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Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 7: Joshua, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at


Joshua 24:1-14

1. And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.

1. Congregavit itaque  194 Josue omnes tribus Israel in Sichem, vocavitque seniores Israel, et capita ejus, judicesque ejus, ac praefectos ejus: steteruntque coram Deo.

2. And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus says the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.

2. Dixitque Josue ad universum populum, Sic dicit Jehova Deus Israel, Trans flumen habitaverunt patres vestri a seculo, ut Thare pater Abraham, et pater Nachor, servicruntque diis alienis.

3. And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.

3. Et tuli patrem vestrum Abraham e loco qui erat trans flumen, et deduxi per universam terram Chanaan: multiplicavique semen ejus, et dedi ei Isaac.

4. And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.

4. Et dedi ipsi Isaac Jacob et Esau: tradidique ipsi Esau montem Seir, ut possideret eum: Jacob autem et filii ejus descenderunt in Aegyptum.

5. I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out.

5. Misique Mosen et Aharon, et percussi Aegyptum, quemadmodum feci in medio ejus, et postea eduxi vos.

6. And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and you came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea.

6. Et eduxi patres vestros ex Aegypto, deveniestique ad mare, et persequuti sunt Aegyptii patres vestros cum curribus, et equitibus usque ad mare rubrum.

7. And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and you dwelt in the wilderness a long season.

7. Tum clamaverunt  195 ad Jehovam, et posuit caliginem inter vos et Aegyptios: induxitque super eum mare, ac operuit eum: et viderunt oculi vestri quae feci in Aegypto, et habitastis in solitudine in diebus multis.

8. And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that you might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.

8. Postea adduxi vos ad terram Aemorrhaei habitantis trans Jordanem: praeliatique sunt vobiscum, et tradidi eos in manum vestram: possedistisque terram eorum, ac delevi eos a facie vestra.

9. Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you:

9. Surrexit autem Balac filius Sippor rex Moab, et praeliatis est cum Israel: misitque et vocavit Bileam filium Beor, ut malediceret vobis:

10. But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.

10. Et nolui audire Bileam, sed benedixi benedicendo vobis, et liberavi vos e manu ejus.

11. And you went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand.

11. Transistisque Jordanem, et venistis ad Jericho: pugnaveruntque contra vos viri Jericho, Aemorrhaeus, et Perizaeus, et Chananaeus, et Hittaus, et Girgasaeus, et Hivaeus, et Jebusaeus: tradidique eos in manum vestram.

12. And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow.

12. Et misit ante vos crabrones, qui expulerunt eos a facie vestra duos reges Aemorrhaei, non gladio tuo, nec arcu tuo.

13. And I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you built not, and you dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which you planted not do you eat.

13. Dedique vobis terram in qua non laborastis, et urbes quas non aedificastis, et habitastis in eis: vineas et oliveta quae non plantastis, comedetis.

14. Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve you the LORD.

14. Nunc ergo timete Jehovam, et servite ei in perfectione, et veritate, et auferte deos quibus servierunt patres vestri trans flumen, et in Aegypto, et servite Jehovae.


1. And Joshua gathered all the tribes, etc He now, in my opinion, explains more fully what he before related more briefly. For it would not have been suitable to bring out the people twice to a strange place for the same cause. Therefore by the repetition the course of the narrative is continued. And he now states what he had not formerly observed, that they were all standing before the Lord, an expression which designates the more sacred dignity and solemnity of the meeting. I have accordingly introduced the expletive particle Therefore, to indicate that the narrative which had been begun now proceeds. For there cannot be a doubt that Joshua, in a regular and solemn manner, invoked the name of Jehovah, and, as in his presence, addressed the people, so that each might consider for himself that God was presiding over all the things which were done, and that they were not there engaged in a private business, but confirming a sacred and inviolable compact with God himself. We may add, as is shortly afterwards observed, that there was his sanctuary. Hence it is probable that the ark of the covenant was conveyed thither, not with the view of changing its place, but that in so serious an action they might sist themselves before the earthly tribunal of God.  196 For there was no religious obligation forbidding the ark to be moved, and the situation of Sichem was not far distant.

