The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleJoshua 3:17
And the priests that bare the ark of the Lord stood firm on
dry ground in the midst of Jordan…
Which for its breadth Mr.
Maundrell, the above mentioned traveller, says F3 might be about
twenty yards over, and its depth exceeded his height; but Dr. Shaw F4,
a later traveller still, says,
``the river Jordan is by far the most considerable river,
excepting the Nile, either of the coast of Syria, or of
Barbary. I computed it to be about thirty yards broad, but
the depth I could not measure, except at the brink, where I
found it to be three yards.''
Now in the midst of this river the priests bearing the ark stood firm
on dry ground, the waters above being stopped and those below cut off.
This perhaps might give rise to the fables among the Heathens of the
river Scamander being swelled for the destruction of Achilles, and
dried up by Vulcan, of which Homer F5 makes mention; and of the river
Inachus, dried up by Neptune, as the Grecians fable; however, if
Heathens can credit these accounts, surely we Christians ought to
believe this, attested by divine revelation. And this may denote the
presence of Christ with his people in afflictions, who will not suffer
those waters to overflow them, and in death itself, when the swellings
of Jordan shall not come near them to distress them; and when the
covenant of grace will appear firm and sure, and be their great
support; and when also the feet of the ministers of Christ stand firm,
and their faith fails not; which is of great use, and very encouraging
to the spiritual Israel of God:
and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground;
the waters being
divided to a space large enough for such a body of people to pass over,
and which continued
until all the people were clean passed over Jordan;
completely, not one being left behind, or lost in the passage through
it; in the midst of which the priests stood until all were passed over.
So the spiritual Israel of God must all go over Jordan's river, or must
all go through the valley of the shadow of death; and they will all go
over safe to Canaan's land, to the heavenly glory; their souls go
immediately to heaven at death, and their bodies will be raised at the
last day, and be reunited to them, and partake of happiness with them;
nor will anyone of them be lost; they all clean pass over, and arrive
safe; for they are the chosen of God, the care and charge of Christ,
the purchase of his blood, partake of his grace, and have the earnest
of his Spirit.
F3 Maundrell, Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, p. 83.
F4 Travels, p. 346.
F5 Iliad. 21.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 3:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=jos&chapter=003&verse=017>. 1999.