For if Jesus had given them rest - It is truly surprising that our translators should have rendered the Ιησους of the text Jesus, and not Joshua, who is most clearly intended. They must have known that the יהושע Yehoshua of the Hebrew, which we write Joshua, is everywhere rendered Ιησους, Jesus, by the Septuagint; and it is their reading which the apostle follows. It is true the Septuagint generally write Ιησους Ναυη, or Υἱος Ναυη, Jesus Nave, or Jesus, son of Nave, for it is thus they translate נון בן יהושע Yehoshua ben Nun, Joshua the son of Nun; and this is sufficient to distinguish it from Jesus, son of David. But as Joshua, the captain general of Israel, is above intended, the word should have been written Joshua, and not Jesus. One MS., merely to prevent the wrong application of the name, has Ιησους ὁ του Ναυη, Jesus the son of Nave. Theodoret has the same in his comment, and one Syriac version has it in the text. It is Joshua in Coverdale's Testament, 1535; in Tindal's 1548; in that edited by Edmund Becke, 1549; in Richard Cardmarden's, Rouen, 1565; several modern translators, Wesley, Macknight, Wakefield, etc., read Joshua, as does our own in the margin. What a pity it had not been in the text, as all the smaller Bibles have no marginal readings, and many simple people are bewildered with the expression.
The apostle shows that, although Joshua did bring the children of Israel into the promised land, yet this could not be the intended rest, because long after this time the Holy Spirit, by David, speaks of this rest; the apostle, therefore, concludes,
For if Jesus - Margin, “That is, Joshua.” The Syriac renders it, “Joshua the son of Nun.” “Jesus” is the Greek mode of writing “Joshua,” and there can be no doubt that Joshua is here intended. The object is to prove that Joshua did” not” give the people of God such a rest as to make it improper to speak of a “rest” after that time. “If Joshua had given them a complete and final rest; if by his conducting them to the promised land all had been done which had been contemplated by the promise, then it would not have been alluded to again, as it was in the time of David.” Joshua “did” give them a rest in the promised land; but it was not all which was intended, and it did not exclude the promise of another and more important rest.
Then would he not - Then “God” would not have spoken of another time when that rest could be obtained. The “other day” here referred to is that which is mentioned before by the phrase “today,” and refers to the time in which it is spoken of long after Joshua, to wit, in the time of David.
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