2. Your fathers dwelt on the other side, etc He begins his address by referring to their gratuitous adoption by which God had anticipated any application on their part, so that they could not boast of any peculiar excellence or merit. For God had bound them to himself by a closer tie, having, while they were no better than others, gathered them together to be his peculiar people, from no respect to anything but his mere good pleasure. Moreover, to make it clearly appear that there was nothing in which they could glory, he leads them back to their origin, and reminds them how their fathers had dwelt in Chaldea, worshipping idols in common with others, and differing in nothing from the great body of their countrymen. Hence it is inferred that Abraham, when he was plunged in idolatry, was raised up, as it were, from the lowest deep.

The Jews, indeed, to give a false dignity to their race, fabulously relate that Abraham became an exile from his country because he refused to acknowledge the Chaldean fire as God.  197 But if we attend to the words of the inspired writer, we shall see that he is no more exempted from the guilt of the popular idolatry than Terah and Nachor. For why is it said that the fathers of the people served strange gods, and that Abraham was rescued from the country, but just to show how the free mercy of God was displayed in their very origin? Had Abraham been unlike the rest of his countrymen, his own piety would distinguish him. The opposite, however, is expressly mentioned to show that he had no peculiar excellence of his own which could diminish the grace bestowed upon him, and that therefore his posterity behooved to acknowledge that when he was lost, he was raised up from death unto life.

It seems almost an incredible and monstrous thing, that while Noah was yet alive, idolatry had not only spread everywhere over the world, but even penetrated into the family of Shem, in which at least, a purer religion ought to have flourished. How insane and indomitable human infatuation is in this respect, is proved by the fact that the holy Patriarch, on whom the divine blessing had been specially bestowed, was unable to curb his posterity, and prevent them from abandoning the true God, and prostituting themselves to superstition.

3. And I took your father Abraham, etc This expression gives additional confirmation to what I lately showed, that Abraham did not emerge from profound ignorance and the abyss of error by his own virtue, but was drawn out by the hand of God. For it is not said that he sought God of his own accord, but that he was taken by God and transported elsewhere. Joshua then enlarges on the divine kindness in miraculously preserving Abraham safe during his long pilgrimage. What follows, however, begets some doubt, namely, that God multiplied the seed of Abraham, and yet gave him only Isaac, because no mention is made of any but him. But this comparison illustrates the singular grace of God towards them in that, while the offspring of Abraham was otherwise numerous, their ancestor alone held the place of lawful heir. In the same sense it is immediately added, that while Esau and Jacob were brothers and twins, one of the two was retained and the other passed over. We see, therefore, why as well in the case of Ishmael and his brother as in that of Esau, he loudly extols the divine mercy and goodness towards Jacob, just as if he were saying, that his race did not excel others in any respect except in that of being specially selected by God.

4. But Jacob and his children went down, etc After mentioning the rejection of Esau, he proceeds to state how Jacob went down into Egypt, and though he confines himself to a single expression, it is one which indicates the large and exuberant and clear manifestation of the paternal favor of God. It cannot be doubted, that although the sacred historian does not speak in lofty terms of each miracle performed, Joshua gave the people such a summary exposition of their deliverance as might suffice. First, he points to the miracles performed in Egypt; next, he celebrates the passage of the Red Sea, where God gave them the aid of his inestimable power; and thirdly, he reminds them of the period during which they wandered in the desert.

8. And I brought you into the land, etc He at length begins to discourse of the victories which opened a way for the occupation of their settlements. For although the country beyond the Jordan had not been promised as part of the inheritance, yet, as God, by his decree, joined it to the land of Canaan as a cumulative expression of his bounty, Joshua, not without cause, connects it with the other in commending the divine liberality towards the people, and declares, not merely that trusting to divine aid, they had proved superior in arms and strength, but had also been protected from the fatal snares which Balak had laid for them. For although the impostor Balaam was not able to effect anything by his curses and imprecations, it was, however, very profitable to observe the admirable power of God displayed in defeating his malice. For it was just as if he had come to close quarters, and warred with everything that could injure them.

The more firmly to persuade them that they had overcome not merely by the guidance of God, but solely by his power, he repeats what we read in the books of Moses, (De 7:20) that hornets were sent to rout the enemy without human hand. This was a more striking miracle than if they had been routed, put to flight, and scattered in any other way. For those who, contrary to expectation, gain a victory without any difficulty, although they confess that the prosperous issue of the war is the gift of God, immediately allow themselves to become blinded by pride, and transfer the praise to their own wisdom, activity, and valor. But when the thing is effected by hornets, the divine agency is indubitably asserted. Accordingly, the conclusion is, that the people did not acquire the land by their own sword or bow, a conclusion repeated in Ps 44:3, and apparently borrowed from the passage here. Lastly, after reminding them that they ate the fruits provided by other men’s labors, he exhorts them to love God as his beneficence deserves.

