The Agora
Bible Commentary

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Joshua 7

Jos 7:1

Jos 7: "Jos 7 presents to us a drastically different scene from those which have engaged our attention in the previous chapters, yea, so startling is the contrast that we are reminded of that old adage, 'Truth is stranger than fiction.' Up to this point everything had gone smoothly and blessedly for Israel, but now their progress is suddenly halted. Hitherto we have witnessed them, under God, going from strength to strength and glory to glory. Strict obedience to the Divine commands had marked their every movement; here, the very reverse obtained. They had duly attended to the essential matter of circumcision and had kept the appointed Passover feast. On His part, the Lord had wrought wondrously for them, bringing them through the Jordan dry-shod and overthrowing the principal fortress of the enemy without a blow having to be struck by Israel. But a startling contrast now confronts us: immediately following the memorable victory at the formidable Jericho, Israel suffer humiliating defeat at the much weaker town of Ai. A member of the tribe of Judah had committed a grievous crime, and the whole nation suffer in consequence. As there was a serpent in Eden and a Judas among the apostles, so there was an Achan in the midst of an obedient Israel" (Pink).

Jos 7:2

Note: they did not return to base camp (ie to seek counsel from God). Too much pride and ambition. Insufficient preparation.

Jos 7:3

Perhaps they were motivated by the desire to increase plunder for each individual who went. Was Achan an instigator of this personnel cutback? Or did they simply underestimate their enemy?

GO UP... DO NOT WEARY: A 15-mi march involving a 3,000 ft climb, through a rugged country (WEnj 24).

Jos 7:4

Notice sequence: an army of "about three thousand" (Jos 7:4); another army of "about five thousand" (Jos 8:12); and a king "hanged on a tree" (Jos 8:29). Cp sequence in Acts:

Jos 7:11

THEY HAVE VIOLATED MY COVENANT: What covenant? Implicit: "Touch no unclean thing", and I will reward you: 2Co 6:17; Mat 6:33.

Jos 7:20

I HAVE SINNED: There is a radical distinction between natural regret and God-given repentance. The flesh can feel remorse, acknowledge its evil deeds, and be ashamed of itself. However, this sort of disgust with past actions can be quickly shrugged off, and the individual can soon go back to his old wicked ways. None of the marks of true repentance described in 2Co 7:11 are found in his behavior. Out of a list of 11 men in the Bible who said, "I have sinned," poss only five actually repented. They were David (2Sa 12:13; 24:10; 1Ch 21:8; Psa 41:4), Nehemiah (Neh 1:6), Job (Job 42:5,6), Micah (Mic 7:9), and the prodigal son (Luk 15:18). The other (poss less sincere) instances? Pharaoh in Exo 9:27; 10:16; Balaam in Num 22:34; Achan in Jos 7:20; Saul in 1Sa 15:24,30; 26:21; Shimei in 2Sa 19:20; Judas in Mat 27:4.

Jos 7:21

3 steps: seeing, desiring, acting.

Previous Index Next