Eleazar son of Aaron also died, and they buried him at Gibeah, which had been given to his son Phinehas in the hill country of Ephraim.
I. THE BURIAL OF JOSEPH'S BONES WAS A JUSTIFICATION OF HIS FAITH. Joseph had been so sure that God would give the promised land to Israel that he had made his brethren swear to bring up his bones with them (Genesis 50:25).
(1) True faith will lead to decisive action. It is vain to profess to believe in our heavenly inheritance unless we behave consistently with our belief.
(2) Faith is concerned with the unseen and the future. If we could see all there would be no room for faith.
(3) Faith is justified on earth by providence. It waits its full justification in heaven. As Joseph's faith was justified in the entrance into Canaan, so the old Messianic faith was justified in the advent of Christ, and the Christian faith will be justified at the "consummation of all things."
II. THE BURIAL OF JOSEPH'S BONES WAS AN EXAMPLE OF DEFERENCE TO THE WISHES OF THE DEAD. It is well that children should respect the wishes of departed parents. Much good may be learnt by considering the thoughts and purposes of our ancestors. The people which has no respect for its past is wanting in reverence and in depth of national life. Yet there must be a limit to the influence of antiquity. The ancients lived in the childhood of our race; wisdom should grow with enlarged historical experience. At best they were fallible men, and cannot claim to extinguish the reason and responsibility of their descendants. New circumstances often render the rules and precedents of antiquity entirely obsolete.
III. THE BURIAL OF JOSEPH'S BONES WAS AN ILLUSTRATION OF THE ONENESS OF MANKIND. Ages had passed since the death of Joseph. Yet his bones were preserved and buried in the very "parcel of ground which Jacob had bought." There is a family unity, a national unity, a church unity, a human solidarity. The past lives on in the present. Men are insensibly linked and welded together. We are members one of another. Therefore we should consider the good of each other, and of the whole community, and should take note of past experience and future requirements.
IV. THE BURIAL OF JOSEPH'S BONES REMINDS US OF THE DELAY WHICH PRECEDES THE ENJOYMENT OF THE HIGHEST BLESSINGS. There were centuries of delay between the promise and the possession of Canaan. Many ages passed after the first prophecy of redemption and before the coming of Christ. The second advent of Christ has often been anticipated by the Church and longed for by His people, but it is not yet accomplished. The Christian must wait on earth during years of service before receiving his heavenly inheritance. This is occasioned
(1) by our unbelief - as the unbelief of Israel deferred possession of Canaan;
(2) by the need of fitness - the people needed to be trained in the wilderness; the world needed preparing for Christ, who came in the "fulness of time;" Christians must be made "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light;" the world, must be prepared for the full and perfect reign of Christ." Yet, note, the promise is not violated because the fulfilment is delayed. Finally, the Christian inheritance will not be the unconscious possession of a grave in the promised land, but the enjoyment of heaven with the faculties of an eternal life. - W.F.A.
