Joshua 5:9
(9) This day have I rolled away. . . .--Compare Isaiah 25:8, "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke (or reproach) of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it "; Colossians 2:11, "In whom (Christ) also we are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in the putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him"; and 1Corinthians 15:54. "When this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, . . . then . . . Death is swallowed up in victory."

Verse 9. - The reproach of Egypt. Either

(1) the reproach which comes from the Egyptians, or

(2) the reproach of having sojourned in Egypt.

Keil incorrectly states that" the genitive always denotes the person from whom the reproach comes" (see Isaiah 54:4, "the reproach of thy widowhood," i.e., the reproach which is cast upon thee for being a widow; Ezekiel 36:30, "reproach of famine," i.e., the reproach which comes from being doomed to suffer famine). If we accept

(1) we must refer the phrase to the reproach cast upon the Israelites by the Egyptians, that all their vain glorious boasts were worthless, and that they were never destined to occupy the land which they declared God had given to them. Hengstenberg ('Geschichte des Retches Gottes,' p. 207) regards it strangely as the reproach the Egyptians cast upon them that they were rejected of God. If

(2) it must be regarded as equivalent to the reproach that they were a nation of slaves, a reproach that was rolled away by the fact of their standing as freemen on the soil which had been promised to their fathers. But Knobel supposes

(3) that it was their down-trodden miserable condition in Egypt, a condition which was only partially ameliorated during their wanderings in the wilderness, in the course of which, accustomed to a settled existence, they must have had much to endure. "With the arrival in Canaan," he adds, "all this came to an end. All those who had deserved punishment were dead, all the uncircumcised were circumcised, reproach and misery were put aside, and Israel, as the worthy community of God, entered on a new life." This interpretation, more precise and clear than (2), best satisfies all the requirements of the passage. Some have regarded their uncircumcised state as the "reproach of Egypt." But this, as Hengstenberg remarks, could hardly be, for none but the Egyptian priests were circumcised. Origen (Horn. 4, 'Lib. Jesu Nave') teaches the following lesson from this passage: "Fuimus enim nos aliquando insipientes, increduli, errantes, servientes desideriis et voluptatibus varlis, in malitiam, et invidia, odibiles, odientes invicem. Non tibi videntur haec opprobia esse, et opprobia AEgypti? Sed ex quo venit Christus, et dedit nobis secundam circumcisionem per baptismum regenerationis, et purgavit animas nostras, abjecimus haec omnia." And again, speaking of the spiritual circumcision Christians have received, and the obligation to purity thus imposed, he adds, "Jam tibi enim non licet templo Dei uti, nisi in sanctitate, nec membra Christi ad iudignum dare negotium ... Si quando te malae concupiscentiae pulsat illecebra... dic non sum meus, enitus enim sum pretio sanguinis Christi, et membrum ipsius effectus sum." Theodoret remarks how the Israelites who had been circumcised perished in the wilderness, while their uncircumcised children were miraculously preserved and brought over Jordan. A remarkable commentary this on the words, "Now circumcision verily profiteth if thou keep the law; but if thou be a breaker of the law thy circumcision is made uncircumcision" (Romans 2:25. Cf. 1 Corinthians 7:19). He also remarks that "we may here learn how we, who have received spiritual circumcision, thereby laid aside the reproach of sin." Trusting by nature in the spiritual Egypt, the house of bondage, we are slaves to sin and corruption. When we enter into fellowship with Christ, the reproach of Egypt is rolled away, and we enjoy "the glorious liberty of the children of God" (see Romans 6:18-22; Galatians 5:1; also John 8:32-36). Gilgal. It is quite possible, since the word to roll is in Hebrew, as indeed in English, spoken of a circular motion and since גַלְגַל is a wheel in Hebrew, that the place, like Geliloth, i.e., circles (Joshua 18:17), originally meant a circle, and that the new signification was attached to the name from this moment. If Deuteronomy 11:30 be not a later insertion, the place was known by the name before this time. The root is found in the Aryan as well as in the Semitic languages (as in the Greek κυλίω εἵλω, and the Latin volvo, globus).


5:1-9 How dreadful is their case, who see the wrath of God advancing towards them, without being able to turn it aside, or escape it! Such will be the horrible situation of the wicked; nor can words express the anguish of their feelings, or the greatness of their terror. Oh that they would now take warning, and before it be too late, flee for refuge to lay hold upon that hope set before them in the gospel! God impressed these fears on the Canaanites, and dispirited them. This gave a short rest to the Israelites, and circumcision rolled away the reproach of Egypt. They were hereby owned to be the free-born children of God, having the seal of the covenant. When God glorifies himself in perfecting the salvation of his people, he not only silences all enemies, but rolls back their reproaches upon themselves.And the Lord said unto Joshua,.... Out of the tabernacle:

this day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you; either the reproach of being reckoned office same religion with the Egyptians, they now having observed the command of the Lord, and thereby declared themselves to be his servants and worshippers, which sense Ben Gersom mentions; or else the reproach with which the Egyptians reproached them, that they were brought out from them into the wilderness for evil, to be destroyed there, they now being safely arrived in the land of Canaan; which tense he seems to approve of, and so Abarbinel: or rather by it is meant the reproach of being bondmen, and slaves, as they were in Egypt, having now entered upon their inheritance, they as free men, the sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were heirs unto; and perhaps it was this sense of the phrase led Josephus (c) to give a wrong interpretation of the word "Gilgal", which he says signifies "liberty": and adds,"for, having passed the river, they knew they were free from the Egyptians, and from troubles in the wilderness;''though the more commonly received sense is, that this reproach is to be understood of uncircumcision, which was the reproach of the Egyptians, they at this time not using circumcision they afterwards did, when some of the nations thereabout used it, who descended, from Abraham, as the Midianites, Ishmaelites, Arabians, and Edomites:

wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day; which signifies "rolling" (d); so that when it is met with before, it is so called by anticipation.

(c) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 1. sect. 11. (d) A "volvit, devolvit", Buxtorf.

Joshua 5:8
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