Now Jericho was straightly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.…
1. The posture was a walking posture, as it had no direct or probable tendency for subduing the city, so it likewise seemed ridiculous to the rude citizens, who might well scoffingly say, "What are these foolish people doing? Have they not had a walk long enough for forty years in the wilderness that now they have a new walk round about our walls, and that once every day for six days together? They desire indeed to possess our city, but they may compass it long enough before that posture can conquer it," &c. Besides, this posture seemed perilous as well as ridiculous. Yet God will make Jericho as well as His Israel know that He can give victory to their feet as well as to their hands. God oftentimes delighteth to go some way of His own (which is not man's way) and worketh His own will by such means, and in such a manner, as the world judges both perilous and ridiculous. As the greater was God's glory in effecting this great work, wherein Israel contributed nothing to it, so the stronger was Israel's faith in believing it should be effected, notwithstanding both the difficulty, danger, and improbability of means and manner.
(1) The term of place or space of ground they walked was, negatively, not an acre, or furlong, or any such measures of miles, nor was it a half-turn, but positively, it must be a whole turn, a compassing the city round about. Had they not gone round about, all had not been their own. They had conquered no more than they had compassed, so had done their work but to half part. It looks more like children's play, in treading a maze, than any stratagem of warriors. All this was to teach Israel not to expect success from their own prowess or policy, but merely from the prescription and favourable presence of that God who can work what He pleaseth, even by the most contemptible ways.
(2) The term of time unto which this action was extended, this compassing the city, must be done once every day for six days together, but on the seventh day they must surround it seven times successively (vers. 3, 11,13-16). Israel walks their circuit six times over for six days, and on each day return into their camp. Nothing was effected in order to Jericho's overthrow, so long a time they are held in suspense, for the exercise of their faith and patience.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.