22:16the whole congregation. The unity of Israel is emphasized throughout Joshua. Geographical boundaries and differences of experience are transcended by the one God, under whose promises all Israel is one people (13:8–33 note). The corollary is that apostasy and rebellion against God will destroy this unity.
turning away. Apostasy is turning away from the Lord; repentance is turning away from sin and toward the Lord (1 Kin. 8:33; Jer. 3:7; Hos. 6:1).
an altar . . . in rebellion. The altar is understood by the rest of Israel in the light of such teaching as Lev. 17:8–9; Deut. 12. But the accusation is rash. The law requires careful investigation before taking action (Deut. 13:12–14).
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