Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Yahweh's Strategy for Taking Down Jericho - Jericho was allegedly a city that was surrounded by great walls. Back in the Bronze Age, the usual method of taking down walled cities was a long and drawn out siege. Fortunately, the Israelites had the Creator of the Universe to help them take out the town of Jericho.
His strategy? Seven Israelite priests will blow into ram's horns seven times a day and march around Jericho carrying the Ark of the Covenant, for seven days. During the entire seven days, the Israelites are instructed to remain silent. On the seventh day, after the last ram's horn was blown into, and the final lap around the city was made, every Israelite was to shout. The walls would fall, and the Israelite army was instructed to descend upon the town and kill everyone.
Everyone except for Rahab, of course. Remember her? The hooker who hid the Israelite scouts?
How did the strategy work? Well, according to the Book of Joshua, after seven days they sounded the horn, shouted, and sure enough, the walls fell and the Israelite army "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." (Joshua 6:21)
But hey. That's politics, right? It's about who you know, and Rahab had the hookups.
One interesting thing about Jericho is that it is a living contradiction. Joshua said that anyone who tries to rebuild Jericho (Why? What did they do that was so bad that they killed innocent people, too?) would pay for it with their eldest and youngest child and their descendents will be considered to be cursed by God. But, Jericho is still around today, and considered to be the longest continuously occupied city.