Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Joshua 6:7

Then he said to the people, "Go forward, and march around the city, and let the armed men go on before the ark of the Lord ."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ark;   Armies;   Trumpet;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Home;   Miracles;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Stories for Children;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Ark of the Covenant;   Armies of Israel, the;   Holy Land;   Miracles Wrought through Servants of God;   Sieges;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ark of the Covenant;   Miracle;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Joshua, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Israel;   Jericho;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Excommunication (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Horns;   Miracles;   Rams' Horns;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Jericho;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Ark;   Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Journeyings of israel from egypt to canaan;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Urim and Thummim;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Conquest of Canaan;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ark of the Covenant;   Palestine (Recent Exploration, I.e. as of 1915);   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Joshua, Book of;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He said - The reading in the Hebrew text is “they said.” Joshua no doubt issued his orders through the “officers of the people” (compare Joshua 1:10).

Him that is armed - i. e. the warriors generally, not a division only. “The rereward” Joshua 6:9 was merely a detachment, and not a substantial portiere of the host; and was told off, perhaps, from the tribe of Dan (compare the marginal reference) to close the procession and guard the ark from behind. Thus the order would be

(1) the warriors,

(2) the seven priests blowing the cornets,

(3) the ark,

(4) the rear-guard.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Joshua 6:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/joshua-6.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he said unto the people, pass on, and compass the city,.... The women and children, the young men under twenty years of age, the unarmed part of the camp, as distinguished from the armed men:

and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the Lord; to guard the ark, protect the priests, and defend the people, should any sally be made by the enemy upon them. These seem to design all the males that were above twenty years of age able to bear arms, and fit for war; though some restrain it to the forty thousand of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, Joshua 1:14.

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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 6:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/joshua-6.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And he said unto the people, f Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.

(f) This is chiefly meant by the Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Joshua 6:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/joshua-6.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.

Him that is armed — God would have them armed both for the defense of themselves and the ark, in case the enemies should make a sally upon them, and for the execution of the Lord's vengeance upon that city.

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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 6:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/joshua-6.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Joshua 6:7 And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.

Ver. 7. And let him that is armed.] Those two tribes and a half especially. [Joshua 1:14; Joshua 4:12-13]

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Joshua 6:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/joshua-6.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

God would have them armed, both for the defence of themselves and the ark, in case the enemies should make a sally upon them, and for the execution of the Lord’s vengeance upon that city.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Joshua 6:7". 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 they said to the people, “Pass on, and surround the city, and let the armed men pass on before the Ark of YHWH.”

Some manuscripts have ‘he’. So these words were either those of the priests or of Joshua himself. Either way they came from Joshua either directly or indirectly. Verse 8 would support ‘he’, but as the more difficult reading ‘they’ may well be correct.

The instruction was given to march round the city, surrounding it, the armed men leading the way followed by the Ark of YHWH. ‘The people’ taking up the rear. The latter may possibly also have included women and children so that all would see the demonstration of the power of YHWH on their behalf, (but not necessarily. It may be that only armed men were involved, both leading the way and following. The Hebrew definite article regularly simply means ‘those I am talking about’). The armed men to the front may have been the Transjordanian troops (Joshua 4:12-13), ‘the people’ the troops from the remainder, who would also have included older men who wanted to be involved.

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Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Joshua 6:7". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/joshua-6.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7.And he said — Such in the Hebrew is the marginal reading, while the text is plural, and they said; that is, the subordinate officers, to whom Joshua made known the divine plan of the conquest. See chap. Joshua 1:10, note.

Him that is armed — Literally, the armed one. The reference is collectively to the armed host of forty thousand from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Eastern Manasseh. These, according to chap. Joshua 4:13, marched before the ark of the Lord.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Joshua 6:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/joshua-6.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

He said. Some manuscripts and Hebrew editions have, "they said," though the points shew it must be singular, whatever Michaelis may object in favour of the Masora. Leusen foolishly admits here a double literal sense. (Kennicott) (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Joshua 6:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/joshua-6.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

he. In Hebrew text written "they", but read "he". In some codices, with five early printed editions, both written and read "he".

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Joshua 6:7". "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 he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.

And he said unto the people. This is according to the Qeri' or margin. But the text has [ way'om

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Joshua 6:7". "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

(7) Pass on, and compass the city.—The meaning of this proceeding becomes clearer when we remember that the centre of the procession is the written law of God. The ark is the vessel that contains it. The armed men that precede it are its executioners. The priests who blow the trumpets are its heralds. It was this law that had brought Israel over Jordan; this law that was henceforth to be established in Canaan; this law that was about to take vengeance on the transgressors. The whole law of Moses is but the expansion of the Decalogue; and the Pentateuch contains an ample statement of the transgressions which had brought the inhabitants of Canaan under the ban of the Divine law. The seven days’ march round Jericho, in absolute silence, was well calculated to impress on the inhabitants the lesson of “the forbearance of God.” “These things hast thou done, and I kept silence.” For several generations the long-suffering of God had waited, while “the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet full.” In the first year of the Exodus He had threatened them, bringing the sword of Israel to their borders; and then He had drawn back His hand from them, and given them forty years’ respite more. But now the long-suffering of God had waited long enough. The shout that burst from the lips of Israel was a signal that He would wait no longer.

Looked at thus, the shout of Israel at the sound of the trumpet on the seventh day becomes no inapt figure of that which is connected with it by the language of Holy Scripture—“the shout,” accompanied by “the voice of the archangel and the trump of God,” which shall notify to the world our Lord’s second coming. “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence” any more (Ps. 1. 3 and 21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Joshua 6:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/joshua-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.
that is armed
3; 1:14; 4:13
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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 6:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-6.html.