1And after the death of Moses the servant of Jehovah, it came to pass that Jehovah spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying:2Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them; to the children of Israel.3Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon I have given to you, as I have said to Moses.4From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory.5No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not abandon you nor forsake you.6Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I have sworn to their fathers to give to them.7Only be strong and very courageous, that you may take heed to do according to all the Law which Moses My servant has commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.8This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may take heed to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for Jehovah your God is with you wherever you go.10Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,11Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you are crossing over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which Jehovah your God is giving you to possess.12And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh Joshua spoke, saying,13Remember the word which Moses the servant of Jehovah commanded you, saying, Jehovah your God is giving you rest and has given you this land.14Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land which Moses has given you on this side of the Jordan. But you shall pass before your brethren armed, all your mighty men of valor, and help them,15until Jehovah has given your brethren rest, as He has given you, and they also have taken possession of the land which Jehovah your God is giving to them. Then you shall return to possess the land of your inheritance, which Moses the servant of Jehovah has given you on this side of the Jordan toward the sunrise.16So they answered Joshua, saying, All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.17Just as we have heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only Jehovah your God be with you, as He was with Moses.18Whoever rebels against your mouth and does not heed your words in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage.
Jamieson Fausset Brown Bible Commentary 1
THE LORD APPOINTS JOSHUA TO SUCCEED MOSES. (Jos. 1:1-18)
Now after the death of Moses--Joshua, having been already appointed and designated leader of Israel (Num 27:18
), in all probability assumed the reins of government immediately "after the death of Moses."
the servant of the Lord--This was the official title of Moses as invested with a special mission to make known the will of God; and it conferred great honor and authority.
the Lord spake unto Joshua--probably during the period of public mourning, and either by a direct revelation to the mind of Joshua, or by means of Urim and Thummim (Num 27:21
). This first communication gave a pledge that the divine instructions which, according to the provisions of the theocracy, had been imparted to Moses, would be continued to the new leader, though God might not perhaps speak to him "mouth to mouth" (Num 12:8
Joshua--The original name, Oshea, (Num 13:8
), which had been, according to Eastern usage, changed like those of Abram and Sarai (Gen 17:5
) into Jehoshua or Joshua (that is, "God's salvation") was significant of the services he was to render, and typified those of a greater Saviour (Heb 4:8
Moses' minister--that is, his official attendant, who, from being constantly employed in important services and early initiated into the principles of the government, would be well trained for undertaking the leadership of Israel. 2
now therefore arise, go over this Jordan--Joshua's mission was that of a military leader. This passage records his call to begin the work, and the address contains a literal repetition of the promise made to Moses (Deut 11:24
; Deut 31:6
, Deut 31:23
Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon that have I given you--meaning, of course, not universal dominion, but only the territory comprised within the boundaries here specified (see on Deut 19:8
all the land of the Hittites--These occupied the southern extremities and were the dominant tribe of Canaan. Their superior power and the extent of their dominions are attested by the mention of them under the name of Khita, on the Assyrian inscriptions, and still more frequently on the Egyptian inscriptions of the eighteenth and nineteenth Dynasties. What life and encouragement must have been imparted to Joshua by the assurance that his people, who had been overwhelmed with fear of that gigantic race, were to possess "all the land of the Hittites"! 5
There shall not any man be able to stand before thee--Canaan was theirs by a divine grant; and the renewed confirmation of that grant to Joshua when about to lead the people into it, intimated not only a certain but an easy conquest. It is remarkable, however, that his courage and hope of victory were made to depend (see on Deut 17:18
) on his firm and inflexible adherence to the law of God, not only that regarding the extirpation of the Canaanites, but the whole divine code. 10
Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people--These were the Shoterim (see on Exod 5:6
; Deut 20:5
command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals--not manna, which, though it still fell, would not keep; but corn, sheep, and articles of food procurable in the conquered countries.
for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan--that is, the third day, according to Hebrew idiom--the time allotted for getting ready before the encampment in Abel-Shittim broke up and they removed to the desert bank of the river where no victuals were available. At the same time Joshua himself convened the two and a half tribes which had settled east of Jordan, to remind them of their promise (Num. 32:1-42) to assist their brethren in the conquest of western Canaan. Their readiness to redeem their pledge and the terms in which they answered the appeal of Joshua displayed to great advantage their patriotic and pious feelings at so interesting a crisis. 14
ye shall pass . . . armed--that is, officered or marshalled under five leaders in the old and approved caravan order (see on Exod 13:18
all the mighty men of valour--The words are not to be interpreted strictly as meaning the whole, but only the flower or choice of the fighting men (see on Josh 4:12