their minds in some measure, that they should forget all former instances
of divine severity against them in the same cause, and not discern the
imminent destruction that was prepared for them, the principal cause
from whence they precipitated themselves into the punishment which
they had deserved, was the efficacy of that blindness and hardness of
heart wherewith they were plagued of God. And herein, as was said,
we have the most signal example and instance of the power of unbelief,
confirmed by judiciary hardness of heart, that is upon record in the
whole book of God ; nor doth any monument of an equal folly and
blindness, remain among other memorials of things done in this world.
And we may observe, that,
Obs. IV. God knows how to secure impenitent sinners unto their
appointed destruction, by giving them up unto hardness of heart, and
an obstinate continuance in their sins, against all warnings and means
of repentance. — The devils are reserved for judgment, under the chains
of their own darkness. See Rom. i. 24, 28, 21).
VER. 30.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 503
Obs. V. God doth not give up any in a judiciary way unto sin, but
it is a punishment for preceding sins, and as a means to bring on them
total ruin and destruction.
Obs. VI. Let us not wonder that we see men in the world, obstinate
in foolish counsels and undertakings, tending unto their own inevitable
ruin, seeing probably they are under judiciary hardness from God, Isa.
vi. 9, xxix. 10, xix. 11 — 14.
Obs. VII. There is no such blinding, hardening lust in the minds or
hearts of men, as hatred of the people of God, and desire of their ruin.
— Where this prevails, as it did in these persecuting Egyptians, it de-
prives men of all wisdom and understanding, that they shall do things
against all rules of reason and polity, (which commonly they pretend
unto) brutishly and obstinately, though apparently tending unto their
own ruin and destruction. So it was with these Egyptians ; for
although they designed the utter extirpation of the people, that they
should be no more in the world, which they attempted in the law for the
destruction of all the male children, which in one age would have totally
exterminated them out of Egypt, yet now they would run themselves
on imminent universal destruction to bring them back again into Egypt.
Obs. VIII. When the oppressors of the church are nearest unto
their ruin, they commonly rage most, and are most obstinate in their
bloody persecutions. — So is it at this day among the antichristian
enemies of the church. For notwithstanding all their pride and fury,
they seem to be entering into the Red Sea.
Lastly. The event of this essay or undertaking of the Egyptians,
was, that Karetro^ i)oav, ' they were drowned,' they were swallowed up.
The account hereof is given us so gloriously in the triumphant song of
Moses, Exod, xv. that nothing needs to be added in its farther illustra-
tion. And this destruction of the Egyptians, with the deliverance of
Israel thereby, was a type and pledge of the victory and triumph which
the church shall have over its antichristian adversaries, Rev. xv. 2 — 5.
Ver. 30. — In this verse, the apostle adds another instance of the
faith of the whole congregation, in the sense before declared. For al-
though respect no doubt be had unto the faith of Joshua in an especial
manner, yet that of the whole people is expressed.
Ver. 30. — Yliarei tci Tei\y) Itpt^w tTTtcre kvkXivSevtci tin tTTTa i)/.itncic.
Ver. 30. — By faith the -walls of Jericho fell doivn, after they were
compassed about seven days.
The apostle, in those words, gives us a compendium of the history of
the taking and destruction of Jericho, which is at large recorded in the
sixth chapter of the book of Joshua, with what was spoken before con-
cerning the spies in the second chapter. I shall not need to report the
story, it is so well known. Only I shall observe some few things,
wherein the faith of the people did concur unto this great work of divine
providence, when I. have a little opened the words.
The thing ascribed unto their faith is the fall of, ret Tu\n, 'the walls
of Jericho.' The city itself was not great, as is evident, because the
504 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CH. XI.
whole army of the Israelites did compass it seven times in one day.
But most probably it was fortified and encompassed with walls of great
height and strength, with which the spies sent by Moses out of the wil-
derness were terrified, Num. xiii. 28. And in all probability the Israel-
ites were destitute of any engines of war for the casting of them down,
or making a breach in them. And because the king of the place neither
endeavoured to hinder the passage of the Israelites over Jordan, which
was but a few miles from the city, when he knew that they designed his
destruction, nor did once attempt to oppose them in the field before
they sat down about the town, as did the men of Ai, it is probable that
he placed his confidence in the strength of the walls, and their fortifi-
cations. And it is uncertain how long it was besieged by the Israelites
before God showed unto them the way of demolishing these walls. For
the town was beleaguered by Joshua, it may be, for some good while
before he had the command to compass it, Josh. vi. 1.
