And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Joshua 1:10).
Him that is armed - i. e. the warriors generally, not a division only. "The rereward" Joshua 6:9 was merely a detachment, and not a substantial portiere of the host; and was told off, perhaps, from the tribe of Dan (compare the marginal reference) to close the procession and guard the ark from behind. Thus the order would be
(1) the warriors,
(2) the seven priests blowing the cornets,
(3) the ark,And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Joshua 6:6, Joshua 6:7); then the execution of the divine command (Joshua 6:8-20); and lastly the burning of Jericho and deliverance of Rahab (Joshua 6:21-27).
In communicating the divine command with reference to the arrangements for taking Jericho, Joshua mentions in the first place merely the principal thing to be observed. The plural ויּאמרוּ ("they said"), in Joshua 6:7, must not be altered, but is to be explained on the ground that Joshua did not make the proclamation to the people himself, but through the medium oft he shoterim, who were appointed to issue his commands (see Joshua 1:10-11; Joshua 3:2-3). In this proclamation the more minute instructions concerning the order of march, which had been omitted in Joshua 6:3-5, are given; namely, that החלוּץ was to march in front of the ark. By החלוּץ, "the equipped (or armed) man," we are not to understand all the fighting men, as Knobel supposes; for in the description of the march which follows, the whole of the fighting men ("all the men of war," Joshua 6:3) are divided into החלוּץ and המּאסּף (Eng. Ver. "the armed men" and "the rereward," Joshua 6:9 and Joshua 6:13), so that the former can only have formed one division of the army. It is very natural therefore to suppose, as Kimchi and Rashi do, that the former were the fighting men of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh (הצּבא חלוּצי, Joshua 4:13), and the latter the fighting men of the rest of the tribes. On the meaning of מאסּף, see at Numbers 10:25. If we turn to the account of the facts themselves, we shall see at once, that in the report of the angel's message, in Joshua 6:3-5, several other points have been passed over for the purpose of avoiding too many repetitions, and have therefore to be gathered from the description of what actually occurred. First of all, in Joshua 6:8-10, we have the appointment of the order of marching, namely, that the ark, with the priests in front carrying the trumpets of jubilee, was to form the centre of the procession, and that one portion of the fighting men was to go in front of it, and the rest to follow after; that the priests were to blow the trumpets every time they marched round during the seven days (Joshua 6:8, Joshua 6:9, Joshua 6:13); and lastly, that it was not till the seventh time of going round, on the seventh day, that the people were to raise the war-cry at the command of Joshua, and then the walls of the town were to fall (Joshua 6:10, Joshua 6:16). There can be no doubt that we are right in assuming that Joshua had received from the angel the command which he issued to the people in Joshua 6:17., that the whole town, with all its inhabitants and everything in it, was to be given up as a ban to the Lord, at the time when the first announcement concerning the fall of the town was made.
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