Joshua and Judges: A nation of gratitude and a visit from the Prince of the angelic army. Jos 5:10-6:19; Exo 3:1-6.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: A nation of gratitude and a visit from the Prince of the angelic army. JOS 5:10-6:19; EXO 3:1-6.


Announcements / opening prayer:


A meeting with the Lord of Hosts.


JOS 5:13 Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?"


JOS 5:14 And he said, "No, rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, "What has my lord to say to his servant?"


JOS 5:15 And the captain of the Lord's host said to Joshua, "Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.


After completing the celebration of the Passover, a feast representing their freedom and formation as a nation, Joshua is sufficiently enlivened and ready to get to the business of taking Jericho.


Yet Joshua is still unsure on how he will accomplish it. Jericho has two strong walls as its defense and the gates have been shut and sealed due to the presence of Israel just three miles away. Joshua has no experience in taking such a fortified city which was the gateway into the heart of the land. It could not be bypassed. It had to go first, but how?


Pressure bears down on us when we know we have to do a thing and as of yet the Lord has not instructed us on just how we're going to accomplish it.


Often we cannot wait until we know all there is to know, for there is often no time. We definitely cannot sit on our hands while we wait for perfect conditions, for then we will never start. Often the key to accomplishing a thing for which you are unsure is to start it by faith. As we go we always seem to get inspiration from the Spirit of God who is our guide.


"Lucy felt a little frightened, but she felt very inquisitive and excited as well." [The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe]


Joshua does that here. He starts to plan and as he is in meditation over the right plans, the Angel of the Lord appears and gives him the detailed instructions that he needs.


Just start by faith, and in continued faith, wait for the Spirit to guide.


Joshua courageously walks right up to this man and asks him what side he is on.


 JOS 5:14 And he said, "No, rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, "What has my lord to say to his servant?"


He calls Himself the captain of the host of the Lord.


"captain" - sar = official, leader, commander, captain, prince, or ruler.


He is the prince of the host of the Lord. This phrase, with the singular "host" is not used of Israel but of the angels of God.


1KI 22:19

And Micaiah said, "Therefore, hear the word of the Lord. I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right and on His left.


While we, and maybe Joshua at the time, might conclude that this is an angel who is a captain of the angelic army, like Michael, we then have no doubt that this is the Angel of the Lord, God Himself in physical manifestation, by His assertion in the next verse.


JOS 5:15 And the captain of the Lord's host said to Joshua, "Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.


The Angel of the Lord is the Son of God in a visible manifestation of the invisible God - theophany.


Joshua could not mistake the command with the same one that was given to Moses just over forty years prior. How many times must Moses have conveyed this sighting of the Lord in the burning bush to Joshua all the years that they were together?



EXO 3:1 Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.


EXO 3:2 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.


EXO 3:3 So Moses said, "I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up."


EXO 3:4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."


EXO 3:5 Then He said, "Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."


EXO 3:6 He said also, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."


JOS 5:15 And the captain of the Lord's host said to Joshua, "Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.


The removal of shoes before entering a holy place was a common practice in the east. Moses and Joshua would have been familiar with it from their observances of the Egyptian temples. It was done so that dirt would not be tracked in as well as representing a reverence of the sinful worshipper before a holy God. This is just the case here. In my own view I think that God also does not want anything made by human hands, like a sandal, to be between Himself and His creature, but that is only conjecture.


Yet here we have the appearance of the Lord Himself, in theophany, rather than a burning bush.


The thorn bush in contrast to the more lofty trees represented Israel in her humiliation as slaves of Egypt.


Israel has been in slavery and severe treatment. The fire represents the chastening and punitive judgment of God. Though the fire chastens the people they are not consumed as the bush is not consumed.


PSA 118:18

The Lord has disciplined me severely,

But He has not given me over to death.


Although the affliction of Israel in Egypt proceeded from Pharaoh, yet was it also a fire which the Lord had kindled to purify His people and prepare it for its calling.


God would smite Egypt but the thorn bush that once burned would not be consumed.


Therefore, since Joshua and Israel stand in the Promised Land, the symbol of the burning bush is fully in the past. They are now a nation that is free and on the threshold of defeating God's enemies, since the sin of the Amorite and Canaanite have come to fruition.


They are no longer in slavery but in the PL, so the symbol is not a burning bush, but a heavenly warrior at the head of a numerous angelic army and a drawn sword.


He had visibly appeared in a similar way not too long before this.


NUM 22:31

Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed all the way to the ground.


Here we see Him in this form in defense of Israel and in the same form before Joshua He is ready to take the offense for Israel.


The drawn sword: "I am now come with My heavenly army, to make war upon the Canaanites, and to assist you and your people."


This is not a vision, but an actual occurrence. The Lord manifested Himself to Joshua as a heavenly warrior with sword drawn and exclaiming the title, Prince of the host of the Lord.


This is a very unfortunate place for a chapter break. It may lead some to think that the One now speaking is someone else than the Prince of the host of the Lord who came to Joshua.


The historian, likely one of Joshua's elders who wrote this a few years after Joshua died, injects the condition of the city - tightly sealed up.


JOS 6:1 Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in.


Next is the sequel to JOS 5:15.


JOS 6:2 And the Lord said to Joshua, "See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors.


"I have given" - qal perfect; the purpose of God which has already been resolved upon.


God has already resolved upon what He is going to do in your life, when and where and how. He has already determined where He is going to lead you. Even as the Lord and the Spirit pray for you, these things are determined by Him before they come to pass.


Another example of this is also connected with a miracle.


JOH 6:5-6

Jesus therefore lifting up His eyes, and seeing that a great multitude was coming to Him, said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?" And this He was saying to test him; for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.


Even when the questions put to us can only have impossible answers we can trust that God has determined what He is going to do.


And then the method is given on how Joshua and the army will take the city. It is the most unique attack ever orchestrated.


JOS 6:3 And you shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days.


JOS 6:4 Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.


JOS 6:5 And it shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead."


The trumpets - the showphar made of rams horns. These are large instruments which give a loud, far-sounding tone.


These horns were the jubilee horns which signaled the ushering in of the sabbatical year and the year of jubilee.



The Jews had two types of trumpets. There were the silver trumpets of the priests which were used to signal the camp when something important was happening. The ram's horns or showphar were used for celebrations.


The horns being blown were not a signal of war, since there wasn't a war, but a signal of jubilee or a signal of freedom and celebration.


ROM 8:37

 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.


2CO 2:14

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.


COL 2:15

When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.


Once the wall fell they were to go up straight in without hesitation. There was no need to pause or hesitate or to look around for the Lord had delivered the city in their hands and so all that was needed was to execute.


The siege of a city like this would take months if not years to complete. It would be extremely difficult and there would certainly be the death of some of the assaulting army. It took a Roman army, well trained in the art of besieging cities, several months to take Jerusalem. For Jericho to fall to an army made up of nomad desert dwellers in just days could only have occurred through the direct intervention of God and His angelic army.


The number seven is an emblem of the work of God. It refers to His perfection and completion.


No situation is too great for the Lord to handle, and no problem is too much for Him to solve.


The method of destroying the city would have been completely and utterly foolish to anyone who did not explicitly trust Jehovah and understand that His ways are higher than our ways.


1CO 1:27

God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise,


JUD 7:16

And he divided the 300 men [started with 32,000] into three companies, and he put trumpets and empty pitchers into the hands of all of them, with torches inside the pitchers.


1SA 17:49

And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it


God delights in using weakness and seeming foolishness to defeat His enemies and glorify His name.