Joshua 7:13
Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus said the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the middle of you, O Israel: you can not stand before your enemies, until you take away the accursed thing from among you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Joshua 7:13. Sanctify yourselves — Not only wash your clothes and give yourselves up to religious exercises, meditation, and prayer, as you were required to do formerly, when called to meet the Lord at Sinai, (see Exodus 19:10,) and lately, when you were about to be led over Jordan, (Joshua 3:5,) but purify yourselves from that defilement which you have all in some sort contracted by this accursed fact, and prepare yourselves to appear before the Lord, expecting his sentence for the discovery and punishment of the sin. This was enjoined that the guilty person might be awakened, and brought to a free confession of his fault. And it is a marvellous thing that he did not on this occasion acknowledge his crime. But this is to be imputed to the heart-hardening power of sin, which makes men grow worse and worse; to his pride, which made him loath to take to himself the shame of such a mischievous and infamous action; and to his vain conceit, whereby he might think others were guilty as well as he, and that some of them might be taken, and he escape.7:10-15 God awakens Joshua to inquiry, by telling him that when this accursed thing was put away, all would be well. Times of danger and trouble should be times of reformation. We should look at home, into our own hearts, into our own houses, and make diligent search to find out if there be not some accursed thing there, which God sees and abhors; some secret lust, some unlawful gain, some undue withholding from God or from others. We cannot prosper, until the accursed thing be destroyed out of our hearts, and put out of our habitations and our families, and forsaken in our lives. When the sin of sinners finds them out, God is to be acknowledged. With a certain and unerring judgment, the righteous God does and will distinguish between the innocent and the guilty; so that though the righteous are of the same tribe, and family, and household with the wicked, yet they never shall be treated as the wicked.Accursed - Compare Joshua 6:17-18. 10-15. the Lord said unto Joshua, Get thee up—The answer of the divine oracle was to this effect: the crisis is owing not to unfaithfulness in Me, but sin in the people. The conditions of the covenant have been violated by the reservation of spoil from the doomed city; wickedness, emphatically called folly, has been committed in Israel (Ps 14:1), and dissimulation, with other aggravations of the crime, continues to be practised. The people are liable to destruction equally with the accursed nations of Canaan (De 7:26). Means must, without delay, be taken to discover and punish the perpetrator of this trespass that Israel may be released from the ban, and things be restored to their former state of prosperity. Sanctify yourselves; purify yourselves from that defilement which you have all in some sort contracted by this accursed fact, and prepare yourselves to appear before the Lord, as it is most probable they were required to do; as imploring and expecting the sentence of God for the discovery and punishment of the sin, and that the guilty person might hereby be awakened and terrified, and brought to a free and seasonable confession of his fault. And it is a marvellous thing that Achan did not on this occasion acknowledge his crime; but this is to be imputed to the heart-hardening power of sin, which makes men grow worse and worse; partly, to his pride, being loth to take to himself the shame of such a mischievous and infamous action; partly, to his self-flattering and vain conceit, whereby he might think many others were guilty as well as he, and some of them might be taken, and he escape; and partly, to the just judgment of God, whereby he blinds and hardens sinners to their own ruin. See a like instance, Matthew 26:21,22,25. Up, sanctify the people,.... The word "up" not only signifies getting up from the ground on which he lay, but to bestir himself, and to be active in what he would now be enjoined and directed to do, and in the first place to "sanctify the people", that is, by giving them orders to do it themselves:

and say, sanctify yourselves against tomorrow; either by some ceremonial ablutions, or by the performance of moral duties, as prayer, repentance, and good works; or rather, they were to "prepare" themselves, as the Targum and Kimchi interpret it, to get ready against the morrow, and expect to be thoroughly searched, in order to find out the person who had taken the accursed thing:

for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, there is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel; an accursed person, who had taken of what was devoted to the Lord for his own use, and so accursed:

thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you; by putting him to death.

Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the {g} accursed thing from among you.

(g) Meaning, the man that took of the thing forbidden.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. sanctify the people] “Rise, halwe the puple,” Wyclif. Compare the instructions to Moses before the giving of the Law, Exodus 19:10.Verse 13. - Sanctify the people. See note on Joshua 3:5. Thou canst not stand before thine enemies. Observe the singular number here, intensifying the testimony of the whole history to the fact that Israel was one body before the Lord. And observe, moreover, how the existence of secret sin, even though unknown to and undetected by him in whom it lurks, has power to enfeeble the soul in its conflict with its enemies. Hence we learn the duties Of watchfulness and careful examination of the soul by the light of God's Word. Joshua and the elders of the people were also deeply affected, not so much at the loss of thirty-six men, as because Israel, which was invincible with the help of the Lord, had been beaten, and therefore the Lord must have withdrawn His help. In the deepest grief, with their clothes rent (see at Leviticus 10:6) and ashes upon their heads, they fell down before the ark of the Lord (vid., Numbers 20:6) until the evening, to pour out their grief before the Lord. Joshua's prayer contains a complaint (Joshua 7:7) and as question addressed to God (Joshua 7:8, Joshua 7:9). The complaint, "Alas, O Lord Jehovah, wherefore hast Thou brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us?" almost amounts to murmuring, and sounds very much like the complaint which the murmuring people brought against Moses and Aaron in the desert (Numbers 14:2-3); but it is very different from the murmuring of the people on that occasion against the guidance of God; for it by no means arose from unbelief, but was simply the bold language of faith wrestling with God in prayer - faith which could not comprehend the ways of the Lord - and involved the most urgent appeal to the Lord to carry out His work in the same glorious manner in which it had been begun, with the firm conviction that God could neither relinquish nor alter His purposes of grace. The words which follow, "Would to God that we had been content (see at Deuteronomy 1:5) to remain on the other side of the Jordan," assume on the one hand, that previous to the crossing of the river Israel had cherished a longing for the possession of Canaan, and on the other hand, that this longing might possibly have been the cause of the calamity which had fallen upon the people now, and therefore express the wish that Israel had never cherished any such desire, or that the Lord had never gratified it. (On the unusual form העברתּ for העברתּ, see Ges. 63, anm. 4, and Ewald, 41, b.) The inf. abs. העביר (with the unusual i in the final syllable) is placed for the sake of emphasis after the finite verb, as in Genesis 46:4, etc. The Amorites are the inhabitants of the mountains, as in Genesis 46:4, etc.
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