Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Joshua 6

Joshua performs a ritual to bring down the walls of Jericho. For six days, the armed men walk once around the city with seven priests blowing shofar in front of the Ark. On the seventh, they walk around seven times with seven priests blowing shofar. At the conclusion of the circuit, the priests blow a long blast and the people shout. The walls collapse, and everything in the city except Rahab and her kin and the gold, silver, and bronze are to be destroyed. If anything at all is spared, Joshua warns, the camp of Israel will be liable to destruction and trouble.

After all this is accomplished, Joshua curses the city of Jericho, stating that a man will lose his firstborn son if he rebuilds the foundation and his youngest son will die when he sets up the gate.

The symbolism of seven is of interest, as is the question of how Joshua accomplished the conquest of Jericho without breaking the Sabbath.

A great deal about the shofar can be learned at www.shofars.org/theshofararticle.htm


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