Joshua 6 Commentary

 


LAND ALLOTMENTS

Click charts to enlarge Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission

JOSHUA
A BOOK ON SPIRITUAL WARFARE and REST
HOW TO POSSESS YOUR POSSESSIONS

CONQUEST
OF THE PROMISED LAND

DIVISION
OF THE PROMISED LAND

CLOSE OF JOSHUA'S LIFE

ACTION ALLOCATION APPEAL
Josh 1:1-5:15 Josh 6:1-12:24 Joshua 13:1-21:45 Josh 22:1-24:33

WARLORDS IN
CANAAN

LANDLORDS IN
CANAAN

ENTERING
CANAAN

CONQUERING
CANAAN

DIVIDING
CANAAN

SECURING THE
LAND

SETTLING THE
LAND

Preparation

Conquest

Possession

Consecration

ca. 1 Month ca 7 Years ca. 18 Years

See also more detailed Chart by Charles R Swindoll


Proposed Plan of Ancient Jericho (see note)

Joshua 6:1  Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in.

  • was straitly: Heb. did shut up, and was shut up, Jos 2:7 2Ki 17:4 
  • because: Jos 2:9-14,24 Ps 127:1 

Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in.

Believer's Study Bible - The Conquest of Canaan (Central and Southern Campaigns)  (see map).  From the military camp at Gilgal Joshua launched two campaigns, thus conquering central and southern Canaan. This verse is probably a parenthesis within the account of Joshua's meeting with the Lord (5:13-6:5), similar to 3:15b. It describes the difficulty of the task facing Joshua, as well as the fear of the city's inhabitants. The overthrow of Jericho, a strategic stronghold in the land of the Canaanites, was to be a convincing demonstration that Israel's enemies could be overwhelmed by the Lord.

Matthew Henry Concise Commentary - Verses 1-5. Jericho resolves Israel shall not be its master. It shut itself up, being strongly fortified both by art and nature. Thus were they foolish, and their hearts hardened to their destruction; the miserable case of all that strengthen themselves against the Almighty. God resolves Israel shall be its master, and that quickly. No warlike preparations were to be made. By the uncommon method of besieging the city, the Lord honoured the ark, as the symbol of his presence, and showed that all the victories were from him. The faith and patience of the people were proved and increased. 

Joshua 6:2  The LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors.

  • the Lord: Jos 5:13-15 
  • I have: Jos 6:9-24 2:9,24 8:1 11:6-8 Jdg 11:21 2Sa 5:19 Ne 9:24 Da 2:21,44 Da 4:17,35 5:18 
  • the king: De 7:24 Jdg 11:24 

The LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors.

Joshua 6:3  "You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days.

  • ye shall: Jos 6:7,14 Nu 14:9 1Co 1:21-25 2Co 4:7 

"You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days.

Joshua 6:4  "Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.

  • trumpets of rams': The words {shopheroth hyyovelim,} should rather be rendered jubilee, trumpets, i.e., such as were used on the jubilee, which were probably made of horn or silver:  for the entrance of the Israelites into Canaan was indeed a jubilee to them (See Note on Lev 25:11):  instead of the dreadful trumpet of war, they were ordered to sound the trumpet of joy, as already conquerors. Lev 25:9 Nu 10:1-10 Jdg 7:7,8,15-22 2Ch 13:12 20:17,19,21 Isa 27:13 Zec 4:6 
  • seven times: Ge 2:3 7:2,3 Lev 4:6 14:16 25:8 Nu 23:1 1Ki 18:43 2Ki 5:10 Job 42:8 Zec 4:2 Rev 1:4,20 5:1,6 8:2,6 10:3 15:1,7 16:1 

Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets

Joshua 6:5  "It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead."

  • make a long: Jos 6:16,20 Ex 19:19 2Ch 20:21,22 
  • the people: Jdg 7:20-22 1Sa 4:5 17:20,52 2Ch 13:14,15 Jer 50:15 
  • and the wall: The words {wenaphelah chomath hair tachteyha,} are literally, "and the wall of the city shall fall down under itself;" which appears simply to mean, that the wall shall fall down from its very foundation; which was probably the case in every part, though large breaches in different places might have been amply sufficient first to admit the armed men, after whom the host might enter to destroy the city.  There is no ground for the supposition that the walls sunk into the earth. Isa 25:12 30:25 2Co 10:4,5 Heb 11:30 
  • flat: Heb. under it

It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead."

Joshua 6:6  So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, "Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD."

