When the circumcising of all the nation was done, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed. The LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt.” And so that place is called Gilgal to this day. (Josh. 5:8–9 NRSV)
The people of Israel had crossed over the Jordan and were not in the land of Canaan. It was time for God’s people to cut all ties with Egypt, and to be entirely consecrated to God. The symbol of this consecration was to be circumcision. Evidently this had not been practiced while they were in the wilderness, in some ways marking the fact that they had adapted themselves to Egypt. Now, there was to be a wholehearted separation from Egypt and a complete and total uniting to God.
It took some time to heal after the procedure, but this was a significant moment in the life of the Israelites. In that time and place, God rolled away the disgrace that they had carried with them from Egypt and they were made ent…