(From the Second Pentateuch of the Old Testament in volume 2 of the Numerical Bible)

F. W. Grant.

Scope and Divisions of Joshua.

Literally. — The new beginning: the power of God working for the people, on the whole obedient, to give them the land of promise and the Throne established in what is now the manifest kingdom of God on earth.

Typically. — The bringing in of a heavenly people into their inheritance. The beginning of the kingdom of heaven upon the earth not seen, however, in its earth-history, but in the position and portion of its heirs, which Christ's power has made our own, and we are called to enter into and enjoy.

As already said, if Canaan typify, as all Christians agree, our heavenly inheritance, it should be yet clear that Israel's taking possession here is not the figure of our entering it one by one at death, nor even of our glorious entrance together when Christ comes. If it were so, certainly the details would be to us past comprehension, and so without meaning and the warfare upon entrance (though Rev. 12:7 should be taken to explain it, as has been done,) would still be inexplicable from the first. On the other hand, the epistle to the Ephesians, as many now accept, in its doctrine of our warfare with principalities and powers in heavenly places (Eph. 6:12) manifestly alludes to Israel's "flesh and blood" warfare here, and suggests the true explanation. We are called now to enter in by faith into our heavenly portion, and it is here that Satan seeks to hinder and baffle us, knowing well that it is only as we lay hold of what is ours in heaven that we can be truly pilgrims and strangers upon earth this we have had, from the earth-side of it, in Abraham's life: we are now to see it from the heaven-side.

Joshua has but two main divisions, which exactly divide the book: —
(Joshua 1 – 12.) — The Entrance into the Land.
(Joshua 13 – 24.) — Its Division among the Tribes.


The subject of the book must now be more fully considered, and in order to this it will be necessary to repeat some things that have been already before us, but in a disconnected manner. And first of all as to —

Israel's Possession of the Land at the time the book of Joshua speaks of. As we have fully seen, the covenant according to which they now enter it, and according to which alone they have held it yet, was that legal covenant under which it was impossible that they, or any people that ever lived, could retain possession of it. Let law be ever so modified, it is still law; and as such it "worketh wrath," as the apostle declares. Most useful and necessary for its purpose, that purpose was not to enable man to stand in the righteousness of a fulfiller of it, but to give "the knowledge of sin." (Rom. 3:20.) As a consequence, the blessing promised them in Abraham could not be in this way theirs, nor this covenant of law be added to the covenant of promise. The careful statement of this is in the epistle to the Galatians: "Brethren," says the apostle, "I speak after the manner of men: though it were a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, not man disannulleth or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed He saith not, And to seeds, as of many, but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ. Now this I say, a covenant confirmed beforehand by God, the law, which came four hundred and thirty years after, Both not disannul, so as to make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no more of promise; but God hath granted it to Abraham by promise." (Gal. 3:15-18, R.V.)

In his application of this, Paul dwells upon the Gentiles' part in the blessing of Abraham; but it is of course as decisive with regard to the Jews. The covenant of law could not, as being of an entirely contradictory character, be added to that covenant with Abraham, which was pure, free promise. And the four hundred and thirty years between the two show their absolute distinctness. Israel, therefore, when they passed under Joshua into the land, were not receiving it according to the original promise, which remains yet to be fulfilled to them in all its length and breadth. And so already Moses has shown us. (Deut. 30:1-3, etc.)

Accordingly, the small dimensions of the land that they received are in complete contrast with the "goodly land and large," which they are yet to enjoy, whose limits are only the Euphrates, the Red Sea, and the Nile. (Gen. 15:18; Ex. 23:31; Joshua 1:4.) The lands south and east, from which they were expressly excluded in Joshua's time, as Edom, Moab, and Ammon, are as expressly stated to belong to them at a future day. (Isa. 11:14; Amos 9:12; Jer. 49:2.) Moreover, as now set conditionally in the land, their limits were not to remain in their present narrowness, but to be extended little by little, if only they remained faithful to their God, as in fact they did not remain. They shrank, thus, even within their present limits, neither the land of the Philistines, nor Sidon, nor Lebanon, being possessed by them.

Typically, God has overruled all this for our admonition. For God has opened to us also the land of our inheritance, and bidden us by faith enjoy our portion; the Spirit of God being come to take of the things of Christ and show them to us, and to make known to us the things that are freely given to us of God. But how little have we laid hold of! Thank God that our final possession is not to be according to the narrow limits of present possession! Israel is surely here our encouragement, and also our admonition.

The Conflict of which Ephesians speaks is as little apprehended by Christians in general as the book of Joshua in its typical meaning is, and for the same reason. Conflict with the flesh is considered to be, by so many, true Christian conflict, yet it is plain it is a conflict Christ could know nothing of, for there was in Him no sinful flesh. In us it is true that "the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary one to another." (Gal. 5:17.) But the remedy is not in conflict, but in that which, in proportion as it is carried out in faith, will make conflict impossible: for we are to reckon ourselves dead unto sin, and alive unto God in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 6:11.) Conflict of this kind we all, indeed, too much know, and we have had already the vivid type of it in Israel's with Amalek. (Ex. 17.) True Christian conflict, however, is that which is presented here, with its dangers and its victories also and we have need, as the apostle tells us, of the "whole armor of God; that we may be able to stand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand."

Even as against Amalek in the wilderness, we have seen Joshua as the leader. He who gives us possession of the heavenly things is He who gives power in the conflict with the lusts of the flesh. And Satan well knows that if he can deprive us of our joy in what is ours in heaven, our lives cannot be a fitting witness for the Lord on earth. What, then, must be the condition of those who know not even the meaning of the conflict? For without the struggle, Canaan cannot be ours.

These Canaanite inhabitants of the land, then, answer to the "principalities and powers in heavenly places" of which the apostle speaks; but his words throw more light than this upon what is in the book before us, and clear up what would be a difficulty in understanding it. They are, he says, "the rulers of the darkness of this world," or, as the Revisers read it with the best authorities, "the world-rulers of this darkness." God is light, and darkness is His opposite. In this Satan works, the evil of a world which is under his sway, and by which he resists the work of God. Our armor, the panoply of God, is thus the "armor of light." We shall find, as we study the types of Joshua, that from Jericho and onward it is the power of the world that is set before us; and what more effectively blinds the children of God to heavenly things than the dust of the world?

The land into which Israel is passing over is distinctly the land of Canaan, and the general name for the people of the land is Canaanite, as Canaan was their common father. The word is derived from one which means, "to stoop," as most say, or, as Parkhurst, "to lay down," as a merchantman would do in exposing his goods. That Scripture attaches to it the meaning of "merchant" seems clear. Of Ephraim Hosea says (12:7), "He is a merchant (Canaan); balances, of deceit are in his hand." And Ezekiel (17:4), "He carried it into a land of traffic (Canaan); and he set it in a city of merchants." This is said generally to be a later meaning arising from the common occupation of the Canaanite nations, which is not at all proved to be the fact; while, in any case, the admitted identification of meaning in the prophets suggests, necessarily, spiritual interpretation all the way through. Here it is in perfect accord with the New Testament application: we are to "take the whole armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." The devil's power is that of craft and deceit: he is the "father of lies;" and his lies are peculiarly those of a trader, who offers his worthless goods at a ruinous price. You shall have the world in whatever of it suits you best, as he offered to the Lord Himself all the glory of it, — a bait with a golden hook.

There is one thing more to be remembered in order to read clearly the type here, that, while the conflict is with spiritual powers, these are in strictness only the leaders in it, — the "principalities," — while under their rule are found the men of the world as instruments through whom they work — human souls, who may, as Rahab, be delivered from their hand. While also the rulers themselves may be, and will be, often identified with, or represented by, the principles through which they gain and exercise dominion over their unhappy followers. Satan seldom openly appears as Satan; but lust, pride, ambition, maintain faithfully his kingdom, and sway the minds and hearts of men.

Division 1. (Joshua 1 — 12.)

The Entrance into the Land.

The first twelve chapters of the book give us, evidently, the entrance into the land, as the second half has for its general subject, its apportionment among the tribes. The entrance has to be in power, in the first place, where no enemies can oppose. Conflict there is not until they are across the river, and in the camp at Gilgal. And after this, they themselves begin it. So with us, Christ's work it is that carries us through death, and gives us our place in heaven. Then if the land is to be practically ours, we must conquer it.

There are seven subdivisions, ending with rest attained: "the land had rest from war." (Joshua 11:23.)

1. The first chapter is plainly introductory, and gives the principles which govern the advance of the people into the land.

Moses was now no longer in the midst of Israel, and the leader of the people is his minister Joshua. The spiritual significance of this has been already before us, and needs only to be briefly repeated. It is this spiritual significance found ill the typical meaning which alone invests the whole history here with its true interest for the child of God. We are in the midst of things which "happened unto them for types" (1 Cor. 10:11, marg.): words which justify the fullest importance that can be given to them in this character, and magnify them in every detail given, amazingly beyond mere historical proportions.

Moses and Joshua, as we have elsewhere seen, both speak of Christ: Moses, of Christ down here in the world, living among men; Joshua, of Christ (in spirit, not in person,) acting by the Holy Ghost in His people. Thus Joshua it is who leads into the land; and while Moses is the "servant of the Lord," the picture of Jehovah's perfect Servant as given in the prophet (Isa. 52:13), Joshua is "Moses minister," waiting upon and representing this personal Christ.

The divine call now summons the people of God to take possession of their inheritance, Moses' (Christ's) death being necessary to have taken place before the land can be opened and entered. To take possession there must be the energy of faith: "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread on shall be your own." Then come the definite limits in the meantime, which (though not the full final limits,) have been so narrowed in the thoughts of those who have taken what the people actually possessed as all that God promised them. In fact we are only beginning to realize that the "land of the Hittites" itself, which was yet less, not more, than the land of Canaan, went up far beyond Lebanon to the Euphrates itself; "all" of which to the sea-coast of the Mediterranean belongs to Israel by promise, and waits only faith on their part, to be made good to them. Keil even — an orthodox commentator, in one of the best of critical commentaries, — speaks of the "oratorical" character of the promise here! May we, then, without sin, ascribe exaggeration to God? What if the promise of a heavenly inheritance for us be equally "oratorical"? And though Israel has failed to lay hold of what is truly theirs, is it not simply what man has always done?

