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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)They did eat of the old corn.—The word occurs nowhere else except in Joshua 5:12. It need not have been last year’s corn; in fact, it seems to have been the produce of this very harvest. It seems to mean “that which was brought to them,” and was “the fruit” or “produce” of the land of Canaan, probably brought to the camp for sale.Joshua 5:11. They eat of the old corn — The corn of the last year, which the inhabitants of those parts had left in their barns, being fled into their strong cities, or other remoter parts. On the morrow — That is, on the sixteenth day; for the passover was killed between the two evenings of the fourteenth day, and was eaten in that evening or night, which, according to the Jewish computation, whereby they begin their days at the evening, was a part of the fifteenth day, all which was the feast of the passover; and so the sixteenth day was the morrow of the passover, when they were obliged to offer unto God the first sheaf, and then were allowed to eat of the rest. Parched corn — Of that year’s corn, which was most proper for that use. Self-same day — Having an eager desire to enjoy the fruits of the land.
And this corn came very seasonably; for after the passover they were to keep the feast of unleavened bread, which they could not do when they had nothing but manna to live upon.Joshua 5:12.)
On the morrow after the passover - These words denote in Numbers 33:3 the 15th Nisan, but must here apparently mean the 16th. For the Israelites could not lawfully eat of the new grain until the first fruits of it had been presented, and this was done on "the morrow after the Sabbath," i. e. the morrow after the first day of Unleavened Bread, which was to be observed as a Sabbath, and is therefore so called. (Compare Leviticus 23:7, Leviticus 23:11, Leviticus 23:14.)
The term Passover, which is sometimes used for the lamb slain on the evening of the 14th Nisan, sometimes for the paschal meal, sometimes for the whole eight days' festival, here means the first great day of the eight, the Sabbath of the first holy convocation.
parched corn—new grain (see on Le 23:10), probably lying in the fields. Roasted—a simple and primitive preparation, much liked in the East. This abundance of food led to the discontinuance of the manna; and the fact of its then ceasing, viewed in connection with its seasonable appearance in the barren wilderness, is a striking proof of its miraculous origin.The old corn; the corn of the last year, which the inhabitants of those parts had left in their barns, being doubtless fled for fear of the Israelites into their strong cities, or other remoter and safer parts.
On the morrow after the passover, i.e. on the sixteenth day; for the passover was killed between the two evenings of the fourteenth day, and was eaten in that evening or night, which, according to the Jewish computation, whereby they begin their days at the evening, was a part of the fifteenth day, all which was the feast of the passover; and so the morrow of the sixteenth day was
the morrow after the passover, when they were obliged to offer unto God the first sheaf, and then were allowed to eat of the rest.
Parched corn; of that year’s corn, which was most proper and customary for that use.
In the selfsame day; having an eager desire to enjoy the fruits of the land. Leviticus 23:10; of which old corn they suppose the unleavened cakes were made, and was also parched corn, though that word the Septuagint version translates "new"; and indeed were it not for the above law, there does not seem to be any reason for rendering it old corn, only corn of the land, as the Septuagint does; and there is some difficulty how they should get at the old corn, which it may be supposed was laid up in the granaries, when Jericho was close shut up, and none went in or out; unless they met with it in some of the villages near at hand, or it was brought them by the traders in corn, of whom they bought it, or found it in some houses and barns without the city:
on the morrow after the passover; which Kimchi and Ben Gersom say was on the fifteenth of Nisan, the passover being on the fourteenth; but if the morrow after the passover is the same with the morrow after the Sabbath, Leviticus 23:11; that was the sixteenth of Nisan; and so Jarchi here says, this is the day of waving the sheaf, which was always done on the sixteenth: it is difficult to say which day is meant; if it was the sixteenth, then it may refer to what they ate on that day, after the sheaf was offered (h); if it was the fifteenth, it seems necessary to understand it of the old corn; and such they must have to make their unleavened cakes of, both for the passover on the fourteenth, and the Chagigah, or feast of unleavened bread, which began the fifteenth, as it follows:
unleavened bread, and parched corn in the selfsame day; unleavened bread, for the uses before mentioned, they were obliged to, and parched corn for their pleasure; but new corn, as the Septuagint render it, was expressly forbidden before the waving of the sheaf, Leviticus 23:14; and therefore old corn seems to be meant; this was just forty years to a day from their coming out of Egypt.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. of the old corn] Rather, of the produce of the land. “And thei eten of the fruytis of the lond in the tothir day, therf looues, and potage of the same зeer, etin cornys seengid and frotid in the hond.” Wyclif. It could not have been other than the new corn just ripening at the season of the Passover (Leviticus 23:11), not “the old corn,” of which no sufficient supply could have been procurable.
