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.
all the kings
which were by
At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.
or, knives of flints. Before the use of iron was common, all the nations of the earth had their edge tools made of stones, flints, etc. Our ancestors had their arrows and spearheads made of flint; which are frequently turned up by the plough. And even when iron became more common, stone knives seem to have been preferred for making incisions in the human body. The Egyptians used such to open the bodies for embalming; and the tribe of Alnajab in Ethiopia, who follow the Mosaic institution, perform the rite of circumcision, according to Ludolf, cultris lapidibus, with knives made of stone.
And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.
the hill of the foreskins
or, Gibeah haaraloth.
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.
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.
they had not
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.
And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way.
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.
when they, etc
Heb. when the people had made an end to be circumcised. till they were whole.
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.
I rolled away
That is, rolling.
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.
kept the passover
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.
The people would find abundance of old corn in the deserted granaries of the affrighted inhabitants: and the barley harvest being ripe, after offering the sheaf of first-fruits, they ate also new parched corn; and thus the manna being no longer necessary, ceased, after having been sent them regularly for almost forty years. To Christians the manna for their souls shall never fail, till they arrive at the Canaan above, to feast on its rich and inexhaustible provisions.
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.
but they did eat
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?
Art thou for us
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?
but as captain
fell on his
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.
Many persons have been puzzled to know what was intended by this extraordinary appearance of the angel to Joshua, because they supposed that the whole business ends with the chapter; whereas it is continued in the succeeding one, the first verse of which is a mere parenthesis, simply relating to the state of Jericho at the time when Joshua was favoured with this encouraging vision; by which he was shewn that their help came from God alone, and that it was not by human might or power, but by the Lord of hosts they were to obtain the victory.