In fact they are, even in their unbelief, only the more fully our types. Had they taken possession of all that is here promised them as theirs, it would take much from the exactness of the picture which we may find of ourselves in them. How little have we indeed "apprehended that for which we have been apprehended of Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:12)! And if our final possession of what is ours in Christ were to be limited, as we have limited Israel's, by what we have, any of us, laid hold of in faith now, how little would be our portion! Thank God, His thoughts for us are far above our thoughts!

But we cannot pretend as yet spiritually to show these boundary-lines. As we go on we may trust that what our inheritance is will little by little dawn on us. This is the way ordinarily in which God teaches us, and we must go humbly, if we go in faith.

Enemies there are in this path, and we need therefore the encouraging exhortation which follows. "No enemy shall be able to stand before thee," God says to Joshua. And when we remember who our Leader is, it is simple that it must be so. Christ is the "Captain of our salvation," and in proportion as we identify ourselves with Him, we shall find strength given us which will not be wanting for any need; it will be not our own, but His who says, "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee;" words which the apostle teaches us so to apply to ourselves as boldly to say, "The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." (Heb. 13:6.) This strength of an arm which is not our own arm is the sweetest kind of strength that creature can know. It is companionship, communion, perfect security, — all holiness in it, all wisdom. God with us means all that God is.

Well He may say, therefore, "Be strong and of a good courage." And again, "Only be thou strong and very courageous." Just because the strength needed is not our own, we may be strong, and in this, honor Him who has identified His glory with our blessing. Courage is the virtue by which we walk according to His Word; as it is added here, "that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law that Moses My servant commanded thee;" and this is the condition of success, — "turn not thou from it to the right hand, nor to the left, that thou mayest do wisely whithersoever thou goest." And this is repeated with emphasis in the next verse. How needful for us this absolute insistence on the Word of God, so prone as we are to let expediency govern in divine things, to judge by results instead of by principles, and to count preciseness but Pharisaism. Indeed, in days such as ours, when the Word of God is spread abroad, and in a certain way there is much inquiry into it, how few are they who honestly, according to their light, carry out all that they know is enjoined! how few who have no questions in reserve which they dare not fully face! how many who do not wish to be disturbed by inquiries of which they cannot tell where they may end Let us all — readers and writer — make it a personal question for ourselves, neither as ready to judge others, nor excusing ourselves by others, and a question entertained before Him who can answer it, — "Lord, is it I?"

And what a grand word is this to give strength, — "Have not I commanded thee?" How good to bow ourselves to this yoke, and to remember that where God has spoken we must be either servants or rebels; let the matter of the command be what it may. And then again the exhortation, — not a word, be sure, more than is needed, "Be strong. and of a good courage; be not afraid, nor be thou dismayed; for Jehovah thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."

We have next the words of the leader himself; addressed to the people, and the first word is, to prepare food for themselves, for within three days they are to cross the river. One might think such an injunction scarcely needed, but the people of God undergo but too many willing fasts from spiritual food, whereby they are never strengthened, but weakened. The "three days" here make a difficulty for those whose critical wisdom these difficulties are to accredit. They wait for the spies who are detained three days across the river, and then take three days more mustering, as it would seem, before they pass over. In an ordinary history it would not have been necessary to invent three writers on this account, to make a patchwork of various accounts very indifferently put together. It would have been said simply that Joshua had not anticipated the delay which in fact took place. Why not say so? Is it necessary to accredit Joshua with infallibility, in order to discredit Scripture with a mistake? Let the mistake be with Joshua, and it may still be no mistake with Scripture, possibly even some spiritual thought attaching to these "three days" three times repeated. Gleams of resurrection break out through all these scenes, for it is by resurrection-power alone that we can cross the river of death into our inheritance.

A special injunction is needed by the two and a half tribes, because of the divergence of their interests from that of the whole nation, from which they have in measure separated themselves. They are now to have the fighting without the personal reward; just as from the conflict with the power of Satan no Christian can be excused; and yet for many it may not have its true significance.

Nevertheless, even from these, in the flood-tide of present enthusiasm, there comes back an encouraging response. And that it is not mere excitement Joshua would surely realize, as their answer re-echoes the Lord's words. "We will hearken to thee as unto Moses," is their reply: "Jehovah be with thee, as He was with Moses; … only be strong and of a good courage."

2. We have now in Rahab's story, very plainly, the testimony of salvation, and the answer of faith. Joshua sends spies across Jordan to "view the land, even Jericho." Jericho, at the entrance of the land, presents the opposition of the enemy in those cities walled up to heaven which Israel before had spoken of so despairingly. But the power of the enemy, as we have seen, acts through the world, which, as darkness, opposes the light, in which is the inheritance of the saints. (Col. 1:12.) Jericho, at the entrance of Canaan, and significantly close by Jordan, the river of death, is the world, upon which faith must, as it were, execute the judgment of God before we can possess ourselves of our heavenly portion.

The story of Rahab, with its New Testament comments, is so plain in its meaning that this is recognized by all who see any spiritual meaning in these histories at all. "Rahab" means enlargement." As the psalmist says, "Thou hast set my feet in a large room," so could this Canaanitish woman say. Not in figure merely, but in fact, she is a sinner saved from impending judgment. One of those nations upon whom, as having filled up the measure of their iniquities, the curse was already pronounced; among these a harlot, sinner among sinners; she is a witness that from whatever "end of the earth" a soul looks to God, there is salvation for it. And how beautiful to see that in such a case as this it is, where the lesson is one so needful beyond all others, the vail, elsewhere maintained, drops almost altogether, and fact and type come together as one!

But why does the story of Rahab occur just here?

In relation to the literal history it showed that even the doomed Canaanites, according to a principle openly announced by the prophet afterward (Jer. 18: 7, 8), might have escaped their doom, by such a repentance and turning to God as was found in Rahab. It was a gospel of fact for all and every nation, before a gospel of words there could be.

In relation to the typical meaning, it shows that if, on the one hand, Christianity proclaims, as it does, the judgment of the world, it has, on the other hand, its assurance of goodwill and blessing for all who out of this world turn to God.

It may seem, in some sense, a turning aside from the line of things before us here; but God is always ready to turn aside for such a purpose; or rather would show us that such a thing as this is never foreign to His purpose, as it is never absent from His heart.

"Jericho" means "fragrance;" and such is the world to the men of it, though it lies, as they own, too near the river of death. Indeed, though the earth be full of the Lord's mercies, and there is abundant testimony in it to the Creator-God, yet death is never out of view, and judgment lies the other side of death, as Israel's camp lay beyond Jordan. God is for its inhabitants in the enemy's camp, and how are they to distinguish Him froth the enemy? nay, is He not the One upon whom all the power of the enemy depends? Yes, that is plain; and the hearts of the men of Jericho sink as they realize it. Alas, faint hearts may yet make stubborn resistance, and the power of sin and Satan is nowhere more fully seen than here. Where God is seen but as an enemy, and His judgment against sin treated but as an enemy's act, the soul hardens itself against Him, and would rid itself of the presence of those who are His people, and identified with the hated truth. The king of Jericho sends to apprehend those whom faith in Rahab welcomes as the means of deliverance. Yet they stand in the same relationship to her as to them; but faith argues, must there not be good in God? and there is the germ of repentance also, for if there be good in God realized, we must be with Him against ourselves.

Rahab hides the spies therefore, identifying herself at her own personal risk with those who are the people of God. Her works justify her as a believer, show by their character that she has faith, which is what James speaks of; not justify her as righteousness before God, which is what Paul denies absolutely as to Abraham. (Rom. 4:2.) The harlot Rahab has no righteousness to trust in, no moral character to commend her to God. But she has the faith of a poor sinner that clings to Him; and that faith, as all true faith will, manifests itself as living and real, spite of her lying to the king of Jericho's messengers, in which we see at once her faith and the weakness of it.

Rahab's confession of God, and where He is, is full and clear: "Jehovah your God, He is God in heaven above, and in the earth beneath." And then she puts in her prayer for mercy, in which she includes all her father's house. And good it is to see how promptly and confidently the men of Israel are able to pledge themselves to the fullest extent that faith can ask. Theirs is no may-be gospel, but positive enough to give confidence to a soul in need. And such is the gospel of God today: it is a gospel the reception of which gives peace to the soul. It is not yea and nay, but yea. For if "blessed are all they that put their trust in Him," self need not occupy or terrify me: the object of faith it cannot be. I am free to rest all upon a Saviour, and then not confidence is presumption, but the lack of confidence.

But Rahab wants a "token," and the spies are able to give her that. The line of scarlet thread by which she lets them down out of the window is bound in the window as a sign, not to herself of course, but to the messengers of judgment when they come, that judgment is not to fall upon any in that sheltered house. What has been the means of their own deliverance they give to her as hers; and the likeness to the blood-sheltered houses in the night of the passover is at once evident. The "scarlet" was in fact the blood of an insect (vol. i. p. 487, n.) the "worm" of Ps. 22, and in this way how plain the reference to the Lord! There is but one thing that can secure the sinner in the day of judgment, and of that God gives us many assurances.

Still Rahab has another witness for her, and without this the scarlet line would be of no avail, — a living witness — two being, as we know, sufficient testimony — in the camp of Israel. And this has its meaning for us: Christ risen from the dead is the living Witness for us before God. What would His death for us have been but the direst calamity, apart from resurrection? And thus if the apostle speaks of our "being justified by His blood" (Rom. 5:9), he no less speaks of Him as being "raised from the dead for our justification" (Rom. 4:25). If His death be, as it were, Christ for us, His resurrection is God for us; and thus we "believe on Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead" (24), for this is what characterizes Him toward us as a Saviour-God. That the men tarry three days before they cross the river may be a further hint of this very thing.

