March 17th Joshua 4
Stones erected at Gilgal
1: And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over Jordan, that the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying, 2: Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man, 3: And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests' feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night. 4: Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man: 5: And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: 6: That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? 7: Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever. 8: And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there. 9: And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day. 10: For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until everything was finished that the LORD commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over. 11: And it came to pass, when all the people were clean passed over, that the ark of the LORD passed over, and the priests, in the presence of the people. 12: And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spake unto them: 13: About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto battle, to the plains of Jericho. 14: On that day the LORD magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life. 15: And the LORD spake unto Joshua, saying, 16: Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan. 17: Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, Come ye up out of Jordan. 18: And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests' feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before. 19: And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho. 20: And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. 21: And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? 22: Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. 23: For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: 24: That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.
Joshua 5 Circumcision and Passover
1: And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel. 2: At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time. 3: And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins. 4: And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt. 5: Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised. 6: For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey. 7: And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way. 8: And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole. 9: And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day. 10: And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho. 11: 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. 12: And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year. 13: And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? 14: And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? 15: And the captain of the LORD's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.
In todays Bible reading we read that the children of Israel made the pile of Stones at Gilgal and then we find that the people needed to be circumcised and they celebrated the Passover. When the Priests feet touched the waters of the Jordan the waters stopped flowing and the whole company of the people passed over on dry land. Then the twelve men that Joshua appointed went and took twelve stones one for each man and built a pile of stones at Gilgal. All this time the priests stood in the bed of the river. Then 40,000 armed men of the eastern tribes passed over to be with their brethren in the battle. This pile remained at Gilgal as a constant memorial. As a result of this event the people of Israel feared Joshua all his life. Then when the priests came up out of the Jordan when their feet stepped onto new dry ground the waters of the Jordan began to flow again. And so we learn a lesson that the history of Gods to be remembered because these events have a direct application to the present. When the kings of the Amorities heard that the Lord had dried up the Jordan they feared the Lord. The next crucial event is that the people were still uncircumcised. Their parents in their unbelief had neglected this essential rite. So Joshua prepared knives and all Israel was circumcised. The men stayed in their tents until they were healed, then the Lord spoke to Joshua saying that the rebuke of the Lord concerning Egypt is wiped away from Israel. On the 14th day they kept the Passover in the plains under Jericho. On the following day they ate the old corn of the land of Egypt and the following day the Manna ceased. From now on there was no option but to go forward to conquer. The Jordan was behind them and the Manna had ceased the only option was to go forward into victory. From this time onward they ate the fruits of Canaan. Then Joshua went out to see Jechicho and he saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword. Joshua drew near and asked Are you for us or for our enemies? But the man answered, No, As captain of the host of the LORD l have come. Joshua fell on his face and worshipped. (It was the Lord Jesus.) Then Joshua said what have you got to say to me? And the Captain said Take off your shoe because the place where you are standing is holy ground. If you remember the man who returns with out his shoe is the man who is not the redeemer. The one who takes the shoe is the redeemer. The Lord was saying to Joshua, I have not come to take sides but to take over. Often we think in terms of Is the Lord on our side, however it should be are we on his side?
- What were the purpose of the stones at Gilgal?
- Why were the children of Israel circumcised at this time?
- Who was this captain of the Lords host?
- What great lesson did Joshua have to learn?