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
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.
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׃
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.
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.
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׃
6:15 On the seventh day
On the seventh day, the Children of Israel walk around Yericho seven times. They blow the shofarot (שופרות), ‘rams horns,’ the walls miraculously fall, and they are able to take the city. The classical commentator Rashi notes that the seventh day of this process was Shabbat. This teaches us that war on behalf of defending the people and Land of Israel is permitted and required even on the peaceful and holy Sabbath. Even today, though we honor Shabbat and keep it holy, the State of Israel is required to protect itself seven days a week. Thus, in the Israeli Army, essential tasks to protect the nation must and do continue, even on Shabbat.1 comment
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׃
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.
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.”