Joshua 24:4
And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.
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Joshua 24:4. I gave unto Esau mount Seir — That he might leave Canaan entire to his brother Jacob and his posterity, Genesis 36:7-8. But Jacob went down into Egypt — Compelled by a grievous famine, and because the time was not come when God intended to plant him and his posterity in Canaan. In Egypt they suffered a long and grievous bondage, from which God having delivered us, I shall now pass it over.

24:1-14 We must never think our work for God done, till our life is done. If he lengthen out our days beyond what we expected, like those of Joshua, it is because he has some further service for us to do. He who aims at the same mind which was in Christ Jesus, will glory in bearing the last testimony to his Saviour's goodness, and in telling to all around, the obligations with which the unmerited goodness of God has bound him. The assembly came together in a solemn religious manner. Joshua spake to them in God's name, and as from him. His sermon consists of doctrine and application. The doctrinal part is a history of the great things God had done for his people, and for their fathers before them. The application of this history of God's mercies to them, is an exhortation to fear and serve God, in gratitude for his favour, and that it might be continued.The other side of the flood - Better "On the other side of the river," i. e. the Euphrates. See the marginal reference.

They served other gods - Possibly the "images," or teraphim, which we find their ancestor Laban calling "his gods" (see the marginal reference); and of which it would seem that there were, as Joshua spoke, some secret devotees among the people Joshua 24:14, Joshua 24:25. It is not stated that Abraham himself was an idolater, though his fathers were. Jewish tradition asserts that Abraham while in Ur of the Chaldees was persecuted for his abhorrence of idolatry, and hence, was called away by God from his native land. The reference in the text to the original state of those who were the forefathers of the nation, is made to show that they were no better than others: God chose them not for their excellences but of His own mere motion.

4. I gave unto Esau mount Seir—(See on [206]Ge 36:8). In order that he might be no obstacle to Jacob and his posterity being the exclusive heirs of Canaan. I gave unto Esau Mount Seir to possess it, that he might leave Canaan entire to his brother Jacob and his posterity, Genesis 36:7,8.

Jacob and his children went down into Egypt, where they long lived in grievous bondage; which God having delivered us from, I shall now pass it over.

And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau,.... When Rebekah was barren, so that the children appeared the more to be the gift of God; though Esau perhaps is mentioned, for the sake of what follows:

and I gave unto Esau Mount Seir to possess it; that Jacob and his posterity alone might inherit Canaan, and Esau and his seed make no pretension to it:

but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt; where they continued many years, and great part of the time in bondage and misery, which is here taken no notice of; and this was in order to their being brought into the land of Canaan, and that the power and goodness of God might be the more conspicuous in it.

And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.
4. And I gave unto Isaac Jacob] After he too and Rebekah had been childless upwards of nineteen years.

Jacob] = he that holds by the heel, or supplanter (Genesis 25:26).

Esau] = hairy, rough; whose robust frame and rough aspect were the type of a wild and daring nature.

mount Seir] = “rough” or “rugged,” extended along the east side of the valley of Arabah, from the Dead Sea to the Elamitic Gulf. The name may either have been derived from Seir the Horite, who appears to have been the chief of the aboriginal inhabitants (Genesis 36:20), or, what is perhaps more probable, from the rough aspect of the whole country. These Horites, the excavators of those singular rock-dwellings found in such numbers in the ravines and cliffs around Petra, were dispossessed by the descendants of Esau (Deuteronomy 2:12; Deuteronomy 2:22), they were divided into tribes under a sheikh, or “duke” (Genesis 36:20-30).

but Jacob] who alone was to have Canaan for himself and his posterity, “went down into Egypt,” as is related in Genesis 45:1-28; Genesis 46:6; Acts 7:15.

Joshua 24:4After his call, God conducted Abraham through all the land of Canaan (see Genesis 12), protecting and shielding him, and multiplied his seed, giving him Isaac, and giving to Isaac Jacob and Esau, the ancestors of two nations. To the latter He gave the mountains of Seir for a possession (Genesis 36:6.), that Jacob might receive Canaan for his descendants as a sole possession. But instead of mentioning this, Joshua took for granted that his hearers were well acquainted with the history of the patriarchs, and satisfied himself with mentioning the migration of Jacob and his sons to Egypt, that he might pass at once to the second great practical proof of the mercy of God in the guidance of Israel, the miraculous deliverance of Israel out of the bondage and oppression of Egypt.
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