Joshua 24:15-24

15. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

15. Quod si molestum est  198 vobis servire Jehovae, eligite vobis hodie quos colatis: sive deos, quibus servierunt patres vestri, qui fuerunt trans flumen, sive deos Aemorrhaei, in quorum habitatis terra: ego vero, et domus mea colemus Jehovam.

16. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

16. Cui respondit populus, dicens, Absit a nobis ut derelinquamus Jehovam, serviendo diis alienis.

17. For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:

17. Jehova enim Deus noster ipse est qui eduxit nos et patres nostros e terra AEgypti, e domo servorum,  199 et qui fecit in oculis nostris signa ista magna: servavitque nos in omni via per quam ambulavimus, et in omnibus populis per quorum transivimus medium.

18. And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.

18. Expulitque Jehova omnes populos, atque adeo Aemorrhaeum habitatorem terrae a facie nostra: etiam nos serviemus Jehovae, quiae ipse est Deus noster.

19. And Joshua said unto the people, You cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

19. Dixitque Josue ad populum Non poteritis servire Jehovae, quia Deus sanctus est, Deus aemulator est: non parcet sceleribus vestris, atque peccatis vestris.

20. If you forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he has done you good.

20. Si dereliqueritis Jehovam, et servieritis deo alieno, convertet se et malefaciet vobis, consumetque vos, postquam benefecerit vobis.

21. And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.

21. Cui respondit populus, Nequaquam: sed Jehovae serviemus.

22. And Joshua said unto the people, You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.

22. Dixitque Josue ad populum, Testes estis contra vos quod vos elegeritis vobis Jehovam ut illi serviatis. Et dixerunt, Testes.  200

23. Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.

23. Nunc ergo auferte deos alienos, qui sunt in medio vestri, et inclinate cor vestrum ad Jehovam Deum Israel.

24. And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.

24. Cui respondit populus Jehovae Deo nostro serviemus, et voci ejus obediemus.


15. And if it seem evil unto you, etc It seems here as if Joshua were paying little regard to what becomes an honest and right-hearted leader. If the people had forsaken God and gone after idols, it was his duty to inflict punishment on their impious and abominable revolt. But now, by giving them the option to serve God or not, just as they choose, he loosens the reins, and gives them license to rush audaciously into sin. What follows is still more absurd, when he tells them that they cannot serve the Lord, as if he were actually desirous of set purpose to impel them to shake off the yoke. But there is no doubt that his tongue was guided by the inspiration of the Spirit, in stirring up and disclosing their feelings. For when the Lord brings men under his authority, they are usually willing enough to profess zeal for piety, though they instantly fall away from it. Thus they build without a foundation. This happens because they neither distrust their own weakness so much as they ought, nor consider how difficult it is to bind themselves wholly to the Lord. There is need, therefore, of serious examination, lest we be carried aloft by some giddy movement, and so fail of success in our very first attempts.  201 With this design, Joshua, by way of probation, emancipates the Jews, making them, as it were, their own masters, and free to choose what God they are willing to serve, not with the view of withdrawing them from the true religion, as they were already too much inclined to do, but to prevent them from making inconsiderate promises, which they would shortly after violate. For the real object of Joshua was, as we shall see, to renew and confirm the covenant which had already been made with God. Not without cause, therefore, does he give them freedom of choice, that they may not afterwards pretend to have been under compulsion, when they bound themselves by their own consent. Meanwhile, to impress them with a feeling of shame, he declares that he and his house will persevere in the worship of God.

16. And the people answered and said, etc Here we see he had no reason to repent of the option given, when the people, not swearing in the words of another, nor obsequiously submitting to extraneous dictation, declare that it would be an impious thing to revolt from God. And thus it tends, in no small degree, to confirm the covenant, when the people voluntarily lay the law upon themselves. The substance of the answer is, that since the Lord has, by a wonderful redemption, purchased them for himself as a peculiar people, has constantly lent them his aid, and shown that he is among them as their God, it would be detestable ingratitude to reject him and revolt to other gods.

