Joshua 7:19
And Joshua said to Achan, My son, give, I pray you, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession to him; and tell me now what you have done; hide it not from me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) Give . . . glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me.—We can hardly read these words of Joshua without being reminded of his great Antitype. In New Testament language, to tell Joshua is to “tell Jesus “—the only way in which confession of sin can bring glory. Joshua could only pronounce sentence of death on Achan. But “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The Hebrew word for “confession” also means “thanksgiving.” Acknowledgment of sin and mercy are not far apart, in making confession to God. (See Ezra 10:11 for a parallel to the phrase.)

Joshua 7:19. My son — So he calls him, to show that this severe inquisition and sentence did not proceed from any hatred to his person, which he loved as a father doth his son, and as a prince ought to do each of his subjects. Give glory to the Lord God of Israel — As thou hast highly dishonoured him, now take the blame to thyself, and ascribe unto God the glory of his omniscience in knowing thy sin; of his justice in punishing it in thee, and others for thy sake; of his omnipotence, which was obstructed by thee; and of his kindness and faithfulness to his people, which was eclipsed by thy wickedness; all which will now be evident by thy sin confessed and punished.7:16-26 See the folly of those that promise themselves secrecy in sin. The righteous God has many ways of bringing to light the hidden works of darkness. See also, how much it is our concern, when God is contending with us, to find out the cause that troubles us. We must pray with holy Job, Lord, show me wherefore thou contendest with me. Achan's sin began in the eye. He saw these fine things, as Eve saw the forbidden fruit. See what comes of suffering the heart to walk after the eyes, and what need we have to make this covenant with our eyes, that if they wander they shall be sure to weep for it. It proceeded out of the heart. They that would be kept from sinful actions, must mortify and check in themselves sinful desires, particularly the desire of worldly wealth. Had Achan looked upon these things with an eye of faith, he would have seen they were accursed things, and would have dreaded them; but looking on them with an eye of sense only, he saw them as goodly things, and coveted them. When he had committed the sin, he tried to hide it. As soon as he had got this plunder, it became his burden, and he dared not to use his ill-gotten treasure. So differently do objects of temptation appear at a distance, to what they do when they have been gotten. See the deceitfulness of sin; that which is pleasing in the commission, is bitter in the reflection. See how they will be deceived that rob God. Sin is a very troublesome thing, not only to a sinner himself, but to all about him. The righteous God will certainly recompense tribulation to them that trouble his people. Achan perished not alone in his sin. They lose their own, who grasp at more than their own. His sons and daughters were put to death with him. It is probable that they helped to hide the things; they must have known of them. What fatal consequences follow, even in this world, to the sinner himself, and to all belonging him! One sinner destroys much good. What, then, will be the wrath to come? Let us flee from it to Christ Jesus as the sinner's Friend. There are circumstances in the confession of Achan, marking the progress of sin, from its first entrance into the heart to its being done, which may serve as the history of almost every offence against the law of God, and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.Give glory to the Lord - A form of solemn adjuration by which the person addressed was called upon before God to declare the truth. The phrase assumes that the glory of God is always promoted by manifestation of the truth (compare the marginal references). 19. Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give … glory to God—a form of adjuration to tell the truth. He calls him

my son, to show that this severe inquisition and sentence did not proceed from any hatred to his person, which he loved as a father doth his son, and as a prince ought to do each of his subjects.

Give glory to the Lord God of Israel; as thou hast highly dishonoured him, now take the shame and blame to thyself, and ascribe unto God the glory of his omniscience in knowing thy sin; of his justice in punishing it in thee, and others for thy sake; of his omnipotency, which was obstructed by thee; and of his kindness and faithfulness to his people, which was eclipsed by thy wickedness; all which will now be evident by thy sin confessed and punished. And Joshua said unto Achan, my son,.... Treating him in a very humane, affectionate, and respectable manner, though so great a criminal, being a subject of his, and of the same religion and nation:

give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, by acknowledging his omniscience, justice, power, truth, and faithfulness; as in his promises so in his threatenings:

and make confession unto him; of the sin he had been guilty of; this Joshua might urge, partly for his own good, who might more reasonably expect the forgiveness of his sin: so it is said in the Misnah (a), whoever confesses has a part in the world to come, for so we find concerning Achan, Joshua 7:19; and partly for the glory of God, this being the instance in which he is directed to give it to him; and partly on account of others, particularly the tribe, family, and household to whom he belonged, who after all might not be satisfied thoroughly that he was guilty, unless he had confessed it: according to Maimonides (b), this was but a temporary law on which Achan was put to death; for, he says, our law condemns no man to death on his own confession, nor on the prophecy of a prophet, who says that he committed such a theft; and it was not on his confession, but by the order of God, determining the affair by lot, that he was put to death: the confession Joshua directs to was not what was made to man, but to God, that is, of the evil of it, and as committed against God, though the fact itself was to be owned before man, as follows:

and tell me now what thou hast done, hide it not from me; what were the particular things he had taken; the lot showed he had taken something, but what that was, as yet was unknown, and where it was; and this Joshua desires him he would inform him of and satisfy him about, and without any reserve openly declare the truth.

(a) Sanhedrin, c. 6. sect. 2.((b) Pirush in ib. & Hilchot Sanhedrin, c. 18. sect. 6.

And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and {i} make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.

(i) By declaring truth: for God is glorified when the truth is confessed.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
19. My son] “Not said ironically but earnestly, My son; an example of the pity for the Sinner which Justice feels even in punishing the sin.” Bp Wordsworth.

give … glory] Comp. 1 Samuel 6:5, “Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods, and images of your mice that mar the land; and ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel; peradventure He will lighten His Hand from off you;” Jeremiah 13:16, “Give glory to the Lord your God, before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains;” John 9:24, “Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner.” “The Omniscience of Jehovah is proved by this discovery. Give Him the praise, therefore, by a full confession of thy sin.”Verse 19. - My son. This is no mere hypocritical affectation of tenderness. Joshua feels for the criminal, even though he is forced to put him to death. So in cur own day the spectacle is not uncommon of a judge melted to tears as he passes sentence of death on the murderer. The expression seems almost to imply a belief that, though Achan must undergo the extremest penalty of the law in this world, Joshua entertained a hope that he might be forgiven in the next. It certainly proves that, stern as the law of Moses was, it was felt, at least in those early days, to be rather against the sin than the sinner that its severity was directed. In commenting upon the severity of the Mosaic covenant, whether towards offenders against its provisions or against the Canaanites, we must remember Bishop Butler's caution, that in this world we see but a very small portion of the whole counsel of God. Give glory to the Lord Cod of Israel, and make confession unto Him. Literally, offer (or impute) glory to the Lord God of Israel, and give confession (or praise) unto Him (cf. John 9:24). The meaning is to give honour to God as the all-seeing God, the revealer of secrets, by an open confession before men of what is already known to Him. It may have been a common formula of adjuration, though Masius thinks otherwise. Joshua 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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