The Canaanites terrified, ver. 1.
Circumcision renewed, ver. 2 - 9.
The passover kept, ver. 10.
The Israelites eat corn, and the manna ceases, ver. 11 - 12.
Christ appears to Joshua, ver. 13 - 15.
1: Amorites - These and the Canaanites are mentioned for all the
rest, as being the chief of them for number, and power, and courage.
Westward - This is added to distinguish them from the other Amorites,
eastward from Jordan, whom Moses had subdued. Canaanites - So the
proper place of this nation was on both sides of Jordan.
The sea - The midland sea, all along the coast of it, which was the chief
seat of that people, though divers colonies of them were come into, and
settled in other places. Jordan - Which was their bulwark on the
east - side, where the Israelites were; for it is very probable they had
taken away all bridges near those parts; and the Israelites having been
so long in that neighbouring country, and yet not making any attempt upon
them, they were grown secure; especially now, when Jordan swelled beyond
its ordinary bounds; and therefore they did not endeavour to hinder their
passage. Melted - They lost all their courage, and durst attempt nothing
upon the Israelites; not without God's special providence, that the
Israelites might quietly participate of the two great sacraments of
their church, circumcision and the passover, and thereby be prepared for
their high and hard work, and for the possession of the holy and promised
land; which would have been defiled by an uncircumcised people.
2: At that time - As soon as ever they were come to Gilgal, which
was on the tenth day; and so this might be executed the eleventh day, and
that in the morning: on the thirteenth day they were sore of their wounds,
and on the fourteenth day they recovered, and at the even of that day kept
the passover. Make - Or, prepare, or make ready, as this word
sometimes used. As it was not necessary for those who had such knives
already to make others for that use; so it is not probable that such were
commanded to do so, but only to make them sharp and fit for that work.
The second time - He calleth this a second circumcision, not as if
these same persons had been circumcised before, but with respect to the body
of the people, where of one part had been circumcised before, and the other
at this time, which is called a second time, in relation to some former
time wherein they were circumcised, either, in Egypt, when many of the
people, who possibly for fear or favour of the Egyptians, had neglected
this duty, were by the command of Moses circumcised. Or at Sinai,
when they received the passover, (Nu 9:5), which no uncircumcised
person might do.
3: And circumcised - That is, he caused this to be done; and, because
it was to be done speedily, the passover approaching, it was necessary to
use many hands in it. Children of Israel - That is, such of them as were
uncircumcised. And, though it be not mentioned, it is more than probable,
that the Israelites beyond Jordan were circumcised at the same time.
4: Out of Egypt - This is to be restrained to such as were then
above twenty years old, and such as were guilty of that rebellion,(Nu 14:1-25), as it is expressed below, (Jos 5:6).
5: Them - Either their parents, or the rulers of Israel, by
Divine permission and indulgence; because they were now on a journey, in
which case the passover also might be neglected, (Nu 9:10,13).
Rather, it was a continued token of God's displeasure against them, for
their unbelief and murmuring: a token that they should never have the
benefit of that promise, whereof circumcision was the seal.
6: The people - The Hebrew word commonly signifies the Gentiles;
so he calls them, to note that they were unworthy the name of Israelites.
Shew them - That is, not give them so much as a sight of it, which he
granted to Moses, much less the possession.
As a testimony of God's reconciliation to the people, and that he would
not farther impute their parents rebellion to them.
Because the great impediment of circumcision was now removed, their
continued travels, and frequent and uncertain removal.
To prepare them for the approaching passover.
To distinguish them from the Canaanites, into whose land they were
To ratify the covenant between God and them, whereof circumcision was a
sign and seal, to assure them that God would now make good his covenant,
in giving them this land; and to oblige them to perform all the duties to
which that covenant bound them, as soon as they came into Canaan,(Ex 12:25,Le 23:10,Nu 15:2).
8: Whole - Free from that pain and soreness which circumcision
caused, it was indeed an act of great faith, to expose themselves to so much
pain and danger too, in this place where they were hemmed in by Jordan
and their enemies.
9: The reproach of Egypt - That is, uncircumcision, was both in
truth, and in the opinion of the Jews, a matter of great reproach, and
although this was a reproach common to most nations of the world, yet it is
particularly called the reproach of Egypt, either,
because the other neighbouring nations, being the children of
Abraham by the concubines, are supposed to have been circumcised,
which the Egyptians at this time were not, as may be gathered from(Ex 2:6), where they knew the child to be an Hebrew by this mark. Or
because they came out of Egypt, and were esteemed to be a sort of
Egyptians, (Nu 22:5), which they justly thought a great reproach;
but by their circumcision they were now distinguished from them, and
manifested to be another people. Or
because many of them lay under this reproach in Egypt, having
wickedly neglected this duty there for worldly reasons; and others of
them continued in the same shameful condition for many years in the
Gilgal - That is, rolling.
10: The passover - Which was their third passover: the first was in
Egypt, (Ex 12:11-24), the second at
mount Sinai, (Nu 9:1-5), the third here; for in their wilderness
travels, these and all other sacrifices were neglected, (Am 5:25).
While they were in the wilderness, they were denied the comfort of this
ordinance, as a farther token of God's displeasure. But now God comforted
them again, after the time that he had afflicted them.
11: Old corn - The corn of the last year, which the inhabitants of
those parts had left in their barns, being fled into their strong cities, or
other remoter parts. The morrow - That is, on the sixteenth day; for the
passover was killed between the two evenings of the fourteenth day, and was
eaten in that evening or night, which, according to the Jewish
computation, whereby they begin their days at the evening, was a part of the
fifteenth day, all which was the feast of the passover; and so the morrow of
the sixteenth day, was the morrow after the passover, when they were
obliged to offer unto God the first sheaf, and then were allowed to eat of
the rest. Parched corn - Of that year's corn. which was most proper for
that use. Self - same day - Having an eager desire to enjoy the fruits of
the land. And this corn came very seasonably; for after the passover, they
were to keep the feast of unleavened bread, which they could not do,
when they had nothing but manna to live upon.
12: The manna ceased - Which God now withheld, to shew that Manna
was not an ordinary production of nature, but an extraordinary and special
gift of God to supply their necessity. And because God would not be
prodigal of his favours, by working miracles where ordinary means were
sufficient. The morrow - That is, on the seventeenth day.
13: By Jericho - Heb. In Jericho, that is, in the territory
adjoining to it; whither he went to view those parts, and discern the
fittest places for his attempt upon Jericho. A man - One in the
appearance of a man. Drawn - In readiness to fight, not, as Joshua
thought, against him, but for him and his people.
14: As captain - I am the chief captain of this people, and will
conduct and assist thee and them in this great undertaking. Now this person
is not a created angel, but the son of God, who went along with the
Israelites in this expedition, as their chief and captain. And this
By his acceptance of adoration here, which a created angel durst not
admit of, (Re 22:8,9).
Because the place was made holy by his presence, (Jos 5:15), which
was God's prerogative, (Ex 3:5).
Because he is called the Lord, Heb. Jehovah, (Jos 6:2).
My Lord - I acknowledge thee for my Lord and captain, and therefore
wait for thy commands, which I am ready to obey.
15: From thy foot - In token of reverence and subjection.
Holy - Consecrated by my presence. The very same orders which God gave
to Moses at the bush, when he was sending him to bring Israel out of
Egypt, he here gives to Joshua, for the confirming his faith, that
as he had been with Moses, so he would be with him.