And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold…
At the very time when the battle of Israel against the idolators of the land of Canaan was about to commence, Joshua saw a mysterious warrior stand before him sword in hand. "Art thou for us or for our enemies?" he cried. "I am come," is the answer, as Captain of the Lord's host.
I. THIS DIVINE CAPTAIN HAS NEVER LEFT THE ARMY OF THE HOLY, though He may NOT AT ALL TIMES have made Himself VISIBLE. He was with the Church when it entered upon the conflict with the old world. Weak, insignificant, without power, and without prestige as it was, His sword of fire sufficed to ensure it the victory. It was He whom Luther saw in the dawn of the Reformation morning, when he sang: "The Son of God goes forth to war."
II. This Divine personage is the same with whom Jacob wrestled all the night at the Ford Jahbok. He begins by turning His sword against His own soldiers, and plunges it deep into their hearts to destroy their pride and sin. Blessed wounding, which makes them in the end more than conquerors, and Israelites indeed. We must not, then, marvel if, often in the early stages of its warfare, the Church is humbled, foiled, for a time it might seem almost crushed. Neither should we be surprised if the Christian soul is made victorious only through suffering. Soon the Divine Captain will take command of the host which He has disciplined, and will lead them on to victory. This Captain is the very same whom St. John saw in vision with a flaming sword in His mouth. He is the Word made flesh, the Redeemer (Revelation 5.). He Himself was wounded before He triumphed. The conquering Head of the Church is "Jesus, who was crucified." - E. DE P.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
WEB: It happened, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man stood in front of him with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua went to him, and said to him, "Are you for us, or for our adversaries?"