Joshua 5:11: The Manna Ceases, Part 1

Verse 11:[1] And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day.

[They ate of the fruit of the land, מֵעֲב֥וּר הָאָ֛רֶץ] [They render it variously.] Of the grain of the past year, etc. (Munster, Vatablus, Drusius, Tigurinus, Dutch, Kimchi in Masius, Bonfrerius). עָבוּר properly signifies this, as תְּבוּאָה the produce of the coming year[2] (Drusius), while עָבַר signifies to pass over, or to pass by (Kimchi in Serarius). They were eating old crops, either, which the traders had sold to them (Drusius); or, which they had found in conquered regions (Bonfrerius). For it was not lawful for them to eat new fruits until they had offered the first-fruits to the Lord (Munster, Vatablus, Drusius). Now, others translate it, of the grain, produce, crops, or fruit, of the land. Thus the Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic, Pagnine. Thus Jonathan and the Targum on Isaiah 36 and 2 Kings 18[3] (where עבור is put in the place of דָּגָן/grain), and Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews 5:1, and other Rabbis, who heap this up against Radak [that is, Rabbi David Kimchi] (Serarius). I do not know whether the argument [of Kimchi] from etymology is firm enough (Drusius). Moreover, עָבַר sometimes signifies to impregnate, or to make pregnant: now, Cicero said that the land is impregnated with seed: and thence grain is able to be called עָבוּר (Serarius). Which signifies whatever crops, as much of the present year as of the past year (Lapide). From the verb it signifies the passage of the land, that is, present fruits for the circumstances (Malvenda).

The old corn; the corn of the last year, which the inhabitants of those parts had left in their barns, being doubtless fled for fear of the Israelites into their strong cities, or other remoter and safer parts.

[On the second day] Hebrew: from tomorrow, or on the following day, of the Passover[4] (Montanus, Junius and Tremellius). Question: What then was this? Response 1: The fifteenth day (Tostatus and Montanus and the Rabbis in Serarius, Kimchi in Masius). But, since it was a sin to eat the new ears before the day of the consecrated sheaf, Leviticus 23:14, those that hold this opinion are obliged either to take the Sabbath of the preceding law of that night on which the lamb was eaten, and which was preceding the light of the fifteenth day, and to ascribe it to the preceding day; or to take עָבוּר for the grain of the preceding year only; and so, although the sheaf has not yet been offered on this fifteenth day, it was lawful to eat of the old fruit with the parched (Masius). Response 2: to others this is the sixteenth day (Lapide, Bonfrerius, Munster, Vatablus, Lyra and Calvin and the Rabbis in Serarius): for it is the night of the following day (Vatablus). They offer as proof: 1. The fifteenth day was the very day of the feast of Passover, as it is evident from Leviticus 23:6. For, although the evening of the fourteenth day according to the civil computation of days belongs to the fourteenth day, yet according to the sacred reckoning of feast days (which were celebrated from evening to evening) this evening had regard unto the fifteenth day. 2. Before the first-fruits were to be offered on the sixteenth day, according to Leviticus 23:14, it is not likely that they ate of these new fruits: for otherwise what would have been the reason why they had not eaten previously? 3. Because in Leviticus 23:11, 15, where the offering of the sheaf is treated, he calls the sixteenth day, as in this place, the day following the Sabbath (Bonfrerius). It is taken as the sixteenth day by the Babylonian Talmud, Ralbag,[5] and the Septuagint, as it appears, which translates the following parched corn as τὰ νέα, the new fruits (Masius). Which opinion might be closer to the truth, I confess that it is uncertain to me (Masius).

On the morrow after the passover, that is, on the sixteenth day; for the passover was killed between the two evenings of the fourteenth day, and was eaten in that evening or night, which, according to the Jewish computation, whereby they begin their days at the evening, was a part of the fifteenth day, all which was the feast of the passover; and so the morrow of the sixteenth day was the morrow after the passover, when they were obliged to offer unto God the first sheaf, and then were allowed to eat of the rest.

[And parched grain (thus Pagnine, Jonathan), וְקָלוּי] And roasted (Montanus, Junius and Tremellius) with fire (Junius and Tremellius); and roasted ears (Syriac, Arabic, Munster, Vatablus); and the new (Septuagint); and new roasted ears (Tigurinus); toasted, scorched, or roasted grain (Masius). But these are not wont to be prepared except the produce of this year (Rabbi Salomon in Masius). But I do not think that this is able to be demonstrated out of Sacred Scripture (Masius).

Parched corn; of that year’s corn, which was most proper and customary for that use.

