Scriptural Vignette Cameo Study #17 - Jephthah’s Sinful Vow and The Conquest of Jericho: What They Have In Common - Part 1: The Conquest of Jericho: Joshua 6





Scriptural Vignette Cameo Study #17

Jephthah’s Sinful Vow and The Conquest of Jericho: What They Have In Common

Part 1

The Conquest of Jericho:

Joshua 6

1Now Jericho was straitly [restrictedly, tightly] shut up because of the children of Israel [laying seige to the city]: none went out, and none came in.

Jericho is reportedly the city of lowest altitude on Earth, at 250 meters or 820 feet below sea level. By comparison, Jerusalem is about 400 meters or 1312 feet above sea level.

One source claims that the city of Jericho was comprised of 40,000 square meters (430,000 square feet) and that its stone walls were 11.8 feet high and 5.9 feet wide at the base. This would mean that the city had a circumference of roughly 2,324 feet or a 100 yards less than a half mile.

At first blush this seems a bit small. We are not told Jericho’s population; however, the Israelites sent 40,000 warriors against it. By comparison, the spies, which were initially sent against the subsequent and smaller city of Ai, thought that it only required 2,000 to 3,000 troops to conquer it (but they did not realize that God was not with them). After their initial defeat, they sent 30,000 troops (and undertook a guerilla manuever of drawing the warriors out of the small, but well fortified, walled city, by initially engaging in battle and then immediately feigning retreat — as if the battle was going just as it had the first time, when the Israelite soldiers fled in defeat; the men of Ai were drawn out and chased them, only to meet a larger force behind a hill, and to turn to retreat and see the city behind them captured and burning by a secondary force that had been lying in wait behind them). Scripture records that 12,000 Canaanite men and women died at Ai. We cannot know for certain, but it seems that most probably Jericho’s population was at least double that of Ai, at 24,000 adult inhabitants. We can assume that the space required for the walls of the city, the exterior and interior walls of houses, streets, alleys, places of business, shops, blacksmith, market squares, common areas, areas for livestock, storage, etc. may have occupied at least half of the square footage of the city. This would leave 9 square feet per person (a crude average measurement; of course those wealthy individuals would have more space, larger dwellings); and thus, a married couple would have 18 square feet; which would be a “livable” one-bedroom studio apartment for agrarian people who did most of their living outside of their dwelling — and didn’t have bath tubs, jaccuzi’s, home gyms / weight rooms, sewing rooms, laundry rooms, formal dining rooms, formal kitchens or bathrooms with running water, entertainment rooms, garages, etc. However, if the dwellings were mostly 2-story houses / apartments (Rahab let the spies down by a rope from her window), then that would double the living space per adult person. Children (in Scripture, all persons under the age of 20) are not counted in this “blind guess” of 24,000 adult inhabitants.


2And the LORD said unto Joshua, “See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.
3And ye shall compass [encircle] the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do [each of] six days.

“All ye men of war” here refers NOT to all Israelite men of age and health for battle (some 600,000).  It refers solely to those who had been selected to partake in the battle against Jericho: “About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the LORD unto battle, to the plains of Jericho.” (Joshua 4:13)

If only the 40,000* Israelite men prepared for war marched around Jericho, each soldier being spaced 3 feet behind the man in front of him, that would have been 120,000 linear feet. If they marched around the city in a continuous single-file stream of soldiers; the stream of soldiers was over 51 and a half times longer than the circumference of the city itself. Marching at the average walking speed of about 3 mph, it would take 1 person 10 minutes to circumambulate the city, and therefore, it would have taken about 8.6 hours for the entire force of 40,000 soldiers to walk around the city in single file; 4.3 hours if in 2 columns; and still over 43 minutes if in 12 columns abreast of each other (1 column for each tribe). This certainly would have gotten the attention of the terrified inhabitants of Jericho. This, of course, did not include the space required for the Ark of the Covenant being carried on poles on the shoulders of, most probably, four priests; and the procession of seven priests who, on the last day, blew the trumpets. However, it seems possible that when marching in this procession, the soldiers were not required to keep 2,000 cubits behind the Ark of the Covenant (for reasons we shall see).

[* 3,333 from each tribe and 4 other people.]


4And seven priests shall bear before the Ark [of the Covenant] seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

Scripture does not overtly inform us on what day of the week that they began marching around the city (unless the data is given elsewhere and I have overlooked it). The phrase “seventh day” here does NOT refer to the Sabbath, and God would not have scheduled for the battle to take place on the Sabbath. Here, “the seventh day” simply refers to the seventh day of their marching.