These walls, saith the apostle, en-eae, 'fell down.' They did so unto
the very ground. This is signified in that expression, rr s nnn rrxnnn 5?sm,
Josh. vi. 20, ' And the wall fell down under it ;' which, although it doth
not prove that the wall sunk into the ground, as some of the Hebrews
judge, (yea, that notion is inconsistent with the words whereby its fall
is expressed,) yet it intimates the utter casting it down flat on the earth,
whereby the people went over it with ease into the city. And therefore
this fall was not by a breach in any part of the wall, but by the dejec-
tion of the whole. For the people being round about the city when it
fell, did not go from one place unto another to seek for an entrance, but
went up into the city every one straight before him, in the place where
he was, which utterly deprived the inhabitants of all advantages of
defence. Yet need not this be so far extended, as that no part nor par-
cel of the wall was left standing, where the fall of it was not of any
advantage unto the Israelites. So that part of it whereon the house of
Rahab was built was left standing; for in the fall of it, she, and all that
were with her, must have been destroyed. But the fall was such as
took away all defence from the inhabitants, and facilitated the entrance
of the Israelites in all places at once.
This, saith the apostle, was done after they were compassed about,
£7Tt ittto. TjjUfjoac, ' seven days.' 'Compassed about,' that is, by the
army of the Israelites marching round the town in the order described,
Josh. vi. 2,3, &c. And this was done seven days. The first command
of God was to have it done six times in the space of six days, ver. 3.
But an especial command and direction was given for that of the seventh
day, because it was then to be done seven times, ver. 4. This seventh
day probably was the Sabbath, and somewhat of mystery is no doubt
intimated in the number of seven in this place. For there were to be
seven priests going before the people, and seven trumpets of rams'
horns to sound with, and the order was to be observed seven days ; and
on the seventh day the city was to be compassed seven times, which
thing was of divine designation. The reader may, if he please, consult
our discourse of the Original and Institution of the Sabbath, wherein
these things are spoken unto. The apostle takes no notice of the com-
passing it seven times on the seventh day ; but only of its being com-
VEIL 30.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 505
passed seven days. And some things' there are wherein the Israelites
did manifest their faith herein.
1. It was on the command of God, and his promise of success therein,
that they now entered the land of Canaan, and began their work and
war with the siege of this strong town, not having, by any previous
fight, weakened the inhabitants. Here they made the first experiment
of the presence of God with them in the accomplishment of the pro-
mise made to Abraham.
2. They did so in their readiness to comply with the way prescribed
unto them, of compassing the town so many days with the noise of
trumpets, without the least attempt to possess themselves of it. For
without a respect by faith unto the command and promise of God, this
act was so far from furthering them in their design, that it was suited
to expose them to scorn and contempt of their adversary. For what
could they think of them, but as of a company of men who desired in-
deed to possess themselves of their city, but knew not how to do it, or
durst not undertake it. But this way was prescribed unto them of God,
to give them a distinct apprehension that the work of the conquest of
Canaan was his, and not theirs. For although he required of them
therein to use the utmost of their courage, prudence, and diligence, yet
he had taken upon himself the effecting the work itself, as if they had
contributed nothing thereunto. And the compassing of the city once
every day for the space of six days, and the entrance into it on the
seventh, had respect unto the work of the creation. For God was
now entering into his rest with respect unto his worship, in a new way
of settlement and solemnity, such as he had not erected or made use of
from the beginning of the world. Hence he frequently calls it ' his
rest,' as hath been declared in the exposition of the fourth chapter,
Fs. xcv. 11, exxxii. 8, 14; Heb. iii. 11, iv. 3, 11. And it was a type
of the new creation, with the rest of Christ thereon, and of believers
in him. Therefore would God give here a resemblance of that first
work in the labour of the six days, and the reward they received on the
seventh. Besides, hereby he took possession as it were of the city for
himself, not intending to allow the people any share in the spoil of it;
for it was wholly devoted.
3. In the triumphant shout they gave, before the walls stirred or
moved. They used the sign of their downfall before the thing signified
was accomplished, and triumphed by faith in the ruin of the walls,
n Idle they stood in their full strength.
Wherefore the apostle might justly commend their faith, which wa>
acted against so many difficulties, in the use of unlikely means, with a
constancy and persistency unto the time and event designed. For,
Obs. I. Faith will embrace and make use of means divinely pre-
scribed, though it be not able to discern the effective influence of them
unto the end aimed at. On this consideration was Naaman induced to
wash himself in the waters of Jordan for the cure of his leprosy,
2 Kings v. 14.
Obs. II. Faith will cast down walls and strong towers, that lie in
the way of the work of God. It is true we have no stone walls to
demolish, nor cities to destroy ; but the same faith in exercise is required
506 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [cil. XI.
of us all in our concerns, as was in Joshua, when he entered on the
conquest of Canaan, as the apostle declares, ch- xiii. 5. And there are
strongholds of sin in our minds, which nothing but faith can cast to the
Ver. 31. — Hitherto we have had the examples of men, with one
woman only in conjunction with her husband. In this verse, the apostle
• puts a close unto his particular instances, in that of one single woman,
accompanied with many eminent circumstances, as we shall see.
Ver. 31. — Utarei 'Paa|3 17 iropvri ov avvawcoXsTO rotg a.TruBr)oa