King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

Joshua > Old Testament > Home

Joshua 1

The Lord appoints Joshua to succeed Moses. (1-4) God promises to assist Joshua. (5-9) Preparation to pass over Jordan. (10-15) The people promise to obey Joshua. (16-18)

Joshua 1 Audio:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The Lord appoints Joshua to succeed Moses

1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,

2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.

God promises to assist Joshua

5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.

7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.

8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Preparation to pass over Jordan

10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,

11 Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.

12 And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying,

13 Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.

14 Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them;

15 Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD’s servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.

The people promise to obey Joshua

16 And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.

17 According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses.

18 Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.

« »

G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Now: lit. And. Thus the sacred history is connected, the last chapter of Deuteronomy being, in the opinion of many, a part of the work of Josue. H. — Moses died on the 1st of the 12th month, Adar, and as soon as that month of mourning had expired, and the spies had returned on the 4th of Nisan, God ordered the people to prepare for their departure. — Minister. This was by no means degrading. He was designed for the successor of Moses, as Eliseus was to succeed Elias. The heroes at Troy had servants of the same high character as themselves, attached to their persons by the ties of friendship. See Ex. xvii. 10.

Ver. 2. Jordan, a river well known, which rises in Antilibanus, not from Panion, but from the lake Phiala, as Herod the Tetrarch discovered by throwing some straw into the latter, which passed by a subterraneous passage into Panion. Thence it proceeds to the Semonite lake and to Daphne, where it begins to be called the Great Jordan. Joseph. Bel. iii. 33. Having traversed the land of Palestine in the southern direction, it loses itself in the lake of Sodom. C. — It is a very rapid river, and hence its appellation from irod, of jord, descendit, is very probably derived. H. — The Arabs call it Zacchar, “overflowing,” because the snows and rains cause it formerly to overflow about Easter. Univ. Hist. — When Maundrell travelled through this country, the stream was too rapid for a person to swim against it. Parkhurst. — Hence the miracle of the Hebrews passing through the Jordan on dry land, when its waters were the most copious and violent, would be the more observable. H.

Ver. 3. Moses. Thus the preceding permission, which the Jews extend, as if God had authorized them to conquer the whole world, is limited. H. See Deut. xi. 24. — Their right to the land of Chanaan depends on this grant of God, who is the Lord of all things, and who thus took away all the privileges of the former inhabitants. But the warrant of destruction only regarded the people of Chanaan. Those who lived towards the Euphrates, were obliged only to pay tribute by David and Solomon, thought their country formed part of what had been promised to the Israelites. They might have possessed all that region, if they had proved faithful. The limits of the promised land vary, as they are considered under various lights. C. — The desert of Arabia Petrea and Antilibanus formed the boundaries on the south and on the north, the Euphrates and Mediterranean were on the east and west, when the territories of the Israelites were considered in their utmost extent. H.

Ver. 4. Hethites, the most formidable of the nations of Chanaan. Masius.

Ver. 5. Resist you. They shall at last be overcome, and their resistance will prove detrimental to themselves. C.

Ver. 6. Lot. Heb. “thou shalt give for an inheritance.” H.

Ver. 7. From it. Heb. him, Moses. But the Masorets order us to read it. H. — Understand, or “succeed.” Chal. Vat.

Ver. 10. Princes. Shoterim may denote both judges and heralds, such as those mentioned in Homer, the messengers of gods and men, whose persons were deemed sacred. They bore a wand or sceptre, as a mark of their authority.

Ver. 11. Victuals. The manna still supplied the army after they had passed the Jordan. C. v. 12. But Josue might fear lest the people might not have liberty to gather it in the midst of the enemy’s country, or he might perhaps suppose that this miraculous food would be withdrawn, as soon as they had entered Chanaan. He therefore takes all necessary precautions, and gets other sorts of provisions in the neighbourhood. C. — This might foreshew, that in the primitive Church the ceremonies and privileges of the old law would not be abrogated immediately, but they might be used for a time along with the rites of the gospel, till the old law should be buried with honour. W. — Third day, after their departure from Setim; or perhaps this order was only published when the Israelites were arrived on the banks of the Jordan. C.

Ver. 14. Armed before, in order of battle, at the head of the army, and not according to the disposition of the tribes, which were observed in the desert. Only 40,000 men were selected out of 110,580, the rest were very prudently left to guard the new conquered country. See Num. xxxii. 17. — For them. Heb. “help them.”

Ver. 15. Beyond. The same expression is translated on this side, v. 14. Heb. beheber means also, “in the passage.” If we have regard to Josue, when he spoke this, he was beyond, that is on the east side of the river, though perhaps (H.) he might be on the other side when he wrote the history. Deut. i. 1. C.

Ver. 17. Moses. Thus they express their ardent wish, that God would extend his protection to Josue. M. — They do not mean to insinuate, that they will obey him only as long as he complies with God’s law. C.

Ver. 18. Die, as guilty of high treason. The person’s goods were confiscated, and became the property of the king. Thus David disposed of the effects of Saul, (2 K. xvi. 4.) and Achab seized the vineyard of Naboth, 3 K. xxi. 15. C.