5And it shall come to pass, that when they [the priests] make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when [the rest of] ye [40,000 troops prepared for battle] hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people [troops] shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people [troops] shall ascend up every man straight before him.

Again, this “all”, is the Hebrew “all” [kol (with a long o sound); even as the Greek pahss / pahntos], which is not a universal, “every last one”, but “all of the limited, exclusive group (that has already been established)”. This is not referring to all Israelites, nor even all Israelite men of military age, but the all of the 40,000 Israelite men chosen to cross from the river over the geography to battle against Jericho.


6And 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”.
7And he said unto the people [troops], “Pass on, and compass [circumambulate, walk around] the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the Ark of the LORD.

“Pass on before”. This is completely different than from when the entire congregation travelled to the Jordan river and passed over into the Promised Land. At that time, the priests and the Ark of the Covenant led the way and the people HAD to FOLLOW the priests and the Ark of the Covenant at a great distance, 2,000* cubits (Joshua 3:4) — for without them, the waters of the Jordan would not have heaped up and allowed them to pass over on dry land. It would seem that the entire congregation of Israel did not cross the dry river bed of the Jordan near the Ark itself, but 2,000 cubits downstream of the Ark.  

[* 3,000 feet.]

Many very good artists produced very good art, that is often Biblically incorrect, and thus, unwittingly, they lead people astray, who view their art, even for centuries and millennia; either because they were ignorant and too lazy to do some simple research and consult the Biblical text, or because they thought it was easier to present the Biblical scenes incorrectly.** However, in all fairness, with many (especially Catholic) painters, it may not have been their misconceptualization, but a priest, bishop, cardinal, or the Pope may have told them how to paint it.

[* For example: Most artists depict David as a boy, when he was fighting Goliath, though he was about 21 years old, and having had already distinguished himself in battle as a valiant warrior. Similarly, Isaac was not a boy when Abraham put him on the altar to sacrifice to God, but about 34 years old (and the reasons for and implications of this I discuss in my S.T.E.C. on Genesis / Judges, 711pp., pb., 40.00 + P&H. Gustave Doré depicted the waters of Noah’s Ark drying up, and there being dead human bodies strewn all over the countryside — despite the fact that the Flood lasted a year (any bodies would have rotted / been consumed by sea creatures within a month or so). He also depicted Cain’s sacrifice with the smoke falling downward, as if it were dry ice; which was Doré’s way of showing that his sacrifice was rejected by God; though clearly it was rejected by God not sending fire down to consume it, as He presumably had done with Abel’s sacrifice. Below is another example of good art poorly conceptualized and portrayed, by Raphael: “The Israelites Crossing the Jordan Carrying the Ark of the Covenant”.



Actually, Raphael may have understood what he could not properly paint: the fact that God actually* laid down in the waters of the Jordan, as God had declared: “the Lord of all the Earth, shall rest** in the waters of Jordan” (Joshua 3:13). Even as in the crossing of the Red Sea, the Israelites were “baptized” (SYMBOLICALLY, not literally) in the waters (as they were beneath the levels of the water) and the cloud, so also here they walked in God. Scripture tells us, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28) — for He has determined / ordered / controls all. He “worketh all in all” (I Corinthians 12:6) and “filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:23). God is not corporeal; though He can manifest Himself however He wishes. God is Spirit. Pure Energy. God’s being Omnipresent is related to His Omniscience: He sees all because He knows all. He knows all because He fills all; everything exists in Him (which truth has been perverted into all sorts of heresies / pagan notions of pantheism, panentheism, and godhood of everything). Depicting God as an old man, of course, makes it impossible to distinguish between God and humans in the painting... unless one understands the Biblical text.

