Joshua 3:10
And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.
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3:7-13 The waters of Jordan shall be cut off. This must be done in such a way as never was done, but in the dividing of the Red sea. That miracle is here repeated; God has the same power to finish the salvation of his people, as to begin it; the WORD of the Lord was as truly with Joshua as with Moses. God's appearances for his people ought to encourage faith and hope. God's work is perfect, he will keep his people. Jordan's flood cannot keep out Israel, Canaan's force cannot turn them out again.The living God - Compare the marginal reference. The gods of the pagan are "dead idols." On the names of the seven nations, see Genesis 10:16, etc., note. Jos 3:9-13. Joshua Encourages the People.

9-13. Come hither, and hear the words of the Lord—It seems that the Israelites had no intimation how they were to cross the river till shortly before the event. The premonitory address of Joshua, taken in connection with the miraculous result exactly as he had described it, would tend to increase and confirm their faith in the God of their fathers as not a dull, senseless, inanimate thing like the idols of the nations, but a Being of life, power, and activity to defend them and work for them.

Hereby ye shall know, to wit, by experience and sensible evidence.

The living God; not a dull, dead, senseless, and unactive god, such as the gods of the nations are; but a God of life, and power, and activity, to watch over you, and work for you.

Is among you; is present with you to strengthen and help you, as the phrase signifies, Exodus 17:7 Deu 31:17 Joshua 22:31.

And Joshua said,.... To the people as follows:

hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you; who has life in and of himself, and is the author of life to all his creatures; and is so called in opposition to the lifeless idols of the Gentiles: and it may be, as Abarbinel observes, to suggest to them, that though Moses was dead, the Lord lived, and lives for evermore; and by the following miracle of dividing the waters of Jordan, it would be a plain case that the Lord was yet among them, to protect and defend them, deliver and save them:

and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites; all the seven nations are mentioned, even the Girgashites, who are sometimes omitted, to assure them of the expulsion of them all, to make way for their entire possession of the land of Canaan, as had been promised them.

And Joshua said, {d} Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.

(d) By this miracle in dividing the water.

10. the living God] Comp. Deuteronomy 5:26, “For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God?” This title is applied to God to indicate that He is not dead, like the “lying vanities” of heathenism (Leviticus 19:4; Deuteronomy 32:21; Jonah 2:8), but the source of all life.

the Canaanites] Seven nations are here enumerated, as also, though in varying order, in Deuteronomy 7:1; Joshua 9:1; Joshua 11:3; Joshua 24:11.

(i)  The Canaanites (Deuteronomy 1:7), or “Lowlanders” properly so called, occupied (a) the sea-coast as far north as Dan; (b) a considerable portion of the plain of Esdraelon; and (c) of the Valley of the Jordan (Numbers 13:29).

(ii)  The Hittites, descended from Heth, the second son of Canaan, and settled in the time of Abraham in and round Hebron (Genesis 23:19; Genesis 25:9), then called Kirjath-Arba. At that time the tribe was as yet but small and not important enough to be noticed beside the “Canaanite” and the “Perizzite.” Afterwards they acquired greater strength, and took their place as equal allies with the other nations.

(iii)  The Hivites are omitted (a) in the first enumeration of the nations, who, at the time of the call of Abraham, occupied the Promised Land (Genesis 15:19-21); (b) in the report of the spies (Numbers 13:29). We first hear of them when Jacob returned to Canaan (Genesis 34:2). A peaceful and commercial people (Genesis 34:10; Genesis 34:23; Genesis 34:28-29), they were mainly located “under Hermon, in the land of Mizpeh” (Joshua 11:3), in “mount Lebanon, from mount Baal-hermon unto the entering in of Hamath” (Jdg 3:3; 2 Samuel 24:7).

(iv)  The Perizzites, which word is thought to denote “rustics,” “dwellers in the open, unwalled towns,” were located partly in the south (Jdg 1:4-5), partly in the forest country “on the western flanks of mount Carmel.”

(v)  The Girgashites are conjectured to have been a large family of the Hivites, as they are omitted in nine out of the ten places in which the nations or families of Canaan are mentioned, while in the tenth they are mentioned and the Hivites omitted. They are supposed to have been settled in that part of the country which lay to the east of the Lake of Gennesareth.

