Joshua 24:25 MEANING

Joshua 24:25
(25) So Joshua made a covenant--i.e., a covenant that idolatry should not be tolerated in Israel, or suffered to exist. We read of similar covenants in the reign of Asa (2 Chronicles 15:12-13), in the reign of Joash, by Jehoiada (2 Chronicles 23:16), and of Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:31-32).

Verse 25. - So Joshua made a covenant. Literally, cut a covenant, a phrase common to the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin tongues, and derived from the custom of sacrifice, in which the victims were cut in pieces and offered to the deity invoked in ratification of the engagement. The word used for covenant, berith, is derived from another word having the same meaning. This appears more probable than the suggestion of some, that the berith is derived from the practice of ratifying an agreement by a social meal. And set them a statute and ordinance. Or, appointed them a statute and a judgment. The word translated "statute" is derived from the same root as our word hack, signifying to cut, and hence to engrave in indelible characters. The practice of engraving inscriptions, proclamations, and the like, on tablets was extremely common in the East. We have instances of it in the two tables of the law, and in the copy of the law engraven in stones on Mount Ebal. The Moabite stone is another instance. And the Egyptian, Assyrian, and Babylonian monarchs seem to have written much of their history in this way (see note on Joshua 8:32). The word rendered "ordinance" is far more frequently rendered "judgment" in our version, and seems to have the original signification of a thing set upright, as a pillar on a secure foundation. In Shechem (see note on ver. 1).

24:15-28 It is essential that the service of God's people be performed with a willing mind. For LOVE is the only genuine principle whence all acceptable service of God can spring. The Father seeks only such to worship him, as worship him in spirit and in truth. The carnal mind of man is enmity against God, therefore, is not capable of such spiritual worship. Hence the necessity of being born again. But numbers rest in mere forms, as tasks imposed upon them. Joshua puts them to their choice; but not as if it were indifferent whether they served God or not. Choose you whom ye will serve, now the matter is laid plainly before you. He resolves to do this, whatever others did. Those that are bound for heaven, must be willing to swim against the stream. They must not do as the most do, but as the best do. And no one can behave himself as he ought in any station, who does not deeply consider his religious duties in family relations. The Israelites agree with Joshua, being influenced by the example of a man who had been so great a blessing to them; We also will serve the Lord. See how much good great men do, by their influence, if zealous in religion. Joshua brings them to express full purpose of heart to cleave to the Lord. They must come off from all confidence in their own sufficiency, else their purposes would be in vain. The service of God being made their deliberate choice, Joshua binds them to it by a solemn covenant. He set up a monument of it. In this affecting manner Joshua took his last leave of them; if they perished, their blood would be upon their own heads. Though the house of God, the Lord's table, and even the walls and trees before which we have uttered our solemn purposes of serving him, would bear witness against us if we deny him, yet we may trust in him, that he will put his fear into our hearts, that we shall not depart from him. God alone can give grace, yet he blesses our endeavours to engage men to his service.So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day,.... Proposing to them what was most eligible, and their duty to do, and they agreeing to it, this formally constituted a covenant, of which they selves were both parties and witnesses:

and set statute and an ordinance in Shechem; either made this covenant to have the nature of a statute and ordinance binding upon them, or repeated and renewed the laws of Moses, both moral and ceremonial, which had been delivered at Mount Sinai, and now, upon this repetition in Shechem, might be called a statute and ordinance there.

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