Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 5:3

So Joshua made himself flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Gilgal;   Revivals;   Thompson Chain Reference - Circumcision;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Circumcision;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Gilgal;   Joshua the son of nun;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Circumcision;   Gibeah-Haaraloth;   Knife;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Bochim;   Gilgal;   Joshua;   Stones;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Circumcision;   Crimes and Punishments;   Flint;   Gibeath-Haaraloth;   Hill of the Foreskins;   Joshua, the Book of;   Knife;   Vessels and Utensils;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Circumcision;   Gibeath;   Jericho;   Mining and Metals;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Sword (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Circumcision;   Gilgal;   Stones;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Knife;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Gibeah;   Journeyings of israel from egypt to canaan;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Gil'gal;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Gilgal;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Circumcision;   Foreskin;   Gibeath (1);   Hill;   Joshua, Book of;   Knife;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Circumcision;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The hill of the foreskins - i. e. the hill where the foreskins, the emblem of all worldly and carnal affections, were buried. (Compare Colossians 2:11-13; Colossians 3:1-6.)

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Joshua 5:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-5.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel,.... Not that Joshua circumcised them himself, any more than he made the knives himself, but he ordered both to be done, and took care that they were done. And as any that had skill might make the knives, so might any circumcise; circumcision was not restrained to any order of men, not to the priests and Levites, but any might perform it; so that though the number to be circumcised was great, it might soon be finished: and this was done

at the hill of the foreskins; as the place was afterward called from hence; these being heaped up one upon another, made a hill of them, as the Jews sayF25Pirke Eliezer, ut supra. (c. 29.) Jarchi in loc. , being covered with dust. This circumcision performed by Joshua, or his orders, was typical of the spiritual circumcision without hands, which those that believe in Jesus, the antitype of Joshua, partake of.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 5:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-5.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at c the hill of the foreskins.

(c) Gilgal was so called, because they were there circumcised.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 5:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-5.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

at the hill — probably one of the argillaceous hills that form the highest terrace of the Jordan, on a rising ground at the palm forest.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 5:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/joshua-5.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.

And circumcised — That is, he caused this to be done; and, because it was to be done speedily, the passover approaching, it was necessary to use many hands in it.

Children of Israel — That is, such of them as were uncircumcised. And, though it be not mentioned, it is more than probable, that the Israelites beyond Jordan were circumcised at the same time.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Joshua 5:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-5.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 5:3 And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.

Ver. 3. And Joshua … circumcised.] That is, he caused them to be circumcised, viz., by the priests, whose office it was properly: or, by those others, that being under twenty years of age at their coming out of Egypt, had been circumcised before. The Jews at this day count it the most meritorious thing that can be, to be a good circumciser. (a)

At the hill of the foreskins.] Heb., Gibeah haaraloth, where they cast away and buried their foreskins; whereby was signified that that which was begotten by that, part deserved in like sort to be cut off, and thrown away as execrable and accursed.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 5:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-5.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 3. And Joshua—circumcised the children of Israel He caused the commands of God to be performed by all the people, whether on this or on the other side of Jordan, and, as it appears, by all on the same day, that every Israelite might be enabled to celebrate the passover. The matter was no way difficult, as it did not signify by what hand it was effected. Father, mother, relations, friends, might all perform the operation, as well as the priests and Levites. The hill of the foreskin is, in the Hebrew, Gibeath-haaraloth, which some take to be the name of a place, as it probably was, but a place deriving its name from that ceremony.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 5:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/joshua-5.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

i.e. He caused this to be done; and because it was to be done speedily, the passover approaching, it was necessary to use many hands in it, either priests and Levites, or other circumcised persons, who, at least in those circumstances, were permitted to do it.

The children of Israel, i.e. such of them as were uncircumcised. And though it be not mentioned, it is more than probable, that the Israelites beyond Jordan were circumcised at the same time.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 5:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-5.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

And Joshua made for himself flint knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.’

The action is depicted as Joshua’s but he would no doubt be assisted by able and worthy men. The flint knives had to be fashioned and then all the uncircumcised males circumcised. During this period they would have been vulnerable (see Genesis 34:25). But YHWH had put such fear in the hearts of the Canaanites that they had nothing to fear.

“At the hill of the foreskins.” Literally ‘Gibeath-ha-araloth’. A name given to a hill where the practise was then carried out. It was possibly where the remnants were buried.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 5:3". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-5.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.Hill of the foreskins — The hill on which this rite occurred, one of the many argillaceous hills on the terrace of the valley, receives its name from the prepuces buried in it, and not, as the Rabbins say, from the quantity piled up there.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 5:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-5.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Joshua 5:3. Joshua — circumcised the children of Israel — That is, he caused them to be circumcised, namely, such of them as were uncircumcised. And because it was to be done speedily, the passover approaching, it was necessary to use many hands in the business. Nor was it difficult to find them, as it did not signify by what hand the operation was performed. Fathers, mothers, relations, friends, might any of them perform, as well as the priests or Levites. Although it be not mentioned, it is more than probable that the Israelites beyond Jordan were circumcised at the same time, that they also might keep the passover.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 5:3". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-5.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Hill, at Galgal. Josue took care to have this ceremony performed. (Calmet) --- Perhaps he circumcised some himself, as Abraham did those of his own house, Genesis xvii. 23. (Menochius)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 5:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-5.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.

At the hill. Probably one of the argillaceous bills that form the highest terrace of the Jordan, or a rising ground at the palm forest.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 5:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-5.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.
Joshua
Genesis 17:23-27; Matthew 16:24
the hill of the foreskins
or, Gibeah haaraloth.
Reciprocal: Genesis 17:11 - the flesh;  Exodus 4:25 - a sharp stone;  1 Samuel 18:25 - foreskins

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 5:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-5.html.