Joshua 5 – “Circumcision and Passover in Canaan”

flint knife blade stone making carving handHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

The Israelites are circumcised at the hill of foreskins, which is renamed Gilgal. The people celebrate Passover and Joshua is approached by the general of Yahweh’s army.


II. Photo

The Israelites are circumcised: “Joshua made flint knives and the Israelites were circumcised at the hill of foreskins.” (v. 3)


III. Select Verses

1: When all the kings of the Amorites on the western side of the Jordan, and all the kings of the Canaanites near the Sea, heard how the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan for the sake of the Israelites until they crossed over, they lost heart, and no spirit was left in them because of the Israelites.

2-3:  At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and proceed with a second circumcision of the Israelites.”  So Joshua had flint knives made, and the Israelites were circumcised at Gibeath-haaraloth.

10-12: Encamped at Gilgal, in the steppes of Jericho, the Israelites offered the passover sacrifice on the fourteenth day of the month, toward evening. On the day after the passover offering, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the country, unleavened bread and parched grain.  On that same day, when they ate of the produce of the land, the manna ceased. The Israelites got no more manna; that year they ate of the yield of the land of Canaan.

13-15. Once, when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing before him, drawn sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and asked him, “Are you one of us or of our enemies?”  He replied, “No, I am captain of the LORD’s host. Now I have come!” Joshua threw himself face down to the ground and, prostrating himself, said to him, “What does my lord command his servant?” The captain of the LORD’s host answered Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.


IV. Outline

1. Fear amongst the Amorites and Canaanites

2. Yahweh’s call for circumcision

3. Joshua circumcises the people

4-7. History of Israel’s circumcision since Egypt

8. The people rest

9. The etymology of Gilgal

10-12. The passover and cessation of manna

13-15. Joshua is greeted by Yahweh’s general

V. Comment

No comment today. Stay tuned.


VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

Photo copied from