Within the compass of the five last verses of this book three deaths are recorded and three burial-places signalised by the deposited remains of the most distinguished saints. After all we have seen in Canaan, let us visit the sepulchre of Joshua. The short record given may be viewed as a simple, unvarnished memento, or monumental inscription (vers. 29, 30). The place of his interment was in the lot of his inheritance, and may remind us how soon the seat of life becomes the repository of death. Short had been the date of his settlement: an hundred years before he obtained rest, and then but ten before he must lie down in his grave, not again to rise till the heavens be no more. What can be a greater or more convincing proof of still higher and nobler ends of Providence than any contained within the limits of this life, when even the most distinguished of God's family, the most exemplary and useful of His children, are not suffered to continue by reason of death, but are early removed from the happiest scenes on earth! It bespeaks the greatness of man, and the more exalted provisions of glory the infinite goodness of God has secured in another world. The designs of His grace are too exalted, and the displays of His power too wondrous, to centre in any earthly lot, though equal in beauty and richness to Eden, when as yet the seat of innocence, perfection, and love. Timnath-serah was still the portion of his lot, even in death. Where he lived in possession, there he lay in possession, nor left any commandment, as Jacob and Joseph, for removal. It is remarkable how much this was the desire of the faithful, and of what moment, though not in itself, yet in its typical regards, they viewed a burying-place in the promised land. It was as if they thought upon the interests of their sleeping dust as well as the felicity of their undying spirits, and in still retaining their inheritance, even in a state of death, would claim for their bodies a share in the life to come; for He who had so richly provided for the one as well as for the other, in an inheritance entirely typical, would not have so essential a part of our redeemed nature for ever the prey of worms. Where the believer now rests, in what bed matters little, for Jesus is the resurrection and the life of all His people. A short inscription, which, as a plain monumental record of his character and age, claims in the solemn reflections here excited a moment's pause: "Servant of the Lord died, being an hundred and ten years old." What an important connection of age and dignity! What an honour to lie down at last under this character! This is the highest style of man. What he had done, and all which this book recorded of the mighty conquests achieved, was not here to be named; for in everything he had been but a servant, and only the willing instrument of Omnipotence. The title was all that need appear, or that any who know their own insignificance would desire. It is enough that "they rest from their labours, and their works do follow." Joshua and all the saints, from infancy to age, through the long lapse of time, shall retain the record of truth, and in the character in which they died rise the servants of God. As now in the end of life it is said, "The servant of the Lord died, being an hundred and ten years old," so then shall commence the history of eternity. The servant of the Lord arose the beginning, the first day, of immortality. From the tomb of Joshua let us go to the burying-place of Joseph: it is in the same inheritance, and not far distant. It is remarkable in the connected record of these burials that Joshua should have lived just the same number of years as this his distinguished ancestor, and that though not buried in the same spot, yet in the same inheritance, and not far distant from the same period. Never was there so singular a funeral: two hundred years dead before interment. Many, we may think, crowded to see it, and if the Church in heaven could have been witnesses, the sight must have yielded pleasure; for it was the burial of faith. And did it reach the glorified saint, the spirit long made perfect, or could he have looked down upon the purchased spot of his father, the desired resting-place of his bones, he would have known the fidelity of his brethren, and have rejoiced in the end of his faith. It became the inheritance of the children of Joseph, though he had stood a stranger in the land, when, in obedience to the dying request of his father, he buried him in the grave which himself was said to have digged (Genesis 50:5
). How remarkable that the place where Joseph obtained interment, and where at length he was gathered to his fathers, should turn out the inheritance of his sons; and that, though separated many years from his father in life, he should, as he, rest in Canaan, and find a grave even in his own inheritance. Oh! it was a sweet privilege to be entombed in his own inheritance, and to hold a place with both his sons and his fathers in what bespoke the common hope and claim of all the faithful. It was a choice spot, and where any saint would have wished to have been laid, and there to have rested in the hope of all that was, in the perfection of the Church and close of time, to open in the grandeur of the resurrection, when, as the heirs of promise, and the sons of immortality, they would rise to claim a fairer, brighter, and more lasting inheritance above the skies. The ground was a purchase (Genesis 23:16, 17
). And now the purchase of Jacob became the burying-place of Joseph. The heavenly land is spoken of as a purchased possession, and that in no part ever to become a burying-place, but the seat of endless life and felicity to the whole Church of God. But, oh! what has been the purchase, what paid for it, by the eternal Son of God! One more burying-place within this inheritance is pointed out: "And Eleazar the son of Aaron died," &c. As situated near Shiloh, this was, probably for its convenience, assigned as the residence of the high priest. We see the inheritances of Israel fast changing into the burying-places of the dead. It was not the land of immortality, not that state of being of which it is said, "There shall be no more death," &c. In Canaan all must die, as well princes, priests, and rulers, as others; but in heaven none die: there natural evils and moral pollutions are for ever removed.
Israel served the Lord.
