Joshua 24:10
But I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.
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24:1-14 We must never think our work for God done, till our life is done. If he lengthen out our days beyond what we expected, like those of Joshua, it is because he has some further service for us to do. He who aims at the same mind which was in Christ Jesus, will glory in bearing the last testimony to his Saviour's goodness, and in telling to all around, the obligations with which the unmerited goodness of God has bound him. The assembly came together in a solemn religious manner. Joshua spake to them in God's name, and as from him. His sermon consists of doctrine and application. The doctrinal part is a history of the great things God had done for his people, and for their fathers before them. The application of this history of God's mercies to them, is an exhortation to fear and serve God, in gratitude for his favour, and that it might be continued.The other side of the flood - Better "On the other side of the river," i. e. the Euphrates. See the marginal reference.

They served other gods - Possibly the "images," or teraphim, which we find their ancestor Laban calling "his gods" (see the marginal reference); and of which it would seem that there were, as Joshua spoke, some secret devotees among the people Joshua 24:14, Joshua 24:25. It is not stated that Abraham himself was an idolater, though his fathers were. Jewish tradition asserts that Abraham while in Ur of the Chaldees was persecuted for his abhorrence of idolatry, and hence, was called away by God from his native land. The reference in the text to the original state of those who were the forefathers of the nation, is made to show that they were no better than others: God chose them not for their excellences but of His own mere motion.

4. I gave unto Esau mount Seir—(See on [206]Ge 36:8). In order that he might be no obstacle to Jacob and his posterity being the exclusive heirs of Canaan. I would not hearken unto Balaam, who hereby appears to have desired of God leave to curse Israel; and therefore it is not strange that God, who permitted him simply to go, was highly angry with him for going with so wicked an intent, Numbers 22:20,22,32.

Out of his hand, i.e. from Balak’s malicious design against you. But I would not hearken unto Balaam,.... Who was very solicitous to get leave of the Lord to curse Israel, which he knew he could not do without; he had a goodwill to it but could not accomplish it:

therefore he blessed you still; went on blessing Israel to the last, when Balak hoped every time he would have cursed them; and Balaam himself was very desirous of doing it; but could not, being overruled by the Lord, and under his restraint; which shows his power over evil spirits, and their agents:

so I delivered you out of his hands: both out of the hand of Balak, who was intimidated from bringing his forces against them, and out of the hand of Balaam, who was not suffered to curse them.

But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.
10. I would not hearken unto Balaam] See Deuteronomy 23:5. Twice, across the whole length of the Assyrian desert, the messengers of Balak, with the Oriental bribes of divination in their hands, were sent to conjure forth the prophet from his distant home. Three times the altars were built and the victims slain, but each time the seer found himself unable to comply with the wishes of the king; he could not curse him whom God had not cursed, or defy him whom Jehovah had not defied.Verse 10. - But I would not. The Hebrew shows that this is not simply the conditional form of the verb, but that it means I willed not. It was God's "determinate purpose" that Israel should not be accursed. Blessed yon still. Rather, perhaps, blessed you emphatically. And I delivered you out of his hand. Both here and in the narrative in Numbers 22-30, it is implied that Balaam's curse had power if he were permitted by God to pronounce it. Wicked as be was, he was regarded as a prophet of the Lord. There is not the slightest shadow of difference between the view of Balaam presented to us in this short paragraph and that in which he appears to us in the more expanded narrative of Moses. After his call, God conducted Abraham through all the land of Canaan (see Genesis 12), protecting and shielding him, and multiplied his seed, giving him Isaac, and giving to Isaac Jacob and Esau, the ancestors of two nations. To the latter He gave the mountains of Seir for a possession (Genesis 36:6.), that Jacob might receive Canaan for his descendants as a sole possession. But instead of mentioning this, Joshua took for granted that his hearers were well acquainted with the history of the patriarchs, and satisfied himself with mentioning the migration of Jacob and his sons to Egypt, that he might pass at once to the second great practical proof of the mercy of God in the guidance of Israel, the miraculous deliverance of Israel out of the bondage and oppression of Egypt.
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