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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Joshua 8:3-22

We have here an account of the taking of Ai by stratagem. The stratagem here used, we are sure, was lawful and good; God himself appointed it, and we have no reason to think but that the like is lawful and good in other wars. Here was no league broken, no treaty of peace, that the advantage was gained; no, these are sacred things, and not to be jested with, nor used to serve a turn; truth, when once it is plighted, becomes a debt even to the enemy. But in this stratagem here was no untruth... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Joshua 8:20

And when the men of Ai looked behind them ,.... On some account or another, perhaps observing that the army of Israel made a full stop and was gazing at the city: they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven ; from whence they concluded an enemy was there, and had set fire to it: and they had no power to flee this way or that way ; for if they turned back to their city there was an enemy, how powerful they knew not, possessed of it, and whom they might expect... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Joshua 8:20

They had no power to flee this way or that way - They were in utter consternation; they saw that the city was taken, they found themselves in the midst of their foes; that their wives, children, and property, had fallen a prey to their enemies, in consequence of which they were so utterly panic-struck as to be incapable of making any resistance. read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Joshua 8:1-29

Renewed effort after disaster. The Christian warfare, whether from an individual or from a general point of view, is no record of invariable success. The career of each Christian, as of the Christian Church, is a chequered course. It has its periods of triumph and its moments of disaster. We learn here many valuable lessons as to our conduct under adverse circumstances. I. WE ARE NOT TO INDULGE DESPONDENCY . II. WE MUST GIVE HONOUR WHERE HONOUR IS DUE .... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Joshua 8:20

And they had no power. Literally, no hands. Our version here follows the Arabic, Syriac, and Chaldee versions. The LXX . and Vulgate render no direction in which to fly. But in this case לָהֶם would seem preferable to בָהֶם . The Vulgate translates the last clause of the verse, " Praesertim cum hi, qui simulaverint fugam … fortissime restitissent ." They could not flee back to the city, for it was in flames. They could not advance northward, because the Israelites had faced... read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - Joshua 8:19-23

Joshua 8:19-23. They entered and set the city on fire That is, some part of it, sufficient to raise a smoke, and give notice to their brethren of their success. But certainly not all of it, because in that case they would have lost the prey which God had allowed them. Indeed, it is evident from verse 28, that the main part of the city was not burned till after the battle, and they had taken out all the cattle and other spoils that were therein. The people that fled turned back That is,... read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - Joshua 8:1-35

Victory in central Canaan (8:1-9:27)Now that the Israelites had removed the cause of their defeat, God promised Joshua victory over Ai. He added that on this occasion the Israelites could keep the plunder for themselves (8:1-2).Even with God’s assurance of victory, Joshua planned the attack thoroughly. One company of soldiers was to draw the men of Ai out of the city to fight, then a second company would come out of hiding to attack Ai from the rear (3-9). The plan worked perfectly. When the... read more

E.W. Bullinger

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes - Joshua 8:20

behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 . power. Hebrew hands. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause). for the power put forth by them ( App-6 ). pursuers = the pursuing force (singular) read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - Joshua 8:1-29

3. Victory at Ai 8:1-29When the people had dealt with the sin of Achan as God commanded, Israel was ready to engage the enemy again. read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - Joshua 8:14-23

Evidently men from Bethel, Ai’s neighbor, joined with the men of Ai to repulse Israel’s attack (Joshua 8:17). These two cities had apparently made a treaty for mutual defense.Stretching out his javelin (Joshua 8:18) was Joshua’s prearranged signal to his men in ambush to attack. It symbolized that victory came from the Lord (cf. Exodus 14:16; Exodus 17:8-12). read more

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