Joshua 5:9-12 - Rolling Away the stone of a tragic marriage, so a new marriage can begin

Updated: Mar 7

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Yahweh said to Joshua, "Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt." And so that place is called Gilgal to this day.

While the Israelites sons of Israel were camped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites sons of Israel no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.


This is the Old Testament selection to be read aloud on the fourth Sunday in Lent, Year C, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. This will precede a singing of Psalm 32, where David wrote of Yahweh saying: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; I will guide you with my eye.” Those will then lead to the selection read from Paul’s second letter to the true Christians of Corinth, telling them: “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” All readings will accompany the selection coming from Luke 15, where Jesus told the parable of a man with two sons. In that he said, “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.' Then he became angry and refused to go in.”

In these four selected verses, it should be noted that I have restored the proper name of ‘Yahweh,” where the English translation has generalized that name to say “the Lord.” That change lessens the importance of Yahweh and distorts the lesson that comes from the written Word. Also, in two places the Hebrew text clearly states “bene Yisrael,” which translates as “sons of Israel.” The English translation has morphed this into “Israelites,” which (again) distorts the lesson that comes from the written Word. Therefore, I have stricken out “Israelites” and replaced that with an accurate translation. Finally, twice the English translation shows “passover” in the lower-case, which I have left as is, because capitalization makes the word take on a celebration name, as a festival. The lower-case spelling does well to force the reader to focus on the meaning behind the remembrance, where the “passover” recognizes being spared from death.

In the words that seem to simply say, “Yahweh said to Joshua,” the literal translation of the Hebrew can show this saying, “and uttered Yahweh into Joshua,” with that going further, to the meaning behind the name “Joshua.” The same words then translate as this: “and spoke Yahweh towards Yah will save.” Here, the name Joshua needs to be seen as bearing the same meaning as does “Jesus” [an English modification of “Yeshua”] Thus, the man named Joshua is not who heard the Word of Yahweh, but his soul, which was the resurrection of Adam’s soul [a.k.a. Jesus].

What needs to be understood from what Yahweh spoke is the name “Gilgal” means “A Circle Of Stones, A Wheel, A Rolling Away.” This means that when Yahweh said, “this day , I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you” it is important to grasp what “I have rolled away” means [transliterate as “gal·lō·w·ṯî,” from “galal”]. To think this means everyone was riding four-wheelers in the wilderness for forty years is missing the point.

Way back when the Easter Sundays were presenting the stories of a risen Jesus, the Gospels told of the women going to the tomb to prepare the body of Jesus for transport, from Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb to the family tomb in Bethany (where they had laid Lazarus’ body, before Jesus raised him) or Nazareth (where Joseph's body most likely had been lain). The worry the women had was, “Who will roll the stone away for us?” The region known as Galilee comes from the same root verb, meaning “Rolling.” That assumes the terrain has ‘rolling hills,’ but the deeper meaning of “Rolling Away” is the same as Yahweh telling Joshua, “Today I open your tomb and call for you to “Come out!” into your new land.” This means “the reproach of Egypt” says Yahweh has freed the “sons of Israel” from “the shame of being Married to Tragedy” [the meaning behind “Egypt”]. Thus, the “rolling away” is leaving a mother’s womb behind, never to return again; so, the stone of death has been rolled into place, showing the past is dead, while rolling away the stone that blocked a new life … one that leads to salvation.

There is no physical “place called Gilgal.” The statement by Yahweh did not name anything. Joshua wrote as an ‘after the fact’ statement, which translates as: “therefore is proclaimed the memorial of this placement itself circle (of stones) as far as day here.” This says the land of Canaan, which would be encircled by the twelve tribes of Israel, would be where Salvation for the world would begin anew, as a rebirth. Moses had died before the crossing of the Jordan River; but from his death had risen Joshua. So, the wheel keeps on turning, but the transition marks the end of a bad marriage [Egypt] and the beginning of a new marriage, where the truth of the name “Israel” will bring about the promised salvation. Israel is the name of all the people, with Gilgal the name of the land all the “sons of Israel” will “Roll Away” to.

To then be told that “While the sons of Israel were camped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho.” That says the physical location where they “camped” was “in the plains of Jericho.” To then see added to this statement “in Gilgal” [transliterated as “bag·gil·gāl”], this says “Gilgal” was a spiritual presence, with “the plain of Jericho” their physical location. Again, by seeing “Gilgal” as meaning “A Rolling Away,” this says their souls were reenacting their acts of commitment to Yahweh, divorcing their lives as slaves to a human king (pharaoh) and, thus, human ways (sin).

