View Joshua 6 in the note window.
Directions given to Joshua concerning Jericho, ver. 1 - 5.
The people compass the city seven days, ver. 6 - 14.
The taking it, with the charge to destroy it utterly, ver. 15 - 21.
The preservation of Rahab and her relations, ver. 22 - 25.
A curse pronounced on any that should rebuild it, ver. 26, 27.
3: Round about the city once - At a convenient distance, out of the
reach of their arrows. Six days - Every day once. This and the following
course might seem ridiculous and absurd, and is therefore prescribed by God,
that they might learn to take new measures of things, and to expect success
not from their own valour, or skill, but merely from God's appointment and
blessing; and in general, not to judge of any of God's institutions by mere
carnal reason, to which divers of their ceremonies would seem no less
foolish than this action.
5: The wall - Not all of it; which was unnecessary, and might have
given the people better opportunity of escaping, but only a considerable
part of it, where the Israelites might fitly enter: for Rahab's
house was not overthrown, ver.(22).
Flat - Heb. under it, it was not battered down with engines which
would have made part of it fall out of its place; but it fell of its own
accord, and therefore in the place it did formerly stand in. God chose
this way, to try the faith and obedience of the people: whether they would
observe a precept, which to human policy seemed foolish, and believe a
promise, which seemed impossible to be performed: whether they could
patiently bear the reproaches of their enemies, and patiently wait for the
salvation of God. Thus by faith, not by force, the walls of Jericho
6: Of rams horns - Of the basest matter, and the dullest sound, that
the excellency of the power might be of God.
7: Him that is armed - God would have them armed both for the defense
of themselves and the ark, in case the enemies should make a sally upon
them, and for the execution of the Lord's vengeance upon that city.
9: The rereward - Which being opposed to the armed men, may seem
to note the unarmed people, who were desirous to be spectators of this
10: Ye shall not shout - Because shouting before the time appointed,
would be ineffectual, and so might give them some discouragement, and their
enemies matter of insulting.
16: Shout - To testify your faith in God's promise, and thankfulness
for this glorious mercy; to encourage yourselves and brethren, and to strike
a terror into your enemies. Given you the city - It is given to them, to
be devoted to God, as the first, and perhaps the worst of all the cities of
17: Accursed - That is, devoted to utter destruction. This he speaks
by direction from God, as is evident from (1Ki 16:34).
To the Lord - Partly because the first - fruits were appropriated to God;
partly lest the soldiers being glutted with the spoil of the rich city,
should grow sluggish in their work; and partly to strike the greater terror
into the rest of their enemies.
18: A curse - By provoking God to punish them for your sin, in which
they may be one way or other involved; or the whole camp having sins of
their own, God might take what occasion he saw fit to inflict this
19: Vessels of brass and iron - Except that of which images were made,
which were to be utterly destroyed. Unto the Lord - Being first made to
pass through the fire, (Nu 31:22,23).
Treasury of the Lord - To be employed wholly for the uses of the
tabernacle, not to be applied to the use of any private person or priest.
21: Young and old - Being commanded to do so by the sovereign Lord of
every man's life; and being informed by God before that the Canaanites
were abominably wicked, and deserved the severest punishments. As for the
infants, they were guilty of original sin, and otherwise at the disposal of
their creator; but if they had been wholly innocent, it was a great favour
to them to take them away in infancy, rather than reserve them to those
dreadful calamities which those who survived them were liable to.
22: Harlot's house - Which together with the wall upon which it
leaned, was left standing, by a special favour of God to her.
23: Without the camp of Israel - 'Till they were cleansed from the
impurities of their Gentile state, and instructed in the Jewish
religion, and solemnly admitted into that church, for which Rahab's good
counsel and example had doubtless prepared them.
25: The harlot olive - For that general command of rooting out the
Canaanites seems to have had some exception, in case any of them had
sincerely and seasonably cast off their wickedness, and submitted to the
26: Adjured them - Or, made them to fear; caused the people,
or some in the name of all, to swear for the present and succeeding
generations, and to confirm their oath by a curse. Before the Lord - That
is, from God's presence, and by his sentence, as they are said to cast
lots before the Lord, (Jos 18:8,10), that is, expecting the design
from God. He intimates, that he doth not utter this upon a particular
dislike of that place, but by divine inspiration. God would have the ruins
of this city remain as a standing monument of God's justice against this
wicked and idolatrous people, and of his almighty power in destroying so
great and strong a city by such contemptible means. Buildeth - That is,
that shall attempt to build it. So this curse is restrained to the builder,
but no way belongs to those who should inhabit it after it was built, as is
evident from (2Ki 4:18,Lu 19:1,5).
In his youngest son - That is, he shall lose all his children in the work,
the first at the beginning, others in the progress of it by degrees, and the
youngest in the close of it, when the gates use to be set up. This was
fulfilled, (1Ki 16:34).
27: The word of the Lord was with him - (So the Chaldee:)
Even Christ himself, the same that was with Moses. Nothing makes a man
appear more truly great, than to have the evidences of God's presence with