Joshua 5
Fear of the Canaanites, circumcision, and appearance of the Lord
.1 And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.
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  1 - Kings ... Amorites ... westward More Amorites lived east of the Jordan. They had already been subdued nu2121-24.
  1 - Heart melted God had promised to put fear in the hearts of Israel's enemies. ex2327.
  "The influence of this miracle, both upon the Hebrews and upon their enemies, was of great importance. It was an assurance to Israel of God's continued presence and protection--an evidence that He would work for them through Joshua as He had wrought through Moses. Such an assurance was needed to strengthen their hearts as they entered upon the conquest of the land--the stupendous task that had staggered the faith of their fathers forty years before.
  1 - Until we were passed over The Septuagint reads "when they passed over. The Syriac reads, "until they passed over." The Masoretes (early NT Hebrew scholars) agree with the Syriac. However "we" seems to have been intended, meaning that Joshua was among those who passed over.
Comments begin in the left column

  The Lord had declared to Joshua before the crossing, "This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee." And the result fulfilled the promise. "On that day the Lord magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life."
     This exercise of divine power in behalf of Israel was designed also to increase the fear with which they were regarded by the surrounding nations, and thus prepare the way for their easier and complete triumph. When the tidings that God had stayed the waters of Jordan before the children of Israel, reached the kings of the Amorites and of the Canaanites, their hearts melted with fear. The Hebrews had already slain the five kings of Midian, the powerful Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og of Bashan," (SDA BC, pp. 484, 485).

.2 At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives [or "knives of flint"], and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.
 3 And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.
 4 And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt.
  2 - Sharp knives The RSV is more accurate: "flint knives." ex0425.
  2 - Circumcise again " The command did not require him to repeat the operation on those who had undergone it, but to resume the observance of the rite, which had been long discontinued. The language, however, evidently points to a general circumcising on some previous occasion, which, though unrecorded, must have been made before the celebration of the passover at Sinai (compare Ex 12:48; Nu 9:5), as a mixed multitude accompanied the camp. "The second time" of general circumcising was at the entrance into Canaan." (JFB Commentary).
  4 - This is the cause The children of Israel had broken their covenant with Yahweh and the rite of circumcision had been suspended. On entering Canaan, they were given a fresh start nu1423, ps09507-11.
 5 Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised.
 6 For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.
  5 - All the people Except Caleb and Joshua nu1430. Apparently the priests and levites had not been included in the penalty of death for the unfaithful in the wilderness. See ex0625, ex2801, jos2433. No Levites or men of war were among those who were among the faithful spies nu1303-16.
   6 - Forty Years  Consequence of the demand of the people to not enter Canaan after the report of 10 of the spies.
 7 And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way.
 8 And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole.
.9 And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.
 10 And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.
   9 - Reproach of Egypt Perhaps this circumcision established a distinction from an Egyptian religious symbol or rite. In Egypt God's people had been slaves. Now He would make them strong in His power.
 11 And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day.
 12 And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
   11 - Old corn Apparently dried grain in the storehouses of the Canaanites who had fled into Jericho.
   12 - Manna ceased God provides precisely for our needs. God had sent the manna before He spoke from Sinai. The abrupt stop emphasizes the miracle. God will provide for us until we enter the heavenly Canaan and can eat from the tree of life. 
.13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
.14 And he said, Nay; but as captain [or "prince"] of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?
.15 And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.
 14 - Captain of the host of the Lord This is none other than the Messiah Himself. "Lord" here is Hebrew Yahweh. We see Christ (Greek equivalent of "Messiah") as commander of the angels in Rev. 12 re1207, ps14802. Also Christ as the archangel (or chief of the angels) is seen in 1th0416f. The divinity of this being is seen in His acceptance of worship.
   The Lord's "host" may also refer to God's people, ex1241. But not here because the Lord, Yahweh, continues to speak to Joshua in the next chapter saying, "See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of  valour" jos0602. The armed men of Israel were to march, but the wall came down entirely by the power of the Lord jos0620. Thus we see the armies of heaven at work with the cooperation of the priests, armed men, and people of Israel.
   15 - Remove your shoes The same Christ, the Lord of the Exodus, had encountered Moses in this way ex03.




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