When the LORD led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, He marked the time with miracles, a celebration of Passover, and after they left Egypt, circumcision as a sign of the covenant. Now in Joshua chapter 5, we see some similar emphasis from the LORD. He parts the Jordan river, He Joshua to lead the people in circumcision as a sign of their covenant with YHWH, and again we see Passover as prominent in the timing. It is very appropriate. What a good time to remember being set free from slavery in Egypt… when you are being set free from wandering in the wilderness and finally ready to enter the promised land. Passover was also a foreshadowing of YHWH’s people being set free from slavery to sin by the death and resurrection of Messiah. It is rich with purpose.
All this and an angel comes to bring an important message to Joshua around this same time.
8Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed. 9Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day.
10While the sons of Israel camped at Gilgal they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho. 11On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. 12The manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan during that year.
13Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” 14He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” 15The captain of the LORD’S host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
The Moedim, or appointed times, play an important role in YHWH’s relationship with His people. They were designed by YHWH with the intent to help teach future generations of His people about their relationship with Him. When we learn about them and celebrate them, we are in essence learning about and celebrating our relationship with our Creator according to holy days He designed, rather than those created by men.
To learn more:
- Bible.org Leviticus 23
- Focused Ministries – Understanding Hebrew Roots
- Study Hebrew Roots of Christianity
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