Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man1 standing in front of him with a drawn sword2 in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?"
"Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown3 to the ground4 in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord a have for his servant?"
The commander of the LORD's army replied, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy."5 And Joshua did so.