The Battle of Jericho

Joshua 2,5,6    Review Activities for this Lesson

How do you think the wicked kings of Canaan felt when they heard the God of Israel had dried up the swollen Jordan River so His people could go through on dry land? The Bible tells us, “Their hearts melted and there was no spirit in them any longer because of the children of Israel.” They must have wondered what would happen next! The Israelites were camped at Gilgal across from Jericho, but God was not ready for them to march against Jericho yet. He wanted them to remember Him again in the special ways He had given their fathers. There in the plains of Jericho they kept the feast of the Passover. And that day they ate food from the land instead of the manna which had fallen during their wanderings in the wilderness.

Joshua must have wondered how they would ever capture the city of Jericho. Maybe he could even see its thick stone walls from their camp. How would he ever get enough men inside to take it over? They had no battering rams or any other weapons strong enough to break through its walls. Joshua knew one thing for sure, though - - if God fought for them, no walls in the world were strong enough to stop them.

Joshua had sent spies into Jericho to get information before they crossed the Jordan. When the king tried to capture the spies, a woman named Rahab hid them under flax stalks on her roof.

Before they lay down, Rahab came up to the roof and said, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us . . . for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath.” Not only had the people of Jericho heard what happened at the Jordan River - - they also knew how God had divided the Red Sea. And everyone was afraid.

The king had locked the gates to trap the spies inside Jericho, and Rahab offered to help them escape on one condition - - when the city fell, she and her family would be saved alive. The spies agreed to do this, then she let them down by a rope through a window. Since her house was on the outside of the wall, they could get away and run back to the camp at Gilgal. Before they left, however, they told Rahab to hang a scarlet cord from that same window so the army of the Israelites would not hurt them.

The spies had good news for Joshua. “Truly the Lord has delivered all the land into our hands, for indeed all the inhabitants of the country are fainthearted because of us.”

The king of Jericho shut up all the gates so no one could go out or come in. Then God told Joshua exactly how to capture Jericho, commanding, “You shall march around the city . . . you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do for six days.” On the seventh day they marched around the same way seven times, but on the seventh time, everyone would shout and the walls would fall down.

In the march, the soldiers would come first, followed by seven priests blowing on trumpets made from rams’ horns. Next would come the ark of the covenant, with the rest of the people last. And, except for the priests blowing their trumpets, nobody was to say a word.

What do you think the people of Jericho thought? They could look out from the wall and see this strange parade - - day after day, silent except for the blowing of the priests’ trumpets. What was going to happen?

On the seventh day they found out. The Israelites started about daylight that day, going around six times instead of one time as they had done before. On their seventh round, Joshua commanded them, “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city!”

The Bible says when “the people shouted with a great shout that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” But they saved Rahab and her family alive.

Talking it Over:

1. Talk about what the Feast of the Passover was supposed to mean to the Israelites. What had just happened to make their faith in God even stronger?
2. As far as we know, God had never spoken to Rahab’s nation. Yet she had faith in His power. Why? How can people who do not have the Bible today know there is a Creator of love and power? (See Roman 1:20)
3. What would happen if an army today tried to use rams’ horn trumpets to win a war? Why did they work for the Israelites at Jericho? What are our weapons against Satan?

Memory Verse:

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.” Hebrews 11:30
Talk about how all the people - - Joshua, Rahab and the Israelites - - showed faith at Jericho.

Text by Betty Belue Haynes, originally published in Bible Talk Times. Used here with the kind permission of the author. Users are free to reproduce for use, but not for publication.