Joshua 6:1 ¦ Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.
Joshua 6:2 And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.
Joshua 6:3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.
Joshua 6:4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of ramsÕ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
Joshua 6:5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ramÕs horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.
This chapter opens with Jericho on lockdown; no one was allowed either to leave or enter the city; they feared the children of Israel. The LORD told Joshua that He had given them the city, even their king and mighty soldiers. He expected them to do exactly as He said, however.
All the men of war were to march around the city one time for each of the next six days. Seven priests were to follow them blowing seven ramsÕ horns followed by the ark of the covenant. On the seventh day, however, they were to march around the city seven times followed by the priests blowing their trumpets. After the last circuit the priests were to make a long blast on the trumpet, signaling for the people to shout a great shout. The wall of the city would fall down flat, and the army of Israel would be able to enter the city.
For the whole army of Israel to be able to walk around the city of Jericho seven times in one day tells me that the city couldnÕt have been very large.
Joshua 6:6 ¦ And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of ramsÕ horns before the ark of the LORD.
Joshua 6:7 And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.
Joshua 6:8 And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of ramsÕ horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.
Joshua 6:9 And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.
Joshua didnÕt blink, didnÕt hem and haw, didnÕt roll his eyes because the plan sounded so outrageous—he immediately proceeded to instruct the people accordingly. The people also responded with immediate obedience.
Joshua 6:10 And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout.
Joshua 6:11 So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp.
Joshua had also commanded the people to remain completely silent until the signal was given for them to shout. For an entire army to remain totally quiet for that amount of time was a miracle in itself. It reminds me of the scripture in Revelation that notes the silence in heaven that precedes the judgment following the opening of the seventh seal.
The ark was at the end of the procession and returned to the camp after they had marched around the city one time.
Joshua 6:12 And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.
Joshua 6:13 And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of ramsÕ horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.
Joshua 6:14 And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days.
Joshua 6:15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.
Joshua 6:16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city.
The procession of the army, the priests with the ramsÕ horns and the ark performed this same routine for six days. DonÕt you wonder what was going through the minds of the people of Jericho that were watching from the wall? Considering what they knew that the LORD had done on the behalf of Israel, they were surely trembling with fear.
On the seventh day they arose at dawn and began their journey around the city seven times. After the seventh time, the priests blew the trumpet with the signal to shout; and Joshua told them to shout because the LORD had given them the city.
Joshua 6:17 ¦ And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
Joshua 6:18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
Joshua 6:19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
Joshua had to have given these instructions previous to the last day. He told them that everything in the city was ŅaccursedÓ—was to be utterly destroyed according to the Hebrew. Only Rahab the harlot and all those in her house were to be allowed to live because of her protection of the spies. No one was to take any souvenirs or they would become accursed and bring trouble upon the whole camp of Israel. All the silver and gold and vessels of brass and iron were to be set apart for the LORDÕs use and deposited in the tabernacle treasury.
Note: The sin of one would have a detrimental impact on the whole, though the rest be innocent. That is a sad truth that so many families know all to well.
Joshua 6:20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
Joshua 6:21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
When the priests gave the unique blasˇ of the long signal, the army shouted very loudly and walls of Jericho fell down flat. The soldiers took possession of the city, destroying everything in it—man and woman, young and old, and livestock.
We know that RahabÕs house was in the wall of the city, so the LORD must have spared that section to allow for her rescue.
This is a hard truth for many to accept because it seems so barbaric. We have to remember that the LORD spared Canaan for over 400 years until the time that they were so full of sin that they were beyond repentance and judgment was necessary. Obviously, Rahab was the exception and the LORD made provision for her similar to how He delivered Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah. The destruction of people that were already doomed to hell was an act of protection for the people of Israel against their ungodly influence and/or acts of revenge.
Moses had explained all this to the people previously.
Deuteronomy 18:9–14 ŅWhen thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.Ó
Joshua 6:22 But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlotÕs house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her.
Joshua 6:23 And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.
Joshua instructed his two spies to personally go to Ņthe harlotÕsÓ house and bring her out with everything that was hers in accordance with their promise to her. So they brought out Rahab and her family and belongings and left them outside the camp of Israel.
Joshua 6:24 And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.
They burned down the city of Jericho and everything in it. Only the silver, gold and vessels of brass and iron were collected to put in the treasury at the tabernacle.
Joshua 6:25 And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her fatherÕs household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
Once again it is noted that Joshua saved Rahab the harlot and her family and belongings. She was still living in Israel at the time Joshua wrote this record of this part of IsraelÕs history. She was spared because she protected the spies.
Once again, Rahab is affirmed for her actions—actions that included lying for the right reason. It stood out to me that every time Rahab is mentioned includes the fact that she was a harlot. I think it is because it is such a testimony to the grace and mercy of the LORD, especially considering the blessings He had in store for her future. We know that her descendants include King David and Jesus the Messiah.
Joshua 6:26 And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.
Joshua 6:27 So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country.
Joshua pronounced a curse on any man that dared to rebuild the city of Jericho in defiance to the LORD. It would prove to be the death of his children.
The fall of Jericho added to JoshuaÕs fame and became known through the land.