3. We now come to another most impressive type of resurrection, most evident surely as this, the passage of the people through Jordan into the land. Our thoughts are necessarily carried back to the similar passage through the Red Sea which lay at the beginning of their wilderness-journey as this at the end of it, and of which it is thus, as it were, the completion. And so the history itself presents it, for when they have come to Gilgal Jehovah says to them, "This day have I caused the reproach of Egypt to pass from you;" and as then it was said that the "hosts of Jehovah went out of the land of Egypt," so at Gilgal the angel of Jehovah comes as Captain of Jehovah's host.

We shall find help, then, surely, in comparing these two passages, the one, the departure from Egypt and the entrance into the wilderness; the other, the departure from the wilderness and the entrance into Canaan. The wilderness was but necessary discipline by the way; the land is the end of the way, and rest.

We have already looked at the passage of the Sea, and found in it the vivid representation of the truth in Romans, that as dead with Christ we are dead to sin and to law. It is the backward glance at what we are brought out from; and resurrection with Christ, though implied, is not dwelt on. This is exactly the case in Romans: we have just suggested the "newness of life," "the likeness of His resurrection" in which we are called to walk but we must go on to Colossians to find "risen with Christ" put in direct antithesis to "dead with Christ." Ephesians carries us on still further to "seated together in Him in heavenly places," and the side of truth in Romans, "dead with Christ," is now omitted. The New Testament, like the Old, takes these things, as it were, apart, that we may consider them better.

Resurrection with Christ is at Jordan very strikingly shown forth, but our being dead with Christ is not omitted we go on also, as in Ephesians, into the land. Thus the whole truth is put together here.

We must examine it, however, now in detail.

(1) Strikingly and beautifully, in the first place, we have the ark of the Lord put in its unique place, as that which alone does the work, and manifests its power in behalf of the people. This is jealously maintained. Two thousand cubits separate between it, and those that walk in the track it opens. This two thousand is, of course, 2 x 103, and may speak to us of realized capacity for salvation: this is indeed the impassable distance between the cross and all that would seem to approach it. Let us remember what this ark is: that it not merely represents the throne of the Lord, but that it carries the blood-sprinkled mercy-seat, — that it is the throne of grace founded on propitiation. How necessary to maintain in its full breadth this separation between that peerless work and all else! How else should we know the way by which we should go?

And now Joshua is to be honored in the sight of all Israel, and it is to be shown that God is with him. The link is plain enough spiritually; the living Christ glorified in what His death accomplishes. All enemies must give way when God manifests Himself for Christ, in behalf of His people. Seven nations here exhibit the complete power of the enemy, only to show the power of the Lord supreme above it.

The ark too is the throne of the "Lord of all the earth." We have seen that Satan acts through the power of the world to hinder our entrance into the heavenly portion. But though he has usurped power over the world through man's lust to which he ministers, the earth is yet the Lord's, and owns His sway. He maketh all things work together for good to them that love Him, and godliness to have the promise of the life that now is, as well as that which is to come. Our home is not on earth, but who enjoys even things here as he who can look up to the Lord of heaven and earth as his Father? The bitterest pain is eased, the heaviest blow finds us shielded from it, the front of an enemy becomes the salutation of a friend, when God is seen as everywhere, and every where for us; and this is what Ephesians, the book of the heavenly places, itself reminds us of — "one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all" (Eph. 4:6): not an unsuited truth to keep the dust of the world out of your eyes as you march to the conquest of the heavenly places!

Jordan fills all its banks all the time of harvest: for Christ, when He rolled back its stream for us, death had all its terrors. But its flood is stopped, its waters are heaped very far off, so that they should not come near His people at their crossing. It was our death He bore: it is taken then out of the way; we pass over to our inheritance, untouched and unhindered by it.

(2) This passage is ever to be remembered. Effected once for all, it is to be continually recalled. Joshua therefore commands twelve men, one being chosen of each of the twelve tribes, so as to represent clearly the whole of them, to take up out of the bed of the river, from the place in which the priests' feet stand firm, twelve stones, to be placed as a memorial in the lodging-place they occupy that night. Twelve other stones Joshua has set up in the bed of Jordan at the same spot; but although they also clearly are representative, they are not connected with these living representatives: and in this the minute accuracy of the type is apparent. For the spiritual mind, the spiritual meaning, and the most perfect spiritual order, govern all.

Christ has been through death for us, and that death was our death: it was burdened with the weight of our sins, a death of wrath and curse, to deliver the children of wrath. Dying thus in our stead, we who believe in Him have died — are dead — with Him. It is not an individual experience; it is not experience at all: it is a fact independent even of our faith in it, but our faith in which imports much as to the character of our Christianity. We have died with Him, not die ourselves, but are dead, — "dead to sin," "dead to the law," "crucified to the world," "our old man crucified with Him" (Rom. 6, 7; Gal. 6:14): these are absolute statements of Scripture, true of every real Christian, and by faith to be translated into the sphere of practice: "reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 6:11, Gk.)

Here are the stones in the bed of the river, with which no living personality is connected, because they speak of death, not life; yet with which is connected the thought of representation, because it is in our Representative we died. We reckon ourselves dead, not feel or find: we impute that (upon God's warrant) to be true which experience does not assent to, for it knows nothing of it; it is not within its sphere to know. How can we experience the death of Christ? We believe in it, and rejoice believing; we believe what it has accomplished for us, and experience its practical value for our souls.

Alive in Christ before God, we can look back upon what we were, and own it, yet refuse it. It is our old man that was crucified with Christ. As in the resurrection-day that (not far off) beckons us, we shall he able to look back upon our present selves as the men that were, so are we able to look back upon what we were before conversion as "our old man." It is singular, however, not plural, for it is what we were in Adam that is intended by this, and there was no "second man" till Christ. We are now in Christ, a new creation, and so with a new standing. In Christ's death we died out of the old. The "flesh" is in us, and "if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves" (1 John 1:8), but we must distinguish between "flesh" and the "old man," which is never spoken of as in us, but as "put off" (Eph. 4:22, Gk; Col. 3:9), even as in natural death the "tabernacle" is put off. (2 Peter 1:14.) The flesh is in us, but we are not in it (Rom. 8:9), not identified with it before God: the nature is there, but the person has passed away; we are alive in Christ Jesus.

This, then, is what we find in the twelve stones in Jordan; how distinctly is shown the change that has taken place, when now twelve other stones are taken from the bed of Jordan to be set upon the dry ground. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Cor. 5:17.)

But we must remember that it is in Christ he is looked at; and this alone can justify the absoluteness of the expressions. If we make it read, "If any man be converted," or born again, and think simply of condition as experience declares it to us, who can say, "all things"? There is a change indeed, a marvelous change, as "new creature" testifies: the man in Christ is a man born again, and a possessor of eternal life; but, as already said, he has still the flesh in him, even when he has the Spirit; "and the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye should not" — not "cannot" — "do the things that ye would." (Gal. 5:17.) Looked at in Christ, however, we are seen as only in the new nature, not the old; and thus "all things new" cannot be too absolute.

The living men, therefore, are identified with these stones, which are taken out of Jordan and put on the Canaan side of the river. We are risen with Christ out of death: once more what is true of Christ is on that account true of His people. They are associated with Christ in His triumph over death, and in the new place He has taken. Resurrection is more than receiving a new life, — not a deeper, but a further thing; and always distinguished from it: "He hath quickened us together with Christ," says the apostle, "and raised us up together." (Eph. 2:5-6.) And in Colossians we find death contrasted with life (quickening), as burial with resurrection. (Col. 2:12-13.) Burial is the recognition of death; resurrection, of life out of it. Burial is putting the dead into the place of death and away from the living. Resurrection is, on the other hand, the bringing the living out of the place of the dead into that of the living. Christianity separates (as Judaism did not) the living from the dead, and the saint from the world. Christ is the Heavenly; and "as is the Heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly." (1 Cor. 15:48.) "They are not of the world," He says, even as I am not of the world." (John 17:14, 16.)

And these things are to be remembered. We are dead; we must reckon ourselves dead. The memorial stones were not intended more strictly for Israel's eyes than the admonition of them is for us. They "happened unto them for types, and are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come." We ought to know them: we are responsible to walk in the power of this knowledge.

Only for the people of God is Jordan dried: they having passed through, it returns to its strength, and flows over all its banks as it did before.

(3) The people are now, as it were, on resurrection-ground. What the passage through the Sea implied is now accomplished: deliverance is now for the first time fully realized. True, there are now enemies before them, while at the Red Sea they were behind them; and the river now behind them cuts them off from retreat. God's word to us is also, "Forward!" and in all the panoply of God which we are exhorted to put on, there is no armor for the back. All depends upon this for us, and with our faces to the foe we shall never be beaten.

(a) Gilgal is their first camp in Canaan, where the stones are pitched; and to it after their battles they constantly return. It is their impregnable stronghold, and base of support. How should they not be strong in the remembrance of that marvelous deliverance! God is for them: who shall be against them? who shall force them back into that flood through which He has so marvelously brought them? It would be His dishonor. The stones abide here solidly with their firm assurance: "Israel came over this Jordan on dry ground." Thus "as the hills are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people." To reach them their enemies must strike through Him!

For us also the place of resurrection is our impregnable defense: it is upon this Rock Christ builds His church, and the gates of hades cannot prevail against it. We are dead with Him, and out of the old creation; with Him, and beyond death itself. Nay, we are "seated together in Him in the heavenly places," — we have a secure lodgment, whence not all the power of the enemy can drive us back. But from thence the pleasant land our portion lies before us, and if there are foes to meet, we have the assurance that wherever we plant our foot, the land is our own.

(b) The news of the passage of Jordan fills the kings of the Amorites and Canaanites with terror; their hearts melt, and there is no spirit left in them. Satan knows well with whom in all this conflict he has really to do, and before the strength of the Lord he cowers. When we go forth in our own, he lifts his head again; and thus we go on now to learn afresh the lesson of circumcision, as we need to realize it afresh in every new sphere on which we enter.

