1Meanwhile, the people of Jericho had been locking the gates in their town wall because they were afraid of the Israelites. No one could go out or come in.
2-3The Lord said to Joshua:
With my help, you and your army will defeat the king of Jericho and his army, and you will capture the town. Here is how to do it: March slowly around Jericho once a day for six days. 4Take along the sacred chest and tell seven priests to walk in front of it, carrying trumpets.#6.4 trumpets: These were hollowed-out ram's horns.
But on the seventh day, march slowly around the town seven times while the priests blow their trumpets. 5Then the priests will blast on their trumpets, and everyone else will shout. The wall will fall down, and your soldiers can go straight in from every side.
6Joshua called the priests together and said, “Take the chest and tell seven priests to carry trumpets and march ahead of it.”
7-10Next, he gave the army their orders: “March slowly around Jericho. A few of you will go ahead of the chest to guard it, but most of you will follow it. Don't shout the battle cry or yell or even talk until the day I tell you to. Then let out a shout!”
As soon as Joshua finished giving the orders, the army started marching. One group of soldiers led the way, with seven priests marching behind them and blowing trumpets. Then came the priests carrying the chest, followed by the rest of the soldiers. 11They obeyed Joshua's orders and carried the chest once around the town before returning to camp for the night.
12-14Early the next morning, Joshua and everyone else started marching around Jericho in the same order as the day before. One group of soldiers was in front, followed by the seven priests with trumpets and the priests who carried the chest. The rest of the army came next. The seven priests blew their trumpets while everyone marched slowly around Jericho and back to camp. They did this once a day for six days.
15On the seventh day, the army got up at daybreak. They marched slowly around Jericho the same as they had done for the past six days, except on this day they went around seven times. 16Then the priests blew the trumpets, and Joshua yelled:
Get ready to shout! The Lord will let you capture this town. 17But you must destroy it and everything in it, to show that it now belongs to the Lord.#6.17 destroy … now belongs to the Lord: Destroying a city and everything in it, including its people and animals, showed that it belonged to the Lord and could no longer be used by humans. The woman Rahab helped the spies we sent,#6.17 sent: See 2.1,21. so protect her and the others who are inside her house. But kill everyone else in the town. 18-19The silver and gold and everything made of bronze and iron belong to the Lord and must be put in his treasury. Be careful to follow these instructions, because if you see something you want and take it, the Lord will destroy Israel. And it will be all your fault.#6.18,19 Be careful … fault: One ancient translation; Hebrew “Don't keep any of it for yourself. If you do, the Lord will destroy both you and Israel.”
20 # He 11.30. The priests blew their trumpets again, and the soldiers shouted as loud as they could. The walls of Jericho fell flat. Then the soldiers rushed up the hill, went straight into the town, and captured it. 21-25#He 11.31. They killed everyone, men and women, young and old, everyone except Rahab and the others in her house. They even killed every cow, sheep, and donkey.
Joshua said to the two men who had been spies, “Rahab kept you safe when I sent you to Jericho. We promised to protect her and her family, and we will keep that promise. Now go into her house and bring them out.”
The two men went into Rahab's house and brought her out, along with her father and mother, her brothers, and her other relatives. Rahab and her family had to stay in a place just outside the Israelite army camp.#6.21-25 camp: Rahab and her family were Canaanites and were considered unclean. If they stayed in the Israelite army camp, the Lord would not help the Israelite army in battle (see Deuteronomy 23.9-14). However, Rahab and her family later became part of Israel. But later they were allowed to live among the Israelites, and her descendants still do.
The Israelites took the silver and gold and the things made of bronze and iron and put them with the rest of the treasure that was kept at the Lord's house.#6.21-25 the Lord's house: A name for the place of worship, which at that time was the sacred tent. Finally, they set fire to Jericho and everything in it.
26 # 1 K 16.34. After Jericho was destroyed, Joshua warned the people, “Someday a man will rebuild Jericho, but the Lord will put a curse on him, and the man's oldest son will die when he starts to build the town wall. And by the time he finishes the wall and puts gates in it, all his children will be dead.”#6.26 by the time … dead: Or “when he puts gates into the town wall, his youngest son will die.”
27The Lord helped Joshua in everything he did, and Joshua was famous everywhere in Canaan.