1 So the LORD dried up the Jordan River until the Israelites finished crossing it. The kings of the Amorites living west of the Jordan River and the Canaanites living by the Mediterranean Sea heard about this and became very frightened. After that they were not brave enough to stand and fight against the Israelites.
The Israelites Are Circumcised
2 At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make knives from flint rocks and circumcise the men of Israel.”
3 So Joshua made knives from flint rocks and circumcised the men of Israel at Gibeath Haaraloth.* Gibeath Haaraloth This name means “Circumcision Hill.”
4-7 This is why Joshua circumcised the men: After the Israelites left Egypt, all the men who were able to serve in the army were circumcised. While in the desert, many of the fighting men did not listen to the LORD. So the LORD promised that they would not see the “land where much food grows.” He promised our ancestors to give us that land, but because of those men, he forced the people to wander in the desert for 40 years. That way all those fighting men would die. So all the fighting men died, and their sons took their place. But none of the boys who were born in the desert on the trip from Egypt had been circumcised. So Joshua circumcised them.
8 Joshua finished circumcising all the men. The people camped at that place until all the men were healed.
First Passover in Canaan
9 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “You were slaves in Egypt, and this made you ashamed. But today I have taken away that shame.” So Joshua named that place Gilgal.† Gilgal This name is like the Hebrew word meaning “to roll away.” And that place is still named Gilgal today.
10 The Israelites celebrated Passover while they were camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho. This was on the evening of the 14th day of the month. 11 The day after Passover, the people ate food that grew in that land. They ate bread made without yeast and roasted grain. 12 The next morning, the manna from heaven stopped coming. This happened the first day after the people ate the food that grew in the land of Canaan. From that time on, the Israelites did not get the manna from heaven.
The Commander of the Lord’s Army
13 When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him. The man had a sword in his hand. Joshua went to the man and asked, “Are you a friend to our people or are you one of our enemies?”
14 The man answered, “I am not an enemy. I am the commander of the LORD’S army. I have just now come to you.”
Then Joshua bowed his face to the ground to show respect and said, “I am your servant. Does my master have a command for me?”
15 The commander of the LORD’S army answered, “Take off your sandals. The place where you are standing is holy.” So Joshua obeyed him.
*5:3 Gibeath Haaraloth This name means “Circumcision Hill.”
†5:9 Gilgal This name is like the Hebrew word meaning “to roll away.”