The Battle of Jericho
Works of art by Giovanni di Paolo, Lorenzo Ghiberti, and Unknown artist
Commentaries by Scott Nethersole and Ben Quash
Bible passage (Revised Standard Version)
6 Now Jericho was shut up from within and from without because of the people of Israel; none went out, and none came in. 2And the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given into your hand Jericho, with its king and mighty men of valor. 3You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. 4And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; and on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, the priests blowing the trumpets. 5And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, as soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up every man straight before him.” 6So Joshua 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 the Lord.” 7And he said to the people, “Go forward; march around the city, and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord.”
8 And as Joshua had commanded the people, the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord went forward, blowing the trumpets, with the ark of the covenant of the Lord following them. 9And the armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while the trumpets blew continually. 10But Joshua commanded the people, “You shall not shout or let your voice be heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then you shall shout.” 11So he caused the ark of the Lord to compass the city, going about it once; and they came into the camp, and spent the night in the camp.
12 Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13And the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord passed on, blowing the trumpets continually; and the armed men went before them, and the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets blew continually. 14And the second day they marched around the city once, and returned into the camp. So they did for six days.
15 On the seventh day they rose early at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times: it was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. 16And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout; for the Lord has given you the city. 17And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction; only Rahab the harlot and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 18But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction, lest when you have devoted them you take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction, and bring trouble upon it. 19But all silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are sacred to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.” 20So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people raised 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. 21Then they utterly destroyed all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and asses, with the edge of the sword.
22 And Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out from it the woman, and all who belong to her, as you swore to her.” 23So the young men who had been spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her; and they brought all her kindred, and set them outside the camp of Israel. 24And they burned the city with fire, and all within it; only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. 25But Rahab the harlot, and her father’s household, and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive; and she dwelt in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
26 Joshua laid an oath upon them at that time, saying, “Cursed before the Lord be the man that rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho.
At the cost of his first-born shall he
lay its foundation,
and at the cost of his youngest son
shall he set up its gates.”
27 So the Lord was with Joshua; and his fame was in all the land.