And Joshua wrote these words
Which had passed between him and the people:
in the book of the law of God;
written by Moses, and which he ordered to be put in the side of the ark, and that being now present, the book could be easily taken out, and these words inserted in it, ( Deuteronomy 31:26 ) ;
and took a great stone:
on which also might be inscribed the same words:
and set it up there under an oak, that [was] by the sanctuary of the
or "in it" F1; that is, in the field or place where the ark was, which made it sacred, and upon which account the place was called a sanctuary, or an holy place; for there is no need to say that the tabernacle or sanctuary itself was brought hither, only the ark; and much less can it be thought that an oak should be in it; though it was not improbable, that had it been thither brought, it might have been placed under, or by an oak, as we render it; and it is a tradition of the Jews, which both Jarchi and Kimchi make mention of, that this was the same oak under which Jacob hid the strange gods of his family in Shechem, ( Genesis 35:4 ) ; Mr. Mede F2 is of opinion that neither ark nor tabernacle were here, but that by "sanctuary" is meant a "proseucha", or place for prayer; such an one as in later times was near Shechem, as Epiphanius F3 relates, built by the Samaritans in imitation of the Jews; but it is a question whether there were any such places so early as the times of Joshua, nor is it clear that such are ever called sanctuaries.