[Of the same year] Hebrew: on that very day.[6] He signifies that his people were most hungrily disposed, and satisfied their desire just as soon as it was lawful. For it was taboo to enjoy the fruit of the land before they had observed the Paschal rites: But, if it treats of this year’s fruits, the law prohibited the eating of those before the offering of the sheaf (Masius).

In the selfsame day; having an eager desire to enjoy the fruits of the land.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֙אכְל֜וּ מֵעֲב֥וּר הָאָ֛רֶץ מִמָּֽחֳרַ֥ת הַפֶּ֖סַח מַצּ֣וֹת וְקָל֑וּי בְּעֶ֖צֶם הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה׃

[2] תְּבוּאָה is here being derived from the verbal root בּוֹא, to come.

[3] 2 Kings 18:32a:  “Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn (דָּגָן; עבור, in the Chaldean) and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey…”  Isaiah 36:17 is the same.

[4] Hebrew: מִמָּֽחֳרַ֥ת הַפֶּ֖סַח.

[5] That is, Rabbi Levi ben Gershon.

[6] Hebrew: בְּעֶ֖צֶם הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה׃.

Joshua 5:10: The Renewal of Passover at Gilgal

Verse 10:[1] And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover (Ex. 12:6; Num. 9:5) on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.

[And they did the Passover] I expound they did as they sacrificed. For they ate the lamb at the beginning of the following day. It is a Synecdoche of genus (Piscator).

[At evening, בָּעֶרֶב] It is the same time that is elsewhere בֵּין הָעַרְבָּיִם, between the evenings,[2] as it is evident from Exodus 16[3] and Deuteronomy 16[4] [concerning which see what things were said at length on Exodus 12, where a great part of what was annotated here by Masius is found]: namely, the last part of the fourteenth day, when the Sun is nearly set. On the Fourteenth Day the lamb was to be slain, but on the night following, that is, which precedes the light of the fifteenth day, it was to be eaten (Masius). Question: What number was this Passover to be reckoned? Response: Some maintain that it is the forty-first, and that the Passover was repeated throughout the entire forty years. For it is not probable that what God commanded to be perpetual was suddenly cast aside (Calvin). Response: The Law of Circumcision was no less perpetual than of Passover, Genesis 17 (Serarius). This does not satisfy others. In the desert Passover was intermitted for thirty-nine years (Serarius, Masius). They present proof: 1. It was not lawful to observe Passover unless circumcised, Exodus 12:48. 2. The Law concerning Passover appears to have regard unto the Promised Land alone; Exodus 12:25, when ye will have come into the land, etc. For what they did at mount Sinai, Numbers 9:2, they did not by Law, but by a new commandment (which would not at all have been necessary, if they were obliged by the Law) and privilege, that they might honor the sanctuary of God (Masius). 3. In the desert there were no sacrifices, Amos 5:25. But the Passover was a sacrifice (Serarius). This was, therefore, the third Passover celebrated by the Israelites: 1. there was one in Egypt; 2. one at mount Sinai; 3. one at this place (Serarius, Lapide, Bonfrerius, Menochius). As the rite of Circumcision was renewed a little previously, so now the ceremony of Passover; so that we might understand that the Israelites holily and religiously entered upon the possession of the Land (Masius). Question: Did the Trans-Jordanian Tribes celebrate this Passover? Response: By no means; for the Passover was able to be celebrated only where the Temple was, Deuteronomy 16:2, 6, 7. Objection: All males were obliged to come three times in a year to their feasts, Deuteronomy 16:16. Response: They were not now bound by that law; either, because they did not yet possess the land of Canaan in peace; or, because they did not know that that ceremony was to be restored so quickly (Bonfrerius).

Passover: This was their third passover: the first was in Egypt, Exodus 12; the second at Mount Sinai, Numbers 9; the third here; for in their wilderness travels these and all other sacrifices were neglected, Amos 5:25.

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּחֲנ֥וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בַּגִּלְגָּ֑ל וַיַּעֲשׂ֣וּ אֶת־הַפֶּ֡סַח בְּאַרְבָּעָה֩ עָשָׂ֙ר י֥וֹם לַחֹ֛דֶשׁ בָּעֶ֖רֶב בְּעַֽרְב֥וֹת יְרִיחֽוֹ׃

[2] See Exodus 12:6:  “And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month:  and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening (בֵּ֥ין הָעַרְבָּֽיִם׃).”

[3] Exodus 16:12:  “I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel:  speak unto them, saying, At even (בֵּ֤ין הָֽעַרְבַּ֙יִם֙) ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God.”

[4] Deuteronomy 16:4, 6:  “And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even (בָּעֶרֶב), remain all night until the morning….  But at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even (בָּעָרֶב), at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt.”