(vi)  The Amorites, or “Mountaineers,” occupied (Genesis 14:7) the barren heights west of the Dead Sea, and stretched west to Hebron (Genesis 13:18; Genesis 14:13); thence, tempted probably by the high tablelands on the east, they crossed the Jordan, and occupied the country from the Arnon to the Jabbok (Numbers 21:13; Numbers 21:26). In the genealogical table of Genesis 10 “the Amorite” is given as the fourth son of Canaan.

(vii)  The Jebusites are uniformly placed last in the formula, by which the Promised Land is often designated. They were a mountain tribe, and occupied the strong fortress of Jebus (Jerusalem).

Verse 10. - That the living God. Rather, perhaps, that a living God, i.e., that you have not with you some idol of wood or stone, or some deified hero, long since passed out of your reach, but a living, working, ever present God, who shows by His acts that your faith in Him is not vain. The phrase is a very common one as applied to God in the Old Testament. In the New, Christ is frequently referred to as the source of life. Is among you. The original is stronger, in the midst of you. The Canaanites. The descendants of Canaan, the son of Ham (Genesis 9:18). The word which signifies "low" is by some supposed to signify the same as lowlanders, because the Canaanites inhabited the less mountainous portions of Palestine, by the sea (Numbers 13:29; Joshua 5:1), and by the side of Jordan (Numbers 13:29). According to Ewald, their territory extended along the west bank of the Jordan as far as the Mediterranean Sea. Canaan has also been held to signify bowed down, depressed (see Genesis 9:25). But St. Augustine, in his exposition of the Epistle to the Romans (sec. 13), says that the country folk of the neighbourhood of Carthage, a Phoenician colony, as the name Punic implies, called themselves Canani, which they would hardly have done were the name a badge of servitude. Whether we are to attach much importance to this statement or not, it is certainly a remarkable coincidence. The story told by Procopius ('DeBello Vandalico, 2:10; see also Suidas, s.v. χάνααν) of two pillars of white stone near Tangier, with the inscription in Phoenician, "We are those who fled from the face of the robber Joshua, the son of Nun," is obviously not to be depended upon. Even if the inscription existed it was not likely to be of ancient date And as Kenrick remarks ('Phoenicia,' p. 67), those who erected the pillars were not likely

(1) to represent themselves as fugitives, and

(2) to speak of Joshua as the "son of Nun."

