And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,…
Originally called Hoshea, or Salvation, this name was changed, when he led the spies, to Jehoshua, or The Lord is Salvation. And it has never ceased to seem significant to the Christian that this name of Joshua should have been that by which our Lord was called. In its Greek form, "Jesus," it was given to Him because He was to save His people from their sins. By His distinctive name among men He was linked to Joshua, and in the salvation He accomplishes for His people we are therefore led to expect the same leading characteristics as distinguished the salvation of Israel by Joshua.
1. We are, in the first place, reminded by this parallel that the help afforded to us in Christ is God's help, and this in a fuller sense than was true in Israel's case.
2. Again, we are reminded by this parallel, that as in the conquest of the land by Joshua, so in our salvation, is there a somewhat perplexing mixture of miracle and hard fighting. Sometimes the rivers that flow deep before us open at our approach, and we pass over dryshod. At other times we are allowed to fall into ambuscades. And just as the Israelites, when they found the Jordan open before them and the walls of Jericho fall down, supposed that the conquest of the land was to be completed without their drawing their swords, and were in consequence defeated before Ai, so are the great mass of those who enter the Christian life presuming that God will give them the land of uprightness, purity of heart, and holiness of life, with scarcely an effort on their part. And therefore, though there was miracle on the side of Israel, yet this rule was distinctly laid down as the rule by which the territory was allotted to the tribes, that each was to have what each could take, and hold against the enemy. This is the law of our acquisitions also. What becomes really ours is what we fight for inch by inch, killing as we go, slaughtering the obstinate foe on his own soil, so that the property be left to us uncontested. God's grant is useless to us if we will not draw the sword and conquer it, if we will not wield the axe and clear it. These two united form the strongest of titles, God's grant and our own conquest.
(Marcus Dods, . D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,