Joshua 5:4
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
This is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: all the people who came out of Egypt who were males, all the men of war, died in the wilderness along the way after they came out of Egypt.

King James Bible
And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt.

Darby Bible Translation
And this is the cause why Joshua circumcised them: all the people that had come out of Egypt, the males, all the men of war, had died in the wilderness on the way, after they came out of Egypt.

World English Bible
This is the reason Joshua circumcised: all the people who came out of Egypt, who were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt.

Young's Literal Translation
And this is the thing for which Joshua circumciseth them: all the people who are coming out of Egypt, who are males, all the men of war have died in the wilderness, in the way, in their coming out of Egypt,

Joshua 5:4 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Of the whole nation those only were already circumcised at the time of the passage of the Jordan who had been under twenty years of age at the time of the complaining and consequent rejection at Kadesh (compare the marginal reference). These would have been circumcised before they left Egypt, and there would still survive of them more than a quarter of a million of thirty-eight years old and upward.

The statements of these verses are of a general kind. The "forty years" of Joshua 5:6 is a round number, and the statement in the latter part of Joshua 5:5 cannot be strictly accurate. For there must have been male children born in the wilderness during the first year after the Exodus, and these must have been circumcised before the celebration of the Passover at Sinai in the first month of the second year (compare Numbers 9:1-5, and Exodus 12:48). The statements of the verses are, however, sufficiently close to the facts for the purpose in hand; namely, to render a reason for the general circumcising which is here recorded.

The reason why circumcision was omitted in the wilderness, was that the sentence of Numbers 14:28 ff placed the whole nation for the time under a ban; and that the discontinuance of circumcision, and the consequent omission of the Passover, was a consequence and a token of that ban. The rejection was not, indeed, total, for the children of the complainers were to enter into the rest; nor final, for when the children had borne the punishment of the fathers' sins for the appointed years, and the complainers were dead, then it was to be removed, as now by Joshua. But for the time the covenant was abrogated, though God's purpose to restore it was from the first made known, and confirmed by the visible marks of His favor which He still vouchsafed to bestow during the wandering. The years of rejection were indeed exhausted before the death of Moses (compare Deuteronomy 2:14): but God would not call upon the people to renew their engagement to Him until He had first given them glorious proof of His will and power to fulfill His engagements to them. So He gave them the first fruits of the promised inheritance - the kingdoms of Sihon and Og; and through a miracle planted their feet on the very soil that still remained to be conquered; and then recalled them to His covenant. It is to be noted, too, that they were just about to go to war against foes mightier than themselves. Their only hope of success lay in the help of God. At such a crisis the need of full communion with God would be felt indeed; and the blessing and strength of it are accordingly granted.

The revival of the two great ordinances - circumcision and the Passover - after so long an intermission could not but awaken the zeal and invigorate the faith and fortitude of the people. Both as seals and as means of grace and God's good purpose toward them then, the general circumcision of the people, followed up by the solemn celebration of the Passover - the one formally restoring the covenant and reconciling them nationally to God, the other ratifying and confirming all that circumcision intended - were at this juncture most opportune.

Joshua 5:4 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Whether Circumcision Bestowed Sanctifying Grace?
Objection 1: It seems that circumcision did not bestow sanctifying grace. For the Apostle says (Gal. 2:21): "If justice be by the Law, then Christ died in vain," i.e. without cause. But circumcision was an obligation imposed by the Law, according to Gal. 5:3: "I testify . . . to every man circumcising himself, that ne is a debtor to do the whole law." Therefore, if justice be by circumcision, "Christ died in vain," i.e. without cause. But this cannot be allowed. Therefore circumcision did not confer
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Gilgal, in Deuteronomy 11:30 what the Place Was.
That which is said by Moses, that "Gerizim and Ebal were over-against Gilgal," Deuteronomy 11:30, is so obscure, that it is rendered into contrary significations by interpreters. Some take it in that sense, as if it were near to Gilgal: some far off from Gilgal: the Targumists read, "before Gilgal": while, as I think, they do not touch the difficulty; which lies not so much in the signification of the word Mul, as in the ambiguity of the word Gilgal. These do all seem to understand that Gilgal which
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Cross References
Deuteronomy 2:14
"Now the time that it took for us to come from Kadesh-barnea until we crossed over the brook Zered was thirty-eight years, until all the generation of the men of war perished from within the camp, as the LORD had sworn to them.

Joshua 5:3
So Joshua made himself flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth.

Joshua 5:5
For all the people who came out were circumcised, but all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised.

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