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The Captain of the LORD of hosts

Moses was dead, but the real grunt-work of carving out a holy land for the chosen people was just beginning. Joshua was appointed to replace Moses as the leader of the Israelites. On the plains of Jericho before battle was given, the following scene took place:

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.'

No one knows who this Captain of the host of the Lord really was. He was at least as holy as the burning bush, because the voice in the burning bush told Moses to take off his shoes too. He was holier than a mere angel, since Joshua worshiped him and did not receive the same rebuke St. John received from an angel he tried to worship in Revelation 19:10. At the same time he was not the LORD of Hosts Himself, for what sovereign calls himself his own subordinate officer?

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