(c) And here we come to that from which Gilgal gets its name. It is when Israel is circumcised afresh at the hill of the foreskins that God says, "This day have I rolled away from you the reproach of Egypt:" and so the place is called Gilgal, "a rolling, away."

But what was the reproach of Egypt? If we realize the whole connection here, there can hardly be a doubt that it was the reproach of their bondage there which circumcision now, the token of their covenant with Jehovah, rolls away. For us this is to be a type and an admonition, and well it may be.

The bondage in Egypt answers to the natural condition as experienced in its bitterness by the awakened man. Egypt is the world in its independence of God, walking by its own light, doing its own will, following its own way. And this is sin: "we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all." Our way is the way of death; and this death He had to take for our salvation. When the soul is once awakened by God's grace, the misery of our own way is felt as the bitterest bondage, but we cannot, at will, deliver ourselves. God must come in, and by redemption break our bonds, and set us free.

Israel had long left Egypt, however, and were then a circumcised people. Circumcision is the judgment of the flesh, the breaking of confidence in it, the putting it off as judged by the cross. (Phil. 3:3; Col. 2:11; Gen. 17, notes.) But this, if real, is the breaking of our wills therefore, that we may be yielded up to Another's perfect will. It is the principle of holiness, of consecration; though in the consciousness of utter weakness, in which His strength alone can be perfected.

Israel came out of Egypt a circumcised people, as souls in the first joy of salvation devote themselves to God. But they came into a wilderness in which they lingered, refusing to go into the land; and in the wilderness lost largely their circumcised character. In the wilderness they had not circumcised: the toil of the way, as it seems, had pleaded excuse from a painful rite, and it had dropped out, as it would appear, unnoticed. Now, in the land, as soon as they reach it, the word of the Lord arouses them to their condition. Uncircumcised, they could only be, but for the Lord's grace, cut off as outside His covenant. Grace alone it is that here comes in for them, and restores the broken link: how blessed to see in the face of all this assurance of man's helplessness and ruin the grace of God thus shining forth!

Power for the mortification of the flesh, — power to keep it, that is, in the place of death that belongs to it, — cannot be maintained by the joy merely of salvation, of deliverance from Egypt. There must be entrance into the land, appropriation of a heavenly portion, the joy of what lies beyond that world, subject to death, through which we pass. Otherwise we get quietly accustomed to the fact of deliverance, and the grey hairs of the desert show that the vigor of life has declined. The uncircumcised cannot eat the passover: redemption fails more and more to minister to us; the pilgrimage becomes a toil, less and less relieved.

For this there is no remedy till the land is reached, and the fullness of our blessing spreads itself before eager eyes. Then, as in a moment, circumcision is recovered. "If then ye be risen with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things that are upon the earth; for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God … Mortify, therefore, your members which are upon the earth." (Col. 3:1-5.) Here is the ground of circumcision realized and maintained. Its power lies in the development of a life which is hid with Christ in God, and must find its satisfaction in that which is heavenly and eternal. Here, on the other side of Jordan, consecration becomes easy, and strength is renewed.

Cowles well calls our attention to this act of Joshua in circumcising the men of war at this point as, humanly speaking, "a most unmilitary act." "With apparently not the least fear lest the Canaanites should muster their forces, and fall suddenly upon them — with a deep feeling obviously that his first concern was to be right before God, and to have all his soldiers and people right in heart, and true to every precept of their God, he suspended all military movements; gave his enemies time to recover from their panic; halted his army, not only for some days of circumcision, but for the feast of the passover, seven days, — all as if religion was infinitely more than military strategy — as it truly was."

For us, how much more important that we should tarry here by the banks of Jordan, until we are in our place before God, and have our souls fed, and our spiritual strength renewed. All this connects with the truth before us: "We are the circumcision who worship God in the Spirit, and glory in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh."

(d) Accordingly we have now brought together two things which give us the beginning and the end of the blessings of redemption, the passover and the old corn of the land. In the first, we are looking back to the work that sheltered us in Egypt, feeding on the lamb of atonement, remembering to keep the feast with the unleavened bread also of sincerity and truth. But along with this there is a new experience: the manna ceases the day after the passover, and they eat of the old corn of the land to which they have come, — unleavened cakes and parched corn. It is still, of course, typically Christ, for He is all the food of the soul; but it is no more the bread from heaven, Christ humbled as come down into the world. This land being typically heaven, it is the produce of the land itself, a heavenly Christ in heaven. It is ours not merely to know Him as come down into the world, but to know Him also as gone up where He was before. He is the same blessed Person, whom circumstances cannot change, and this is our joy to know. Were He in glory different from the One we have seen on earth, then we could not know Him now at all, for our knowledge of Him was gained in His humiliation here; and this is what the manna carried into Canaan, the "hidden manna" of Revelation, emphasizes for us. Yes, He is the same, unchanged, the same yesterday, today, and forever; but for that very reason, what joy and satisfaction to the heart to follow Him in faith beyond the clouds that hid Him from the disciples gazing after Him as He went up, and to know Him in His present glory, with the divine glory in His face!

This, as the apostle tells us, is the only Christ that now we can know: "Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh; even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know Him so no more." (2 Cor. 5:16.) For there is but one Christ, not two: and He is in heaven: blessed be God, the very One who wrought redemption; Priest on earth to do it; Priest now within the sanctuary, and upon the throne.

That He is still Man this old corn of the land assures us; and what sustenance for our souls to know Him there, "faithful to Him that appointed Him," bearing us upon His heart, as the typical high-priest bore the tribal names on the jewels of the breastplate. What blessedness to know that He is there also God still incarnate, the "very image of the Invisible," "the effulgence of His glory"! This is indeed wondrous food for the sustenance of the new life; manna still, but in its golden vessel in the ark: food which from the hidden sanctuary makes the life of him who partakes of it practically a life hid with Christ in God, — a life which shall be manifested only when Christ who is our life shall appear, and we shall appear with Him in glory. (Col. 3:4.)

(e) And now, before the beginning of a conflict which is imminent, the angel of Jehovah appears to Joshua as the Leader of Jehovah's host. Commentators in general seem to decide that this host is angelic, and Keil to the reminder that Israel are spoken of as the hosts of the Lord when they come out of Egypt, makes the strange reply that the Israelites are "never called the host of the Lord in the singular." Now in Dan. 8, Keil himself agrees that Israel are called the "host of heaven," and there is even seen a "prince of the host," as here, who is clearly Christ. All that can be said against this is, that it is figurative language: and that is no doubt true; but the figure seems to be more in their being called the host of heaven, that is, compared to this, which leaves the rest scarcely affected.

When he says "never called," moreover, it is only in Ex. 12 that they are called so in the plural: why then should they not be once called this here, and no more?

We have seen, too, that this entrance into Canaan, completing the deliverance out of Egypt, recalls some of its features very distinctly. The reproach of Egypt is but now rolled off. The drying up of Jordan repeats the miracle of the Sea. What more natural than that the "hosts of the Lord" (which seems already to look forward to the warfare now at hand) should reappear after their long burial in the wilderness as the "host of the Lord" under their heavenly Leader?

Even a reason for the slight change from "hosts" to "host" may be suggested. In Egypt their number, to which they had so wonderfully increased, spite of all the opposition of the enemy, might naturally be implied by the plural. The wilderness, on the other hand, had not allowed even ordinary increase; but its discipline had at last compacted and unified them; the generation that went into the land with Joshua was in this respect superior perhaps to any other.

Israel, then, is Jehovah's host, at the head of which Jehovah is putting Himself. He has unsheathed the sword, and the conflict to follow He Himself leads His people into; the judgment they execute is His judgment. If Joshua already speaks of Christ in us, it may seem strange that we should have Another introduced here, higher than Joshua, and the real leader of the people. We have already found, however, double representations of Christ contemporaneous with one another. Here if Joshua represent Christ in us, it may be yet necessary, because of our readiness to mistake, to guard this by showing us another Christ external to us to whom that which we account to be the Christ within yields the first place. For in all this line of things we have to remember that we have to do with those subjective experiences in which we are prone to go astray, and need, perpetually, correction by the Word. If we speak of Christ in us, it may easily be that impulses not really of Christ may simulate His voice, and that we may need the warning emphasized that there is a Voice external to us altogether, to which before all we must be in subjection. Christ is every where the same, and His Voice, wherever heard, must be of equal authority; but just on that very account what is of Christ in us will conform itself to, and own, the authority of the Christ without us, speaking by His Spirit through His Word. Here, indeed, the lowliest spirit becomes us, prostration of self, and the unshod foot. Only so can we be led surely, preserved alike from rationalism and from fanaticism, in a path of steady progress and of assured victory.

4. The fall of Jericho follows. We have seen it to be a special type of the world: to man, a savor of a sweet smell, in truth, a most fertile and attractive place, yet by the river of death, and for which beyond death lay judgment in the camp of Israel. The judgment had now come near, and in the details of it we see evident reference to the judgment of the world that shall be, but which faith anticipating makes a present thing. "And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." (1 John 5:4.)

Thus we have a prophetic and a present significance. As to the prophetic, we have to remember that it is of course not the judgment of the great white throne that is presented here. Then the heavens and the earth shall flee away from before the face of Him who sits upon the throne, and the dead — that is, those not raised in the resurrection of the blessed, a whole millennium before — small and great, stand before God to be judged out of the books, according to their works. But there is a judgment of the quick (the living) also, at the former time, when the Lord appears; and here not only do the "armies that are in heaven" follow in the train of their glorious Leader, but Israel also take their own place once more as of old, as solemn executioners of God's sentence upon the ripened iniquity of the nations. (Comp. Rev. 19, 20 with Zech. 12:6, Zech. 14:14; Micah 5:7-9; Obad. 14-21.) Thus Israel in the book of Joshua may well be here a type of Israel in the coming day: a day which in the book of Revelation the seven trumpets usher in (Rev. 8 — 11:18), as here for seven days ring out the trumpets which precede the ark, the throne of the Lord, and on the seventh day, during seven circuits.

