Verse 13: And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood (Gen. 18:2; 32:24; Ex. 23:23; Zech. 1:8; Acts 1:10) a man over against him (Num. 22:23) with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
[While he was in the field of Jericho, בִּירִיחוֹ] In Jericho (Montanus, Septuagint, Jonathan); in the country, or field (or plain [Syriac]) of Jericho (Vatablus, Masius, Drusius out of Kimchi). The territory is called by the name of the city. Thus Joshua 10:10, He struck in Gibeon; yet he speaks of those that were not in the city, but before it (Drusius out of Masius). Or, not actually, but in the contemplations of his soul, he was in Jericho; as Daniel was in Shushan, Daniel 8:2, while he appears to be yet in Babylon, if you attend to the end of his narration (Masius). Some Hebrews say that this happened to Joshua in a visision (certain interpreters). Near Jericho (Arabic); at Jericho (Junius and Tremellius); by Jericho; thus Luke 13:33 (Grotius). In in the place of by is a common Enallage (Lapide). There either Joshua prayed to God (Lapide), or went to spy out an opportune place to attack the city, or was in meditation upon the management of the campaign (Masius). Thus, while we desive in soul great and holy things, God insinuates Himself into our counsels, and reveals the resources and means for accomplishing them (Lapide).
By Jericho; Hebrew: in Jericho, that is, in the country or territory adjoining to Jericho, whither he went to view those parts, and discern the fittest places for his attempt upon Jericho, as generals usually do.
[He lifted his eyes] These words signify nothing other than a sudden and unexpected vision/sight. Thus elsewhere, Genesis 18:2; Daniel 10:5 (Masius).
[He saw a man standing] It was the purpose of God that the soul of Joshua be confirmed at the very beginning of the campaign and in unwavering faith, and be restrained from arrogant presumption. For the minds of men, however much prepared with great faith, are too easily moved with fear of the present crises; just as again by a course of easy affairs they are lifted up in vain confidence, than which nothing is more detestable to God. Neither do you sin more grievously, if you refer favors, which proceeded from God, to an image, than if you refer them to yourself (Masius).
A man; one in the appearance of man.
[Over against him (thus the Septuagint, similarly the Syriac, Junius and Tremellius), לְנֶגְדּוֹ] Opposite him (Montanus); before him (Arabic).
[Holding an unsheathed sword] After the likeness of a warrior. God or the Angel is wont to assume an appearance agreeable to the person or matter. Thus Christ appears to Mary Magdalene in the garden as a gardener, to the travelers as a traveler. So here the drawn sword denotes the power and vengeance of God (Lapide).
With his sword drawn, in readiness to fight, not, as Joshua thought, against him, but for him and his people.
[And he went to him] Note here the undaunted courage of Joshua (Lapide); that he so boldly proceeds against a man armed, and undoubtedly eminent for his august appearance, and presses a decision of fight or friendship (Masius).
 Hebrew: וַיְהִ֗י בִּֽהְי֣וֹת יְהוֹשֻׁעַ֮ בִּירִיחוֹ֒ וַיִּשָּׂ֤א עֵינָיו֙ וַיַּ֔רְא וְהִנֵּה־אִישׁ֙ עֹמֵ֣ד לְנֶגְדּ֔וֹ וְחַרְבּ֥וֹ שְׁלוּפָ֖ה בְּיָד֑וֹ וַיֵּ֙לֶךְ יְהוֹשֻׁ֤עַ אֵלָיו֙ וַיֹּ֣אמֶר ל֔וֹ הֲלָ֥נוּ אַתָּ֖ה אִם־לְצָרֵֽינוּ׃
 That is, the use of one grammatical form in the place of another.
 John 20:15.
 Luke 24:13-15.