And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken to the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Joshua 1:10).
Him that is armed - i. e. the warriors generally, not a division only. "The rereward" Joshua 6:9 was merely a detachment, and not a substantial portiere of the host; and was told off, perhaps, from the tribe of Dan (compare the marginal reference) to close the procession and guard the ark from behind. Thus the order would be
(1) the warriors,
(2) the seven priests blowing the cornets,
(3) the ark,
8-11. the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets … passed on before the Lord—before the ark, called "the ark of the covenant," for it contained the tables on which the covenant was inscribed. The procession was made in deep and solemn silence, conforming to the instructions given to the people by their leader at the outset, that they were to refrain from all acclamation and noise of any kind until he should give them a signal. It must have been a strange sight; no mound was raised, no sword drawn, no engine planted, no pioneers undermining—here were armed men, but no stroke given; they must walk and not fight. Doubtless the people of Jericho made themselves merry with the spectacle [Bishop Hall].
that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the Lord; in his sight, and by his direction, and at his command given by Joshua, and before the ark, the symbol of his presence:
and blew with the trumpets; a short blast as they went along; this they did on each of the six days:
and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them; being borne by priests, Joshua 6:6.And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 8. - He that is armed, or rather disencumbered, i.e., prepared for battle (see Joshua 4:13). Similarly, in the next verse, "the armed men," i.e., the host in marching order, as we say. Kimchi and Jarchi refer this to the Reubenites and their brethren, but without sufficient authority. Keil thinks that it was impossible that the unarmed people would have gone with the procession as "the rereward" (see note on Joshua 5:13), because no command to that effect is given in ver. 3. But as he has told us in Joshua 3, 4, and as we have just seen in ver. 4. the command to Joshua is not fully given. A short abstract of it is given, and it is to be filled up in detail from the subsequent narrative. Joshua 5:15, as Joshua 6:1 is merely a parenthesis and Jehovah is the prince of the army of Jehovah (Joshua 5:14), or the angel of Jehovah, who is frequently identified with Jehovah (see Pentateuch, pp. 106ff.). "See, I have given into thy hand Jericho and its king, and the mighty men of valour." ("Have given," referring to the purpose of God, which was already resolved upon, though the fulfilment was still in the future.) "The mighty men of valour" (brave warriors) is in apposition to Jericho, regarded as a community, and its king. In Joshua 6:3-5 there follows an explanation of the way in which the Lord would give Jericho into the hand of Joshua. All the Israelitish men of war were to go round the town once a day for six days. אחת פּעם ... הקּיף, "going round about the city once," serves as a fuller explanation of סבּותם ("ye shall compass"). As they marched in this manner round the city, seven priests were to carry seven jubilee trumpets before the ark, which implies that the ark itself was to be carried round the city in solemn procession. But on the seventh day they were to march round the town seven times, and the priests to blow the trumpets; and when there was a blast with the jubilee horn, and the people on hearing the sound of the trumpet raised a great cry, the wall of the town should fall down "under itself." The "jubilee trumpets" (Eng. Ver. "trumpets of rams' horns") are the same as the "jubilee horn" (Eng. Ver. "rams' horn") in Joshua 6:5, for which the abbreviated form shophar (trumpet, Joshua 6:5; cf. Exodus 19:16) or jobel (jubilee: Exodus 19:13) is used. They were not the silver trumpets of the priests (Numbers 10:1.), but large horns, or instruments in the shape of a horn, which gave a loud far-sounding tone (see at Leviticus 23:24; Leviticus 25:11). For בש תּקע, blow the trumpet (lit. strike the trumpet), in Joshua 6:4, בּקּרן משׁך, draw with the horn, i.e., blow the horn with long-drawn notes, is used in Joshua 6:5 (see at Exodus 19:13). The people were then to go up, i.e., press into the town over the fallen wall; "every one straight before him," i.e., every one was to go straight into the town without looking round at his neighbour either on the right hand or on the left (vid., Joshua 6:20).
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