Joshua 5:13
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New International Version
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?"

New Living Translation
When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, "Are you friend or foe?"

English Standard Version
When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?”

New American Standard Bible
Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?"

King James Bible
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?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
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 approached Him and asked, "Are You for us or for our enemies?""

International Standard Version
Now it happened that while Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and much to his amazement, he saw a man standing in front of him, holding a drawn sword in his hand! Joshua approached him and asked him, "Are you one of us, or are you with our enemies?"

NET Bible
When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him holding a drawn sword. Joshua approached him and asked him, "Are you on our side or allied with our enemies?"

New Heart English Bible
It happened, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and look, a man stood in front of him with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua went to him, and said to him, "Are you for us, or for our adversaries?"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
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?"

JPS Tanakh 1917
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?'

New American Standard 1977
Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Joshua, being near Jericho, 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 one of us or one of our adversaries?

King James 2000 Bible
And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, are you for us, or for our adversaries?

American King James Version
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 to him, and said to him, Are you for us, or for our adversaries?

American Standard Version
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?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when Josue was in the field of the city of Jericho, he lifted up his eyes, and saw a man standing over against him: holding a drawn sword, and he went to him, and said: Art thou one of ours, or of our adversaries?

Darby Bible Translation
And it came to pass when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, there stood a man before him with his sword drawn in his hand. And Joshua went to him, and said to him: Art thou for us, or for our enemies?

English Revised Version
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?

Webster's Bible Translation
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 to him, and said to him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?

World English Bible
It happened, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man stood in front of him with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua went to him, and said to him, "Are you for us, or for our adversaries?"

Young's Literal Translation
And it cometh to pass in Joshua's being by Jericho, that he lifteth up his eyes, and looketh, and lo, one standing over-against him, and his drawn sword in his hand, and Joshua goeth unto him, and saith to him, 'Art thou for us or for our adversaries?'
Study Bible
The Passover at Gilgal
12The manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan during that year. 13Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?" 14He said, "No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, "What has my lord to say to his servant?"…
Cross References
Genesis 18:1
Now the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day.

Genesis 18:2
When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth,

Genesis 28:16
Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it."

Genesis 32:24
Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.

Genesis 32:30
So Jacob named the place Peniel, for he said, "I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been preserved."

Numbers 22:31
Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground.

1 Chronicles 12:22
For day by day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army like the army of God.
Treasury of Scripture

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 to him, and said to him, Are you for us, or for our adversaries?

he lifted

Genesis 33:1,5 And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, …

Daniel 8:3 Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before …

Daniel 10:5 Then I lifted up my eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed …

a man

Joshua 6:2 And the LORD said to Joshua, See, I have given into your hand Jericho, …

Genesis 18:2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, see, three men stood by …

Genesis 32:24-30 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until …

Exodus 23:23 For my Angel shall go before you, and bring you in to the Amorites, …

Judges 13:8,9,11,22 Then Manoah entreated the LORD, and said, O my Lord, let the man …

Daniel 10:5 Then I lifted up my eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed …

Hosea 12:3-5 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength …

Zechariah 1:8 I saw by night, and behold a man riding on a red horse, and he stood …

Acts 1:10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, …

Revelation 1:13 And in the middle of the seven candlesticks one like to the Son of …

his sword

Numbers 22:23 And the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and …

1 Chronicles 21:16,17,27,30 And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand …

Art thou for us

1 Chronicles 12:17,18 And David went out to meet them, and answered and said to them, If …

THE CONQUEST OF CANAAN.

(13) At this point commences the second great division of the book. The Passage of Jordan was the great event of the first portion; and for that Joshua received special directions from Jehovah. A vision now appears to him, to inaugurate his second great enterprise, which was to put the inhabitants of Canaan to the sword. The character of this vision should be carefully noted, as it is of the utmost importance to the interpretation of the book.

(13) There stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand.--This should be compared with the vision which Moses saw at Horeb (Exodus 3), when the angel of Jehovah appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. The equality of the two visions is proved by the use of the same command on both occasions, "Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground" (Exodus 3:5; Joshua 5:15). But the actual appearances must be contrasted. "The bush burning with fire, but not consumed," presents to us the figure of suffering Israel in the furnace; and "in all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them." The man with the drawn sword is the sign of victory. Jehovah no longer suffers with and in His people, but He stands forth to lead them with the drawn sword. In regard of this and earlier theophanies, see Excursus on Genesis 16.

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--i.e., Jehovah will take part in this conflict, not as an ally or an adversary, but as commander-in-chief. It is not Israel's quarrel, in which they are to ask the Divine assistance. It is the Lord's own quarrel, and Israel and Joshua are but a division in His host. The wars of Israel in Canaan are always presented by the Old Testament as "the wars of the Lord." It would be well to remember this aspect of the story. The conquest of Canaan is too often treated as an enterprise of the Israelites, carried out with great cruelties, for which they claimed the Divine sanction. The Old Testament presents the matter in an entirely different light. The war is a Divine enterprise, in which human instruments are employed, but so as to be entirely subordinate to the Divine will. Jehovah is not for Israel, nor for Israel's foes. He fights for His own right hand, and Israel is but a fragment of His army. "The sun stood still." "the stars in their courses fought against" His foes. "The treasures of the hail" were opened, which He had "reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war."

