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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 5


When all the kings of the Amorites to the west of the Jordan and all the kings of the Canaanites by the sea heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan before the Israelites until they crossed over, they were disheartened and lost courage at their approach.


On this occasion the LORD said to Joshua, "Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelite nation for the second time."


1 So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites at Gibeath-haaraloth,


under these circumstances: Of all the people who came out of Egypt, every man of military age had died in the desert during the journey after they left Egypt.


Though all the men who came out were circumcised, none of those born in the desert during the journey after the departure from Egypt were circumcised.


Now the Israelites had wandered forty years in the desert, until all the warriors among the people that came forth from Egypt died off because they had not obeyed the command of the LORD. For the LORD swore that he would not let them see the land flowing with milk and honey which he had promised their fathers he would give us.


It was the children whom he raised up in their stead whom Joshua circumcised, for these were yet with foreskins, not having been circumcised on the journey.


When the rite had been performed, the whole nation remained in camp where they were, until they recovered.


2 Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Today I have removed the reproach of Egypt from you." Therefore the place is called Gilgal to the present day.


3 While the Israelites were encamped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they celebrated the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth of the month.


On the day after the Passover they ate of the produce of the land in the form of unleavened cakes and parched grain. On that same day


after the Passover on which they ate of the produce of the land, the manna ceased. No longer was there manna for the Israelites, who that year ate of the yield of the land of Canaan.


4 While Joshua was near Jericho, he raised his eyes and saw one who stood facing him, drawn sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you one of us or of our enemies?"


He replied, "Neither. I am the captain of the host of the LORD and I have just arrived." Then Joshua fell prostrate to the ground in worship, and said to him, "What has my lord to say to his servant?"


The captain of the host of the LORD replied to Joshua, "Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy." And Joshua obeyed.



1 [3] Gibeath-haaraloth: "Hill of the Foreskins."

2 [9] The place is called Gilgal: by popular etymology, because of the similarity of sound with the Hebrew word gallothi, "I have removed." Gilgal probably means "(the place of) the circle of standing stones." Cf Joshua 4:4-8.

3 [10] The month: the first month of the year, later called Nisan; see note on Joshua 3:15. The crossing of the Jordan occurred, therefore, about the same time of the year as did the equally miraculous crossing of the Red Sea; cf Exodus 12-14.

4 [ 5:13- 6:26] The account of the siege of Jericho embraces: (1) The command of the Lord, through his angel, to Joshua ( Joshua 5:13-6, 5); (2) Joshua's instructions to the Israelites, with a brief summary of how these orders were carried out ( Joshua 6:6-11); (3) a description of the action on each of the first six days ( Joshua 6:12-14); (4) the events on the seventh day ( Joshua 6:15-26).

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