Jericho lies directly east of Jerusalem in the Judean desert wilderness not far from the Dead Sea which is visible from the town that lies close to the Jordanian border. Jericho is recorded as being the oldest town in the world with archaeological evidence of human habitation going back 10,000 years. Jericho is described in the Old Testament as the “City of Palm Trees.” Abundant springs in and around the city provided human habitation for thousands of years where archaeologists discovered a synagogue from the 6th to the 8th centuries A.D Jericho is probably best known as the city where the walls fell at the sound of the trumpets lead by Joshua. Jericho is highly significant in the history of the Israelites and in the life of Jesus as it is woven throughout history and recorded in scripture: the “land of Jericho” where the Jews “crossed over” and entered the Promised Land from the Jordan River on dry ground. It is the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants that was shown to Moses but he could not enter. (Deuteronomy 34:1-5). Joshua was raised by God and because of his obedient to the Lord he takes the Promised Land under God’s and continues to lead the people of God.
“And the Lord said to Joshua, This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. You shall command the priests who bear the Ark of the Covenant, saying, When you have come to the edge of the water of the Jordan, you shall stand in the Jordan. So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho.” (Joshua 3:7-8,14-16)
“Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, Go, view the land, especially Jericho. So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there and it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country. So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country. Then the woman took the two men and hid them. So she said, Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.” (Joshua 2:1-5)
“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries? So He said, No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, What does my Lord say to His servant? Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy. And Joshua did so.” (Joshua 5:13-15)
“Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua: See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him. But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times. And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: Shout, for the Lord has given you the city! Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord. Then Joshua charged them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the Lord who rises up and builds this city Jericho; he shall lay its foundation with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates.” So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout all the country. (Joshua 6:1-27, 1 Kings 16:34)
“On that day Joshua took Makkedah, and struck it and its king with the edge of the sword. He utterly destroyed them—all the people who were in it. He let none remain. He also did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho. Then Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, to Libnah; and they fought against Libnah. And the Lord also delivered it and its king into the hand of Israel; he struck it and all the people who were in it with the edge of the sword. He let none remain in it, but did to its king as he had done to the king of Jericho.” (Joshua 10:28-30)
“And these are the kings of the country which Joshua and the children of Israel conquered on this side of the Jordan, on the west, from Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon as far as Mount Halak and the ascent to Seir, which Joshua gave to the tribes of Israel as a possession according to their divisions, in the mountain country, in the lowlands, in the Jordan plain, in the slopes, in the wilderness, and in the South—the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: the king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one; the king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one; the king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one; the king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one; the king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one; the king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one; the king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one; the king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one; the king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one; the king of Aphek, one; the king of Lasharon, one; the king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one; the king of Shimron Meron, one; the king of Achshaph, one; the king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one; the king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam in Carmel, one; the king of Dor in the heights of Dor, one; the king of the people of Gilgal, one; the king of Tirzah, one—all the kings, thirty-one.” (Joshua 12:7-24)
“Now the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families, and the territory of their lot came out between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph. Their border on the north side began at the Jordan, and the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north, and went up through the mountains westward; it ended at the Wilderness of Beth Aven. The border went over from there toward Luz, to the side of Luz (which is Bethel) southward; and the border descended to Ataroth Addar, near the hill that lies on the south side of Lower Beth Horon.” (Joshua 18:11-13)
“The Jordan was its border on the east side. This was the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, according to its boundaries all around, according to their families. Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin, according to their families, were Jericho, Beth Hoglah, Emek Keziz, 22 Beth Arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel,” (Joshua 18:20-22)
“Then you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho. And the men of Jericho fought against you—also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. But I delivered them into your hand. I sent the hornet before you which drove them out from before you, also the two kings of the Amorites, but not with your sword or with your bow. I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant. Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:11-15)
“It happened after this that the king of the people of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place. Then David said, I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me. So David sent by the hand of his servants to comfort him concerning his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the people of Ammon. And the princes of the people of Ammon said to Hanun their lord, Do you think that David really honors your father because he has sent comforters to you? Has David not rather sent his servants to you to search the city, to spy it out, and to overthrow it? When they told David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, Wait at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return.” (2 Samuel 10:1-5, 1 Chronicles 19:5).
“Then some of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against those who came from the war, and said to them, You shall not bring the captives here, for we already have offended the Lord. You intend to add to our sins and to our guilt; for our guilt is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel. So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the leaders and all the assembly. Then the men who were designated by name rose up and took the captives, and from the spoil they clothed all who were naked among them, dressed them and gave them sandals, gave them food and drink, and anointed them; and they let all the feeble ones ride on donkeys. So they brought them to their brethren at Jericho, the city of palm trees. Then they returned to Samaria.” (2 Chronicles 28:15)
“Now the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today? And he said, Yes, I know; keep silent! Then Elijah said to him, Elisha, stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Jericho. But he said, As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you! So they came to Jericho. Now the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came to Elisha and said to him, Do you know that the LORD will take away your master from over you today? So he answered, Yes, I know; keep silent!” (2 Kings 2:3-5)
“Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him.” (2 Kings 2:15) “But when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send them! Therefore they sent fifty men, and they searched for three days but did not find him. And when they came back to him, for he had stayed in Jericho, he said to them, Did I not say to you, Do not go?” (2 Kings 2:17-19)
“Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, Son of David, have mercy on me! So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you. And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. So Jesus answered and said to him, What do you want Me to do for you? The blind man said to Him, Rabboni, that I may receive my sight. Then Jesus said to him, Go your way; your faith has made you well. And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.” (Mark 10:46-52, Matthew 20:29-34, Luke 18:35-43).
“And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said to him, What is written in the law? What is your reading of it? So he answered and said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. And He said to him, You have answered rightly; do this and you will live. But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor? Then Jesus answered and said: A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you. So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves? And he said, He who showed mercy on him. Then Jesus said to him, Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37)
“Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house. So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner. Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold. And Jesus said to him, Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:1-10).