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Joshua 6:1-14, Jericho Taken and Destroyed

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

The Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I have handed Jericho over to you, along with its king and soldiers. You shall march around the city, all the warriors circling the city once. Thus you shall do for six days, with seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, the priests blowing the trumpets.’
— Joshua 6:2-4

NL Daily Devotion for Friday, October 12, 2018

 shofar

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff


As a kid, I thought this story was fascinating but weird. God tells people to march around the city, blow their horns, and then the walls fall down. From a kid’s perspective this is cool and scary and unusual and uniquely biblical. You don’t hear stories like these on the news (not that I watched much news at the age of 5).

As I grew older, I became fascinated with the concept that sound waves, perfectly timed, could actually tear down walls. There are some physics to support this theory. If this is what happened, it’s pretty miraculous that people that long ago could have known how to bring down a giant wall with sound — but, then again, God told them to, and God would have known. It seems a bit far fetched that horns made of ram’s horns (no two would be shaped exactly the same, so how could the sound sync?) could have caused such damage.

The most likely scenario is that Jericho was largely uninhabited by the time Israel attacked, making its conquering fairly easy. Over time, stories of just how they defeated Jericho likely got exaggerated.

So, how did they do it? Maybe it doesn’t matter. What matters is that God told them to do it, that God would help them do it, and they did it. Once again, God is faithful to God’s people. Well, of course God is!


Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

Joshua 6:1-14

Now Jericho was shut up inside and out because of the Israelites; no one came out and no one went in. The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have handed Jericho over to you, along with its king and soldiers. You shall march around the city, all the warriors circling the city once. Thus you shall do for six days, with seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, the priests blowing the trumpets. When they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, as soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and all the people shall charge straight ahead.”

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 trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark of the Lord.” To the people he said, “Go forward and march around the city; have the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord.” As Joshua had commanded the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord went forward, blowing the trumpets, with the ark of the covenant of the Lord following them. And the armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets; the rear guard came after the ark, while the trumpets blew continually. To the people Joshua gave this command: “You shall not shout or let your voice be heard, nor shall you utter a word, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.” So the ark of the Lord went around the city, circling it once; and they came into the camp, and spent the night in the camp. Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord passed on, blowing the trumpets continually. The armed men went before them, and the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets blew continually. On the second day they marched around the city once and then returned to the camp. They did this for six days.

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