19. And Joshua said unto the people, etc Here Joshua seems to act altogether absurdly in crushing the prompt and alert zeal of the people, by suggesting ground of alarm. For to what end does he insist that they cannot serve the Lord, unless it be to make them, from a sense of their utter powerlessness, to give themselves up to despair, and thus necessarily become estranged from the fear of God. It was necessary, however, to employ this harsh mode of obtestation, in order to rouse a sluggish people, rendered more lethargic by security. And we see that the expedient did not fail to obtain, at least, a momentary success. For they neither despond nor become more slothful, but, surmounting the obstacle, answer intrepidly that they will be constant in the performance of duty.

In short, Joshua does not deter them from serving God, but only explains how refractory and disobedient they are, in order that they may learn to change their temper. So Moses, in his song, (De 32) when he seems to make a divorce between God and the people, does nothing else than prick and whet them, that they may hasten to change for the better. Joshua, indeed, argues absolutely from the nature of God; but what he specially aims at is the perverse behavior and untamed obstinacy of the people. He declares that Jehovah is a holy and a jealous God. This, certainly, should not by any means prevent men from worshipping him; but it follows from it that impure, wicked, and profane despisers, who have no religion, provoke his anger, and can have no intercourse with him, for they will feel him to be implacable. And when it is said that he will not spare their wickedness, no general rule is laid down, but the discourse is directed, as often elsewhere, against their disobedient temper. It does not refer to faults in general, or to special faults, but is confined to gross denial of God, as the next verse demonstrates. The people, accordingly, answer the more readily,  202 that they will serve the Lord.

22. And Joshua said unto the people, etc We now understand what the object was at which Joshua had hitherto aimed. It was not to terrify the people and make them fall away from their religion, but to make the obligation more sacred by their having of their own accord chosen his government, and betaken themselves to his guidance, that they might live under his protection. They acknowledge, therefore, that their own conscience will accuse them, and hold them guilty of perfidy, if they prove unfaithful.  203 But although they were not insincere in declaring that they would be witnesses to their own condemnation, still how easily the remembrance of this promise faded away, is obvious from the Book of Judges. For when the more aged among them had died, they quickly turned aside to various superstitions. By this example we are taught how multifarious are the fallacies which occupy the senses of men, and how tortuous the recesses in which they hide their hypocrisy and folly, while they deceive themselves by vain confidence.  204

23. Now, therefore, put away the strange gods, etc How can it be that those who were lately such stern avengers of superstition, have themselves given admission to idols? Yet the words expressly enjoin that they are to put away strange gods from the midst of them. If we interpret that their own houses were still polluted by idols, we may see, as in a bright mirror, how complacently the greater part of mankind can indulge in vices which they prosecute with inexorable severity in others. But, as I do not think it probable that they dared, after the execution of Achan, to pollute themselves with manifest sacrilege, I am inclined to think that reference is made not to their practice but to their inclinations, and that they are told to put all ideas of false gods far away from them. For he had previously exhorted them in this same chapter to take away the gods whom their fathers had served beyond the river and in Egypt. But nobody will suppose that the idols of Chaldea were treasured up in their repositories, or that they had brought impure deities with them from Egypt, to be a cause of hostility between God and themselves. The meaning, therefore, simply is, that they are to renounce all idols, and clear themselves of all profanity, in order that they may purely worship God alone.  205 This seems to be the purport of the clause, incline your heart unto the Lord, which may be taken as equivalent to, rest in him, and so give up your heart to the love of him, as to delight and be contented only with him.

Joshua 24:25-33

25. So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.

25. Percussit itaque Josue foedus cum populo in die illa: et prosposuit ei praeceptum et judicium in Sechem.  206

26. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.

26. Scripsit Josue verba ista in libro Legis Dei: tulit quoque lapidem magnum, statuitque eum ibi subter quercum, quae erat in sanctuario Jehovae.

27. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it has heard all the words of the LORD which he spoke unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest you deny your God.

27. Dixitque Josue ad universum populum, En lapis iste erit nobis in testimonium: ipse enim audivit omnia verba Jehovae quae loquutus est nobiscum, eritque contra vos in testimonium, ne forte mentiamini contra Deum vestrum.

28. So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance.

28. Remisitque Josue populum, quemlibet in haereditatem suam.

29. And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.

29. His autem gestis, mortuus est Josue filius Nun servus Jehovae centum et decem annorum.  207

30. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash.