The men of that generation remained faithful to their engagements. These men, who had themselves "known all the works of the Lord that He had done for Israel," in bringing them into Canaan and in subduing the hostile nations, never forsook His worship for the worship of the idols of the laud, of whose boasted power they had witnessed so signal a discomfiture. The character and admonitions of Joshua were not forgotten. His disinterestedness, his energy, his singleness of purpose, his faith, had left a track of glory behind, as the sun, after he has sunk below the horizon, flings glorious hues and golden light over all the western sky. The men who had themselves seen the conquests of Joshua would have been doubly inexcusable if they had forsaken the worship of Jehovah. Like the disciple Thomas, because they had seen they had believed. How, indeed, could it have been otherwise? How could they, standing there in Shechem, — the site of Abraham's altar, of Jacob's well, of Joseph's tomb, of Joshua's victories — refuse to believe in the Divine calling of the people Israel?
PeopleAaron, Amorites, Balaam, Balak, Beor, Canaanites, Egyptians, Eleazar, Esau, Girgashite, Girgashites, Hamor, Hittites, Hivite, Hivites, Isaac, Israelites, Jacob, Jebusites, Joseph, Joshua, Nachor, Nahor, Nun, Perizzites, Phinehas, Seir, Serah, Terah, Zippor
PlacesCanaan, Egypt, Euphrates River, Gaash, Gibeah, Jericho, Jordan River, Moab, Red Sea, Seir, Shechem, Timnath-serah
TopicsAaron, Allotted, Body, Buried, Bury, Death, Died, Eleazar, Elea'zar, Ephraim, E'phraim, Gibeah, Gib'e-ah, Hill, Hill-country, Mount, Pertained, Phinehas, Phin'ehas, Town
Outline1. Joshua assembles the tribes at Shechem
2. A brief history of God's benefits from Terah
14. He renews the covenant between them and God
26. A stone the witness of the covenant
29. Joshua's age, death, and burial
32. Joseph's bones are buried
33. Eleazar dies
Dictionary of Bible ThemesJoshua 24:32
LibraryFebruary the Tenth Registering a Verdict
"The Lord our God will we serve, and His voice will we obey." --JOSHUA xxiv. 22-28. Here was a definite decision. Our peril is that we spend our life in wavering and we never decide. We are like a jury which is always hearing evidence and never gives a verdict. We do much thinking, but we never make up our minds. We let our eyes wander over many things, but we make no choice. Life has no crisis, no culmination. Now people who never decide spend their days in hoping to do so. But this kind of life …
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year
A Summary of Israel's Faithlessness and God's Patience
'And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. 2. And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? 3. Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Jesus Sets Out from Judæa for Galilee.
Subdivision B. At Jacob's Well, and at Sychar. ^D John IV. 5-42. ^d 5 So he cometh to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 and Jacob's well was there. [Commentators long made the mistake of supposing that Shechem, now called Nablous, was the town here called Sychar. Sheckem lies a mile and a half west of Jacob's well, while the real Sychar, now called 'Askar, lies scarcely half a mile north of the well. It was a small town, loosely called …
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel
Meditations for Household Piety.
1. If thou be called to the government of a family, thou must not hold it sufficient to serve God and live uprightly in thy own person, unless thou cause all under thy charge to do the same with thee. For the performance of this duty God was so well pleased with Abraham, that he would not hide from him his counsel: "For," saith God, "I know him that he will command his sons and his household after him that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon …
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety
The Promise to the Patriarchs.
A great epoch is, in Genesis, ushered in with the history of the time of the Patriarchs. Luther says: "This is the third period in which Holy Scripture begins the history of the Church with a new family." In a befitting manner, the representation is opened in Gen. xii. 1-3 by an account of the first revelation of God, given to Abraham at Haran, in which the way is opened up for all that follows, and in which the dispensations of God are brought before us in a rapid survey. Abraham is to forsake …
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament
Sovereignty and Human Responsibility
"So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Rom. 14:12). In our last chapter we considered at some length the much debated and difficult question of the human will. We have shown that the will of the natural man is neither Sovereign nor free but, instead, a servant and slave. We have argued that a right conception of the sinner's will-its servitude-is essential to a just estimate of his depravity and ruin. The utter corruption and degradation of human nature is something which …
Arthur W. Pink—The Sovereignty of God
And for Your Fearlessness against them Hold this Sure Sign -- Whenever There Is...
