5:1 When all the Amorite kings on the west side of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the seacoast heard how the Lord had dried up the water of the Jordan before the Israelites while they 1 crossed, they lost their courage and could not even breathe for fear of the Israelites. 2
5:2 At that time the Lord told Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites once again.” 3 5:3 So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites on the Hill of the Foreskins. 4 5:4 This is why Joshua had to circumcise them: All the men old enough to fight when they left Egypt died on the journey through the desert after they left Egypt. 5 5:5 Now 6 all the men 7 who left were circumcised, but all the sons 8 born on the journey through the desert after they left Egypt were uncircumcised. 5:6 Indeed, for forty years the Israelites traveled through the desert until all the men old enough to fight when they left Egypt, the ones who had disobeyed the Lord, died off. 9 For the Lord had sworn a solemn oath to them that he would not let them see the land he had sworn on oath to give them, 10 a land rich in 11 milk and honey. 5:7 He replaced them with their sons, 12 whom Joshua circumcised. They were uncircumcised; their fathers had not circumcised them along the way. 5:8 When all the men 13 had been circumcised, they stayed there in the camp until they had healed. 5:9 The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have taken away 14 the disgrace 15 of Egypt from you.” So that place is called Gilgal 16 even to this day.
5:10 So the Israelites camped in Gilgal and celebrated the Passover in the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the plains of Jericho. 17 5:11 They ate some of the produce of the land the day after the Passover, including unleavened bread and roasted grain. 18 5:12 The manna stopped appearing the day they ate 19 some of the produce of the land; the Israelites never ate manna again. 20
5:13 When Joshua was near 21 Jericho, 22 he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him holding a drawn sword. 23 Joshua approached him and asked him, “Are you on our side or allied with our enemies?” 24 5:14 He answered, 25 “Truly I am the commander of the Lord’s army. 26 Now I have arrived!” 27 Joshua bowed down with his face to the ground 28 and asked, “What does my master want to say to his servant?” 5:15 The commander of the Lord’s army answered Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, because the place where you stand is holy.” Joshua did so.
[5:3] 4 tn Or “Gibeath Haaraloth.” This name means “Hill of the Foreskins.” Many modern translations simply give the Hebrew name, although an explanatory note giving the meaning of the name is often included.
[5:3] sn The name given to the place, Hill of the Foreskins was an obvious reminder of this important event.
[5:6] sn The word picture a land rich in milk and honey depicts the land as containing many grazing areas (which would produce milk) and flowering plants (which would support the bees that produced honey).
[5:9] 15 sn One might take the disgrace of Egypt as a reference to their uncircumcised condition (see Gen 34:14), but the generation that left Egypt was circumcised (see v. 5). It more likely refers to the disgrace they experienced in Egyptian slavery. When this new generation reached the promised land and renewed their covenantal commitment to the Lord by submitting to the rite of circumcision, the
[5:12] 19 tn Heb “the day after, when they ate.” The present translation assumes this means the day after the Passover, though it is possible it refers to the day after they began eating the land’s produce.
[5:13] 23 tn Heb “he lifted up his eyes and looked. And look, a man was standing in front of him, and his sword was drawn in his hand.” The verb הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) invites the reader to view the scene through Joshua’s eyes. By calling the stranger “a man,” the author reflects Joshua’s perspective. The text shortly reveals his true identity (vv. 14-15).
[5:14] 25 tc Heb “He said, “Neither.” An alternative reading is לוֹ (lo, “[He said] to him”; cf. NEB). This reading is supported by many Hebrew
[5:14] 26 sn The Lord’s heavenly army, like an earthly army, has a commander who leads the troops. For the phrase שַׂר־צְבָא (sar-tsÿva’, “army commander”) in the human sphere, see among many other references Gen 21:22, 32; 26:26; Judg 4:2, 7; 1 Sam 12:9.