Joshua 6:9
And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.
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6:6-16 Wherever the ark went, the people attended it. God's ministers, by the trumpet of the everlasting gospel, which proclaims liberty and victory, must encourage the followers of Christ in their spiritual warfare. As promised deliverances must be expected in God's way, so they must be expected in his time. At last the people were to shout: they did so, and the walls fell. This was a shout of faith; they believed the walls of Jericho would fall. It was a shout of prayer; they cry to Heaven for help, and help came.He said - The reading in the Hebrew text is "they said." Joshua no doubt issued his orders through the "officers of the people" (compare 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,

(4) the rear-guard.

Jos 6:8-19. The City Compassed Six Days.

8-11. the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets … passed on before the Lord—before the ark, called "the ark of the covenant," for it contained the tables on which the covenant was inscribed. The procession was made in deep and solemn silence, conforming to the instructions given to the people by their leader at the outset, that they were to refrain from all acclamation and noise of any kind until he should give them a signal. It must have been a strange sight; no mound was raised, no sword drawn, no engine planted, no pioneers undermining—here were armed men, but no stroke given; they must walk and not fight. Doubtless the people of Jericho made themselves merry with the spectacle [Bishop Hall].


rereward being opposed to the armed men, may seem to note the unarmed people, who were desirous to be spectators of this wonderful work.

The priests; which is rightly supplied here from Joshua 6:4. And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets,.... Whom Jarchi, Kimchi, and Abarbinel, interpret of Reuben and Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh; that is, as many of them as Joshua took with him over Jordan; though rather all the armed men in the camp are meant; at least along with those mentioned went the standards of Judah and Ephraim:

and the rereward came after the ark; because the tribe of Dan was the rereward in journeying, Numbers 2:31; hence the Targum paraphrases the words,"and the tribe of the house of Dan went after the ark;''and so both Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it: but rather the body of the people unarmed are designed; at least these were brought up by the standard of Dan; or otherwise no place in this procession is appointed for them, whose business it was to make the great shout on the seventh day with the rest:

the priests going on and blowing with the trumpets; the word "priests" is not in the text, but is rightly supplied; for, as Kimchi and Abarbinel observe, this is not said of the rereward, but of the priests, for they only bore and blew the trumpets; and so the Targum reads,"the priests going on, &c.''

And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the {g} rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.

(g) Meaning, the gathering host, in which was the standard of the tribe of Dan, Nu 10:25.

9. the rereward] The remaining warriors were to act as a rearguard. During the march through the wilderness this duty devolved on the tribe of Dan (see Numbers 10:25). “Rereward” means the “rearguard” of an army; guard and ward being related as guise and wise, Fr. guerre, and E. war. It is a corruption of the Fr. arrière-garde, as vanguard for avant-garde; or rather the first part of the word is formed from the O. Fr. riere (Lat. retro). Comp. 1 Samuel 29:2, “but David and his men passed on in the rereward with Achish;” Isaiah 52:12, “the God of Israel will be your rereward;” Isaiah 58:8, “the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward;” Shakespeare, Ι.Hen. 6. 3. 3,

“Now in the rearward comes the duke, and his;”

Rom. and Jul. 3.2,

“But with a rearward following Tybalt’s death,

Romeo is banished.”"And the Lord said to Joshua:" this is the sequel to Joshua 5:15, as Joshua 6:1 is merely a parenthesis and Jehovah is the prince of the army of Jehovah (Joshua 5:14), or the angel of Jehovah, who is frequently identified with Jehovah (see Pentateuch, pp. 106ff.). "See, I have given into thy hand Jericho and its king, and the mighty men of valour." ("Have given," referring to the purpose of God, which was already resolved upon, though the fulfilment was still in the future.) "The mighty men of valour" (brave warriors) is in apposition to Jericho, regarded as a community, and its king. In Joshua 6:3-5 there follows an explanation of the way in which the Lord would give Jericho into the hand of Joshua. All the Israelitish men of war were to go round the town once a day for six days. אחת פּעם ... הקּיף, "going round about the city once," serves as a fuller explanation of סבּותם ("ye shall compass"). As they marched in this manner round the city, seven priests were to carry seven jubilee trumpets before the ark, which implies that the ark itself was to be carried round the city in solemn procession. But on the seventh day they were to march round the town seven times, and the priests to blow the trumpets; and when there was a blast with the jubilee horn, and the people on hearing the sound of the trumpet raised a great cry, the wall of the town should fall down "under itself." The "jubilee trumpets" (Eng. Ver. "trumpets of rams' horns") are the same as the "jubilee horn" (Eng. Ver. "rams' horn") in Joshua 6:5, for which the abbreviated form shophar (trumpet, Joshua 6:5; cf. Exodus 19:16) or jobel (jubilee: Exodus 19:13) is used. They were not the silver trumpets of the priests (Numbers 10:1.), but large horns, or instruments in the shape of a horn, which gave a loud far-sounding tone (see at Leviticus 23:24; Leviticus 25:11). For בש תּקע, blow the trumpet (lit. strike the trumpet), in Joshua 6:4, בּקּרן משׁך, draw with the horn, i.e., blow the horn with long-drawn notes, is used in Joshua 6:5 (see at Exodus 19:13). The people were then to go up, i.e., press into the town over the fallen wall; "every one straight before him," i.e., every one was to go straight into the town without looking round at his neighbour either on the right hand or on the left (vid., Joshua 6:20).
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