Daily Tanach, Tuesday: Yehoshua Chapter 6-Part 2: The conquest of Jericho


1.      Yehoshua warns the nation against taking any of the spoils:

  • [Yehoshua instructed that] the entire city [of Jericho] is to be destroyed[1] [and never be rebuilt[2]] and its spoils are to be consecrated for the sake of G-d [being that it is being conquered on Shabbos, which is a holy day[3]]. “Be very diligent in guarding this consecration [and do not stretch your hand to take from any of the spoils], as if you take from the spoils for yourself, you will cause destruction to the nation. All the silver and gold, and copper and iron vessels are to be sanctified to Hashem and brought into His treasury.”
  • Only Rachav the harlot, and whoever is in her home, shall live, as she hid the spies that were sent.

2.      The conquest:

  • The wall falls: The nation blew the Teruos and the Shofros, When the nation heard the Shofar blowing, they sounded a Teruah Gedola [a great Teruah]. As they did so, the wall of Jericho fell, and the people entered the city and captured it.
  • The death and destruction of man and animal: They plundered everything that was in the city, from man to women, from young to old, from ox to sheep, and donkeys. Everything and everyone in the city were killed by the sword.
  • Rachav is saved: Yehoshua instructed the two spies [Kalev and Pinchas] who entered the land to visit the home of Rachav the harlot and remove from it the woman and all that is with her, as was sworn to her. The lads, the spies, went and took out from the home, Rachav, her father and mother, brothers and sisters and all that she had. The family of Rachav was placed outside the camp [until they would convert and would then join the rest of the camp of Israel[4]].
  • Destroying the city: The city and all its possessions were burnt to the ground. Only the silver and gold, and copper and iron vessels were salvaged and placed in the treasury of G-d.
  • The aftermath of Rachav and family: Rachav, the harlot, as well as her family, were saved by Yehoshua and integrated within the Jewish people until this very day, as a reward for hiding the spies that Yehoshua sent to spy on Jericho.
  • The oath to never rebuild the city of Jericho: Yehoshua made an oath at that time saying that cursed will be the person who rebuilds the city of Jericho. At the onset of building its foundation, his eldest son will die, and he will bury all his sons by the time the city is finished.
  • G-d was with Yehoshua and his fame spread throughout the entire land.

[1] Metzudos David 6:16 in his interpretation of the word Cherem

[2] Radak 6:17;

[3] Rashi 6:17; Rav Yosef Karo ibid

[4] Radak 6:23

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