Joshua and Judges: Destruction of Jericho; significance of the method. Jos 6:6-21.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: Destruction of Jericho; significance of the method. JOS 6:6-21.


Announcements / opening prayer:



God's instructed method was for the ark of the covenant to be in the middle of a procession with soldiers in the front of the ark and soldiers behind the ark. With the ark were seven priests who each held a jubilee horn (ram's horn or shofar) which they would blow at the end of each march around the city. They did this for six days in the exact same manner, but then on the seventh day they marched around the city seven times in the same formation at the end of which they again gave a loud blast from the seven shofars and then all the people shouted a loud war-cry at which the walls fell flat.


JOS 6:20 So the people shouted, and priests blew the trumpets; and it came about, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, that the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city.


JOS 6:21 And they utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.


We may be able to piece together the significance of the marching, the trumpets, and the shout.


In the account before us the ark is constantly called the ark of the Lord, to show that the Lord, who was enthroned upon the cherubim of the ark, was going round the hostile town in the midst of His people; whilst in v. 8 Jehovah himself is mentioned in the place of the ark of Jehovah. Seven priests went before the ark, bearing jubilee trumpets and blowing during the march.


The first time we read of a shofar trumpet blast is at Sinai.


EXO 19:16 So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.


EXO 19:17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.


The next time we see the shofar blast is on the first day of the seventh month [Tisri], a sacred month in which the Day of Atonement was celebrated.


LEV 23:23 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,


LEV 23:24 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'In the seventh month on the first of the month, you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.


LEV 23:25 'You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord.'"


The shofar was blown to proclaim the great year of Jubilee as well as to proclaim the great day of atonement.


LEV 25:8 'You are also to count off seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven sabbaths of years, namely, forty-nine years.


LEV 25:9 'You shall then sound a ram's horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all through your land.


LEV 25:10 'You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.


LEV 25:11 'You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines.


LEV 25:12 'For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field.


Shofar blast:

A herald's call to His people for the arrival of Jehovah to give His covenant, to give them Sabbath rest, to bring them atonement, to deliver them from bondage as well as to return their possessions, and…


Deliverance from the bitter labors of this earth in their entrance into His eternal kingdom.


MAT 24:31

"And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.


And we should also note that the trumpet will be the herald call to the church at the Rapture.


1CO 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,


1CO 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.


But when the Lord comes to found, to build up, and to perfect His kingdom upon earth, He also comes to overthrow and destroy the worldly power which opposes His kingdom.


The revelation of the grace and mercy of God to His children, goes ever side by side with the revelation of justice and judgment towards the ungodly who are His foes. If therefore the blast of trumpets was the signal to the congregation of Israel of the gracious arrival of the Lord its God to enter into fellowship with Him, no less did it proclaim the advent of judgment to an ungodly world. This shows clearly enough the meaning of the trumpet-blast at Jericho. The priests, who went before the ark of the covenant (the visible throne of the invisible God who dwelt among His people) and in the midst of the hosts of Israel, were to announce through the blast of trumpets both to the Israelites and Canaanites the appearance of the Lord of the whole earth for judgment upon Jericho, the strong bulwark of the Canaanitish power and rule. The trumpet blasts were to foretell to them through the falling of the walls of this fortification the overthrow of all the strong bulwarks of an ungodly world through the omnipotence of the Lord of heaven and earth.


Thus the fall of Jericho became the symbol and type of the overthrow of every worldly power before the Lord.


He should come to lead His people into Canaan and establish His kingdom upon earth.


On the ground of this event, the blowing of trumpets is frequently introduced in the writings of the prophets, as the signal and symbolical omen of the manifestations of the Lord in great judgments, through which He destroys one worldly power after another, and thus maintains and extends His kingdom upon earth, and leads it on towards that completion to which it will eventually attain when He descends from heaven in His glory at the time of the last trumpet.


The blowing of the shofar is frequently used by the prophets to symbolically portray the great judgment of God.


ISA 18:1 Alas, oh land of whirring wings Which lies beyond the rivers of Cush [Ethiopia],


ISA 18:2 Which sends envoys by the sea, Even in papyrus vessels on the surface of the waters. Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth, To a people feared far and wide, A powerful and oppressive nation Whose land the rivers divide.


ISA 18:3 All you inhabitants of the world and dwellers on earth, As soon as a standard is raised on the mountains, you will see it, And as soon as the trumpet is blown, you will hear it.


Jehovah was about to deliver the world from the conquering might of Assyria, against which the Ethiopian kingdom was now summoning all the means of self-defense by sending swift messengers.


The destruction of Assyria is also used eschatologically for the destruction of all the strong kingdoms who opposed God.


ISA 18:4 For thus the Lord has told me, "I will look from My dwelling place quietly Like dazzling heat in the sunshine, Like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest."


ISA 18:5 For before the harvest, as soon as the bud blossoms And the flower becomes a ripening grape, Then He will cut off the sprigs with pruning knives And remove and cut away the spreading branches [sudden].


ISA 18:6 They will be left together for mountain birds of prey, And for the beasts of the earth; And the birds of prey will spend the summer feeding on them, And all the beasts of the earth will spend harvest time on them.


ISA 18:7 At that time a gift of homage will be brought to the Lord of hosts From a people tall and smooth, Even from a people feared far and wide, A powerful and oppressive nation, Whose land the rivers divide — To the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, even Mount Zion.


ISA 27:13

It will come about also in that day that a great trumpet will be blown; and those who were perishing in the land of Assyria and who were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.


JER 49:2

"Therefore behold, the days are coming," declares the Lord,

"That I shall cause a trumpet blast of war to be heard

Against Rabbah [capital of Ammon] of the sons of Ammon;

And it will become a desolate heap,

And her towns will be set on fire.

Then Israel will take possession of his possessors,"


The appointment of the march round Jericho, which was to be continued for seven days, and to be repeated seven times on the seventh day, was equally significant. The number seven is a symbol in the Scriptures of the work of God and of the perfection already produced or to be eventually secured by Him; a symbol founded upon the creation of the world in six days, and the completion of the works of creation by the resting of God upon the seventh day. Through this arrangement, that the walls of Jericho were not to fall till after they had been marched round for seven days, and not till after this had been repeated seven times on the seventh day, and then amidst the blast of the seven jubilee trumpets and the war-cry of the soldiers of the people of God, the destruction of this town, the key to Canaan, was intended by God to become a type of the final destruction at the last day of the power of this world, which exalts itself against the kingdom of God.