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Joshua 1:8—

Observation Exercise

“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and
night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will
make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”

 God is the speaker in this verse (cf. v. 1)

 Joshua is the one being addressed (cf. v. 1)
 The occasion of the speech was two-fold —
 Moses’ death (v. 2a)
 Israel preparing to enter promised land (v. 2b)
 Who was Moses?
 Moses was a unique prophet (Dt. 34:9)
 Moses was called the servant of the Lord (v. 1) — used 17x of Moses, 2x of Joshua, 2x
of David. It is a reference to both his piety and his commission from God
 Moses led the nation of Israel for 40 years.
 Moses was prevented from entering the promised land because of sin (Num 20:8-13)
 Who was Joshua?
 He was recognized as being a spiritual man (Num. 27:18; Dt. 34:9)
 He was one of two spies that exhorted Israel to enter the promised land (Num. 14:5ff)
 This book… = ref. to Moses’ law (v. 7) — gen. the Pentateuch (the only written
Scriptures at that point), also referred to Law specifically, which was given a second time in
 shall not depart = promise? declaration? command? With the negative used with the
impfct. (uncompleted action), has the force of an imv. (NIV = “do not let it depart…”)
 Three main verbs — shall not depart, shall meditate, careful to do (“preserve”)
 The two verbs are complimentary — a negative prohibition (“do not”) and a positive
command (“do”)
 This verse serves as an amplification of the command in v. 7
 The context of these commands are a series of promises from God (the promises provide
the basis for the commands) —
 God is giving the land to Israel (v. 2)
 Every step in the land is a gift of that land from God (v. 3)
 The extent of the land is defined in v. 4 (which Israel has never yet possessed
 No individual will be able to stand against Joshua in this quest (v. 5)
 God will be with Joshua in the same way He was with Moses (v. 6)
 The promise from God is not only to Joshua, but a fulfillment of His promise to the
nation and to the Fathers (Abraham…) — v. 6
 There are two other commands that precede these commands —
 Arise, cross this Jordan… (v. 2)
 Be strong and courageous (v. 6)
 but serves as a contrastive (waw = “and” — context will reveal how to translate)
 meditate = pfct. tense (completed action)
 day and night = meditation is constant and continual — all times and all activities.
 so that = purpose
 careful to do = “preserve”
 written — i.e., the Scriptures were not only oral, but they were already in written form
(and authoritative)
 for then = result
 Two results (promises from God) are indicated (the phrases appear to be used in parallel,
to indicate one fundamental result — prosperity in living) —
 your way [will be] prosperous
 you will have success — cf. v. 7, where the same phrase is used
 Verse 7 points to the success that comes while walking (wherever you go)
 Verse 8 points to the prosperity that comes in the circumstances of life (your way)
 Note the emphasis on the second singular pronoun, “you” — 4x God addresses Joshua,
 Possible word studies (these are all verbs!) —
 not depart
 meditate
 be careful
 prosperous
 success
 Any other parallel passages? Ps. 1

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Observation: the Laws of Structure

 CLIMAX: the arrangement of the material progresses from that which is of lesser
importance to that which is greater.
Cf. Rom. 11:33:36; Phil. 3:1; 4:1.

 COMMANDS: An imperative to either do or not do something.

Cf. 1 Thess. 5:16-18.
Cf. Philippians — 25 imperatives (1 in ch. 1 [v. 27]; 8 in ch. 2; 6 in ch. 3; 10 in ch. 4)

 COMPARISON: An association of like or similar things. Key words are “like, as, just
Cf. Hebrews 4:12; Phil. 2:17.

 CONTRAST: an association of things which are opposite or dissimilar.

Cf. Psalm 1; Phi. 3:2-3.

 CAUSE AND EFFECT: the statement of a cause (action) and its resulting effect
Cf. Galatians 6:7-8; Romans 1:18-32; 8:18-20; Phil. 2:6-8; Phil. 2:25ff.

 EXPLANATION: An idea which is introduced and then expanded or interpreted.

Cf. The Parables of Sowing (Mt. 13); Phil. 4:4ff.

 GENERALIZATION: A movement from a particular statement(s) or illustration(s) to a

general statement of conclusion.
Cf. Js. 2:14-26; Phil. 3:12-15

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 GRAMMATICAL CONSTRUCTION: attention to nouns and pronouns, verbs and
their tenses, prepositions, connectives (therefore, yet, however, and, etc....)
Cf. Mt. 20:1; Rom. 6:1; Phil. 1:9-11.

 ILLUSTRATION: an idea is introduced and then followed by and example.

Cf. Heb. 11; Phil. 2:4-8; 3:4-7.

 INTERCHANGE: the movement back and forth between several different topics in a
short space, to highlight contrast and comparison.
Cf. Luke 1-3 (Christ/John B.); 1 Sam. 1-3 (Hannah & Samuel vs. Eli & sons); Phil. 1:15-17

 PARTICULARIZATION: a movement from a general statement to its particular

ramifications or effects.
Cf. Mt. 6:1-18; Phil. 2:4-12

 PIVOT: the material is arranged so that it turns around based upon one important factor.
Cf. 2 Sam. 11-12 (David & Bathsheba); Warnings in Hebrews (2:1-4; 3:7-4:13; 5:11-6:20;
10:26-31; 12:12-29); Mk. 6:1-29; Mt. 12-13

 PREPARATION: including a background or explanation or setting for events and ideas.

Cf. Gen. 2 prepares for chapter 3; Mk. 12:18; Phil. 1:7; 2:27-28.

 PROPORTION: a writer emphasizes or de-emphasizes what He is saying by the

amount of material he includes on the subject.
Cf. Mark (no birth narrative); John 13-21.

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 PURPOSE: the writer/speaker declares through a succinct statement the reason or
purpose of his writing or message. (Often this will be marked by the words “so that.”)
Cf. Mk. 10:45; Jn. 20:30-31; 1 Tim. 3:15; Phil. 1:9ff; 3:1; 4:4.

 QUESTION: the author arranges his material around a series of questions and answers
(e.g., Rom. 2:3; 3:1ff; 3:31; 4:1; 6:1; 7:1; Gal. 3:1), or answers questions previously asked (1
Cor. 7:1; 8:1). Cf. Phil. 1:18.

 RESULTS: a statement regarding the consequence of a particular action.

Cf. Acts 2:47; Phil. 3:18-19.

 REPETITION: the repeating of key words, thoughts, phrases, or similar terms.

Cf. Leviticus 19; Eph. 1; Phil. 1:4; 2:18; 3:1; 4:4.

 SUMMARY: a gathering together of key ideas to clarify thoughts and to restate for the
purpose of emphasis.
Cf. Josh. 12:9-24 reiterating chaps. 1-11.

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 Read Hendricks, pp. 79-135.

 Read Philippians 1 five times this week (five different days) and make note of all the
“Laws of Structure” you observe.
 Attempt a structural diagram to denote the relationships within Phil. 1:27. Optional: do a
structural diagram of Phil. 1:1-11
 Do an “Imaginative rewrite” of Philippians 1 (cf. Hendricks, pp. 106-11).


 Read John Piper’s Biblical Exegesis, and use the arcing method on Phil. 1:1-11.
(See also
 Listen to Howard Hendricks class lectures on observation at:

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Structural Relationship of Joshua 1:8

This book of the law [subject]

shall not depart [proposition]
from your mouth
but you shall meditate on it
day and night

so that you may be careful to do all that is written in it [purpose]

for then [result]

you will make your way prosperous
and then you will have success

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