By July 6, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Joshua 6: The Conquest of Jericho, Texts and Traditions, ed. Lawrence H. Schiffman, Ktav Publishing House, Hoboken NJ, 1998.

God here instructs Joshua as to how to conquer the city of Jericho. Priests were to precede the warriors; their weapons were rams’ horns and the Ark of the Covenant. This unconventional form of warfare emphasized the nature of the conquest of the Land of Israel as a form of divine commandment, and its accomplishment as a result of divine aid.

6-1 Now Jericho was shut up tight because of the Israelites; no one could leave or enter. 2 The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I will deliver Jericho and her king [and her] warriors into your hands. 3 Let all your troops march around the city and complete one circuit of the city. Do this six days, 4 with seven priests carrying seven ram’s horns preceding the Ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. 5 And when a long blast is sounded on the horn—as soon as you hear that sound of the horn—all the people shall give a mighty shout. Thereupon the city wall will collapse, and the people shall advance, every man straight ahead.”

6 Joshua son of Nun summoned the priests and said to them, “Take up the Ark of the Covenant, and let seven priests carrying seven ram’s horns precede the Ark of the Lord.” 7 And he instructed the people, “Go forward, march around the city, with the vanguard marching in front of the Ark of the Lord.” 8 When Joshua had instructed the people, the seven priests carrying seven ram’s horns advanced before the Lord, blowing their horns; and the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant followed them. 9 The vanguard marched in front of the priests who were blowing the horns, and the rear guard marched behind the Ark, with the horns sounding all the time. 10 But Joshua’s orders to the rest of the people were, “Do not shout, do not let your voices be heard, and do not let a sound issue from your lips until the moment that I command you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout.”

11 So he had the Ark of the Lord go around the city and complete one circuit; then they returned to camp and spent the night in camp. 12 Joshua rose early the next day; and the priests took up the Ark of the Lord, 13 while the seven priests bearing the seven ram’s horns marched in front of the Ark of the Lord, blowing the horns as they marched. The vanguard marched in front of them, and the rear guard marched behind the Ark of the Lord, with the horns sounding all the time. 14 And so they marched around the city once on the second day and returned to the camp. They did this six days.

15 On the seventh day, they rose at daybreak and marched around the city, in the same manner, seven times; that was the only day that they marched around the city seven times. 16 On the seventh round, as the priests blew the horns, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city. 17 The city and everything in it are to be proscribed for the Lord; only Rahab the harlot is to be spared, and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers we sent. 18 But you must beware of that which is proscribed, or else you will be proscribed. If you take anything from that which is proscribed, you will cause the camp of Israel to be proscribed; you will bring calamity upon it. 19 All the silver and gold and objects of copper and iron are consecrated to the Lord; they must go into the treasury of the Lord.”

20 So the people shouted when the horns were sounded. When the people heard the sound of the horns, the people raised a mighty shout and the wall collapsed. The people rushed into the city, every man straight in front of him, and they captured the city. 21 They exterminated everything in the city with the sword- man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and ass.

Posted in: Exodus

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