Friday, February 10, 2006

Joshua at Jericho


The Israelites only had to cross the River Jordan to enter the Promised land of Canaan.

Moses, for his sin at Meribah, where he struck the rock instead of speaking to it as he was told, had been forbidden to enter it with them. He was only allowed to see it at a distance, from the top of mount Nebo. So, by God's command, he appointed Joshua to be their guide and leader into it. After Moses had done this, he died. He was a hundred and twenty years old.

Then God told Joshua to prepare to pass over the Jordan into the land He had promised to the Israelites. But, before they did so, Joshua sent two spies to the city of Jericho, on the other side of the river.

The people of the city were very afraid of the Israelites, because they had heard what God had done for them from the time they left Egypt. When the King of Jericho sent men to take these spies prisoners, a woman of the city, here the spies had stayed, hid them. She begged that as her reward, when the city would be taken, her life, and the lives of all her family, might be saved.
They promised her this. She lived on the town wall and let them down by a cord through the window, and they returned to the camp.


When the people were about to pass over Jordan, the ark, in which were two tables of stones, was carried before them by twelve priests. As soon as they entered the river, its waters were divided, and all the Israelites went over on dry ground.



Then they camped at Gilgal, before Jericho. There God commanded that the armed men of the Israelites, with the priests carrying the ark, should go round the city for seven days with trumpets sounding. He told them that on the seventh day the walls would fall down before them.

Each day, for six days, as they had been told, they went once round the city. On the seventh day they went round it seven times, as God had said and at the seventh time, when the priest blew a loud blast with the trumpets, Joshua told the people to shout, for the city was theirs.

They gave a great shout, and the walls of the city fell down flat before them. They marched straight into it, and burned it to the ground.

Joshua remembered the woman Rahab, who had hidden the spies, and he brought her and her family in safety out of Jericho into the camp of the Israelites.

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