Joshua 7:23
And they took them out of the middle of the tent, and brought them to Joshua, and to all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD.
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(23) And laid them out before the Lord.—The silver and the gold, by His order, should have been brought into His treasury (Joshua 6:19). The spoils of Canaan might have been consecrated as holiness to Jehovah. But in this instance the spoil of Jericho had become the sin of Israel, and it must therefore be no longer preserved, but consumed.

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.A goodly Babylonian garment - literally, "a robe or cloak of Shinar," the plain in which Babylon was situated Genesis 10:10. It was a long robe such as was worn by kings on state occasions Jonah 3:6, and by prophets 1 Kings 19:13; Zechariah 13:4. The Assyrians were in early times famous for the manufacture of beautiful dyed and richly embroidered robes (compare Ezekiel 23:15). That such a robe should be found in a Canaanite city is natural enough. The productions of the far East found their way through Palestine both southward toward Egypt and westward through Tyre to the countries bordering on the Mediterranean. (Compare Ezekiel 27:24 and the context.)

Wedge of gold - i. e. some implement or ornament of gold shaped like a wedge or tongue. The name lingula was given by the Romans to a spoon and to an oblong dagger made in shape of a tongue. The weight of this "wedge" was fifty shekels, i. e. about twenty-five ounces (see Exodus 38:24 note). The silver was under the rest of the stolen property. The mantle would naturally be placed uppermost, and be used to cover up the others.

22, 23. Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent—from impatient eagerness not only to test the truth of the story, but to clear Israel from the imputation of guilt. Having discovered the stolen articles, they laid them out before the Lord, "as a token of their belonging to Him" on account of the ban. Where Joshua and the elders continued yet in their assembly, waiting for the issue of this business. And they took them out of the midst of the tent,.... Out of the place, hole, or pit in which they were hid:

and brought them to Joshua and to the children of Israel; to Joshua as the chief ruler, and to the elders and heads of the tribes assembled together:

and laid them out before the Lord; or "poured them out" (o); the golden wedge, out of the garment in which it was wrapped, and the two hundred shekels of silver found under it: it seems as if these were poured or laid out separately upon the ground before the tabernacle, where the ark of the Lord was, they belonging to the spoils which were devoted to him; as well as hereby they were plainly seen by the Israelites, that these were the very things which Achan had confessed.

(o) "fundentes", Munster; "fuderunt", Piscator.

And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD.
23. laid them out] Literally, poured them out.

before the Lord] i.e. before the ark of Jehovah, where He was enthroned. Comp. Joshua 6:8.Verse 23. - Laid them out before the Lord. This shows the directly religious nature of the proceeding. God had directed the lot, the offender was discovered, and now the devoted things are solemnly laid out one by one (for so the Hebrew seems to imply, though in 2 Samuel 15:24 it has the sense of planting firmly, as molten matter hardens and becomes fixed) before Him whose they are, as a confession of sin, and also as an act of restitution. Execution of the Command. - Joshua 7:16-18. Discovery of the guilty man through the lot. In Joshua 7:17 we should expect "the tribe" (shebet) or "the families" (mishpachoth) of Judah, instead of "the family." The plural mishpachoth is adopted in the lxx and Vulgate, and also to be met with in seven MSS; but this is a conjecture rather than the original reading Mishpachah is either used generally, or employed in a collective sense to denote all the families of Judah. There is no ground for altering לגּברים (man by man) into לבתּים (house by house) in Joshua 7:17, according to some of the MSS; the expression "man by man" is used simply because it was the representative men who came for the lot to be cast, not only in the case of the fathers' houses, but in that of the families also.
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