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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - Joshua 5:2


    CHAPTERS: Joshua 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24     

    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

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    King James Bible - Joshua 5:2

    At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.

    World English Bible

    At that
    time, Yahweh said to Joshua, "Make flint knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time."

    Douay-Rheims - Joshua 5:2

    At that
    time the Lord said to Josue: Make thee knives of stone, and circumcise the second time the children of Israel.

    Webster's Bible Translation

    At that
    time the LORD said to Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.

    Original Hebrew

    בעת
    6256 ההיא 1931 אמר 559 יהוה 3068 אל 413 יהושׁע 3091 עשׂה 6213 לך  חרבות 2719  צרים 6697  ושׁוב 7725  מל 4135  את 853  בני 1121  ישׂראל 3478 שׁנית׃ 8145

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (2) -
    Ge 17:10-14 De 10:16; 30:6 Ro 2:29; 4:11 Col 2:11

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 5:2

    En aquel tiempo el SEÑOR dijo a Josué: Hazte cuchillos afilados, y vuelve a circuncidar la segunda vez a los hijos de Israel.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - Joshua 5:2

    Verse 2. Make thee sharp
    knives] µyrx twbrj charboth tsurim, knives of rock, stone, or flint. Before the use of iron was common, all the nations of the earth had their edge-tools made of stones, flints, &c. In the lately discovered islands this is found to be a common case. Our ancestors in these countries made their arrow and spear-heads of flint: these I have often seen turned up by the plough. But we cannot suppose that at the time here referred to the Israelites were destitute of iron, and were therefore obliged to use knives made of stone or flint, their different manufactures in the wilderness prove that they must have had both iron and steel. Why then use knives made of stone? Probably it was unlawful to use metal of any kind in this religious rite; and indeed this seems likely from the circumstance of Zipporah (Exod. iv. 25) taking a sharp stone and circumcising her son; and we find, from the most ancient and authentic accounts, that the Egyptians considered it unlawful or profane to use any kind of metal to make incisions in the human body, when preparing it for embalming; see the note on Gen. l. 2, and on Exod. iv. 25. That it was deemed improper to use any other kind of instrument in circumcision we have a proof in the tribe Alnajab, in Ethiopia, who follow the Mosaic institution, and perform the rite of circumcision, according to Ludolf, cultris lapidibus, with knives made of stone.- Hist. AEthiop., lib. iii., c.

    1. And as God commanded the people to make him an altar of unhewn stones, on which no tool of iron had been lifted up, because this would pollute it, (see Exod. xx. 25, and Deut. xxvii. 5,) he might require that no instrument of iron should be used in a rite by which the body and soul of the person were in the most solemn and sacred manner dedicated to him to be his house and temple, the heart itself being the altar on which continual sacrifices to God must be offered. A physical reason has been given for preferring knives of stone in this operation, "the wound suffers less through inflammation, and is sooner healed." For this a reason may be given. It is almost impossible to get an edge made so even and firm as not to leave particles of the metal in the incisions made even in the most delicate flesh; these particles would soon become oxidized by the action of the air, and extra inflammation in the part would be the consequence. The great aptitude of iron to be oxidized, i.e., to be converted to rust, is well known; but how far this reasoning, thus applied, may be supported by fact, I cannot pretend to determine: it is sufficiently evident that it was a common custom to use knives of stone in circumcision, and in all operations on those parts of the human body. I shall give a few examples.

    Pliny says, when they amputate certain parts they do it with a sharp stone, because nothing else could be employed without danger. Samia testa virilitatem amputabant: nec aliter citra perniciem. Ovid, Fast. lib. iv., ver. 237, relates a circumstance where the saxum acutum, or sharp stone, was used about those parts: - Ille etiam SAXO corpus laniavit ACUTO, Longaque in immundo pulvere tracta coma est. Voxque fuit, Merui; meritas dem sanguine poenas; Ah! pereant partes quae nocuere mihi; Ah! pereant; dicebat adhuc, onus inguinis aufert; Nullaque sunt subito signa relicta viri.

    This quotation is produced in order to prove that a knife made of a sharp stone was used in making incisions and amputations of certain parts of the body, even when the use of iron was well known; but a translation of the verse is not necessary, and would be improper. The Mollia qui RAPTA secuit GENITALIA TESTA of Juvenal (Sat. vi., ver. 513) is a farther proof of this. Many other proofs might be produced but those who wish for more may consult Calmet and Scheuchzer.

    Circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.] This certainly does not mean that they should repeat circumcision on those who had already received it. This would have been as absurd as impracticable. But the command implies that they were to renew the observance of a rite which had been neglected in their travels in the desert: this is sufficiently evident from the following verses.


    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 2. At that time the Lord said unto Joshua , etc.] When the people had passed over Jordan, and had pitched in Gilgal, and Joshua had set up the stones there; and particularly when the dread of them had seized the inhabitants of Canaan, and deprived them of all their courage; and so was a fit time for the execution of what is next ordered, and seems designed in the providence of God among other things particularly for that: make them sharp knives ; not that Joshua was to make them himself, but to order them to be made; for a considerable number would be wanted for the use to be made of them: the Targum calls them sharp razors; and Ben Gersom says they were made of brass, more likely of iron or steel, which perhaps he means; but the Hebrew text is, “knives of rocks”, “flints” or “stones”; and so Maimonides interprets the words, and as they are rendered in various versions f62 ; with such an instrument Zipporah circumcised her son; and like them were the “samia testa” f63 , with which the priests of the mother of the gods were castrated; and the “saxum acutum” of Ovid f64 ; and such the Americans used in slaying beasts, and the Egyptians in the dissecting of their dead bodies; and which the Talmudists allow of as lawful; and in the east the Jews to this day use knives of stone in circumcision f66 ; (see Gill on “ Exodus 4:25”). and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time ; not that circumcision was to be repeated on them that had been circumcised already, who had found out ways and means to draw over the foreskin again, as some in later times did; or who had been imperfectly circumcised according to the rite enjoined by Abraham, which some Jewish writers say was not perfect; neither of which was the case. Kimchi, and so Ben Melech, interpret the word, “oftentimes”, frequently, one time after another; as if the sense was, Joshua was to circumcise them, or take care they were circumcised, some at one time, and some at another, until the whole was finished; but this is not what is meant, it refers to a former general circumcision; not to the circumcision, as first administered in Abraham’s time, for there had been a multitude of instances of it since that time; but to the circumcision of the Israelites at, about, or quickly after their coming out of Egypt; either before their eating of their first passover, the night they went out of Egypt, as Jarchi f67 ; or rather some time in the three days’ darkness of the Egyptians, as Dr. Lightfoot thinks; or else when they were about Sinai, just before the celebration of the passover there, ( Numbers 9:1,2); from which time it had been neglected; not cause unnecessary, while they were in the wilderness, to distinguish them from others, which was not the principal, at least not the only use of it; nor because forbidden the Israelites for their disobedience, murmurings, and rebellion, it not being probable that God should prohibit the observance of a command of his on that account; nor so much through criminal neglect, at least contempt of it, as because of their frequent journeying, and the inconvenience of performing it, being always uncertain, when they had pitched their tents, how long they should stay, and when they should remove, since this depended upon the taking up of the cloud; wherefore, unless they could have been sure of a continuance for a proper time, it was not safe to administer it; and now it was enjoined, partly because they were about to celebrate the passover, which required circumcision in all that partook of it, ( Exodus 12:43,44); and partly because they had now entered into the land of Canaan, which was given them in the covenant of circumcision, ( Genesis 17:8-10); wherefore it became them now to observe it, and as typical of spiritual circumcision, necessary to the heavenly Canaan, as well as to distinguish them from the uncircumcised Canaanites they were coming among; and they did not think themselves under obligation to observe it till they came to settle in that land, as some think, who hereby account for their long neglect of it.

    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 1-9 - How dreadful is their
    case, who see the wrath of God advancing toward 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 anguis of their feelings, or the greatness of their terror. Oh that they woul now take warning, and before it be too late, flee for refuge to la hold upon that hope set before them in the gospel! God impressed thes 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 roll back their reproaches upon themselves.


    Original Hebrew

    בעת 6256 ההיא 1931 אמר 559 יהוה 3068 אל 413 יהושׁע 3091 עשׂה 6213 לך  חרבות 2719  צרים 6697  ושׁוב 7725  מל 4135  את 853  בני 1121  ישׂראל 3478 שׁנית׃ 8145


    CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

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