Note, too, that they are "trumpets of jubilee." The word used here is the regular word for that, and there is no real warrant for "rams' horns," though the revisers of the common version have retained it. The trumpet was, no doubt, a cornet or horn, and is expressly called "horn" in the fifth verse ("horn of jubilee") but this very verse proves that jobel does not mean "ram's horn;" for horn of ram's horn," would hardly do, and the revisers could only settle the difficulty by dropping one of the words. That it was a "horn" may, according to the recognized idea of power associated with this, direct our attention to the Word of God, which, whether men recognize it or not, is that by which all events are governed, and in obedience to which the lingering judgment surely comes at last.

But "jubilee" seems in unnatural association with this thought of judgment; and here, no doubt, has been the reason for discarding the word. The prophetic meaning, if grasped, clears up at once the difficulty, and converts it into one of the strongest arguments for the deeper view. Earth's jubilee not only lies beyond the judgment of the nations, but involves and calls for it. God's blessing cannot rest upon an unpurged scene and with the casting out of the "prince of this world," the whole system of it, which he sustains and inspires, must come to an end. And in this end God's hand must be seen against it. To use the symbol of the prophet, the stone cut out without hands, the kingdom of Christ, which no human power can introduce, must first dash to pieces the image (of Gentile empire) before it becomes a great mountain and fills the whole earth. (Dan. 2. )

Thus every voice of nearing judgment is yet a trumpet of jubilee. Upon the wreck of what at best is but the lifeless form of true humanity, is to be established the glory of the kingdom of the Son of Man.

On the seventh day, at the end of the seven circuits of the city, with the final blast of the trumpet and the people's shout, the walls fall flat; the breath of the Lord has smitten down their defense, and the city is taken. So in the last days will the Lord, as prophecy shows, Himself intervene for His people, and the power of the world be prostrate as in a moment. Yet, as we hear of a spared Rahab in the type, so in the antitype are there those spared among the nations (Isa. 66:19; Matt. 25:31-40); and the sessional judgment prophesied in Matthew reads much like the story of Rahab: "I was a stranger, and ye took Me in, … I was in prison, and ye came unto Me. Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of these My brethren, ye did it unto Me."

This judgment of the world by God stamps it for faith already with its character. The ground of judgment is, as with all the heathen, primarily the rejection of God, which leads them into idolatry, the changing the Creator into an image of the creature, for the gratification in fact of their own lusts and passions without rebuke. The rejection of Christ when He came was but this primal sin in a form aggravated in proportion to the display of His glory, in the fullness of grace and truth. Hence the cross was the judgment of the world, a sentence it pronounced upon itself long since, though the long-suffering of God has delayed its execution. But for him who believes upon the Crucified One as Son of God the world is overcome. (1 John 5:5.) "God forbid," says the apostle, "that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." (Gal. 6:14.)

Egypt indeed, which is the world, has been long since by Israel left behind; hut as we have seen in other ways, here alone is the complete realization of this deliverance. Passing the sea, they had come into the wilderness, and such is the world for the redeemed of the Lord. But the wilderness in its very nature is not the place of satisfaction for the heart, which the land is; the land flowing with milk and honey, their inheritance and rest. Looked at as in the wilderness, the people of God are still in the world, and with all its barrenness the heart can seek its own in it. Power there must be found in that which is beyond it. We must be fully outside that which is to be judged, to accept heartily that judgment; and thus it is that what seems strange at first sight is most fully in order, that it is on the entrance into the land that Jericho falls.

It is the first thing also for the conquest of the land, because, as we have seen, the conflict in heavenly places is with the "rulers of the darkness of this world;" and therefore the judgment of the world is the first necessity for successful warfare. We shall have this illustrated for us and emphasized in the very next section; and we must remember it as a practical reality, if this book of Joshua is to be translated for us into living experience. God grant that it may be so; for otherwise all these things so blessed in themselves will be but a shame and reproach and witness against us.

The details of the fall of Jericho seem not, however, to be facts of present experience, but prophetic of actual judgment when it comes; and this is quite as we might expect. We see by them, however, that the people of God have to maintain the testimony as to these things: compassing the city and blowing the trumpets until the city falls; although it be only in the meantime to awaken the scorn of the men of the world, as they hear the frequent alarm of that which seems never to come. But it comes, comes steadily nearer, is surely even now at the door, and how urgent should be our testimony, which, if of no effect upon the mass, yet helps to fill Rahab's house, where the true scarlet line, as despicable in men's eyes as that of old, shields with the power of the Almighty the prisoners of hope.

5. We have now a very different lesson, in which Ai and Achan are united together. Ai, in its meaning, a "heap," — to the present time known as Et-Tell, "the heap," — naturally enough connects it with Jericho, just reduced to one; still more when we remember that the "principalities and powers in heavenly places," with whom our conflict is, are the "rulers of the darkness of this world," and that these cities, therefore, naturally represent the world in some shape. Ai is the world seen in its ruin as faith sees it, which yet apart from God's presence with us we are not able to overcome. Unjudged evil in us will yet make the world too strong for us, and this the sin of Achan does for Israel.

(1) The unity of Israel in God's sight is also clearly shown. As one sin ruined the world at first, so here one sin unjudged brings judgment upon all Israel. But it is plain also that there is carelessness otherwise, judging by the report of the spies instead of taking counsel of the Lord, and counting on their own strength for an enemy of little power, — our own behavior, alas! too often, and a simple reason why small difficulties often overcome us, while greater ones, casting us on God, are in His strength overcome.

But Israel's unity, as realized in this way, made them every one in very deed his brother's keeper, and enforced powerfully upon them a care for holiness such as hardly any thing else could be imagined to produce. While an habitual walk with God, step by step, according to his direction, would be the only possible rule for the detection of whatever stood in the way of blessing, the only condition of success.

(a) To come to details: we have first of all the rebel pointed out to us, with his genealogy, which is carefully repeated afterward when his sin is brought to light. Doubtless this has a meaning: whether we can trace it or not is another matter. But our own descent from Adam has much to do with our being sinners: "heredity," great word as it is now in the mouths of men of science so-called, is found in what it represents in Scripture just as much. The difference is that what is mere "natural" science takes account only of nature, leaves out God, and binds all together in a fatalistic succession under materialistic law. Upon this understanding of it, sin disappears: it is misfortune. God disappears on the other side: He would be anomalous in such a scheme; and, instead of accounting for any thing, would need Himself to be accounted for. The iron wheel grinds out man's destiny; and he is part of the wheel: how can he complain?

Heredity there is, however, and in the history of a sinner God counts his ancestry, — his birth, and, as men say now, his environment. For these, moreover, he is not condemned: thus far Scripture agrees with materialism. But when man acts according to the nature he is born with, and according to his environment, then for this it declares him guilty, and to be punished! Somehow man is responsible to live contrary to his very nature morally, and to stem the stream he is in. And Scripture not only declares this, but a voice within man, spite of all reasonings, adds its confirmation, and makes out the man obedient to his nature to be disobedient to his God!

And "the testimony of two is true." And God can appeal to man's reason and conscience against himself, that there is, after all, in him that which should be for God, and power that he should have from God, if he has not. That he cannot have power but from God, cannot have it in independency, is simple, and the law of creaturehood; and of this he has no title to complain.

Walking apart from God, his nature and his environment govern him absolutely: and thus a sinner's genealogy counts for much. Nay, a saint slipping away from God falls under the same iron rule, and his conduct may be accounted for after the "scientific" fashion, without any more excuse for the one than for the other. This much, without going further, Achan's genealogy as given here may preach to us.

(b) Next we hear of Ai. It is beside Beth-aven, the "house of vanity," and in front of Bethel, the "house of God." In Abram's time, when he first comes into the land, Bethel and Ai lie on either side of him, and thus opposed to one another. (Gen. 12.) Ai is known plainly by what it associates itself with and what it is opposed to, and the stamp of the world is evidently upon it.

Jericho the greater has been overcome: they think but little of Ai; if the world has been judged in gross, it may be supposed a little thing to overcome it in detail, in the little things in which it still presents itself in our path. Just here, and perhaps on this very account, we may suffer unexpected defeat. Israel's detachment of two or three thousand turn their backs before the men of Ai, who smite them on the descent — we are always apt to be smitten upon the descent, — and inflict a loss of thirty-six men, a number which, if small, yet plainly speaks of the government of God (3 x 12) against them. In this there is hope, however, for those that know Him.

(c) And Joshua turns to Him at once. Yet he is in dismay at so unforeseen a calamity; all the more as he knows no reason for it. Alas! how easily we slip out of communion with God, and are not aware of it! "Deliver me from secret faults," says the psalmist. How easily, too, with most of us, God's ways, if in the dark, provoke murmuring! How unbelief dogs faith, as if it were its shadow! After all God's glorious deeds, one little check, and the whole future darkens. Yet even with its burden of unbelief on its back, faith is seen in its turning to God; and in His presence finds deliverance.

There is really no mystery about it. What has happened can have but one solution of it. Israel has sinned. All shadows that have darkened the world find their explanation in a similar manner. Own it, and the cloud begins to clear. "The humble He guides in judgment; the humble He teaches His way." "What wilt Thou do for Thy great name?" asks Joshua. The answer is simple: God is caring for it in the very thing which now perplexes the soul of the inquirer. What poor reasoners are we, when we do not begin with God! That He will care for His name is an axiom for faith, and needs no demonstration. How shall we prove that every event has a cause? The thing is plain: the difficulty is created by trying to prove it. Suggest the doubt, and reason itself is useless, except to recall faith to its vacated post.

Doubt it not: God will care for His great name. Let no man labor to get Him out of a strait which never existed; which, if it existed, all creature resources would be too little for. Let us despair indeed, if God cannot uphold the honor of His name! Nor will He give up His people: just on this account will He chasten them. Had they not chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then they would be bastards and not sons.

But all must learn this where the Psalmist did, in the sanctuary, And there it is we learn to kiss as well as to know the rod. "So foolish," he says, "was I, and ignorant; I was even as a beast before Thee. Nevertheless" — spite of all my doubts — "I am continually with Thee: Thou hast holden me with Thy right hand." (Ps. 73.)

