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Joshua 4:24 – BibleTools.info

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Joshua 4:24

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

That all the people of the earth might know - It is very likely that הארץ עמי כל col ammey haarets means simply, all the people of this land - all the Canaanitish nations, to whom, by the miracles wrought in behalf of his people, he intended to show his eternal power and Godhead, the excellence of his protection, and the unavailableness of human might against his omnipotence; and the miracles he wrought for this people, in the sight of the heathen, were well calculated to make these things known.

  1. God intends that his religion should be maintained and propagated in the earth; therefore he has given a revelation of himself to men, that it may be taught in the world; and he particularly requires that parents should be diligent and fervent in teaching their children the knowledge of his name.
  • This is one great use of the ordinances of the Gospel, and the rites of religion. They are all significators of sacred things, and point out matters of infinite importance beyond themselves.
  • A spirit of inquiry is common to every child: the human heart is ever panting after knowledge; and if not rightly directed when young, will, like that of our first mother, go astray after forbidden science.
  • If we wish our children to be happy we should show them where happiness is to be found. If we wish them to be wise, we should lead them unto God by means of his word and ordinances. It is natural for a child to inquire, "What do you mean by this baptism? - by this sacrament? - by praying - by singing psalms and hymns?" etc. And what fine opportunities do such questions give pious and intelligent parents to instruct their children in every article of the Christian faith, and in every fact on which these articles are established! Oh why is this neglected, while the command of God is before our eyes, and the importance of the measure so strikingly obvious?
  • Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    It is the duty of parents to tell their children betimes of the words and works of God, that they may be trained up in the way they should go. In all the instruction parents give their children, they should teach them to fear God. Serious godliness is the best learning. Are we not called, as much as the Israelites, to praise the loving-kindness of our God? Shall we not raise a pillar to our God, who has brought us through dangers and distresses in so wonderful a way? For hitherto the Lord hath helped us, as much as he did his saints of old. How great the stupidity and ingratitude of men, who perceive not His hand, and will not acknowledge his goodness, in their frequent deliverances!
    Ellen G. White
    Patriarchs and Prophets, 484

    At the appointed time began the onward movement, the ark, borne upon the shoulders of the priests, leading the van. The people had been directed to fall back, so that there was a vacant space of more than half a mile about the ark. All watched with deep interest as the priests advanced down the bank of the Jordan. They saw them with the sacred ark move steadily forward toward the angry, surging stream, till the feet of the bearers were dipped into the waters. Then suddenly the tide above was swept back, while the current below flowed on, and the bed of the river was laid bare. PP 484.1

    At the divine command the priests advanced to the middle of the channel and stood there while the entire host descended and crossed to the farther side. Thus was impressed upon the minds of all Israel the fact that the power that stayed the waters of Jordan was the same that had opened the Red Sea to their fathers forty years before. When the people had all passed over, the ark itself was borne to the western shore. No sooner had it reached a place of security, and “the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up unto the dry land,” than the imprisoned waters, being set free, rushed down, a resistless flood, in the natural channel of the stream. PP 484.2

    Coming generations were not to be without a witness to this great miracle. While the priests bearing the ark were still in the midst of Jordan, twelve men previously chosen, one from each tribe, took up each a stone from the river bed where the priests were standing, and carried it over to the western side. These stones were to be set up as a monument in the first camping place beyond the river. The people were bidden to repeat to their children and children's children the story of the deliverance that God had wrought for them, as Joshua said, “That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God forever.” PP 484.3

    The influence of this miracle, both upon the Hebrews and upon their enemies, was of great importance. It was an assurance to Israel of God's continued presence and protection—an evidence that He would work for them through Joshua as He had wrought through Moses. Such an assurance was needed to strengthen their hearts as they entered upon the conquest of the land—the stupendous task that had staggered the faith of their fathers forty years before. The Lord had declared to Joshua before the crossing, “This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.” And the result fulfilled the promise. “On that day the Lord magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life.” PP 484.4

