Joshua 7:10
And the LORD said to Joshua, Get you up; why lie you thus on your face?
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(10) Wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?—“Why is this, that thou art fallen upon thy face? Israel hath sinned.” The pronoun “thou” is emphatic.

Joshua 7:10-12. Wherefore liest thou upon thy face? — This business is not to be done by inactive supplication, but by vigorous endeavours for reformation. Israel hath sinned — Some or one of them. They have transgressed my covenant — That is, broken the conditions of my covenant, which they promised to perform, whereof this was one, not to meddle with the accursed thing. And have also stolen — Taken what I had reserved for myself, Joshua 6:19. And dissembled also — Covered the fact with deep dissimulation. Probably Joshua after the destruction of Jericho, had made inquiry whether the silver and gold, &c., were brought into the treasury, and whether they had destroyed all the other things as God commanded; and they all answered in the affirmative. Possibly, too, Achan might be suspected of purloining something, and, being accused, had denied it. Among their own stuff — Converted it to their own use, and added obstinacy to their crime. Because they were accursed — By having a man among them who is fallen under my curse. Thus they have put themselves out of my protection, and therefore are liable to the same destruction which belongs to the Canaanites. Except ye destroy the accursed — Now they knew that such a crime had been committed among them, they would have been as guilty as Achan if they had not punished it.7:10-15 God awakens Joshua to inquiry, by telling him that when this accursed thing was put away, all would be well. Times of danger and trouble should be times of reformation. We should look at home, into our own hearts, into our own houses, and make diligent search to find out if there be not some accursed thing there, which God sees and abhors; some secret lust, some unlawful gain, some undue withholding from God or from others. We cannot prosper, until the accursed thing be destroyed out of our hearts, and put out of our habitations and our families, and forsaken in our lives. When the sin of sinners finds them out, God is to be acknowledged. With a certain and unerring judgment, the righteous God does and will distinguish between the innocent and the guilty; so that though the righteous are of the same tribe, and family, and household with the wicked, yet they never shall be treated as the wicked.God's answer is given directly, and in terms of reproof. Joshua must not lie helpless before God; the cause of the calamity was to be discovered. 10-15. the Lord said unto Joshua, Get thee up—The answer of the divine oracle was to this effect: the crisis is owing not to unfaithfulness in Me, but sin in the people. The conditions of the covenant have been violated by the reservation of spoil from the doomed city; wickedness, emphatically called folly, has been committed in Israel (Ps 14:1), and dissimulation, with other aggravations of the crime, continues to be practised. The people are liable to destruction equally with the accursed nations of Canaan (De 7:26). Means must, without delay, be taken to discover and punish the perpetrator of this trespass that Israel may be released from the ban, and things be restored to their former state of prosperity. This business is not to be done by unactive supplication, but by vigorous endeavours for reformation. And the Lord said unto Joshua, get thee up,.... From the ground where he lay prostrate, with his face to it: this he said, not as refusing his supplication to him, but rather as encouraging and strengthening him; though chiefly he said this in order to instruct him, and that he might prepare for what he was to do:

wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? in this manner, so distressed and dejected; or for this thing, as the Targum, for this defeat of the army; something else is to be done besides prayer and supplication.

And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?
10. Get thee up] Joshua might well infer that the people had incurred the Divine displeasure, but it was no time for unavailing remorse—he must be up and trying to detect and put away the sin.Verse 10. - Get thee up. Not puerile lamentation, but action, is ever the duty of the soldier of the Lord. If defeat assails either the individual or the cause, there is a reason for it, and this must be promptly searched out, and with God's aid be discovered. The sin or error once found out and put away, the combat may be renewed and brought to a successful issue. The anger of God, which Achan had brought upon Israel, was manifested to the congregation in connection with their attempt to take Ai. This town was situated near Bethaven, on the east of Bethel. Bethel was originally called Luz (see at Genesis 28:19), a place on the border of Ephraim and Benjamin (Joshua 16:2; Joshua 18:13). It is frequently mentioned, was well known at a later time as the city in which Jeroboam established the worship of the calves, and was inhabited again even after the captivity (see v. Raumer, Pal. pp. 178, 179). It has been preserved, in all probability, in the very extensive ruins called Beitin (see Robinson, Pal. ii. pp. 126ff.), about four hours' journey on horseback to the north of Jerusalem, and on the east of the road which leads from Jerusalem to Sichem (Nablus).

(Note: The statement of the Onomasticon of Eusebius s. v. Aggai' agree with this: Κεῖται Βαιθὴλ ἀπίοντων εἰς Αἰλίαν ἀπὸ Νεηεμιαήας πόλεως ἐν λαιοῖς τῆς ὁδοῦ ἀμφὶ τὸ δωδέκατον ἀπ ̓ Αἰλίας σημεῖον. Also s. v. Βαιθήλ: καὶ νῦν ἐστὶ κώμη, Αἰλίας ἄποθεν σημείοις ιβ ́ (twelve Roman miles are four or five hours' journey).)

No traces have ever been discovered of Bethaven. According to Joshua 18:12-13, the northern boundary of the tribe of Benjamin, which ran up from Jericho to the mountains on the west, passed on to the desert of Bethaven, and so onwards to Luz (Bethel). If we compare with this the statement in 1 Samuel 13:5, that the Philistines who came against Israel encamped at Michmash before (in front of) Bethaven, according to which Bethaven was on the east or north-east of Michmash (Mukhmas), the desert of Bethaven may very possibly have been nothing more than the table-land which lies between the Wady Mutyah on the north and the Wadys Fuwar and Suweinit (in Robinson's map), or Wady Tuwr (on Van de Velde's map), and stretches in a westerly direction from the rocky mountain Juruntel to Abu Sebah (Subbah). Bethaven would then lie to the south or south-east of Abu Sebah. In that case, however, Ai (Sept. Gai or Aggai, Genesis 12:8) would neither be found in the inconsiderable ruins to the south of the village of Deir Diwan, as Robinson supposes (Pal. ii. pp. 312ff.), nor on the site of the present Tell el Hajar, i.e., stone hill, three-quarters of an hour to the S.E. of Beitin, on the southern side of the deep and precipitous Wady Mutyah, as Van de Velde imagines; but in the ruins of Medinet Chai or Gai, which Krafft

(Note: Topograph. v. Jerusalem, p. ix.)

and Strauss

(Note: Sinai u. Golgoth. pp. 326-7.)

discovered on the flat surface of a mountain that slopes off towards the east, about forty minutes on the eastern side of Geba (Jeba), where "there are considerable ruins surrounded by a circular wall, whilst the place is defended on the south by the valley of Farah, and on the north by the valley of Es Suweinit, with steep shelving walls of rock" (Strauss: vid., C. Ritter Erdk. xvi. pp. 526-7). On the advice of the men who were sent out to explore the land, and who described the population on their return as small ("they are but few"), Joshua did not send the whole of the fighting men against Ai, but only about 3000 men. As there were not more than 12,000 inhabitants (Joshua 8:25), there could hardly have been 3000 fighting men, who might easily have been beaten by 3000 Israelitish warriors. But when the Israelites attacked the town they fled before its inhabitants, who slew about thirty-six men, and pursued them before the gate, i.e., outside the town, to the stone quarries, and smote them on the sloping ground. The Shebarim, from sheber, a breach or fracture, were probably stone quarries near the slope on the east of the town. Nothing more can be decided, as the country has not been thoroughly explored by travellers. On account of this repulse the people lost all their courage. "The hearts of the people melted" (see Joshua 2:15): this expression is strengthened still further by the additional clause, "and became as water."

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