Charge (Joshua 1:4-6)
Verse 4 “From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. Joshua was a prince of the tribe of Ephraim, and was born in Egypt. After the Exodus he became captain of the host. The Book of Joshua is one of the most important writings in the old covenant, and should never be separated from the Pentateuch, of which it is at once both the continuation and completion. The wilderness of Kadesh and Sin, on the border of Eom; in the southeast corner, Numbers 34:3, and this Lebanon; which though on the other side Jordan, and at a considerable distance, being the northern border of the land towards Syria, might be seen afar off; or it is expressed, because it was a well known place, as Kimchi remarks: even unto the great river, the river Euphrates; which was the eastern border of the land, and to which it reached in the times of Solomon, whose dominion extended thither, 1 Kings 4:21, this was its breadth from south to north: all the land of the Hittites: who, though only one of the seven nations of Canaan, are put for the rest, and the rather mentioned, because, as their name signifies, they were very formidable and terrible; among them dwelt the Anakim, and they themselves were very war like and populous; because they dwelt in the western part of the land described by them, so Kimchi thinks; this was its length from east to west: and unto the great sea: the Mediterranean sea.
Verse 5 “No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Between this Book and the five Books of Moses, there is the same analogy as between the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The Pentateuch contains a history of the Acts of the great Jewish legislator, and the Laws on which the Jewish Church should be established. The Book of Joshua gives an account of the establishment of that Church in the Land of Canaan, according to the oft-repeated promises and declarations of God. The Gospels give an account of the transactions of Jesus Christ, the great Christian legislator, and of those Laws on which his Church should be established, and by which it should be governed. What is promised to the people in common, Deuteronomy 11:25; is here particularly promised to Joshua their general; and which was fulfilled in him, and still more in Christ his antitype, who made an end of sin, destroyed the devil, spoiled principalities and powers, abolished death, and overcame the world: as I was with Moses, so will I be with thee; to counsel and advise, guide and direct, protect and defend, prosper and succeed; as my Word was for the help of Moses, so will I be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee; but grant him his presence, communicate strength unto him, make good his promises, and leave him not until he had made an entire conquest of the land of Canaan, and even not until the end of his days; and was true of Christ in his.
Verse 6 “Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. The Acts of the Apostles gives an account of the actual establishment of the Church, according to the predictions and promises of its great founder. Thus, then, the Pentateuch bears as pointed a relation to the Gospels as the Book of Joshua does to the Acts of the Apostles. And we might, with great appearance of probability, carry this analogy yet farther, and show that the writings of several of the Prophets bear as strict a relation to the Apostolical Epistles, as the Books of Ezekiel and Daniel do to the Apocalypse. The same exhortation Moses gave him, Deuteronomy 31:7; and is afterwards repeated in this chapter, as being of great moment and importance, as it is in the general of an army to show greatness and strength of mind, valor and courage, and not be dismayed at the number and strength of the enemy. As Joshua's work in fighting with the Canaanites, and conquering their land, so Christ's work in the redemption of his people, and subduing their enemies, required strength and courage, and both were very eminent in him: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land which I swore unto their fathers to give them; and, this promise included and ensured the conquest of it, and the putting the people into the possession of it; for if he was to divide it to them, he must first take it out of the hands of the present inhabitants.