  • Take up the ark: Jos 6:8,13 3:3,6 Ex 25:14 De 20:2-4 Ac 9:1 

So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, "Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD."

 

Matthew Henry Concise Commentary - Verses 6-16. Wherever the ark went, the people attended it. God's ministers, by the trumpet of the everlasting gospel, which proclaims liberty and victory, must encourage the followers of Christ in their spiritual warfare. As promised deliverances must be expected in God's way, so they must be expected in his time. At last the people were to shout: they did so, and the walls fell. This was a shout of faith; they believed the walls of Jericho would fall. It was a shout of prayer; they cry to Heaven for help, and help came. 

Joshua 6:7  Then he said to the people, "Go forward, and march around the city, and let the armed men go on before the ark of the LORD."

  • that is armed: Jos 6:3 1:14 4:13 

Then he said to the people, "Go forward, and march around the city, and let the armed men go on before the ark of the LORD."

Joshua 6:8  And it was so, that when Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the LORD went forward and blew the trumpets; and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.

  • before the Lord: Jos 6:3,4 Nu 32:20 

And it was so, that when Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the LORD went forward and blew the trumpets; and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them

Joshua 6:9  The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while they continued to blow the trumpets.

  • and the rereward: Heb. gathering, host, Jos 6:13 Nu 10:25 Isa 52:11 58:8 

 The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while they continued to blow the trumpets.

Joshua 6:10  But Joshua commanded the people, saying, "You shall not shout nor let your voice be heard nor let a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you, 'Shout!' Then you shall shout!"

  • any noise with your voice: Heb. your voice to be heard, Isa 42:2 Mt 12:19 
  • until the day: 2Sa 5:23,24 Isa 28:16 Lu 24:49 Ac 1:7 

But Joshua commanded the people, saying, "You shall not shout nor let your voice be heard nor let a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you, 'Shout!' Then you shall shout!"

Joshua 6:11  So he had the ark of the LORD taken around the city, circling it once; then they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp.

So he had the ark of the LORD taken around the city, circling it once; then they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp.

Joshua 6:12  Now Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.

  • Joshua rose: Jos 3:1 Ge 22:3 
  • the priests: Jos 6:6-8 De 31:25 Joh 2:5-8 6:10,11 9:6,7 Heb 11:7,8 

Now Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.

Joshua 6:13  The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew the trumpets; and the armed men went before them and the rear guard came after the ark of the LORD, while they continued to blow the trumpets.

  • went on: 1Ch 15:26 Mt 24:13 Ga 6:9 

The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew the trumpets; and the armed men went before them and the rear guard came after the ark of the LORD, while they continued to blow the trumpets.

Joshua 6:14  Thus the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp; they did so for six days.

  • Jos 6:3,11,15 

Thus the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp; they did so for six days

Joshua 6:15  Then on the seventh day they rose early at the dawning of the day and marched around the city in the same manner seven times; only on that day they marched around the city seven times.

  • about the dawning: Ps 119:147 Mt 28:1 2Pe 1:19 
  • only on that day: Jos 6:4 

Then on the seventh day they rose early at the dawning of the day and marched around the city in the same manner seven times; only on that day they marched around the city seven times.

Joshua 6:16  At the seventh time, when the priests blew the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, "Shout! For the LORD has given you the city.

  • Shout: Jos 6:5 Jdg 7:20-22 2Ch 13:15 20:22,23 

At the seventh time, when the priests blew the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, "Shout! For the LORD has given you the city.

Joshua 6:17  "The city shall be under the ban, it and all that is in it belongs to the LORD; only Rahab the harlot and all who are with her in the house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent.

  • accursed: or, devoted, Jos 7:1 Lev 27:28,29 Nu 21:2,3 1Co 2:7 Ezr 10:8 *marg: Isa 34:6 Jer 46:10 Eze 39:17 Mic 4:13 1Co 16:22 Ga 3:10,12 
  • only Rahab: Jos 2:1 
  • because: Jos 6:22,23 2:4-6,22 Ge 12:3 1Sa 15:6 Mt 10:41,42 25:40 Heb 6:10 Heb 11:31 Jas 2:25 

The city shall be under the ban, it and all that is in it belongs to the LORD; only Rahab the harlot and all who are with her in the house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent

Believer's Study Bible - (vv. 17-19) That these verses interrupt the narrative and contain a divine command shows the emphasis being placed on strict obedience. A form of the word herem (Heb.), "accursed" or "curse," is used four times in v. 18. It describes something separated from common use, marked either for temple use or for destruction. It could also be translated "devoted." The word `akar (Heb.), "trouble," prepares for the next chapter, since it is used in 7:24-26. Also note the alternating references in this chapter to Rahab (vv. 17, 22, 23, 25) and to the condemned inhabitants of Jericho, thus contrasting the two. Any Canaanite could be saved by turning in faith to the Lord. Rahab is an illustration of every believer who was under God's judgment, but has been spared by God's grace.

