Joshua 24

Joshua 24:1 . JOSHUA ASSEMBLING THE TRIBES.

14-28. Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth--After having enumerated so many grounds for national gratitude, Joshua calls on them to declare, in a public and solemn manner, whether they will be faithful and obedient to the God of Israel. He avowed this to be his own unalterable resolution, and urged them, if they were sincere in making a similar avowal, "to put away the strange gods that were among them"--a requirement which seems to imply that some were suspected of a strong hankering for, or concealed practice of, the idolatry, whether in the form of Zabaism, the fire-worship of their Chaldean ancestors, or the grosser superstitions of the Canaanites.

26. Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God--registered the engagements of that solemn covenant in the book of sacred history.
took a great stone--according to the usage of ancient times to erect stone pillars as monuments of public transactions.
set it up there under an oak--or terebinth, in all likelihood, the same as that at the root of which Jacob buried the idols and charms found in his family.
that was by the sanctuary of the Lord--either the spot where the ark had stood, or else the place around, so called from that religious meeting, as Jacob named Beth-el the house of God.

Joshua 24:29 Joshua 24:30 . HIS AGE AND DEATH.

29, 30. Joshua . . . died--LIGHTFOOT computes that he lived seventeen, others twenty-seven years, after the entrance into Canaan. He was buried, according to the Jewish practice, within the limits of his own inheritance. The eminent public services he had long rendered to Israel and the great amount of domestic comfort and national prosperity he had been instrumental in diffusing among the several tribes, were deeply felt, were universally acknowledged; and a testimonial in the form of a statue or obelisk would have been immediately raised to his honor, in all parts of the land, had such been the fashion of the times. The brief but noble epitaph by the historian is, Joshua, "the servant of the Lord."

31. Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua--The high and commanding character of this eminent leader had given so decided a tone to the sentiments and manners of his contemporaries and the memory of his fervent piety and many virtues continued so vividly impressed on the memories of the people, that the sacred historian has recorded it to his immortal honor. "Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua."

32. the bones of Joseph--They had carried these venerable relics with them in all their migrations through the desert, and deferred the burial, according to the dying charge of Joseph himself, till they arrived in the promised land. The sarcophagus, in which his mummied body had been put, was brought thither by the Israelites, and probably buried when the tribe of Ephraim had obtained their settlement, or at the solemn convocation described in this chapter.
in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought . . . for an hundred pieces of silver--Kestitah translated, "piece of silver," is supposed to mean "a lamb," the weights being in the form of lambs or kids, which were, in all probability, the earliest standard of value among pastoral people. The tomb that now covers the spot is a Mohammedan Welce, but there is no reason to doubt that the precious deposit of Joseph's remains may be concealed there at the present time.

33. Eleazar the son of Aaron died, and they buried him in . . . mount Ephraim--The sepulchre is at the modern village Awertah, which, according to Jewish travellers, contains the graves also of Ithamar, the brother of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar [VAN DE VELDE].

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