Joshua 6:10: The Silence of the Procession

Verse 10:[1] And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice (Heb. make your voice to be heard[2]), neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout.

[Ye shall not shout] He orders the people to be silent in every way; 1. so that they might attentively listen to the voice of God, speaking, as it were, and bringing help: For this was signified by the sounding, Numbers 10:9. God willed that they return to the memory of those promises, and that they contemplate those in their soul, and rest in those believingly. And certainly to be silent sometimes signifies to rest in the grace and goodness of God, Psalm 4:4; 131:2; Lamentations 3:26. 2. Lest they should think that their noise and shouting contributed anything to the victory (Masius).

Ye shall not shout; because shouting before the time appointed would be ineffectual, and so might give them some discouragement, and their enemies matter of insulting.

[1] Hebrew: וְאֶת־הָעָם֩ צִוָּ֙ה יְהוֹשֻׁ֜עַ לֵאמֹ֗ר לֹ֤א תָרִ֙יעוּ֙ וְלֹֽא־תַשְׁמִ֣יעוּ אֶת־קוֹלְכֶ֔ם וְלֹא־יֵצֵ֥א מִפִּיכֶ֖ם דָּבָ֑ר עַ֠ד י֣וֹם אָמְרִ֧י אֲלֵיכֶ֛ם הָרִ֖יעוּ וַהֲרִיעֹתֶֽם׃

[2] Hebrew: וְלֹֽא־תַשְׁמִ֣יעוּ אֶת־קוֹלְכֶ֔ם.

1 thought on “Joshua 6:10: The Silence of the Procession

  1. Jonathan Edwards, “Notes on the Bible”: “Concerning what the congregation of Israel were to do in order to the taking of Jericho. It was to try the faith, and obedience, and patience of the people; to try whether they would obey, and believe a promise, which in human probability seemed impossible to be performed. They were also proved whether they could patiently bear the reproaches of their enemies, and patiently wait for the salvation of the Lord. Thus by faith the walls of Jericho fell down (Hebrews 11:30). They were commanded to be silent, not to speak a word nor make any noise, Joshua 6:10, which intimates their reverent expectation of the event, Zech 2:13, “Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord.” Exodus 14:14, “God shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” They were to go round the city blowing the trumpet for six days together; and they did so, and seven times the seventh day, Joshua 6:14-15. God could have caused the walls of Jericho to fall upon the first surrounding them; but they must go round them thirteen times before they fall, that they may be kept waiting patiently for the Lord. Though they were newly come into Canaan, and their time was very precious, for they had a great deal of work before them, yet they must linger so many days about Jericho, seeming to do nothing, nor to make any progress in their business. He that believes does not make haste. Go yet seven times before any thing appears, 1 Kings 18:43. Henry.

    Their faith was further tried in this, that one of the seven days must needs be the sabbath, on which they were commanded to rest. An unbelieving mind would have objected on this account, as the unbelieving Jews objected against Christ’s healing, and commanding the man to carry his bed, on the sabbath-day. It is to be noted that it was the same person, even Jesus Christ, who now commanded the people to go round Jericho, and the priests all the while to blow the trumpets on the sabbath, which commanded the impotent man to carry his bed on the Sabbath, John 5:11. Compare John 5:13-15 and John 6:2, etc.

    A further trial of the people’s faith was that all the men of war in going round the city were obliged to leave their camp and all their goods, and their wives and children, every day defenceless, as to any other guard but the divine protection.

    This last observed is agreeable to God’s proceedings in the course of his providence, in the revolutions of the natural world, and in the revolutions of the world of mankind. Things only seem to go round and round, and return where they were before, as though no progress was made, until God’s time comes. But this is through the narrowness of our views. He that looks only on a wheel of a chariot, and sees nothing beyond it, will not see that it does any thing but go round, the same spoke rising and falling alternately to the same place. But he that looks beyond the wheel to the world around, may see the progress that is made continually to an appointed journey’s end.

    This generation failed not of their duty under such temptations as Saul failed under when he was sent to destroy Agag. They destroyed all the inhabitants, cattle, and goods of Jericho, the first city they took; when they were under the greatest temptations greedily to take them to themselves, being lately come out of the wilderness where they had been destitute of all such things for so long a time. None transgressed but Achan; and when he was found out, none stood in his defence, but all Israel stoned him with stones. See how Joshua commands the soldiers of the two tribes and a half, Joshua 22:1-3.”

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