Joshua 6

Chapter six records the famous defeat of Jericho, the Israelites’ first victory in Canaan. At the end of chapter five, God appeared to Joshua to tell him that the army of Heaven was there. In Joshua 6:1-5, God informed Joshua how God would defeat Jericho. The instructions for the Israelite army to walk around the city wall for seven days, carry the ark, and blow the trumpets were for them to exhibit their faith in God, not to knock down the walls.

In Joshua 6:6-14 Joshua conveyed God’s instructions and the army carried them out exactly. The priests carried the Ark of the Covenant ahead of the army, who walked around the city once each day for six days. On the seventh day, they followed the same pattern, except they went around the city seven times. On the final time around, they all gave a loud battle cry and the walls collapsed.

With the walls down, they were instructed to do three things (Joshua 6:17-25). First, all the people and animals were to be killed, and the city was to be burned to the ground. Second, Rahab was the exception, and everyone in her house was to be spared. Third, all the items of value (gold, silver, bronze, and iron) were to be taken into God’s treasury. They were not to be taken by individuals.

Joshua included three final notes (Joshua 6:25-27). First, Rahab continued to live with the Israelites. Later we find out that she became the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth (Matthew 1:5). Second, Joshua put a curse on anyone who tried to rebuild Jericho. Third, as if the Canaanites were not afraid enough because of the Red Sea, the utter defeat of Jericho made Joshua “famous throughout the land.” However, most of the inhabitants still chose to stay and fight.