The Biblical account the the battle of Jericho begins in Joshua thing 2, when Joshua sends out spies into ancient Jericho.

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THE SETTING

The holy bible says that Joshua and the Israelites to be encamped in ~ Shittim, and the spies were sent from this town. Shittim lies about 10 mile (16km) east of the river Jordan, and also approximately 15 mile (24km) eastern of Jericho. The bible lists the fighting men of Israel at 40,000 (Josh. 4:13). However, the number of troops involved in the battle of Jericho is another controversy.

This conflict centers about the Hebrew indigenous Eleph, i m sorry is usually analyzed as "thousand". However, words has had a variety of different meanings and also uses transparent its history. ELEPH to be originally linked to "head the cattle", signifying its application to signify a unit. In the feeling of a head that cattle, eleph signifies a population unit vital to an farming based society.

ELEPH was also used to describe the quota of males a village, or clan, was compelled to create for the military. Initially this quota was a very little number, and ELEPH was offered to signify that variety of men required. Finally, the word advanced into a technological term offered to describe a armed forces unit of far-reaching size.

Battle that Jericho Contents


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THE battle OF JERICHO

The Setting

Map that Joshua"s Spies

Map that the Battle

Joshua"s Warpath


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A map of old Jericho and its bordering cities. Jericho is just one of the most ancient cities in the world, own a natural water source in a region where water is scarce.

Concerning the battle of Jericho, the word ELEPH is analyzed as "thousand". This leader to the variety of 40,000 fighting men. Doubters of this interpretation case it need to be analyzed as a army unit, i m sorry though far-reaching in dimension was not literally 40,000 fighting men.

If the number 40,000 fighting guys is taken as the original intent that the author, climate the variety of Israelites coming the end of Egypt would have actually numbered in between 2 million come 2.5 million men, women, and children. This would have actually not count the lot of livestock and other people of different nations no included amongst the number of Israelites. Exodus provides it clean it to be a combined multitude the left Egypt - though overwhelmingly Israelite in nature, and also an Israelite event.  several of these guys from the mixed multitude would have actually participated top top the Israelite next in the battle of Jericho.

However, if one permits for an error in copying, and a misinterpretation of the word ELEPH, then the number of fighting males in Israel and also the populace of ancient Israel itsel is an ext manageable. Regardless, the battle of Jericho involved thousands that people. Without going into good detail, supporters of this mistranslated/misinterpreted meaning of ELEPH concept have approximated the variety of fighting men in Israel was actually 5,000 come 8,000 men.

Following this line of thought, the total population at the fight of Jericho is numbered native 20,000 to 40,000 men, women, and children -  Israelites only.  Evidence argues that the Exodus to be a heterogeneous mix that peoples, as pointed out above. People not that Israelite blood would not have actually been counted amongst the Israelites, though they were component of the group. Rahab and her family members became component of this group. The actual number of people traveling, thus, would have actually been larger than just the variety of Israelites.


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The ancient remains the King Herod"s royal residence in Jericho - the ancient City of the Palms.

Jericho exerted a mighty affect in the region. This affect would have quickly spread the roughly 15 or so miles eastward across the Jordan river to wherein the Israelite camp was situated; and also eastward native there right into the plains of Moab. Together the marauding Israelite nation approached Jericho, word would have actually traveled front of castle warning that their unavoidable arrival. Rumors of your previous miraculous to win would"ve spread conveniently through the old Near East. Individuals from miles about would have fled come the city that Jericho for security from this mysterious people and their powerful, however invisible, God. The imminent battle of Jericho loomed over the an ar like a storm cloud.


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This is a computerized picture of a cross-section the the wall surfaces of Jericho together they were formed. The earthen ramparts bring about brick walls, in various stages.

Though little in diameter Jericho possessed extremely heavy fortifications and also could have conveniently survived a siege the one year or more. Local village residents fared a much much better chance of survive by fleeing to the protection uncovered behind the walls of Jericho. The battle of Jericho would have actually influenced the entire region"s economy and also political stability. The lie in ~ the doorway come Canaan, and it is most particular the Canaanite monarchs were taking notice.

