Joshua 9:10 MEANING

Joshua 9:10
Verse 10. - Sihon, king of Heshbon, and Og, the king of Bashan (see Numbers 21:21, 35). Ashtaroth (see Joshua 12:4; Joshua 13:31; also Deuteronomy 1:4). In Numbers 21. Edrei only is mentioned. This is not the Ashtaroth-Karnaim of Genesis 14:5, which is so called from the worship of the horned Astarte, or crescent (see below), to distinguish it from this Ashtaroth. The two cities were close together. Eusebius and Jerome state that they were only nine miles apart. The site of this city has been identified with Tel Ashtereh, in a wide plain on the east of Jordan. It appears as Astaratu in the Karnak list of cities captured by Thothines III. The name has been identified with the Assyrian Ishtar, the Persian, Greek, and Latin aster and our star. So Gesenius, 'Thesaurus,' s.v. Whence Lucian seems to have been wrong in his idea that the worship of Astarte, like that of Artemis at Ephesus, was that of the moon. But Rawlinson, in his 'Ancient Monarchies,' decides against this identification. The last mention of this city in Jewish history is in the bold and successful expedition of Judas Maccabaeus into Gilead, in which he penetrated as far as this city (called Kar-naim), and brought the Jews residing there and in the neighbourhood to Jerusalem (1 Macc. 6.). Kuenen, in his 'History of the Religion of Israel,' makes a distinction between the worship of Ashtaroth and of Asherah. The former he regards as the worship of the moon, and a pure worship; the latter of Venus, and an impure one. But though Asherah and Ashtaroth, or Ashtoreth, are undoubtedly distinct, yet both worships may have been impure, as the worship of Artemis of the Ephesians (the Diana Multimamma, or the image of fecundity) unquestionably was. "It is probable," says Mr. G. Smith, "that the first intention in the mythology was only to represent love as heaven born, but in time a more sensual view prevailed, and the worship of Ishtar became one of the darkest features in Babylonian mythology." The Babylonian Mylitta, or Venus, was worshipped under a crescent form, as Babylonian sculptures prove. A Syrian altar with the crescent on it is now in the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge. It has a female figure on one side, with the crescent, and a male figure - of Baal, no doubt - on the other. Another is mentioned in a late able article in the Times, as having been found in Carehemish, the Hittite capital. The Chaldaean astronomers had, no doubt, discovered the use of telescopes (though in the translucent sky of Chaldaea perhaps the crescent Venus might be seen without them), for we find Saturn represented on their monuments with a ring (see Proctor, 'Saturn and his System,' p. 197). Consequently the worship of the crescent Venus involves no anachronism. Asherah, often wrongly translated "grove" in our version (see Judges 6:25), is probably the goddess Fortune, derived from אֶֶשר, happiness. Ashtaroth is spelt not with Aleph, but with Ain.

9:3-13 Other people heard these tidings, and were driven thereby to make war upon Israel; but the Gibeonites were led to make peace with them. Thus the discovery of the glory and the grace of God in the gospel, is to some a savour of life unto life, but to others a savour of death unto death, 2Co 2:16. The same sun softens wax and hardens clay. The falsehood of the Gibeonites cannot be justified. We must not do evil that good may themselves to the God of Israel, we have reason to think Joshua would have been directed by the oracle of God to spare their lives. But when they had once said, We are come from a far country, they were led to say it made of skins, and their clothes: one lie brings on another, and that a third, and so on. The way of that sin is especially down-hill. Yet their faith and prudence are to be commended. In submitting to Israel they submitted to the God of Israel, which implied forsaking their idolatries. And how can we do better than cast ourselves upon the mercy of a God of all goodness? The way to avoid judgment is to meet it by repentance. Let us do like these Gibeonites, seek peace with God in the rags of abasement, and godly sorrow; so our sin shall not be our ruin. Let us be servants to Jesus, our blessed Joshua, and we shall live.And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan,.... On the other side of Jordan from Gilgal:

to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan in Ashtaroth; the history of which see in Numbers 21:21; they wisely took no notice of the miracle of dividing the waters of Jordan, to make a passage for the Israelites; nor of the destruction of Jericho and Ai, which were recent things, and could not be thought as yet to have reached a far country they pretended to come from; and which, if they mentioned, might have created a stronger suspicion still of their being Canaanites.

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