Joshua 6:1-27

Jericho city falls

1 The people of Jericho had shut the gates of their city to make it safe. No one could go in or out of the city. 2 The Lord said to Joshua, ‘I am going to give Jericho to you. I will put its king and all its brave soldiers under your power. 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 seven times. At the same time the priests will blow into their trumpets. 5 Then they will make one long loud noise with their trumpets. As soon as you hear this, all the soldiers must give a loud shout. Then the city walls will fall down. The whole army will go straight into the city.’

6 Joshua called the priests to come to him. He told them, ‘Pick up the Lord's Covenant Box. Seven priests must march in front of it. They must hold seven trumpets, one each.’

7 Then Joshua told the people to start marching round the city. A group of soldiers should march in front of the Lord's Covenant Box.

8 Joshua finished speaking to the people. Then the seven priests carrying their trumpets marched in front of the Covenant Box. They made a noise on their trumpets as the Covenant Box followed them. 9 While the priests made a noise on the trumpets, some soldiers marched in front of them. Another group of soldiers followed behind the Covenant Box. The trumpets were making a noise all this time. 10 But Joshua had said to the people, ‘Do not shout or speak aloud. Do not say anything until I tell you. When the right day comes, I will tell you, “Now shout aloud to attack!” When I tell you that, then shout!’

11 Joshua made them march round the city once with the Lord's Covenant Box. Then they returned to their tents, and slept there that night.

12 Joshua got up early the next morning, and the priests picked up the Lord's Covenant Box again. 13 The seven 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 trumpets made a noise all the time. 14 That is how they marched round the city on the second day. They marched round once and then they returned to their tents. They did the same thing for six days.

15 On the seventh day, they got up at dawn again. They marched round the city as they had done before. But this time they did it seven times. 16 The seventh time, the priests made a long, loud noise on their trumpets. Joshua told the people, ‘Shout aloud to attack! The Lord has given the city to you! 17 The city and everything that is in it belongs to the Lord, so destroy it all. Only the prostitute Rahab and all the people who are with her in her house will live. This is because she hid the two men that we sent. 18 Be careful! Do not take for yourselves the valuable things that belong to the Lord. If you do that, you will cause bad trouble to come to the whole Israelite army. The Lord will destroy us all. 19 Everything that is made from silver, gold, bronze and iron belong to the Lord as his holy things. You must store them with his other valuable things.’

20 When the trumpets made a noise, all the people gave a loud shout to attack the city. When they did this, the walls of the city fell down. All the soldiers went up into the city. They went straight in and they took the city for themselves. 21 They destroyed everything that lived in the city, as a gift to the Lord. With their weapons, they killed men and women, young people and old people, as well as 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 to her house. They brought out Rahab and her whole family. That was her father and her mother, and her brothers and all who belonged to her. They took them to a place that was near the Israelite tents.

24 Then they burned the whole city and everything that was in it. They stored the gold, silver, bronze and iron things with the Lord's valuable things. 25 But Joshua kept Rahab safe, as well as her family and everyone who belonged to her. Rahab had hidden the men that Joshua sent to find out about Jericho city. Because she did that, her family still lives among the Israelites, even today.

6:25Rahab was a prostitute. But God saved her. She believed that God would keep her safe. See Hebrews 11:31.

26 At that time, Joshua made a strong promise. He said, ‘If anyone tries to build Jericho city again, the Lord will punish him as a guilty man. When he starts to build, his oldest son will die. When he puts up the city's gates, his youngest son will die.’

27 So the Lord was with Joshua to help him. Joshua became famous everywhere in the land.