on the morrow after the passover] In Numbers 33:3 these words denote the 15th of Nisan. Here, however, they must apparently mean the 16th. For the people could not lawfully eat of the new corn, till the firstfruits had been “waved before the Lord,” which was done “on the morrow after the Sabbath,” i.e. the morrow after the first day of unleavened bread; this, though not necessarily the seventh day of the week, was to be observed as a Sabbath, and therefore is so called. (Comp. Leviticus 23:7; Leviticus 23:11; Leviticus 23:14.)
unleavened cakes] according to the requirements of the Law, Exodus 12:8; Exodus 12:15.
parched corn] i.e. roasted harvest ears.Verse 11. - The old corn. The produce of the land; literally, that which passes from off it, from עָבַר to pass over. Whether new or old we have no means of telling. The barley would be ripe (see note on Joshua 2:6), but the wheat harvest had not yet taken place. The morrow after the sabbath. The 15th Nisan (see Numbers 33:3). The law of the wave sheaf (Leviticus 23:10, 11) was intended to apply to corn raised by the Israelites on their own land, after Canaan had been divided to them for an inheritance (see Exodus 23:16). And parched corn; i.e., ears roasted at the fire, and the grain afterwards rubbed out, a custom still in use among the Arabs (see Leviticus 2:14; 1 Samuel 17:17; 2 Samuel 17:28, etc. See also for the precept here followed, Leviticus 23:14). This verse therefore adds some confirmation to the view that until their arrival in Palestine a full observance of the precepts of the law was impossible (see above, ver. 6). Joshua 5:6; cf. Numbers 14:26., Numbers 26:64-65, and Deuteronomy 2:14-16). But He (Jehovah) set up their sons in their place, i.e., He caused them to take their place; and these Joshua circumcised (i.e., had them circumcised), for they were uncircumcised, because they had not been circumcised by the way. This explains the necessity for a general circumcision of all the people, but does not state the reason why those who were born in the wilderness had not been circumcised. All that is affirmed in Joshua 5:5 and Joshua 5:7 is, that this had not taken place "by the way." The true reason may be gathered from Joshua 5:6, if we compare the statement made in this verse, "for the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the men that were capable of bearing arms were consumed ... unto whom the Lord sware that He would not show them the land promised to the fathers," with the sentence pronounced by God to which these words refer, viz., Numbers 14:29-34. The Lord is then said to have sworn that all the men of twenty years old and upwards, who had murmured against Him, should perish in the wilderness; and though their sons should enter the promised land, they too should pasture, i.e., lead a nomad life, for forty years in the wilderness, and bear the apostasy of their fathers, till their bodies had fallen in the desert. This clearly means, that not only was the generation that came out of Egypt sentenced to die in the wilderness because of its rebellion against the Lord, and therefore rejected by God, but the sons of this generation had to bear the whoredom, i.e., the apostasy of their fathers from the Lord, for the period of forty years, until the latter had been utterly consumed; that is to say, during all this time they were to endure the punishment of rejection along with their fathers: with this difference alone, that the sons were not to die in the wilderness, but were to be brought into the promised land after their fathers were dead. The sentence upon the fathers, that their bodies should fall in the desert, was unquestionably a rejection of them on the part of God, an abrogation of the covenant with them. This punishment was also to be borne by their sons; and hence the reason why those who were born in the desert by the way were not circumcised. As the covenant of the Lord with the fathers was abrogated, the sons of the rejected generation were not to receive the covenant sign of circumcision. Nevertheless this abrogation of the covenant with the generation that had been condemned, was not a complete dissolution of the covenant relation, so far as the nation as a whole was concerned, since the whole nation had not been rejected, but only the generation of men that were capable of bearing arms when they came out of Egypt, whilst the younger generation which had grown up in the desert was to be delivered from the ban, which rested upon it as well, and brought into the land of Canaan when the time of punishment had expired. For this reason the Lord did not withdraw from the nation every sign of His grace; but in order that the consciousness might still be sustained in the young and rising generation, that the covenant would be set up again with them when the time of punishment had expired, He left them not only the presence of the pillar of cloud and fire, but also the manna and other tokens of His grace, the continuance of which therefore cannot be adduced as an argument against our view of the time of punishment as a temporary suspension of the covenant.