(d) Israel has sinned: but who is the actual offender? To discover this they are made to present themselves by tribes, by families, by individuals, the lot being cast and unfailingly determining all. This slow approach toward conviction, when it might rather have been expected that the sinner would have been at once named by Him under whose eye he was, seems perfectly suited to exercise the consciences of all, and to lead the guilty one to anticipate conviction by a free confession. But it comes all too late, pressed out at last, when concealment can no longer avail any thing. Then he owns: "I saw, I coveted, I took:" the old, ever-repeating story of sin, in which heredity clearly manifests itself, kleptomania from our first mother; but there is no justification on this account.

It was on the new earth, risen out of the flood of Noah's day, that Babylon was first developed. Here among Israel, on typical resurrection-ground, we find connected with this first sin, a "mantle of Shinar." With this, too, silver and gold are not difficult to associate, standing here, of course, just for what they represent to those who lust for them. Shinar is not indeed precisely Babylon, though more in name than in reality separate. It was the plain in which the city stood, in the same relation to it as Lot's coveted "plain of Jordan" to Sodom, into which he gravitated from it.

(e) Judgment follows the discovery of Achan's sin; and it is plain that his family suffer with him. As the law forbad the putting to death of children for their father's sins, we are shut up to the conclusion that they were involved with him in the guilt of what he had done, as the burial of the stolen things in the midst of his tent would otherwise make probable. It would seem out of place to infer, as some have done, mob violence in a solemn judgment executed in the presence of Joshua and all Israel.

(2) And now what hindered God's power acting for them being removed, Joshua is encouraged to go up again against Ai. But their former presumption still needs rebuke and thus they are made to labor in the capture of the city, spite of its littleness. All the people take part in it. An ambush is placed behind the city, and they are made to feign that they are fleeing as they fled before. All this is clearly humiliation for their pride. How much in that which is work that we do for God has to conform itself to the need there is in us! God shapes His instruments, even while He works with them.

Ai is taken, however, and destroyed, her king hung upon a tree, and then taken down, and a heap raised over him, as before with Achan. They had been indeed partners in evil and Achan a worse trouble than the king of Ai could have been. Evil indulged among the people of God is the ally of the foe without, and the only true hindrance to continuous progress.

(3) And now the seal of their covenant with Jehovah is set upon the land, according to Moses' commandment, an altar of whole stones being reared upon Mount Ebal, along with other great stones plastered, upon which the law was written. (Comp. Deut. 27.) The blessings were then read from Gerizim, the curses from Ebal. Thus the whole land was declared to be under the authority of the law, and sanctified to Jehovah.

6. Hardly, however, is this accomplished before we are called again to see the incompetence of the hands which have just graven the law upon the stones of Ebal. The "wiles of the devil" are in Ephesians that against which we are especially called to "stand." Canaanitish wiles we find here prevailing against the people of God and once more the secret of failure is the lack of seeking guidance from God.

How hard it is to learn aright the lesson of dependence upon God! And our own wisdom, how continually does it deceive us! It is the last thing perhaps to which we apply the cross. Yet it is plain that Satan, with his thousands of years of acquired knowledge, will have immeasurable advantage over us, except as revelation is adhered to, and the Spirit of God gives us ability to use the point and edge of the Word. For "the sword of the Spirit" is not the "Word of God" exactly, but rather "the saying of God." (Eph. 6:17, Gk.) We must have, not the book merely, but the text: and thus even the Lord, as a perfect example for us, met Satan in the wilderness.

The Gibeonites are able to talk piously. They have a certain kind of faith grounded on Jehovah's miracles, and concede to the people of God their title to the land. They are friends, not foes, and seek alliance. They have come a long way (if they are to be believed) to seek it, have endured privations, and brought themselves to destitution. The evidences of this are not indeed infallible, but their profession is without a flaw, and charity would accept it. This the Israelites do: Joshua and the princes swear to them in Jehovah's name, and in three days find that they are dwellers in the land and Canaanites.

Gained by deceit, must this covenant stand? Yes, it must: for had Israel been with God, no deceit could have prevailed against them. And thus there are yokes which, though unequal, we cannot escape from. If we may without injustice to another, then indeed we are bound to do so as a matter of course, if the work for which we have yoked ourselves is itself evil. If I have married an unbeliever, the oath of the Lord forbids withdrawal from it and there may be in like manner business relations, from which, after having contracted them, simple righteousness would forbid us to withdraw. But the spiritual yoke, the yoking of believer and unbeliever in the things of the Lord, is what the words of the apostle in the fullest way apply to (2 Cor. 6:14-18): "What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an unbeliever? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father to you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

Had the Gibeonites come openly as what they were, to subject themselves to Jehovah's yoke, they in whose camp Rahab was, with her whole family, could not have refused it but they came in craft, and though they may not be slain, are subjected as bondmen to the service of the people of God, as hewers of wood and drawers of water for the sanctuary. So perforce must it be, thank God, that all must serve the glorious Lord we own: willingly or unwillingly, as free or bond, this is the only choice permitted: but how momentous are the issues of that choice!

7. Needful as are the lessons as to failure, the history as a whole is here full of abundant encouragement; and the last part of the first division, upon which we now enter shows us the complete subjugation of the land under Israel's feet. The power of their enemies is prostrated, although it is true that at the end of it we still find that there is very much land to be possessed, — much even that in fact they never do possess. But the work that needs the combined power of all the tribes is accomplished. The rest is left to individual energy, such as is so strikingly illustrated for us in the case of Caleb. What he achieved might have been achieved by all the rest: the thing needed for it was simply what his name and his history expressed, — "whole-heartedness." It was this which, as we are told, preserved in him to eighty-five the strength of forty, and to see dispossessed before him the giant owners of the land he had explored. It was of God that there should be such testing, though the result might be to make the failure sorrowfully apparent, a failure only briefly indicated in the present book, while Judges treats of it from end to end.

(1) The first section alone gives the history, the second simply summing up the general results. In the history the principal lesson is evident, that their power was wholly of God, who demonstrates it by what has seemed to many even disproportionate miracles; but who can measure the magnitude of the necessity of what indeed ought to appear to us so simple a lesson! It is the first and foundation one for the Ephesian conflict which we are tracing in type here, — to "be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might." The grace of it in the illustration is seen in its coming after the sin of Achan and the failure as to the Gibeonites. Yet does it display itself unweakened, — never more gloriously divine. This is the power which has acted for us to make the land our own, and which is ready to act in us, if there be but faith in it. We need it as much as they did, for our warfare is "not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and with powers, with the rulers of the darkness of this world, with spiritual wickedness in heavenly places." Yet of the meaning of this conflict even how many are not aware, who know it, as all must, but perceive not the object aimed at, to keep us out of the realization of our inheritance. Here we must remember the condition, "Every place that the sole of your feet shall tread on shall be your own." This is the need we have of an activity of faith which will call up to resist us all the power of Satan, and will make us prove the need we have of the "whole armor of God."

(a) The enemies seldom appear single: they are a mighty confederacy, leagued together by a common hatred to God and to His people. Canaan swarms with kings, which, independent of each other and often at strife, make peace and common cause against the "hosts of the Lord." So the jarring forces of evil are compacted together by the presence of that which is of God; and the first king of this company startles us with his evident apostasy: Adonizedek, "lord of righteousness," king of Jerusalem, "the foundation of peace," the awful mockery and antagonist to "that Melchizedek, King of Righteousness, King of Salem, that is, 'peace,' Priest of the Most High God, who met" Israel's forefather, "Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him." In what striking contradiction, made so evil by the resemblance, is this man and his attitude, an Antichrist (one might well say) to the true Melchizedek, the Christ of God! Not that we are to suppose any special Antichrist here, which would seem unsuited, but rather that primitive type which is found in Satan, the adversary, wherever Satan is found, enmity working in disguise and by imitation, "as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses." He is "lord of righteousness," as where on the ground of it, coming among the sons of God, he pleads against Job. And he is not "king of peace," as Christ is, but only of the foundation of peace," — which is righteousness again. (Isa. 32:17.) He can plead righteousness, but only against, not for men; therefore "priest of the Most High God" he is not: he is no saviour; readily discovered by this fact. His darts are "fiery darts," flaming with wrath, and putting distance between the soul and God, while Christ's voice, even in the discovery of sin, wins to God; He does not accuse, but is a refuge from the accuser. Therefore with the "shield of faith" shall we "quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one."

The next named to Adonizedek in the confederacy which he heads is Hoham king of Hebron, a city which we already know in connection with Abraham's history, and by that most interesting note upon it upon occasion of the visit of the spies. Hebron, which according to its derivation speaks of companionship, stands throughout as the symbol of communion." But we have heard of it as in the hands of the Anakim, and even in Genesis as the city of Arba, the father of them all. The Anakim are the "long-necked," giants in stature, and children of pride, of whom the vain-glorious boast is uttered, "Who can stand before the children of Anak?" (Deut. 9:2.) "Arba" is supposed by Fuerst to mean "hero of Baal," and this is accepted by many; but it seems too purely conjectural; while the word is common Hebrew for the numeral four, which has more easily the significance of "square, four-square," suited to the father of a giant race. That the number four is that also of the creature, and of weakness, is in no wise against this, but a divine comment on the other side. It is upon what is loftiest in nature that God puts the mark of nothingness and abases it.

