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1 And it came to passe when all the Kings of the Amorites which were on the side of Iordan Westward, and all the Kings of the Canaanites, which were by the Sea, heard that the Lord had dried vp the waters of Iordan from before the children of Israel, vntill we were passed ouer, that their heart melted; neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.

2 At that time the Lord said vnto Ioshua, Make thee sharpe kniues, and circumcise againe the children of Israel the second time.

3 And Ioshua made him sharpe kniues, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskinnes.

4 And this is the cause why Ioshua did circumcise: all the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, euen all the men of warre, died in the wildernes by the way after they came out of Egypt.

5 Now all the people that came out, were circumcised, but all the people that were borne in the wildernesse by the way, as they came foorth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised.

6 For the children of Israel walked fourtie yeeres in the wildernesse, till all the people that were men of warre which came out of Egypt were consumed, because they obeyed not the voyce of the Lord, vnto whome the Lord sware that hee would not shew them the land which the Lord sware vnto their fathers, that he would giue vs, a land that floweth with milke & honie.

7 And their children, whom hee raised vp in their stead, them Ioshua circumcised, for they were vncircumcised: because they had not circumcised them by the way.

8 And it came to passe when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the campe, till they were whole.

9 And the Lord saide vnto Ioshua, This day haue I rolled away the reproch of Egypt from off you: Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal vnto this day.

10 And the children of Israel incamped in Gilgal, and kept the Passeouer, on the fourteenth day of the moneth at euen, in the plaines of Iericho.

11 And they did eate of the olde corne of the land, on the morrow after the Passeouer, vnleauened cakes, and parched corne in the selfe same day.

12 And the Manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corne of the land, neither had the children of Israel Manna any more, but they did eate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that yeere.

13 And it came to passe when Ioshua was by Iericho, that he lift vp his eyes, and looked, and beholde, there stood a man ouer against him, with his sword dawen in his hand: and Ioshua went vnto him, and said vnto him, Art thou for vs, or for our aduersaries?

14 And he said, Nay, but as captaine of the hoste of the Lord am I now come. And Ioshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said vnto him, What saith my Lord vnto his seruant?

15 And the captaine of the Lords hoste said vnto Ioshua, Loose thy shooe from off thy foote, for the place whereon thou standest, is holy: And Ioshua did so.

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Commentary for Joshua 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)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.

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, #Ex 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.

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.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Joshua 5

  • Jones Henneh
    It gladden my heart to know firstly, that my enemy is dispirited because I have cross over.
    But what amazed me the most, is this awesome question asked, What do you see when you know your enemy is dispirited? He that is for you or against you?
    And finally, the heart of a true worshipper when he comes in contact with his savior, His heart cry is, what will you have me do?
  • Kengelmann
    When Joshua sees the man with sword he asks the man if he is for them or he is for the adversaries. The man says 'as the captain of the host of the Lord I am now come". All I can say to that is Hallelujah!!
  • Crystal
    I look forward to seeing more comments from everyone
  • BSP
    Verse 12~the manna had been miraculously provided by Jehovah God to sustain his people in the wilderness and once the purpose is served was up, they no longer had to eat of it.
  • Joyce Joseph
    As Captain of the Lord's host am I come. The presence of God was always with the children of Israel throughout their whole journey but at this point the Almighty God had to show Joshua that the Captain who was Jesus Christ himself was with with them.
  • Isaac
    just like the israelites,we do also in Salvation,we go through the waters of baptism,and we are circumsised from the heart with the infilling of the Holy Ghost and the Lord Jesus Christ becomes our Captain and our finisher of our faith,thats why we stand in holiness in Jesus Christ ,thats why we go from victory to victory,thank you Jesus !!

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