Joshua 7:13
Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Joshua 7:13. Sanctify yourselves — Not only wash your clothes and give yourselves up to religious exercises, meditation, and prayer, as you were required to do formerly, when called to meet the Lord at Sinai, (see Exodus 19:10,) and lately, when you were about to be led over Jordan, (Joshua 3:5,) but purify yourselves from that defilement which you have all in some sort contracted by this accursed fact, and prepare yourselves to appear before the Lord, expecting his sentence for the discovery and punishment of the sin. This was enjoined that the guilty person might be awakened, and brought to a free confession of his fault. And it is a marvellous thing that he did not on this occasion acknowledge his crime. But this is to be imputed to the heart-hardening power of sin, which makes men grow worse and worse; to his pride, which made him loath to take to himself the shame of such a mischievous and infamous action; and to his vain conceit, whereby he might think others were guilty as well as he, and that some of them might be taken, and he escape.

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.Accursed - Compare Joshua 6:17-18. 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. Sanctify yourselves; purify yourselves from that defilement which you have all in some sort contracted by this accursed fact, and prepare yourselves to appear before the Lord, as it is most probable they were required to do; as imploring and expecting the sentence of God for the discovery and punishment of the sin, and that the guilty person might hereby be awakened and terrified, and brought to a free and seasonable confession of his fault. And it is a marvellous thing that Achan did not on this occasion acknowledge his crime; but this is to be imputed to the heart-hardening power of sin, which makes men grow worse and worse; partly, to his pride, being loth to take to himself the shame of such a mischievous and infamous action; partly, to his self-flattering and vain conceit, whereby he might think many others were guilty as well as he, and some of them might be taken, and he escape; and partly, to the just judgment of God, whereby he blinds and hardens sinners to their own ruin. See a like instance, Matthew 26:21,22,25.

Up, sanctify the people,.... The word "up" not only signifies getting up from the ground on which he lay, but to bestir himself, and to be active in what he would now be enjoined and directed to do, and in the first place to "sanctify the people", that is, by giving them orders to do it themselves:

and say, sanctify yourselves against tomorrow; either by some ceremonial ablutions, or by the performance of moral duties, as prayer, repentance, and good works; or rather, they were to "prepare" themselves, as the Targum and Kimchi interpret it, to get ready against the morrow, and expect to be thoroughly searched, in order to find out the person who had taken the accursed thing:

for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, there is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel; an accursed person, who had taken of what was devoted to the Lord for his own use, and so accursed:

thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you; by putting him to death.

Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the {g} accursed thing from among you.

(g) Meaning, the man that took of the thing forbidden.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. sanctify the people] “Rise, halwe the puple,” Wyclif. Compare the instructions to Moses before the giving of the Law, Exodus 19:10.

Verse 13. - Sanctify the people. See note on Joshua 3:5. Thou canst not stand before thine enemies. Observe the singular number here, intensifying the testimony of the whole history to the fact that Israel was one body before the Lord. And observe, moreover, how the existence of secret sin, even though unknown to and undetected by him in whom it lurks, has power to enfeeble the soul in its conflict with its enemies. Hence we learn the duties Of watchfulness and careful examination of the soul by the light of God's Word. Joshua 7:13Joshua was to take away this ban from the nation. To discover who had laid hands upon the ban, he was to direct the people to sanctify themselves for the following day (see at Joshua 3:5), and then to cause them to come before God according to their tribes, families, households, and men, that the guilty men might be discovered by lot; and to burn whoever was found guilty, with all that he possessed. נקרב, "to come near," sc., to Jehovah, i.e., to come before His sanctuary. The tribes, families, households, and men, formed the four classes into which the people were organized. As the tribes were divided into families, so these again were subdivided into houses, commonly called fathers' houses, and the fathers' houses again into men, i.e., fathers of families (see the remarks on Exodus 18:25-26, and by Bibl. Archaeology, 140). Each of these was represented by its natural head, so that we must picture the affair as conducted in the following manner: in order to discover the tribe, the twelve tribe princes came before the Lord; and in order to discover the family, the heads of families of the tribe that had been taken, and so on to the end, each one in turn being subjected to the lot. For although it is not distinctly stated that the lot was resorted to in order to discover who was guilty, and that the discovery was actually made in this way, this is very evident from the expression אשׁר־ילכּדנּה (which the Lord taketh), as this was the technical term employed, according to 1 Samuel 14:42, to denote the falling of the lot upon a person (see also 1 Samuel 10:20). Moreover, the lot was frequently resorted to in cases where a crime could not be brought home to a person by the testimony of eye-witnesses (see 1 Samuel 14:41-42; Jonah 1:7; Proverbs 18:18), as it was firmly believed that the lot was directed by the Lord (Proverbs 16:33). In what manner the lot was cast we do not know. In all probability little tablets or potsherds were used, with the names written upon them, and these were drawn out of an urn. This may be inferred from a comparison of Joshua 18:11 and Joshua 19:1, with Joshua 18:6, Joshua 18:10, according to which the casting of the lot took place in such a manner that the lot came up (עלה, Joshua 18:11; Joshua 19:10; Leviticus 16:9), or came out (יצא, Joshua 19:1; Joshua 19:24; Numbers 33:54). בּחרם הנּלכּד, the person taken in (with) the ban, i.e., taken by the lot as affected with the ban, was to be burned with fire, of course not alive, but after he had been stoned (Joshua 7:25). The burning of the body of a criminal was regarded as heightening the punishment of death (vid., Leviticus 20:14). This punishment was to be inflicted upon him, in the first place, because he had broken the covenant of Jehovah; and in the second place, because he had wrought folly in Israel, that is to say, had offended grievously against the covenant God, and also against the covenant nation. "Wrought folly:" an expression used here, as in Genesis 34:7, to denote such a crime as was irreconcilable with the honour of Israel as the people of God.
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