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    Ellen G. White
    Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, 160

    Accordingly Joshua gave orders to the priests and the people as the Lord directed him. He marshaled the hosts of Israel in perfect order. First was a select body of armed men, clad in their warlike dress; not now to exercise their skill in arms, but only to believe and obey the directions given them. Next followed seven priests with trumpets. Then came the ark of God, glittering with gold, a halo of glory hovering over it, borne by priests in the rich and peculiar dress denoting their sacred office. The vast army of Israel followed in perfect order, each tribe under its respective standard. Thus they compassed the city with the ark of God. No sound was heard but the tread of that mighty host, and the solemn voice of the trumpets, echoing among the hills and resounding through the streets of Jericho. 4T 160.1

    With wonder and alarm the watchmen of the doomed city marked every move and reported to those in authority. They could not imagine what all this display meant. Jericho had defied the armies of Israel and the God of heaven; but when they beheld that mighty host marching around their city once each day in all the pomp and majesty of war, with the added grandeur of the sacred ark and the attendant priests, the impressive mystery of the scene struck terror to the hearts of princes and people. Then, again, they would inspect their strong defenses, feeling certain that they could successfully resist the most powerful attack. Many ridiculed the idea that any harm could come to them through these singular demonstrations on the part of their enemies; but others were awed as they beheld the majesty and splendor of the procession that each day wound grandly about the city. They remembered that forty years before, the Red Sea had parted before this people, and that a passage had just been opened for them through the river Jordan. They knew not what further wonders God might work for them; but they kept their gates carefully closed, and guarded them with mighty warriors. 4T 160.2

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    Ellen G. White
    Patriarchs and Prophets, 488

    In obedience to the divine command Joshua marshaled the armies of Israel. No assault was to be made. They were simply to make the circuit of the city, bearing the ark of God and blowing upon trumpets. First came the warriors, a body of chosen men, not now to conquer by their own skill and prowess, but by obedience to the directions given them from God. Seven priests with trumpets followed. Then the ark of God, surrounded by a halo of divine glory, was borne by priests clad in the dress denoting their sacred office. The army of Israel followed, each tribe under its standard. Such was the procession that compassed the doomed city. No sound was heard but the tread of that mighty host and the solemn peal of the trumpets, echoing among the hills and resounding through the streets of Jericho. The circuit completed, the army returned in silence to their tents, and the ark was restored to its place in the tabernacle. PP 488.1

    With wonder and alarm the watchmen of the city marked every move, and reported to those in authority. They knew not the meaning of all this display; but when they beheld that mighty host marching around their city once each day, with the sacred ark and the attendant priests, the mystery of the scene struck terror to the hearts of priest and people. Again they would inspect their strong defenses, feeling certain they could successfully resist the most powerful attack. Many ridiculed the thought that any harm could come to them through these singular demonstrations. Others were awed as they beheld the procession that each day wound about the city. They remembered that the Red Sea had once parted before this people, and that a passage had just been opened for them through the river Jordan. They knew not what further wonders God might work for them. PP 488.2

    For six days the host of Israel made the circuit of the city. The seventh day came, and with the first dawn of light, Joshua marshaled the armies of the Lord. Now they were directed to march seven times around Jericho, and at a mighty peal from the trumpets to shout with a loud voice, for God had given them the city. PP 488.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 63

