Joshua 24:2 MEANING

Joshua 24:2
Verse 2. - All the people (see note on Joshua 23:2). The Lord God of Israel. Rather, Jehovah, the God of Israel (see Exodus 3:13). Until the vision to Moses, the God of Israel had no distinctive name. After that time Jehovah was the recognised name of the God of Israel, as Chemosh of the Moabites, Milcom of the Ammonites, Baal of the Phoenicians. Our translation, "the Lord," somewhat obscures this. Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood. Rather, of the river. Euphrates is meant, on the other side of which (see, however, note on last verse) lay Ur of the Chaldees. It is worthy of notice that there is no evidence of the growth of a myth in the narrative here. We have a simple abstract of the history given us in the Pentateuch, without the slightest addition, and certainly without the invention of any further miraculous details. All this goes to establish the position that we have here a simple unvarnished history of what occurred. The manufacture of prodigies, as every mythical history, down to the biographies of Dominic and Francis, tells us, is a process that cannot stand still. Each successive narrator deems it to be his duty to embellish his narrative with fresh marvels. Compare this with the historical abridgment before us, and we must at least acknowledge that we are in the presence of phenomena of a very different ruder. Professor Goldziher has argued, in his 'Mythology among the Hebrews,' that Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Jacob are solar myths, such as we find in immense abundance in Cox's 'Aryan Mythology.' Abraham (father of height)is the nightly sky. Sarah (princess) is the moon. Isaac (he shall laugh) is the smiling sunset or dawn. It would be difficult to find any history which, by an exercise of similar ingenuity, might not be resolved into myths. Napoleon Bonaparte, for instance, might be resolved into the rushing onset of the conqueror who was never defeated. The retreat from Moscow is a solar myth of the most obvious description. The battle of Bull's Run is clearly so named from the cowardice displayed there by the sons of John Bull. It is remarked by Mr. Tomkins that Ur, the city of the moon god, lends itself most naturally to the fabricator of myths. There is only one objection to the theory, and that is the bricks, still in existence, stamped with the words Urn, which compel us to descend from this delightful cloud land of fancy to the more sober regions of solid and literal fact (see 'Studies on the Times of Abraham,' pp. 205-207). In old time. Literally, from everlasting, i.e, from time immemorial, ἀπ ἄρχης. The Rabbinic tradition has great probability in it, that Abraham was driven out of his native country for refusing to worship idols. It is difficult to understand his call otherwise. No doubt his great and pure soul had learned to abhor the idolatrous and cruel worship of his countrymen. By inward struggles, perhaps by the vague survival of the simpler and truer faith which has been held to underlie every polytheistic system, he had "reached a purer air," and learned to adore the One True God. His family were led to embrace his doctrines, and they left their native land with him. But Haran, with its star worship, was no resting place for him. So he journeyed on westward, leaving the society of men, and preserving himself from temptation by his nomad life. No wandering Bedouin, as some would have us believe (see Drew, 'Scripture Lands,' p. 18), but a prince, on equal terms with Abimelech and Pharaoh, and capable of overthrowing the mighty conqueror of Elam. Such an example might well be brought to the memory of his descendants, who were now to be sojourners in the land promised to their father. Guided by conscience alone, with every external influence against him, he had worshipped the true God in that land. No better argument could be offered to his descendants, when settled in that same land, and about to be bereft of that valuable support which they had derived from the life and influence of Joshua.

24:1-14 We must never think our work for God done, till our life is done. If he lengthen out our days beyond what we expected, like those of Joshua, it is because he has some further service for us to do. He who aims at the same mind which was in Christ Jesus, will glory in bearing the last testimony to his Saviour's goodness, and in telling to all around, the obligations with which the unmerited goodness of God has bound him. The assembly came together in a solemn religious manner. Joshua spake to them in God's name, and as from him. His sermon consists of doctrine and application. The doctrinal part is a history of the great things God had done for his people, and for their fathers before them. The application of this history of God's mercies to them, is an exhortation to fear and serve God, in gratitude for his favour, and that it might be continued.And Joshua said unto all the people,.... Then present, or to all Israel by their representatives:

thus saith the Lord God of Israel; he spoke to them in the name of the Lord, as the prophet did, being himself a prophet, and at this time under a divine impulse, and spirit of prophecy. According to an Arabic writer (w): the Angel of God appeared in the form of a man, and with a loud voice delivered the following, though they are expressed by him in a different manner; perhaps he mean, the Captain of the Lord's host, Joshua 15:13; and which is not unlikely:

your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time; on the offer side the, river Euphrates; so the Targum,"beyond Perat;''i.e. Euphrates; in Mesopotamia and Chaldea; meaning not the remotest of their ancestors, Noah and Shem, but the more near, and who are expressly named:

even Terah the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor; the Israelites sprung from Terah, in the line of Abraham, on the father's side, and from him in the line of Nachor on the mother's side, Rebekah, Leah, and Rachel, being of Nachor's family:

and they served other gods; besides the true God, strange gods, which were no gods: "idols"; the idols of the people, as the Targum; so did Terah, Abraham, and Nachor; See Gill on Genesis 11:26; See Gill on Genesis 11:28; See Gill on Genesis 12:1.

(w) Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. p. 35.

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