Joshua 6
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1  Now Yericho was shut up tight because of the Israelites; no one could leave or enter.

vee-ree-KHO so-GE-ret um-su-GE-ret mi-p’-NAY b’-NAY yis-ra-AYL AYN yo-TZAY v’-AYN ba

א  וִירִיחוֹ סֹגֶרֶת וּמְסֻגֶּרֶת מִפְּנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵין יוֹצֵא וְאֵין בָּא׃

 6:1 Now Yericho was shut up tight because of the Israelites

Archeological finds of the past 150 years have granted significant understandings and insights into the world of the Bible, while also leaving us with many unanswered questions.  In a 1983 interview, Israel’s first Chief of Staff and renowned archaeologist, Yigael Yadin, addressed the limits of biblical archaeology.  Describing this passage in Sefer Yehoshua about the miraculous nature of the tumbling walls of Yericho, Yadin opined: “That’s beyond the realm of archaeology, and I think it’s beyond the realm of history as well. It’s a matter of faith… The fact is that there was a city there, in my opinion, and it was conquered. There can be no doubt.” According to many ancient Jewish philosophers, science and nature are not meant to validate our faith, nor is archeology. However, they can serve as powerful tools in bolstering our faith to believe in the truth of God’s word in a more complete and complex fashion.Comment

2  Hashem said to Yehoshua, “See, I will deliver Yericho and her king [and her] warriors into your hands.

ב  וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ רְאֵה נָתַתִּי בְיָדְךָ אֶת־יְרִיחוֹ וְאֶת־מַלְכָּהּ גִּבּוֹרֵי הֶחָיִל׃

3  Let all your troops march around the city and complete one circuit of the city. Do this six days,

ג  וְסַבֹּתֶם אֶת־הָעִיר כֹּל אַנְשֵׁי הַמִּלְחָמָה הַקֵּיף אֶת־הָעִיר פַּעַם אֶחָת כֹּה תַעֲשֶׂה שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים׃

4  with seven Kohanim carrying seven shofarot preceding the Aron. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the Kohanim blowing the shofarot.

ד  וְשִׁבְעָה כֹהֲנִים יִשְׂאוּ שִׁבְעָה שׁוֹפְרוֹת הַיּוֹבְלִים לִפְנֵי הָאָרוֹן וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי תָּסֹבּוּ אֶת־הָעִיר שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים וְהַכֹּהֲנִים יִתְקְעוּ בַּשּׁוֹפָרוֹת׃

5  And when a long blast is sounded on the shofar—as soon as you hear that sound of the shofar—all the people shall give a mighty shout. Thereupon the city wall will collapse, and the people shall advance, every man straight ahead.”

ה  וְהָיָה בִּמְשֹׁךְ בְּקֶרֶן הַיּוֹבֵל בשמעכם [כְּשָׁמְעֲכֶם] אֶת־קוֹל הַשּׁוֹפָר יָרִיעוּ כָל־הָעָם תְּרוּעָה גְדוֹלָה וְנָפְלָה חוֹמַת הָעִיר תַּחְתֶּיהָ וְעָלוּ הָעָם אִישׁ נֶגְדּוֹ׃

6  Yehoshua son of Nun summoned the Kohanim and said to them, “Take up the Aron HaBrit, and let seven Kohanim carrying seven shofarot precede the Aron of Hashem.”

ו  וַיִּקְרָא יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן־נוּן אֶל־הַכֹּהֲנִים וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם שְׂאוּ אֶת־אֲרוֹן הַבְּרִית וְשִׁבְעָה כֹהֲנִים יִשְׂאוּ שִׁבְעָה שׁוֹפְרוֹת יוֹבְלִים לִפְנֵי אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה׃

7  And he instructed the people, “Go forward, march around the city, with the vanguard marching in front of the Aron of Hashem.”

ז  ויאמרו [וַיֹּאמֶר] אֶל־הָעָם עִבְרוּ וְסֹבּוּ אֶת־הָעִיר וְהֶחָלוּץ יַעֲבֹר לִפְנֵי אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה׃

8  When Yehoshua had instructed the people, the seven Kohanim carrying seven shofarot advanced before Hashem, blowing their shofarot; and the Aron Brit Hashem followed them.

ח  וַיְהִי כֶּאֱמֹר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶל־הָעָם וְשִׁבְעָה הַכֹּהֲנִים נֹשְׂאִים שִׁבְעָה שׁוֹפְרוֹת הַיּוֹבְלִים לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה עָבְרוּ וְתָקְעוּ בַּשּׁוֹפָרוֹת וַאֲרוֹן בְּרִית יְהֹוָה הֹלֵךְ אַחֲרֵיהֶם׃

9  The vanguard marched in front of the Kohanim who were blowing the shofarot, and the rear guard marched behind the Aron, with the shofarot sounding all the time.