Where we are shown the statement, “they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month,” this says it was the first full moon of the spring; as the “fourteenth day of the month” is half a lunar cycle, with the new year marked by a new moon. The crossing of the Jordan, like the parting of the Red Sea, and the gathering for two weeks is then symbolic of the miracles Moses led, in his challenge to Pharaoh … to force him to believe his God was greater than any god of Egypt. That is when the evening (or “twilight,” when night falls in the Hebrew clock) brings the Sun to set on the western horizon, as the Moon rises in the east. That becomes the timing when Yahweh would “passover” and determine whose souls will be spared death, which is the final challenge that caused Pharaoh to release Moses and the slaves of Jacob’s ancestry.

This is where it is vital to realize there is a difference between “Israelites” and the “sons of Israel.” The Hebrew word “bene” is a plural form of “ben,” meaning “sons,” but also “children” (including males and females, stated asexually). The truth of “sons” is it connects to “Israel,” which is not the name of a human being. In all of Genesis, after Jacob was told his name would be “Israel,” he is still referred to as “Jacob.” The name “Israel” is a Spiritual name, which says “One Who Retains God.” The truth of “God” is the “el” part of “Israel,” means “Who is One of the elohim of Yahweh." This then means that “sons of Israel” are the souls of others, who likewise are Spiritually elevated into a state of being that makes each soul an elohim of Yahweh. An "Israelite," however, is a statement of one who lives in a place named “Israel,” and places have no souls that can be elevated to serve Yahweh. Therefore, an “Israelite” is a statement of one who is not a Yahweh elohim (when "sons of Israel" are Yahweh elohim).

When we then read, “On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain,” this is fifteen Nisan. This is the symbolic food of the sorrow felt in Egypt, from having resisted Moses and his powers brought on by Yahweh. Because service to Yahweh demands willing sacrifice, which begins with the blood of the lamb marking one’s doorpost to spare one’s soul, the eating of ritual foods symbolizes the sacrifice of self-pleasures, in order to follow Yahweh’s lead. The “produce of the land” was to be gathered and set in baskets in the Tabernacle, with the days to be counted (fifty) until they were ripe and ready to be consumed. The “unleavened cakes and parched grains” symbolize their test in the wilderness, preparing for their delivery into the land that flowed with milk and honey.

When we then read, “The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the sons of Israel no longer had manna,” that says all souls had been brought to the point Spiritually where they no longer needed a physical production of spiritual food. The land they had been delivered into would provide their souls with the spiritual food they required, in order to continue what Moses had taught them to do. As such, the “sons of Israel” would become the spiritual food – the “manna” – that would be fed to their children and their children’s children, so the “Rolling Away” would continue; and, through the “sons of Israel” others would be taught to submit to Yahweh likewise.

When this reading ends by stating, “they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year,” the word translated as “crops” is better shown as “produce.” The point being made has little to do with these ‘invaders’ into a new land taking “crops” away from the indigenous people who the “sons of Israel” were told to share the land with. The coming year would be when the “Rolling Away” would disperse the ”sons of Israel” as the “produce” of Yahweh among the people; more importantly the children born within each of the tribes. In this, the name “Canaan” means “Land Of Purple,” where the color purple is symbolic of royalty. This says the ”sons of Israel,” having all become Yahweh elohim, would have introduced themselves to the local people, showing the locals their powers as those Who Retained Yahweh. Still, the name “Canaan” also means “to be brought into synchronicity,” becomes a blending of the mixture of people with the “sons of Israel,” so there was a sharing of the land. This was peaceful during this first year.

As an Old Testament selection to be read aloud on the fourth Sunday in Lent, the lesson of testing should be seen as willing sacrifice for a higher cause. The ceasing of manna means the baby food would stop, as the “sons of Israel” were expected to begin ministry as the priests of Yahweh they were born to become. It says all are expected to become Joshua, who is the resurrection of Adam’s soul within an ordinary soul, so that Lord soul leads a soul to Yahweh’s Salvation. This means the test of Lent is one of being “produce” that provides spiritual food to others, so there is plenty shared on the earth. To become spiritual food for others, one must willingly self-sacrifice and withstand bitter and harsh times, knowing Yahweh will “Roll Away” all that blocks one from achieving eternal life.

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