JOSHUA"S SPIES - Israel"s first Mossad

Like any great commander, Joshua very first sought details on his target. Together he had been just one of Moses" spies into Canaan years earlier, Joshua was well-trained in the art of knowledge gathering. He arranged spies come scout Jericho"s defenses. Together the spies stealthily crept into old Jericho, they entered the home of a prostitute called Rahab (2:1). Jericho reportedly possessed to crawl counter-intelligence operatives. Scripture reveals the king of Jericho became aware of the spies presence at Rahab"s house. Bible is silent as to how the king of Jericho became conscious of their presence, yet he search to catch them and certainly torture them for intelligence prior to killing them.


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Joshua"s spies left Shittim and crossed the Jordan, stealthily creeping into Jericho.

 He takes few of his men and also confronts Rahab as to the Israelite spies whereabouts.

Joshua 2:4-5

"But the woman had taken the two men and also hidden them, and she said, "Yes, the men concerned me, yet I did not recognize where they were from. And it came about, once it was time to shut the gate, in ~ dark, the the males went out; I carry out not understand where the men went. Go after them quickly, because that you will certainly overtake them."

Rahab reported that the men had left before the city entrances had closed, and also then sent the King and his males on a wild goose chase. In truth, she had actually hid lock on the roof that her house (2:2-7). Rahab seemed to feeling the result of the pending fight of Jericho in advance. She decided to side through the Israelite spies, certain Israel would get victory regardless of Jericho"s enormous walls and also impressive capability to withstand sieges.

After she trickery the King, Rahab retrieved the spies and also pleaded v them to preventive her and also her family in the upcoming fight of Jericho. The two spies agree to her request.

They tell her to cave a scarlet chord exterior of her home window identifying she house, thus, permitting the Israelite military to spare those inside. After they bargain for she safety, she climate lowered the spies out of her home window to the floor below. Rahab have to have started immediate preparations for the upcoming fight of Jericho. Joshua 2:15 will prove to be a truly remarkable verse. It reads:

"So she allow them under by a rope through the window, for the home she resided in was part of the city wall."

The spies then returned to Joshua and also reported all that had actually happened. Joshua, satisfied with their report, relocated the Israelite camp indigenous Shittim to the leaf of the Jordan River, where they encamped prior to crossing (3:1).  The scriptures tells us they spent 3 days at this campsite prior to the fight of Jericho. Joshua received more instruction native the lord in regards come the brewing invasion and also how it would certainly occur. He sent out the policemans throughout the camp instructing the people regarding what was about to happen.

Joshua 3:3-4 depicts the orders provided to the people:

"When you check out the ark of the commitment of the Lord her God, and the priests, who space Levites, transporting it, you space to move out from her positions and also follow it. Then you will recognize which way to go, due to the fact that you have actually never been this means before. Yet keep a street of about a thousands yards between you and the ark; execute not go close to it."
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A Satellite picture of the likely Spot Joshua crossed the Jordan River

The strength of the Ark that the commitment is depicted when Joshua warned the people to stay "1,000 yards", or over 1/2 mile (900m), behind it! ~ the 3rd day, the Israelites set out to cross the Jordan. The Levites carried the ark front of the world per orders from the Lord. Joshua 3:15 claims that the Jordan to be at flood stage, together it stayed so throughout the moment of the harvest. This expected the waters were very high, nearly overflowing the banks, and also moving rapidly. The Jordan flow in this problem was deep and the water fast. Crossing on foot was virtually impossible and very dangerous. The would have actually been unthinkable because that the young and elderly. 

As the Ark of the Covenant and also the priests carrying it touch the fast-moving and also flood-high waters that the Jordan River, God listed a miracle which would have been visible to everybody in the region.

Joshua 3:16

"that the waters which to be flowing under from over stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance far at Adam, the city that is alongside Zarethan; and also those which were flowing down towards the sea the the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were totally cut off. So the human being crossed opposite Jericho."

Much prefer He did through the Red (or Reed) Sea out of Egypt, God again stopped the waters for His people. Exterior of the wall surfaces of Jericho and on the eastern financial institutions of the Jordan flow God demonstrated to the entire country of Israel (and Jericho) that He was through Joshua, simply as He had been through Moses. The high and also fast overwhelming waters of the Jordan River, impassable come man, mattered no to Yahweh. He merely stopped lock up.

