Joshua 5:14
New International Version
"Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for his servant?"

New Living Translation
“Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the LORD’s army.” At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”

English Standard Version
And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?”

Berean Study Bible
“Neither,” He replied. “I have now come as Commander of the LORD’s army.” Then Joshua fell facedown in reverence and asked Him, “What does my Lord have to say to His servant?”

King James Bible
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?

New King James Version
So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”

New American Standard Bible
He said, “No; rather I have come now as captain of the army of the LORD.” And Joshua fell on his face to the ground, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?”

NASB 1995
He said, "No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, "What has my lord to say to his servant?"

NASB 1977
And he said, “No, rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?”

Amplified Bible
He said, “No; rather I have come now as captain of the army of the LORD.” Then Joshua fell with his face toward the earth and bowed down, and said to him, “What does my lord have to say to his servant?”

Christian Standard Bible
“Neither,” he replied. “I have now come as commander of the LORD’s army.” Then Joshua bowed with his face to the ground in homage and asked him, “What does my lord want to say to his servant? ”

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Neither," He replied. "I have now come as commander of the LORD's army." Then Joshua bowed with his face to the ground in worship and asked Him, "What does my Lord want to say to His servant?"

American Standard Version
And he said, Nay; but as prince of the host of Jehovah am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
He said to him: “I am Commander of the armies of LORD JEHOVAH, and now I have come.” And Yeshua fell on his face on the ground and he worshiped and he said: “What says my Lord to his Servant?”

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And he said to him, I am now come, the chief captain of the host of the Lord. And Joshua fell on his face upon the earth, and said to him, Lord, what commandest thou thy servant?

Contemporary English Version
"Neither," he answered. "I am here because I am the commander of the LORD's army." Joshua fell to his knees and bowed down to the ground. "I am your servant," he said. "Tell me what to do."

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he answered: No: but I am prince of the host of the Lord, and now I am come. Josue fell on his face to the ground. And worshipping, add: What saith my lord to his servant?

English Revised Version
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?

Good News Translation
"Neither," the man answered. "I am here as the commander of the LORD's army." Joshua threw himself on the ground in worship and said, "I am your servant, sir. What do you want me to do?"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He answered, "Neither one! I am here as the commander of the LORD's army." Immediately, Joshua bowed with his face touching the ground and worshiped. He asked, "Sir, what do you want to tell me?"

International Standard Version
"Neither," he answered. "I have come as commander of the LORD's Army." Joshua immediately fell on his face to the earth and worshipped, saying to him, "Lord, what do you have for your servant by way of command?"

JPS Tanakh 1917
And he said: 'Nay, but I am captain of the host of the LORD; I am now come.' And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said unto him: 'What saith my lord unto his servant?'

Literal Standard Version
And He says, “No, for I [am] Prince of YHWH’s host; now I have come”; and Joshua falls on his face to the earth, and pays respect, and says to Him, “What is my Lord speaking to His servant?”

NET Bible
He answered, "Truly I am the commander of the LORD's army. Now I have arrived!" Joshua bowed down with his face to the ground and asked, "What does my master want to say to his servant?"

New Heart English Bible
And he said to him, "Truly I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come." And Joshua fell facedown to the ground and worshipped, and said to him, "What does my lord say to his servant?"

World English Bible
He said, "No; but I have come now as commander of Yahweh's army." Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and worshipped, and said to him, "What does my lord say to his servant?"

Young's Literal Translation
And He saith, 'No, for I am Prince of Jehovah's host; now I have come;' and Joshua falleth on his face to the earth, and doth obeisance, and saith to Him, 'What is my Lord speaking unto His servant?'

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Commander of the LORD's Army
13Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in His hand. Joshua approached Him and asked, “Are You for us or for our enemies?” 14“Neither,” He replied. “I have now come as Commander of the LORD’s army.” Then Joshua fell facedown in reverence and asked Him, “What does my Lord have to say to His servant?” 15The Commander of the LORD’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.…

Cross References
Genesis 17:3
Then Abram fell facedown, and God said to him,

Psalm 24:10
Who is He, this King of Glory? The LORD of Hosts--He is the King of Glory. Selah


Treasury of Scripture

And he said, No; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said to him, What said my Lord to his servant?

but as captain.

Exodus 23:20-22
Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared…

Isaiah 55:4
Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.

Daniel 10:13,21
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia…

fell on his

Genesis 17:3,17
And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, …

Leviticus 9:24
And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.

Numbers 16:22,45
And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation? …

What saith

1 Samuel 3:9,10
Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place…

Psalm 110:1
A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Matthew 22:44
The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?