43. And for your fearlessness against them hold this sure sign--whenever there is any apparition, be not prostrate with fear, but whatsoever it be, first boldly ask, Who art thou? And from whence comest thou? And if it should be a vision of holy ones they will assure you, and change your fear into joy. But if the vision should be from the devil, immediately it becomes feeble, beholding your firm purpose of mind. For merely to ask, Who art thou  ? and whence comest thou? is a proof of coolness. …
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius
Covenanting Performed in Former Ages with Approbation from Above.
That the Lord gave special token of his approbation of the exercise of Covenanting, it belongs to this place to show. His approval of the duty was seen when he unfolded the promises of the Everlasting Covenant to his people, while they endeavoured to perform it; and his approval thereof is continually seen in his fulfilment to them of these promises. The special manifestations of his regard, made to them while attending to the service before him, belonged to one or other, or both, of those exhibitions …
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting
The First Commandment
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.' Exod 20: 3. Why is the commandment in the second person singular, Thou? Why does not God say, You shall have no other gods? Because the commandment concerns every one, and God would have each one take it as spoken to him by name. Though we are forward to take privileges to ourselves, yet we are apt to shift off duties from ourselves to others; therefore the commandment is in the second person, Thou and Thou, that every one may know that it is spoken to him, …
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments
Moses and his Writings
[Illustration: (drop cap W) Clay letter tablet of Moses' time.] We now begin to understand a little of the very beginning of God's Book--of the times in which it was written, the materials used by its first author, and the different kinds of writing from which he had to choose; but we must go a step farther. How much did Moses know about the history of his forefathers, Abraham and Jacob, and of all the old nations and kings mentioned in Genesis, before God called him to the great work of writing …
Mildred Duff—The Bible in its Making
"The Carnal Mind is Enmity against God for it is not Subject to the Law of God, Neither Indeed Can Be. So Then they that Are
Rom. viii. s 7, 8.--"The carnal mind is enmity against God for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." It is not the least of man's evils, that he knows not how evil he is, therefore the Searcher of the heart of man gives the most perfect account of it, Jer. xvii. 12. "The heart is deceitful above all things," as well as "desperately wicked," two things superlative and excessive in it, bordering upon an infiniteness, such …
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning
Gen. xxxi. 11
Of no less importance and significance is the passage Gen. xxxi. 11 seq. According to ver. 11, the Angel of God, [Hebrew: mlaK halhiM] appears toJacob in a dream. In ver. 13, the same person calls himself the God of Bethel, with reference to the event recorded in chap. xxviii. 11-22. It cannot be supposed that in chap xxviii. the mediation of a common angel took place, who, however, had not been expressly mentioned; for Jehovah is there contrasted with the angels. In ver. 12, we read: "And behold …
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament
Manner of Covenanting.
Previous to an examination of the manner of engaging in the exercise of Covenanting, the consideration of God's procedure towards his people while performing the service seems to claim regard. Of the manner in which the great Supreme as God acts, as well as of Himself, our knowledge is limited. Yet though even of the effects on creatures of His doings we know little, we have reason to rejoice that, in His word He has informed us, and in His providence illustrated by that word, he has given us to …
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting
The book of Joshua is the natural complement of the Pentateuch. Moses is dead, but the people are on the verge of the promised land, and the story of early Israel would be incomplete, did it not record the conquest of that land and her establishment upon it. The divine purpose moves restlessly on, until it is accomplished; so "after the death of Moses, Jehovah spake to Joshua," i. 1. The book falls naturally into three divisions: (a) the conquest of Canaan (i.-xii.), (b) the settlement of the …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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