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An Arab drawing of Jericho

Above, an artistic rendering of ancient Jericho from an overhead perspective, from the 14th century Farhi Bible  

1400's B.C.:  Joshua makes a prophecy about Jericho.  Perhaps a double prophecy!

     There was something that tugged at me when I was reading something in the Bible about a prophecy that Joshua the son of Nun made.  Was it something I'd read once?  Or something new?  But whatever the case, it felt like there was something special waiting to be known - at least it felt that way in my mind.  So, I tried to look into it, and it's just such a short little piece of scripture that at first I thought that there must not actually be a deeper meaning, but then I turned to an old standby:  sometimes when you feel like someone in the Bible is speaking a mystery at the same time that they are just speaking in keeping with the narrative...sometimes when you get that feeling, you're wrong!!  So, I may be wrong about this.  But sometimes, when you get the feeling that there is a mystery being spoken, you investigate the names, the meaning of the Hebrew people and place names that surround the scripture that's nagging at you, and you end up with eerie results.  Sometimes you find something that does indeed kind of give you the chills when you find it.

  To take a look at this idea that may or may not be intended by God (you decide) you need to read Joshua 6:26, which speaks of making war against Jericho shortly after ending their 40 years of wandering the Sinai Peninsula, and finally entering the 'promised land'.  And here it is from Bible Gateway:

Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the Lord and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” And he ordered the army, “Advance ! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the Lord.”

When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the Lord went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the ark of the Lord’s covenant followed them. The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding. 10 But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout! ” 11 So he had the ark of the Lord carried around the city, circling it once. Then the army returned to camp and spent the night there.

12 Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the Lord and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets kept sounding. 14 So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.

15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. 16 The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city! 17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted[a] to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. 18 But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. 19 All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.”

20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. 21 They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.

22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her. ” 23 So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother, her brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.

24 Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house. 25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho —and she lives among the Israelites to this day.

26 At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: “Cursed before the Lord is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho:

“At the cost of his firstborn son
    he will lay its foundations;
at the cost of his youngest
    he will set up its gates.”

27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.      End Quote

 

  Well, it took quite a while to come true, but this curse finally applied to someone.  A certain person tried to rebuild Jericho in the 800's B.C., maybe about 600 years later.  Here's what the Bible says about that, from 1 Kings 16:34:

34 In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken by Joshua son of Nun.

End Quote

  So, as always, it shows the power of God in people that He could predict exactly what would happen from centuries away if Jericho was rebuilt.  It was rebuilt....but the prophecied price was paid.  Blood was shed to restore that city!  But now let's look at the names of the people.  These are the names meanings that I found doing an internet search concerning the meanings of the names:

  Joshua is said to mean 'God rescues' or 'YAHWEH is Salvation'.  That is a greatly appropriate meaning for the name Joshua....he made fierce and unflinching war on the Canaanites that God appointed the Israelites to destroy, leading the inexperienced Israelite army into victory upon victory with God's aid to them making the difference.  He is also famous, in his older age as he retired, for recommending to the Israelites that they obey God continually, and he said 'as for me and my house, we will follow the Lord!'.  I love reading that.  Other people can dream up their own ways if they wish, and wrong God in so doing that, but Joshua?.....he and his house would be following the Lord! 

  The man that decided to rebuild Jericho in the face of the prophecy:  His name is Hiel, and Hiel apparently means "WHO IS SIMILAR?"  Hmmm....only one being has no peers, right?  God has no peers.  He has no one who is similar, unless you count Jesus and the Holy Spirit as being separate so that you can even compare them to God.  That's my thinking, at least.  So the one that is about to pay a high price to restore this city - Jericho - has a name that means "Who is similar?"

  The city of  Jericho - the name Jericho - is supposed to mean "City of the Moon"  or "Fragment".   I believe, and this is just a personal belief, that the Moon in the sky was made to remind us of Jesus.  It is 'marred' in appearance.  Jesus was greatly marred before he was crucified.  It reflects the light that comes from the sun, our true source of light.  I think that the sun is made to remind us of God the Father.  The moon reflects the sun's light, it does not make its own light.  Jesus said that he spoke only the words that the father gave him to speak.  Those words, the Gospel, the teachings of Jesus, were words that the Father gave Him to speak.  He 'reflected' the 'light' from the source of all.  The moon circles and watches over the beautiful but errant Earth, lighting the darkness of this poor lost planet.  Jesus does the same for this world, some of who's residents will one day become His beautiful bride.  Here is scripture from Chapter 1 of the gospel of John that I think supports this.

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.   

  Long story short, though I know of the 'Moon God' that the old middle eastern cultures worshiped and which is mixed up in the Muslim faith's origins, I believe that the Moon was intended to remind us of Jesus.  It was never meant to be worshiped!  But it is the beautiful light that lights the darkness, and I think it may have been designed by the Father to call Jesus to our minds.  So, the 'City of the Moon' could be meant to bring to mind a 'city that belongs to Jesus'.  And the Earth is analogous to such a city.  In that respect, the Earth is like Jericho, because it rightfully belongs to Jesus, but it became so wicked that it had to be destroyed, just as the Earth became so wicked that it had to be destroyed....once in Noah's time, but as the prophets tell us, the Earth will be destroyed again.  And then a new heavens and a new Earth will be made.

  And as for 'fragment', the other possible meaning of the word Jericho, we know that bread is broken up into fragments, and that we eat fragments of bread at church (take communion) to be reunited to Jesus.  We say that we are eating Jesus' flesh, partaking of his body, which was broken on the cross. 

