Joshua 6:7 MEANING

Joshua 6:7
(7) Pass on, and compass the city.--The meaning of this proceeding becomes clearer when we remember that the centre of the procession is the written law of God. The ark is the vessel that contains it. The armed men that precede it are its executioners. The priests who blow the trumpets are its heralds. It was this law that had brought Israel over Jordan; this law that was henceforth to be established in Canaan; this law that was about to take vengeance on the transgressors. The whole law of Moses is but the expansion of the Decalogue; and the Pentateuch contains an ample statement of the transgressions which had brought the inhabitants of Canaan under the ban of the Divine law. The seven days' march round Jericho, in absolute silence, was well calculated to impress on the inhabitants the lesson of "the forbearance of God." "These things hast thou done, and I kept silence." For several generations the long-suffering of God had waited, while "the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full." In the first year of the Exodus He had threatened them, bringing the sword of Israel to their borders; and then He had drawn back His hand from them, and given them forty years' respite more. But now the long-suffering of God had waited long enough. The shout that burst from the lips of Israel was a signal that He would wait no longer.

Looked at thus, the shout of Israel at the sound of the trumpet on the seventh day becomes no inapt figure of that which is connected with it by the language of Holy Scripture--"the shout," accompanied by "the voice of the archangel and the trump of God," which shall notify to the world our Lord's second coming. "Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence" any more (Ps. 1. 3 and 21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).

Verse 7. - And he said. The text has they said. Our translators follow the Masoretic emendation. If we follow the original we must suppose that the priests, or, as with Keil and Knobel, the Shoterim (Joshua 1:10), conveyed Joshua's command to the troops.

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 he said unto the people, pass on, and compass the city,.... The women and children, the young men under twenty years of age, the unarmed part of the camp, as distinguished from the armed men:

and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the Lord; to guard the ark, protect the priests, and defend the people, should any sally be made by the enemy upon them. These seem to design all the males that were above twenty years of age able to bear arms, and fit for war; though some restrain it to the forty thousand of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, Joshua 1:14.

Courtesy of Open Bible