Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spoke unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,
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George Leo Haydock
Now: literally, And. Thus the sacred history is connected, the last chapter of Deuteronomy being, in the opinion of many, a part of the work of Josue. (Haydock)
Moses died on the 1st of the 12th month, Adar, and as soon as that month of mourning had expired, and the spies had returned on the 4th of Nisan, God ordered the people to prepare for their departure.
Minister. This was by no means degrading. He was designed for the successor of Moses, as Eliseus was to succeed Elias. The heroes at Troy had servants of the same high character as themselves, attached to their persons by the ties of friendship. See Exodus xvii. 10.
Having finally finished with the Pentateuch of Moses, as though freed for a great advantage, we set (our) hand to Jesus son of Nave, who the Hebrews call Joshua ben Nun, that is, Joshua son of Nun, and to the book of Judges, which they call Sopthim, to Ruth also and Esther, which they extol by the same names. And I admonish the reader, that he, being careful with Scripture, might preserve the forest of Hebrew names and (their) separations divided into parts, so that our work and his effort might not be wasted. And that in the first place, which I often testify, let him know me not to coin the new in rebuke of the old, as though my friends are accused, but rather to offer, for my part, to men of my language, those things of ours which still delight, like the copies of the Hexapla for the Greeks, which require great expense and work, so they might have our edition, and anywhere the readings of the ancient scrolls are doubtful, comparing this this to them, they might find what they seek, ...
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. 13.17,) to JOSUE or JESUS, to give us to understand, that 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.