Joshua 6

1 The gates of Jericho were kept shut and guarded to keep the Israelites out. No one could enter or leave the city.
2 The Lord said to Joshua, "I am putting into your hands Jericho, with its king and all its brave soldiers.
3 You and your soldiers are to march around the city once a day for six days.
4 Seven priests, each carrying a trumpet, are to go in front of the Covenant Box. On the seventh day you and your soldiers are to march around the city seven times while the priests blow the trumpets.
5 Then they are to sound one long note. As soon as you hear it, all the people are to give a loud shout, and the city walls will collapse. Then the whole army will go straight into the city."
6 Joshua called the priests and told them, "Take the Covenant Box, and seven of you go in front of it, carrying trumpets."
7 Then he ordered the people to start marching around the city, with an advance guard going on ahead of the Lord's Covenant Box.
8 So, just as Joshua had ordered, an advance guard started out ahead of the priests who were blowing trumpets; behind these came the priests who were carrying the Covenant Box, followed by a rear guard. All this time the trumpets were sounding.
10 But Joshua had ordered the people not to shout, not to say a word until he gave the order.
11 So he had this group of men take the Lord's Covenant Box around the city one time. Then they came back to camp and spent the night there.
12 Joshua got up early the next morning, and for the second time the priests and soldiers marched around the city in the same order as the day before: first, the advance guard; next, the seven priests blowing the seven trumpets; then, the priests carrying the Lord's Covenant Box; and finally, the rear guard. All this time the trumpets were sounding.
14 On this second day they again marched around the city one time and then returned to camp. They did this for six days.
15 On the seventh day they got up at daybreak and marched seven times around the city in the same way - this was the only day that they marched around it seven times.
16 The seventh time around, when the priests were about to sound the trumpets, Joshua ordered the people to shout, and he said, "The Lord has given you the city!
17 The city and everything in it must be totally destroyed as an offering to the Lord. Only the prostitute Rahab and her household will be spared, because she hid our spies.
18 But you are not to take anything that is to be destroyed; if you do, you will bring trouble and destruction on the Israelite camp.
19 Everything made of silver, gold, bronze, or iron is set apart for the Lord. It is to be put in the Lord's treasury."
20 So the priests blew the trumpets. As soon as the people heard it, they gave a loud shout, and the walls collapsed. Then all the army went straight up the hill into the city and captured it. 1
21 With their swords they killed everyone in the city, men and women, young and old. They also killed the cattle, sheep, and donkeys.
22 Joshua then told the two men who had served as spies, "Go into the prostitute's house, and bring her and her family out, as you promised her."
23 So they went and brought Rahab out, along with her father and mother, her brothers, and the rest of her family. They took them all, family and slaves, to safety near the Israelite camp.
24 Then they set fire to the city and burned it to the ground, along with everything in it, except the things made of gold, silver, bronze, and iron, which they took and put in the Lord's treasury.
25 But Joshua spared the lives of the prostitute Rahab and all her relatives, because she had hidden the two spies that he had sent to Jericho. (Her descendants have lived in Israel to this day.) 2
26 At this time Joshua issued a solemn warning: "Anyone who tries to rebuild the city of Jericho will be under the Lord's curse. 3 Whoever lays the foundation will lose his oldest son; Whoever builds the gates will lose his youngest."
27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread through the whole country.

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.

Cross References 3

  • 1. 6.20Hebrews 11.30.
  • 2. 6.25Hebrews 11.31.
  • 3. 6.26 1 Kings 16.34.

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