Jericho was shut up tight as a drum because of the People of Israel: no one going in, no one coming out.
God spoke to Joshua, "Look sharp now. I've already given Jericho to you, along with its king and its crack troops.
Here's what you are to do: March around the city, all your soldiers. Circle the city once. Repeat this for six days.
Have seven priests carry seven ram's horn trumpets in front of the Chest. On the seventh day march around the city seven times, the priests blowing away on the trumpets.
And then, a long blast on the ram's horn - when you hear that, all the people are to shout at the top of their lungs. The city wall will collapse at once. All the people are to enter, every man straight on in."
So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and told them, "Take up the Chest of the Covenant. Seven priests are to carry seven ram's horn trumpets leading God's Chest."
Then he told the people, "Set out! March around the city. Have the armed guard march before the Chest of God."
And it happened. Joshua spoke, the people moved: Seven priests with their seven ram's horn trumpets set out before God. They blew the trumpets, leading God's Chest of the Covenant.
The armed guard marched ahead of the trumpet-blowing priests; the rear guard was marching after the Chest, marching and blowing their trumpets.
Joshua had given orders to the people, "Don't shout. In fact, don't even speak - not so much as a whisper until you hear me say, 'Shout!' - then shout away!"
He sent the Chest of God on its way around the city. It circled once, came back to camp, and stayed for the night.
Joshua was up early the next morning and the priests took up the Chest of God.
The seven priests carrying the seven ram's horn trumpets marched before the Chest of God, marching and blowing the trumpets, with the armed guard marching before and the rear guard marching after. Marching and blowing of trumpets!
On the second day they again circled the city once and returned to camp. They did this six days.
When the seventh day came, they got up early and marched around the city this same way but seven times - yes, this day they circled the city seven times.
On the seventh time around the priests blew the trumpets and Joshua signaled the people, "Shout! - God has given you the city!
The city and everything in it is under a holy curse and offered up to God. "Except for Rahab the harlot - she is to live, she and everyone in her house with her, because she hid the agents we sent.
"As for you, watch yourselves in the city under holy curse. Be careful that you don't covet anything in it and take something that's cursed, endangering the camp of Israel with the curse and making trouble for everyone.
All silver and gold, all vessels of bronze and iron are holy to God. Put them in God's treasury."
The priests blew the trumpets. When the people heard the blast of the trumpets, they gave a thunderclap shout. The wall fell at once. The people rushed straight into the city and took it.
They put everything in the city under the holy curse, killing man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey.
Joshua ordered the two men who had spied out the land, "Enter the house of the harlot and rescue the woman and everyone connected with her, just as you promised her."
So the young spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, mother, and brothers - everyone connected with her. They got the whole family out and gave them a place outside the camp of Israel.
But they burned down the city and everything in it, except for the gold and silver and the bronze and iron vessels - all that they put in the treasury of God's house.
But Joshua let Rahab the harlot live - Rahab and her father's household and everyone connected to her. She is still alive and well in Israel because she hid the agents whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
Joshua swore a solemn oath at that time: Cursed before God is the man who sets out to rebuild this city Jericho. He'll pay for the foundation with his firstborn son, he'll pay for the gates with his youngest son.
God was with Joshua. He became famous all over the land.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)