Joshua 6

The fall of Jericho city

1 The people of Jericho kept their gates shut. They watched to see that the Israelites did not get in. No one could go in or out of the city. 2 ‘I am going to give you Jericho,’ the Lord said to Joshua. ‘I will give you its king and all its brave soldiers. 3 You and all your soldiers must march round the city once each day, for six days. 4 Seven priests will walk in front of the Covenant Box. They will carry trumpets as they walk. On the seventh day, you and your soldiers must march round the city 7 times. At the same time the priests will blow their trumpets. 5 Then they will make one long loud noise. As soon as you hear this, all the men must give a loud shout. The city walls will fall down. Then the whole army will go straight into the city.’ 6 Joshua called the priests. ‘Take the Lord's Covenant Box, and make 7 other priests walk in front of it, carrying trumpets,’ he said to them. 7 He told the people to start marching round the city, with a group of soldiers going in front of the Covenant Box.

8 Joshua finished speaking to the people. Then the 7 priests carrying the 7 trumpets went blowing their trumpets. And the priests who carried the Covenant Box followed them. 9 Some strong fighting men went in front of the priests with the trumpets, and another group of soldiers followed the Covenant Box. The trumpets were blowing all this time. 10 But Joshua had said to the people, ‘Do not shout or make a noise. Do not say a word until I tell you to shout. I will tell you to shout one day, then shout!’ 11 Joshua made them carry the Covenant Box round the city once. Then they returned to their tents, and slept there that night.

12 Joshua got up early the next morning, and the priests took up the Lord's Covenant Box. 13 The 7 priests who carried the trumpets marched in front of the Covenant Box. They were making a noise with their trumpets. One group of soldiers marched in front of the priests. Another group of soldiers marched behind the Covenant Box. The priests made a noise with the trumpets all the time. 14 This is how they marched round the city on the second day. They did this once and returned to their tents. They did this for 6 days.

15 On the seventh day they got up at dawn and marched round the city in the same way. This time they did it seven times. 16 The seventh time, the priests made a long, loud noise on the trumpets. Joshua told the people, ‘Shout! The Lord has given you the city. 17 The city and all that is in it belongs to the Lord. All the people must die. Only Rahab and the people with her in her house will live. This is because she hid our two men. 18 Keep away from the things that belong to God. If you take any of them, you will die. You would make trouble for the people of Israel, and could cause the Lord to destroy them, too. 19 All the things made of silver, gold and iron and mixed metals are holy to the Lord. They must be stored with his valuable things.’

20 When the trumpets made their loud sound, all the people gave a great shout. When they did this, the walls fell down. Every man went up into the city. And they took the city. 21 They gave the city to the Lord and so they destroyed everything that lived there. They killed men and women, young and old people, cows, sheep and donkeys.

22 Joshua said to the two men that Rahab had hidden, ‘Go into her house. Bring her out with all her family who are there with her. That is what you promised to do for her.’ 23 So the young men who had been to look at the city went and brought out Rahab and her whole family. They brought out her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. They gave them a place outside the Israelite tents.

24 Then they burned the whole city and everything in it. They put the gold, silver, iron and metal things into the Lord's store of valuable things. 25 But Joshua saved Rahab and her family and all who belonged to her. Rahab had hidden the men that Joshua sent to find out about Jericho city. Because she did that, she still lives among the Israelites, even today.

26 At that time, Joshua made this serious promise. ‘The Lord will punish the man who builds this city again,’ he said. ‘When he starts to build, his oldest son will die. His youngest son will die when he puts up its gates.’

27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and people all over the land heard all about him.

6:27Rahab was a woman who let men pay her to have sex with her. But God saved her. She had believed that he could keep her safe (Hebrews 11:31). Someone wrote this story while she was alive.