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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Joshua Chapter 6

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Joshua 
Date Penned: (1406-1370 BC)
Overview: A Record of Israel in the Promised Land (c 1-24)
Theme: Conquering the Promised Land (c 5-12)
Message: Joshua Attacks the Center of the Land (v 1-27)

Joshua 6 Commentary

(6:1-27) A Large Challenge - The city of Jericho, built thousands of years before Joshua was born, was one of the oldest cities in the world. In some places it had fortified walls up to 25 feet high and 20 feet thick. Soldiers standing guard on top of the walls could see for miles. Jericho was a symbol of military power and strength- the Canaanites considered it invincible. Israel would attack this city first, and its destruction would put the fear of God's people into the heart of every person in Canaan. The Canaanites saw Israel's God as a nature god because he had parted the Jordan River and as a war god because he had defeated Sihon and Og. But the Canaanites did not consider him a fortress god - one who could prevail against a walled city. The defeat of Jericho showed that Israel's God was not only superior to the Canaanite gods but also invincible.


(6:2-5) A Promise of Victory - God told Joshua that Jericho was already delivered into his hands--the enemy was already defeated! What confidence Joshua must have had as he went into battle. Christians also fight against a defeated enemy. Our enemy, Satan, has been defeated by Christ (Romans 8:37-39; Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 John 3:8). Although we still fight battles every day and sin runs rampant in the world, we have the assurance that the war has already been won. We do not have to be paralyzed by the power of a defeated enemy; we can overcome him through Christ's power.


(6:3-5) Instructions for Victory - Why did God give Joshua all these complicated instructions for the battle? Several answers are possible: (1) God was making it undeniably clear that the battle would depend upon him, not upon Israel's weapons and expertise. This is why priests carrying the ark, not soldiers, led the Israelites into battle. (2) God's method of taking the city accentuated the terror already felt in Jericho (2:9). (3) This strange military maneuver was a test of the Israelites' faith and their willingness to follow God completely. The blowing of the horns had a special significance. The same horns used in their religious festivals were to be blown in their battles to remind them that their victory would come from the Lord, not their own military might (Numbers 10:9-10).


(6:7-21) A Call to Ban - Why did God demand that the Israelites destroy almost everyone and everything in Jericho? He was carrying out severe judgment against the wickedness of the Canaanites. This kind of judgment, called a ban, usually required that everything be destroyed (see Deuteronomy 12:2-3; 13:12-18). Because of their evil practices and intense idolatry, the Canaanites were a stronghold of rebellion against God. This threat to the right kind of living God required had to be removed. If not, it would affect and spread throughout all Israel like cancer. A few people and some items in Jericho were not destroyed, but these were special cases. Rahab and her household were saved because she had faith in God and because she had helped the Israelite spies. The silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron were also preserved, not to enrich the people, but to beautify the tabernacle and its services (Joshua 6:24). God's purpose in all this was to keep the people's faith and religion uncontaminated. He did not want the plunder to remind Israel of Canaanite practices. God also wants us to be pure. He wants to cleanse us from our sin and idolatry when we begin our new lives with him. We must not let the desire for personal gain distract us from our spiritual purpose. We must also reject any objects or images that remind us of our old lives of rebellion against God. (For information on how Israel was told to handle plunder in a different situation, see the note on Numbers 31:25-30.)


(6:26) A Curse to Rebuild - This curse was fulfilled in 1 Kings 16:34 when a man named Hiel rebuilt Jericho and consequently lost his oldest and youngest sons. Some interpreters believe that Hiel actually sacrificed his sons and placed them in the foundation and gate masonry to ward off evil.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Faith and Obedience

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Joshua with Chapter 6 and we see Israel and the account of the victory of Jericho. In this familiar story we see the walls of city fall down when Israel is instructed to march around this city 7 times with Ark of the Covenant representing the presence of God. Many applications can be made from our text but what catches my attention is the unorthodox way the Lord gives victory. Which goes to show that the Lords ways are not are ways. Israel simply had a need, looked to the Lord, obeyed what He said by faith, and the Lord gave the victory. The same is to be done today. We are to acknowledge our need to the Lord. Look toward Him and obey His word by faith. When we do we will see the Lord give us victory if it is according to His Will. The Lord has met my needs though many ways and many of these were unorthodox but all continued and act of obedience and a measure of faith. The Lord did exampled this to me this weekend as my 9 year old boy has a birthday and we had no funds to do what he wanted. We prayed and the Lord gave us free zoo tickets, My neighbor gave us his favorite food, my brother gave him the toy he wanted, and I got paid from an unexpected source to cover the rest down to the dollar. All of these were unorthodox but the Lord provided in a way only He could. Praise the Lord...How about you? Do you see the Lord working in different ways in our lives? Let us learn from today's text and see that the Lords ways are not always our way and we must respond to our needs with faith and obedience.

 

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Joshua 6

Joshua 6

 1Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.

 2And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

 3And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.

 4And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

 5And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

 6And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD.

 7And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.

 8And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.

 9And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.

 10And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout.

 11So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp.

 12And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.

 13And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.

 14And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days.

 15And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.

 16And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city.

 17And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.

 18And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.

 19But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.

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

 21And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.

 22But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot's house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her.

 23And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.

 24And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.

 25And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

 26And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.

 27So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country.