ט  וְהֶחָלוּץ הֹלֵךְ לִפְנֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים תקעו [תֹּקְעֵי] הַשּׁוֹפָרוֹת וְהַמְאַסֵּף הֹלֵךְ אַחֲרֵי הָאָרוֹן הָלוֹךְ וְתָקוֹעַ בַּשּׁוֹפָרוֹת׃

10  But Yehoshua‘s orders to the rest of the people were, “Do not shout, do not let your voices be heard, and do not let a sound issue from your lips until the moment that I command you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout.”

י  וְאֶת־הָעָם צִוָּה יְהוֹשֻׁעַ לֵאמֹר לֹא תָרִיעוּ וְלֹא־תַשְׁמִיעוּ אֶת־קוֹלְכֶם וְלֹא־יֵצֵא מִפִּיכֶם דָּבָר עַד יוֹם אָמְרִי אֲלֵיכֶם הָרִיעוּ וַהֲרִיעֹתֶם׃

11  So he had the Aron of Hashem go around the city and complete one circuit; then they returned to camp and spent the night in camp.

יא  וַיַּסֵּב אֲרוֹן־יְהֹוָה אֶת־הָעִיר הַקֵּף פַּעַם אֶחָת וַיָּבֹאוּ הַמַּחֲנֶה וַיָּלִינוּ בַּמַּחֲנֶה׃

12  Yehoshua rose early the next day; and the Kohanim took up the Aron of Hashem,

יב  וַיַּשְׁכֵּם יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בַּבֹּקֶר וַיִּשְׂאוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים אֶת־אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה׃

13  while the seven Kohanim bearing the seven shofarot marched in front of the Aron of Hashem, blowing the shofarot as they marched. The vanguard marched in front of them, and the rear guard marched behind the Aron of Hashem, with the shofarot sounding all the time.

יג  וְשִׁבְעָה הַכֹּהֲנִים נֹשְׂאִים שִׁבְעָה שׁוֹפְרוֹת הַיֹּבְלִים לִפְנֵי אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה הֹלְכִים הָלוֹךְ וְתָקְעוּ בַּשּׁוֹפָרוֹת וְהֶחָלוּץ הֹלֵךְ לִפְנֵיהֶם וְהַמְאַסֵּף הֹלֵךְ אַחֲרֵי אֲרוֹן יְהֹוָה הולך [הָלוֹךְ] וְתָקוֹעַ בַּשּׁוֹפָרוֹת׃

14  And so they marched around the city once on the second day and returned to the camp. They did this six days.

יד  וַיָּסֹבּוּ אֶת־הָעִיר בַּיּוֹם הַשֵּׁנִי פַּעַם אַחַת וַיָּשֻׁבוּ הַמַּחֲנֶה כֹּה עָשׂוּ שֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים׃

15  On the seventh day, they rose at daybreak and marched around the city, in the same manner, seven times; that was the only day that they marched around the city seven times.

vai-HEE ba-YOM ha-sh’-vee-EE va-yash-KI-mu ka-a-LOT ha-SHA-khar va-ya-SO-bu et ha-EER ka-mish-PAT ha-ZEH SHE-va p’-a-MEEM RAK ba-YOM ha-HU sa-v’-VU et ha-EER SHE-va p’-a-MEEM

טו  וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וַיַּשְׁכִּמוּ כַּעֲלוֹת הַשַּׁחַר וַיָּסֹבּוּ אֶת־הָעִיר כַּמִּשְׁפָּט הַזֶּה שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים רַק בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא סָבְבוּ אֶת־הָעִיר שֶׁבַע פְּעָמִים׃

16  On the seventh round, as the Kohanim blew the shofarot, Yehoshua commanded the people, “Shout! For Hashem has given you the city.

טז  וַיְהִי בַּפַּעַם הַשְּׁבִיעִית תָּקְעוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים בַּשּׁוֹפָרוֹת וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶל־הָעָם הָרִיעוּ כִּי־נָתַן יְהֹוָה לָכֶם אֶת־הָעִיר׃

17  The city and everything in it are to be proscribed for Hashem; only Rahab the harlot is to be spared, and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers we sent.

יז  וְהָיְתָה הָעִיר חֵרֶם הִיא וְכָל־אֲשֶׁר־בָּהּ לַיהֹוָה רַק רָחָב הַזּוֹנָה תִּחְיֶה הִיא וְכָל־אֲשֶׁר אִתָּהּ בַּבַּיִת כִּי הֶחְבְּאַתָה אֶת־הַמַּלְאָכִים אֲשֶׁר שָׁלָחְנוּ׃

18  But you must beware of that which is proscribed, or else you will be proscribed: if you take anything from that which is proscribed, you will cause the camp of Yisrael to be proscribed; you will bring calamity upon it.

יח  וְרַק־אַתֶּם שִׁמְרוּ מִן־הַחֵרֶם פֶּן־תַּחֲרִימוּ וּלְקַחְתֶּם מִן־הַחֵרֶם וְשַׂמְתֶּם אֶת־מַחֲנֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל לְחֵרֶם וַעֲכַרְתֶּם אוֹתוֹ׃

19  All the silver and gold and objects of copper and iron are consecrated to Hashem; they must go into the treasury of Hashem.”

