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Friday, June 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Joshua 6

Hampton's Commentary on Selected BooksHampton's Commentary

Verses 1-27

When God Brought Down the Walls


When Joshua met the captain of the host of the Lord in chapter 5, he asked him, "What does my Lord say to his servant?" He first told Joshua to take off his shoes, which was a way of requiring reverence from him. Before anyone can serve the Lord in an acceptable way, he must exhibit respect. Nadab and Abihu failed to follow the Lord's command in reference to offering incense to the Lord. After they were consumed with fire, God had Moses tell Aaron, "By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified" ( Lev_10:1-3 ).

Joshua followed the Lord's direction and took off his shoes. We next learn that Jericho had been shut up like a city under siege, with no one going in or out. In 6:2-5, there is a record of the Lord's instructions to Joshua in answer to the question he had asked. Joshua had addressed his question to the captain of the host of the Lord and receives an answer from the Lord, or Jehovah, indicating they are one in the same. God promises victory to Joshua and the children of Israel and then proceeds to tell them how to take the city. The trumpets that were to be blown by the seven priests were the same trumpets that were to be blown for the jubilee ( Lev_25:9 ).

Joshua sent an armed force of men first followed by the seven priests with trumpets and the ark of the covenant to circle the city once each day for six days. On the seventh day, they were to encircle the city seven times followed by the priests blowing on the horns. When the people heard the horns blow, they were to shout and God said the walls would fall down flat. Then, each man was to go straight up before him into the city to conquer its inhabitants. Obviously, the plan outlined by the Lord is not consistent with the way men would conquer a city.

Leslie G. Thomas said, "God has seen fit in every age of the world to justify men on the principle of faith, and he has always selected such acts of obedience as would adequately test the faith of those who desired his blessings." He went on to say, "The principle has always marked the difference between those who are pleasing to the Lord, and those who are not acceptable to him. (Cf. Gen_3:1-6 ; Mar_16:15-16 ; Gal_1:6-9 .)"

Because he was a man of faith, Joshua passed the Lord's commands on to the people and they began to circle the city each day as directed. Jos_6:8 describes the priests going before the Lord because the ark of the covenant was where the Lord's glory appeared before the people and was therefore symbolic of his presence among them. In verse 9, we learn there was an armed force after the ark as well as before it and the trumpets were blown each day as they marched. The rest of those marching were to remain quiet until the day the Lord told them to shout. That happened on the seventh day after they had circled the city seven times and the trumpets had been blown.

Prior to the last day's march, God had told the people that the city would be accursed, or devoted as is in the margin of the King James Version. The meaning is that it was to be counted as a holy thing not to be touched by men because it belonged to God. Such was appropriate since he was the one who gave the city into their hands.

No devoted thing was to be touched by men but put to death because it belonged to the Lord ( Lev_27:28-29 ). Rahab and her household were excepted from this because she had hidden the spies. Also, the Lord directed that things made out of metal should be taken into his treasury.

After they had compassed the walls of the city on the seventh day, the priests blew their horns and the people gave a shout. The walls fell down flat and the people climbed over them to destroy all that was in the city. The two spies, as directed by Joshua, went in and led Rahab and her family out to safety then all living things were destroyed with the sword and the city was burned. Since Jericho was the firstfruits of conquest, it was to be left unfortified for the remainder of its days. The man who laid again a foundation for the walls would lose his firstborn. His last born would die when the gates were set in the walls. This prophecy was fulfilled some five hundred fifty years later ( 1Ki_16:34 ).

Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Joshua 6". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghc/joshua-6.html. 2014.
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