Sefer Yehoshua-Chapter 6: The conquest of Jericho

Chapter 6: The conquest of Jericho


1. The siege of Jericho and instructions given:

  • The city of Jericho was closed off [by its inhabitants[1]] without allowing anyone to enter or exit.
  • Hashem instructs Yehoshua: Hashem told Yehoshua [through the angel Michael[2]] that he has handed him Jericho and its king and all its warriors. Hashem instructed Yehoshua that all the soldiers are to circle the city one time for seven days. Seven Kohanim are to carry seven Shofros of rams before the Aron. On the seventh day they are to circle the city seven times, and the Kohanim are to blow the Shofros. As the ram Shofar horn is being blown [for its last sound[3]] the entire nation is to blow a great Teruah sound and the wall of Yericho will fall, allowing the nation to enter it for battle.
  • Yehoshua instructs the Kohanim: Yehoshua summoned the Kohanim and instructed them to carry the Aron Habris, and that seven Kohanim are to carry seven Shofros, in front of the Aron of Hashem.
  • Yehoshua instructs the nation: Yehoshua instructed the nation to circle the city, and those who are armed [i.e. Bnei Gad, Reuvein and half of Menashe[4]] are to pass in front of the Aron of Hashem.

2. The circling of the city and the Shofar symphony:

  • The blowing of the Shofar: The nation did as they were instructed and seven Kohanim carried seven Shofros before Hashem, and they went and blew the Shofros while the Aron followed them. The soldiers who passed before the Kohanim blew the Shofros, and the people [of Dan[5]] who followed the Aron blew the Shofros. Yehoshua instructed the nation not to blow the Teruah and not to make a sound or say anything [that will give their location away to the inhabitants of Jericho[6]] until the day that they are given the signal by Yehoshua to blow the Teruah.
  • The circling of the six days: [On Sunday[7]] the Aron of Hashem circled the city one time [together with Yehoshua[8]], and then returned to the camp, and remained there overnight. Yehoshua rose early in the morning [on Monday[9]], and the Kohanim carried the Aron of Hashem. The seven Kohanim who carried the seven Shofros of rams walked before the Aron of Hashem and blew the Shofar. The armed soldiers [of Bnei Gad, Reuvein and half of Menashe] walked in front of them, and the people [of Dan] walked behind the Aron and blew the Shofros. They circled the city one time on the second day [i.e. Monday] and returned to the camp. So was done for six days.
  • The seventh day: On the seventh day [which was Shabbos[10]] they awoke early by Alos Hashachar and circled the city seven times. It was only on this day that they circled the city seven times. By the seventh circling, the Kohanim blew the Shofros and Yehoshua instructed the nation to blow Teruos, as G-d has handed them the city.

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

  • [Yehoshua instructed that] the entire city [of Jericho] is to be destroyed[11] [and never be rebuilt[12]] 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[13]]. “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.

4. 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[14]].
  • 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 6:1

[2] Radak 6:2

[3] Rashi 6:5

[4] Rashi 6:9; Metzudos David 6:7

[5] Rashi 6:13; Metzudos David 6:9

[6] Ralbag 6:10

[7] Radak 6:11

[8] Radak 6:11

[9] Metzudos David 6:12; See Radak ibid

[10] Rashi 6:15

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

[12] Radak 6:17;

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

[14] Radak 6:23

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