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4 M. 2863, UPON the death of Moses, Joshua, who had a long while been his prime minister, by Prom Josh. i.
de cor 9803. the command of God, undertook the conduct of the children of Israel; and, as it was a to the end.
1461, de, very momentous charge, he was not a little anxious how he should be enabled to exe-
* 1609. cute it. He saw himself indeed at the head of six hundred thousand fighting men; but

then the nations which he was to subdue were a warlike and gigantic people, that had
already taken the alarm, and therefore made early preparations for a defence; had for.
tified their cities, and confederated their forces against him. And while he was musing
on these things, to give him encouragement in his undertaking, † God was pleased to

+ It is the opinion of most interpreters, that, when. do it by himself but by an angel only. This perhaps
ever God is said to speak to Moser, to Joshua, or any might be his most common way of communicating
other pious man in the Old Testament, he does not himself; but there want not several instances in Scrip-
Vol. II


&c. or 3803. Ant. Chris. 1451, &c.

A M. 2553, assure him that he would not fail to protect and assist him in it, in the same manner as

he had done his predecessor Moses ; and provided he took care to obey his laws, as Mo

ses had done, make the whole land of Canaan a cheap and easy conquest to him: And or 1608. _therefore, without perplexing his mind any farther, he ordered him immediately to set

about the work.

* The city of Jericho was just opposite to the place where he was to *' pass the river Jordan; and, as it was the first that he intended to attack, he thought it adviseable to send two spies thither to take a view of the situation, and strength, and avenues of the place. As soon as the spies were gone, he bade the officers go through the camp, and give the people notice, that within three days they were to pass the Jordan in or

ture, where God himself, or (as others will have it) head of this river. It is certainly a river of very great
the eternal Logos, converses with his servants. And note in holy writ, and of it the Jewish historian gives
this he may do, either by a mental locution, wherein us the following account : “ The head of this river
he objects to their minds the express idea of what has been thought to be Panion; but, in truth, it pass.
such a number of words would convey; or by a cor- es hither under ground, and the source of it is Phia-
poral locution, when he assumes an apparent body la, an hundred and twenty furlongs from Cæsarea
and speech, in the same manner that men speak. Philippi, a little on the right hand, and not much out
But in the place before us (whether it were an angel of the way to Trachonis.-From the cave of Panion
or God himself) he seems to have spoken to Joshau it crosses the boys and fens of the lake Semechon,
out of the Sanctuary, from whence he had spoken to and, after a course of an hundred and twenty furlongs
him a little before Moses's death, and gave him en. further, passes under the city of Julias, (or Bethsaida),
couragement to perform strenuously what he is now and so over the lake Gennesareth or Tiberias, and
putting upon him. Deut. xxxi. 14. 23.

then, running a long way through a wilderness or de-
* Jericho was a city of Canaan, which afterwards sart, it empties itself into the lake Asphaltites or the
fell to the lot of the tribe of Benjamin, about seven Dead Sea.” Now, since the cave Panion lies at the
leagues distant from Jerusalem, and two from Jordan. foot of Mount Lebanos, and the lake Asphaltites
Moses calls it likewise the city of palm trees, Deut. reaches to the very extremity of the south of Judea,
xxxiv. 3. because there were great numbers of them the river Jordan must extend its course quite from
in the plains of Jericho ; and not only of palm-trees, the northern to the southern boundary of the holy
but, as Josephus tells us, (Antiq. lib. iv. c. 5.) bal- land. But the largeness of this river is far from being
sam-trees likewise, which produced the precious li equal to its extent. It may be said indeed to have
quor in such high esteem among the ancients. The two banks, whereof the first and outermost is that to
plain of Jericho was watered with a rivulet, which was which the river does, or at least anciently did, over-
formerly salt and bitter, but was afterwards sweeten. Aow at some seasons of the year; but at present (whe-
ed by the prophet Elisha, 2 Kings ii. 21, 22. where ther the rapidity of the current has worn its channel
upon the adjacent country, which was watered by it, deeper, or its waters are directed some other way) so
became not only one of the most agrecable, but most it is, that it seems to have forgot its ancient greate
fertile spots in all that country. As to the city it. ness : For “we (says Mr Maundrell) could discern
self, after it was destroyed by Joshua, it was, in the no sign or probability of such overflowing, though we
days of Ahab king of Israel, rebuilt by Hiel the Be- were there on the 30th of March, which is the proper
thelite, 1 Kings xvi. 34. and, in the times of the last time for its inundations. Nay, so far was the river
kings of Judea, yielded to none except Jerusalem. froin overflowing, that it ran at least two yards below
For it was adorned with a royal palace wherein Herod the brink of its channel. After you have descended
the Great died ; with an hippodromus, or place where the outermost bank (continues he) you go about a
the Jewish nobility learned to ride the great-horse furlong upon the level strand, before you come to the
and other arts of chivalry ; with an amphitheatre and immediate bank of the river, which is so beset with
other magnificent buildings; but, during the siege of bushes and trees, such as tamarisks, willows, olean-
Jerusalem, the treachery of its inhabitants provoked ders, &c. that you can see no water until you have.
the Romans to destroy it. After the siege was over made your way through them. In this cover of the
there was another city built, but not upon the same banks, lions and other wild creatures are said to bide
place where the two former stood ;. for the ruins of themselves in summer, but upon the inundation of the
them are seen to this day. Of what account and big, river they are forced to dislodge." To which the
ness it was we have no certain information ; but some prophet seems to allude in these words, “ He shall
later travellers inform us, that at present it is no more come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan,” Jer.
than a poor' nasty village of the Arabs. Wells's Geo- xlix. 19. The river, in short, seems much diminish.
graplıy of the Old and New Testament, and Moun. ed from its ancient grandeur ; for it is not above
drell's Journey from Aleppo.

