And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it has heard all the words of the LORD which he spoke unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest you deny your God.
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Basil the Great
Joshua, the son of Nun, even calls a stone to give testimony (a heap of stones had already been called to testify between Jacob and Laban) when he said, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us; for it has heard all the words of the Lord which he spoke to us; therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God.” Perhaps he believed that the power of God would enable the stones to cry out in testimony against the transgressors or at least that everyone’s conscience would be wounded by the force of the reminder. So those who have been entrusted with the care of souls provide various kinds of witnesses to testify at a future date. But the Spirit is organically united with God, not because of the needs of each moment but through communion in the divine nature. He is joined to the Lord; he is not brought in by our efforts. - "On the Spirit 13.30" ...
That Christ is called a stone.… Also in Joshua: “And he took a great stone, and placed it there before the Lord; and Joshua said unto the people, Behold, this stone shall be a testimony to you, because it has heard all the things which were spoken by the Lord, which he has spoken to you today; and it shall be for a testimony to you in the last of the days, when you shall have departed from your God.” - "To Quirinus: Testimonies Against the Jews 2.16" ...
It hath heard. This is a figure of speech, by which sensation is attributed to inanimate things; and they are called upon, as it were, to bear witness in favour of the great Creator, whom they on their part constantly obey, (Challoner) which is the best manner of hearing. They rise up to our confusion. (Theodoret, q. 19.) (Worthington)
The oriental writers delight in these strong figurative expressions, which are not confined to poetry. Jesus Christ says, that if the children were silent, the stones would cry out, Luke xix. 40. See Numbers xiii. 33., and Genesis iv. 10. (Calmet)
Lest. Hebrew, "it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest you deny your God "or literally, "lie unto your Elohim. "(Haydock)
The expression often means to revolt and prove faithless, Deuteronomy xxxiii. 29. ...
It hath heard: This is a figure of speech, by which sensation is attributed to inanimate things; and they are called upon, as it were, to bear witness in favour of the great Creator, whom they on their part constantly obey.