The Conquest of Jericho
6 Now Jericho [a fortified city with high walls] was tightly closed because [of the people’s fear] of the sons of Israel; no one went out or came in. 2 The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the mighty warriors. 3 Now you shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do this [once each day] for six days. 4 Also, seven priests shall carry seven trumpets [made] of rams’ horns ahead of the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 When they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall cry out with a great shout (battle cry); and the wall of the city will fall down in its place, and the people shall go up, each man [going] straight ahead [climbing over the rubble].”
6 So Joshua the son of Nun called for the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and have seven priests carry seven trumpets made of rams’ horns ahead of the ark of the Lord.” 7 He said to the people, “Go forward! March around the city, and let the armed men go ahead of the ark of the Lord.” 8 And it was so, that when Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets made of rams’ horns went on before the Lord and blew the trumpets; then the ark of the covenant of the Lord went behind them. 9 The armed men went in front of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while the priests continued to blow the trumpets. 10 But Joshua commanded the people, “You shall not shout [the battle cry] nor let your voice be heard nor let a word come out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout!” 11 So Joshua had the ark of the Lord taken around the city [on the first day], circling it once; then they came back into the camp and spent the night in the camp.
12 Then Joshua got up early in the morning [on the second day], and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets made of rams’ horns ahead of the ark of the Lord went on continually, blowing the trumpets; and the armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while the priests continued to blow the trumpets. 14 On the second day they marched around the city once, and returned to the camp; they did this for six days.
15 Then on the seventh day they got up early at daybreak and marched around the city in the same way seven times; only on that day they marched around the city [a]seven times. 16 And the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city. 17 The city and everything that is in it shall be under the ban [that is, designated to be destroyed as a form of tribute] to the Lord; only Rahab the prostitute and all [the people] who are with her in her house shall [be allowed to] live, because she hid and protected the messengers (scouts) whom we sent. 18 But as for you, keep yourselves [away] from the things under the ban [which are to be destroyed], so that you do not covet them and take some of the things under the ban [for personal gain], and put the camp of Israel under the ban (doomed to destruction), and bring disaster upon it. 19 All the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy (consecrated) to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.” 20 So the people shouted [the battle cry], and the priests blew the trumpets. When the people heard the sound of the trumpet, they raised a great shout and the wall [of Jericho] fell down, so that the sons of Israel went up into the city, every man straight ahead [climbing over the rubble], and they overthrew the city. 21 Then they utterly destroyed everything that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.
22 But Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring the woman and all that she has out of there, as you have sworn to her.” 23 So the young men, the spies, went in and brought out Rahab and her father and her mother and her brothers and everything that she had; they also brought out all her relatives and allowed them to stay outside the camp of Israel [at Gilgal during the time required for ceremonial cleansing].(A) 24 Then they completely burned the city and everything that was in it. They put only the silver and the gold, and the articles of bronze and of iron, into the treasury of the house (tabernacle) of the Lord. 25 So Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her father’s household and everything that she had; and she has lived among Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers (scouts) whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
26 Then Joshua made them take an oath at that time, saying, “Cursed before the Lord is the man who rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho; with the loss of his firstborn he shall lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son he shall set up its gates.”(B) 27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land.
- Joshua 6:15 In ancient times any walled town was called a “city” and its ruler was called “a king,” but the fact that Joshua’s army could march around Jericho seven times in one day shows that it was a very small place. Though the walls were formidable, the area they enclosed only measured seven acres. The whole circumference of the city was about 650 yards. Jebusite Jerusalem, which David captured, was about the same size. Schliemann, the German archeologist, experienced a similar surprise in 1873 when he excavated the city of Troy, which Homer tells us withstood the Grecian warriors for quite some time. It would almost seem that these ancient cities were more like places of refuge for the area’s population when an enemy approached. During peaceful times a large proportion of the inhabitants would live outside the city’s walls, because they were shepherds and farmers. Generally, only the craftsmen and administrators lived within the walls.