Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 5:6

For the sons of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, that is, the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished because they did not listen to the voice of the Lord , to whom the Lord had sworn that He would not let them see the land which the Lord had sworn to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Circumcision;   Disobedience to God;   Gilgal;   Revivals;   Scofield Reference Index - Sanctify;   Thompson Chain Reference - Admission, Exclusion;   Canaan, Land of;   Exclusion;   Land;   Promised Land;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Disobedience to God;   Jews, the;   Milk;   Obedience to God;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Circumcision;   Milk;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Circumcision;   Gilgal;   Obedience;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Circumcision;   Milk;   Wandering;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Bochim;   Circumcision;   Joshua;   Joshua, the Book of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Circumcision;   Crimes and Punishments;   Joshua, the Book of;   Milk;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Circumcision;   Jericho;   Joshua;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Honey;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Circumcision;   Gilgal;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Journeyings of israel from egypt to canaan;   Wilderness;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Flow;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Honey;   Joshua, Book of;   Milk;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Circumcision;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness,.... Wanting a few days, the round number is given: not forty two, as the Septuagint version:

till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt,

were consumed; all that were above twenty years of age, excepting Joshua and Caleb:

because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord; but murmured against him, and against his servants, and particularly against Aaron, being the high priest; and chiefly because of the report of the spies, and their murmurs then, which so incensed the Lord against them, that he threatened them with an entire consumption of their carcasses, and which accordingly was fulfilled, to which the following clause refers:

unto whom the Lord sware, that he would not show them the land which the Lord sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey; see Numbers 14:23.

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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 5:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-5.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.

The people β€” The Hebrew word commonly signifies the Gentiles; so he calls them, to note that they were unworthy the name of Israelites.

Shew them β€” That is, not give them so much as a sight of it, which he granted to Moses, much less the possession. V:7.

Circumcised β€” Which God would have done, 1. As a testimony of God's reconciliation to the people, and that he would not farther impute their parents rebellion to them2. Because the great impediment of circumcision was now removed, their continued travels, and frequent and uncertain removal3. To prepare them for the approaching passover4. To distinguish them from the Canaanites, into whose land they were now come5. To ratify the covenant between God and them, whereof circumcision was a sign and seal, to assure them that God would now make good his covenant, in giving them this land; and to oblige them to perform all the duties to which that covenant bound them, as soon as they came into Canaan, Exodus 12:25; Leviticus 23:10; Numbers 15:2.

Copyright Statement
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 5:6". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-5.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 5:6 For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people [that were] men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.

Ver. 6. For the children of Israel walked forty years.] This way and that way, backward and forward, as if they were treading a maze; and this, for the punishment of their revolt. [Numbers 14:33]

With milk and honey.] With plenty of dainties.

For they were uncircumcised. Who yet, together with the circumcised, were brought by Joshua into the promised land: so are both sorts by Jesus into the kingdom of heaven. See Ephesians 2:14, Colossians 3:11.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 5:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-5.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

All the people; the Hebrew word commonly signifies the Gentiles; so he calls them, to note that they were unworthy of the name and privileges of Israelites.

He would not show them, i.e. not give them so much as a sight of it, which he granted to Moses, much less the possession and enjoyment of it. Or showing is put for giving, as it is Psalms 4:6 60:3 Ecclesiastes 2:24.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 5:6". 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

For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the people who were men of war, who came out of Egypt, were consumed because they did not obey the voice of YHWH, to whom YHWH swore that he would not let them see the land which YHWH swore to their fathers that he would give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.’

