Israel Is Circumcised
1Now it happened when all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over, their hearts melted [in despair], and there was no [fighting] spirit in them any longer because of the Israelites [and what God had done for them].
2 At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make for yourself flint knives and circumcise the [new generation of the] sons of Israel as [was done] before.” 3 So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at [a]Gibeath-haaraloth. 4 This is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: all the people who came out of Egypt who were males, all the men of war, had died in the wilderness along the way after they left Egypt. 5 All the males who came out were circumcised, but all the males who were born in the wilderness on the way as they left Egypt had not been circumcised. 6 For the Israelites walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, that is, the men of war who came out of Egypt, died because they did not listen to the voice of the Lord; to them the Lord had sworn [an oath] that He would not let them see the land which He had promised to their fathers to give us, a land [of abundance] [b]flowing with milk and honey. 7 So it was their uncircumcised sons whom He raised up in their place, whom Joshua circumcised, because circumcision had not been performed on the way.
8 Then, when they had finished circumcising all [the males of] the nation, they stayed in their places in the camp until they were healed. 9 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “This day I have rolled away the reproach (derision, ridicule) of Egypt from you.” So the name of that place is called Gilgal (rolling) to this day.
10 While the Israelites camped at Gilgal they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho. 11 On the day after Passover, on that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened bread, and roasted grain. 12 And the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the Israelites no longer had manna, but they ate some of the produce of the land of Canaan during that year.
13 Now when Joshua was by Jericho, he looked up, and behold, [c]a man was standing opposite him with his drawn sword in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” 14 He said, “No; rather I have come now as captain of the army of the Lord.” Then Joshua fell with his face toward the earth and bowed down, and said to him, “What does my lord have to say to his servant?” 15 The captain of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, because the place where you are standing is holy (set apart to the Lord).” And Joshua did so.
- Joshua 5:3 Hebrew for “the hill of the foreskins,” named for the event.
- Joshua 5:6 This phrase referred to the abundant fertility of the land of Canaan. Milk (typically that of goats and sheep) was associated with abundance; “honey” referred mainly to syrups made from dates or grapes and was the epitome of sweetness. Bees’ honey was very rare and was considered the choicest of foods.
- Joshua 5:13 Whether the divine messenger was an angel or the pre-incarnate Christ is not clear from the Hebrew text; however, the message of godly assistance and pending victory was made clear to Joshua by the encounter.