Joshua 6

The Conquest of Jericho

1 Now Jericho was strongly fortified because of the Israelites-no one leaving or entering.
2 The Lord said to Joshua, "Look, I have handed Jericho, its king, and its fighting men over to you.
3 March around the city with all the men of war, circling the city one time. Do this for six days.
4 Have seven priests carry seven ram's-horn trumpets in front of the ark. But on the seventh day, march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the trumpets.
5 When there is a prolonged blast of the horn and you hear its sound, have all the people give a mighty shout. Then the city wall will collapse, and the people will advance, each man straight ahead."
6 So Joshua son of Nun summoned the priests and said to them, "Take up the ark of the covenant and have seven priests carry seven trumpets in front of the ark of the Lord."
7 He said to the people, "Move forward, march around the city, and have the armed troops go ahead of the ark of the Lord."
8 After Joshua had spoken to the people, seven priests carrying seven trumpets before the Lord moved forward and blew the trumpets; the ark of the Lord's covenant followed them.
9 While the trumpets were blowing, the armed troops went in front of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard went behind the ark.
10 But Joshua had commanded the people: "Do not shout or let your voice be heard. Don't let one word come out of your mouth until the time I say, 'Shout!' Then you are to shout."
11 So the ark of the Lord was carried around the city, circling it once. They returned to the camp and spent the night there.[a]
12 Joshua got up early the next morning. The priests took the ark of the Lord,
13 and the seven priests carrying seven trumpets marched in front of the ark of the Lord. While the trumpets were blowing, the armed troops went in front of them, and the rear guard went behind the ark of the Lord.
14 On the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.
15 Early on the seventh day, they started at dawn and marched around the city seven times in the same way. That was the only day they marched around the city seven times.
16 After the seventh time, the priests blew the trumpets, and Joshua said to the people, "Shout! For the Lord has given you the city.
17 But the city and everything in it are set apart to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and everyone with her in the house will live, because she hid the men[b] we sent.
18 But keep yourselves from the things set apart, or you will be set apart for destruction. If you[c] take any of those things, you will set apart the camp of Israel for destruction and bring disaster on it.
19 For all the silver and gold, and the articles of bronze and iron, are dedicated to the Lord and must go into the Lord's treasury."
20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets sounded. When they heard the blast of the trumpet, the people gave a great shout, and the wall collapsed. The people advanced into the city, each man straight ahead, and they captured the city.
21 They completely destroyed everything in the city with the sword-every man and woman, both young and old, and every ox, sheep, and donkey.

Rahab and Her Family Spared

22 Joshua said to the two men who had scouted the land, "Go to the prostitute's house and bring the woman out of there, and all who are with her, just as you promised her."
23 So the young men who had scouted went in and brought out Rahab and her father, mother, brothers, and all who belonged to her. They brought out her whole family and settled them outside the camp of Israel.
24 They burned up the city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord's house.
25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, her father's household, and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent to spy on Jericho, and she lives in Israel to this day.
26 At that time Joshua imposed this curse: Cursed before the Lord is the man who undertakes the rebuilding of this city, Jericho. He will lay its foundation [at the cost of] his firstborn; He will set up its gates [at the cost of] his youngest.[d]
27 And the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread 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.

Footnotes 4

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JOSHUA 6

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