This is to explain the situation for those unaware of it. All who were over twenty years old at the first abortive entry into Canaan thirty eight years before, had been sentenced to die in the wilderness, with one or two notable exceptions (Numbers 14:28-35). This was because of their disobedience on that occasion, and their refusal to enter the land of Canaan when God told them to. Thus He had sworn that they would not see the land which had been promised to them when they left Egypt (Numbers 14:23). ‘Milk and honey’ represented staple foods and sweetness, a sign of the desirability of the land. But it was only a desirable land when it had sufficient rain. Thus its desirability depended on God’s provision.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 5:6". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-5.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

6.Forty years in the wilderness — This verse assigns the reason why circumcision had not been performed, namely, their disobedience and punishment. As the sentence of exclusion from the favour of Jehovah had now expired, the nation is again admitted to the privilege of using the sign of his covenant. While in exile they were the objects of his care, and even of his supernatural providence, but not of his approval, just as sinners under the Gospel dispensation enjoy the bounty of God, but not the covenant of his pardoning grace.

Till all the people’ were consumed — The word for people is that which is always used to designate a heathen nation, a Gentile race, in distinction from the peculiar people, Israel. This confirms the explanation that Israel was excluded from covenant relations during the forty years’ wandering.

The Lord sware that he would not show them the land — That is, cause them to see, and hence to enter and enjoy, the land.

A land that floweth with milk and honey — This phrase represents the great fertility and loveliness of the Land of Promise; it was a land rich in grass for herds, hence there was an abundance of milk; it was profuse in flowers, hence bees and wild honey were very plentiful, (Judges 14:8; Matthew 3:4,) and they still are found, in spite of the lack of cultivation and the desolation of Palestine. Milk and its various products constituted the chief sustenance of the ancient Hebrews. In Palestine the bees do actually deposit honey in the holes of the rocks in so great quantities that it flows out and is gathered in vessels placed beneath.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 5:6". "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 5:6. Till all the people — were consumed — All the six hundred thousand fighting men that came out of Egypt, except Joshua and Caleb. The Hebrew word הגוי, hagoi, here rendered people, commonly signifies the Gentiles, and some have thought it is here used to signify that they were unworthy the name of Israelites. That he would not show them the land — That is, would not give them so much as the sight of it, which he granted to Moses, much less the possession.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Joshua 5:6". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/joshua-5.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Forty. Some copies of the Septuagint add, "two," as if the 40 years' wandering in the desert, were to be dated from the time that the spies discouraged the people, in the second year of their departure from Egypt. But the Hebrew and the best chronologers allow only 40 years in the whole. (Calmet) --- Hebrew, "For the children of Israel walked 40 years in the wilderness, till all the men fit for war, who came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord, unto whom the Lord swore that he would not shew them the land, which the Lord swore unto their fathers that he would give us, a land flowing with milk and honey; (7) and their children he raised up in their stead, them Josue circumcised." (Haydock) --- The Septuagint is also rather fuller than the Vulgate but gives the same sense. These children who receive, what their rebellious fathers had been refused, are a sensible figure of the Christian Church; as that second circumcision under Josue, represents the spiritual cleansing of the heart, which Jesus Christ has enjoined, Romans ii. 28., and 1 Corinthians vii. 19.

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 5:6". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-5.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

People = nation. Some codices, with two early printed editions, read "generation",

obeyed not = hearkened not unto.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 5:6". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-5.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(6) Us.β€”The first person is used here as in Joshua 4:23; Joshua 5:7. The whole passage from Joshua 4:22 to Joshua 5:6 seems intended to be the reply of the fathers to the children.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 5:6". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.
walked
Numbers 14:32-34; Deuteronomy 1:3; 2:7,14; 8:4; Psalms 95:10,11; Jeremiah 2:2
sware that
Numbers 14:23; Hebrews 3:11
a land
Exodus 3:8,17; Ezekiel 20:6,15; Joel 3:18
Reciprocal: Genesis 27:28 - plenty;  Genesis 34:25 - sore;  Exodus 33:3 - a land;  Numbers 13:27 - GeneralDeuteronomy 27:3 - a land;  Joshua 24:7 - ye dwelt;  Judges 11:16 - walked;  Hebrews 3:9 - forty

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 5:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-5.html.