Imagine the shock from within the city that Jericho as they observed the Jordan River protect against flowing and also the waters gathering into a big heap numerous miles away. If nature to be no match for this powerful Israelite God, climate Jericho"s substantial walls would provide no security either. As the mind of Israel climbed up in gratitude, the understanding of Jericho melted in fear.

After Israel overcome the muddied river bottom the the Jordan, Joshua made decision twelve men to erect twelve stones in the center of the river bottom come memorialize the event. The twelve stones apparently stood for quite some time climate as a sign of God"s provision. As soon as Joshua had actually finished the monument, God gave him additional orders. The Israelites pitched camp and the men were circumcised. God had tested them, and their obedience led God to "roll far the reproach of Egypt" (5:9), a repercussion of the previous generation"s disobedience in the desert.

The Israelites to be circumcised at "Gibeath-haaraloth", or, "the hill that foreskins". God"s world were now in full compliance v His decrees. They to be sanctified and also in accordance through the Law. Lock were currently ready for battle. The place came to be known as Gilgal; "on the east border the Jericho. (4:19)". In Joshua 5:10-12 the Israelites celebrated the Passover - simply as they did on the night of leaving Egypt four years earlier.


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An summary of the battle of Jericho. Israel moved camp from Shittim come Gilgal, exterior of Jericho. They then marched on the city for seven days.

The bible tells us on the fourteenth job of the month they commemorated the Passover. Your celebration must have seemed eerily strange indigenous on top the towering walls of Jericho. Why would certainly this country try to topple such massive and impenetrable walls? top top the fifteenth day, Israel ate from the land of Canaan. ~ above the sixteenth day, for the first time in fourty years, the manna did no appear.

God had reduced off the supplication of manna for now they ate "of the create of the floor of Canaan". Together God had yielded them the end of the soil of Egypt, the was currently going to provide them into the soil of Canaan. Joshua 5:13-15 documents an exciting encounter.

"Now, once Joshua was close to Jericho, he looked up and also saw a male standing in front of him through a attracted sword in his hand.Joshua went as much as him and also asked, "Are you for us, or because that our enemies?" "Neither," he replied, "but together commander the the army of the mr I have now come." then Joshua fell confront down come the floor in reverence and also asked him, "What post does mine Lord have for his servant?" The commander of the Lord"s army replied, "Take off your sandals, because that the place where you space standing is holy." and also Joshua did so."

The bible doesn"t speak what Joshua was doing. We space told he was "near Jericho", and also nothing more. Maybe he had finished walking with camp, checking on the people and supplies. That was mindful the fight of Jericho was days, if not hours, away and wanted to make last minute preparations. Perhaps he was scouting the countryside, in search of patrols or weaknesses in the city"s defense. Maybe he had been scouting for potential ambush sites. Perhaps Joshua had remained in prayer with the Lord. YAHWEH"S strategy to be the an essential to success in the fight of Jericho.

Suddenly a soldier showed up in front of Joshua. The figure of this warrior to be sudden and also must"ve caught Joshua off-guard. Joshua did not recognize the man"s uniform together either among his or that of the enemy. He just knew the mystery warrior had actually a drawn sword in his hand. The is amazing that Joshua"s reaction was not one of alarm, but rather curiosity. The asked the suddenly visitor which side he to be on. The soldier answered, "Neither..". He to be the commander of the army of the Lord, maybe suggestive that the archangel Michael.


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The battle of heaven as shown in Paradise shed by man Milton. The archangel Michael likely played a an essential role in the most ancient of battles.

Why would Michael it is in a strong candidate for the identity of this angel-warrior? Jude 9 mentions the the archangel Michael had disputed with the devil himself over the body of Moses. The was probably not the first time Michael and Lucifer had squared off versus each other.Michael is also mentioned in Daniel 10:13,21 & 12:1 as the prince of Israel that stands versus forces of evil on behalf of Israel. Michael is additionally associated through Christ"s second coming in 1 Thess. 4:16. The is additionally Michael who battles the collapse Watchers in the publication of Enoch, again per God"s magnificent instructions. The archangel Michael, follow to Daniel 12:1, is "the an excellent prince that stands guard over the sons of her people". That is the Protector of Israel.

