Joshua 5

1 Therefore after that all the kings of Amorites heard, that dwelled over (the) Jordan at the west coast, and all the kings of Canaan, that wielded the nigh places of the great sea, that the Lord had dried the flowings of (the) Jordan before the sons of Israel, till they passed over, the heart of them failed, and the spirit dwelled not in them, dreading the entering of the sons of Israel. (And so when all the kings of the Amorites, who lived on the west side of the Jordan River, and all the kings of Canaan, who possessed the lands near the Mediterranean Sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the flowings of the Jordan River before the Israelites, until they had crossed over, their hearts failed, and there was no more spirit, or courage, left in them, for they all feared the coming of the Israelites.)
2 In that time the Lord said to Joshua, Make to thee knives of stone (Make thou some stone knives), and circumcise thou the sons of Israel the second time.
3 Joshua did those things which the Lord commanded, and he circumcised the sons of Israel in the hill of prepuces (and he circumcised the male Israelites at the Hill of the Foreskins).
4 And this is the cause of the second circumcision; all the people of male kind, that went out of Egypt, all the men fighters of them, were dead in (the) desert by the full long compasses of (the) way, (And this is the reason for the second circumcision; all the males, who went out of Egypt, yea, all their fighting men, who had died in the wilderness on the very long journey on the way,)
5 the which all were circumcised. But the other people that was born in desert by forty years, in the way of the full broad wilderness, was uncircumcised, (were all circumcised. But the other males, those who were born in the wilderness, were uncircumcised.)
6 till they (all) were wasted, that heard not the voice of the Lord, and to which he swore before, that he should (not) show to them the land flowing with milk and honey. (Yea, for forty years, they went on the way of the very broad wilderness, until all of them had died who had not obeyed the voice of the Lord, and to whom he had sworn before, that he would not let them see the land flowing with milk and honey.)
7 The sons of them came afterward into the place of [the] fathers, and they were circumcised of Joshua; which, as they were born, were in prepuce, neither any man had circumcised them in the way. (Their sons came afterward into the place of their fathers, and they were the ones whom Joshua circumcised; for they all had foreskins, as when they were born, for no one had circumcised them on the way.)
8 And after that they all were circumcised, they dwelled in the same place of their tents, till they were healed.
9 And the Lord said to Joshua, Today I have taken away from you the shame of Egypt. And (so) the name of the place was called Gilgal , unto this present day.
10 And the sons of Israel dwelled in Gilgal, and made pask in the fourteenth day of the month at eventide, in the field places of Jericho; (And the Israelites stayed at Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, on the plains of Jericho;)
11 and they ate of the fruits of the land in the tother day, therf loaves, and pottage of the same year, either corns singed, and rubbed in the hand. (and they ate of the fruits of the land on the next day, unleavened bread, and pottage of that year, or corns singed, and then rubbed by hand.)
12 And (the) manna failed after that they ate of the fruits of the land; and the sons of Israel used no more that meat (and no longer did the Israelites receive that food), but they ate of the fruits of (the) present year of the land of Canaan.
13 And when Joshua was in the field of the city of Jericho, he raised up his eyes, and saw a man standing (over) against him, and holding a drawn sword; and Joshua went out to him, and said, Art thou with us, either (with) our adversary?
14 To whom he answered, Nay, but I am (the) prince of the host of the Lord, and now I (have) come. Joshua felled low to the earth, and worshipped, and said, What speaketh my Lord to his servant? (And Joshua fell down onto the ground, and honoured him, and said, What saith my lord to his servant?)
15 (And) He said, Unlace thy shoes from (off) thy feet, for the place, in which thou standest, is holy. And Joshua did, as it was commanded to him.

Joshua 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

The Canaanites are afraid, Circumcision renewed. (1-9) The passover at Gilgal The manna ceases. (10-12) The Captain of the Lord's host appears to Joshua. (13-15)

Verses 1-9 How dreadful is their case, who see the wrath of God advancing towards them, without being able to turn it aside, or escape it! Such will be the horrible situation of the wicked; nor can words express the anguish of their feelings, or the greatness of their terror. Oh that they would now take warning, and before it be too late, flee for refuge to lay hold upon that hope set before them in the gospel! God impressed these fears on the Canaanites, and dispirited them. This gave a short rest to the Israelites, and circumcision rolled away the reproach of Egypt. They were hereby owned to be the free-born children of God, having the seal of the covenant. When God glorifies himself in perfecting the salvation of his people, he not only silences all enemies, but rolls back their reproaches upon themselves.

Verses 10-12 A solemn passover was kept, at the time appointed by the law, in the plains of Jericho, in defiance of the Canaanites round about them. It was a performance of the promise, that when they went up to keep the feasts, their land should be under the special protection of the Divine providence, ( Exodus 34:24 ) . Notice is taken of the ceasing of the manna as soon as they had eaten the old corn of the land. For as it came just when they needed, so it continued as long as they needed it. This teaches us not to expect supplies by miracles, when they may be had in a common way. The word and ordinances of God are spiritual manna, with which God nourishes his people in this wilderness. Though often forfeited, yet they are continued while we are here; but when we come to the heavenly Canaan, this manna will cease, for we shall no longer need it.

Verses 13-15 We read not of any appearance of God's glory to Joshua till now. There appeared to him one as a man to be noticed. This Man was the Son of God, the eternal Word. Joshua gave him Divine honours: he received them, which a created angel would not have done, and he is called Jehovah, chap. 6:2 . To Abraham he appeared as a traveller; to Joshua as a man of war. Christ will be to his people what their faith needs. Christ had his sword drawn, which encouraged Joshua to carry on the war with vigour. Christ's sword drawn in his hand, denotes how ready he is for the defence and salvation of his people. His sword turns every way. Joshua will know whether he is a friend or a foe. The cause between the Israelites and Canaanites, between Christ and Beelzebub, will not admit of any man's refusing to take one part or the other, as he may do in worldly contests. Joshua's inquiry shows an earnest desire to know the will of Christ, and a cheerful readiness and resolution to do it. All true Christians must fight under Christ's banner, and they will conquer by his presence and assistance.

Chapter Summary


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 Commentaries

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.