Ryrie - under the ban. The same Hebrew word (herem) is translated "utterly destroyed" in verse 21. It means "to ban, destroy, devote," in the sense of belonging to a god or, as here, to the true God. Jericho was completely devoted to God as the firstfruits of Canaan, and no booty was to be taken by the people (vv. 18-19). See note on Lev. 27:28-29. 

Matthew Henry Concise Commentary - Verses 17-27. Jericho was to be a solemn and awful sacrifice to the justice of God, upon those who had filled up the measure of their sins. So He appoints, from whom, as creatures, they received their lives, and to whom, as sinners, they had forfeited them. Rahab perished not with them that believed not, Hebrews 11:31. All her kindred were saved with her; thus faith in Christ brings salvation to the house, Acts 16:31. She, and they with her, were plucked as brands from the burning. With Rahab, or with the men of Jericho; our portion must be assigned, as we posses or disregard the sign of salvation; even faith in Christ, which worketh by love. Let us remember what depends upon our choice, and let us choose accordingly. God shows the weight of a Divine curse; where it rests there is no getting from under it; for it brings ruin without remedy. 

Joshua 6:18  "But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things under the ban, so that you do not covet them and take some of the things under the ban, and make the camp of Israel accursed and bring trouble on it.

  • in any wise: Ro 12:9 2Co 6:17 Eph 5:11 Jas 1:27 1Jn 5:21 
  • lest ye make: Jos 7:1,11,12,15 De 7:26 13:17 
  • make the camp: Jos 7:11,12 22:18-20 1Sa 14:28-42 Ec 9:18 Jon 1:12 
  • and trouble it: Jos 7:25 2Sa 21:1 1Ki 18:17,18 

But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things under the ban, so that you do not covet them and take some of the things under the ban, and make the camp of Israel accursed and bring trouble on it.

Joshua 6:19  "But all the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy to the LORD; they shall go into the treasury of the LORD."

  • all the silver: 2Sa 8:11 1Ch 18:11 26:20,26,28 28:12 2Ch 15:18 31:12 Isa 23:17,18 Mic 4:13 
  • consecrated: Heb. holiness, Lev 19:24 *marg: Zec 14:20,21 
  • the treasury: 1Ki 7:51 14:26 2Ki 24:13 1Ch 26:20 Ne 7:70,71 10:38 Jer 38:11 Mt 27:6 Mk 12:41 

But all the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy to the LORD; they shall go into the treasury of the LORD.

Joshua 6:20  So the people shouted, and priests blew the trumpets; and when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city.

wall: Jos 6:5 2Co 10:4,5 Heb 11:30 

So the people shouted, and priests blew the trumpets; and when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city.

Henry Morris - fell down flat.  The miraculous collapse of Jericho's walls has been attributed by many to a providentially timed earthquake. This may be the case, but whatever the reason, the fact of Jericho's collapse and burning has been adequately confirmed archaeologically. Strategically located near the Jordan at the entrance to Canaan, Jericho is a very old occupation site, with numerous towns erected one above the other at the same site. The Jericho of Joshua's time has been disputed by archaeologists, especially in view of the uncertainties in both pottery and radiocarbon dating and the ongoing controversy over the date of the exodus. Nevertheless, some conservative archaeologists have argued cogently in favor of accepting the traditional date (around 1450 B.C.), at which time the Jericho site does seem to show evidence of a collapse of its walls and a burning of the city.

Joshua 6:21  They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.

  • And they: The Canaanites were ripe for destruction; and God was pleased, instead of destroying them by a pestilence, a famine, or an earthquake, to employ the Israelites as the executioners of his vengeance.  Had an angel been commissioned to slay them, who would have charged him with iniquity or cruelty?  In all public calamities infants are involved; and tens of thousands of infants die in great agony every year.  Now, either God is not the agent in these calamities, (which opinion, though often implied in men's reasonings on these subjects, is not far from atheism;) or they must consist with the most perfect justice and goodness.
  • utterly: Jos 9:24,25 10:28,39 11:14 De 2:34 7:2,3,16 20:16,17 1Sa 15:3,8,18,19 1Ki 20:42 Ps 137:8,9 Jer 48:18 Rev 18:21 

A GOOD BEGINNING:
TOTAL OBEDIENCE TO YAHWEH

They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword

Joshua 6:22  Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, "Go into the harlot's house and bring the woman and all she has out of there, as you have sworn to her."

