Joshua 6:1
Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.
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(1) Now Jericho . . .—This verse should be read parenthetically, and Joshua 6:2-5 should be taken as the orders given to Joshua by the captain of the Lord’s host.

Joshua 6:1-2. Jericho was straitly shut up — They had shut up all their gates, and kept a very strict guard at them, for fear of the children of Israel. And the Lord said unto Joshua — There is great reason to believe, and indeed most commentators agree, that this was spoken by the divine person who is said in the preceding chapter to have appeared to Joshua in the form of a man, but who styled himself captain of the host of the Lord, and is here called Jehovah, which shows that he was not of the angelic order. It is probable that the king and people of Jericho had refused the offers of peace which God ordered to be first sent to every city before they besieged it, Deuteronomy 20:10; and, trusting to their forces, had taken up a desperate resolution not to yield on any terms.

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.This verse is strictly parenthetical. It is inserted to explain the declaration commenced Joshua 5:14, and interrupted by Joshua's question and obeisance Joshua 5:14-15, but resumed in Joshua 6:2.

Straitly shut up - See the margin, i. e., not only shut, but barred and bolted.


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.Jericho is shut up by the Israelites, Joshua 6:1. The people and seven priests with the ark go round it six days, Joshua 6:2-14. On the seventh day they go round seven times; the priests blow the trumpets; the people shout; the city accursed; nothing to be taken, but all consecrated; the walls fall down; men, women, and cattle destroyed, Joshua 6:15-21. Rahab and her kindred are saved, Joshua 6:22-25. Joshua curseth the man who should rebuild Jericho, Joshua 6:26.

Straitly shut up; not only by night, as before, Joshua 2:5, but constantly and diligently.

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.

Now Jericho was straitly {a} {b} shut up {c} because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.

(a) That none could go out.

(b) That none could go in.

(c) for fear of the Israelites.

Joshua 6:1. Now Jericho] This verse is strictly parenthetical, and states the Historical circumstance which gave occasion for this Divine intervention.

was straitly shut up] Vulg. “clausa erat atque munita.” “Was closid and waardid,” Wyclif Straitly = strictly, closely. Comp. Genesis 43:7, “The man asked us straitly of our state.” Shakespeare, Richard 3. Ι:Ι. 85, 86:

“His majesty hath straitly given in charge,

That no man shall have private conference.”

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. Joshua 6:1"Jericho was shutting its gates (vid., Judges 9:51), and closely shut." The participles express the permanence of the situation, and the combination of the active and passive in the emphatic form מסגּרת (lxx συγκεκλεισμένη καὶ ὠχυρωμένη; Vulg. clausa erat atque munita) serves to strengthen the idea, to which still further emphasis is given by the clause, "no one was going out and in," i.e., so firmly shut that no one could get out or in.
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