Verse 15. "Loose thy shoe from off thy foot, &c." - These were the same words which the angel, on Mount Sinai, spoke to Moses; (see Exod. iii. 5-8;) and from this it seems likely that it was the same person that appeared in both places: in the first, to encourage Moses to deliver the oppressed Israelites, and bring them to the promised land; in the second, to encourage Joshua in his arduous labour in expelling the ancient inhabitants, and establishing the people in the inheritance promised to their fathers.
THERE is scarcely a more unfortunate division of chapters in the whole Bible than that here. Through this very circumstance many persons have been puzzled to know what was intended by this extraordinary appearance, because they supposed that the whole business ends with the chapter, whereas, it is continued in the succeeding one, the first verse of which is a mere parenthesis, simply relating the state of Jericho at the time that Joshua was favoured by this encouraging vision. We may draw two useful reflections from the subjects of this chapter: - 1. As the manna had now failed, the people always greatly addicted to incredulity, might have been led to imagine that God had now given them up, and would be no longer in their armies, had he not given them this strong assurance, that the Angel of his presence should be with them as the guide and protector of the whole camp; for Joshua undoubtedly informed them of the encouragement he had received from the captain of the Lord's host. 2. By this vision he showed them that their help came from himself, and that it was not by human might or power, but by the Lord of hosts, they were to have the victory over all their adversaries; and he gave them the most convincing proof of this in the miraculous destruction of Jericho. By this means he continued to keep them dependent on his arm alone, without which dependence the spirit of religion could not have been preserved among them.