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Preparations for the First Passover in Canaan

All the Amorite kings west of the Jordan River and all the Canaanite kings along the Mediterranean Sea heard that Yahweh had dried up the Jordan River so that the Israelites could cross. So they lost heart and had no courage left to face the people of Israel.

At that time Yahweh spoke to Joshua, “Make flint knives, and circumcise the men of Israel.” So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the men of Israel at the Hill of Circumcision.[a]

This is the reason Joshua circumcised them: All the soldiers had died on the way through the desert after they left Egypt. The men who left Egypt had been circumcised. However, the men born later, on the way through the desert, were not circumcised. For 40 years the Israelites wandered through the desert until all their soldiers who left Egypt died. They died because they disobeyed Yahweh. Yahweh swore that he would not let them see this land flowing with milk and honey which Yahweh had sworn to give our ancestors.

The sons who took their place had not been circumcised on the way. So Joshua circumcised them. When all the men had been circumcised, they remained in the camp until they recovered.

Yahweh said to Joshua, “Today I have removed the disgrace of Egypt from you.” So Joshua named the place Gilgal,[b] the name it still has today.

10 The people of Israel camped at Gilgal in the Jericho plain. There they celebrated the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month. 11 On the day after the Passover, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12 The day after that, the manna stopped. The people of Israel never had manna again. That year they began to eat the crops that grew in Canaan.

The Commander of the Lord’s Army Speaks with Joshua

13 When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you one of us or one of our enemies?” 14 He answered, “Neither one! I am here as the commander of Yahweh’s army.” Immediately, Joshua bowed with his face touching the ground and worshiped. He asked, “Sir, what do you want to tell me?” 15 The commander of Yahweh’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals because this place where you are standing is holy.” So Joshua did as he was told.


  1. Joshua 5:3 Or “Hill of Foreskins.”
  2. Joshua 5:9 There is a play on words here between Hebrew gilgal (rolled) and gallothi (roll away/remove).

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