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I will be with thee : I will not fail thee, nor forsake theę ; though thy enemies exceed thee in power and strength, they shall

all fall, and success and prosperity attend thee through all thy 6 life. Be strong and of a good courage : for unto this peo

ple shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. This is often repeated, for Joshua had great discouragements. Jordan was to be crossed, the enemy was before and behind ; they were bold men, united in alliance to oppose him; lived in strong cities ; his own army uras a mutinous, discontented people, clogged with old persons,

women, and children, baggage and cattle ; and Moses was gone ; 7 all this sunk his spirits. But God says, Only be thou strong

and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee : turn not from it (to] the right hand or (to) the left, on any

occasion, under any fretence whatever, that thou mayest pros8 per whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt speak and judge, and act, according to it ; and in order to this, thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all (that is] written therein : for then thou shalt

make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good 9 success. Have not I commanded thee? I, whom thou art

obliged to obey, who have carried thee through so many difficulties, of whose power and goodness thou hast had such large experience ? Be strong and of a good courage ; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed : for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest, who is all sufficient to preserve thee in every danger ani difficulty, and to prosper thee in all thy enterprises. Upon this Joshua applied himself to the business,

and ordered the people to prepare for their march. 10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 Pass through the host, and command the people, saying,

Prepare you victuals, provisions necessary for such an expedi. tion, which they might furnish themselves with in the land of the Amorites, where they now were ; for within three days after the return of the spies, (ch. ii. 1. iii. 2.) ye shall pass over

this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD 12 your God giveth you to possess it. And to the Reubenites,

and to the Gadites, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, (to

their elders and princes, who were to communicate it to the 13 rest,) spake Joshua, saying, Remember the word, which

Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, the agreement between him and you, (Num, xxxii. 20.) saying, The

LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this 14 land. Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall re

main in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan ; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, be ready to

assist them upon all occasions, all the mighty men of valour, 15 so many as are needful, and help them ; Until the Lord hath

given your brethren rest, as she hath given) you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giv. eth them : then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the Lord's servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sun rising. To this they cheer. fully consented ; and accordingly forty thousand went with their

brethren, and the rest staid to guard their own settlements. . 16 And they answered Joshua, riot only the two tribes and an

half, but all the elders and officers of Israel, saying, All that

thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou send17 est us we will go. According as we hearkened unto Moses

in all things, so will we hearken unto thee ; we acknowledge thee as our chief magistrate, and promise allegiance and cheere

ful obedience : only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he 18 was with Moses ; this is our united wish and prayer. Who

soever she bel that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou com: mandest him, he shall be put to death ; we will stand by thee to maintain thy authority, and bind ourselves to obey thy orders upon pain of death : only be strong and of a good courage, and nothing shall be wanting on our part to approve ourselves worthy of such a leader.

REFLECTIONS.

1. TT is a great blessing to a kingdom or church, to have a

1 succession of useful and upright judges and ministers, Joshua comes in the place of Moses, much to the satisfaction and advantage of the Isrạelites ; especially considering their present critical situation. Thus it is in the course of things in the world and church ; one generation of magistrates and mine isters passeth away, and another cometh. The agency of Provi. dence is to be seen therein, and the care and goodness of God to. be acknowledged for it.

2. The presence of God with us is our great support and en. couragement, amidst the labours and difficulties of life. We are risen up in our father's places, though we may not be equal to them in wisdom and zeal ; but God is the same. All their gifts were derived from him ; to him they owed all their success; his power and grace are the same ;, and that grace, if we seek it, will be sufficient for us. Let not the rising generation be dis, couraged, but humbly wait on God, and adopt the prayer of Solomon ; The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers : let him not leave us, nor forsake us ; that he may incline our hearts to walk to all hds ways,

- 3. Let good men learn to çast all their cares upon God, and practise moderation and contentment. The apostle teaches us this lesson, Heb. xiii. 5. and quotes the promise of Joshua as the ground of it. Let us not be anxiously solicitous about future events ; to heap up wealth, or to guard against evil. We have the promise of an ever faithful God to trust to; I will never teave you, I will never forsake you. And, whatever dangers or enemies are in the way, we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper. .

4. How important soever the affairs which we have in hand may be, let us never forget God's law, and the obedience we owe it. v. 7, 8. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded thee : turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper 'whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein : for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. The weight of cares which devolved upon Joshua, required the greatest attențion ; and yet he read, studied, and kept the law of God. As no dignity or dominion should set a man above subjection to the divine law ; so no plea of hurry in business, however important, will excuse for the neglect of religion and the care of our own souls. Let us then keep our eye fixed upon God's commandments, and remember how his authority, independence, power, and goodness, strengthen each of them. This is the way to inspire us with true courage ; this is the way to have all desirable success and prosperity to attend our endeavours. Difficult things will become easy ; the hardest work agreeable ; and success will be sure, if we take God along with us. Let religion be our great' business, for that is the whole duty of man.'

5. It is extremely happy for nations, when there is a cordial friendship and union between governors and subjects, and when religion is the bond of that union.' How glorious does Israel appear with such a leader as Joshua, and with such sentiments and resolutions in their hearts ! It is happy when 'magistrates exer cise their authority impartially yet gently, resolutely yet mildly ; and when they rule in the fear of God.' How happy that people who consider their governors as ministers of God, and thus pay obedience to their reasonable and just commands when their inclination is to provoke one another to zeal and courage ! May this be more and more the character of this nation ; that it inay be said of us, as it was of Israel, Harry art thou, O Britain ! who is like unto thee ? a nation highly favoured of the Lord!

CHAP. II.

In this chapter we have an eer ount of Rahab's receiving and con:

cealing the two spies sent from Shittim ; the covenant between her and them; and of their return, and refrort to Joshua. 1 AND Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim, from i n the plains of Moab, where they were now encamped, two

men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, eyen Jericho, which was the nearest city, about seven miles distant ; learn its strength, and how it is best to attack it ; but let none of the peo. hle know, lest they should murmur, and get a false report. And

they went and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, .% and lodged there. * And it was told the king of Jericho, say,

ing, Behold, there came in men hither to night, of the chil. dren of Israel to search out the country ; the city was soon

alarmed, for they judged from their habit, language, or aspect, 3 that they were Israelites and spies. And the king of Jericho

sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house : for they be come to search out all the country, and surprise the city. And the woman had discovered who these persons were, and their

errand, and she took the two men, and hid them, and said . thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they 5 [were :] And it came to pass (about the time) of shutting of

the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out : whither the men went I wat 'not ; pursue after them quickly for ye shall overtake them before they get to the river Jordan. This

part of her conduct was very blameable ; she told an absolute ' falsehood, and neither God nor man could praise her for this. It

might be partly owing to her fears, and partly to her ignorance

of the nature of truth and religion, which God mercifully par. 6 doned, and accepted her faith. But she had brought them up

to the roof of the house, which was flat, like the leads of our churches, as is now common in the east, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof to dry. And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords : and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate, to guard the city against surprise, and secure the spies if they were not gone out,

And before they were laid down, she came up unto them 9 upon the roof; And she said unto the men, I know that the

* Rahab lived on the wall of the city, which was convenient for them to make observations from ; to lie concealed, or to make their escape. She is called here, and in the New Testament, an harlot : but the word properly signifies, an hostess, or innkeeper. So the Chalu dee paraphrase renders it. She might have been an harlot, but was now reclaimed from it ; for her discourse with the spies savours of religion and the fear o

LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen

upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because 10 of you ; this was what the spies came to inquire about. For wa

have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt, above forty years ago ; and it is still talked of what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that (werel on the other side Jordan, Sihon and

Og ; whom ye utterly destroyed ; these are fresh in our 11 memories. And as soon as we had heard [these things,] our

hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you ; this Moses had foretold ; for the LORD your God, he [is] God in heaven above, and in earth

beneath, he can do whatsoever he pleases in heaven and in earth, 12 Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD,

since I have showed you kindness, that ye will also show kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token,

a sure sign to secure us when you take the city, and that you 13 will be as good as your words : And [that] ye will save alive

my father and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters,

and all their children that they have, (ch. vi. 23.) and deliver 14 our lives from death. And the men answered her, Our life

for yours, if ye utter not this our business, if ye tell not the errand on which we came. And it shall be when the Lord hath

given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee. 15 Then she let them down by a cord through the window : for

her house [was] upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the 16 wall. And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain,

which is near the city, and in which there are many caves, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days,

until the pursuers be returned ; and afterward may ye go 17 your way. And the men said unto her, We [will be] blame

less of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear, we · would willingly observe most exactly what we promise and swear,

and therefore, that there may be no mistake on either part, we 18 repeat the terms again ; Behold, [when we come into the

land and are drawing near to your city, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by : and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy

brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee. 19 And it shall be, [that] whosoever shall go out of the doors of

thy house into the street, his blood [shall be) upon his head,

Some think that God had made known to the king and people of Jericho, that they must quit their land, though the circumstance is not inentioned, and that the people would not take the warning; but Rahab believed it ; and that this appears to be the nature of that faith which she manifested, and for which she is commended in Hcb. xi. 31. and James ii. 25 The apostle says, She perished not with those that believed not ; or, as in the Hebrew, who were not obedient ; but how could they be said to be disobedient, if God's will was not made known to them?

+ This showed that her faith in Jehovah was strong, by whom she asks them to swear, and also in his promise to give them the land.

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