twenty yards in breadth, though deep and muddy,
*2. Jordan is supposed to derive its name from the and a little too rapid to swim over. Wells and Mauina
Hebrew word Jor, which signifies a spring, and Dan, drell, ibid.
which is a small town, and not far from the fountain.

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der to take possession of the promised land, and were therefore † to provide themselves From Josh. i. with victuals for their march. * The spies who were sent upon this hazardous expedi- to the end. tion got safe into the city, and took up their lodgings in a public-house, that was kept by a widow-woman whose name was Rahab. But they had not been long there before intelligence was brought to the king, so that he ordered the gates to be shut and search to be made for the men : But their hostess, having had some notice of it, hid them under some stalks of flax which lay drying *° upon the roof of her house, and, when the king's officers came, she told them, “That there had indeed been two strangers there, who had made a short stay at her house, but that a little before sun-set they went away, but might easily be over-taken, because they had not been long gone :" Whereupon they sent out messengers after them, as far as the fords of Jordan, but in vain. Having thus eluded the king's officers, Rahab goes up to the spies, and tells them," That she was very confident their God (who was the only true God both in heaven and earth) had delivered that country into their hands ; that the actions which he had done for them, in making all opposition fall before them, had struck a panic fear into all its inhabitants; and that therefore, as she was confident that this would be the event, and had, in this instance, shewn them uncommon kindness, her only request was, that when they came against the city they would in return spare her's and her family's lives; for which she desired of them some assurance.” An offer so generous and so unexpected, joined with so liberal a confession, could not but engage the two spies to a compliance with what she requested ; and therefore they promised, and solemnly swore to her, that, whenever they became masters of the city, not only she and her family, but every one else that was found in her house, should be exempted from the common ruin.

The gates were so closely shut and guarded, that there was no possibility of making their escape that way; but Rahab's house being happily situated upon the city-wall, as soon as it was conveniently dark, she first charged them to make to the neighbouring mountains, where they might keep themselves concealed until the messengers were returned,

† The Israelites usual food, while they sojourned of their captain, whom they call Joshua the son of in the wilderness, was manna; but as they approach. Nun, who put the Amalekites to fight, who destroyed the promised land, where they might have provi- ed Sihon and Og, the kings of Midian and Moab. sion in an ordinary way, that miraculous bread did Woe therefore be to us, and you, and all that flee to perhaps gradually decrease ; and, in the space of a us for shelter ! They are a people who pity none, few days after this, was totally withdrawn. They were leave none alive, drive all out of their country, and now in the countries of Sihon and Og, which they had make peace with none. We are all accounted by lately conquered, and the victuals, which they were them intidels, profane, proud, and rebellious. Who. commanded to provide themselves with, were such as ever of us or you, therefore, that intend to take care their new conquest afforded : For being after three of themselves, let them take their families and be days (Josh. iii. 1.) to remove very early in the morn. gone, lest they repent of their stay when it is too ing, they might not perhaps have had time to gather late." By this means they imposed upon the peoa sufficient quantity of manna, and to bake it, before ple; and (as Josephus informs us) went whither they they were obliged to march. Patrick's Commentary. would, and saw whatever they had a mind to, without

