Joshua 1:1-9

Orders from the LORD

1 After Moses the LORD's servant died, the LORD spoke to Joshua, Nun's son. He had been Moses' helper.
2 “My servant Moses is dead. Now get ready to cross over the Jordan with this entire people to the land that I am going to give to the Israelites.
3 I am giving you every place where you set foot, exactly as I promised Moses.
4 Your territory will stretch from the desert and the Lebanon as far as the great Euphrates River, including all Hittite land, up to the Mediterranean Sea on the west.
5 No one will be able to stand up against you during your lifetime. I will be with you in the same way I was with Moses. I won't desert you or leave you.
6 Be brave and strong, because you are the one who will help this people take possession of the land, which I pledged to give to their ancestors.
7 "Be very brave and strong as you carefully obey all of the Instruction that Moses my servant commanded you. Don't deviate even a bit from it, either to the right or left. Then you will have success wherever you go.
8 Never stop speaking about this Instruction scroll. Recite it day and night so you can carefully obey everything written in it. Then you will accomplish your objectives and you will succeed.
9 I've commanded you to be brave and strong, haven't I? Don't be alarmed or terrified, because the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

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Joshua 1:1-9 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JOSHUA

The Jews distinguish the prophets into former and latter; the first of the former prophets is Joshua, or Sepher Joshua, the book of Joshua, as it is commonly called in the Hebrew copies; the Syriac inscription is,

``the book of Joshua, the son of Nun, the disciple of Moses:''

in the Arabic version it is reckoned a book of the judges, which adds,

``the first among the judges of the children of Israel was Joshua, the son of Nun, the twenty eighth from Adam, who reigned over Israel after the Prophet Moses.''

This book bears the name of Joshua, either because it is concerning him, his actions and exploits in the land of Canaan, or because it was written by him, or both; though some ascribe it to Ezra, and others to Isaiah; but it must have been written before the times of Ahab, as appears from 1Ki 16:34; and even before the times of David, as is clear from Jos 15:63, compared with 2Sa 5:6; for though mention is made in it of the mountains of Judah and of Israel, from whence some have concluded, that the writer must have lived after the times of Rehoboam, in whose days the kingdom was divided; yet we find the distinction of Israel and Judah took place before, even in the times of David and Asaph, Ps 76:1; It is most likely that this book was written by Joshua himself, as the Jews in their Talmud {a} assert; and, indeed, who more fit for it than himself? and if written or put together by another, it is most probable that it was taken out of his diary, annals, or memoirs; and though there are some things recorded in it, which were done after his death, these might be inserted under a divine direction and influence by Eleazar, or Phinehas, or Samuel, to each of whom some ascribe the writing of this book, just as Joshua is supposed to add some verses concerning Moses at the end of the Pentateuch: however, be it wrote by whom it may, there is no doubt to be made of the divine inspiration and authenticity of it by us Christians, since some histories recorded in it are taken from it, or referred to, in Heb 11:30,31; and the promise made to Joshua is quoted, and applied to every believer, Heb 13:5,6; and the Apostle James refers to the case of Rahab, her character and conduct in it, Jas 2:25. The subject matter of this book is Joshua's taking upon him the government of the children of Israel, after the death of Moses, by a divine commission, exhortation, and encouragement given him to engage in war with the Canaanites; his conquests of them, the division of the land of Canaan to the children of Israel, and their settlement in it. It is of great use not only to give us the geography of the land of Canaan, and the history of the church of God, from the death of Moses to the times of the judges; but shows the exact fulfilment of prophecy, and the faithfulness of God to his promises in giving the land of Canaan to Israel, according to those made to their fathers, and the justice of God in punishing the Canaanites for their abominable sins, as had been foretold; and the wonderful care, of God, and his love to the people of Israel in preserving and protecting them, and in settling them in such a good land, notwithstanding all their murmurings, ingratitude, and unbelief, in the wilderness; and may serve to lead us to Christ, whose type Joshua was in the whole affair here related: his name has the signification of the salvation of the Lord in and he is by the Greek writers, and so in the New Testament, called Jesus, a Saviour, Ac 7:45 Heb 4:8; and as they agree in their name, so they do in their state, condition, and character; Joshua was a servant of Moses, Christ was made under the law, and became subject to it, both moral and ceremonial; and also in their office, Joshua was the governor of Israel, and the commander of their forces, for which he was well qualified with wisdom, courage, and integrity; Christ is King of saints, the Leader and Commander of the people, who has fought their battles for them, being abundantly qualified, having the spirit of wisdom, counsel, might, and of the fear of the Lord, resting on him. Joshua was a type of Christ in various actions of his; in leading the people through the river Jordan, an emblem either of baptism, or of afflictions, or of death itself, in which Christ is with his people, and carries them through; in saving Rahab and her family, so Christ saves the worst and chief of sinners; in receiving the Gibeonites, who submitted to him, as Christ does all that come to him; in his conquest of the several kings of the Canaanites, so Christ has conquered all the spiritual enemies of his people, sin, Satan, and the world; in bringing and settling the people of Israel in the land of Canaan, their rest, and dividing it to them by lot, which Moses might not do; so Christ only brings souls into the true rest, into spiritual rest here, and eternal rest hereafter; in whom they obtain the inheritance of the heavenly glory by lot, and by whom only they enjoy salvation and eternal life, and not by the works of the law. This book contains an history of Joshua, of his government, his acts and deeds, from the death of Moses to his own; how long that was is not certain; the Jewish chronologers {b} observe, that the time of his principality we find not in the text; though they {c} say he succeeded Moses when he was eighty two years of age, and governed Israel twenty eight years; Eupolemus {d}, an Heathen writer, says thirty years. Christian writers commonly make his reign to be twenty seven years {e}; but an Arabic writer {f} stretches it further to thirty one years; he says, he took the government of the people in the seventy ninth year of his age, and reigned thirty one; but it seems more probable that he was ninety three years of age when Moses died, who lived to be an hundred ten, so that only seventeen years intervened between the death of the one and of the other; seven years Joshua was in subduing the land, and ten years more were taken up in dividing it to the people, and settling them in it, and in the government of them; after which Eleazar might rule ten years more, whose death is mentioned in it; so indeed the book may be reckoned an history of twenty seven years, though Joshua lived only seventeen of them. The Chronicle, to which the Samaritans give the name of the book of Joshua, is a spurious work; an epitome of which Hottinger {g} has compiled, and translated out of the Arabic exemplar into Latin.

