Joshua 6

6 Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”

Then Joshua the 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.” And he said to the people, “Proceed, and march around the city, and let him who is armed advance before the ark of the Lord.”

So it was, when Joshua had spoken to the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord advanced 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, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets. 10 Now Joshua had commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout.” 11 So he had the ark of the Lord circle the city, going around it once. Then they came into the camp and lodged in the camp.

12 And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 Then seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord went on continually and blew with the trumpets. And the armed men went before them. But the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets. 14 And the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. So they did six days.

15 But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times. 16 And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city! 17 Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 18 And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, 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 when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. 21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.

22 But Joshua had said to the two men who had spied out the country, “Go into the harlot’s house, and from there bring out the woman and all that she has, as you swore to her.” 23 And the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, her mother, her brothers, and all that she had. So they brought out all her relatives and left them outside the camp of Israel. 24 But they burned the city and all that was in it with fire. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. 25 And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

26 Then Joshua charged them at that time, saying, “Cursed be the man before the Lord who rises up and builds this city Jericho; he shall lay its foundation with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates.”

27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout all the country.

Observation – What does it Say?

  • Jericho had set their defenses against the Israelites
  • God tells Joshua He has given the Jericho into Joshua’s hands.
  • God points out that Jericho’s defense is evidence that God has given Jericho to Joshua
  • For 6 days
    • The Israelites were to march around Jericho 1 each day.
    • 7 priests were to march in front of the ark and blow trumpets
    • The trumpets the priests were blowing were ram’s horns
    • The people marching around the city were not to say anything or make any noise with their mouth.
    • Those armed were to go before the ark.
    • The rest of the people (the rear guard) followed behind the ark.
    • After encircling Jericho 1 time the Israelites returned to camp
    • On the 7thday
      • They Israelites got up early
      • They started the march around Jericho about dawn
      • They marched around Jericho 7 times
      • When Joshua told the people to shout, they were to shout!
      • When they had marched 7 times around the city Joshua told them to shout and they shouted.
      • When they shouted and the trumpet blasted the walls fell down.
      • The Israelites marched 7 day in a row. This means they also marched on the Sabbath.
      • Jericho was doomed for destruction by the Lord.
      • Everyone who in the city except for Rahab and everyone in her house.
      • The Israelites were to stay way for the accused thing
      • If they did not stay away from the accused things they would be accused.
      • All the silver and gold and all the vessels of bronze and iron belonged to the Lord.
      • When the walls of Jericho fell every man in Israel went running straight into the city.
      • The walls fell fat.
      • They killed everything with a sword.
      • The reason Rahab and those with her were spared was she hid the spies
      • The Joshua told two men who were spies to go get Rahab and those in her household and all she had.
      • The two men brought out Rahab her father and mother and all her brothers and all she had.
      • Rahab and her family were left outside the camp of Israel.
      • Rahab continued to dwell with the Israelites.
      • Joshua cured the man who rebuild Jericho with the loss of his oldest and youngest sons
      • Joshua’s fame spread throughout the land.

Interpretation – What does it mean?

It is often misinterpreted that when the trumpets blasted and the people shouted that caused the walls of Jericho to come down. The bible does not say that. It has been demonstrated that the amount of sound energy needed to tear down even a poor built wall was more energy they could possibly have been generated. The bible simply says that when the trumpets sounded and the people shout the wall came fell flat. It is poor exegesis to claim the cause and effect. The lesson in this text is trust in the Lord. Rahab was saved because of faith. Joshua defeated Jericho because of faith. The actual tactics are a simply a side note. The real story is that Joshua and the Israelites trusted God.

Application – How does it work?

We often get caught up in what is it we are supposed to do. What should I go into full time ministry? Should I become a plumber or a lawyer? (You will make more money as a plumber.) Should I move to New York or stay in Caldwell Idaho? We concentrate too hard on the answer to these truly unimportant questions we miss the truly important. Am I living as God has clearly commanded. His word is clear. Study His word. Do as he has clearly stated and all else will be recognized as the small stuff.

Joshua and the Israelites obeyed what God clearly told them to do. And the defeat of Jericho became the easy stuff.

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