Hebron is thus dedicated to man worship, the utter destruction of its true character; and the Hoham here is king but of the Anakite Hebron, where the enemy has massed his strongest force to keep out of it its divinely appointed possessors. The meaning of "Hoham" is variously given, but the last syllable has the same root idea with our similarly formed "hum," the confusion of sound as in the noise of a multitude, and from which it is transferred to the multitude itself. The first syllable seems most naturally to be abbreviated from hovah, another form of havvah, which speaks of "a sinking of the mind into a corrupt, depraved state, into a gulf of lusts and insatiable desire." (Wilson.) These two thoughts are certainly completely opposed to that of Hebron, most suitable therefore, to its Anakite usurpation. Hebron figures largely in the report of the spies, — largely again in the conquest of the land, — and we might expect its Canaanite king to figure in the resistance to its conquerors. Certainly we may expect that Satan will keep us off if possible from that communion with God in an enjoyed heavenly portion which Hebron represents to us; and that in no way could he better succeed than by stirring up in us that tumult of desires which are veritable sons of Anak, only to be subdued by such a spirit of "wholeheartedness" for God as was found in Caleb.

The third of these confederates is Piream king of Jarmuth; and as to neither of these names does there seem much dispute. Jarmuth signifies elevation; Piream is from pere, the wild ass. The latter is what man is born as (Job 11:12), and it is his obstacle to finding wisdom. Free and independent, he brooks no yoke nor restraining hand. Nebuchadnezzar, forgetting in the pride of his heart Him who had raised him up, "was driven from the sons of men, and his heart was make like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses" (Dan. 5:21), — he was made to take his place with those which his moral state resembled. This may throw light upon the connection of the two names here, — the wild-ass king and his city of "elevation." Thus, "man being in honor abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish." (Ps. 49:12.) He who can abide is the one who recognizes and is subject to the hand that raised him. How completely does the glorious place that God has given us declare that such exaltation is of His grace alone! how simply, then, as owing all to His love should we act as in that place!

Japhia king of Lachish is the fourth confederate. Lachish is again a difficult word. Gesenius from the Arabic gathers the meaning "obstinate," as referring to its impregnability to assault. Young makes it similar to Jarmuth — "height;" but he has at least twelve other names of Israelitish cities translated in the same way: we may well suppose there is some difference of meaning among so many different words. In Hebrew we can only find a meaning, as it would seem, by dividing it. Lach-ish may then mean walk (as) men." In fact Lachish stood longer than most cities of the land against Joshua, though not long; for it was taken the second day.

Japhia corresponds with his city: his name means "shining, resplendent." In the world at large the manly virtues are thus lustrous; but there is manifest danger when shining qualities are prized as such. When lustre is king then the king is surely Canaanite. Lachish comes thus into the confederacy against Joshua, and is not the least among the enemies of Israel. A world of show and splendor is such "darkness" for the people of God as the "principalities and powers" which are "rulers of" it love to work with. Dazzle is easily read as darkness: and alas! the children of God can both be dazzled, and love to dazzle. Eyes that see the glory of God are alone strong enough to meet the resplendent king of Lachish.

So far, then, we can realize meaning in these confederate kings. It will be seen too that they answer exactly to the numerical significance of their order, which is a test one could hardly have insisted on perhaps in this case. That they should so answer may encourage us to a closer and more complete application of the symbolism of numbers, which ought thus to be proportionately more fruitful. When we come now to the fifth of these confederate powers we shall need to avail ourselves of it, as we shall find here a deeper mystery facing us, — and even this is accordant with the numerical place.

The names, happily, are here simple. God has planted stepping stones firmly for us to prevent slipping, according to His constant mercy. First, "Eglon" is "round" or "circular," its root-meaning showing applicability either to form or motion. Thus the derivatives from it are words such as agil, "ring;" agalah, "chariot," "cart," — which, as moving on its circular, revolving wheels, combines form and motion; and from this, maagalah, the roadway for these wheels; galgal is the ordinary word for wheel, nearly identical with the Gilgal we have met before; gal is billow, wave; and so on.

How are we to take it here? The town very likely was circular, and it may have derived its name from this; but as in the wheel form implies motion, so may it be spiritually in this case. Indeed, the wheel itself is found in the visions of Ezekiel as that of the chariot of Deity, a prominent symbol in connection with the divine government. Five, the number attaching here to Eglon, is, let us now remember, the symbol of God's governmental ways!

In the book of Ecclesiastes we find the wheel in motion, but that it is the wheel of God's triumphal chariot is not seen. On the contrary, "vanity of vanities" is inscribed upon it; and that God has ordained the wheel is the cause of infinite perplexity. "One generation passeth away, and another cometh; but the earth abideth forever. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place whence he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north: it whirleth about continually: and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full: unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. … The thing that hath been is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is nothing new under the sun."

Thus "to every thing there is a season," and a season only; but the generations pass, and do not return: if they do, experience, at least, knows nothing about it; and thus the bat's wing of death throws its sombre and sinister shadow over every thing: beyond, "who knoweth?" Here God, who is light, can alone give light; and revelation is our, one source of certainty. Then, indeed, still the wheel turns; but the wheel of destiny becomes the chariot-wheel of God, as in Ezekiel.

Now there is purpose in it, — a double purpose: Man is abased, God glorified. Man needs abasement, and divine goodness has ordained it; otherwise that would be fulfilled which the psalmist declares, "Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God." (Ps. 55:19. ) But for man, too, there is a resurrection, not within the cycle of change, but beyond it; and "he that humbleth himself" to accept God's lesson, turning to Him thus, "shall be exalted."

Eglon speaks, I doubt not, of this wheel of destiny, which by its mystery exercises so man's heart, and which, while it has its good, and is meant for good, can yet bring out the rebellion that is in it, and urge man also to all kinds of secret arts to discover the mystery. From the heathen oracle of old to the Spiritism and theosophy of modern times Satan has used this craving of man to enthrall him in the bonds of superstition and slavish dread, or to lure him by the fascination of unearthly spectacles. Thus Debir is the true king of Eglon: for "Debir" on the one hand may mean "speaker," while on the other it is the word used for "oracle" of the temple, out of which the voice of God was to be heard. Here indeed Debir has no evil sense. God lies responded to the need of man in view of the mystery of existence, as we know; but there are Canaanite "debirs," and satanic mockeries of the divine answer. And thus we find the fifth confederate against Israel in the scene before us.

(b) It is not indeed directly against Israel that they gather, but against Gibeon which has made peace with Israel. Satan often, as it were, sidles up to the attack. Gibeon, false all round, may well provoke the onslaught of the "lord of righteousness;" but Joshua, remembering the oath of the Lord, comes up against the Canaanite host with haste, and smites them with a great slaughter, pursuing them the way of Beth-horon (the "place of wrath"), as far as Azekah ("fencing round") and Makkedah ("bowing the head"). Thus God puts to defeat His enemies, and they are as cattle in the hands of the slaughterer. Beth-horon proves its title by the fall there of a great hail from heaven, slaying more than the swords of the Israelites.

(c) And here occurs the notable miracle which has awakened so much discussion and provoked so much the scorn of unbelief. The language of Scripture being so purely phenomenal every where, — dealing with things as they appear to us, rather than with the scientific explanation, — I see no reason for any actual stoppage of the sun and moon, which must in that case be rather of the earth's own revolution, and so not literally according to the description after all. The economy of miracle which the Bible shows to one who attentively considers it, notwithstanding the large actual amount, would suggest that, for the purpose Joshua desires to have accomplished, the extreme supposition need hardly be the fact. For him and for all beholders the sun and moon did actually stop, and that is all that the words fairly taken imply; and the miracle is mighty enough, if it were accomplished by means of refraction or mirage or what not: it is not worth the labor to speculate upon how it might be done. Whatever the means that might be used, the day stands alone in the world's history, — surely miracle enough. And there is no tampering with the record involved in this, no trifling with revelation, no giving way in the least to the infidelity of the day. It is to us the sun rises or sets, as to them it stood still in the heavens: why should language be pressed in the one case in a way which would be admitted to be straining it in the other?*

{*The author of "Joshua's Long Day" believes, however, that he has demonstrated by the double aid of astronomy and chronology, the occurrence of the miracle in the full extent which many give it. But this involves a chronology from the creation of man exact to the very hour; a precision it can hardly be hoped even ever to attain. According to his view also the moon could not have been visible in the position indicated, and Joshua must have addressed what was to all observers but a blank spot in the heavens! This, although Joshua spake, it is said, "in the sight of Israel," — evidently implying that the objects of his address were before their eyes.}

The spiritual lesson more concerns us here, and this seems to be the manifestation of divine power as acting for Israel. Sun and moon were both worshiped in many forms by the nations around them, Baal and Ashtoreth standing for them respectively among the Canaanite population. Hence Israel's God was proclaimed here to be "God of gods." The very deities of Canaan lengthened the day to accomplish their destruction! as indeed they had in every generation been the destruction of their worshipers. But Israel warred not in their own strength, and it was not their right hand saved them. If they or their enemies imagined this, the significance of their victories was wholly lost and turned to the glorification of man. Hebron could never in this way have been redeemed from the Anakim, but would have been Kirjath-arba still. Lachish would have kept its resplendent Japhia; and Eglon's wheel have revolved but to grind out "vanity of vanities." So important is it that Israel's victories should be seen not as their own but God's!

But then how wonderful to be leagued with supreme and omnipotent power! Should not sun and moon standing still impress this upon us? How can it be sufficiently emphasized for us that it is really Jehovah who fights for Israel? All this magnificent blazonry upon the face of the heavens to convey to us what appears perhaps so simple a truth! The need, then, of the lesson must be great indeed, and hard it must be to raise to its proper height the enthusiasm of the Lord's host for the banner they fight under! a banner not to be dishonored by cowardice or half-heartedness or fleshly confidence. The quotation from the book of Jashar fittingly therefore is a song; and the appeal is to the joyful experience of the "upright" (Jashar). Songs like these are easily remembered: the heart retains what it has welcomed in this way.

(d) We have to see that the victory that the Lord has gained is followed up, and that the foe is not merely in retreat, but in rout. Many a victory has been lost by slackness of pursuit. The enemy must be pursued to his stronghold; and after all may escape.

(e) But the kings are in the caves of Makkedah. Now they are brought forth and judgment executed upon them. Our spiritual foes cannot indeed be slain as yet; and this is but the anticipation of faith: a picture such as we have seen in the case of Jericho. Faith can pass its judgment upon them, foreseeing the divine one that shall be: branding them thus with their infamy.

