5:13 When Joshua was near 1 Jericho, 2 he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him holding a drawn sword. 3 Joshua approached him and asked him, “Are you on our side or allied with our enemies?” 4 5:14 He answered, 5 “Truly I am the commander of the Lord’s army. 6 Now I have arrived!” 7 Joshua bowed down with his face to the ground 8 and asked, “What does my master want to say to his servant?” 5:15 The commander of the Lord’s army answered Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, because the place where you stand is holy.” Joshua did so.
1 tn Heb “in.”
3 tn Heb “he lifted up his eyes and looked. And look, a man was standing in front of him, and his sword was drawn in his hand.” The verb הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) invites the reader to view the scene through Joshua’s eyes. By calling the stranger “a man,” the author reflects Joshua’s perspective. The text shortly reveals his true identity (vv. 14-15).
4 tn Heb “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
5 tc Heb “He said, “Neither.” An alternative reading is לוֹ (lo, “[He said] to him”; cf. NEB). This reading is supported by many Hebrew
6 sn The Lord’s heavenly army, like an earthly army, has a commander who leads the troops. For the phrase שַׂר־צְבָא (sar-tsÿva’, “army commander”) in the human sphere, see among many other references Gen 21:22, 32; 26:26; Judg 4:2, 7; 1 Sam 12:9.
7 sn The commander’s appearance seems to be for Joshua’s encouragement. Joshua could now lead Israel into battle knowing that the
8 tn Heb “Joshua fell on his face to the ground and bowed down.”