Pass through the host
The whole camp of Israel, consisting of six hundred thousand fighting men:
and command the people;
even all the people of Israel; this includes women as well as men, for the one, as well as the other, were to do what follows, and especially it may seem the business of the former:
saying, prepare ye victuals;
this must be understood; as Kimchi observes, of other sorts of food besides bread; for they had manna, the bread of heaven, which fell about their tents every morning, so that they were sufficiently provided with that always, and which did not cease until they had entered the land, even until the sixteenth of Nisan, ( Joshua 5:12 ) ; though indeed, as Abendana observes, that might be said to be prepared, it being ground in mills, and beat in mortars, and made cakes of, ( Numbers 11:8 ) ; but rather this designs meat and other provisions, which being upon the borders of Moab and Midian, they could furnish themselves with for their money; and besides, they were in the possession of a fine country, of Bashan and Gilead, they had taken from Sihon and Og. Jarchi interprets it of everything fit for journeying, and arms for war, with which they were supplied from the spoils of their enemies, the Egyptians at the Red sea, Amalek at Rephidim, and the Amorites and Midianites lately smitten by them; and to this sense Josephus F13 seems to agree:
for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan:
or at the end of three days, as the Targum of Jonathan; and so Jarchi, while there are yet three days, after that ye shall pass over: but here arises a difficulty to be reconciled, how this could be done three days after, when the spies, which Joshua is afterward said to send into the land, stayed three days in the mountains, besides the time of their going, and returning, and stay at Rahab's house; and it was not till after their return that the camp began to move; to which it may be observed, that though the affair of the spies is afterward related, they might have been sent by Joshua before this order was given to prepare for the journey, and of this opinion are several of the Jewish writers F14: this being the case, they might return before the expiration of these three days, at the end of which Joshua, with the whole host, moved, agreeably to these orders:
to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God giveth you to
which must be a great inducement and encouragement to them to observe his instructions, and go over with him.
F13 Antiqu. l. 5. c. 1. sect. 1.
F14 Jarchi, Ben Gersom, & Abarbinel in loc.