* Of course, this is something that we cannot comprehend. It is not mere figurative speech (for God is not a liar, and there is no reason to believe this is a parable or metaphoric); and it is not literal in our general sense of understanding (for God is not corporeal, and is not a man, and is not limited by our time and place and space, matter, and energy as we are). God is completely “other”. He is external to all of His Creation, and nothing exists that was not created by Him; most everything having degenerated, to one degree or another, since the Fall of Man; and all hybrids are unlawful crosses of His original Creation, which are an assault against His Creatorship and Lordship, and one of Satan’s attempts to replace God, by replacing His Creation, and His children; and they are what Christ referred to when He said that He would send His holy angels, at His Return, to uproot “every plant that My Heavenly Father hath not planted”. The Fall did not take God by surprise and His Creation did not simply “go bad”. It is all part of His Plan, His Drama of the Ages. However, even as “no trial seemeth joyous” at the time, those of us caught within the epicenter / eye of the storm at ground zero, in the Drama of what appears to us to be a “Tragedy”, cannot appreciate the evil and destruction... but just because we don’t see the purpose in it does not mean God has not determined it for His Glory. However, sinful man continues to gloriy man and reject God. Every drama needs villains, heroes, victims, etc. Such dramas often teach a painful, but important lesson. Others seem “senseless”, like “random crime”. However, the Fall was not “out of control” either; it was like a “controlled burn”; not an out-of-control wild fire. Just because we, with our tiny, fallen minds, cannot see how such brings glory to God, does not mean that it does not.

** #5117 noo-ahkh (the same verbal root from which the name Noah is derived) means, “to rest, that is, settle down”; used in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively, intransitively, transitively, causatively, “(to dwell, stay, let fall, place, let alone, withdraw, give comfort, etc.):—cease, be confederate, lay, let down, (be) quiet, remain, (cause to, be at, give, have, make to) rest, set down’.

Furthermore, in Raphael’s painting, he has the Jordan river only 6 feet wide! (and Joshua, on the horse, is praying to God up in Heaven, while God is laying in the river bed blocking the waters). During the dry season the Jordan river is only 3 to 10 feet deep (but in a few spots, as deep as 17 feet) and it is, on average 98 feet wide (though some as narrow as 33 feet); however, during the spring rainy season up to one-half mile wide in some places. Part of this seasonal flooding is due to the fact that although it is only 65 miles from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea “as the crow flies”, the path that the river takes is 165 to 200 miles, and thus, because of its many twists and turns, when rushing as a torrent, the shallow riverbed cannot contain the massive volume and speed of the rushing floodwater from Mount Hermon and the valley between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, it rushes straight forward and ignores the deeper, smaller trench of the riverbed, and flows over the whole area. This may also be why there is greater mineral content that pours into the Dead Sea, to leave behind a mineral rich salty brine once a lot of the water evaporates in the arid climate. The normal seasonal flood stage is from January to March. Passover is around the end of March or beginning of April, and changes year to year according to our calendar. The Israelites crossed the Jordan just 4 days before Passover.

[According to

the Jordan river’s flow today is only 2% of it was 60 years ago, because of the modern construction of dams; the width of the Jordan around Jericho in 1854 was around 100 feet, and an experienced swimmer was unable, presumably in the flood season, to make it across due to the current and the distance.

Also, at the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan river, in the mid 1800s was only about 2.5 feet deep. At that point it is about 682 feet below sea level; and by the time it gets to the Dead Sea it is nearly 1,300 feet below sea level.]

However, Raphael goofed in several other ways:

1. The Ark of the Covenant looks more like a dog house (and not designed according to the clear measurements in Scripture).

2. It does not look like the Ark or the staves are gold plated.

3. Scripture does not indicate whether the staves were round or square; but since they were to fit through rings attached to the Ark, it would seem most likely that they were round; and round poles or staves would be far-more comfortable on the shoulder of the priests that carried it; square boards would cut into the shoulder. The boards for carrying the Ark also seem to be a permanent fixture on Raphael’s Ark.

4. The staves that go through the rings on the Ark, by which it was to be moved, are nowhere long enough and the priests look as if their bodies are actually touching the Ark, which, presumably, would have resulted in their instant death; and that was the whole purpose of the staves.

5. The priest closest to “God” apparently does not know how to walk and his body above his waist and below his waist depict a near impossibility.

6. The Cherubim are not on top of the Ark (but we don’t know if they were removed while marching; which is likely, so that a wind gust did not cause it to tip over or break).

7. The priests are not wearing priestly garb or bonnets or priestly colors (white and blue); they are wearing common clothes of varied colors (red, yellow, green).

8. The soldiers are not only not 2,000 cubits away from the Ark, but they themselves are so close, they risk bumping into the priests and the Ark itself.

9. The waters of the Jordan would be muddy brown (which is why Naaman was insulted when told to bathe, presumably, once a day in the Jordan, for seven days), not blue, as depicted.

10. The soldier leading must be part owl or contortionist to be able to be facing forward with his body, but twisted around looking fully backward.