But if this was the reason for the omission of circumcision,
(Note: This reason was admitted even by Calvin, and has been well supported by Hengstenberg (Diss. ii. pp. 13ff.). The arguments adduced by Kurtz in opposition to this view are altogether unfounded. We have already observed that the reason for the suspension is not given in Joshua 5:7; and the further remark, that in Joshua 5:5 ("all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised") the book of Joshua dates the suspension not from the sentence of rejection, but expressly and undoubtedly (?) from the departure from Egypt, has no force whatever, unless we so press the word all ("all the people that were born in the desert") as not to allow of the slightest exception. But this is decidedly precluded by the fact, that we cannot imagine it possible for God to have established His covenant with the people at a time when they had neglected the fundamental law of the covenant, the transgression of which was threatened with destruction (Genesis 17:14), by neglecting to circumcise all the children who had been born between the departure from Egypt and the conclusion of the covenant at Sinai. We are also prevented from pressing the little word "all" in this manner by the evident meaning of the words before us. In Joshua 5:4 and Joshua 5:5 the Israelites are divided into two classes: (1) All the people that came out of Egypt and were circumcised; and (2) All the people that were born in the desert and were uncircumcised. The first of these died in the wilderness, the second came to Canaan and were circumcised by Joshua at Gilgal. But if we should press the word "all" in these clauses, it would follow that all the male children who were under twenty years of age at the time of the exodus, either died in the desert or were circumcised a second time at Gilgal. Lastly, it does not follow from Joshua 5:6 that the circumcision was suspended for exactly forty years; for the forty years during which Israel journeyed in the desert until the murmuring generation was consumed, are to be interpreted by Numbers 14:33-34, and amounted, chronologically considered, to no more than thirty-eight years and a few months. On the other hand, the other very general view which Kurtz adopts - namely, that the circumcision was omitted during the journey through the desert on account of the hardships connected with travelling, and because it was impossible to have regard to particular families who might wish for longer rest on account of their children who had just been circumcised, and were suffering from the wound, just at the time when they had to decamp and journey onward, and they could not well be left behind - throws but little light upon the subject, as the assumption that the people were constantly wandering about for forty years is altogether an unfounded one. The Israelites were not always wandering about: not only did they stay at Sinai for eleven whole months, but even after that they halted for weeks and months at the different places of encampment, when they might have circumcised their children without the slightest danger of their suffering from the wound.)
it did not commence till the second year of their journey, viz., at the time when the murmuring nation was rejected at Kadesh (Numbers 14); so that by "all the people that were born in the wilderness" we are to understand those who were born after that time, and during the last thirty-eight years of their wanderings, just as "all the people that came out of Egypt" are to be understood as signifying only those men who were twenty years old and upwards when they came out. Consequently circumcision was suspended as long as the nation was under the ban of the divine sentence pronounced upon it at Kadesh. This sentence was exhausted when they crossed the brook Zared and entered the country of the Amorites (compare Deuteronomy 2:14 with Numbers 21:12-13). Why, then, was not the circumcision performed during the encampment in the steppes of Moab either before or after the numbering, since all those who had been sentenced to die in the wilderness were already dead (Numbers 26:65)? The different answers which have been given to this question are some of them wrong, and others incomplete. For example, the opinion held by some, that the actual reason was that the forty years had not yet expired, is incorrect (see Deuteronomy 2:14). And the uncertainty how long they would remain in the steppes of Moab cannot be adduced as an explanation, as there were no circumstances existing that were likely to occasion a sudden and unexpected departure from Shittim. The reason why Moses did not renew the circumcision before the end of his own life, is to be sought for in the simple fact that he would not undertake an act of such importance without an express command from the Lord, especially as he was himself under sentence to die without entering the promised land. But the Lord did not enjoin the renewal of the covenant sign before Israel had been conducted into the promised land, because He saw fit first of all to incline the hearts of the people to carry out His commandment through this magnificent proof of His grace. It is the rule of divine grace first to give and then to ask. As the Lord did not enjoin circumcision as a covenant duty upon Abraham himself till He had given him a practical proof of His grace by leading him to Canaan, and by repeated promises of a numerous posterity, and of the eventual possession of the land; and just as He did not give the law to the children of Israel at Sinai till He had redeemed them with a mighty arm from the bondage of Egypt, and borne them on eagles' wings, and brought them to Himself, and had thereby made them willing to promise gladly to fulfil all that He should say to them as His covenant nation; so now He did not require the renewal of circumcision, which involved as the covenant sign the observance of the whole law, till He had given His people practical proofs, through the help afforded in the defeat of Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and in the miraculous division of the waters of Jordan, that He was able to remove all the obstacles that might lie in the way of the fulfilment of His promises, and give them the promised land for their inheritance, as He had sworn to their fathers.
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