Joshua 6:6, 7: Joshua Implements the Captain’s Plan

Verse 6:[1] And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD.


Verse 7:[2] And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.

[He said] The Kethib is וַיֹּאמְרוּ, and they said, understanding Joshua and the priests; and the Qere is וַיֹּאמֶר, and he said, understanding Joshua alone (Drusius).

[Armed (thus Jonathan, Syriac, Vatablus), וְהֶחָלוּץ[3]] Light-armed (Montanus, Drusius, Junius and Tremellius, Piscator), everyone that has his loins girded with arms (Drusius); ready for action (Masius); trained (Arabic). Concerning this word, see Joshua 1:14 (Masius). Extracted, or chosen, namely, from the multitude (Malvenda). Centurions (Tigurinus). It is likely that this was an order to soldiers to go around the city, verse 3; permission to the common people (Masius). Question: Why were they armed? Responses: 1. God wills that we cooperate with Him. 2. So that, having entered the city, they might slaughter its citizens (Lapide).

Let him that is armed, etc.: God would have them armed, both for the defence of themselves and the ark, in case the enemies should make a sally upon them, and for the execution of the Lord’s vengeance upon that city.

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּקְרָ֞א יְהוֹשֻׁ֤עַ בִּן־נוּן֙ אֶל־הַכֹּ֣הֲנִ֔ים וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֔ם שְׂא֖וּ אֶת־אֲר֣וֹן הַבְּרִ֑ית וְשִׁבְעָ֣ה כֹֽהֲנִ֗ים יִשְׂאוּ֙ שִׁבְעָ֤ה שֽׁוֹפְרוֹת֙ יוֹבְלִ֔ים לִפְנֵ֖י אֲר֥וֹן יְהוָֽה׃

[2] Hebrew: וַ֙יֹּאמְרוּ֙ אֶל־הָעָ֔ם עִבְר֖וּ וְסֹ֣בּוּ אֶת־הָעִ֑יר וְהֶ֣חָל֔וּץ יַעֲבֹ֕ר לִפְנֵ֖י אֲר֥וֹן יְהוָֽה׃

[3] חָלַץ can signify to draw off, or to equip for war.

1 thought on “Joshua 6:6, 7: Joshua Implements the Captain’s Plan

  1. Matthew Henry: “We have here an account of the cavalcade which Israel made about Jericho, the orders Joshua gave concerning it, as he had received them from the Lord and their punctual observance of these orders. We do not find that he gave the people the express assurances God had given him that he would deliver the city into their hands; but he tried whether they would obey orders with a general confidence that it would end well, and we find them very observant both of God and Joshua.”

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