And Yahweh said to Joshua, “Behold, I have given Jericho into your hand and her king and the mighty men of valor. Bible see other translations

“Behold, I have given Jericho into your hand.” The fall of Jericho was a miracle of God. Attempts to make what happened to Jericho some kind of purely natural phenomenon have never rung true. Even if God caused the walls to fall by an earthquake, it was a strange earthquake indeed, both in its timing and in the very particular destruction it caused. For example, it was strong enough to knock down the strong mud-brick walls of Jericho but did not knock over a single marching Israelite. This was no “natural earthquake.” Jericho stands as an example to believers that God’s help is essential to success. Wise people obey God and follow God, and see good success in their lives, and a promise of everlasting life in the future.

Jericho was a key to the confidence that Israel had in God and in Joshua. God had said the Israelites were to conquer the Promised Land, but how would they know they could do it? Jericho was certainly one of the strongest, if not the strongest, fortified city in Israel. Yet that did not deter Yahweh in the least, and through the fall of Jericho, He showed that with His help the Israelites could take the Promised Land just as He had said. The fall of Jericho gave the Israelites great confidence in moving ahead with the conquest of Israel.

When Jericho was excavated by Garstang in the 1920s, he discovered that the physical remains at Jericho fit the biblical account in Joshua completely. Jericho was excavated again in the 1950s by Kathleen Kenyon, who stated that the walls of Jericho were destroyed before Joshua got there. Although she confirmed that everything that she found at Jericho fit the biblical account, she based her dating on what she did not find at Jericho, especially Cypriot-ware pottery. But Kenyon’s dating and logic are faulty, and the pottery that is found there could easily date from the time of Joshua. The only ancient record of the fall of Jericho is the Bible, there are no Egyptian records of it, or records from any other ancient civilization. Furthermore, the accuracy of the Bible when it comes to recording other historical accounts is a strong argument against the commonly accepted explanation for the biblical account of the fall of Jericho, which is that the Israelites made up the story to give themselves a glorious history. The godly men and women of Israel were believers who would not have had any more reason to invent a lie than the apostles would have lied about seeing the resurrected Christ. The men and women who are truly God’s people have always valued truth. Also, there is no explanation of who could have destroyed Jericho if the Israelites did not, because not only did the walls fall down, but there was a very deep destruction layer, sometimes a few feet deep, on top of the fallen rubble. Furthermore, Jericho was in a very valuable location. Many cities that were destroyed in the various wars in Israel were rebuilt right where they were, for example, there are over 20 such layers at Megiddo. Why would Jericho have been destroyed but then abandoned for centuries? The logical explanation is that the Israelites controlled the area and the city was under a curse (Josh. 6:26).

Commentary for: Joshua 6:2