And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?
That this was in fact, the work of God and not the exercise of Israel against the Canaanites is obvious by at least three things that are recorded early on in this book:
Verse one says of the Canaanites that, because of the children of Israel, their hearts melted and they had no spirit in them.
There was no will in them to fight the Jews. There was no fight in them at all.
Verses two through eight says that the children of Israel circumcised every male among them not before, but after they entered into the Promised Land.
They would have been easy prey for the Canaanites had they had the spirit to attack them. This reminds me of the vicious dealings of Jacob’s children, the forefathers of these Jews, when they tricked the people of Shechem into circumcising and then killed them all while they were too incapacitated to fight. God exposed Israel to the same danger, but did not allow the Canaanites to exploit their opportunity.
Chapter six verses eight through nine says that, when Israel marched around the walls of Jericho, they announced their coming with priests blowing trumpets.
Not only did they expose themselves to the dangers of enemy soldiers on the wall and they did not attack, they let the enemy know they were there.
God was orchestrating the events between Israel and the Canaanites so that there was no real grudge the Jews had against the Canaanites, nor were the Canaanites particularly opposed to the Jews. Each side knew that this was the work of God in their midst.
Joshua 5:13-14 No Fight In Them
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