, and their carcases lay bleaching in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:5; Hebrews 3:17).Verse 7. - And when they cried unto the Lord. This fact is taken, without addition or amplification, from Exodus 14:10-12. The original has unto Jehovah, for "unto the Lord." He put darkness (see Exodus 14:19, 20). The occurrence, which there is most striking and miraculous, is here briefly related. But the miracle is presupposed, although its precise nature is not stated. You. This identification of the Israel of Joshua's day with their forefathers is common in this book (see notes on Joshua 6:21, dec.). A long season. Literally, many days. Here, again, there is no discrepancy between the books of Moses and this epitome of their contents. If both this speech and the Pentateuch were a clumsy patchwork, made up of scraps of this narrative and that, flung together at random, this masterly abstract of the contents of the Pentateuch is little short of a miracle. Whatever may be said of the rest of the narrative, this speech of Joshua's must have been written subsequently to the appearance of the books of Moses in their present form. But is there any trace of the later Hebrew in this chapter more than any other? Renewal of the Covenant at the National Assembly in Shechem. - Joshua 24:1. Joshua brought his public ministry to a close, as Moses had done before him, with a solemn renewal of the covenant with the Lord. For this solemn act he did not choose Shiloh, the site of the national sanctuary, as some MSS of the lxx read, but Shechem, a place which was sanctified as no other was for such a purpose as this by the most sacred reminiscences from the times of the patriarchs. He therefore summoned all the tribes of Israel, in their representatives (their elders, etc., as in Joshua 23:2), to Shechem, not merely because it was at Shechem, i.e., on Gerizim and Ebal, that the solemn establishment of the law in the land of Canaan, to which the renewal of the covenant, as a repetition of the essential kernel of that solemn ceremony, was now to be appended, had first taken place, but still more because it was here that Abraham received the first promise from God after his migration into Canaan, and built an altar at the time (Genesis 12:6-7); and most of all, as Hengstenberg has pointed out (Diss. ii. p. 12), because Jacob settled here on his return from Mesopotamia, and it was here that he purified his house from the strange gods, burying all their idols under the oak (Genesis 33:19; Genesis 35:2, Genesis 35:4). As Jacob selected Shechem for the sanctification of his house, because this place was already consecrated by Abraham as a sanctuary of God, so Joshua chose the same place for the renewal of the covenant, because this act involved a practical renunciation on the part of Israel of all idolatry. Joshua expressly states this in Joshua 24:23, and reference is also made to it in the account in Joshua 24:26. "The exhortation to be faithful to the Lord, and to purify themselves from all idolatry, could not fail to make a deep impression, in the place where the honoured patriarch had done the very same things to which his descendants were exhorted here. The example preached more loudly in this spot than in any other" (Hengstenberg). "And they placed themselves before God." From the expression "before God," it by no means follows that the ark had been brought to Shechem, or, as Knobel supposes, that an altar was erected there, any more than from the statement in Joshua 24:26 that it was "by the sanctuary of the Lord." For, in the first place, "before God" (Elohim) is not to be identified with "before Jehovah," which is used in Joshua 18:6 and Joshua 19:51 to denote the presence of the Lord above the ark of the covenant; and secondly, even "before Jehovah" does not always presuppose the presence of the ark of the covenant, as Hengstenberg has clearly shown. "Before God" simply denotes in a general sense the religious character of an act, or shows that the act was undertaken with a distinct reference to the omnipresent God; and in the case before us it may be attributed to the fact that Joshua delivered his exhortation to the people in the name of Jehovah, and commenced his address with the words, "Thus saith Jehovah."

(Note: "It is stated that they all stood before God, in order that the sanctity and religious character of the assembly may be the more distinctly shown. And there can be no doubt that the name of God was solemnly invoked by Joshua, and that he addressed the people as in the sight of God, so that each one might feel for himself that God was presiding over all that was transacted there, and that they were not engaged in any merely private affair, but were entering into a sacred and inviolable compact with God himself." - Calvin.)

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