11. The 2 soldiers directly behind him run the risk of skewering him with their spears if he stops abruptly; and they would not be carrying their spears in an attack posture until the actual battle.

12. Joshua would not have been riding a horse, which God had commanded against; not even the kings and princes of Israel rode horses, but asses or “mules” (and mule, a hybrid animal, is probably a mistranslation, and “pony” is more likely intended*). Horses are not even mentioned in the Book of Joshua until chapter 11, and then it is the enemy riding them, or using them pull war-chariots — and they were commanded to hough (hamstring, that is, cut with their swords or knives the large back thigh muscle of the horses, rendering them useless, and they would slowly die) and burn the chariots of the enemy; so as not to trust in their own power, but in God. In order to trust in God, your heart (and life) has to be right with Him (that is, walking in obedience to all that He commanded), otherwise, God is under no obligation to protect you from evil.

* the Hebrew word #6505 peh-red rendered “mule” is clearly etymologically related to various Germanic words for horse: Dutch paard, Afrikaans, perd, Luxembourgish, Päerd, German, Pferd, etc. What the Vikings called horses (which is not related to the Germanic words) were actually ponies.

This stopping the flood of the Jordan was the means by which God initiated exalting Joshua in the eyes of the people, demonstrating that God was with Joshua, even as He was with Moses; and leading the Israelites across a small flood of water ito the Promised Land, even as Moses did across a large body of water (Red Sea), out of bondage in Egypt; which is even actually juxtaposed in Joshua 4:23.

After all the people passed over, Joshua, at God’s Command, had one man from each tribe of Israel take a large stone out of the Jordan river bed, upon his shoulder and set up 2 heaps of stones as memorials: One was set up where they were to lodge that night (4:1-3); the other heap was erected in the very midst of the river Jordan, at the very spot in the middle where the priests had stood holding the Ark of the Covenant (4:9). The one on land Joshua relocated to Gilgal (4:20), where they kept Passover and Unleavened Bread (5:10). Gilgal was sort of the capital or at least headquarters, until after the Conquest, at which time it was moved to Shiloh. After each day of marching around Jericho, the troops, priests, and the Ark returned to Gilgal. Even thereafter, the three major towns in Samuel’s judging circuit were Mizpeh, Shiloh, and Gilgal. Shiloh was about 13 miles north of Ai, and in the territory of Ephraim. Saul was crowned at Gilgal (and later also rejected there as king by God), and David was welcomed there by the people of Jerusalem, upon his returning from exile; having fled from Absalom’s treasonous conspiracy.

It may be safe to assume that these stones were substantial, probably about 80 lbs. each (about the weight of a bag of cement); or maybe even double that size (I’ve carried 2 bags of cement on my shoulder; I’ve carried 2, and once 3 bundles of shingles up a ladder; so 160 lbs. for strong men in their prime, warriors, would have been quite do-able). At the time that the Book of Joshua was written, probably after the Conquest (7 years after crossing the Jordan river), Scripture records that those heaps of stones were still there. Maybe the flood waters of Jordan did not come rushing down violently each year in the rainy season (but we did see that the current was of such a pace at this spot, 100 feet wide, that an experience swimmer could not make it across); but what about when God released the deluge of waters of the Jordan that had heaped up and flooded out numerous Canaanite settlements northward, while the Israelites passed over...? The 12 men assembled one of the heaps of 12 stones in the Jordan’s river bed. That massive release of water would have been devastating, unless God controlled it (which He HAD to have done). If the beginning floods of the rainy season came in a torrent, stones weighing even several hundred pounds each would have been knocked down the river (but, of course, God supernaturally prevented that, at least for 7 years). The stone heap on land would have been a continual reminder of God’s Faithfulness and Power (the Rock of our Salvation); but so possibly could have the stone heap in the waters, during the dry season. If the stones had been assembled (possibly in a pyramidal shape) in a shallower spot in the river bed, if the stones were 12 to 18 inches tall each, then possibly a foot of that structure could have protruded from the top of the water during the dry season. The Jordan was about 100 miles wide there at Jericho, so this may mean that the river bed there was shallower; and the river was wider because the water had nowhere else to go but sideways, if the river bed was shallow there.