Verse 13. - When Joshua was by Jericho. The preposition בְּ, the principal meaning of which is "in" signifies here "in the immediate neighbourhood of," as in 1 Samuel 29:1 (where, however, the LXX. read "in Endor"), Ezekiel 10:15. Perhaps Joshua had ascended some hill in the close vicinity of the city to reconnoitre it alone, and here he received the directions which resulted in the miraculous capture of the city (see also Genesis 13:18, where בְּאֵלנֵי cannot mean in the oaks," nor בְּחֶבְדון "in Hebron"). The LXX. translates the first by, παρὰ τὴν δρῦν. The Vulgate has "juxta" (cf. Genesis 14:13). Origen is much hampered in his exposition here by the translation "in." He asks how Jericho can possibly be holy ground when it is still in the possession of the enemy; and answers ingeniously that wherever the captain of the Lord's host is must needs be holy ground). He lift up his eyes. Usually, though not always (cf. Genesis 13:10), used of an unexpected or marvellous sight (see Genesis 18:2; Genesis 22:13; Numbers 24:2; 1 Samuel 6:13; 1 Chronicles 21:16). A man. This Divine or angelic vision came, as was often the case, in human shape (cf. Genesis 18:1, 2; Genesis 19:1, 2, 10; Genesis 32:24; Judges 13:3, 6, 11; Daniel 10:16, 18; Daniel 12:6, 7. See note on next verse). With his sword drawn in his hand. As in Numbers 22:31; 1 Chronicles 21:16 (cf. Genesis 3:24). And Joshua went unto him and said. It appears from this, says Calvin, that Joshua was alone, and was prepared to fight with the apparition, if it appeared that he had fallen in with an enemy. For at first, unexpected as the appearance was, he recognised nothing supernatural in it. And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho,.... Or "in Jericho" (i); not in the city itself, but in the border of it, as Kimchi and Ben Melech; or on the side of it, as Jarchi; on one side of which he was reconnoitring by himself, very probably seeking for a proper place where to make his first attack; or if he could find out some avenue to the city, whereby he could enter more easily; or it may be he was meditating a scheme how to subdue the city; and it is very likely praying to God that he would direct him, and succeed him. Ben Gersom interprets it, his thoughts were in Jericho; and both he, and Abarbinel, suppose, that what follows was in a vision of prophecy, that it seemed to him that he was in Jericho, and saw a person, as after described, and was only a dream or night vision; but, no doubt, whether this was in the day or in the night, which is not certain, it was a real sight that Joshua had, or one really appeared to him as a man, as after related:

that he lifted up his eyes, and looked; his eyes before looked downwards, as the eyes of a person in deep study and meditation usually do:

and, behold, there stood a man over against him; not a mere man, nor a created angel in an human form, but a divine Person in such a form, even the Son of God, who frequently appeared in this manner to the patriarchs; as is clear from the worship paid unto him by Joshua, by his calling him Lord, and owning himself to be his servant; and by the ground on which he stood, being holy through his presence, as well as by his title, the Captain of the Lord's host. Jarchi says, this is Michael, which, if understood of Michael the uncreated angel, the head of all principality and power, is right, who is always meant by Michael, whenever he is spoken of in Scripture; and so this is interpreted by the ancient Jews (k) of the Angel the Redeemer:

with his sword drawn in his hand; who sometimes is said to have a twoedged one come out of his mouth, and sometimes one girt on his thigh, and here with one drawn out of the scabbard, to justify the war with the Canaanites, and to encourage Joshua to proceed in it. His sword has been drawn against his enemies, and those of his people from the beginning, ever since the fall of man, when enmity commenced between him and the seed of the serpent; it appeared drawn when here on earth combating with all our spiritual enemies, and will never be put up until all enemies are put under his feet:

and Joshua went unto him; which showed great courage, presence of mind, and magnanimity:

and said unto him, art thou for us, or for our adversaries? by his appearing in this warlike posture, he concluded it was to take on one side or the other, either on the side of Israel, or of the Canaanites; and he seemed to suspect that it was on the side of the latter, and that he was one that was come to defy the armies of Israel, as Goliath afterwards did, 1 Samuel 17:8; and to engage in a single combat with Joshua their general, and so decide the war; in which, had this been the case, Joshua was ready to fight with him.

(i) , Sept. in Jericho, Pagninus, Montanus. (k) Bereshit. Rabba, sect. 97. fol. 84. 2. Nachmanides in loc. Jos 5:13-15. An Angel Appears to Joshua.

13. when Joshua was by Jericho—in the immediate vicinity of that city, probably engaged in surveying the fortifications, and in meditating the best plan of a siege.

there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn—It is evident from the strain of the context that this was not a mere vision, but an actual appearance; the suddenness of which surprised, but did not daunt, the intrepid leader.5:13-15 We read not of any appearance of God's glory to Joshua till now. There appeared to him one as a man to be noticed. This Man was the Son of God, the eternal Word. Joshua gave him Divine honours: he received them, which a created angel would not have done, and he is called Jehovah, chap. 6:2. To Abraham he appeared as a traveller; to Joshua as a man of war. Christ will be to his people what their faith needs. Christ had his sword drawn, which encouraged Joshua to carry on the war with vigour. Christ's sword drawn in his hand, denotes how ready he is for the defence and salvation of his people. His sword turns every way. Joshua will know whether he is a friend or a foe. The cause between the Israelites and Canaanites, between Christ and Beelzebub, will not admit of any man's refusing to take one part or the other, as he may do in worldly contests. Joshua's inquiry shows an earnest desire to know the will of Christ, and a cheerful readiness and resolution to do it. All true Christians must fight under Christ's banner, and they will conquer by his presence and assistance.
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