Joshua 22:31 MEANING

Joshua 22:31
(31) We perceive that the Lord is among us, because ye have not committed this trespass . . .--The best token of the Divine presence among men is the Divine likeness and holiness in men. "if we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie . . . but if we walk in the light, we have fellowship one with another."

Verse 31. - Now ye have delivered the children of Israel out of the hand of the Lord. The word here rendered "now" is rather then. But the Hebrew word, like our own, is used as implying not only consecution of time, but consequence of action (see Psalm 40:8; Psalm 69:5; Jeremiah 22:15). Thus the meaning here is, "We see, then, that instead of bringing upon us heavy chastisement, as we had feared, ye have acted in a way which secures us from the punishment of which we were afraid."

22:30-34 It is well that there was on both sides a disposition to peace, as there was a zeal for God; for quarrels about religion, for want of wisdom and love, often prove the most fierce and difficult to be made up. Proud and peevish spirits, when they have passed any unjust blame on their brethren, though full evidence be brought of its unfairness, can by no means be persuaded to withdraw it. But Israel was not so prejudiced. They looked upon their brethren's innocence as a token of God's presence. Our brethren's zeal for the power of godliness, and faith and love, notwithstanding the fears of their breaking the unity of the church, are things of which we should be very glad to be satisfied. The altar was called ED, a witness. It was a witness of their care to keep their religion pure and entire, and would witness against their descendants, if they should turn from following after the Lord. Happy will it be when all professed Christians learn to copy the example of Israel, to unite zeal and steady adherence to the cause of truth, with candour, meekness, and readiness to understand each other, to explain and to be satisfied with the explanations of their brethren. May the Lord increase the number of those who endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace! may increasing grace and consolation be with all who love Jesus Christ in sincerity!And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest,.... As the mouth of the deputation, and in their name:

said unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the children of Manasseh; the representatives of them assembled together on this occasion:

this day we perceive that the Lord is among us; his Shechinah, as the Targum; his powerful Presence in preserving their brethren from committing a trespass, as they feared; his gracious Presence smiling upon them; and as the God of peace and order, and not of confusion, uniting and cementing their hearts in love to one another:

because ye have not committed this trespass against the Lord; which they were fearful and jealous of they had, but they found that the Lord had been good and gracious in preserving them from it:

now ye have delivered the children of Israel out of the hand of the Lord; into which they would have fallen, had that been the case, and would have felt the effects of the divine resentment, but now they were secure from them.

Courtesy of Open Bible