  • Joshua: Jos 6:17 2:1-24 
  • as ye sware unto her: Jos 2:12-14,17-20 9:15,18-20 2Sa 21:2,7 Ps 15:4 Eze 17:13,16,18 Eze 17:19 Heb 11:31 

Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, "Go into the harlot's house and bring the woman and all she has out of there, as you have sworn to her.

Joshua 6:23  So the young men who were spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and her mother and her brothers and all she had; they also brought out all her relatives and placed them outside the camp of Israel.

  • out Rahab: Jos 2:18 Ge 12:2 18:24 19:29 Ac 27:24 Heb 11:7 
  • kindred: Heb. families
  • left them: Nu 5:2,3 31:19 Ac 10:28 1Co 5:12 Eph 2:12 

So the young men who were spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and her mother and her brothers and all she had; they also brought out all her relatives and placed them outside the camp of Israel.

Believer's Study Bible - They were kept outside the camp because, being Gentiles, they were ceremonially unclean. This was only temporary (cf. v. 25; see also Eph. 2:13). According to Matt. 1:5, Rahab eventually married into the tribe of Judah and the line of Christ.

Joshua 6:24  They burned the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold, and articles of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.

  • burnt: Jos 8:28 De 13:16 2Ki 25:9 Rev 17:16 18:8 
  • only the silver: Jos 6:19 

They burned the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold, and articles of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.

Joshua 6:25  However, Rahab the harlot and her father's household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

  • Rahab: Jos 11:19,20 Jdg 1:24,25 Ac 2:21 Heb 11:31 
  • she dwelleth: Mt 1:5 
  • unto: Jos 4:9 
  • because: Jas 2:25 

However, Rahab the harlot and her father's household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day,

For she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho - James uses this work of Rahab to show that her faith was genuine writing "In the same way, (as Abraham - Jas 2:21-24+) was not Rahab the harlot also justified (SHOWN TO BE RIGHTEOUS) by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?" (James 2:25+)

Joshua 6:26  Then Joshua made them take an oath at that time, saying, "Cursed before the LORD is the man who rises up and builds this city Jericho; with the loss of his firstborn he shall lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son he shall set up its gates."

  • Then Joshua made them take an oath: This is to be regarded as a prediction, that he who rebuilded this city should lose all his children in the interim between the laying of the foundation to the completion of the walls. Nu 5:19-21 1Sa 14:24-46 1Ki 22:16 Mt 26:63 Ac 19:13 
  • Cursed: 1Ki 16:34 Mal 1:4 

JOSHUA'S PROPHETIC 
WARNING RE JERICHO

Then Joshua made them take an oath at that time, saying, "Cursed before the LORD is the man who rises up and builds this city Jericho; with the loss of his firstborn he shall lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son he shall set up its gates - Note the warning is for rebuilding it as a fortified city, not against living in it. As noted below Hiel was cursed before the LORD. The fact that he set up its gates" (1Ki 16:34) supports the premise that he was building it as a fortified city. 

Sadly Joshua's warning was not heeded and thus was fulfilled about 600 years later (~870 BC) - "In his days Hiel the Bethelite built Jericho; he laid its foundations with the loss of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates with the loss of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which He spoke by Joshua the son of Nun." (1Ki 16:34) Why did Hiel build? Either he was unaware of the prophetic warning, he did not believe the warning or he selfishly did not really care1 

Henry Morris - Cursed be the man.  It was God's will that, because of its wickedness, Jericho should not be rebuilt, and a curse would fall upon the man who would attempt it. Such a man would lose all his children between the times of the beginning and completion of its reconstruction. This curse was literally fulfilled some 500 years later when a man named Hiel rebuilt Jericho (1 Kings 16:34).

Joshua 6:27  So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land.

  • the Lord: Jos 1:5,9 Ge 39:2,3,21 De 31:6 Mt 18:20 28:20 Ac 18:9,10 2Co 13:14 2Ti 4:17,22 
  • his fame: Jos 9:1,3,9 1Sa 2:30 2Sa 7:9 Mt 4:24 14:1 

So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land.

 

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