He further remarks that, while the oldest genuine Phoenician inscription is not more than four hundred years before Christ, this, if genuine, must have been erected nearly a thousand years earlier still; and he further observes on the impossibility of its having been deciphered by the scholars of Justinian's day. The stow, no doubt, had its origin in the Rabbinical tradition, mentioned by Jarchi in his Commentary, as well as by Kimchi, that Joshua grote three letters to the Canaanites before invading Palestine: the first inviting them to make peace; the second, on their refusal, proclaiming war; the third, to those who feared the wrath of Jehovah, warning them to depart to Africa - advice which, Jarchi adds, was actually taken by a great many. Concerning these seven nations more will be found in the Introduction (see also Genesis 10:15-18; Genesis 15:19-21; Exodus 3:8, 17, dec.). That a Hebrew signification is found for Phoenician words need not surprise us. The descendants of Ham, when "dwelling in the tents of Shem," might have formed for themselves a similar language. But that the Aramaic, which was spoken throughout Syria and Palestine, was closely similar to the Hebrew, we have overwhelming evidence. Not only is there clear proof that Abraham and the Canaanites spoke the same language, not only are all the ancient names of places and persons of Hebrew origin, but even the Carthaginian language is pronounced by Jerome, a competent judge, to be cognate to the Hebrew (see Havernick, Introduction, see. 21). The Hittites. The Hittites (Hebrew, Chittim) were out of all proportion the principal tribe in Palestine at this time, as we have already seen (Joshua 1:4). They were the descendants of Heth or Chet (Genesis 10:15), who dwelt in the neighbourhood of Hebron in the days of Abraham (Genesis 23:19; Genesis 25:9). At that time they do not appear to have attained the importance which they afterwards reached (Genesis 12:6; Genesis 13:7; Genesis 34:30), though this is perhaps not altogether a safe inference (cf. Judges 1:4, 5). For the mention of the Canaanites in Genesis 12:6 without the Perizzite might lead to a similar inference with regard to the relative importance of these two tribes, whereas in the other two passages they appear on a level. Be this as it may, we find the Hittites occupying a prominent position in Canaan at this time, not only in the Book of Joshua, but on the Egyptian monuments, "Before the exodus the Kheta had become the terrible rivals of Egypt, and had mingled their genealogy with that of the renowned Pharaohs of the nineteeth dynasty" (Tomkins's 'Studies on the Times of Abraham,' p. 89). It is worthy of remark, however, that on the Egyptian monuments their leaders are spoken of as chieftains (see note on ch. 9:3, and 'Records of the Past,' 2:67-78). In later times they had attained to regal government (1 Kings 10:29; 2 Kings 7:6; 2 Chronicles 1:17). It is, however, possible that the proud monarch of Egypt would not admit the petty kings of the Hittites to an equality with himself (see also note on Joshua 1:4). Moses connects the Chittim (Numbers 24:24; Isaiah 23:1; Ezekiel 27:6), or the inhabitants of Cyprus, with the Hittites. Since these words were written an able article appeared in The Times of Jan. 23rd, 1880, on the Hittite Empire. Carchemish, on the Euphrates, and Kadesh, or the Holy City, on the Orontes, appear to have been the chief centres of the Hittite power. They were "powerful enough to threaten Assyria on the one hand and Egypt on the other, and to carry the arts and culture of the Euphrates to the Euxine and AEgean seas." Professor F. W. Newman, finding no mention of their existence in profane histories, came to the usual conclusion of his school, that where the Bible mentioned persons or nations and profane history did not, it was quite clear that such persons or nations never existed. The cases of Sargon and the Hittites may perhaps induce critics of this school to be a little less hasty henceforth in dismissing the statements of Scripture. The site of ancient Carchemish has lately been discovered on the western bank of the Euphrates. The Hivites, or rather Hivrites. The name of this tribe is not found in the first enumeration of the nations of Canaan (Genesis 15:19-21), but we find the name in the list of Canaan's descendants in Genesis 10:17 and 1 Chronicles 1:15. Shechem, the prince of the city of that name, was a Hivite (Genesis 34:2), though some copies of the LXX. read Horite for Hivite without authority. The Hivites then (Genesis 34:10-21) seem, as afterwards in the case of the Gibeonites, to have been a peaceful, commercial race. The character of the Shechemites afterwards seems to have been unwarlike. At least they were neither very spirited nor successful in their military enterprises, as the narrative in Judges 9. shows. The voluptuous beauty of the place, testified to by so many modern travellers, such as Robinson, Vandevelde, etc., falls in well with the character of the inhabitants. A colony of Hivites seem to have dwelt in the north, in the highlands beneath Mount Hermon, a country to which the name of Mizpeh, or watchtower, seems to have been given, no doubt from its elevation. This must not, however, be confounded with Mizpeh in the land of Benjamin (see Joshua 11:3). In 2 Samuel 24:7 they appear to have been found in the neighbourhood of Tyre, though this is by no means clear. The derivation of the word is uncertain. Ewald would explain it "midlander;" Gesenius explains it by "village," from הָוָה to live, breathe. That חַוָּה signifies a town or village we may learn from Numbers 32:41, Deuteronomy 3:14, Joshua 13:30, Judges 10:4, I Kings 4:13. The mention of their city so early as the time of Jacob, the description given of their character in that narrative, and the characteristic astuteness of the Gibeonites as well as their unwarlike conduct, would lead to the conclusion that they