However, after the death of Joshua and the elders that outlived Joshua, who had been alive to see all of God’s Wonders in the 40 years of wandering and the miracles during the Conquest, the people backslid and defected from God and began committing abominations and worshipping false gods (Judges 2:7)...! So, if the people violated the Covenant, it seems most probable that God would then cease to supernaturally keep erect the heap of stones in the river Jordan that marked the spot where the priests stood holding the Ark of the COVENANT; and likewise, during such apostacy, the stone heap on land (which, Joshua immediately relocated to Gilgal; Joshua 4:20) was probably cannibalized for its stones that someone thought they could use as the corner stones for his new pig stye or as an altar for his pagan gods...!

On the 10th day of the 1st month (Abib) the Israelites crossed over Jordan into the Promised Land (Joshua 4:19). On the 10th day of the 1st month God commanded the Passover lambs of each family (which were NOT a sacrifice for sins, but a memorial feast) to be separated from the rest of the flock (even as Christ was separated from His brethren), then sacrificed around sundown (between the sunsets — that is, from the time that the sun first touches the horizon, until it disappears completely), which begins the 14th day (the day begins at sundown, so Passover was the first part, the evening part, of the First Day of Unleavened Bread).]


8And 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.
9And 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.

The Hebrew word rendered into English as “armed men”* is:

[* The word “men” is not actually in the text, and men is sort of improper, because the Hebrew word is a masculine, singular passive participle; which would awkwardly be, “the masculine thing pulled off”, “separated”, or by extension, “prepared”.]

#2502 khaw-lahts, meaning “to pull off; hence (intensively) to strip, (reflexively) to depart; by implication to deliver, equip (for fight); present, strengthen:—arm (self), (go, ready) armed (X man, soldier), deliver, draw out, make fat, loose, (ready) prepared, put off, take away, withdraw self”.

The intention would seem to be “prepared”. However, “armed” or “equipped” is only half of the meaning. They have to take off everything that would interfere in battle, and put on all that which they need. There is a spiritual parallel to this:

8But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  9Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the Image of Him that created him.” (Colossians 3)

22That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4)

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” (II Timothy 2:4)

The Hebrew word translated “rearward” is

#622 aw-sahf, meaning, “to gather for any purpose; hence to receive, take away, that is, remove (destroy, leave behind, put up, restore, etc.):—assemble, bring, consume, destroy, fetch, gather (in, together, up again), X generally, get (him), lose, put all together, receive, recover [another from leprosy], (be) rereward, X surely, take (away, into, up), X utterly, withdraw”.

This, indeed, based solely upon the meaning of the Hebrew word, is difficult to translate. Rearward seems to be the best, the meaning of the word combined with how it is used in the passage (they follow at the end of the column, so they are in the rear). Other possible words, the implied meaning, may be, “reinforcements, second battalion, rear-guard”.

Clearly it is not that the rear-guard was not also armed. There seems to be different emphasis on the description. The battalion in the front is explained as being prepared — since they are in the position of first meeting the enemy. The battalion in the rear is explained concerning its position.


10And 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”.

Total silence was a loud reminder of several things:

1. God demands complete obedience. This was not the time for joking around; there is a time and a place for everything under the heaven — and this was the time for silence (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). Disobedience could result in the death penalty. They were not marching to a party. It was a solemn occasion. Death of the enemy in battle (eventually) was the purpose of marching; though none at this point understood God’s Plan. Those who violated what God commanded could easily be added to those who were to be executed.

2. God was the One Who would win the battle; even as before God drowned Pharaoh’s army in the Red Sea, God had Moses inform the people: 13...Fear ye not, stand still, and see the Salvation of the LORD, which He will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.  14The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14).  Furthermore, even as the destruction of the enemy by God occurred shortly after God parted the waters of the Red Sea; so also would the destruction of the enemy occur here in Jericho, shortly after God having parted the waters of the Jordan.


11So the Ark of the LORD compassed [was carried around] the city, going about [around] it once: and they came into the camp [at Gilgal], and lodged in the camp.

As shown in the previous Vignette, Gilgal seems to have been about 3 miles east of Jericho. Thus, each day it would have been about 2 hours and 10 minutes round trip from Gilgal, around Jericho, and back. Scripture only once mentions “a Sabbath Day’s journey” — but nowhere defines it, and nowhere is it commanded; though God does command on the Sabbath, “29...abide ye every man in his [own] place, let no man go out of his place on the Seventh Day. 30So the people rested on the Seventh Day.” (Exodus 16). However, this was in reference to not going out to gather manna, which some ignorantly and rebelliously did, on the Sabbath, and were rebuked for it. Regardless, God informs us the Sabbath was made primarily for rest; and that entails not galavanting about. The greater travel one does (especially in modern vehicles), the greater the chance of a break down, accident (which would require emergency services of others, to violate the Sabbath), and the greater temptation to violate God’s Command of no buying, selling, trading, work, seeking one’s own pleasure, etc. The one passage that mentions Sabbath’s Day’s journey does not define it, but gives an example. The authors / editors of The Pulpit Commentary (1880-1919) recorded under Acts 1:12:

“A sabbath day’s journey off; i.e. six, or according to Schleusner, seven and a half, furlongs (or two thousand cubits). Josephus (‘Jud. Ant.,’ 20:8, 6) calls it “five furlongs,” but he only measured to the foot of the hill, whereas St. Luke gives the distance from the spot whence Christ ascended. Bethany itself, according to John 11:18, was fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem.”

However, this does not mean that this distance (3,000 feet) was the terminal limits of a Sabbath’s Day Journey; only that it was within those undefined parameters. Since God cannot violate His Own Law of Holiness, we can be certain that the distance from Gilgal to Jericho did not violate, in principle, the notion of a Sabbath’s Day journey. This 3 miles (or 10,560 cubits or 15,840 feet) was one-way, and not counting the 2,324 feet around the city itself. Although it would be no sin to defend yourself if attacked on the Sabbath, one should not initiate any battle thereon; and God certainly would not have.


12And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the Ark of the LORD.
13And 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.
14And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did [for] six days.
15And 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.

For each of the first 6 days, the 40,000 selected warriors, and the priests with trumpets, and the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant marched around Jericho only 1 circuit, and returned back to Gilgal. This time, they marched around it 7 times.


16And 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”.

We are not told what they shouted. If they were to shout something specific (as Gideon’s army had done), we are not privy to what they shouted. Presumably, it was merely a shout of victory, attack, celebration, inciting fear into the enemy’s heart: “Hurrah!” or the shorter version, “RAH...!” or the shorter-still version like a roar: “AAAAH...!” The Hebrew word rendered “shout” is:

#7321 roo-ah, meaning, “to mar (especially by breaking); figuratively to split the ears (with sound), that is, shout (for alarm or joy):—blow an alarm, cry (alarm, aloud, out), destroy, make a joyful noise, smart, shout (for joy), sound an alarm, triumph”.


17And the city shall be accursed [doomed / dedicated to God, to be utterly slain and burned], even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot [inn-keeper] shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.

Although the Hebrew (and also the Greek, in the New Testament, in James 2) word indeed refers to a prostitute / harlot, and also to whoredom / whoring, both sexually and spiritually in idolatry as well as fornication with alien peoples, and that it how the word is used, it seems, 100% of the time in other Scriptures, I seriously doubt that Rahab was a harlot, but instead, and inn-keeper. Neither do I believe that she was a Canaanite; though living in the town (if you remember Lot and his family were not Canaanites, though they were living among them, and also Abraham and later Isaac and Jacob). This may seem impossible, but I do a very detailed examination of the text and present an argument that cannot be ignored.

[See my, Sacred Truth Expository Commentary on The Epistle of James, Chapter 2 [& many other Mini-Expositions: Epistles of Peter & John; Epistle of Paul to Ephesians & Galatians 3; Epistle of Paul to Israelites in Rome, Chap. 1 & 9; Revelation Chap. 3 (& Isaiah 22) 5, 7 (& Ezek. 48) 12, 17, 20, 21, 22; Summary Joshua 1-6.] Faith Without Works Is Dead...! - Was Rahab a “Harlot”...? Was Rahab a “Canaanite” ...? and Was Rahab the Rachab in Christ’s Genealogy? - The Promises and Covenants Stand...! - detailed account of Jericho; intro. author of Epistle; apostles, 49 illusts., original charts; genealogy of Christ & disciples (Christ’s 1st & 2nd cousins); disciples, sealing of 12 tribes, gates of new Jerusalem, time-line from Jericho to building of Solomon’s Temple; & more. 522pp., pb., 25.00 + P&H.]


18And 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.

The Hebrew word for accursed, KHEY-rem / KHEH-rem, means literally, “to enclose” like casting a net to entrap fish, birds, or other animals; hence the connotation of “doomed”. The word also means “devoted” or “dedicated”.  The word “thing” was added by the translators and is not in the text. The text could equally be translated, “that which is accursed” or “that which is devoted”.

Things that were dedicated to God were consumed on the altar; thus, the thing to be dedicated was “doomed”; it was “accursed” in regard to its own fate and it was “dedicated / devoted” in relation to God. Hence, we see with Jephthah and his commonly called “rash vow”, in that he vowed to dedicate to the Lord as a burnt offering whatever came out of his house to greet him, when he returned home, if God would give him victory in the battle against the Ammonites, (Judges 11:30-39)

[We shall discuss Jephthah when we are done with Joshua 6.]


19But 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.

The Hebrew word used here for consecrated is a different Hebrew word than khey-rem (cursed / devoted); it is #6944 qo-desh (long o), “sacred, hallowed, holy”. The metal was not to be burnt with fire,* and thus, not devoted / doomed, but consecrated to God and brought into the Treasure-house of the Temple. Understand, God did not “need” a puny bit of gold from a Canaanite village. He is God and Lord and owns all gold and other precious metals and stones on Earth — can could call galaxies of it into being, creating it ex nihilo, had He so desired. God is Just. This is more evidence that the Canaanites displaced the previous Hebrew inhabitants, and taken their wealth and land from them. You reap what you sow. This was the Firstfruits, the first city conquered upon entering the Promised Land and beginning the Conquest; thus, it all was God’s.

[* In Exodus 32:20, God commanded that the golden calf be burned with fire and ground into powder and mixed with water and the idolators (those whom God did not destroy) were made to drink it. Gold can be broken and ground into powder, after being burned at the right temperature. What did making them drink it do...? How “powerful” is a god that you worship if you consume him, and then urinate and defecate him onto the ground?]


20So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people [troops] heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people [troops] shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people [troops] went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took [catpured, gained control over] the city.
21And 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.

The vessels of wrath were made for destruction (Romans 8:22,23). Those that pity them accuse God of evil. “He who would be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Vessels of wrath / non-elect / dogs / pigs / serpents / tares / thorns / briers are never adopted or converted into vessels of honor / God’s children / elect / sheep / dove / wheat / olives / grapes. God separated His people from all other people, even as He separated clean from unclean animals — in the very act of creating them separate, distinct, and unrelated (Leviticus 20:24-26; and if you don’t believe that, you believe in evolution, you reject God and His Word and are a friend of the world). Clean and unclean animals do not share a common ancestor. Those who shriek about the “poor animals” hate God. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (and He owns the hills too). It is His RIGHT to do as He will with what is His (Matthew 20:15). All souls are His (Ezekiel 18:4). When Solomon dedicated the temple to God, 120,000 sheep and 22,000 oxen were sacrificed to God (I Kings 8:63). The Earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof (Psalm 24:1) and all the wood from the mighty trees from Lebanon and all the beasts of the Earth would not be sufficient for a burnt offering to God to whom ALL GLORY is due Him by Right (40:15-17). What then were the puny handful of animals that Achan owned...? And yet, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.” (Matthew 10:28) Without His “what”...? —without His Knowledge, His Will, His Determination. Few “Christians” even understand the concept of GOD.


22But 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”.
23And 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.
24And 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.
This is quite the contrast to what happened to Achan and his family! “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) Compare this also to the parable of the stewards and the talents (of gold) entrusted to them, in Matthew 25:28-30.

Here we clearly see the dual nature of the Hebrew KHEY-rem / KHEH-rem, which, as we saw, means literally, “to enclose” like casting a net to entrap fish, birds, or other animals; and hence the connotation of “doomed”; though generically, “devoted, dedicated”. Something can be devoted or dedicated to evil too. Vestal virgins, temple prostitutes, also called “devotees” were also devoted / dedicated, but to wickedness. Similarly, a cadre of over 40 Jews (and the wicked chief priests and elders were then brought into the conspiracy — which they did not rebuke) took a vow together that none of them would eat or drink until one of them had murdered the Apostle Paul (Acts 23:12ff.) — but clearly they all violated their oath (since they never killed Paul).

The Israelites enclosed the city of Jericho, it was shut up (as verse 1 told us) and therefore, the victims were trapped and doomed. The Israelite men of war marched in a circle around the city, once a day, for 7 days and then 7 times on the seventh day. This seventh day was not the Sabbath. It was not the seventh day of the week, but the seventh day of their assault against Jericho. The Sabbath was one of the previous days in which they only marched around the city once. They marched around the city a total of 13 times, which number represents Rebellion; which may be a premonition of Achan’s sin and the penalty thereof.

