Joshua 6 (New International Reader's Version)

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1 The gates of Jericho were shut tight and guarded closely because of the people of Israel. No one went out. No one came in. 2 Then the LORD spoke to Joshua. He said, "I have handed Jericho over to you. I have also handed its king and its fighting men over to you. 3 "March around the city once with all of your fighting men. In fact, do it for six days. 4 Have seven priests get trumpets that are made out of rams' horns. They must carry them in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times. Have the priests blow the trumpets as you march. 5 "You will hear them blow a long blast on the trumpets. When you do, have all of the men give a loud shout. The wall of the city will fall down. Then the whole army will go up to the city. Every man will go straight in." 6 So Joshua, the son of Nun, called for the priests. He said to them, "Go and get the ark of the covenant of the Lord. I want seven of you to carry trumpets in front of it." 7 He gave an order to the men. He said, "Move out! March around the city. Some of the fighting men must march in front of the ark of the Lord." 8 When Joshua had spoken to the men, the seven priests went forward. They were carrying the seven trumpets as they marched in front of the ark of the Lord. They were blowing the trumpets. The ark of the LORD's covenant was carried behind the priests. 9 Some of the fighting men marched ahead of the priests who were blowing the trumpets. The others followed behind the ark and guarded all of them. That whole time the priests were blowing the trumpets. 10 But Joshua had given an order to the fighting men. He had said, "Don't give a war cry. Don't raise your voices. Don't say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!" 11 So he had the ark of the LORD carried around the city once. Then the men returned to camp. They spent the night there. 12 Joshua got up early the next morning. The priests went and got the ark of the Lord. 13 The seven priests who were carrying the seven trumpets started out. They marched in front of the ark of the Lord. They blew the trumpets. Some of the fighting men marched ahead of them. The others followed behind the ark and guarded all of them. The priests kept blowing the trumpets. 14 On the second day they marched around the city once. Then the men returned to camp. They did all of those things for six days. 15 On the seventh day, they got up at sunrise. They marched around the city, just as they had done before. But on that day they went around it seven times. 16 On the seventh time around, the priests blew a long blast on the trumpets. Then Joshua gave a command to the men. He said, "Shout! The LORD has given you the city! 17 The city and everything that is in it must be set apart to the LORD in a special way to be destroyed. But the prostitute Rahab and all those who are with her in her house must be spared. That's because she hid the spies we sent. 18 "But keep away from the things that have been set apart to the Lord. If you take any of them, you will be destroyed. And you will bring trouble on the camp of Israel. You will cause it to be destroyed. 19 All of the silver and gold is holy. It is set apart to the Lord. So are all of the articles that are made out of bronze and iron. All of those things must be added to the treasures that are kept in the LORD's house." 20 The priests blew the trumpets. As soon as the fighting men heard the sound, they gave a loud shout. Then the wall fell down. Every man charged straight in. So they took the city. 21 They set it apart to the LORD in a special way to be destroyed. They destroyed every living thing in it with their swords. They killed men and women. They wiped out young people and old people. They destroyed cattle, sheep and donkeys. 22 Then Joshua spoke to the two men who had gone in to check out the land. He said, "Go into the prostitute's house. Bring her out. Also bring out everyone who is with her. That's what you promised her you would do when you took an oath." 23 So the young men who had checked out the land went into Rahab's house. They brought her out along with her parents and brothers. They brought out everyone else who was there with her. They put them in a place that was outside the camp of Israel. 24 Then they burned the whole city and everything that was in it. But they added the silver and gold to the treasures that were kept in the LORD's house. They also put there the articles that were made out of bronze and iron. 25 But Joshua spared the prostitute Rahab. He spared her family. He also spared everyone else who was in the house with her. He did it because she hid the spies he had sent to Jericho. Rahab lives among the people of Israel to this very day. 26 At that time Joshua took an oath and called down a curse. He said, "May the man who tries to rebuild this city of Jericho be under the LORD's curse. "If he lays its foundations, it will cost the life of his oldest son. If he sets up its gates, it will cost the life of his youngest son." 27 So the LORD was with Joshua. And Joshua became famous everywhere in the land.
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