|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1-5 Jericho resolves Israel shall not be its master. It shut itself up, being strongly fortified both by art and nature. Thus were they foolish, and their hearts hardened to their destruction; the miserable case of all that strengthen themselves against the Almighty. God resolves Israel shall be its master, and that quickly. No warlike preparations were to be made. By the uncommon method of besieging the city, the Lord honoured the ark, as the symbol of his presence, and showed that all the victories were from him. The faith and patience of the people were proved and increased.
Verse 1. - This verse (see above) is parenthetical. It explains why the captain of the Lord's host appeared unto Joshua. The inhabitants of Jericho, though in a state of the utmost alarm, were nevertheless fully on their guard against the children of Israel. The commencement of hostilities imposed a great responsibility on Joshua. Success at the outset was, humanly speaking, indispensable. We may see what defeat involved for him by his distress in consequence of the check at Ai. The alternative was victory or annihilation, for the Israelites had no homes or fortresses to which they could retire. Joshua was therefore encouraged by a visible proof that he was under the protection of the Most High, to be yet farther assured by the marvels that were to follow. The use of the Pual participle with its fullest intensive sense, to strengthen the affirmation of the action by the Kal, is a singular construction. Literally rendered it is "shutting and closely shut up," thus including
(1) the act of closing, and
(2) the continuance of that act, συγκεκλεισμένη καὶ ὀχυρομέμη (LXX.), "clausa at que munita" (Vulg.). So also the Chaldea paraphrase. The remainder of the verse strengthens still more the assertion of the state of siege. The king of Jericho, such was his alarm, regarded his city as a beleaguered one, from the mere presence of Joshua and his host in its vicinity.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now Jericho was straitly shut up, because of the children of Israel,.... Or "it shut up", or "was shutting, and was shut up" (u); that is, the king and the inhabitants shut it up within; the Targum says with iron doors, and bars of brass, and it was blocked up without by the children of Israel:
none went out and none came in; none of their forces went out to make a sally on the Israelites, or to seek to make peace with them; nor any of their neighbours went in to them, to carry them any provision, or to assist them, or to be sheltered by them, not being able to do it because of the camp of Israel.
(u) "claudens et clausa", Montanus, Vatablus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Jos 6:1-7. Jericho Shut Up.
1. Now Jericho was straitly shut up—This verse is a parenthesis introduced to prepare the way for the directions given by the Captain of the Lord's host.
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