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HOW THE RIVER JORDAN BECAME DRY, AND THE WALLS OF JERICHO FELL DOWN
Joshua iii: 1, to vi: 27
FTER the two spies had come back from Jericho to the camp of
Israel, Joshua commanded the people to take down their
tents and remove from their camping place to the bank
of the river Jordan. Then the priests took apart the
Tabernacle, and covered the ark and all the furniture
in the Holy Place; and ran the poles through the rings
for carrying the altar, and made ready for leaving the
camp. At the same time the people took down their
tents, and rolled them up, and brought together their
flocks and cattle, and stood ready to march.
Then Joshua gave the word, and they marched down toward
the river, which was rolling high and strong in front
of them. Joshua said:
"Let the priests carry the ark of the covenant in
front, and let there be a space between it and the rest
of the people of three thousand feet. Do not come
nearer than that space to the ark."
And all the people stood still, wondering, while the
ark was brought on the shoulders of the priests far out
in front of the ranks of men, until it came down to the
very edge of the water. They could not see the ark, for
it was covered, but they knew that it was under its
coverings on the shoulders of the priests.
Then said Joshua to the priests, "Now walk into the
water of the river."
Then a most wonderful thing took place. As soon as the
feet of the priests touched the water by the shore, the
river above stopped flowing, and far away, up the
river, they could see the water rising and piling up
like a great heap. And below the place
 where they were standing the water ran on, until it
left a great place dry, and the stones on the river's
bed were uncovered. Then, at Joshua's command, the
priests carried the ark down to the middle of the dry
bed of the river, and stood there with it on their
And Joshua gave order to the people to march across the
river. In front came the soldiers from Reuben, Gad, and
the half-tribe of Manasseh, who had already received
their homes on the east of the river, but were with the
other tribes to help in the war (see Story 33).
After them came all the other tribes,
each by itself, until they had all passed over the
river; and all this time the priests stood on the
river's dry bed holding the ark.
Then Joshua called for twelve men, one man from each
tribe; and he said to them:
"Go down into the river and bring up from it twelve
stones, as large stones as you can carry, from the
place where the priests are standing."
They did so; and with these stones Joshua made a
stone-heap on the bank; and he said:
"Let this heap of stones stand here to keep in memory
what has taken place to-day. When your children shall
ask you, 'Why are these stones here?' you shall say to
them, 'Because here the Lord God made the river dry
before the ark of the covenant, so that the people
could cross over into the land that God had promised to
their fathers.' "
And Joshua told these twelve men to take also twelve
other stones, and heap them up in the bed of the river
where the priests stood, with the ark, so that these
stones also might stand to remind all who should see
them of God's wonderful help to his people.
When all this had been done, and the two heaps of stone
had been piled up, one on the bank, the other in the
bed of the river, Joshua said to the priests, "Come now
up from the river, and bring the ark to the shore."
They did so; and then the waters began to flow down
from above, until soon the river Jordan was rolling by
as it had rolled before. So now at last the children of
Israel were safely in the land which God had promised
to their fathers more than five hundred years before.
They set up a new camp, with the Tabernacle in the
middle, the altar before it, and the tents of the
tribes around it in order.
 The place of the camp was near the river, on the plain
of Jordan, and was called Gilgal. And there the main
camp of the Israelites was kept all the time that they
were carrying on the war to win the land of Canaan.
When they came into the land, it was the time of the
early harvest; and in the fields they found grain and
barley in abundance. They gathered it, and ground it,
and made bread of it; and some of it they roasted in
the ear; and on that day the manna which God had sent
them from the sky through forty years ceased to fall,
now that it was needed no more. (See Story 24.)
There, in full view of the new camp, stood the strong
walls of Jericho. Joshua went out to look at the city;
and he saw a man all armed coming toward him. Joshua
walked boldly up to the man, and said to him, "Are you
on our side, or are you one of our enemies?"
And he said, "No; but as captain of the Lord's host
have I come."
Then Joshua saw that he was the angel of the Lord; and
as he bowed down before him, said, "What word has my
Lord to his servant?"
And the captain of the Lord's host said to Joshua,
"Take off your shoes from your feet, for it is holy
ground where you are standing."
Joshua did so; for the one who was speaking to him was
not merely an angel, but the Lord himself appearing as
a man. And
 the Lord said to Joshua, "I have given to you Jericho,
and its king, and its mighty men of war; and I will
destroy the city of Jericho before you."
Then the Lord told Joshua the way in which the city
should be taken; and Joshua went back to the camp at
Gilgal, and made ready to march as God commanded.
During the next seven days all that was done was
according to the word spoken by the Lord to Joshua.
They drew out the army as if to fight against the city.
In front came the soldiers from the tribes on the east
of the river. Then came a company of priests with
trumpets made of rams' horns, which they blew long and
loud. Then came the ark of the covenant, borne on the
shoulders of the priests. And, last of all, came the
host of Israel, marching in order. No one shouted, nor
was any noise heard, except the sound of the rams'-horn
trumpets. They marched around the walls of Jericho once
on that day, and then all marched back to the camp.
THE PRIESTS BLOWING THEIR HORNS
The next morning they all formed in the same order, and
again marched around the walls of the city; and so they
did again and again, marching once each day for six
On the seventh day, by God's command, they rose very
early in the morning, and did not stop when they had
marched around the walls once; but kept on marching
round and round, until they had gone about the walls
seven times. As they went by they saw at one window on
the wall a scarlet cord hanging down; and they knew
that this was the house of Rahab, who had saved the
lives of the two spies.
When the seventh march was ended, they all stood still.
Even the trumpets ceased, and there was a great silence
for a moment, until the voice of Joshua rang out,
"Shout, for the Lord has given you the city!"
Then a great shout went up from the host; and they
looked at the wall, and saw that it was trembling, and
shaking, and falling! It fell down flat at every place
but one. There was one part of the wall left standing,
where the scarlet cord was hanging from the window.
And Joshua said to the two spies, "Go and bring out
Rahab and her family, and take them to a safe place."
They went into Rahab's house on the wall and brought
 out, and with her her father and mother, and all their
family. They cared for them, and kept them safely in
the camp of the Israelites until all the war against
the people of the land was ended.
While some of the soldiers were taking care of Rahab,
all the rest of the army was climbing up over the
ruined wall. The people in the city were so filled with
fear when they saw the walls falling down on every
side, that they did not try to defend it, but sank down
helpless and were slain or taken prisoners by the
Thus the city was taken, with all that was within it.
But the Israelites were forbidden to use for themselves
any of the treasures in the city. Joshua said to them,
"Nothing in this city belongs to you. It is the Lord's,
and is to be destroyed as an offering to the Lord."
So they brought together all the gold, and silver, and
precious things, and all that was in the houses. They
took nothing for themselves, but kept the gold and
silver and the things made of brass and iron for the
Tabernacle. All the rest of what they found in the city
they burned and destroyed, leaving of the city of
Jericho nothing but a waste and a desolation. And
"Let the Lord's curse rest on any man who shall ever
build again the city of Jericho. With the loss of his
oldest born shall he lay its foundation, and with the
loss of his youngest son shall he set up the gates of
After this Rahab, the woman who had saved the spies,
was taken among the people of Israel just as though she
had been an Israelite born. And one of the nobles of
the tribe of Judah, whose name was Salmon, took her for
his wife. And from her line of descendants, of those
who came from her, many years after this, was born
David the king. She was saved and blessed, because she
had faith in the God of Israel.