Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 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.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Communion;   Seven;   Trumpet;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Home;   Instruments, Chosen;   Miracles;   Music;   Musical Instruments;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Seven;   Stories for Children;   Trumpets;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Holy Land;   Horns;   Priests;   Sieges;   Trumpet;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ark of the Covenant;   Music;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ark;   Horn;   Seven;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ark;   Horn;   Music, Instrumental;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Horn;   Joshua;   Priest;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Joshua, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Horn;   Israel;   Jericho;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Numbers (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Horns;   Jubilee;   Rams' Horns;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Jericho;   Rams horns;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Ark;   Journeyings of israel from egypt to canaan;   Priest;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Seven;   Trumpet;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ark of the Covenant;   Joshua, Book of;   Music;   Palestine (Recent Exploration, I.e. as of 1915);   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ark of the covenant;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Joshua, Book of;   Sabbatical Year and Jubilee;   Sheep;   Shofar;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Seven trumpets of rams' horns - The Hebrew word יובלים yobelim does not signify rams' horns; (see the note on Leviticus 25:11;); nor do any of the ancient versions, the Chaldee excepted, give it this meaning. The instruments used on this occasion were evidently of the same kind with those used on the jubilee, and were probably made of horn or of silver; and the text in this place may be translated, And seven priests shall bear before the ark the seven jubilee trumpets, for they appear to have been the same kind as those used on the jubilee.

Seven times - The time was thus lengthened out that the besiegers and the besieged might be the more deeply impressed with that supernatural power by which alone the walls fell.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Joshua 6:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/joshua-6.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns,.... The ark was to be taken up and carried by priests round the city. Ben Gersom observes, that this was to direct the Israelites to keep and do according to all that was written in it; that is, in the law, which was contained in it; but no doubt the design of it was to show, that the subduing of Jericho, and the miracle that would be wrought, were owing to the power and presence of God, of which the ark was a symbol: and before it were to go seven other priests, with trumpets in their hands; which, according to our version, were made of rams horns: in the original it is "jobelim", or "jubilee" trumpets. Some think it means only such as they were to use in the year of jubilee; so Abarbinel and others, as Masius and NoldiusF24P. 160. No. 1515. ; that they had their name from Jubal, the first inventor of musical instruments, Genesis 4:21; for rams' horns are objected to because they are solid, and not hollow; as if they could not be bored and made hollow, and fit for such a purpose. The Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi, interpret the word by rams horns, as we doF25So Joseph. Antiqu. l. 5. c. 6. sect. 5. ; and observe what R. Akiba said,"when (says he) I went into Arabia, I heard them call; a ram "jobel"; and the trumpet itself is called "jobel", because made of a ram's hornF26Kimchi, Sepher. Shorash. rad. יבל R. Sol. Urbim. Ohel Moed, fol. 39. 2. :"

and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times; in the same manner as on the other days:

and the priests shall blow with the trumpets; which they were to do; and did every day.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Joshua 6:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-6.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of e rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

(e) That the conquest might not be assigned to man's power, but to the mercy of God, which with most weak things can overcome that which seems most strong.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 6:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-6.html. 1599-1645.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 6:4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

Ver. 4. Seven trumpets of rams’ horns.] God usually goeth a way by himself, and worketh his will by such means as the world judgeth absurd and ridiculous.

And the seventh day.] Which, probably, was the Sabbath day, wherein, "by the foolishness of preaching," God still overturneth the strongholds of Satan, [2 Corinthians 10:4] by the priests blowing with their trumpets.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 6:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-6.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Ver. 4. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns Some have observed, that rams' horns cannot be bored, and made so as to give any thing of a strong sound; and therefore by rams' horns here, they would understand trumpets made in the shape of rams' horns. But this supposed difficulty, of making such an instrument of a ram's horn as may give a pretty strong sound, is not well founded; it being certain, that the inside of these horns is no way hard, and may easily be taken out, excepting a space at the point, of about four or five inches, part of which is sawed off, in order to proportion the aperture to the mouth; after which, the rest is easily pierced. We can assure our readers, say the authors of the Universal History, that we have seen some of these trumpets, thus made, used by shepherds in the southern parts of Germany.

