Now Jericho was straightly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.…
was, in the Jewish feasts, the solemn proclamation of the presence of God. And hence the purpose of that singular march circumambulating the city was to declare "Here is the Lord of the whole earth, weaving His invisible cordon and network around the doomed city."
1. Here is a confidence in the Divine presence, manifested by unquestioning obedience to a Divine command. Joshua had spoken; God had spoken through him. And so here goes; up with the ark and the trumpets, and out on to the hot sand for the march. It would have been a great deal easier to have stopped in the tents. It was disheartening work marching round thus. The sceptical spirit in the host — the folk of whom there are many great-grandchildren living to-day, who always have objections to urge when disagreeable duties are crammed up against their faces — would have enough to say on that occasion, but the bulk of the people were true, and obeyed. Now, we do not need to put out the eyes of our understanding in order to practise the obedience of faith. And we have to exercise common sense about the things that seem to us to be duties. But this is plain, that if once we see a thing to be, in Christian language, the will of our Father in heaven, then that is everything, and there is only one course for us, and that is, unquestioning submission, active submission, and, what is as hard, passive submission.
2. Then here again is faith manifesting itself by an obedience which was altogether ignorant of what was coming. We, too, have to do our day's march, knowing very little about to-morrow; and we have to carry on all through life "doing the duty that lies nearest us," entirely ignorant of the strange issues to which it may conduct. So, seeing that we know nothing about the issues, let us make sure of the motives; and seeing that we do not know what to-morrow may bring forth, nor even what the next moment may bring, let us see that we fill the present instant as full. as it will hold with active obedience to God, based upon simple faith in Him.
3. Then, here, again, is faith manifesting itself by persistency. A week was not long, but it was a long while during which to do that one apparently useless thing and nothing else. Familiarity would breed monotony, but notwithstanding the deadly influences of habit, the obedient host turned out for their daily round. "Let us not be weary in well-doing."
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.