{a} T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 14. 2. {b} Ganz. Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 7. 2. {c} Seder Olam Rabba, c. 12. p. 33. Juchasin, fol. 10. 1. {d} Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 30. {e} Tertullian, Lactantius, Eusebius, Augustin. apud Hottinger. Thesaur. Philolog. l . 2. c. 1. sect. 2. p. 960. so Ben Gersom in Jud. 11. 26. & Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. p. 25. {f} Elmacinus apud Hottinger. p. 524. {g} Ad Calcem Exercitat. Antimorin.

\\INTRODUCTION TO JOSHUA 1\\

Moses being dead, the Lord directs and encourages Joshua to take the command of the children of Israel, and go over Jordan with them, and take possession of the land of Canaan, and divide it to them; giving him gracious promises and strong assurances of his presence, and some good advice with respect to his conduct, Jos 1:1-9; upon which Joshua orders the people to be ready in three days to go along with him, Jos 1:10,11; and particularly addresses the Reubenites and Gadites, and half tribe of Manasseh, and puts them in mind of what Moses had ordered, and they had promised, to go along with their brethren, and assist them in conquering the land, Jos 1:12-15; which they readily agreed to do, and promised obedience to him in all things, Jos 1:16-18.

Joshua 1:1-9 In-Context

1 After Moses the LORD's servant died, the LORD spoke to Joshua, Nun's son. He had been Moses' helper.
2 “My servant Moses is dead. Now get ready to cross over the Jordan with this entire people to the land that I am going to give to the Israelites.
3 I am giving you every place where you set foot, exactly as I promised Moses.
4 Your territory will stretch from the desert and the Lebanon as far as the great Euphrates River, including all Hittite land, up to the Mediterranean Sea on the west.
5 No one will be able to stand up against you during your lifetime. I will be with you in the same way I was with Moses. I won't desert you or leave you.
6 Be brave and strong, because you are the one who will help this people take possession of the land, which I pledged to give to their ancestors.
7 "Be very brave and strong as you carefully obey all of the Instruction that Moses my servant commanded you. Don't deviate even a bit from it, either to the right or left. Then you will have success wherever you go.
8 Never stop speaking about this Instruction scroll. Recite it day and night so you can carefully obey everything written in it. Then you will accomplish your objectives and you will succeed.
9 I've commanded you to be brave and strong, haven't I? Don't be alarmed or terrified, because the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
10 Then Joshua gave orders to the people's officers:
11 "Go through the camp and give orders to the people. Say, ‘Get supplies ready for yourselves because in three days you will be crossing over the Jordan to enter the land and take it over. The LORD your God is going to give it to you as your possession.'"
12 Then Joshua addressed the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh:
13 "Remember the command that Moses the LORD's servant gave you: ‘The LORD your God will give you rest and give you this land.'