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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



INTRODUCTION

 

This book is called Josue, because it contains the history of what passed under him, and, according to the common opinion, was written by him.  The Greeks call him Jesus; for Josue and Jesus, in the Hebrew, are the same name, and have the same signification, viz. A Saviour.  And it was not without a mystery, that he who was to bring the people into the land of promise, should have his name changed from Osee (for so he was called before, Num. xiii. 17,) to Josue, or Jesus, to give us to understand, the Moses, by his law, could only bring the people within sight of the promised inheritance, but that our Saviour, Jesus, was to bring us into it.  Ch. --- The Hebrews who had been so rebellious under Moses, behaved with remarkable fidelity and respect towards his successor; who, by these means, more forcibly represented the Christian Church, (D.) which will be ever obedient to her divine head and observe his directions.  Josue had been trained up a long time under the hand of Moses, and God had given him the commission to govern his people, in so public a manner, that no one offered to claim that high and arduous office.  In effect, the whole conduct of Josue before and after his exaltation, shewed him to be most deserving of command.  H. --- Josue, says the Holy Ghost, (Eccli. xlvi. 1,) was successor of Moses among the prophets, or, according to the Greek, "in prophecies."  Many explain this of the obligation incumbent on him, to continue the sacred history (C.) and revelations where Moses had left off.  The last chapter of this book informs us that he did so.  Perhaps some additions, by way of farther explication, have been made by subsequent inspired writers, though most of the passages which are adduced to prove this assertion, seem to be of little force.  Respecting the death of Josue, we may make the same observations as on that of Moses.  It may have been written by the author of the Book of Judges.  Theodoret seems to have thought that the work before us, was compiled out of the public registers, which are quoted C. x. under the name of the book of the Lord.  See Num. xxi. 14.  The Samaritans have a book or chronicle of Josue, which relates in 39 or 47 chapters, many facts of scriptural history, (H.) down to the reign of Adrian, intermingled with a variety of fables.  It seems to be of modern date.  Hottinger undertook to publish it in Latin, but was prevented by death.  C. --- The true history of Josue sets before us the passage of the Jordan, the conquest of Chanaan, and the distribution of the country.  After the pious general had performed all that could be expected from him, after he had twice ratified the covenant between God and his people, and exhorted the latter, with his last breath, to observe an inviolable fidelity to the only Lord, he departed this life in peace, in the 110th year of his age, and was buried at Thamnath Sare, which he had built for the place of his abode.  H. --- As the five books of Moses contain the law, intermixed with history, so this first of the historical books exhibits a variety of useful precepts and predictions.  The prophetical and sapiential books must be considered in the same light.  W. --- They all tend to promote true wisdom and the salvation of men, provided they be perused in the same spirit with which they were written.  H.

 

 








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