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Jos 5:1 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.
Ver. 1. Heard that the Lord, &c. ] Aι βλαβαι ποδωκεις : Ill news is swift of foot, and, like ill weather, cometh before it is sent for.
That their heart melted. ] This fearfulness and faintheartedness had utterly unmanned them, expectorated all their courage, and so fitted them for desolation. Deu 28:7 Metals melted lose their hardness: so men their hardiness by fear, that cowardly passion.
Jos 5:2 At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.
Ver. 2. Make thee sharp knives. ] Heb., Knives of edges, or knives of flints, cultros lapideos (so one rendereth it) id est, cote acutos.
And circumcise again the children of Israel the second time, ] viz., Those that yet are uncircumcised: for they could not be twice circumcised, unless by drawing up the foreskin with a surgeon’s instrument, any of them had made themselves again uncircumcised, as the Rabbis say Esau had; and as some Jews had done for fear of Antiochus. /APC 1Ma 1:15 But here it is rather to be understood of such as, during their abode in the wilderness, had intermitted this ordinance; and God had dispensed with them because of their frequent and sudden removes. Vatablus’s note here is very good, Transierunt filii Israel Iordanem incircumcisi ne hoc suae circumcision et meritis tribuerent: The Israelites passed over Jordan uncircumcised, that they might not attribute it to their circumcision and merits. Another well notes, that by this seal of the covenant with Abraham, God did now notably confirm their faith in the promise of both the earthly and heavenly Canaan.
Jos 5:3 And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.
Ver. 3. And Joshua … circumcised.] That is, he caused them to be circumcised, viz., by the priests, whose office it was properly: or, by those others, that being under twenty years of age at their coming out of Egypt, had been circumcised before. The Jews at this day count it the most meritorious thing that can be, to be a good circumciser. a
At the hill of the foreskins. ] Heb., Gibeah haaraloth, where they cast away and buried their foreskins; whereby was signified that that which was begotten by that, part deserved in like sort to be cut off, and thrown away as execrable and accursed.
a Leo Modena.
Jos 5:4 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.
Ver. 4. Died in the wilderness by the way. ] There their carcasses fell for their rebellion; and a new generation rose up which were now to be circumcised, that they might be in case to keep the passover.
Jos 5:5 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.
Ver. 5. Now all the people that came out were circumcised, ] i.e., As many as feared the Lord and believed Moses: for a great sort of them, by their long abode in Egypt, were much infected with idolatry and profaneness. Ezekiel 20:7 ; Ezekiel 23:3 ; Eze 23:9
Jos 5:6 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.
Ver. 6. For the children of Israel walked forty years. ] This way and that way, backward and forward, as if they were treading a maze; and this, for the punishment of their revolt. Num 14:33
With milk and honey. ] With plenty of dainties.
For they were uncircumcised. Who yet, together with the circumcised, were brought by Joshua into the promised land: so are both sorts by Jesus into the kingdom of heaven. See Eph 2:14 Colossians 3:11 .
Jos 5:8 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.
Ver. 8. They abode in their places in the camp till they were whole. ] In confidence of God’s protection, who both secured them meanwhile from their enemies, see Gen 34:25-26 and soon healed them; for else how could they have, four days after, kept the Passover with joy?
Jos 5:9 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.
Ver. 9. This day have I rolled away the reproach, &c. ] That is, the uncircumcision of your flesh, see 1Sa 17:26 Gen 34:16 Php 3:4-5 together with all that filth and guilt which you have contracted by conversing with those superstitious and wicked Egyptians. "Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people." Pro 14:34 God had now restored to Israel the sweet seal of his covenant, pardoning them what was past; and they had herein bound themselves to abandon their sins, and to obey God’s precepts. So doth the baptized Christian; see Col 2:11-13 who should therefore never step out of doors, saith Chrysostom, or lie down in his bed, or go into his closet, but he should remember those two words, Abrenuncio, Credo, I forsake the devil, &c. I believe in Christ: I bear his badge, I wear his livery.
Jos 5:10 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.
Ver. 10. And kept the Passover. ] Which it seemeth they had not done for a long time before. See Numbers 9:1-2 . So that they were without the use of those two standing sacraments during their abode in the wilderness; peradventure, saith one, a through a profane carelessness of the people, which God punished by suffering them to go on in their sin without admonishing, or reproving them for it.
Jos 5:11 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.
Ver. 11. On the morrow after the Passover. ] That holy sacrament was αλεξητηριον καθαρτικον , to those believers, sanctifying those outward comforts to their use. "To the pure all things are pure."
Jos 5:12 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.
Ver. 12. And the manna ceased. ] So do miracles where are store of other means. He that now calleth for miracles, is himself a miracle, saith Augustine.
Jos 5:13 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?
Ver. 13. He lifted up his eyes. ] His vigilancy did equal his valour, as it is said of Caesar.
With his sword drawn. ] This sword the Lord Christ never laid down, since those words, "I will put enmity also," &c., Gen 3:16 for there beginneth the book of the wars of the Lord, for defence of his Church.
And Joshua went unto him. ] Though armed and of a majestic presence, and though there might have been snares laid for him.
Jos 5:14 And he said, Nay; but [as] captain 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?
Ver. 14. Nay; but as captain. ] Commander-in-chief of all creatures, and captain also of his people’s salvation. Heb 2:10
Jos 5:15 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.
Ver. 15. Loose thy shoes. ] Deny thyself wholly, and put thy confidence in my power and prowess. Frustra nititur qui Christo non innititur. Among the Turks no man may come into the church, besides the Grand Seignior, with his shoes on, but must leave them at the door, or give them to their servants to keep. a
a Grand Sign. Serag., 195.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 5". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent