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Rahab And The Fall Of Jericho

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CHAPTER 6 May 20 
The Battle Plan for Capturing Jericho
Now Jericho was closely shut up because of the children of Israel. No one went out, and no one came in. 2Yahweh said to Joshua, Behold, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the mighty men of valour. 3All your men of war shall march around the city, going around the city once. You shall do this six days. 4Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout. The wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall go up every man straight before him.6Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of Yahweh. 7They said to the people, Go, march around the city, and let the armed men pass on before Yahweh’s ark. 
Jericho Is Taken
8It was so, that when Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before Yahweh advanced and blew the trumpets; and the ark of the covenant of Yahweh followed them. 9The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the ark went after them. The trumpets sounded as they went. 10Joshua commanded the people saying, You shall not shout, nor let your voice be heard, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout. 11So he caused the ark of Yahweh to go around the city, going about it once. Then they came into the camp and lodged in the camp. 12Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of Yahweh. 13The seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of Yahweh went on continually and blew the trumpets: and the armed men went before them. The rear guard came after the ark of Yahweh. The trumpets sounded as they went. 14The second day they marched around the city once, and returned into the camp. They did this six days. 15It happened on the seventh day that they rose early at the dawning of the day, and marched around the city in the same way seven times. Only on this day they marched around the city seven times. 16It happened at the seventh time, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people, Shout, for Yahweh has given you the city! 17The city shall be devoted, even it and all that is in it, to Yahweh. Only Rahab the prostitute shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 18But as for you, only keep yourselves from the devoted thing, lest when you have devoted it, you take of the devoted thing. That would make the camp of Israel accursed, and trouble it. 19But all the silver and gold, and the vessels of brass and iron, are holy to Yahweh. They shall come into Yahweh’s treasury.20So the people shouted, and the priests blew the trumpets. It happened that when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted with a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him; and they took the city. 21They utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, both young and old, and ox, sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword. 22Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, Go into the prostitute’s house, and bring out from there the woman and all that she has, as you swore to her. 23The young men who were spies went in, and brought out Rahab with her father, her mother, her brothers, and all that she had. They also brought out all her relatives, and they set them outside the camp of Israel. 24They burnt the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only they put the silver, the gold and the vessels of brass and of iron into the treasury of Yahweh’s house. 25But Rahab the prostitute, her father’s household, and all that she had, Joshua saved alive. She lived in the midst of Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers, whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. 26Joshua commanded them with an oath at that time, saying, Cursed before Yahweh is the man who rises up and builds this city Jericho. With the loss of his firstborn shall he lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son shall he set up its gates. 27So Yahweh was with Joshua; and his fame was in all the land.


6:2 Following the Angel is the theme that lies behind God's statement that because He had already given Jericho to Israel, therefore they should arise and take it. So many victories have been prepared for us in prospect- against addictions, engrained weaknesses of character, habits, impossible situations. Israel had to follow the ark, where the Angelic presence of God was (:2 cp. :8). The people were to go up into Jericho ‘straight before them’ (:5,20), just as the Cherubim-Angels have "straight feet" (Ez. 1:7,9,12). They were to follow in the Angel's steps.
6:5 Shout- The command to "shout" was a reflection of the belief Israel were to have in the fact that God had already given them the city- for the Hebrew for "shout" usually refers to a shout of victory. The word is translated "triumph" in Ps. 60:8; 108:9. The same idea of shouting in victory over a city which has been given to God's people recurs in Jer. 50:15- "Shout against her round about [cp. compassing the walls of Jericho]...  her foundations are [present tense] fallen, her walls [cp. Jericho's] are thrown down" (AV). And this speaks of our latter day victory against Babylon- thus making this whole account of earnest relevance to us who live in the last days, and who will see Babylon fall by faith. Notice how literal Babylon fell by the water of the river being dried up, and the walls being opened- just the same sequence of events that occurred at Jericho. 
6:10 “Until the day I tell you, ‘Shout!’” implies that the people didn't know the battle plan- each day they would've walked around the city in silence, and nothing happened. The command to "Shout!" didn't come- for six days. The whole exercise was surely to develop their faith. Again, this was the most crazy of battle plans, in human terms. Heb. 11:30 associates the circling of the walls with faith: “by faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they had been circled seven days”. 2 Cor. 10:3-4 is an allusion to the way that Jericho was taken with such a humanly weak battle plan. The point of the allusion is for us to see ourselves as those nervous Israelites desperately clinging on to their faith in God's victory rather than human strength. And we each have our Jerichos- habits, life-dominating patterns of thinking, that seem so impossible to shift. The deliverance at the Red Sea had been intended to teach Israel these very lessons. The account of the fall of Jericho is recorded in similar language, in order to teach the same lesson. Rahab's house had to be identified by a scarlet cord- like the blood of the Passover lamb sprinkled on the two doorposts and lintel of the Israelites' homes in Egypt. The silence demanded of the people was surely to recall Ex. 14:14, there the people standing before the Red Sea were assured: “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent". Compare the command to keep silent whilst Yahweh fought, with the common practice of yelling war cries as an ancient army approached their enemy. All human convention, wisdom and strength, was placed in purposeful opposition to what seemed quite counter-instinctive- to be utterly silent whilst God did the fighting.
6:11 One wonders whether the comment that "So he caused the ark of Yahweh to go around the city" could imply that the entire fighting force of Israel didn't bother doing as commanded on the first circuit of the city- possibly they just sent the ark around it. Likewise the people were to shout when the trumpets sounded (:10). But in reality, like a Sunday School play gone wrong, the people shouted, the trumpets sounded, and then the people again shouted (:20). There's a distinct theme in the record that actually, God's people didn't do according to His ideal plan, and yet still He gave them the victory. According to Heb. 11:30, “by faith the walls of Jericho fell down”. Whose faith? What faith? Was Joshua-Jesus' faith counted to the people? Or was their very weak, hope-for-the-best faith all the same accepted as faith by God's grace?
6:18 The riches of Jericho are described with a Hebrew word which means both a curse, and something devoted (to God). This teaches a powerful lesson: such riches of this world as come into our possession will curse us, unless they are devoted to the Father. Mammon is an “abomination” (Lk. 16:13,15)- a word associated in the Old Testament with idol worship. We are to not only be free of such idolatry, but despise materialism.
6:24 1 Cor. 3:12-15 likens all the faithful to material which can pass through the fire of judgment- and this surely is a reference to the way that Jericho was burnt with fire, and only the metals along with Rahab and her family came through that fire to salvation. Thus according to the allusion, Rahab and her family represent all the faithful.