Terrain Day 5 Jericho’s Walls: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
Check out Jericho’s Walls!

The Questions

1) What does it mean that Jericho was strongly fortified? (verse 1)

2) Why is it important that God told Joshua, “I have handed Jericho, its king, and its best soldiers over to you?” (verse 2)

3) Why did God instruct the Israelites to destroy everything in Jericho? (verse 17)

Joshua 6:1-21

Now Jericho was strongly fortified because of the Israelites—no one leaving or entering. 2 The Lord said to Joshua, “Look, I have handed Jericho, its king, and its best soldiers over to you. 3 March around the city with all the men of war, circling the city one time. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry seven ram’s-horn trumpets in front of the ark. But on the seventh day, march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the rams’ horns. 5 When there is a prolonged blast of the horn and you hear its sound, have all the troops give a mighty shout. Then the city wall will collapse, and the troops will advance, each man straight ahead.”

6 So Joshua son of Nun summoned the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant and have seven priests carry seven rams’ horns in front of the ark of the Lord.” 7 He said to the troops, “Move forward, march around the city, and have the armed men go ahead of the ark of the Lord.”

8 After Joshua had spoken to the troops, seven priests carrying seven rams’ horns before the Lord moved forward and blew the rams’ horns; the ark of the Lord’s covenant followed them. 9 While the rams’ horns were blowing, the armed men went in front of the priests who blew the rams’ horns, and the rear guard went behind the ark. 10 But Joshua had commanded the troops, “Do not shout or let your voice be heard. Don’t let one word come out of your mouth until the time I say, ‘Shout!’ Then you are to shout.” 11 So the ark of the Lord was carried around the city, circling it once. They returned to the camp and spent the night there.

12 Joshua got up early the next morning. The priests took the ark of the Lord, 13 and the seven priests carrying seven rams’ horns marched in front of the ark of the Lord. While the rams’ horns were blowing, the armed men went in front of them, and the rear guard went behind the ark of the Lord. 14 On the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.

15 Early on the seventh day, they started at dawn and marched around the city seven times in the same way. That was the only day they marched around the city seven times. 16 After the seventh time, the priests blew the rams’ horns, and Joshua said to the troops, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city. 17 But the city and everything in it are set apart to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and everyone with her in the house will live, because she hid the messengers we sent. 18 But keep yourselves from the things set apart, or you will be set apart for destruction. If you take any of those things, you will set apart the camp of Israel for destruction and make trouble for it. 19 For all the silver and gold, and the articles of bronze and iron, are dedicated to the Lord and must go into the Lord’s treasury.”

20 So the troops shouted, and the rams’ horns sounded. When they heard the blast of the ram’s horns, the troops gave a great shout, and the wall collapsed. The troops advanced into the city, each man straight ahead, and they captured the city. 21 They completely destroyed everything in the city with the sword—every man and woman, both young and old, and every ox, sheep, and donkey.

Original Intent

1) What does it mean that Jericho was strongly fortified? (verse 1)
In ancient times, cities were fortified with strong walls built for protection around a city and its inhabitants. These walls were quite effective in keeping enemies out. Soldiers would stand guard on top of these walls for added protection. Approaching enemies would be deterred from attacking due to the city’s formidable protection. Jericho was one of the oldest and well-fortified cities. People far and wide, including the Israelites, would have heard of Jericho’s famously fortified walls. Jericho’s fortification also meant the Israelites would need to wholly trust God as they invaded the land He had promised them.

2) Why is it important that God told Joshua, “I have handed Jericho, its king, and its best soldiers over to you?” (verse 2)
With the Lord’s confident declaration over him, Joshua headed into the battle knowing he would have victory. God promised the enemy would certainly be defeated and the land would assuredly belong to the Israelites. Joshua’s job was to listen and follow God’s clear direction, choosing to trust that victory would indeed be theirs. Joshua led his army into battle not depending on himself but instead leaning wholly on God and His word. God’s steadfast character of faithfulness gave Joshua the confidence to lead Israel in victory without fear. He could indeed “be strong and courageous” as the Lord had commanded. (Joshua 1:9)

3) Why did God instruct the Israelites to destroy everything in Jericho? (verse 17)
Only Rahab, the spy who helped the Israelites, and her family were allowed to live after Jericho’s defeat. God directed the rest of Jericho and its inhabitants to be destroyed once the city had been won. The monetary wealth went to the Tabernacle as an offering to God. This served to help Israel not become consumed by wealth and instead, continue to depend on God’s providence. God knew if anything remained behind for the Israelites to hoard away, they would be drawn into the idol worship and cult-like practices of the Canaanites. God wanted Israel to keep their eyes on Him as their sole provider and defender. By declaring destruction for Jericho, God was helping Israel avoid the temptation to worship false gods. God also used this as judgement on the Canaanites for their own rebellion against Him.

Everyday Application

1) What does it mean that Jericho was strongly fortified? (verse 1)
While we no longer have fortified cities in the same way ancient Jericho did, but protection around a city is one we can readily understand. Where cities of old strategized by building thick walls, we have military armies and police forces who diligently train to protect us and keep our cities and streets safe. Countries use strategies of protection based on their surroundings, like waterways or even traffic flow to help deter enemies. We also use protection as individuals in our relationships. When someone or something hurts us, we tend to put up our own emotional walls of self-protection. Whenever there is danger present, we are given an opportunity to trust God for His victory in our hearts and lives just as Israel did. The outcome may not look as we would expect, and the method God uses to bring about His victory may not be what we would choose, but we can still choose to trust Him.

2) Why is it important that God told Joshua, “I have handed Jericho, its king, and its best soldiers over to you?” (verse 2)
Just as Joshua had an enemy, so do we as believers today. We also have the reassurance that our enemy has been defeated. Jesus came and beat our enemy, Satan and his weaponry of sin and death. Therefore, when we engage in battle in everyday life, we do so knowing we will be victorious in the end. The outcome has already been fought and won by our Savior, the Lord Jesus! We still live with the consequences of sin (our own and others) and even though true Christ-followers still fall into sin, we live with unshakeable confidence knowing the war is already won. We know the victory is won because Jesus Christ has defeated our enemy as we face our own battles daily.

3) Why did God instruct the Israelites to destroy everything in Jericho? (verse 17)
Just as the Israelites needed to either give God everything they had conquered or destroy it so as to not be tempted, the same is true in our lives. There are times we conquer a sin or overcome a temptation and we need to completely destroy what led us to it in the first place. Sometimes that means changing a lifestyle and sometimes it means choosing not to spend time in certain places or with certain people in order to not be tempted to fall into sin. Other times, that habit which has led us into sin, can be turned over to God through prayerful surrender. He uses that offering to teach us to trust Him and, often, He will redeem that brokenness in ways we couldn’t have imagined. We must resist the urge to label God has a scrooge who takes things away to be miserly, and instead trust His fatherly heart that desires us to trust Him and know Him as infinitely good and wise.

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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