Joshua gathered all the tribes - This must have been a different assembly from that mentioned in the preceding chapter, though probably held not long after the former.
To Shechem - As it is immediately added that they presented themselves before God, this must mean the tabernacle; but at this time the tabernacle was not at Shechem but at Shiloh. The Septuagint appear to have been struck with this difficulty, and therefore read . Shiloh, both here and in Joshua 24:25, though the Aldine and Complutensian editions have , Shechem, in both places. Many suppose that this is the original reading, and that Shechem has crept into the text instead of Shiloh. Perhaps there is more of imaginary than real difficulty in the text. As Joshua was now old and incapable of travelling, he certainly had a right to assemble the representatives of the tribes wherever he found most convenient, and to bring the ark of the covenant to the place of assembling: and this was probably done on this occasion. Shechem is a place famous in the patriarchal history. Here Abraham settled on his first coming into the land of Canaan, Genesis 12:6, Genesis 12:7; and here the patriarchs were buried, Acts 7:16. And as Shechem lay between Ebal and Gerizim, where Joshua had before made a covenant with the people, Joshua 8:30, etc., the very circumstance of the place would be undoubtedly friendly to the solemnity of the present occasion. Shuckford supposes that the covenant was made at Shechem, and that the people went to Shiloh to confirm it before the Lord. Mr. Mede thinks the Ephraimites had a proseucha , or temporary oratory or house of prayer, at Shechem, whither the people resorted for Divine worship when they could not get to the tabernacle; and that this is what is called before the Lord; but this conjecture seems not at all likely, God having forbidden this kind of worship.
Other Adam Clarke entries containing Joshua 24:1:
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