Verse 14. - And he said, Nay. Many MSS. which are followed by the LXX. and Syriac versions, have לו for לאֹ here. The Chaldee and Vulgate read לאֹ, and the Masorites do not reckon this among the 15 passages in which לו is read for לאֹ (Keil). But when Keil adds that a comparison of this passage with Joshua 24:21 decides the point, he is going too far, since כִּי often stands, like the Greek ὅτι, before a quotation, in the place of our inverted commas (see, for instance, Genesis 29:33; Exodus 3:12, etc.). The various reading has no doubt arisen from the ambiguity of the passage, for it appears grammatically doubtful to which part of Joshua's question the particle of negation applies. Yet it is obvious enough practically that it is in answer to the last portion of it. But as captain of the Lord's host am I now come. Literally, "for (or but) I, the captain of the Lord's host, have now come." As though he would say, "the struggle is now imminent; the conflict is all but begun; and now, at the critical moment when my help is needed, I, the captain of the hosts of the Lord, the leader of all that vast army of unseen confederates, who are destined to marshal the forces of nature, the elements of supernatural terror and dismay, on the side of the Israelites, am come to help you." That the Lord's host must mean the angels is clear from such passages as Genesis 32:2; 1 Kings 22:19; Psalm 103:20, 21; Psalm 148:2; St. Luke 2:13 (aft 2 Kings 6:17). Hengstenberg, in his 'Christology,' illustrates by Matthew 26:53. Two opinions have been held by the early Church concerning this manifestation. The first regards it as the appearance of the Son of God in a visible form; the second supposes it to have been a created being - an angel - through whom Jehovah was pleased to manifest Himself. The former opinion was general in the earliest ages of the Church. The appearance of the Arian heresy, however, brought this interpretation into discredit. It was felt to be dangerous to admit it, lest it should lead to the notion that the Logos, however great and glorious a being he might be, however superior to all other created beings, was nevertheless removed by an infinite interval from the Supreme God Himself. The Jewish interpreters differ on the point. Maimonides and others (see next note) do not regard the appearance as a real one. The majority seem to have supposed it to have been the Archangel Michael. We will proceed to examine the scriptural and patristic evidence on the subject. That appearances, believed to be manifestations of God Himself in a visible form, are recorded in Scripture, is a fact which cannot be denied. Thus we have the voice of God (קול יְהֹוָה) walking in the garden (Genesis 3:8). Again, in ch. 15, though first God appears to Abraham in a vision, the nature of the manifestation would seem to have changed in some respects afterwards, for we read" he brought him forth abroad" (ver. 5). Again, in ch. 18, we find that Jehovah "appeared" to Abraham as he dwelt by the oaks of Mature (ver. 1), and the narrative would suggest that Jehovah Himself appeared, and two attendant angels. This is further corroborated by the fact that Abraham remains in conference with Jehovah, while the two angels who arrived in the evening at Sodom do not appear to have been spoken of as Jehovah, or to have received Divine honours from Lot. The "man" who (Genesis 32:24) wrestled with Jacob is described afterwards (ver. 30) as "God." The "angel of the Lord" who (Exodus 3:2) "appeared" unto Moses "in a flame of fire, out of the midst of a bush," is immediately afterwards described as Jehovah and Elohim (ver. 4), and, as in the present passage, Moses is instructed to remove his shoe from his foot in consequence of the holiness of the place in which so great a Being appeared. And here we are led to investigate the nature of that mysterious being who is described as "the angel of the Lord," the "angel," or, as the word is sometimes translated, "messenger of the covenant." He appears to Hagar (Genesis 16:7), and she immediately proceeds (ver. 13) to express her belief that it is God whom she has seen. The angel who appears to Abraham at the sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22:11, 12, 18) speaks of Himself as God. The voice of the angel, again, is regarded by Leah and Rachel as the voice of God (Genesis 31:11, 16), and He calls Himself so (ver. 13). Jacob speaks of the angel as having "redeemed him from all evil" (Genesis 48:16), but here the term Goel, though it means a ransomer, is not necessarily connected with moral evil. After His appearance to Hoses in the bush He becomes the special guide of the children of Israel. His divinity is again asserted in Exodus 13:21, for the Being there spoken of as Jehovah is described in Joshua 14:19 as His angel. The solemn terms in which the God of Israel refers to him in Exodus 23:20, 21 must not be passed over. He is the "Angel of Jehovah." He is sent to "keep" Israel "in the way." They were to take heed and not rebel against Him (so LXX.); for, adds Jehovah, "My name is in His inward parts" (not בּו but בְּקִרְבּו denoting close and intimate union). Cf. ver. 93 and Exodus 32:34; Exodus 33:2. This angel is called the Face, or Faces, of the Lord (Exodus 33:14; cf. Isaiah 63:9), and is thus specially identified with the revelation of Him, like the term εἰκών in the New Testament. The angel that withstood Balaam assumes a tone of authority in harmony with this view (Numbers 22:22-35). Whether the angel at Bochim (Judges 2:1) were a Divine or human messenger does not appear from the narrative, and the word is occasionally, as in Haggai 1:13, used of a prophet. But the appearance to Gideon and Manoah has a Divine character (Judges 6:11-22; Judges 13:8-22). And the special reference to Jehovah, the angel of the covenant, in Malachi 3:1 seems to point in a special manner to the Second Person in the Blessed Trinity. This view, as has been stated, is the view of the earlier Fathers, nor does there seem any reasonable ground for its rejection by those of later date. The idea that the Logos, always the medium of the Father's revelation and impartation of Himself, in creation as in redemption, frequently took a visible form under the old dispensation in order to communicate the Divine will to mankind, does not in the least militate against the doctrine of His consubstantiality with the Father. On the contrary, it rather emphasises the fact which the New Testament teaches us throughout, that the Logos was ever the manifestation, the ἐξήγησις (John 1.) of the Father, the eternal medium whereby He communicates Himself beyond Himself. This was in the main the view of the earliest Fathers. They might use an incautious expression now and then, but they ever intended to be true to the