Joshua 6:10 MEANING

Joshua 6:10
Verse 10. ? Ye shall not shout. No sign of triumph was to be raised; but the Israelites, their priests, and the ark of their covenant were in solemn silence to encompass the city day by day, until they were commanded to raise the shout of victory. The people of Jericho knew only too well what this religious procession meant. As a military manoeuvre (so Calvin) it was worse than useless, it was ridiculous. It actually invited attack; nay, it afforded, if the interpretation in the note on ver. 8 be correct, an admirable opportunity for the slaughter of defenceless women and children by a sudden sally from the city. But the history of the Exodus was not unknown to the king and people of Jericho. The inspired law giver, with his miraculous powers, and his claim to direct intercourse with the Most High, was a personage only too well known to them, and his mission was only too sure a token of the Divine sanction which rested on their proceedings. His supernatural qualifications had evidently descended to his successor, and now it was terribly clear that this awful silent march, with the army equipped for battle, but not attempting to engage in it, the seven priests with their seven trumpets, the visible symbol of the Presence of the God of Israel, attended by the awestruck multitude awaiting the Divine pleasure, was but the prelude to some new interposition from on high, the mysterious foreshadowing of some hitherto unheard of calamity which should befall the devoted city. There seems in this narrative no choice between rejecting the whole as an absurd fable, or accepting it as the record of a "notable miracle." The account is minute in its detail. The historian, if he be an historian, is distinctly impressed with the idea that he is relating a miracle. The obvious course for Joshua, if he were not relying on supernatural aid, was either to assault or to blockade the city. To perambulate it for days in the expectation of some convulsion of nature such as, we are told, frequently happened in that volcanic region, would have been the extreme of childish folly, and quite contrary to that common sense and military skill with which, as we have seen, Joshua undoubtedly was endowed. If he were possessed, seven days beforehand, with a conviction that an earthquake were imminent, such a persuasion would be of itself miraculous. Paulus' idea of a mine having been sprung is still less compatible with our narrative. Von Lengerke, in his 'Cana supposes that the astonishing success of the Israelites grew into a wonder in the hands of the narrator. But this involves the entire falsehood, not only of the command given to Joshua by Jehovah, but of the seven days' perambulation of Jericho, and the remaining incidents of the siege, a theory not easily reconcilable with the minute accuracy of detail displayed throughout the narrative. The seven days' circuit of Jericho must, therefore, either be denied altogether, in spite of the numerous evidences of genuineness which meet us in the narrative; or, if explained, the only explanation which is consistent with the fact is, that Joshua had received an intimation that he was not to expect to effect the reduction of the city by natural means, but was to wait patiently for an interposition from on high.

6:6-16 Wherever the ark went, the people attended it. God's ministers, by the trumpet of the everlasting gospel, which proclaims liberty and victory, must encourage the followers of Christ in their spiritual warfare. As promised deliverances must be expected in God's way, so they must be expected in his time. At last the people were to shout: they did so, and the walls fell. This was a shout of faith; they believed the walls of Jericho would fall. It was a shout of prayer; they cry to Heaven for help, and help came.And Joshua had commanded the people,.... When he gave them their orders to pass on, and compass the city, Joshua 6:7,

saying, ye shall not shout; that is, on any of the six days as they went round the city, only on the seventh; for this being a sign of victory, it was not to be made until the day when it should be obtained; otherwise, had they shouted, and nothing followed on it, it would have exposed them to the contempt of the inhabitants of Jericho, and would have put them in spirit, and hardened them:

nor make any noise with your voice; as laughing, singing, &c. This profound silence was to be observed, to add to the gravity and solemnity of the procession; and on account of the surprising miracle that was to be wrought, and particularly because of the ark, the symbol of the divine Presence, borne before them; and when God in his providence was about to speak in so awful a manner, and to do such a surprising work, it was very fit and decent that they should be silent before him; see Habakkuk 2:20,

neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth; no conversation or discourse were to be had with each other as they passed along; for this is only to be restrained to the procession; when they returned, and in their camp, they might talk and discourse as at other times:

until the day I bid you shout, then shall ye shout; for as yet it seems Joshua had not told them how many days they should surround the city in this manner, and on what day the shout should be made by them.

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