* The eastern writers tell us, that these spies any stop or question. They took a view of the walls, (whom they make to be Caleb and Phineas) were va- the gates, the ramparts, and passed the whole day liant and religious men, and in the prime of their for men of curiosity only, without any design. So youth ; that, to pass unobserved, they changed their that if any credit may be given to this account, it was habits, as if they had come from a distant country, but just that they, who thus imposed upon the Caand, if any one asked them any questions, their reply naanites, should, in the same manner, be imposed was to this effect : “ We are people from the East, upon by the Gibeonites. Chronicon Samaritanum and our companions have heard of this powerful peo- Arabicè Scriptum, p. 65. and Josephus's Antiq. lib. v. ple, who were forty years in the wilderness without either guide or provision ; and it was reported to us,

*2 The roofs of houses were then very fiat, and, that they had a God whom they called the King of having probably battlenients round them to secure heaven and earth, and who (as they say) hath given people from falling off, (as the manner of building them both your and our country. Our principals was afterwards among the Jews, Deut. xxii. 8.) were have therefore sent us to find out the truth hereof, made use of for places to walk, or at any time to lay and to report it to them. We have likewise heard any kind of goods upon.

c. 1.

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A. M. 2553, and then let them down by a silken cord from one of her windows which faced the
Ant. Chris country. But before they parted, they agreed that this same cord, hung out at her
1451, &c. window, should be the token between them ; and therefore they desired, that whoever
or 1608._she was minded to save, might, when their army approached the city, be kept within

doors. The spies having thus luckily escaped, took Rahab's advice, and concealed
themselves in the mountains, until those who were sent out to pursue them were re-
turned to the city, and then they made the best of their way to the camp, where they
informed Joshua of their whole adventure, and, withal, gave him to understand, that
the general consternation which they found the people in, was to them a sure omen,
that God Almighty intended to crown their armies with success.

Pleased with this news, Joshua gave orders for the army to decamp; but before he
did that, he reminded the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh, of
the promise they had made Moses to assist their brethren in the conquest of Canaan;
+ which they readily consented to do; and not only in that, but in every thing else he
commanded them to do, promised to obey him with the same chearfulness that they had
done Moses : So that forty thousand of them decamped with him, and fell down to the
banks of the Jordan.

It was now in the time of the barley-harvest, (which in these hot countries falls early in the spring) when, by reason of hasty rain, and the melting of the snow upon Mount Lebanon, the river is generally full of water, and sometimes overflows its banks : And as soon as the army was come within a small distance of the place where it was intended they should cross, Joshua sent and communicated to every tribe the order that was to be observed in this solemn march. The priests, bearing the ark, were to begin the procession ; each tribe, in the order in which they used to march, were to follow. When the priests were got into the middle of the channel, there they were to stand still, until the whole multitude was got safe to the other shore ; and that this wonderful passage might be more regarded, they were all enjoined to sanctify themselves, by washing their clothes, avoiding all impurities, and abstaining from matrimonial intercourse the night before.

Before they crossed the river, Joshua, by God's direction, appointed twelve men, out of every tribe one, to chuse twelve stones (according to the number of their tribes) in the midst of the channel, where the priests, with the ark, were ordered to stand, and to there to set them up, (that they might be seen from each side of the river, when the waters were abated) as a monument of this great miracle; and to bring twelve more ashore with them for the like purpose.

With these orders and instructions the army set forward. The priests with the ark
led the van; and as soon as they touched the river with their feet, the stream divided.
The waters above went back, and rose up on heaps as far as the city +3 Adam ; whilst
those that were below, continuing their course towards the Dead Sea, opened a passage
of above 16 or 18 miles for the Israelites to cross over; and all the time that they were

+ The two tribes and an half had the countries Saurin, vol. iji. Dissertation i.
which had been lately conquered, and were now given ta It has been a custom in all nations to erect mo.
to them in possession, to preserve against the attempts numents of stone, in order to preserve the memory
of the nations from whom they had taken them, and of covenants, victories, and other great transactions ;
can hardly be supposed to go, one and all, along with and though there was no inscription upon these stones,
their brethren to the conquest of their countries, which yet the number of them, and the place where they
lay on the other side of the river Jordan. In the last lay (which was not at all stony) was sufficient to sig-
muster of the army, they consisted of above an hun. nify some memorable thing, which posterity would not
dred thousand able soldiers; and we can hardly sup- fail to hand down from one generation to another.
pose, that, at this time, their nun ber was decreased. Patrick's Commentary on Joshua iv. 7.
The forty thousand that went over Jordan, were but 73 Adam or Adom, is a place situate on the banks
a part of them, and the rest were left behind to guard of the river Jordan, towards the south of the sea of
their new conquest against the vanquished nations, Cinnereth, or the sea of Galilee. Wells's Gcography
that had abundant reason to become their enemies of the Old Testament,

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