30. Sepelieruntque eum in termino haereditatis ejus in Thimnatserah, quae est in monte Ephraim ad aquilonem montis Gaas.

31. And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.

31. Servivitque Israel Jehovae cunctis diebus Josue, cunctisque diebus eniorum qui diu vixerunt post Josue, quinque noverunt omne opus Jehovae quod fecerat ipsi Israel.

32. And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.

32. Ossa autem Joseph quae detulerant filii Israel ex Aegypto, sepelierunt in Sechem, in parte agri quam acquisierat Jacob a filiis Hamor patris Sechem centum nummis, et fuerunt filiis Joseph in possessione sua.

33. And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim.

33. Porro Eleazar filius Aharon mortuus est, et sepelierunt eum in Gibeath Phinees filii ejus, qui datus fuit illi in monte Ephraim.


25. So Joshua made a covenant, etc This passage demonstrates the end for which the meeting had been called, namely, to bind the people more completely and more solemnly to God, by the renewal of the covenant. Therefore, in this agreement, Joshua acted as if he had been appointed on the part of God to receive in his name the homage and obedience promised by the people. It is accordingly added, exegetically, in the second clause, that he set before them precept and judgment. For the meaning is corrupted and wrested by some expositors, who explain it is referring to some new speech of Joshua, whereas it ought properly to be understood of the Law of Moses, as if it had been said that Joshua made no other paction than that they should remain steadfast in observing the Law, and that no other heads of the covenant were brought forward; they were only confirmed in that doctrine which they had formerly embraced and professed. In the same way, Malachi, to keep them under the yoke of God, demands nothing more than that they should remember the Law of Moses. (Mal 4:4)

26. And Joshua wrote these words, etc Understand that authentic volume which was kept near the ark of the covenant, as if it contained public records deposited for perpetual remembrance. And there is no doubt that when the Law was read, the promulgation of this covenant was also added. But as it often happens, that that which is written remains concealed in unopened books,  208 another aid is given to the memory, one which should always be exposed to the eye, namely, the stone under the ark, near the sanctuary. Not that the perpetual station of the ark was there, but because it had been placed there, in order that they might appear in the presence of God. Therefore, as often as they came into his presence, the testimony or memorial of the covenant which had been struck was in their view, that they might be the better kept in the faith.

Joshua’s expression, that the stone heard the words, is indeed hyperbolical, but is not inapt to express the efficacy and power of the divine word, as if it had been said that it pierces inanimate rocks and stones; so that if men are deaf, their condemnation is echoed in all the elements. To lie is here used, as it frequently is elsewhere, for acting cunningly and deceitfully, for frustrating and violating a promise that has been given. Who would not suppose that a covenant so well established would be firm and sacred to posterity for many ages? But all that Joshua gained by his very great anxiety was to secure its rigorous observance for a few years.

29. And it came to pass after these things, etc The honor of sepulture was a mark of reverence, which of itself bore testimony to the affectionate regard of the people. But neither this reverence nor affection was deeply rooted. The title by which Joshua is distinguished after his death, when he is called the servant of the Lord, took away all excuse from those miserable and abandoned men who shortly after spurned the Lord, who had worked wonders among them. Accordingly, attention is indirectly drawn to their inconstancy, when it is said that they served the Lord while Joshua survived, and till the more aged had died out. For there is a tacit antithesis, implying lapse and alienation, when they were suddenly seized with a forgetfulness of the Divine favors. It is not strange, therefore, if, in the present day also, when God furnishes any of his servants with distinguished and excellent gifts, their authority protects and preserves the order and state of the Church; but when they are dead, sad havoc instantly commences, and hidden impiety breaks forth with unbridled license.  209

32. And the bones of Joseph, etc The time when the bones of Joseph were buried is not mentioned; but it is easy to infer that the Israelites had performed this duty after they obtained a peaceful habitation in the city of Shechem. For although he had not designated a particular place for a sepulchre, they thought it a mark of respect to deposit his bones in the field which Jacob had purchased. It may be, however, that this is expressed as a censure on the sluggishness of the people, to which it was owing, that Joseph could not be buried with Abraham, that locality being still in the power of the enemy. Stephen (Ac 7) mentions the bones of the twelve patriarchs, and it is not impossible that the other tribes, from feelings of emulation, gathered together the ashes of their progenitors. It is there said that the field was purchased by Abraham; but obviously an error in the name has crept in. With regard to sepulture, we must hold in general, that the very frequent mention of it in Scripture is owing to its being a symbol of the future Resurrection.




