Joshua Chapter 6


The siege of Jericho. (Verse 1-5.)

The city is compassed. (Verse 6-16.)

Jericho is taken, Rahab and her family are saved. (Verse 17-27.)

There are a few misconceptions about the battle of Jericho and one of them we will deal with here. A popular song that claims Joshua fought the battle of Jericho and the walls came a tumbling down is actually backwards. God caused the walls to fall first then Joshua went in and cleaned up.

Joshua 2:15 ., for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.

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.

Notice here that seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark seven days in a row. Some people have problems with this situation.

First the priests were not to go to war, secondly the ark is not to be carried into battle, and lastly by marching seven times around the city which would take roughly three and an half hours they would have to violate the sabbath, so they say. Not so.

First, the priests didn’t do any fighting and thus the ark never went into a battle because God destroyed their enemies on that day, and lastly the seventh day was not the sabbath day or they would have violated the sabbath six times in a row.

People assume it was the sabbath, but the priest, Joshua and the people would not have dared marching around the city seven times on the sabbath

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.

Who was it that the priests passed on before? The LORD! The LORD was in or on the ark of the covenant of the LORD. These seven shofar trumpets are types of the trumpets that are mentioned in the book of the Revelation.

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.

It would take roughly an half an hour to march around the city of Jericho once and they were commanded not to make any noise or even to speak.

This should remind you of a verse in Revelation were the seventh trumpet was blown and there was silence in heaven for about the space of half an hour. Revelation 8:1

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.

Notice something very important here, it says she hid the messengers that were sent. They are called messengers by the holy Spirit instead of spies.

They had a message that they were sent to deliver to a Gentile woman. Israel has been given the word of God and they are sent to give the word as a light to lighten the Gentiles in the kingdom.

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.

Jericho was to be the first fruits of the land of Israel and they were reserved for the LORD, just as the tithe was the LORD’S. It belonged to him and all the other cities they could use for themselves, but Achan comes along and ruins it for everyone else.

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.

Who was it that knocked the wall of Jericho down? Not Joshua! Not Israel! It was God that knocked down the walls.

First of all, Joshua did not fight the battle of Jericho and then the walls came tumbling down, because God first knocked the wall singular, down and then Joshua’s forces entered the city.

I am not trying to belittle the song nor the miracle that happened on that day, I am however trying to stay within the confines of the scriptures.

Ask yourself, “Where did Rahab the harlot live?” On the wall!  If all the walls came tumbling down, then Rahab’s house would have been destroyed and all of the inhabitants with it.

All we do know is that the portion of the wall where Rahab lived remained intact. At least one main wall fell flat, possibly more.

The children of Israel went in and slayed with the sword all the inhabitants of the city. Why? Remember the Anakims were the offspring of the Sons of God (fallen angels) and the daughters of men from Genesis six.

They had polluted the earth before the flood and were destroyed.  They were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment for leaving their first estate and habitation by God.

Satan simply dispensed more fallen angels into the land and they were up to their old deeds again and God gave Israel the job of ridding the area of all these new descendants of the sons of God, which led the inhabitants of Canaan into worshipping pagan gods.

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.

[Gen 7:1, Gen 19:12, 2nd Peter 2:9]

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.

They were left without the camp because they were uncircumcised Gentiles. Rahab’s name however would return to prominence because of a Jew she would eventually marry, Salmon.

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.

Israel was told to put all the vessels into the treasury of the house of the LORD. It cost a lot to run a country and to meet the needs of the tabernacle and Jericho was ordained by God to be used to meet those needs, and woe unto the man that would steal from God!

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.

[adjured – to charge or bind by an oath or threat]

27 So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country.

Joshua here prophecies against Jericho and his prophecy comes to pass completely four hundred years later:

1 Kings 16:34 In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun.

What is meant by this prophecy and its fulfillment was that the person (Hiel) who built Jericho would lose his oldest and youngest sons for rebuilding this city. God means business!

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Verse 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.


Verse 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.

Verse 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.