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Joshua 22:18-20

Context
22:18 Now today you dare to turn back 1  from following the Lord! You are rebelling today against the Lord; tomorrow he may break out in anger against 2  the entire community of Israel. 22:19 But if your own land 3  is impure, 4  cross over to the Lord’s own land, 5  where the Lord himself lives, 6  and settle down among us. 7  But don’t rebel against the Lord or us 8  by building for yourselves an altar aside from the altar of the Lord our God. 22:20 When Achan son of Zerah disobeyed the command about the city’s riches, the entire Israelite community was judged, 9  though only one man had sinned. He most certainly died for his sin!’” 10 

1 tn Heb “you are turning back.”

2 tn Or “he will be angry with.”

3 tn Heb “the land of your possession.”

4 sn The western tribes here imagine a possible motive for the action of the eastern tribes. T. C. Butler explains the significance of the land’s “impurity”: “East Jordan is impure because it is not Yahweh’s possession. Rather it is simply ‘your possession.’ That means it is land where Yahweh does not live, land which his presence has not sanctified and purified” (Joshua [WBC], 247).

5 tn Heb “the land of the possession of the Lord.”

6 tn Heb “where the dwelling place of the Lord resides.”

sn The phrase where the Lord himself lives refers to the tabernacle.

7 tn Heb “and take for yourselves in our midst.”

8 tc Heb “and us to you rebel.” The reading of the MT, the accusative sign with suffix (וְאֹתָנוּ, vÿotanu), is problematic with the verb “rebel” (מָרַד, marad). Many Hebrew mss correctly read the negative particle אַל (’al) for the preposition אֶל (’el, “to”).

9 tn Heb “Is it not [true that] Achan son of Zerah was unfaithful with unfaithfulness concerning what was set apart [to the Lord] and against all the assembly of Israel there was anger?”

10 tn The second half of the verse reads literally, “and he [was] one man, he did not die for his sin.” There are at least two possible ways to explain this statement: (1) One might interpret the statement to mean that Achan was not the only person who died for his sin. In this case it could be translated, “and he was not the only one to die because of his sin.” (2) Another option, the one reflected in the translation, is to take the words וְהוּא אִישׁ אֶחָד (vÿhu’ ’ishekhad, “and he [was] one man”) as a concessive clause and join it with what precedes. The remaining words (לֹא גָוַע בַּעֲוֹנוֹ, logavabaavono) must then be taken as a rhetorical question (“Did he not die for his sin?”). Taking the last sentence as interrogative is consistent with the first part of the verse, a rhetorical question introduced with the interrogative particle. The present translation has converted these rhetorical questions into affirmative statements to bring out more clearly the points they are emphasizing. For further discussion, see T. C. Butler, Joshua (WBC), 240.



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