And the seventh day you shall compass the city, &c.— Grotius very properly observes, that the number seven is suited or appropriated to things sacred: it is evidently so in this place. We shall not, however, insist upon it. The reader may consult a variety of authors respecting the facts; particularly Drusius on the passage, and on Leviticus 4:6.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Joshua 6:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/joshua-6.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Of rams’ horns, or, of the jubilees, i.e. such trumpets wherewith they were to sound in the years of jubilee, Leviticus 25:9. Either this, or one of the other six, was certainly a sabbath day; and it is not material which was it, for the command of the Lord of the sabbath was sufficient to legitimate any action.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 6:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/joshua-6.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the Ark, and the seventh day you shall surround the city seven times, and the priests will blow with the trumpets.”

Seven was the number of divine completeness among many nations. It was seen by all as a sacred number. Something sevenfold was total. (In Sumerian religious literature seven, along with three, were the only numbers ever used even though they were a highly numerate nation, and it was from Sumer that Abram came). Included in the surrounding of the city was the presence of the Ark. This demonstrated to all that what was to happen would be the activity of YHWH, there invisibly with His troops. The blowing of the trumpets and the silence of the soldiers would draw all eyes to the Ark. We are left to imagine the growing fear and dread in the hearts of the inhabitants.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 6:4". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-6.html. 2013.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Jubilee. (Numbers x. 2.) The number seven, is often used to express an indefinite number. But here a particular stress is laid upon it. See Masius. As, on the 7th year the Hebrews regained the possessions which they had sold: so now they assert their rights to the land of Chanaan. The sound of the trumpets announced joyful tidings to them. (Menochius)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 6:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-6.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

rams" horns = trumpets of Jubilee, of long sound. Exodus 19:13.

the seventh day = on the seventh day.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 6:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/joshua-6.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

Trumpets of rams' horns, [ showp

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 6:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/joshua-6.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(4) Seven trumpets of rams’ horns.—Literally, trumpets of jubilee—i.e., of loud or joyful sound.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 6:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
trumpets of rams'
The words shopheroth hyyovelim, should rather be rendered jubilee, trumpets, i.e., such as were used on the jubilee, which were probably made of horn or silver: for the entrance of the Israelites into Canaan was indeed a jubilee to them (See Note on Le 25:11): instead of the dreadful trumpet of war, they were ordered to sound the trumpet of joy, as already conquerors.
Leviticus 25:9; Numbers 10:1-10; Judges 7:7,8,15-22; 2 Chronicles 13:12; 20:17,19,21; Isaiah 27:13; Zechariah 4:6
seven times
Genesis 2:3; 7:2,3; Leviticus 4:6; 14:16; 25:8; Numbers 23:1; 1 Kings 18:43; 2 Kings 5:10; Job 42:8; Zechariah 4:2; Revelation 1:4,20; 5:1,6; 8:2,6; 10:3; 15:1,7; 16:1
Reciprocal: Numbers 10:8 - GeneralNumbers 31:6 - the holy instruments;  Joshua 6:8 - before the Lord;  Joshua 6:15 - only on that day;  Judges 7:20 - blew;  Judges 7:22 - blew;  1 Samuel 4:3 - Let us;  2 Samuel 6:15 - the sound;  2 Samuel 15:24 - bearing;  2 Kings 4:29 - lay my staff;  2 Chronicles 6:41 - the ark;  2 Chronicles 7:6 - the priests;  2 Chronicles 29:26 - the priests;  Nehemiah 12:35 - with trumpets;  Zechariah 9:14 - blow;  1 Corinthians 14:8 - General

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 6:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-6.html.