Joshua 6

1 Now Jericho was shut up inside and out because of the Israelites; no one came out and no one went in.
2 The Lord said to Joshua, "See, I have handed Jericho over to you, along with its king and soldiers.
3 You shall march around the city, all the warriors circling the city once. Thus you shall do for six days,
4 with seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, the priests blowing the trumpets.
5 When they make a long blast with the ram's horn, as soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and all the people shall charge 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 of rams' horns in front of the ark of the Lord."
7 To the people he said, "Go forward and march around the city; have the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord."
8 As Joshua had commanded the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the Lord went forward, blowing the trumpets, with the ark of the covenant of the Lord following them.
9 And the armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets; the rear guard came after the ark, while the trumpets blew continually.
10 To the people Joshua gave this command: "You shall not shout or let your voice be heard, nor shall you utter a word, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout."
11 So the ark of the Lord went around the city, circling it once; and they came into the camp, and spent the night in the camp.
12 Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord.
13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the Lord passed on, blowing the trumpets continually. The armed men went before them, and the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets blew continually.
14 On the second day they marched around the city once and then returned to the camp. They did this for six days.
15 On the seventh day they rose early, at dawn, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times.
16 And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, "Shout! For the Lord has given you the city.
17 The city and all that is in it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live because she hid the messengers we sent.
18 As for you, keep away from the things devoted to destruction, so as not to covet and take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel an object for destruction, bringing trouble upon it.
19 But all silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are sacred to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord."
20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpets, they raised a great shout, and the wall fell down flat; so the people charged straight ahead into the city and captured it.
21 Then they devoted to destruction by the edge of the sword all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys.
22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, "Go into the prostitute's house, and bring the woman out of it and all who belong to her, as you swore to her."
23 So the young men who had been spies went in and brought Rahab out, along with her father, her mother, her brothers, and all who belonged to her—they brought all her kindred out—and set them outside the camp of Israel.
24 They burned down the city, and everything in it; only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord.
25 But Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, Joshua spared. Her family has lived in Israel ever since. For she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
26 Joshua then pronounced this oath, saying, "Cursed before the Lord be anyone who tries to build this city—this Jericho! At the cost of his firstborn he shall lay its foundation, and at the cost of his youngest he shall set up its gates!"
27 So the Lord was with Joshua; and his fame was in all 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 2

  • [a]. Gk: Heb [devote to destruction] Compare 7.21
  • [b]. Heb [She]

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