The “itaque“ is here inserted without authority, but Calvin, as he explains in the commentary on the verse, thinks it necessary, in order to keep up the connection with the previous chapter, to show, according to his hypothesis, that both chapters contain the account of only one meeting. On the contrary, as has been observed in note, p. 264, the whole tenor of the narrative here given seems to indicate that it refers not to a continuation of the former meeting, but to one held on a subsequent occasion, and for a still more solemn purpose. — Ed.


There is here a very abrupt transition from the first to the third person in the verbs “they cried” — “he put” — “he brought” — “he covered,” as if Joshua had ceased to deliver an actual message, and became merely a narrator. The message, however, is immediately resumed, “Your eyes have seen what I have done.” The Septuagint, at the commencement of the verse, renders “ἀνεβοήσαμεν,” “we cried,” and thereafter uses the narrative from to the end of Jos 24:13, saying, in Jos 24:8, “he brought,” and in Jos 24:10, “the Lord your God would not.” — Ed.


Latin, “Terrestre Dei tribunal.” French, “Le siege judicial que Dieu avoit en terre;” “The judicial seat which God had on earth.” — Ed.


One of the fables here alluded to is, that Terah was not only a worshipper but a maker of idols, and that Abraham, convinced of the absurdity of idolatrous worship, destroyed all his father’s idols. After doing so he labored to convince his father of the propriety of his conduct by a series of arguments which are gravely recorded, but not having succeeded in his pious endeavors, was forced to flee, and thus became a wanderer. — Ed.


Literally, “And if it be evil in your eyes.” This differs little from the English version, “And if it seem evil unto you,” and is preferable both to Calvin’s Latin, “Quod si molestum est,” “But if it is irksome;” and to the Septuagint, Εἰ δὲ μὴ ἀρέσκει ὑμῖν, “If it is not pleasing to you.” The last is exactly followed by Luther, “Gefallt es euch aber nicht.” — Ed.


The Septuagint omits the words “from the house of bondage.” — Ed.


The Septuagint omits the response of the people. — Ed.


Latin, “Atque ita inter primos conatus nos successus destituet.” French, “Et qu’ainsi entre les premiers efforts nous nous trouvions n’estre pas bien fournis pour rencontrer ainsi qu’il faut, et tenir bon;” “And that thus among the first efforts we may find ourselves not well furnished for encountering as is meet, and standing firm.” — Ed.


Latin, “Liberius.” French, “Plus hardiment et franchement;” “More boldly and frankly.” — Ed.


French, “Leur propre conscience les redarguera comme coulpables et conveincus de desloyaute, et d’avoir fausse leur foy, s’ils ne tiennent leur promesse;” “Their own conscience will condemn them as guilty and convicted of disloyalty, and as having broken their faith, if they do not keep their promise.” — Ed.


The French adds, “Comme s’il n’y avoit rien a redire en eux;” “As if there was nothing to gainsay in them.” — Ed.


The words meaning literally, “The gods which are in the midst of you,’ would rather seem to indicate that even at this time some of the Israelites were addicted to the secret practice of idolatry. — Ed.


The Septuagint says, “In Shiloh, before the tabernacle of the God of Israel;” and some expositors, induced by this and other considerations, labor, though with little plausibility, to show that the whole transaction here recorded took place at Shiloh, and that the name of Shechem is not here given to the town of that name, but to a district so large, that even Shiloh was included in it. — Ed.


The Septuagint here transposes Josh. 24:29, 31, and to the end of Jos 24:29, thus made its Jos 24:31, appends the singular statement that they deposited, within the tomb which they erected for him there, the stone knives with which he circumcised the children of Israel at Gilgal, when he brought them out of Egypt, as the Lord commanded them; and there they are at this day. — Ed.


The French adds, “Et on le laisse la dormir;” “And it is left to sleep there.” — Ed.


When these words were penned, the venerable writer, though it could scarcely be said of him that he was, like Joshua, “old and stricken in age,” was, however, like him, visibly “going the way of all the earth.” In such circumstances, can we doubt, that these words contain a presentiment of the fearful decline which, after his own death, was to take place in the Church of Geneva? — Ed.


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