The victories of faith are often to be won by means,
and upon principles utterly foolish and inadequate in the view of human wisdom.
If faith is obedient to God’s precepts,
He will certainly confound the mighty with the weak things.
1 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.
2 And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.
3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.
4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.
6 ¶ And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD.
7 And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.
8 ¶ And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.
9 ¶ And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.
10 And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout.
11 So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp.
12 ¶ And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.
13 And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.
14 And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days.
15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.
16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city.
17 ¶ And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
22 But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her.
23 And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.
24 And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.
25 And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
26 ¶ And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.
27 So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country.
Joshua 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Joshua 5:13 – 6:11 – The Commander and His Plan of Campaign
When the heart is perfect with God we may count on His presence and help. It is to the separated and obedient servant that the vision of Christ, as Ally and Captain, is given. Here were three hosts marshaled by Jericho—of the Canaanites, of Israel, and of the heavenly armies, waiting to war against the evil spirits which ruled the darkness of the land, Ephesians 6:12.
The answer to Joshua’s question depended on whether Israel was prepared to accept God’s plan of campaign, which was very humbling to the flesh. “The LORD is with you, while ye be with him,” Joshua 7:11-12; II Chronicles 15:2. As Jericho was the key to Canaan, and its fall was to be the earnest of complete victory, the program was carefully planned to give God His rightful position. From first to last its capture was the result of the interposition of Him who dwelled in the bush. Therefore, the Ark was borne around the city, as the symbol of His presence, Numbers 10:35. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Joshua 6:12-21 – Jericho Taken and “Consecrated”
“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down,” Hebrews 11:30. Whose faith? To some extent it was the faith of the people, who marched round them day by day in full assurance that God would not fail. But Joshua and Caleb pre-eminently were deeply concerned in the wonderful result. See Mark 11:23-24.
To the citizens the action of the Israelite invaders must have appeared incomprehensible and even ludicrous. What do these feeble folk? But God’s people were being daily trained in patience, obedience and humility. Let God perform all things for you! Many strongholds of the enemy which now remain obstinate would fall if only all the Church would encompass them in faith, II Corinthians 10:4.
The utter destruction of the city and its people was in keeping with the usage of that age. Without doubt the city might have been a prolific source of infection. Still, its fate was terrible. We learn that God can lift human ideals by very slow, protracted processes. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Joshua 6:20—Every man straight before him.
God required of the Israelites only to wait, obey, and trust, the Divine Captain led his celestial hosts to the assault, and achieved the victory. “And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days” (Joshua 6:2-3). We must be sure that our way lies through and beyond Jericho, and that God has called us to take it. When that is ascertained, we may be perfectly certain that the frowning walls of difficulty, which rise between us and the further land of promise, will fall down flat.
There must be times of Waiting. Israel waited a whole week. We may have to wait still longer. Let patience have her perfect work. There is no such teacher as she is; her pupils become perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
There must be times of Obedience. The people could not understand the meaning of these repeated marchings around the walls. They were not, however, asked to understand, but simply to obey. First the priests and ark, then the warriors. We must subordinate our armed activities to the slow and reverent pace of faith, hope, and love.
There must be times of exultant Faith. There was no quaver or hesitation in that cry. The Word of God, as communicated by Joshua, hushed every doubt and misgiving. In confident assurance the people shouted, and according to their faith, so it was to them. “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down” (Hebrews 11:30). There are no walls of superstition and sin strong enough to resist Faith’s shout, when God says that her shouting time is come. —Our Daily Homily
Joshua 6:22-27 – Spared When Others Perished
It is not the amount of truth that we know which saves us, but the grasp with which we hold it. All that Rahab knew was very slight and partial, but she held to it with all the tenacity of her soul, and it was accounted to her for righteousness, Romans 4:15. Also her works approved her faith. She identified herself with Israel by the scarlet thread, gathered her kinsfolk under her roof, and waited in anticipation of deliverance, James 2:25.
She had yet to be delivered from falsehood and lying, but that God-consciousness which is the first ray of dawn had broken upon her, and would necessarily result in perfect day. Poor outcast though she was, she became incorporated with Israel and the type of Gentile sinners who are permitted to sit with Christ in heavenly places. See Ephesians 2:17-18.
The city was devoted to destruction, lest the microbe of corruption should, through Israel, infect the world. See I Kings 16:34. But remember Luke 19:1-10. —Through the Bible Day by Day