And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.
Read Chapter 24
George Leo Haydock
Of Israel. There seems no reason for restricting this to the ancients On this solemn occasion, when all Israel was probably assembled at one of the great festivals, Josue concluded his exhortation, by renewing the covenant (Calmet) in the place where he had formerly complied with the injunction of Moses, chap. viii. 31. (Haydock)
In Sichem, in the field which Jacob had purchased, and where a great oak (ver. 26,) was growing, that had been honoured, it is thought, with the presence of the patriarchs. It was near the two famous mountains of Garizim and Hebal. (Calmet)
Sichem was at the foot of the former mountain of blessings; and Josephus informs us, the altar was erected in its vicinity. No fitter place could therefore have been selected by the aged chief, to conclude the actions of his life, and to attach the people to the religion which they had once received, in the most signal manner. The Vatican and Alexandrian copies (Haydock) of the Septuagint, followed by St. Augustine (q. 30...
Kennicott denies that the ark was present, and supposes that they offered sacrifice upon the very altar which Josue had erected on Garizim, between 20 and 30 years before; and that this mountain is here called the sanctuary or "holy place. "Upon it the oak might very well grow, and Josue might "with great propriety take some large stone, and set it up for a witness, making at the same time this striking remark, that this stone had heard all the words of the Lord, or had been present when his law was inscribed and read to the people at their former solemn convention. "Hence he infers against Collins, "that the Jews had thoughts of worshipping, and did worship at Gerizim long before the separation of Israel from Juda "and it was probably for fear of the Israelites returning to a sense of their duty, by the sight of these monuments of the old religion, that Jeroboam refrained from setting up his golden calves in the vicinity. (Diss. ii. p. 119.) (Haydock) ...