Israel vs Strawberry Patch

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Luke 8:18 "So take care how you listen; 

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6: Jericho – The Weight Of A Divine Curse

I've heard that the walls of Jericho fell outward. I thought that weird, but with the picture at the bottom of the page and the description of the geography of that area, these helped me to understand. These brief notes by Matthew Henry become much richer as you fill in the gaps of history and geography. I will place at the bottom two additional sources to help with that.

 The Siege Of Jericho. (1-5)
 The City Is Compassed. (6-16)
 Jericho Is Taken, Rahab And Her Family Are Saved. (17-27)

The Siege Of Jericho

Joshua 6:1-5 Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in. 2 The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors. 3 “You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. 4 “Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 “It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.”

Jericho resolves Israel shall not be its master. It shut itself up, being strongly fortified both by art and nature. Thus were they foolish, and their hearts hardened to their destruction; the miserable case of all that strengthen themselves against the Almighty. God resolves Israel shall be its master, and that quickly. No warlike preparations were to be made. By the uncommon method of besieging the city, the Lord honoured the ark, as the symbol of his presence, and showed that all the victories were from him. The faith and patience of the people were proved and increased.

The City Is Compassed

Joshua 6:6-16 So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” 7 Then he said to the people, “Go forward, and march around the city, and let the armed men go on before 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 of rams’ horns before the Lord went forward and blew the trumpets; and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them. 9 The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while they continued to blow the trumpets. 10 But Joshua commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout nor let your voice be heard nor let a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout!” 11 So he had the ark of the Lord taken around the city, circling it once; then they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp.

12 Now Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord went on continually, and blew the trumpets; and the armed men went before them and the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while they continued to blow the trumpets. 14 Thus the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp; they did so for six days.

15 Then on the seventh day they rose early at the dawning of the day and marched around the city in the same manner seven times; only on that day they marched around the city seven times. 16 At the seventh time, when the priests blew the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city.

Wherever the ark went, the people attended it. God’s ministers, by the trumpet of the everlasting gospel, which proclaims liberty and victory, must encourage the followers of Christ in their spiritual warfare. As promised deliverances must be expected in God’s way, so they must be expected in his time. At last the people were to shout: they did so, and the walls fell. This was a shout of faith; they believed the walls of Jericho would fall. It was a shout of prayer; they cry to Heaven for help, and help came.

Jericho Is Taken, Rahab And Her Family Are Saved

Joshua 6:17-27 “The city shall be under the ban, it and all that is in it belongs to the Lord; only Rahab the harlot and all who are with her in the house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. 18 “But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things under the ban, so that you do not covet them and take some of the things under the ban, and make the camp of Israel accursed and bring trouble on it. 19 “But all the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.” 20 So the people shouted, and priests blew the trumpets; and when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city. 21 They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.

22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the harlot’s house and bring the woman and all she has out of there, as you have sworn to her.” 23 So the young men who were spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and her mother and her brothers and all she had; they also brought out all her relatives and placed them outside the camp of Israel. 24 They burned the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold, and articles of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. 25 However, Rahab the harlot and her father’s household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for she hid the messengers 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 builds 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.” 27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land.

Jericho was to be a solemn and awful sacrifice to the justice of God, upon those who had filled up the measure of their sins. So He appoints, from whom, as creatures, they received their lives, and to whom, as sinners, they had forfeited them. Rahab perished not with them that believed not, (Hebrews 11:31). All her kindred were saved with her; thus faith in Christ brings salvation to the house, (Acts 14:31). She, and they with her, were plucked as brands from the burning. With Rahab, or with the men of Jericho; our portion must be assigned, as we posses or disregard the sign of salvation; even faith in Christ, which worketh by love. Let us remember what depends upon our choice, and let us choose accordingly. God shows the weight of a Divine curse; where it rests there is no getting from under it; for it brings ruin without remedy.

Questions & Notes

No questions from me today, but consider this supplemental material.

If Jericho was 7 square acres, then the perimeter could have been as short as 2200 feet. That is less than half a mile around the “city.” Here is a satellite view from Google Earth link.

Cross-section of Jericho's walls

This picture of the wall is taken from the following site:

The Walls of Jericho – Archaeology Confirms: They Really Did Come A-tumblin’ Down by Bryant Wood

The following chapter is taken from The Bible As History and reveals why the towns in this area were very weak and mostly unable to defend themselves. It also reveals the first mention of “Israelites” in ancient documents outside the Bible.

The-Bible-As-History-4-The-Battle-for-the-Promised-Land-from-Joshua-to-Saul

Click on the “MHCC-Joshua” tag below to see all the posts in this series. To go to the start of this series click here.