יט  וְכֹל כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב וּכְלֵי נְחֹשֶׁת וּבַרְזֶל קֹדֶשׁ הוּא לַיהֹוָה אוֹצַר יְהֹוָה יָבוֹא׃

20  So the people shouted when the shofarot were sounded. When the people heard the sound of the shofarot, the people raised a mighty shout and the wall collapsed. The people rushed into the city, every man straight in front of him, and they captured the city.

כ  וַיָּרַע הָעָם וַיִּתְקְעוּ בַּשֹּׁפָרוֹת וַיְהִי כִשְׁמֹעַ הָעָם אֶת־קוֹל הַשּׁוֹפָר וַיָּרִיעוּ הָעָם תְּרוּעָה גְדוֹלָה וַתִּפֹּל הַחוֹמָה תַּחְתֶּיהָ וַיַּעַל הָעָם הָעִירָה אִישׁ נֶגְדּוֹ וַיִּלְכְּדוּ אֶת־הָעִיר׃

21  They exterminated everything in the city with the sword: man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and ass.

כא  וַיַּחֲרִימוּ אֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר בָּעִיר מֵאִישׁ וְעַד־אִשָּׁה מִנַּעַר וְעַד־זָקֵן וְעַד שׁוֹר וָשֶׂה וַחֲמוֹר לְפִי־חָרֶב׃

22  But Yehoshua bade the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the harlot’s house and bring out the woman and all that belong to her, as you swore to her.”

כב  וְלִשְׁנַיִם הָאֲנָשִׁים הַמְרַגְּלִים אֶת־הָאָרֶץ אָמַר יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֹּאוּ בֵּית־הָאִשָּׁה הַזּוֹנָה וְהוֹצִיאוּ מִשָּׁם אֶת־הָאִשָּׁה וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לָהּ כַּאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתֶּם לָהּ׃

23  So the young spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father and her mother, her brothers and all that belonged to her—they brought out her whole family and left them outside the camp of Yisrael.

כג  וַיָּבֹאוּ הַנְּעָרִים הַמְרַגְּלִים וַיֹּצִיאוּ אֶת־רָחָב וְאֶת־אָבִיהָ וְאֶת־אִמָּהּ וְאֶת־אַחֶיהָ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לָהּ וְאֵת כָּל־מִשְׁפְּחוֹתֶיהָ הוֹצִיאוּ וַיַּנִּיחוּם מִחוּץ לְמַחֲנֵה יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

24  They burned down the city and everything in it. But the silver and gold and the objects of copper and iron were deposited in the treasury of the House of Hashem.

כד  וְהָעִיר שָׂרְפוּ בָאֵשׁ וְכָל־אֲשֶׁר־בָּהּ רַק הַכֶּסֶף וְהַזָּהָב וּכְלֵי הַנְּחֹשֶׁת וְהַבַּרְזֶל נָתְנוּ אוֹצַר בֵּית־יְהֹוָה׃

25  Only Rahab the harlot and her father’s family were spared by Yehoshua, along with all that belonged to her, and she dwelt among the Israelites—as is still the case. For she had hidden the messengers that Yehoshua sent to spy out Yericho.

כה  וְאֶת־רָחָב הַזּוֹנָה וְאֶת־בֵּית אָבִיהָ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לָהּ הֶחֱיָה יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וַתֵּשֶׁב בְּקֶרֶב יִשְׂרָאֵל עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה כִּי הֶחְבִּיאָה אֶת־הַמַּלְאָכִים אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַח יְהוֹשֻׁעַ לְרַגֵּל אֶת־יְרִיחוֹ׃

26  At that time Yehoshua pronounced this oath: “Cursed of Hashem be the man who shall undertake to fortify this city of Yericho: he shall lay its foundations at the cost of his first-born, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest.”

כו  וַיַּשְׁבַּע יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בָּעֵת הַהִיא לֵאמֹר אָרוּר הָאִישׁ לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר יָקוּם וּבָנָה אֶת־הָעִיר הַזֹּאת אֶת־יְרִיחוֹ בִּבְכֹרוֹ יְיַסְּדֶנָּה וּבִצְעִירוֹ יַצִּיב דְּלָתֶיהָ׃

27  Hashem was with Yehoshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.

כז  וַיְהִי יְהֹוָה אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ וַיְהִי שָׁמְעוֹ בְּכָל־הָאָרֶץ׃

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  • seeker

    Verse 25: Only Rahab the harlot and her father’s family were spared by Yehoshua, along with all that belonged to her, and she dwelt among the Israelites—as is still the case. For she had hidden the messengers that Yehoshua sent to spy out Yericho.

    From “A Father’s Story” by Donald Penn Neal (used by permission)

    But most fearful of all, our defenses gave way,
    As our walls fell down flat at the sound;
    And the people rushed in to complete our defeat,
    And they burned Jericho to the ground.

    But my daughter had hidden two spies who had come
    To assess any risks in advance;
    And the people then honored the promises made,
    And left nothing remaining to chance.

    For we all were then saved, utter ruin fulfilled,
    And the spirit within us revived;
    For we saw that the God of the Hebrews was good—
    Of my family, all had survived.

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