Study Guide

Book of Joshua Chapter 5

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Chapter 5

Fear And Loathing In Las Promised Land

  • All the kings of the Amorites and Canaanites hear about the miracle of the Jordan River and their hearts melt in fear. Okay, not really. We're being metaphoric.
  • While all the kings are freaking out, God orders Joshua to "circumcise the Israelites a second time."
  • God orders this second circumcision for what could be three reasons: (1) to lessen the failure of the older generation, or (2) to witness the obligation set forth in Genesis 17:9-14, or (3) to reiterate Joshua as the new Moses.
  • Once all the circumcising is done, the Israelites rest at a place called Gilgal.
  • While they're camped, the Israelites observe Passover. The day after, they eat "produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain."
  • Their manna days are finally over. Bring on the produce.
  • This change from manna to produce signifies Israel's relocation from the wilderness to the land promised to them. While this is a pretty significant shift, we're guessing the Israelites were also pretty excited to change their diet after 40 years of manna.
  • Once Joshua is by Jericho, he looks up and sees (gasp!) a man with a drawn sword.
  • Joshua, being a gentleman, kindly asks the guy whether he is a friend or foe.
  • Apparently, the man is the commander of the army of the Lord. He commands Joshua to "remove the sandals from your feet for the place where you stand is holy."
  • This is a nice little parallel to that time God appeared to Moses as a burning piece of shrubbery in the desert.

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