1When all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings who lived along the Mediterranean coast#5:1 Hebrew along the sea. heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan River so the people of Israel could cross, they lost heart and were paralyzed with fear because of them.
Israel Reestablishes Covenant Ceremonies
2At that time the Lord told Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise this second generation of Israelites.#5:2 Or circumcise the Israelites a second time.” 3So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the entire male population of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth.#5:3 Gibeath-haaraloth means “hill of foreskins.”
4Joshua had to circumcise them because all the men who were old enough to fight in battle when they left Egypt had died in the wilderness. 5Those who left Egypt had all been circumcised, but none of those born after the Exodus, during the years in the wilderness, had been circumcised. 6The Israelites had traveled in the wilderness for forty years until all the men who were old enough to fight in battle when they left Egypt had died. For they had disobeyed the Lord, and the Lord vowed he would not let them enter the land he had sworn to give us—a land flowing with milk and honey. 7So Joshua circumcised their sons—those who had grown up to take their fathers’ places—for they had not been circumcised on the way to the Promised Land. 8After all the males had been circumcised, they rested in the camp until they were healed.
9Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt.” So that place has been called Gilgal#5:9 Gilgal sounds like the Hebrew word galal, meaning “to roll.” to this day.
10While the Israelites were camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they celebrated Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month.#5:10 This day in the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in late March, April, or early May. 11The very next day they began to eat unleavened bread and roasted grain harvested from the land. 12No manna appeared on the day they first ate from the crops of the land, and it was never seen again. So from that time on the Israelites ate from the crops of Canaan.
The Lord’s Commander Confronts Joshua
13When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?”
14“Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord’s army.”
At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”
15The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did as he was told.