Chapter 6:3: The Captain’s Battle Plan, Part 2

Verse 3:[1] And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.

[Compass the city] At such a distance from it that ye might be beyond the casting of a dart (Lapide). These actions, if they be considered of themselves, ought to be reckoned as the performances of Actors rather than the stratagems of warriors: Nevertheless, these things are executed by Joshua, etc., without hesitation; in which their obedience is to be commended (Masius).

[Once (thus Vatablus, Junius and Tremellius), פַּ֣עַם אֶחָ֑ת] Aquila translates it in one path; Symmachus, with one circuit; because פַּעַם signifies a step, or procession. The Hebrews, instead of once, say in one advance (Masius). Once on each day (Vatablus).

Go round about the city once, at convenient distance, out of the reach of their arrows; thus shalt thou do six days, every day once. This and the following course might seem ridiculous and absurd, and is therefore prescribed and used by God, that they might learn to take new measures of things, and to expect success not from their own valour or skill, or probable means, but merely from God’s appointment and blessing; and in general, not to judge of any of God’s institutions by mere carnal reason, to which divers of their ceremonies would seem no less foolish than this action; and that they might have a full demonstration of the all-sufficiency of that God who can do what he pleaseth, even by the most contemptible means.

[1] Hebrew: וְסַבֹּתֶ֣ם אֶת־הָעִ֗יר כֹּ֚ל אַנְשֵׁ֣י הַמִּלְחָמָ֔ה הַקֵּ֥יף אֶת־הָעִ֖יר פַּ֣עַם אֶחָ֑ת כֹּ֥ה תַעֲשֶׂ֖ה שֵׁ֥שֶׁת יָמִֽים׃