And Joshua said unto Achan, my son
Treating him in a very humane, affectionate, and respectable manner, though so great a criminal, being a subject of his, and of the same religion and nation:
give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel,
by acknowledging his omniscience, justice, power, truth, and faithfulness; as in his promises so in his threatenings:
and make confession unto him;
of the sin he had been guilty of; this Joshua might urge, partly for his own good, who might more reasonably expect the forgiveness of his sin: so it is said in the Misnah F1, whoever confesses has a part in the world to come, for so we find concerning Achan, ( Joshua 7:19 ) ; and partly for the glory of God, this being the instance in which he is directed to give it to him; and partly on account of others, particularly the tribe, family, and household to whom he belonged, who after all might not be satisfied thoroughly that he was guilty, unless he had confessed it: according to Maimonides F2, this was but a temporary law on which Achan was put to death; for, he says, our law condemns no man to death on his own confession, nor on the prophecy of a prophet, who says that he committed such a theft; and it was not on his confession, but by the order of God, determining the affair by lot, that he was put to death: the confession Joshua directs to was not what was made to man, but to God, that is, of the evil of it, and as committed against God, though the fact itself was to be owned before man, as follows:
and tell me now what thou hast done, hide [it] not from me;
what were the particular things he had taken; the lot showed he had taken something, but what that was, as yet was unknown, and where it was; and this Joshua desires him he would inform him of and satisfy him about, and without any reserve openly declare the truth.
F1 Sanhedrin, c. 6. sect. 2.
F2 Pirush in ib. & Hilchot Sanhedrin, c. 18. sect. 6.