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Verse 24

Joshua 7:24. And his sons and his daughters It is very probable, Achan being an old man, that his children were grown up, and the things which he had stolen being buried in the midst of his tent, it is likely they were conscious of the fact, as the Jewish doctors affirm they were; and if they were not accomplices in his crime, yet, at least, they concealed it. This is said, on the supposition that they were stoned and burned. But, according to the LXX., who say nothing of his children, only he was put to death. And it is not necessary to understand even the Hebrew text as affirming any thing further. It says, all Israel stoned him with stones, without mentioning his family. And what it afterward adds, And burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones, may be understood of the oxen, and asses, and sheep which belonged to Achan, and which God willed to be destroyed, together with his tent, and other effects, to excite a greater horror of his crime. For the brute creatures, though not capable of sin, nor of punishment, properly so called, yet, as they were made for man’s use, so they may be justly destroyed for man’s good. And as they are daily killed for our bodily food, it surely cannot seem strange that they should sometimes be killed for the instruction of our minds, that we may hereby learn the contagious nature of sin, which involves innocent creatures in its destructive effects.

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