Joshua 6:1-21

1 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
2 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.
3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days.
4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets.
5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”
6 So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the LORD and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.”
7 And he ordered the army, “Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the LORD.”
8 When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the LORD went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the ark of the LORD’s covenant followed them.
9 The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding.
10 But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not 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, circling it once. Then the army returned to camp and spent the night there.
12 Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.
13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the LORD and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets kept sounding.
14 So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.
15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times.
16 The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city!
17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted[a] to the LORD. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent.
18 But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it.
19 All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the LORD and must go into his treasury.”
20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.
21 They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.

Joshua 6:1-21 Meaning and Commentary

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 6:1-21 In-Context

1 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
2 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.
3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days.
4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets.
5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”
6 So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the LORD and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.”
7 And he ordered the army, “Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the LORD.”
8 When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the LORD went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the ark of the LORD’s covenant followed them.
9 The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding.
10 But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not 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, circling it once. Then the army returned to camp and spent the night there.
12 Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.
13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the LORD and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets kept sounding.
14 So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.
15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times.
16 The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city!
17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the LORD. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent.
18 But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it.
19 All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the LORD and must go into his treasury.”
20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.
21 They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.
22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her.”
23 So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother, her brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.
24 Then they burned the whole 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, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.

Cross References 25

  • 1. Joshua 24:11
  • 2. ver 16; Deuteronomy 7:24; Joshua 2:9,24; Joshua 8:1
  • 3. S Exodus 19:13
  • 4. S Leviticus 25:9; Numbers 10:8
  • 5. Exodus 19:13
  • 6. ver 20; 1 Samuel 4:5; 2 Samuel 6:15; Ezra 3:11; Ezra 10:12; Psalms 42:4; Psalms 95:1; Isaiah 8:9; Isaiah 42:13
  • 7. ver 4
  • 8. Exodus 14:15
  • 9. Numbers 10:35; 1 Samuel 4:3; 1 Samuel 7:1
  • 10. ver 13; S Numbers 2:31; Isaiah 52:12
  • 11. ver 20; 1 Samuel 4:5; Ezra 3:11
  • 12. 1 Kings 18:44; 2 Kings 4:35; 2 Kings 5:14
  • 13. S ver 2
  • 14. ver 21; Leviticus 27:28; Deuteronomy 20:17; Isaiah 13:5; Isaiah 24:1; Isaiah 34:2,5; Malachi 4:6
  • 15. S Joshua 2:1
  • 16. ver 25; Joshua 2:4
  • 17. Joshua 7:1; 1 Chronicles 2:7
  • 18. Joshua 7:12
  • 19. Joshua 7:25,26
  • 20. ver 24; Numbers 31:22
  • 21. Leviticus 25:9; Judges 6:34; Judges 7:22; 1 Kings 1:41; Isaiah 18:3; Isaiah 27:13; Jeremiah 4:21; Jeremiah 42:14; Amos 2:2
  • 22. S ver 5; S Joshua 10
  • 23. Hebrews 11:30
  • 24. S ver 17
  • 25. S Deuteronomy 20:16

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verses 18 and 21.
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