When all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and the Canaanite kings along the seacoast heard how God had stopped the Jordan River before the People of Israel until they had crossed over, their hearts sank; the courage drained out of them just thinking about the People of Israel.
At that time God said to Joshua, "Make stone knives and circumcise the People of Israel a second time."
So Joshua made stone knives and circumcised the People of Israel at Foreskins Hill.
This is why Joshua conducted the circumcision. All the males who had left Egypt, the soldiers, had died in the wilderness on the journey out of Egypt.
All the people who had come out of Egypt, of course, had been circumcised, but all those born in the wilderness along the way since leaving Egypt had not been.
The fact is that the People of Israel had walked through that wilderness for forty years until the entire nation died out, all the men of military age who had come out of Egypt but had disobeyed the call of God. God vowed that these would never lay eyes on the land God had solemnly promised their ancestors to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.
But their children had replaced them. These are the ones Joshua circumcised. They had never been circumcised; no one had circumcised them along the way.
When they had completed the circumcising of the whole nation, they stayed where they were in camp until they were healed.
God said to Joshua, "Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt." That's why the place is called The Gilgal. It's still called that.
The People of Israel continued to camp at The Gilgal. They celebrated the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the plains of Jericho.
Right away, the day after the Passover, they started eating the produce of that country, unraised bread and roasted grain.
And then no more manna; the manna stopped. As soon as they started eating food grown in the land, there was no more manna for the People of Israel. That year they ate from the crops of Canaan.
And then this, while Joshua was there near Jericho: He looked up and saw right in front of him a man standing, holding his drawn sword. Joshua stepped up to him and said, "Whose side are you on - ours or our enemies'?"
He said, "Neither. I'm commander of God's army. I've just arrived." Joshua fell, face to the ground, and worshiped. He asked, "What orders does my Master have for his servant?"
God's army commander ordered Joshua, "Take your sandals off your feet. The place you are standing is holy." Joshua did it.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)