Joshua 24:31
And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.
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(31) Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and . . . of the elders that overlived Joshua.—It cannot surprise us that the personal influence of the man and of the events of his day was so difficult to efface. There was a primitive Church in Canaan as well as in the Roman Empire. The short duration of the one seems to have an analogy in the case of the other.

(32) The bones of Joseph, and also of his brethren, as appears by Acts 7:16. The precedent set by Joseph is exceedingly likely to have been followed.

And it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.—It may be that this fact helped to fix the position of Ephraim and Manasseh in the centre of the country.

24:29-33 Joseph died in Egypt, but gave commandment concerning his bones, that they should not rest in their grave till Israel had rest in the land of promise. Notice also the death and burial of Joshua, and of Eleazar the chief priest. The most useful men, having served their generation, according to the will of God, one after another, fall asleep and see corruption. But Jesus, having spent and ended his life on earth more effectually than either Joshua or Joseph, rose from the dead, and saw no corruption. And the redeemed of the Lord shall inherit the kingdom he prepared for them from the foundation of the world. They will say in admiration of the grace of Jesus, Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.Consult the marginal references.

That was by the sanctuary of the Lord - i. e. the spot where Abraham and Jacob had sacrificed and worshipped, and which might well be regarded by their posterity as a holy place or sanctuary. Perhaps the very altar of Abraham and Jacob was still remaining.

31. Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua—The high and commanding character of this eminent leader had given so decided a tone to the sentiments and manners of his contemporaries and the memory of his fervent piety and many virtues continued so vividly impressed on the memories of the people, that the sacred historian has recorded it to his immortal honor. "Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua." No text from Poole on this verse. And the children of Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua,.... Without going into idolatrous practices:

and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua; that lived a few years longer than he; some of them that came young out of Egypt, and were now elderly men; and some of them doubtless were of the court of the seventy elders; these could not overlive Joshua a great many years, for, in the times of Chushanrishathaim, Israel fell into idolatry, Judges 2:6,

and which had known all the works of the Lord, that he had done for Israel; in Egypt, at the Red sea, in the wilderness, as well as since their coming into the land of Canaan.

And Israel {n} served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.

(n) Such are the people commonly as their rulers are.

31. And Israel served the Lord] The remarks here made as to the conduct of the nation after the death of Joshua are quite in keeping with the design of the book. They afford “evidence of the fruit, which resulted from Joshua’s faithful activity for the Lord in Israel.” “As on the dark sky when some flashing meteor has swept across it with a path of fire, there remains still after the glory has departed a lingering line of light, so was it with this mighty man, glorious in life, and leaving even after he was gone, the record of his abundant faithfulness still to hold for a season heavenward the too wandering eyes of Israel.”—Bp Wilberforce’s Heroes of Hebrew History, p. 154.

that overlived Joshua] Heb. that prolonged their days after Joshua. Comp. Jdg 2:7, margin.

all the works of the Lord] in the delivery of the nation from Egyptian bondage, their guidance through the desert, and their settlement in the Promised Land.Verse 31. - And Israel served the Lord (cf. Judges 2:10). We see here the value of personal influence. Nor is such influence altogether unnecessary among us now. The periods of great religious movements in the Christian Church are in many ways very like to the time of the Israelitish conquest of Palestine by Joshua. They are times when God visibly fights for His Church, when miracles of grace are achieved, when the enemies of God are amazed and confounded at the great things God has done. The successes, so clearly due to the interposition of a Higher Power, have a sobering rather than an intoxicating effect, and the influence of the grave, wise, earnest men at the head of the movement is great with their enthusiastic followers. But with the removal of these leaders in Israel a reaction sets in. The fervour of the movement declines, the era of slackness and compromise succeeds, and a generation arises which "knows not the Lord, nor yet the works which He had done for Israel." In our times such reactions, living as we do in the full blaze of gospel light, are far more transient and less fatal than in the days of Israel. But in our measure we continue to experience the working of that law by which intense energy is apt to be followed by coldness, and every earnest movement for good needs a continual rekindling at the altar of God of the fire which first set it at work. That overlived Joshua. Literally, that lengthened out their days after Joshua. On the repeated and decided declaration of the people, "the Lord our God will we serve, and to His voice will we hearken," Joshua completed the covenant with them that day. This conclusion of a covenant was really a solemn renewal of the covenant made at Sinai, like that which took place under Moses in the steppes of Moab (Deuteronomy 29:1). "And set them a statute and right at Shechem," sc., through the renewal of the covenant. These words recall Exodus 15:25, where the guidance of Israel to bitter water, and the sweetening of that water by the means which the Lord pointed out to Moses, are described as setting a statute and right for Israel, and then explained by the promise, that if they would hearken to the voice of Jehovah, He would keep them from all the diseases of Egypt. And in accordance with this, by the renewal of the covenant at Shechem, there were set for Israel, a חק, i.e., a statute, which bound the people to a renewed and conscientious maintenance of the covenant, and a משׁפּט, or right, by virtue of which they might expect on this condition the fulfilment of all the covenant mercies of the Lord.
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