Joshua 5:12
And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) The manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land.—The date should be noticed. On the fourteenth day was the Passover; on the fifteenth, Israel ate of the produce of the land. From that day the manna fell no more—i.e., on the sixteenth day of the first month of the year of their entering the land of Canaan, it was not found. On the sixteenth day of the second month of the first year of the Exodus, it first appeared (Exodus 16:1; Exodus 16:7; Exodus 16:13-14). Thirty-nine years and eleven months it fell, except on the Sabbath. It kept Sabbath all through the wilderness, on the seventh day of the week, and it finally ceased, kept Sabbath (vay-yishboth, Hebrew) on the very day afterwards marked by our Lord’s resurrection, which became the Lord’s day. The coincidence is too remarkable to be overlooked. It is the risen Christ who takes the place of the manna; and in the discourse wherein He calls Himself “the true bread from heaven,” He points again and again to resurrection as the end of the life which He gives: “I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:39-40; John 6:44; John 6:54). Then the manna, which is the food of the wilderness, shall keep Sabbath, for “they shall hunger no more.” The food of the wilderness is that which Israel ate, not knowing what it was. Of the other world it is written, “then shall I know, even as also I am known.”

Joshua 5:12. The manna ceased — Which God now withheld, to show that manna was not an ordinary production of nature, but an extraordinary and special gift of God to supply their necessity: and because God would not be prodigal of his favours, by working miracles where ordinary means were sufficient. The morrow — That is, on the seventeenth day. It cannot be too much taken notice of, as it is a great mark of the authenticity of the Holy Scriptures, that the miracles related therein are not a heap of wonderful stories, which have nothing to recommend them but the strangeness of them, like most of those contained in the Koran, but that they are acts of consummate wisdom, as well as of wonder. Here we see, that as soon as the Israelites came into a country where they could obtain a sufficient supply of food in the ordinary way, that miraculous provision which had been made for them in the desert wilderness, where it was absolutely necessary for their subsistence, ceased. So that it is evident the falling of the manna from heaven was not merely or chiefly a strange thing to be wondered at, but an act of great wisdom and goodness, which the circumstances of things absolutely required.5:10-12 A solemn passover was kept, at the time appointed by the law, in the plains of Jericho, in defiance of the Canaanites round about them. It was a performance of the promise, that when they went up to keep the feasts, their land should be under the special protection of the Divine providence, Ex 34:24. Notice is taken of the ceasing of the manna as soon as they had eaten the old corn of the land. For as it came just when they needed, so it continued as long as they needed it. This teaches us not to expect supplies by miracles, when they may be had in a common way. The word and ordinances of God are spiritual manna, with which God nourishes his people in this wilderness. Though often forfeited, yet they are continued while we are here; but when we come to the heavenly Canaan, this manna will cease, for we shall no longer need it.Old corn of the land - Rather "produce of the land," the new grain just coming in at the time of the Passover. (So in 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.

11, 12. And they did eat of the old corn of the land—found in storehouses of the inhabitants who had fled into Jericho.

parched corn—new grain (see on [180]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.

God now withheld

the manna,

1. To show that it was not an ordinary production of nature, as by the long and constant enjoyment of it they might be prone to think; but an extraordinary and special gift of God to supply their necessity.

2. because God would not be prodigal of his favours, nor expose them to contempt by giving them superfluously, or by working miracles where ordinary means were sufficient.

On the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn, i.e. on the seventeenth day. And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land,.... There being now no further need of it; miracles are not wrought or continued when unnecessary; for the ceasing of the manna shows, that it was not a common but an extraordinary provision. The ceasing of the manna, which was a type of Christ, may signify the cessation of Gospel ordinances, in which Christ is held forth as food for his people. These are to continue till all the spiritual Israel of God have passed over the river Jordan, or death, even until the end of the world, and then to cease, Matthew 28:19; the eating of the old corn may signify the glories of the future state, the joys and happiness of the heavenly Canaan, prepared for those that love the Lord from the foundation of the world; it may denote those ancient things the saints will feed and live upon to all eternity; the eternal love of the three divine Persons, electing grace, the ancient settlements of grace, the everlasting covenant of grace, and the blessings of it; the glorious Mediator of it, that was set up from everlasting, and the grace given to them in him before the world began:

neither had the children of Israel manna any more; having no more need of it, as the saints in heaven will stand in no more need of Gospel ordinances:

but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year; the increase of the land, not only of the fields, but of the vineyards and oliveyards, which they had neither sown nor planted, see Deuteronomy 6:10; which may denote the plenty and variety of the joys of heaven, and glories of the future state; the various fruits which grow on Christ, the tree of life, brought forth every month, or continually; all which will be enjoyed through the free grace of God, without the works or merits of men.

And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. the manna ceased] For the first time since leaving Sinai the Passover cakes were not made of manna, for the people had now arrived in Canaan, and no longer needed this “Bread of the Wilderness.” Day after day, for forty years, there had appeared “on the face of the wilderness a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost, white, like coriander seed,” the taste of which “was like wafers made with honey” (Exodus 16:14-36). Day by day, except on the Sabbath, it had been gathered, and had been found sufficient for their daily wants. Now it suddenly ceased. The people no longer needed this “angels’ food” (Psalm 78:25), but “they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan.” Comp. John 6:31; John 6:49; John 6:58; Revelation 2:17.Verse 12. - The manna ceased. It ceased when the Israelites entered a cultivated region. The eastern portion of their inheritance, though well suited for pastoral purposes (see Joshua 1:12), was not a land of agricultural produce. Therefore the manna did not cease until the Israelites had crossed the Jordan.

CHAPTER 5:13-15. The reason for the circumcision of the whole nation was the following: all the fighting men who came out of Egypt had died in the wilderness by the way; for all the people that came out were circumcised; but all that were born in the wilderness during the journey had not been circumcised (ממּצרים בּצאתם, on their coming out of Egypt, which only came to an end on their arrival in Canaan). They walked forty years in the wilderness; till all the people - that is to say, all the fighting men - who came out of Egypt were consumed, because they had not hearkened to the voice of the Lord, and had been sentenced by the Lord to die in the wilderness (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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