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Now Jericho [a fenced town with high walls] was tightly closed because of the Israelites; no one went out or came in.

And the Lord said to Joshua, See, I have given Jericho, its king and mighty men of valor, into your hands.

You shall march around the enclosure, all the men of war going around the city once. This you shall do for six days.

And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns; and on the seventh day you shall march around the enclosure seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.

When they make a long blast with the ram’s horn and you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the enclosure shall fall down in its place and the people shall go up [over it], every man straight before him.

So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, Take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.

He said to the people, Go on! March around the enclosure, and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord.

When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns passed on before the Lord and blew the trumpets, and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them.

The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, the priests blowing the trumpets as they went.

10 But Joshua commanded the people, You shall not shout or let your voice be heard, nor shall any word proceed out of your mouth until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout!

11 So he caused the ark of the Lord to go around the city once; and they came into the camp and lodged in the camp.

12 Joshua rose early in the morning and the priests took up the ark of the Lord.

13 And the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord passed on, blowing the trumpets continually; and the armed men went before them and the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, the priests blowing the trumpets as they went.

14 On the second day they compassed the city enclosure once and returned to the camp. So they did for six days.

15 On the seventh day they rose early at daybreak and marched around the city as usual, only on that day they compassed 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 And the city and all that is in it shall be devoted to the Lord [for destruction]; only Rahab the harlot and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent.

18 But you, keep yourselves from the accursed and devoted things, lest when you have devoted it [to destruction], you take of the accursed thing, and so make the camp of Israel accursed and trouble it.

19 But all the silver and gold and vessels of bronze and iron are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.

20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. When the people heard the sound of the trumpet, they raised a great shout, and [Jericho’s] wall fell down in its place, so that the [Israelites] went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

21 Then they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox, 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 harlot’s house and bring out the woman and all she has, as you swore to her.

23 So the young men, the spies, went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother, her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred and set them outside the camp of Israel.

24 And they [b] burned the city with fire and all that was in it; only the silver, the gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord.

25 So Joshua saved Rahab the harlot, with her father’s household and all that she had; and she lives in Israel even to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

26 Then Joshua laid this oath on them, Cursed is the man before the Lord who rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho. With the loss of his firstborn shall he lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son shall he set up its gates.(A)

27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land.


  1. Joshua 6:15 Any walled town was called a “city” and its headman was called “a king” in ancient times, but the fact that Joshua’s army could march around the whole of Jericho seven times in one day shows that it was a very small place. Sir Charles Marston (New Bible Evidence) echoes the reports of other archaeologists when he says that the excavations of ancient Jericho do not confirm the conceptions of our youth. Though the walls were so formidable, the area they enclosed only measures seven acres. The whole circumference of the city was about 650 yards. Our disappointment is somewhat modified by the fact that Jebusite Jerusalem, which David captured, was about the same size. Schliemann experienced a similar disillusionment in 1873 when he excavated the city of Troy, which Homer tells us so long withstood the Grecian hosts. Indeed it would almost seem that these ancient cities were more in the nature of places of refuge resorted to when an enemy approached. Under peaceful conditions a large proportion of the inhabitants would dwell outside the city’s walls (Sir Charles Marston, New Bible Evidence).
  2. Joshua 6:24 Important details of this story are fully substantiated by the findings of Dr. J. B. Garstang in his several excavations of Jericho: 1. The city was thoroughly burned by fire. 2. It had not been thoroughly plundered. Stored grain, for example, was found burned but undisturbed. 3. The “silver, the gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron” were missing. 4. The walls had fallen, but the one gate had a tower left standing. 5. Well-supported houses had been built on the walls. 6. The gate tower was “an imposing edifice,” 54 ft. by 24 ft., remarkably well built of gray brick. Its ruins still stand 16 ft. high. 7. Only on one side of Jericho is there a mountain, and that is a mountain ridge beginning a mile west of the city (John Garstang, The Story of Jericho, Joseph P. Free, Archaeology and Bible History, and other sources).

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