Joshua 5 & 6 – Reading Note – The wall of Jericho

Jericho Excavations
Jericho Excavations (Photo credit: gashwin)
  • Once the Israelites could get their own food, manna stopped falling. God didn’t continue to miraculously provide for them when he did not need to. (5: 10 – 12)
  • The people of Jericho were so scared of the Israelites that locked their city and no one went out or came in. (6: 1)
  • Everyone knows this story. God told the Israelites to march around the wall of Jericho once a day for six days and seven times on the seventh day. After the final march, the wall came tumbling down.
  • As per their instructions, Rahab and her family were spared and allowed to join the Israelite community and everyone else in Jericho was killed. The idols were destroyed. No one was to take any of them. All gold, silver, bronze and iron articles (excepting the forbidden ones) were kept in God’s treasury. The whole city was burned and left in ruins.
  • Joshua ends the conquest by pronouncing a curse on anyone who would rebuild Jericho:

“At the cost of his firstborn son
he will lay its foundations;
at the cost of his youngest
he will set up its gates.”

  • And, as can be expected, this battle made Joshua even more famous. (6: 27)


According to the text, every single living thing in Jericho was to be killed – except Rahab and her family. The passage does use some hyperbole in describing the destruction – in some places, it seems to suggest that not a soul was left alive (e.g. 6:21) when, obviously, Rahab and her family were. But that is clearly hyperbole and can be dismissed. This detail will be important for the future, when I start to focus more strongly on the conquest.


Apparently, archaeologists have found the wall of Jericho. Its first major excavation was from 1907 till 1909. In the 1950s, a British archaeologist named Kathleen Kenyon identified the ruins at the site as the remains of a wall that had fallen down. The proposed naturalistic explanation for the finding is an earthquake. Apparently, the earthquake happened to destroy the whole wall a portion  that had houses built into it – lucky Rahab. The excavations also revealed that the city had suffered from a massive fire, all of which are consistent with the Biblical account.
For more information, check out the wikipaedia article on the topic:  (Yes, I quote wikipaedia. This is a blog, not my communications paper.)

And this article by Bryant Wood of Associated for Biblical Research:


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I’m Tracy

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