on Joshua 24 :33
And Eleazar - died - Probably about the same time as Joshua, or soon after; though some think he outlived him six years. Thus, nearly all the persons who had witnessed the miracles of God in the wilderness were gathered to their fathers; and their descendants left in possession of the great inheritance, with the Law of God in their hands, and the bright example of their illustrious ancestors before their eyes. It must be added that they possessed every advantage necessary to make them a great, a wise, and a holy people. How they used, or rather how they abused, these advantages, their subsequent history, given in the sacred books, amply testifies.
A hill that pertained to Phinehas his son - This grant was probably made to Phinehas as a token of the respect of the whole nation, for his zeal, courage, and usefulness: for the priests had properly no inheritance. At the end of this verse the Septuagint add: - "In that day the children of Israel, taking up the ark of the covenant of God, carried it about with them, and Phinehas succeeded to the high priest's office in the place of his father until his death; and he was buried in Gabaath, which belonged to himself. "Then the children of Israel went every man to his own place, and to his own city. "And the children of Israel worshipped Astarte and Ashtaroth, and the gods of the surrounding nations, and the Lord delivered them into the hands of Eglon king of Moab, and he tyrannized over them for eighteen years."
The last six verses in this chapter were, doubtless, not written by Joshua; for no man can give an account of his own death and burial. Eleazar, Phinehas, or Samuel, might have added them, to bring down the narration so as to connect it with their own times; and thus preserve the thread of the history unbroken. This is a common case; many men write histories of their own lives, which, in the last circumstances, are finished by others, and who has ever thought of impeaching the authenticity of the preceding part, because the subsequent was the work of a different hand? Hirtius's supplement has never invalidated the authenticity of the Commentaries of Caesar, nor the work of Quintus Smyrnaeus, that of the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer; nor the 13th book of Aeneid, by Mapheus Viggius, the authenticity of the preceding twelve, as the genuine work of Virgil. We should be thankful that an adequate and faithful hand has supplied those circumstances which the original author could not write, and without which the work would have been incomplete. Mr. Saurin has an excellent dissertation on this grand federal act formed by Joshua and the people of Israel on this very solemn occasion, of the substance of which the reader will not be displeased to find the following very short outline, which may be easily filled up by any whose business it is to instruct the public; for such a circumstance may with great propriety be brought before a Christian congregation at any time: -
"Seven things are to be considered in this renewal of the covenant.
I. The dignity of the mediator.
II. The freedom of those who contracted.
III. The necessity of the choice.
IV. The extent of the conditions.
V. The peril of the engagement.
VI. The solemnity of the acceptance.
VII. The nearness of the consequence.
"I. The dignity of the mediator. - Take a view of his names, Hosea and Jehoshua. God will save: he will save. The first is like a promise; the second, the fulfillment of that promise. God will save some time or other: - this is the very person by whom he will accomplish his promise. Take a view of Joshua's life: his faith, courage, constancy, heroism, and success. A remarkable type of Christ. See Hebrews 4:8.
"II. The freedom of those who contracted. - Take away the gods which your fathers served beyond the flood; and in Egypt, etc., Joshua 24:14, etc. Joshua exhibits to the Israelites all the religions which were then known:
1. That of the Chaldeans, which consisted in the adoration of fire.
on Joshua 24 :33
(Eleazar's burial-place is placed by Conder not at Tibneh but in the village of 'Awertah.)
on Joshua 24 :33