Joshua 8:34
And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Joshua 8:34-35. Afterward — After the altar was built, and the stones plastered and written upon; he read — That is, he commanded the priests or Levites to read, Deuteronomy 27:14. Blessings and cursings —

Which words come in, not by way of explication, as if the words of the law were nothing else besides the blessings and curses; but by way of addition, to denote that these were read, over and above the words of the law. There was not a word which Joshua read not — Therefore, he read not the blessings and curses only, as some think, but the whole law, as the manner was when all Israel, men and women, were assembled together. The strangers that were among them — Who were proselytes, for no others can be supposed to have been with them at this time. Thus, after Joshua had gained these victories, and had had such manifest proofs that God was with the Israelites, and was fighting for them, he laboured the more earnestly to set before them the whole of their duty, and to engage them to walk therein, that they might in that way testify their thankfulness to God at the same time when he was fulfilling his promises to them. Reader, learn from his example thy duty to those whom God hath committed to thy care and government, and endeavour that thy own faith and confidence in the divine goodness, as well as theirs, may thus work by love!8:30-35 As soon as Joshua got to the mountains Ebal and Gerizim, without delay, and without caring for the unsettled state of Israel, or their enemies, he confirmed the covenant of the Lord with his people, as appointed, De 11; 27. We must not think to defer covenanting with God till we are settled in the world; nor must any business put us from minding and pursuing the one thing needful. The way to prosper is to begin with God, Mt 6:33. They built an altar, and offered sacrifice to God, in token of their dedicating themselves to God, as living sacrifices to his honour, in and by a Mediator. By Christ's sacrifice of himself for us, we have peace with God. It is a great mercy to any people to have the law of God in writing, and it is fit that the written law should be in a known tongue, that it may be seen and read of all men.All the words of the law - See Deuteronomy 31:11 ff It would seem that Joshua, on the present occasion, must have read at least all the legislative portion of the Pentateuch before the people (compare on Deuteronomy 27:3). The terms of this verse cannot be satisfactorily explained as importing only the blessings and curses of Deuteronomy 27-28. 34. afterward he read all the words of the law—caused the priests or Levites to read it (De 27:14). Persons are often said in Scripture to do that which they only command to be done. Afterward; after the altar was built, and the stones plastered and writ upon.

He read, i.e. he commanded the priests or Levites to read, Deu 27:14.

The blessings and cursings; which words come in not by way of explication, as if the words of the law were nothing else besides the blessings and curses; but by way of addition, to note that these were read over and above the words of the law.

He saith not, according to all that was written upon those stones, but in the book of the law, which shows the mistake of them that think the same things were both read and written upon these stones. And afterwards he read all the words of the law,.... Not the whole Pentateuch, nor the whole book of Deuteronomy, but either some parts of it, the decalogue, or whatsoever he had written on the stones, and as follows:

the blessings and cursings, according to all that was written in the book of the law; Deuteronomy 27:14; See Gill on Deuteronomy 27:11.

And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
34. the blessings and cursings] “The twelve curses are directed against idolatry (Deuteronomy 27:15), contempt of parents (Deuteronomy 27:16), removing a neighbour’s land-mark (Deuteronomy 27:17), inhumanity towards the blind, strangers, orphans, widows (Deuteronomy 27:18-19), incest and unnatural crimes (Deuteronomy 27:20-23), murder (Deuteronomy 27:24-25), and finally, in general against the transgression of the Law in any manner (Deuteronomy 27:26). Blessings are promised in the city and on the field (Deuteronomy 28:3), on all births (Deuteronomy 28:4), on the basket and on the kneading-trough (Deuteronomy 28:5), on going out and coming in (Deuteronomy 28:6), a blessing in particular on the arms of Israel in contest with their enemies (Deuteronomy 28:7), a blessing on their position among the nations (Deuteronomy 28:9-14). A people standing as the Israelites then did on the scale of morality needed stern discipline, and not only might be allured by promises but must be alarmed by threats.” Keil.Verse 34. - All the words of the law, the blessings and the curses. The form of this expression, combined with the words of the next verse, seems to include not only the special curses in Deuteronomy 27, but ch. 28, at least, and possibly chs. 29. and 30. as well. Joshua had the town burnt down and made into a heap of rubbish for ever.
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