    The Hebrew host marched in perfect order. First went a select body of armed men, clad in their warlike dress, but not now to exercise their skill in arms, but only to believe, and obey the directions given them. Next followed seven priests with trumpets. Then came the ark of God, glittering with gold, a halo of glory hovering over it, borne by priests in their rich and peculiar dress, denoting their sacred office. The vast army of Israel followed in perfect order, each tribe under its respective standard. Thus they compassed the city with the ark of God. No sound was heard but the tread of that mighty host, and the solemn voice of the trumpets, echoed by the hills, and resounding through the city of Jericho. With wonder and alarm the watchmen of that doomed city marked every move, and reported to those in authority. They cannot tell what all this display means. Some ridiculed the idea of that city being taken in this manner, while others are awed as they behold the splendor of the ark, and the solemn and dignified appearance of the priests, and the host of Israel following, with Joshua at their head. They remember that the Red Sea, forty years before, parted before them, and that a passage had just been prepared for them through the river Jordan. They are too much terrified to sport. They are strict to keep the gates of the city closely shut, and mighty warriors to guard each gate. For six days the armies of Israel perform their circuit around the city. On the seventh day they compassed Jericho seven times. The people were commanded, as usual, to be silent. The trumpets’ voice alone was to be heard. The people were to observe, and when the trumpeters should make a longer blast than usual, then all were to shout with a loud voice, for God had given them the city. “And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times; only on that day they compassed the city seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city. So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets. And it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” 4aSG 63.1

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    Ellen G. White
    Prophets and Kings, 151

    It is the hour of the evening sacrifice, and Elijah bids the people, “Come near unto me.” As they tremblingly draw near, he turns to the broken-down altar where once men worshiped the God of heaven, and repairs it. To him this heap of ruins is more precious than all the magnificent altars of heathendom. PK 151.1

    In the reconstruction of this ancient altar, Elijah revealed his respect for the covenant that the Lord made with Israel when they crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land. Choosing “twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, ... he built an altar in the name of the Lord.” PK 151.2

    The disappointed priests of Baal, exhausted by their vain efforts, wait to see what Elijah will do. They hate the prophet for proposing a test that has exposed the weakness and inefficiency of their gods; yet they fear his power. The people, fearful also, and almost breathless with expectancy, watch while Elijah continues his preparations. The calm demeanor of the prophet stands out in sharp contrast with the fanatical, senseless frenzy of the followers of Baal. PK 151.3

    The altar completed, the prophet makes a trench about it, and, having put the wood in order and prepared the bullock, he lays the victim on the altar and commands the people to flood the sacrifice and the altar with water. “Fill four barrels,” he directed, “and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.” PK 151.4

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    Ellen G. White
    Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4a, 59-61

    Joshua commanded the children of Israel to prepare for a three-days’ journey, and that all the men of war should go out to battle. “And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee; only the Lord thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses. Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death; only be strong and of a good courage.” 4aSG 59.1

    The passage of the Israelites over Jordan was to be miraculous. “And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you. And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people. And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people. And the Lord said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.” 4aSG 59.2

    The priests were to go before the people and bear the ark containing the law of God. And as their feet were dipped in the brim of Jordan, and waters were cut off from above, and the priests passed on, bearing the ark, which was a symbol of the Divine presence, and the Hebrew host followed. When the priests were half way over Jordan, they were commanded to stand in the bed of the river until all the host of Israel had passed over. Here the then existing generation of the Israelites were convinced that the waters of Jordan were subject to the same power that their fathers had seen displayed at the Red Sea, forty years before. Many of these passed through the Red Sea when they were children. Now they pass over Jordan, men of war, fully equipped for battle. After all the host of Israel had passed over Jordan, Joshua commanded the priests to come up out of the river. As soon as the priests, bearing the ark of the covenant, came up out of the river, and stood on dry land, Jordan rolled on as before, and overflowed all his banks. This wonderful miracle performed for the Israelites greatly increased their faith. That this wonderful miracle might never be forgotten, the Lord directed Joshua to command that men of note, one of each tribe, take up stones from the bed of the river, the place where the priests’ feet stood while the Hebrew host was passing over, and to bear them upon their shoulders, and erect a monument in Gilgal, to keep in remembrance the fact that Israel passed over Jordan on dry land. After the priests had come up from Jordan, God removed his mighty hand, and the waters rushed like a mighty cataract down their own channel. 4aSG 59.3

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