The accursed / dedicated city was offered to God by fire; except those things that fire would not have consumed: gold, silver, brass, and iron. We already saw that Achan was achin’ from judgment: As already mentioned, that which touches the altar becomes holy (dedicated / accursed). Achan touched (stole) that which was holy and set apart for God alone... possibly his family members touched it also, if he showed it to them before he dug a hole in the middle of the tent and buried it. Clearly his livestock or other animals had not touched it. However, they were tainted by his sin.

[While it does not seem “fair” to humans, God established the Law of the Harvest and the “trickle-down” principle of sin. When those in authority sin, those under them often sin. If a king unjustly makes unjust war against another nation, if that king loses the battle — all the soldiers suffer, and the entire nation may suffer. If a builder uses inferior materials to make more profit, and the building collapses, or if a landlord does not maintain his building and it collapses or it is condemned, all the tenants suffer. If a husband / father is a drunkard, lazy, criminal, etc., his wife and children will suffer. God condemned entire races because of their polluted beginnings, and all those descended from Adam suffer because of Adam and Eve’s sin. Reality does not operate according to “fairness”. Reality is God’s Order.]

Therefore, Achan and his entire family, and all of his animals were stoned to death, and then offered to God by fire. Achan had buried the wedge of gold and silver and Babylonish garment in the ground inside his tent, so presumably the rest of his family knew about it and therefore were accomplices and likewise had touched that which was holy. The animals were themselves tainted, and for them to be inherited by Achan’s nearest relative, or to be sold at auction, would have also tainted any who touched them.

The conquest of Jericho was the very first city in the Promised Land, against which the Israelites went to war. It, therefore, represented the Firstfruits, and were holy and belonged to God (Ezekiel 48:14; Romans 11:16); that is why no one was allowed to take any booty in any form from that one, specific battle.

[A litmus test for a liberal / friend of the world / enemy of God (including those who deludedly imagine themselves to be “Christians”) is that they judge God in their minds, as their first instinct — rather than falling before Him and confessing that He is Right and Just and Perfect in all that He does, and thanking Him for His Mercy and Grace unto them; and thanking Him that He did not make them to be vessels of wrath. Those “Christians” who accuse God of evil for creating a place called Hell, and for creating vessels of wrath whose fate is Hell, and who accuse God for not making all holy, are quite possibly vessels of wrath themselves: tares or traitors sown in among the wheat to help destroy the Family of God from within.]


25And 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.

Again, Rahab was neither a Canaanite nor a harlot, as my commentary on James 2 / Rahab shows. But, oh, how the liberals and friends of the world glory in the pollution of Christ Jesus, the Son of God and Redeemer’s bloodlines...! Give them enough time, they will declare some of His ancestors to have been homosexuals, lesbians, transvestites, and trans-sexuals...! — and worshippers of Baal and Chemosh / Molech, Ishtar, and Astarte; even as the majority of modern “Christians” allow pagan temples and aliens who erect them to proliferate throughout Christendom (which has been reduced to end-time Babylon, by absorbing the Third World), and even participate in “inter-faith” services, in which Jesus is merely one god on a pagan totem pole...! What part of “No other gods...!” and “Come out from them and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing [people]...!” do they not understand...? In reality, it is not a matter of understanding. They reject God (which is what you do when you reject what God commanded). They are friends of the world, and therefore, enemies of God. God has the final say. He alone makes the rules and establishes reality — and those who are psychotic, who function within their own delusional fantasy, will have a rude awakening. Had Rahab been a Canaanite, she would not have been invited to live among Israel — which God had forbidden. Had Rahab and her family been Canaanites, for not betraying the whereabouts of the 2 Israelite spies, she and her family would have been allowed to go free and high-tail it out of the Land of Promise (as in Judges 1:24), and move among their Canaanite cousins outside of the Promised Land (such as southward in Edom / Seir, northwestward into the land of the Hittites,later Anatolia or the Near East, now modern Turkey, and northeastward to the lands of Eurasia, to which the Hittites had spread).


26And 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.

This was later verified by archaeology, that both the walls fall flat outward, and the new city was built with the bones of the sacrificed son of the person who rebuilt the city.


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

Although James Strong does not show any connection, clearly this word for “fame”, #8089 sho-mah (long o) has etymological relation to the Hebrew word for Shem, #8035 / #8034 sheym, “fame [-ous], name (-d), renown, report”.


[Part 2 is complete and can be uploaded if anyone is interested.  Inquire.]