Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites to Eleazar the priest, and to Joshua the son of Nun…
Verses 43-45 are the trophy reared on the battlefield, like the lion of Marathon, which the Greeks set on its sacred soil. But the only name inscribed on this monument is Jehovah's. Other memorials of victories have borne the pompous titles of commanders who arrogated the glory to themselves; but the Bible knows of only one conqueror, and that is God. "The help that is done on earth, He doeth it all Himself." The military genius and heroic constancy of Joshua, the eagerness for perilous honour that flamed, undimmed by age, in Caleb, the daring and strong arms of many a humbler private in the ranks, have their due recognition and reward; but when the history that tells of these comes to sum up the whole, and to put the "philosophy" of the conquest into a sentence, it has only one name to speak as cause of Israel's victory. That is the true point of view from which to look at the history of the world and of the Church in the world. The difference between the "miraculous" conquest of Canaan and the "ordinary" facts of history is not that God did the one and men do the other; both are equally, though in different methods, His acts. In the field of human affairs, as in the realm of nature, God is immanent, though in the former His working is complicated by the mysterious power of man's will to set itself in antagonism to His; while yet, in manner insoluble to us, His will is supreme. The very powers which are arrayed against Him are His gift, and the issue which they finally subserve is His appointment. It does not need that we should be able to pierce to the bottom of the bottomless in order to attain and hold fast by the great conviction that there is no power but of God, and that from Him are all things and to Him are all things.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites unto Eleazar the priest, and unto Joshua the son of Nun, and unto the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel;