New English Translation
6 Now Jericho was shut tightly[a] because of the Israelites. No one was allowed to leave or enter.[b] 2 The Lord told Joshua, “See, I am about to defeat Jericho for you,[c] along with its king and its warriors. 3 Have all the warriors march around the city one time;[d] do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry seven rams’ horns[e] in front of the ark. On the seventh day march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the horns. 5 When you hear the signal from the ram’s horn,[f] have the whole army give a loud battle cry.[g] Then the city wall will collapse,[h] and the warriors should charge straight ahead.”[i]
6 So Joshua son of Nun summoned the priests and instructed them, “Pick up the ark of the covenant, and seven priests must carry seven rams’ horns in front of the ark of the Lord.” 7 And he told[j] the army,[k] “Move ahead[l] and march around the city, with armed troops going ahead of the ark of the Lord.”
8 When Joshua gave the army its orders,[m] the seven priests carrying the seven rams’ horns before the Lord moved ahead and blew the horns as the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed behind. 9 Armed troops marched ahead of the priests blowing the horns, while the rear guard followed along behind the ark blowing rams’ horns. 10 Now Joshua had instructed the army,[n] “Do not give a battle cry[o] or raise your voices; say nothing[p] until the day I tell you, ‘Give the battle cry.’[q] Then give the battle cry!”[r] 11 So Joshua made sure they marched the ark of the Lord around the city one time.[s] Then they went back to the camp and spent the night there.[t]
12 Bright and early the next morning Joshua had the priests pick up the ark of the Lord.[u] 13 The seven priests carrying the seven rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord marched along blowing their horns. Armed troops marched ahead of them, while the rear guard followed along behind the ark of the Lord blowing rams’ horns. 14 They marched around the city one time on the second day, then returned to the camp. They did this six days in all.
15 On the seventh day they were up at the crack of dawn[v] and marched around the city as before—only this time they marched around it seven times.[w] 16 The seventh time around, the priests blew the rams’ horns, and Joshua told the army,[x] “Give the battle cry,[y] for the Lord is handing the city over to you![z] 17 The city and all that is in it must be set apart for the Lord;[aa] only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house will live, because she hid the spies[ab] we sent. 18 But be careful when you are setting apart the riches for God. If you take any of it, then you will make the Israelite camp subject to annihilation and cause a disaster.[ac] 19 All the silver and gold, as well as bronze and iron items, belong to the Lord.[ad] They must go into the Lord’s treasury.”
20 The rams’ horns sounded,[ae] and when the army[af] heard the signal,[ag] they gave a loud battle cry.[ah] The wall collapsed,[ai] and the warriors charged straight ahead into the city and captured it.[aj] 21 They annihilated with the sword everything that breathed in the city,[ak] including men and women, young and old, as well as cattle, sheep, and donkeys. 22 Joshua told the two men who had spied on the land, “Enter the prostitute’s house[al] and bring out the woman and all who belong to her as you promised her.”[am] 23 So the young spies went and brought out Rahab, her father, mother, brothers, and all who belonged to her. They brought out her whole family and took them to a place outside[an] the Israelite camp. 24 But they burned[ao] the city and all that was in it, except for the silver, gold, and bronze and iron items they put in the treasury of the Lord’s house.[ap] 25 Yet Joshua spared[aq] Rahab the prostitute, her father’s family,[ar] and all who belonged to her. She lives in Israel[as] to this very day because she hid the messengers Joshua sent to spy on Jericho. 26 At that time Joshua made this solemn declaration:[at] “The man who attempts to rebuild[au] this city of Jericho[av] will stand condemned before the Lord.[aw] He will lose his firstborn son when he lays its foundations and his youngest son when he erects its gates!”[ax] 27 The Lord was with Joshua and he became famous throughout the land.[ay]
- Joshua 6:1 tn Heb “was shutting and shut up.” HALOT 743 s.v. I סגר paraphrases, “blocking [any way of access] and blocked [against any who would leave].”
- Joshua 6:1 tn Heb “there was no one going out and there was no one coming in.”
- Joshua 6:2 tn Heb “I have given into your hand Jericho.” The Hebrew verb נָתַתִּי (natatti, “I have given”) is probably best understood as a perfect of certitude, indicating the certainty of the action. The Hebrew pronominal suffix “your” is singular, being addressed to Joshua as the leader and representative of the nation. To convey to the modern reader what is about to happen and who is doing it, the translation “I am about to defeat Jericho for you” has been used.
- Joshua 6:3 tn Heb “and go around the city, all [you] men of war, encircling the city one time.” The Hebrew verb וְסַבֹּתֶם (vesabbotem, “and go around”) is plural, being addressed to the whole army.
- Joshua 6:4 tn Heb “rams’ horns, trumpets.”
- Joshua 6:5 tn Heb “and it will be at the sounding of the horn, the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the ram’s horn.” The text of Josh 6:5 seems to be unduly repetitive, so for the sake of English style and readability, it is best to streamline the text here. The reading in the Hebrew looks like a conflation of variant readings, with the second (“when you hear the sound of the ram’s horn”) being an interpolation that assimilates the text to verse 20 (“when the army heard the sound of the horn”). Note that the words “when you hear the sound of the ram’s horn” do not appear in the LXX of verse 5.
- Joshua 6:5 tn Heb “all the people will shout with a loud shout.”
- Joshua 6:5 tn Heb “fall in its place.”
- Joshua 6:5 tn Heb “and the people will go up, each man straight ahead.”
- Joshua 6:7 tn An alternative reading is “and they said.” In this case the subject is indefinite and the verb should be translated as passive, “[the army] was told.”
- Joshua 6:7 tn Heb “the people.”
- Joshua 6:7 tn Heb “pass by.”
- Joshua 6:8 tn Heb “when Joshua spoke to the people.”
- Joshua 6:10 tn Heb “the people.”
- Joshua 6:10 tn Or “the shout.”
- Joshua 6:10 tn Heb “do not let a word come out of your mouths.”
- Joshua 6:10 tn Or “the shout.”
- Joshua 6:10 tn Or “the shout.”
- Joshua 6:11 tn Heb “and he made the ark of the Lord go around the city, encircling one time.”
- Joshua 6:11 tn Heb “and they entered the camp and spent the night in the camp.”
- Joshua 6:12 tn Heb “Joshua rose early in the morning and the priests picked up the ark of the Lord.”
- Joshua 6:15 tn Heb “On the seventh day they rose early, when the dawn ascended.”
- Joshua 6:15 tn Heb “and they went around the city according to this manner seven times, only on that day they went around the city seven times.”
- Joshua 6:16 tn Heb “the people.”
- Joshua 6:16 tn Or “the shout.”
- Joshua 6:16 tn Heb “for the Lord has given to you the city.” The verbal form is a perfect, probably indicating certitude here.
- Joshua 6:17 tn Or “dedicated to the Lord.”sn To make the city set apart for the Lord would involve annihilating all the people and animals and placing its riches in the Lord’s treasury (vv. 19, 21, 24).
- Joshua 6:17 tn Heb “messengers.”
- Joshua 6:18 tn Heb “Only you keep [away] from what is set apart [to God] so that you might not, as you are setting [it] apart, take some of what is set apart [to God] and turn the camp of Israel into what is set apart [to destruction by God] and bring trouble on it.”
- Joshua 6:19 tn Heb “it is holy to the Lord.”
- Joshua 6:20 tc Heb “and the people shouted and they blew the rams’ horns.” The initial statement (“and the people shouted”) seems premature, since the verse goes on to explain that the battle cry followed the blowing of the horns. The statement has probably been accidentally duplicated from what follows. It is omitted in the LXX.
- Joshua 6:20 tn Heb “the people.”
- Joshua 6:20 tn Heb “the sound of the horn.”
- Joshua 6:20 tn Heb “they shouted with a loud shout.”
- Joshua 6:20 tn Heb “fell in its place.”
- Joshua 6:20 tn Heb “and the people went up into the city, each one straight ahead, and they captured the city.”
- Joshua 6:21 tn Heb “all which was in the city.”
- Joshua 6:22 tn Heb “the house of the woman, the prostitute.”
- Joshua 6:22 tn Heb “and bring out from there the woman and all who belong to her as you swore on oath to her.”
- Joshua 6:23 tn Or “placed them outside.”
- Joshua 6:24 tn The Hebrew text adds “with fire.”
- Joshua 6:24 tn Heb “the treasury of the house of the Lord.” Technically the Lord did not have a “house” yet, so perhaps this refers to the tabernacle using later terminology.
- Joshua 6:25 tn Heb “kept alive.”
- Joshua 6:25 tn Heb the house of her father.”
- Joshua 6:25 tn Or “among the Israelites”; Heb “in the midst of Israel.”
- Joshua 6:26 tn Normally the Hiphil of שָׁבַע (shavaʿ) has a causative sense (“make [someone] take an oath”; see Josh 2:17, 20), but here (see also Josh 23:7) no object is stated or implied. If Joshua is calling divine judgment down upon the one who attempts to rebuild Jericho, then “make a solemn appeal [to God as judge]” or “pronounce a curse” would be an appropriate translation. However, the tone seems stronger. Joshua appears to be announcing the certain punishment of the violator. 1 Kgs 16:34, which records the fulfillment of Joshua’s prediction, supports this. Casting Joshua in a prophetic role, it refers to Joshua’s statement as the “word of the Lord” spoken through Joshua.
- Joshua 6:26 tn Heb “rises up and builds.”
- Joshua 6:26 tc The LXX omits “Jericho.” It is probably a scribal addition.
- Joshua 6:26 tn The Hebrew phrase אָרוּר לִפְנֵי יְהוָה (ʾarur lifne yehvah, “cursed [i.e., condemned] before the Lord”) also occurs in 1 Sam 26:19.
- Joshua 6:26 tn Heb “With his firstborn he will lay its foundations and with his youngest he will erect its gates.” The Hebrew verb יַצִּיב (yatsiv, “he will erect”) is imperfect, not jussive, suggesting Joshua’s statement is a prediction, not an imprecation.
- Joshua 6:27 tn Heb “and the report about him was in all the land.” The Hebrew term אֶרֶץ (ʾerets, “land”) may also be translated “earth.”