About forty thousand prepared for war
Accoutred with proper armour to defend themselves, and their brethren, and annoy their enemies: this is to be understood of such a number of the above mentioned tribes; otherwise the number of all Israel that went over Jordan, even armed or fighting men, besides women and children, were five hundred thousand or more. Now though the number of men fit for war, of these tribes, were an hundred thirty thousand, who were all, according to the original agreement, under obligation to go with their brethren over Jordan into Canaan's land, and continue with them until it was subdued, and they had rest in it; yet Joshua took no more than about forty thousand of them, who we may suppose were select men, and fit for his purpose; the rest were left to look after their flocks, their families, and their lands: these
passed over before the Lord unto battle;
over Jordan, before the ark of the Lord, as that stood in Jordan, bore by the priests there, being ready to engage in battle whenever it was necessary: and they went on with their brethren
to the plains of Jericho;
to a place afterwards called Gilgal; see ( Joshua 4:19 ) . The Septuagint version is, to the city Jericho.