Bible Reading: Joshua 5

As a brief summary of sorts, the children of Israel have already crossed the Jordan river by this point. Upon hearing of this, the kings of the Amorites and the Canaanites’s hearts melted. The children of Israel are re-circumcised, as it was the generation before them who had been circumcised, but not the new generation. They then keep the Passover, partake of the produce of the land and stop eating manna. We finally see Joshua envisioning a man with a sword, establishing that this man is Captain of Jehovah’s army and enquiring of what he (Joshua) is to do. Interestingly, the man tells Joshua to remove his sandals, for he stands on holy ground – much akin to Moses and his encounter with the burning thornbush.

Anyway, here is verse 2 of Joshua 5, followed by a footnote regarding the word circumcise which I was enlightened by:

At that time Jehovah said to Joshua, Make knives of flint, and circumcise again the children of Israel a second time.

“The purpose of circumcision was to make God’s chosen people a new people for the inheriting of God’s promised land (cf. Gen. 17:7-12). The circumcising of the new Israel typifies the circumcision of Christ, by His death, applied to the believers in the putting off of the body of the flesh that they may inherit Christ in resurrection as the portion allotted to them by God (Col. 2:11-12; 1:12).
Spiritual circumcision is a continuation of the burial in the death of Christ. Through the crossing of the river Jordan, the old Israel was buried and a new Israel came forth. This was an objective work done by God. Israel still needed to apply this work to their flesh. Their being circumcised was their practical application of what God had done in the crossing of the river Jordan. In the New Testament spiritual circumcision is the constant application of Christ’s death to our flesh (Phil. 3:3; Col. 2:11 and notes). Although in fact we have been baptized into the death of Christ and have been buried and raised with Him (Rom. 6:3-4), in practicality we still must apply the circumcision of the cross to our flesh by the Spirit day by day (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:24). This is the reality and practicality of remaining in the death and burial of Christ.”
Footnotes 2 of notes in Galatians 5:24 and footnote 2 in Romans 8:13 are also noteworthy.


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