A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: The Battle of Jericho


The Taking of Jericho by TissotAfter the Israelites left Egypt and finally entered Canaan, their Promised Land, they were no longer led by Moses, but by the younger Joshua. In order to live in peace in their new country they had to conquer the great city of Jericho

As they approached the city, Joshua was confronted by a man calling himself commander of the Lord’s army. He gave Joshua some strange instructions about how to capture Jericho, which Joshua followed.

He ordered the priests to lead the Israelite army all the way around the city. They were to march in silence except for the priests, who were to blow their trumpets. This was to continue for six days. On the seventh day they were to march not once, but seven times around the city. Then, after Joshua gave the word, were they to shout at the tops of their voices. The Israelites followed these instructions and on the final day the city walls collapsed at the noise, and the Israelite army captured the city, destroying everything. 

The only exception was the family of Rahab, a prostitute. She had previously hidden two of the Israelites in her house when they came secretly to spy out the country. Without her help the two men would have been captured and killed, so they swore that she and her whole family would be spared and allowed to live peacefully among them when the Israelites defeated Jericho. Joshua and the people honoured this pledge for the rest of Rahab’s life.

The story illustrates:

  • God honours those who honour him
  • God’s people need to obey his instructions
  • God can intervene miraculously in human history.

Related topics

Big ideas from the Bible: Miracles, Promised land, Diaspora, Zionism

Bible References

Joshua 2:1-18; Joshua 5:13-14; Joshua 6:1-23
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