Joshua 6

1 Yericho had completely barricaded its gates against the people of Isra'el - no one left, and no one entered.
2 ADONAI said to Y'hoshua, "I have handed Yericho over to you, including its king and his warriors.
3 You are to encircle the city with all your soldiers and march around it once. Do this for six days.
4 Seven cohanim are to carry seven shofars in front of the ark. On the seventh day you are to march around the city seven times, and the cohanim will blow the shofars.
5 Then they are to blow a long blast on the shofar. On hearing the sound of the shofar, all the people are to shout as loudly as they can; and the wall of the city will fall down flat. Then the people are to go up into the city, each one straight from where he stands."
6 Y'hoshua the son of Nun called the cohanim and told them, "Take up the ark for the covenant, and have seven cohanim carry seven shofars ahead of the ark of ADONAI."
7 To the people he said, "Move on, encircle the city, and have the army march ahead of the ark of ADONAI."
8 When Y'hoshua had spoken to the people, the seven cohanim carrying the seven shofars before ADONAI passed on and blew on the shofars, with the ark for the covenant of ADONAI following them.
9 The fighting men went ahead of the cohanim blowing the shofars, while the rearguard marched after the ark, with incessant blowing on the shofars.
10 Y'hoshua gave this order to the people: "Don't shout, don't let your voice be heard, don't let a single word out of your mouth until the day I tell you to shout; then you will shout."
11 So he had the ark of ADONAI make a circle around the city, going around it once; then they returned to camp and stayed in the camp.
12 The next morning Y'hoshua got up early, and the cohanim took up the ark of ADONAI.
13 The seven cohanim carrying the seven shofars ahead of the ark of ADONAI went on, continually blowing on their shofars, with the fighting men marching ahead of them and the rearguard following after the ark of ADONAI; all the while the blowing on the shofars was incessant.
14 The second day, they went around the city once and returned to camp. They did the same for six days.
15 On the seventh day, they got up early, at sunrise, and went around the city in the same way seven times. That was the only day they encircled the city seven times.
16 The seventh time, when the cohanim blew on their shofars, Y'hoshua said to the people, "Shout! because ADONAI has given you the city!
17 But the city and everything in it is to be set aside for ADONAI and therefore to be destroyed completely; only Rachav the prostitute is to be spared, she and everyone with her in her house, because she hid the messengers we sent.
18 So you, keep clear of everything reserved for destruction. If you bring a curse on yourselves by taking anything set aside to be destroyed, you will bring a curse on the whole camp of Isra'el and cause great distress there.
19 All the silver and gold, and all the brass and iron utensils are to be separated out for ADONAI and added to the treasury of ADONAI."
20 So the people shouted, with the shofars blowing. When the people heard the sound of the shofars, the people let out a great shout; and the wall fell down flat; so that the people went up into the city, each one straight ahead of him; and they captured the city.
21 They completely destroyed everything in the city with the sword - men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.
22 Y'hoshua said to the two men who had reconnoitered the land, "Go into the prostitute's house and bring the woman out with all that she has, as you swore to her."
23 The young men, the spies, went in and brought out Rachav with her father, mother, brothers and all she had; they brought out all her relatives and put them safely outside the camp of Isra'el.
24 Then they burned the city to ashes with everything in it, except for the silver, the gold and the brass and iron utensils, which they put in the treasury of the house of ADONAI.
25 But Y'hoshua spared Rachav the prostitute, her father's household and everything she had; and she has continued living with Isra'el from then until now; because she hid the messengers Y'hoshua had sent to reconnoiter Yericho.
26 Y'hoshua then made the people take this oath: "A curse before ADONAI on anyone who rises up and rebuilds this city of Yericho: he will lay its foundation with the loss of his firstborn son and set up its gates with the loss of his youngest son."
27 So ADONAI was with Y'hoshua, and people heard about him throughout the land.

Joshua 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

The siege of Jericho. (1-5) The city is compassed. (6-16) Jericho is taken, Rahab and her family are saved. (17-27)

Verses 1-5 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.

Verses 6-16 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.

Verses 17-27 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.

Chapter Summary


In this chapter Joshua is assured, though Jericho was closely shut up, it should be delivered into his hands, Jos 6:1,2; and he is directed, with the army, to go round the city six days together, seven priests bearing the ark of the Lord, with seven trumpets sounding; and on the seventh day to go round it seven times in like manner, when its wall should fall, Jos 6:3-5; which order Joshua communicated to the priests, and to the people, and which was put into execution by them, with some other instructions he gave them, Jos 6:6-16; particularly that the city, and all in it, should be devoted to the Lord, and none spared, but Rahab and her family, Jos 6:17-19; the success was according to the assurance given by the Lord, Jos 6:20; when all in the city were destroyed, and that was burnt with fire, and the gold, silver, brass, and iron, brought into the house of the Lord, and Rahab and her father's household were saved alive, Jos 6:21-25; and the chapter is closed with an adjuration of Joshua, cursing the man that should rebuild the city; and with this observation, that the fame of Joshua upon this was spread abroad throughout the country, Jos 6:26,27.

Joshua 6 Commentaries

Complete Jewish Bible Copyright 1998 by David H. Stern. Published by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.