Chapter 6:5: The Captain’s Battle Plan, Part 4

Verse 5:[1] And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat (Heb. under it[2]), and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

[And when the voice of the trumpet will have sounded longer and choppier[3]] This sound is uneven (Bonfrerius). A sound is broken up, when it is cut short by some brief delay and repeated (Menochius).

[בִּמְשֹׁךְ] In prolonging (Montanus); when they shall prolong the sounding (Pagnine); when he, namely, the priest, shall draw out the sound (Piscator); when they shall sound more at greater length (Vatablus, Kimchi in Drusius, similarly Munster); when it shall be sounded in a long and drawn out manner (Junius and Tremellius, Kimchi in Drusius); when they shall blow with a prolonged sound (Masius); when they will have intensified the sound (Tigurinus); when they will have made to ring (Syriac). מָשַׁךְ, to draw, is used in the place of תָּקַע, to blow or sound (Masius).

When they make a long blast, as is usual in the close of musical sounds.

[With a shout, תְּרוּעָה] All the ancients render it a shout, or a cry; a shrieking (Drusius). This cry is ἀλαλαγμὸς, a shouting, to the Greeks; barritus, a battle-cry, to Vegetius (Grotius out of Drusius), which soldiers give out in the coming together of battle lines (Drusius).

[The walls shall fall] Hebrew: the wall shall fall[4] (Montansu, Pagnine, Drusius, Masius, Tigurinus).

[תַּחְתֶּיהָ] Under itself (Montanus, Pagnine, Drusius, Masius, Tigurinus), beneath itself (Munster); it shall fall into a trench (Malvenda), in its place (Arabic, Junius and Tremellius, Masius, Vatablus), upon its place (Syriac). Others: of itself (the Septuagint and Aquila in Masius), that is to say, with no siege engine impelling (Masius). It shall be sucked into the earth (Vatablus out of Jonathan). Hence the Hebrews think that the wall did not fall, but rather sunk down, with the earth gaping. Which is vain (Masius). It shall fall beneath itself, that is, from its foundations, from the bottom (Malvenda). Below themselves, below that place and site which they were previously holding, downward (Bonfrerius). But what happened to Rahab, whose house stood in the wall?[5] Responses: 1. All the walls did not fall (Masius), but only that part which was looking toward the camp of the Israelites. Wall here is put in the place of a part of the wall (Drusius). 2. It is not necessary for apartments, which adhere to unconnected walls, to fall with those (Masius).

The wall of the city; not all of it, which was not only unnecessary, but inconvenient, and might have given the people better opportunity of escaping; but only a considerable part of it, where the Israelites might fitly enter; for Rahab’s house was not overthrown, verse 22. Flat, Hebrew, under it, that is, below the place they stood in; or, in its place: it was not battered down with engines, which would have made part of it fall out of its place; but it fell out without any force, and of its own accord, and therefore in the place it did formerly stand in.

[1] Hebrew: וְהָיָ֞ה בִּמְשֹׁ֣ךְ׀ בְּקֶ֣רֶן הַיּוֹבֵ֗ל בְּשָׁמְעֲכֶם֙ אֶת־ק֣וֹל הַשּׁוֹפָ֔ר יָרִ֥יעוּ כָל־הָעָ֖ם תְּרוּעָ֣ה גְדוֹלָ֑ה וְנָ֙פְלָ֜ה חוֹמַ֤ת הָעִיר֙ תַּחְתֶּ֔יהָ וְעָל֥וּ הָעָ֖ם אִ֥ישׁ נֶגְדּֽוֹ׃

[2] Hebrew: תַּחְתֶּיהָ.

[3] Thus the Vulgate: cumque insonuerit vox tubae longior atque concisior.

[4] Hebrew: וְנָ֙פְלָ֜ה חוֹמַ֤ת.

[5] Joshua 2:15.