Joshua 5:2-9

Circumcision and Passover at Gilgal

2 At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again.”
3 So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites at Gibeath Haaraloth.[a]
4 Now this is why he did so: All those who came out of Egypt—all the men of military age—died in the wilderness on the way after leaving Egypt.
5 All the people that came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the wilderness during the journey from Egypt had not.
6 The Israelites had moved about in the wilderness forty years until all the men who were of military age when they left Egypt had died, since they had not obeyed the LORD. For the LORD had sworn to them that they would not see the land he had solemnly promised their ancestors to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.
7 So he raised up their sons in their place, and these were the ones Joshua circumcised. They were still uncircumcised because they had not been circumcised on the way.
8 And after the whole nation had been circumcised, they remained where they were in camp until they were healed.
9 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the place has been called Gilgal[b] to this day.

Joshua 5:2-9 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JOSHUA 5

The Canaanites being dispirited on the passage of the children of Israel through Jordan, Jos 5:1; Joshua is ordered to circumcise such of the people of Israel that were uncircumcised, Jos 5:2-9; in order to their eating of the passover, which was now to be kept, Jos 5:10; and they being now provided with corn sufficient, the manna ceased, Jos 5:11,12; and there appeared to Joshua a divine Person, in an human form, to encourage and direct him what to do in the conquest of the land, and particularly Jericho, Jos 5:13-15.

Joshua 5:2-9 In-Context

1 Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the LORD had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over, their hearts melted in fear and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.
2 At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again.”
3 So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites at Gibeath Haaraloth.
4 Now this is why he did so: All those who came out of Egypt—all the men of military age—died in the wilderness on the way after leaving Egypt.
5 All the people that came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the wilderness during the journey from Egypt had not.
6 The Israelites had moved about in the wilderness forty years until all the men who were of military age when they left Egypt had died, since they had not obeyed the LORD. For the LORD had sworn to them that they would not see the land he had solemnly promised their ancestors to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.
7 So he raised up their sons in their place, and these were the ones Joshua circumcised. They were still uncircumcised because they had not been circumcised on the way.
8 And after the whole nation had been circumcised, they remained where they were in camp until they were healed.
9 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the place has been called Gilgal to this day.
10 On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover.
11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain.
12 The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan.

Cross References 10

  • 1. S Exodus 4:25
  • 2. S Ge 17:10,12,14
  • 3. S Numbers 1:3
  • 4. Deuteronomy 2:14
  • 5. Numbers 32:13; Joshua 14:10; Psalms 107:4
  • 6. S Exodus 16:35; Deuteronomy 2:7
  • 7. Nu 14:23,29-35; Deuteronomy 2:14
  • 8. S Exodus 3:8
  • 9. Genesis 34:25
  • 10. S Deuteronomy 11:30

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. "Gibeath Haaraloth" means "the hill of foreskins."
  • [b]. "Gilgal" sounds like the Hebrew for "roll."