And secondly, scripture says the world will be shattered one day, like a pottery jar, and will wobble and suffer convulsions of a terrible nature....it will be nearly destroyed.  Again, 'fragments' can fit.  And oddly, the name 'fragments' may have even been a fulfilled prophecy in Joshua's time, since it crumbled to fragments when the Israelites circled it for 7 days (7 times on the last day) and then blew their 7 horns.  This cycle of sevens is similar to the cycle of seven seals, seven horns, and seven bowls that we find in the Book of Revelation, which fittingly speaks of the destructions of the Earth that will occur when Jesus first comes to gather his own and take them out of harms way, and then returns to make war on the wicked of the world.  

  So, when Jericho (the City of the Moon, or Fragment) was rebuilt by Hiel (who is like him?) it came at a cost.  Well, for God to restore humanity there was also a cost.  The cost was His Son Jesus!  Jesus was to be sent down to Earth, be born as a man...a human, was to grow up normally except that he was able to live a sinless life, and then He was given His ministry, and He taught on Earth of a New Covenant being given to Earth through which (unlike the Mosaic Covenant) men might actually be saved.  It was a covenant established by blood....Jesus' blood.  The blood of the Father's own Son.  Jesus was the Bread of Life (the Word of God was that Bread) and He was the acceptable Blood sacrifice that would allow the Earth (mankind) to be re-established in the graces of God.  

  So, when Jesus came, as a man of flesh, he gave us the Gospel, which was the foundation of our salvation, the foundation of the New Covenant, through which we men would be rebuilt into new men, made acceptable through God (in the form of Jesus) to God the Father.  Jesus exhalted the Father's name, and then He was crucified and died.  But he was not yet the gate (the narrow gate) through which men could return to the Father.  He had died, but it would be three more days before he defeated death.  Yet, He did it.  He had laid the foundation with His ministry by teaching the New Covenant, but He had established the Gate by defeating Death.  Jesus was now the narrow Gate.  God had lost his son as He first existed so that He could become a man and walk among us, but in the form of flesh.  Whatever Jesus' first nature was, it had now changed in order that He should establish the foundation of the New Covenant.  Jesus had now become a Son of a slightly different nature.  He was a Son, but of the nature of a man as well as the nature of God.  God had made it so by His own will.  That may have been like the loss of the first son. 

  But then, Jesus was crucified.  This new form of God's Son was to perish, on the cross, was buried in a tomb, spent three days in the recesses of the Earth, but was raised after Jesus finished preaching to the dead.  God had now lost his Son twice, in a way.  Once, he had lost Jesus so that Jesus could be much like a regular man, and teach us.  Then God lost him again, to crucifixion, though He merely raised Him, not suffering Him to die.  Once raised, Jesus was perfected in form (remember how He warned the women at the tomb not to touch Him yet?) and after teaching His disciples and Apostles for a space of 40 days (Chapter 1 of the Book of Acts), he ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father.  

  So, going back to the account of the father, Hiel (who is similar?) who had to lose His first and second son in order to reestablish Jericho (the 'City of the Moon', perhaps referring to the world, the Earth?), what was the name of the first and second son?  The first was named Abiram (my father is exhalted), and the second was named Segub ('raised' or 'fortified').

  Concerning the first son, Abiram, who's name means 'my father is exhalted', remember these words Jesus spoke shortly befor his crucifixion, from John chapter 12:

23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”

Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up[g] from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

End Quote

  So, don't the words 'glorified' and 'exhalted' mean nearly the same thing? My Father is glorified.  My Father is exhalted.  I think maybe I've read Bible translations that use each of those two words.  The first son is associated with the words 'my father is exhalted'.  Jesus in the flesh (the first form he was lost to, from the perspective of God the Father, we might speculate) spoke almost those exact words.  

  And later, when raised from the dead, Jesus the risen Savior certainly fit the bill for being 'raised' and 'fortified'.

  Joshua, the Son of Nun, destroyed Jericho, and then predicted that Jericho could only be rebuilt at the death of the firstborn when the foundation was established, and the death of the second born when the gate was set up.  Isn't that an amazing thing, then, that it sort of paralleled Jesus' ministry and sacrifice for this sin-destroyed old world, the Earth, and the fallen men who dwell here?  

  The world was destroyed by God, in the days of Noah.  Before that, the world was ruined by the sins of Adam and Eve's day in the garden of Eden.  Jericho was destroyed in the days of Joshua, the son of Nun. (Does it sound like 'Son of None', in the English, on purpose?) 

   Man was in a sinful state, and could not be saved for centuries upon centuries, because we were fallen.  Similarly, Jericho's walls lay fallen for centuries upon centuries.  

  Only the death of the Son, Jesus, who was lost to heaven and his Father first by being placed into human flesh and walking as Jesus of Nazareth, both God and man, as He taught the good news of the New Covenant, that man could again have hope of being saved, and then after laying this sure foundation, he died to provide the sacrifice that would make it possible.  So even His second state, the state of fleshly man, was lost to Him as he had to change forms and states once again after descending to Hell and then rising again.    

  In Jericho's case, a fallen city lay in ruins, and could not be saved until the one who wished it restored paid the price of a lost son....twice!!  Sort of like with Jesus.  

  It is only speculation, but Joshua may have said a lot more than I had realized.  He may have spoken an amazing prophecy about the actual rebuilding of the actual Jericho.  But maybe a second prophecy as well, about the Lord Jesus, the Captain of the Lord's host.  It's only speculation, but it is interesting, I think.  After all, God's Word holds mighty truths, mighty lessons, mighty warnings, mighty promises, and mighty mysteries.  Of course, I've been very wrong about things sometimes - or maybe I should say 'often'.  Only God knows the full truth of what His mighty Word truly holds. 

©2017 Daniel Curry & 'Deeds of God' Website