dwelt in settled habitations, not nomadic encampments, and that they gained their living chiefly by commerce. We ought not to quit the subject without the remark that all we learn from Scripture concerning the Hivites is remarkably consistent, and bears testimony to the scrupulous accuracy of the writers. The Perizzites. The word Perizzite signifies countryman, as distinguished from the dwellers in houses. Thus the word signifies "unwalled," or "open," in Deuteronomy 3:5, 1 Samuel 6:18, and in the Keri of Esther 9:19. Perhaps the reason of the omission of their name in Genesis 10. and 1 Chronicles 1. may justify the supposition that they were of no particular tribe, but were a collection of men from every tribe engaged in agricultural pursuits. Redslob (see art. in 'Dictionary of the Bible ') suggests that the Hawoth (Joshua 13:30) were pastoral, the Perazoth agricultural villages. This is to a certain extent borne out by the fact that Hawoth signifies "living places," and Perazoth" places spread out," as well as by the fact that the trans-Jordanic tribes were specially pastoral in their habits. Passages such as 2 Samuel 5:20; 2 Samuel 6:8; 1 Chronicles 14:11; Isaiah 28:21 are cited as illustrative of this word, but erroneously, for in the Hebrew the letter is Tzade, and not Zain, as here. Ritter regards the word as analogous to Pharisee, from pharash, to separate, and regards them as nomad tribes. But the authority of Ewald and Gesenius must outweigh his. The Girgashites. They are not mentioned in Scripture, save in Joshua 24:11, Genesis 15:21, Deuteronomy 7:1. They were therefore no doubt a small tribe, in. habiting, it has been supposed, the country of Gergesa or Gerasa (as some editions read in Matthew 8:28) upon the lake of Genne-sareth. But this was on the other side of Jordan. If therefore there be any connection between Gergesa or Gerasa and the Girgashites, there must have been a small settlement of them on the eastern side of the lake of Gennesareth. The Amorites. These were the most powerful of the Canaanitish peoples (see Amos 2:9). They not only inhabited the mountains (Numbers 13:29; Joshua 11:3), but crossed the Jordan and wrested the country from Arnon to Jabbok out of the hands of the Moabites (Numbers 21:13, 24, 26), and dwelt there until dispossessed by Moses. In Genesis 14:9 we find them west of Jordan, near Engedi, on the shores of the Dead Sea. Thence crossing Jordan they seem to have spread eastward. They are found in the Shephelah, on the borders of Dan (Judges 1:34), and even in the mountain district near Ajalon. But (ver. 35) they seem to have been driven out of Judah, and to have occupied a small portion of the Arabah south of the Dead Sea (cf. Joshua 15:3). Ewald, as well as Gesenius, regards the word Amorite as signifying highlander, and he quotes Isaiah 17:9, where Amir signifies the highest part of anything, as of a tree. So the Syriac Amori signifies a hero, and the Arabic Emir signifies a ruler. With this we may compare the term Ameer of Afghanistan, no doubt derived from a similar root. See also Isaiah 17:6, and the Hithpahel of אמר in Psalm 94:4, with the meaning to exalt one's self. Shechem, though a Hivite settlement, is spoken of by Jacob (Genesis 48:22) as an Amorite city, and in Joshua 10:6 the sovereigns of Jerusalem and the neighbour cities are spoken of as Amorite monarchs. This would suggest that the words applied to the inhabitants were to a great extent convertible terms, just as we apply the term Celt, Gael, Highlander indiscriminately to the inhabitants of the north of Scotland, Dutchman and Hollander to the inhabitants of Holland, and as Scotus and Erigena were both applied to Irishmen up to the 10th century. The Jebusites were in possession of the central highlands around Jerusalem, their stronghold. They retained possession of this until David dislodged them (2 Samuel 5:6-8. See note on Joshua 10:1). Joshua 3:10The summons to the children of Israel, i.e., to the whole nation in the persons of its representatives, to draw near (גּשׁוּ for גּשׁוּ, as in 1 Samuel 14:38; Ruth 2:14) to hear the words of the Lord its God, points to the importance of the following announcement by which Israel was to learn that there was a living God in the midst of it, who had the power to fulfil His word. Jehovah is called a "living God," in contrast with the dead gods of the heathen, as a God who proved himself to be living, with special reference to those "divine operations by which God had shown that He was living and watchful on behalf of His people; just as His being in the midst of the people did not denote a naked presence, but a striking degree of presence on the part of God in relation to the performance of extraordinary operations, or the manifestation of peculiar care" (Seb. Schmidt). The God of Israel would now manifest himself as a living God by the extermination of the Canaanites, seven tribes of whom are enumerated, as in Deuteronomy 7:1 (see the remarks on this passage). Joshua mentions the destruction of these nations as the purpose which God had in view in the miraculous guidance of Israel through the Jordan, to fill the Israelites with confidence for their entrance into the promised land.

(Note: "He extends the force of the miracle beyond their entrance into the land, and properly so, since the mere opening of a way into a hostile country from which there would be no retreat, would be nothing but exposure to death. For they would either easily fall, through being entangled in difficulties and in an unknown region, or they would perish through want. Joshua therefore foretold, that when God drove back the river it would be as if He had stretched out His hand to strike all the inhabitants of the land, and that the proof which He gave of His power in their crossing the Jordan would be a certain presage of victory, to be gained over all the tribes.")

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