It is a great thing to know enough to call Satan Satan; and to meet him with the assurance of with whom we are contending; to draw him forth from the darkness of the cave in which he may have taken refuge, and, in the light of day, convict and put him under the doom that awaits him.

(f) And now the strongholds yield, one by one. Six cities are marked especially here, exactly in the midst of which we find the attack and destruction of the king of Gezer. The series in this way becomes a septenary one, and the first four a 3+1, after the usual manner: three cities taken and one army destroyed. By such slight yet sufficient indications is the structure of a part made known to us.

The cities taken are not to be looked at simply as strongholds of the enemy. They belong by the gift of God to Israel, and many of them figure afterward in Israel's history: hence what they signify for us is of the more importance. Their meanings too will be essentially good, as we see in Hebron, which is called by this name continually, although to the Canaanites it was Kirjath-arba. Indeed, in general, the Canaanite possessors are of little account, except as hindrance to the true heirs, and their names even in most cases are not recorded. Nor are there here details given of the assault, nor any account save of the extirpation of the inhabitants. The names of the acquired cities seem to be alone significant.

The first is Makkedah, "bowing the head." It is the place where we have seen the five kings were forced to bow those proud Amorite heads which only divine power could humble. As an Israelite habitation it has a better significance, and as its place in this series may denote, the thing itself is a choice blessing and leading to many others. How good when the stiff neck first gives way, and man the rebel is subdued to allegiance! when God becomes God indeed, and man too, as he abases himself, rises from the level of the beast to real manhood. The use of the word is in connection with homage — the owning of a superior, though not always God. And Canaan, which sets forth the highest — heavenly — blessing, is just the place where we should find this acknowledgment constant and complete. Nearness to God produces of necessity, and may be measured by, the filial fear of Him and submission to Him. In Ephesians it is that God's will is emphasized in the strongest way.

The second city is Libnah, "whiteness:" which, read spiritually, and in connection with its numerical place, we may take as "separation from evil." Its following subjection to God guards it from pharisaism, and defines it, according to the Word, a measure of evil much less observed among the people of God than is supposed; simple morality or popular conscience governing everywhere the mass. In their associations for benevolent, moral, and even religious purposes, how many permit themselves the greatest license that can be imagined, and on public platforms the friends and the enemies of Christ are found commonly together. Nay, as in Masonic lodges, for instance, they can even exclude Christ, that "good" fellowship may not be hindered. Libnah has, in fact, few citizens in the Israel of today.

The third city is Lachish, which we have seen under its Canaanitish king already, but which we have now to see as a possession of Israel. In this sense, and in its numerical place here, the spiritual application is easy. The number is that of resurrection; it is a city of the land beyond Jordan, the heavenly country: how else, then, can this "walk as men," which is the meaning of "Lachish," read but as "walk as in the risen Man, — not as of the world, but as heavenly, as Christ is"?

Thus the three cities here connect naturally in meaning, and at the same time fill their numerical place, while they develop in fullness and positiveness as they go on. But in the fourth place in this series, as usual under that number, we find what is not in the order of progression hitherto, but distinct and peculiar. Horam king of Gezer comes up to assist Lachish, and is smitten, — he and his people; but there is no taking of his city at this time. In fact, the Canaanites were not really expelled from it till Solomon's reign, and by that the city seems to have lapsed into separation from Israel. For it is Pharaoh king of Egypt who takes it then, and gives it to his daughter, Solomon's wife.

"Gezer" means a place "isolated," or "cut off." "Horam," according to its apparent derivation, most literally would mean "tumid, swollen." May not this speak of the pride of man's nature, which, maintaining itself in independence, refuses the judgment of the first Adam, even though it be for exaltation in the Second? Certainly this is no fictitious antagonist of Joshua, or of Israel in our day at least, and Lachish, the "walk as men," is still hotly contended for in behalf of the Canaanites, ignoring God's true Man, in whom all believers have a common place.

In the allotment of the land, Gezer falls to Ephraim as a Levitical city of the family of Kohath, and in this differs again from the other cities named here, whether before or after, which are given to Judah. The enumeration of them now proceeds, Eglon filling the fifth place, as in the list of the confederate kings. We have seen already of what it speaks to us, and may easily perceive now how it connects with Horam and with Lachish. The wheel of destiny finds its place in the chariot of God's providence when Eglon is subdued by Israel, and the humiliation of man's changes gives us profitable exercise, but is no hopeless, no impenetrable mystery any longer.

Hebron comes next, and with its meaning we are quite familiar; but it fills another place from that we might expect, — the sixth instead of the second; for, as following Eglon, it shows us communion maintained amid all changes, which are but the fruitful discipline which is ordained "for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness." What is this — to be partakers of His holiness — but to be in practical communion with Himself?

Debir, therefore, ends this series, — the name that before we found attached to the king of Eglon, but which here is that of an Israelitish city: a wonderfully blessed name to end with, speaking as it does of the dwelling with man of Him who, if He be nigh, cannot be mute; whose voice has answered faith's questioning wherever faith has been, — yea, gone before to win men to Himself. How well the numerical place suits here! It is the voice that spake once openly to the winds and seas, and hushed them; and which gives rest still, whatever be the cause of trouble.

These are all the cities specified here, and of course for a special purpose. It is added to this now that Joshua took all the land (connected with these cities) — the southern part of Canaan. "And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to the camp at Gilgal."

(g) The northern part of the land remained yet unconquered. Excited and alarmed by the ruin that had come upon their kindred tribes, the kings of the north now gather together in a vast confederacy, of which the Spirit of God points out, however, only four, and names but two. Jabin king of Hazor is the leader now, Hazor being the head of all these kingdoms. "Hazor" means "enclosed;" "Jabin," "discerning." The city was strong in its defenses and in the wisdom of its king. The only other king whose name is given is Jobab, the "shouter," whose city is Madon, "contention." There seems no reason to doubt of these meanings. But what, then, do they represent? It would certainly seem that Jabin was the Sihon of this side Jordan, — the human wisdom which would intrude itself into the things of God, always hostile to faith and to God, and which always has its "enclosure" within which it permits neither the one nor the other. There is a charmed circle of science today which is thus agnostic, and from which it has made raids upon Scripture in the shape of "higher criticism." This is only illustration; but the rational spirit is one from which in all time — never, perhaps, more than now — Christians have suffered, and by which they have been deprived of much of the good land God has called them to possess. That it allies itself often with the spirit of strife which exalts mere noise rather than reason, is not difficult to see, and may be the meaning of Jobab's place here. Reason alone would soon have to submit to faith as to what is highest reason, if it were not for this. To these the king of Shimron — "keeping," from a word which is the common one used for the keeping of law, adds the thought of a spirit of legality, which readily unites with the reasoning of unbelief; while the king of Achshaph — "sorcery," supplementing the whole, speaks of the deep satanic spell which works with all this to give it a power that after all without it would be unintelligible still. "Who hath bewitched you," the apostle asks of the Galatians, "that ye should not obey the truth?"

These are the leaders; with them is gathered a multitudinous host of other powers less precisely marked, and which we cannot attempt to particularize. They gather at the waters of Merom, "the high place;" and with such enemies are not the highest levels of truth just what they would lay hold upon and deprive us of first of all? For what is highest is for that reason what mere reason can least grasp, and legality least believe our portion, and Satan envy us most. But Joshua, with the energy of faith, and specially encouraged by the divine assurance, falls upon them there, and inflicts upon them an overwhelming defeat, Israel pursuing them as far as Zidon and Misrephoth-maim, and east into the Lebanon-valley (?). They hamstring their horses and burn their chariots in the fire; for if "some trust in chariots and some in horses," they are to "remember the name of Jehovah their God." (Ps. 20:7.)

Joshua then turns back to smite Hazor. "God will in no wise allow the world's seat of power to become that of His people; for His people depend exclusively on Him. The natural consequence of taking Hazor would have been to make it the seat of government, and a centre of influence in the government of God, so that this city should be that for God which it had been for the world; 'for Hazor before-time was the head of all those kingdoms.' But it was just the contrary. Hazor is totally destroyed. God will not leave a vestige of former power: He will make all things new. The centre and source of power must be His, — entirely and conclusively His: a very important lesson for His children, if they would preserve their spiritual integrity." (Synopsis, vol. i., p. 370, 371.)

The Word of God governs every thing for Joshua, and all that he does prospers. How needed a lesson, amid the constant temptations to self-will! It is precisely to obtain success that we are urged to adopt all sorts of unscriptural methods. Expediency is the constant plea for latitudinarianism, — a plea than which nothing could be more foolish: as if to depart from God's way would insure His blessing. "As Jehovah commanded His servant Moses, so did Moses command Joshua; and so did Joshua: he let nothing fail of all that Jehovah had commanded Moses." So according to the Word of God does our Joshua lead today. May we follow Him!

(2) The results are now summed up: the land within its limits for the time, from Mount Halak, the "smooth" or bald mountain bordering Seir upon the south, to Baal-gad, under Mount Hermon, in the north. Not a city except Gibeon that yielded itself to God: all were taken in battle. This was the effect of God's retributive justice, making the hearts firm in resistance to Israel's power that had shut themselves up against the God of Israel. Thus they met the judgment rightly decreed upon them.

The extirpation of the Anakim is specially recorded, and with reference once more to the seats of their power, Hebron and Debir, a connection so important that we are reminded of it again and again. Communion and the living voice of God, all the power of the enemy will be indeed employed to keep us from the realization of these. Both of these cities in Anakite hands, let us remember, had very different significance: they were Kirjath-arba and Kirjath-sepher, the city of man and of books respectively; we are soon to have their capture, by Caleb and Othniel, related to us. Yet the children of Anak are not wholly destroyed: there are some left in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, cities still held by the Philistines; and there we find them at a later time. All this has meaning, not obscure, if we consider who these Philistines are: their history is elsewhere. (Gen. 20, 26, notes.)

Now the land rests from war.

The enumeration follows of the kings dispossessed and slain on both sides of the river, by Moses and by Joshua.