Joshua 8:35
There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.
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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. 35. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not—It appears that a much larger portion of the law was read on this occasion than the brief summary inscribed on the stones; and this must have been the essence of the law as contained in Deuteronomy (De 4:44; 6:9; 27:8). It was not written on the stones, but on the plaster. The immediate design of this rehearsal was attained by the performance of the act itself. It only related to posterity, in so far as the record of the event would be handed down in the Book of Joshua, or the documents which form the groundwork of it [Hengstenberg]. Thus faithfully did Joshua execute the instructions given by Moses. How awfully solemn must have been the assemblage and the occasion! The eye and the ear of the people being both addressed, it was calculated to leave an indelible impression; and with spirits elevated by their brilliant victories in the land of promise, memory would often revert to the striking scene on mounts Ebal and Gerizim, and in the vale of Sychar. 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, as we read, Deu 31:10-12. That were conversant among them, i.e. who were proselytes, for no others can be supposed to be with them at this time. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not,.... So punctually, precisely, and exactly did he observe the instructions and commands that were given him by Moses; and this he did in the most public manner:

before all the congregation of Israel; who were on this occasion called together, and not before the men only, but

with the women, and little ones: who all had a concern in the things that were read to them: yea, even

and the strangers that were conversant among them; not the proselytes of righteousness only, but the proselytes of the gate, that dwelt, walked, and conversed with them.

There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the {o} women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.

(o) So neither young nor old, man nor woman, were exempted from hearing the word of the Lord.

35. There was not a word] The acoustic properties of the valley between Ebal and Gerizim are interesting, the more so that several times they are incidentally brought before us. Comp. with this passage Jdg 9:7, “And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you.” “It is impossible to conceive a spot more admirably adapted for the purpose than this one, in the very centre of the newly acquired land, nor one which could more exactly fulfil all the required conditions. Let us imagine the chiefs and the priests gathered in the centre of the valley, the tribes stretching out as they stood in compact masses, the men of war and the heads of families, half on the north and half on the south, crowding the slopes on either side, the mixed multitude, the women and the children extending along in front till they spread into the plain beyond but still in sight: and there is no difficulty, much less impossibility in the problem. A single voice might be heard by many thousands, shut in and conveyed up and down by the enclosing hills. In the early morning we could not only see from Gerizim a man driving his ass down a path on Mount Ebal, but could hear every word he uttered, as he urged it; and in order to test the matter more certainly, on a subsequent occasion two of our party stationed themselves on opposite sides of the valley and with perfect ease recited the commandments antiphonally.” Tristram’s Land of Israel, pp. 149, 150. “The people in these mountainous countries are able, from long practice, so to pitch their voices as to be heard distinctly at distances almost incredible. They talk with persons across enormous wâdies, and give the most minute directions, which are perfectly understood; and in doing this they seem to speak very little louder than their usual tone of conversation.” Thomson’s Land and the Book, pp. 473, 474.Verse 35. - That were conversant with them. Literally, who were going in the midst of them; i.e., the strangers who had attached themselves to them, either at their departure from Egypt, or since their conquest of Eastern Palestine.

He had the king of Ai hanged upon a tree, i.e., put to death, and then suspended upon a stake (see Numbers 25:4) until the evening; but at sunset he had him taken down (in accordance with Deuteronomy 21:22-23), and thrown at the entrance of the town-gate, and a heap of stones piled upon him (as in the case of Achan, Joshua 7:26).
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