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The Fall of Jericho

Now the people of Jericho were afraid because the Israelites were near. So they closed the city gates and guarded them. No one went into the city. And no one came out.

Then the Lord spoke to Joshua. He said, “Look, I have given you Jericho, its king and all its fighting men. March around the city with your army one time every day. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets made from horns of male sheep. Tell them to march in front of the Ark of the Covenant. On the seventh day march around the city seven times. On that day tell the priests to blow the trumpets as they march. They will make one long blast on the trumpets. When you hear that sound, have all the people give a loud shout. Then the walls of the city will fall. And the people will go straight into the city.”

So Joshua son of Nun called the priests together. He said to them, “Carry the Ark of the Covenant with the Lord. Tell seven priests to carry trumpets and march in front of it.” Then Joshua ordered the people, “Now go! March around the city. The soldiers with weapons should march in front of the Ark of the Covenant with the Lord.”

So Joshua finished speaking to the people. Then the seven priests began marching before the Lord. They carried the seven trumpets and blew them as they marched. The priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant with the Lord followed them. The soldiers with weapons marched in front of the priests. And armed men walked behind the Ark of the Covenant. They were blowing their trumpets. 10 But Joshua had told the people not to give a war cry. He said, “Don’t shout. Don’t say a word until the day I tell you. Then shout!” 11 So Joshua had the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord carried around the city one time. Then they went back to camp for the night.

12 Early the next morning Joshua got up. And the priests carried the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord again. 13 The seven priests carried the seven trumpets. They marched in front of the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, blowing their trumpets. The soldiers with weapons marched in front of them. Other soldiers walked behind the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. All this time the priests were blowing their trumpets. 14 So on the second day they marched around the city one time. Then they went back to camp. They did this every day for six days.

15 On the seventh day they got up at dawn. They marched around the city seven times. They marched just as they had on the days before. But on that day they marched around the city seven times. 16 The seventh time around the priests blew their trumpets. Then Joshua gave the command: “Now, shout! The Lord has given you this city! 17 The city and everything in it are to be destroyed as an offering to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and everyone in her house should remain alive. They must not be killed. This is because Rahab hid the two spies we sent out. 18 Don’t take any of the things that are to be destroyed as an offering to the Lord. If you take them and bring them into our camp, then you yourselves will be destroyed. You will also bring trouble to all of Israel. 19 All the silver and gold and things made from bronze and iron belong to the Lord. They must be saved for him.”

20 When the priests blew the trumpets, the people shouted. At the sound of the trumpets and the people’s shout, the walls fell. And everyone ran straight into the city. So the Israelites defeated that city. 21 They completely destroyed every living thing in the city. They killed men and women, young and old. They killed cattle, sheep and donkeys.

22 Joshua spoke to the two men who had spied out the land. Joshua said, “Go into the prostitute’s house. Bring her out. And bring out all the people who are with her. Do this because of the promise you made to her.” 23 So the two men went into the house and brought out Rahab. They also brought out her father, mother, brothers and all those with her. They put all of her family in a safe place outside the camp of Israel.

24 Then Israel burned the whole city and everything in it. But they did not burn the things made from silver, gold, bronze and iron. These were saved for the Lord. 25 Joshua saved Rahab the prostitute, her family and all who were with her. He let them live. This was because Rahab had helped the men he had sent to spy out Jericho. Rahab still lives among the Israelites today.

26 Then Joshua made this important promise. He said:

“Anyone who tries to rebuild this city of Jericho
    will be punished by a curse from the Lord.
The man who lays the foundation of this city
    will lose his oldest son.
The man who sets up the gates
    will lose his youngest son.”

27 So the Lord was with Joshua. And Joshua became famous through all the land.

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