Leading the Israelites in the fight of Jericho would definitely fit a mission Michael would be assigned. Michael"s sole problem are his orders from God. The battle of Jericho is no man"s fight, but God"s. Therefore Michael was appropriate in his words come Joshua. That stood no for Israel nor for Jericho - but for God Almighty only. In fact, that is not too presumptuous, based on the Biblical evidence and also context, to presume Michael would"ve led the whole invasion that Canaan on instead of of Yahweh.

The lord then commanded Joshua regarding the mechanics of the invasion. The "armed guard" (6:9) to be to march an initial in line. Lock were adhered to by seven priests, carrying "trumpets of rams" horns" (6:4). This trumpets to be blown consistently throughout the march around the wall surfaces of Jericho. The priests responsible for the ark of the commitment followed behind, with the "rear guard" (6:9) behind them. The fight of Jericho was a really structured invasion, and also Joshua must follow specifically God"s in-depth orders.

Scripture is not exactly clear regarding the remainder of the procession, but it is common id the rest of the Israelites fell in behind the behind guard Joshua was very an exact in his instructions to the Israelites, simply as God had been an exact with him. Their role in the fight of Jericho to be to march in procession once roughly the city, one time per day. They were to perform this for six consecutive days, through the trumpets blowing continuously as lock marched.

The saturday day would certainly be different. Joshua instructed the human being to march in silence.

"Do not give a battle cry, perform not raise your voices, perform not to speak a word until the day ns tell you come shout. Climate shout!"

Scripture documents that on the saturday day the Israelites:

"got up at daybreak, and marched approximately the city seven times in the exact same manner, other than that on that day castle circled the city seven times." (6:15)

Joshua had been very clear in his previously instructions. ~ the saturday time castle marched about the wall surfaces of Jericho, ~ the trumpet blasted, just then would certainly Joshua offer the order, and also only climate were the world to provide a war cry.  God would certainly then tumble the walls of Jericho and also give the city come His people. It was as an easy as that. The fight of Jericho was to be God"s battle all the way. Every He required was faithful obedience.

Joshua approve orders the nothing was to be touched, or taken, except the things that had been dedicated to the Lord. All people, men, women and children, young, and old, to be to be killed.


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A map detailing Joshua"s movements in the battle of Jericho. Israel marched from their camp external of the city come Jericho, and also then marched roughly the city seven times before the wall surfaces fell.

The silver, gold, bronze and iron were to go into the Lord"s treasury. The devastation was to be complete. Just Rahab and also all who were under her roof were to it is in spared. On the seventh day, after the saturday time approximately the walls of Jericho, Joshua provided the command and the Israelites provided a shout.

The holy bible says, "the wall surface fell under flat". The Hebrew argues that the city wall surfaces of Jericho fell beneath themselves. The walls of Jericho loss upon themselves. In fact, excavations have presented that the bricks native the fell down walls the Jericho created a ramp versus the retaining wall.

The Israelites simply; "went up into the city, every man before himself" (6:20).

The damage following the battle of Jericho was complete. The Israelite army destroyed every living thing. They killed every man, woman and child. They burned the entire city, conserve for the Lord"s treasure. They displayed their extraordinary discipline as a finish army. For an army to completely destroy Jericho together Israel walk requires amazing coherence and also synchronization. Israel possessed a well trained, highly disciplined, and also fast attacking army. The battle of Jericho was totally one-sided.

Joshua 6:21

"And lock utterly ruined everything in the city, both mand and woman, young and also old, and also ox and sheep and also donkey, with the edge of the sword."

In Joshua 6:24, they finish the damage by burn Jericho.

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"And they melted the city with fire, and also all that remained in it. Only the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron, they put right into the treasury the the residence of the Lord."

To break up the decisive fight of Jericho, Joshua actors a curse on the ancient city in the waning verses of thing 6. This curse break up the Biblical account of Jericho"s role in the conquest of the Promised Land.

"Cursed prior to the mr is the guy who rises up and builds this city Jericho; with the lose of his first-born he shall place its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest kid he shall collection up that is gates."SHARE your THOUGHTS ~ above THE battle OF JERICHO do you study ancient military battles? What room your thoughts about Joshua? Click to give your insight, thoughts, comments, and questions on this most remarkable Israelite victory