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Joshua 5 Living Bible (TLB)

When the nations west of the Jordan River—the Amorites and Canaanites who lived along the Mediterranean coast—heard that the Lord had dried up the Jordan River so the people of Israel could cross, their courage melted away completely and they were paralyzed with fear.

2-3 The Lord then told Joshua to set aside a day to circumcise the entire male population of Israel. (It was the second time in Israel’s history that this was done.) The Lord instructed them to manufacture flint knives for this purpose. The place where the circumcision rite took place was named “The Hill of the Foreskins.” 4-5 The reason for this second circumcision ceremony was that although when Israel left Egypt all of the men who had been old enough to bear arms had been circumcised, that entire generation had died during the years in the wilderness, and none of the boys born since that time had been circumcised. For the nation of Israel had traveled back and forth across the wilderness for forty years until all the men who had been old enough to bear arms when they left Egypt were dead; they had not obeyed the Lord, and he vowed that he wouldn’t let them enter the land he had promised to Israel—a land that “flowed with milk and honey.” So now Joshua circumcised their children—the men who had grown up to take their fathers’ places.

8-9 And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have ended your shame of not being circumcised.”[a] So the place where this was done was called Gilgal (meaning, “to end”*), and is still called that today. After the ceremony the entire nation rested in camp until the raw flesh of their wounds had been healed.

10 While they were camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, they celebrated the Passover during the evening of April first.[b] 11-12 The next day they began to eat from the gardens and grain fields which they invaded, and they made unleavened bread. The following day no manna fell, and it was never seen again! So from that time on they lived on the crops of Canaan.

13 As Joshua was sizing up the city of Jericho, a man appeared nearby with a drawn sword. Joshua strode over to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?”

14 “I am the Commander-in-Chief of the Lord’s army,” he replied.

Joshua fell to the ground before him and worshiped him and said, “Give me your commands.”

15 “Take off your shoes,” the Commander told him, “for this is holy ground.” And Joshua did.


  1. Joshua 5:8 your shame of not being circumcised, literally “the shame of Egypt.” to end, literally, “to roll” (away).
  2. Joshua 5:10 April first, literally, “the fourteenth day of the first month” (of the Hebrew calendar).
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Joshua 5 New International Version (NIV)

Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until they[a] had crossed over, their hearts melted in fear and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.

Circumcision and Passover at Gilgal

At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again.” So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites at Gibeath Haaraloth.[b]

Now this is why he did so: All those who came out of Egypt—all the men of military age—died in the wilderness on the way after leaving Egypt. All the people that came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the wilderness during the journey from Egypt had not. The Israelites had moved about in the wilderness forty years until all the men who were of military age when they left Egypt had died, since they had not obeyed the Lord. For the Lord had sworn to them that they would not see the land he had solemnly promised their ancestors to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. So he raised up their sons in their place, and these were the ones Joshua circumcised. They were still uncircumcised because they had not been circumcised on the way. And after the whole nation had been circumcised, they remained where they were in camp until they were healed.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the place has been called Gilgal[c] to this day.

10 On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. 11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12 The manna stopped the day after[d] they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan.

The Fall of Jericho

13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”

14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord[e] have for his servant?”

15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.


  1. Joshua 5:1 Another textual tradition we
  2. Joshua 5:3 Gibeath Haaraloth means the hill of foreskins.
  3. Joshua 5:9 Gilgal sounds like the Hebrew for roll.
  4. Joshua 5:12 Or the day
  5. Joshua 5:14 Or lord
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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