doctrine of the Consubstantial Son of the Father, who took a visible shape to convey the Father's mind to man. Thus Justin Martyr ('Dial. cum Tryphone,' 56) cites Genesis 18:1, 2 to prove that, as he says, "there is another God under (ὑπὸ) the the Creator of all things, who is called an angel because he announces (ἀγγέλειν) whatever the Creator of all things desires him to announce." This being, he adds, "was also God before the creation of the world." He was another God than the Creator of the world in number (ἀριθμῷ), not in mind (γνώμῃ). And from the expression "the Lord rained down fire and brimstone from the Lord out of heaven" (Genesis 19:24), he deduces the belief that this Being was "Lord from beside (παρά) the Lord who is in heaven." He proceeds to cite the passages from the Old Testament which have just been mentioned, and to draw from them the conclusion which has just been drawn, that this Being was one who ministered (ὑπηρέτοῦντα) to God who is above; the word, the ἀρχή whom He begat before all creation (see. 60, 61). Similarly Theophilus ('Ad Autolycum, 2:22) says that the Word of God held a colloquy with Adam in the person (or representation, προσώπῳ) of God. Irenaeus ('Adv. Haer.,' 4:7, 4) speaks of the Being who spake to Abraham at Mamre and Moses in the bush as superior to all created angels, and as, in fact, the Word of God; though afterwards (Joshua 20:11) he modifies this statement into a manifestation of "claritatem et dispositiones patris," "secundum dispositionum ejus causas sive efficaciam." It is to be remembered that we unfortunately chiefly possess Irenaeus in a very unsatisfactory Latin dress. Similar passages may be found in Clem., 'Alex. Paed.,' 1:7; and Tertullian, 'Adv. Prax.,' 14. The latter says that God was "invisible as the Father, but visible as the Son," the latter being the means whereby the former was revealed. The passage from Clement is embodied and improved upon in a passage in the 'Apostolic Constitutions,' which presents the primitive doctrine on this point in clearer language than any other. "To Him (Christ) did Moses bear witness, and said, 'The Lord received fire from the Lord, and rained it down.' Him did Jacob see as a man, and said, 'I have seen God face to face, and my soul is preserved.' Him did Abraham entertain, and acknowledge to be the Judge and his Lord. Him did Moses see in the bush. Him did Joshua the son of Nun see, as captain of the Lord's host, for assistance against Jericho" ('Apost. Const.,' 5:20). One passage more will be cited on this point. "Who else," says Origen, in his Homily on this passage, "is the prince of the host of the virtues of the Lord, save our Lord Jesus Christ? .... Joshua would not have adored," he adds, "unless he had recognised God." The fact that the later Fathers (St. Augustine, for instance, and Theodoret, who holds that it was Michael the Archangel who appeared to Joshua) rejected this interpretation would not be sufficient to outweigh primitive testimony at once so explicit and so general, unless it were supported by the strongest arguments. The fact that it was rejected rather from prudential motives, and that such prudence was, in point of fact, entirely unnecessary, robs the later interpretation of much of its weight. Thus much at least is certain, that we may adopt the earlier one without fear of prejudicing thereby the doctrine of the divinity of Christ. Further information on this point will be found in Hengstenberg's 'Christology,' in Liddon's 'Bampton Lectures' (Lect. it.), in Bull ('Defens. Fid. Nicen.,' 1:1), and in Keil's Commentaries upon the various passages of the Old Testament, cited above. "He here appeared as a soldier, with His sword drawn in His hand. To Abraham in his tent He appeared as a traveller; to Joshua in the field, as a man of war. Christ will be to His people what their faith expects and desires" (Matthew Henry). And Joshua fell on his face. The apparition had no doubt taken Joshua by surprise. He believed himself to be alone, when suddenly he found himself confronted by a warrior, with his sword drawn. Uncertain, in those days when Divine interposition was more common than it is now, whether what he saw was a proof that he was watched by enemies, who had resolved to cut him off by surprise, or whether God had vouchsafed to appear to him, but evidently quite prepared to expect the latter, he addresses a question to the apparition, which of itself implies at least a half belief that what he saw was something above nature. He needs but the simple reply just recorded to lead him to prostrate himself in simple faith before the Mighty One who now stood before him to be the defence and shield of His people from all their adversaries. Maimonides, in his 'Moreh Nevochim,' and others (as, for instance, Hengstenberg, 'Geschichte des Reiches Gottes,' p. 209) have regarded this as a vision seen by Joshua when he was alone, plunged in deep meditation on the difficult task before him. But without denying that many of the. Divine interpositions recorded in Scripture (as, for instance, that in Genesis 22:1) took place through the inner workings of the mind as the medium of their action, yet here, as in Genesis 32, and most probably in Exodus 3, we have visible appearances of God to men in deep anxiety of heart, pondering "great matters" which were "too high for them." Whether we choose to accept or reject the historical narrative as a whole, there can be no rational ground for doubting that the Hebrew historians wrote under the full persuasion that they and their forefathers lived under a dispensation of continual Divine interpositions, sometimes taking place by secret inward intimations, sometimes through the Urim and Thummim; sometimes, at a crisis in the history of the nation or of an individual, by actual external appearances of God in a visible form, and that we have here an account of one of these. The purport of the appearance is, however, obscured by our present division of chapters. The narrative proceeds without a break as far as Joshua 6:5. Joshua 6:1 is simply parenthetical and explanatory. Thus we gather that Joshua was meditating the plan of his future campaign, and deliberating on the best mode of capturing the strong walled city close by which (ver. 13) he stood, when God appeared to him in the form of a warrior, and solved all his doubts by commanding him to prepare for a miraculous intervention of His Providence, and in the place of warlike expedients to resort to a religious ceremony, which should be the external token to all the surrounding nations that the invading host was under the protection of the Lord of heaven and earth; a fact of which they were more than half convinced by the supernatural passage of the Red Sea and the Jordan (see Joshua 2:10; Joshua 6:1).

Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
“Neither,”
לֹ֗א (lō)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's 3808: Not, no

He replied.
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר ׀ (way·yō·mer)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 559: To utter, say

“I
אֲנִ֥י (’ă·nî)
Pronoun - first person common singular
Strong's 589: I

have now
עַתָּ֣ה (‘at·tāh)
Adverb
Strong's 6258: At this time

come
בָ֑אתִי (ḇā·ṯî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's 935: To come in, come, go in, go

as commander
שַׂר־ (śar-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 8269: Chieftain, chief, ruler, official, captain, prince

of the LORD’s
יְהוָ֖ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

army.”
צְבָֽא־ (ṣə·ḇā-)
Noun - common singular construct
Strong's 6635: A mass of persons, reg, organized for, war, a campaign

Then Joshua
יְהוֹשֻׁ֨עַ (yə·hō·wō·šu·a‘)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3091: Joshua -- 'the LORD is salvation', Moses' successor, also the name of a number of Israelites

fell facedown
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

in reverence
וַיִּשְׁתָּ֔חוּ (way·yiš·tā·ḥū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Hitpael - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 7812: To depress, prostrate

and asked
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר (way·yō·mer)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 559: To utter, say

Him,
ל֔וֹ (lōw)
Preposition | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew

“What
מָ֥ה (māh)
Interrogative
Strong's 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

does my Lord
אֲדֹנִ֖י (’ă·ḏō·nî)
Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's 136: The Lord

have to say
מְדַבֵּ֥ר (mə·ḏab·bêr)
Verb - Piel - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's 1696: To arrange, to speak, to subdue

to
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

His servant?”
עַבְדּֽוֹ׃ (‘aḇ·dōw)
Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 5650: Slave, servant


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OT History: Joshua 5:14 He said No (Josh. Jos)
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