In this short book on Jericho, I aim to bring the events of the Bible to life, showing through pictures where great Divine Interventions actually took place, and also revealing how the landscape and archaeology constantly confirm the truth of the Bible. This should then inspire us to put these Bible lessons into practice.
The story of the Bible we will look at is JOSHUA and JERICHO. JOSHUA is a picture of JESUS. In fact these 2 names are identical- meaning: “The Lord our Saviour (or Salvation).” MOSES was a picture of CHRIST who died before they entered the land. JOSHUA, arising in his place is a Type of JESUS, RISEN FROM THE DEAD, leading us into our Promised Land.
So Joshua (‘the Lord our Salvation’) is a picture of the risen Jesus leading us into our Promised Land.
The Book of Joshua gives many keys to VICTORY in life and in POSSESSING our Promised Land. It teaches us that as we trust the Lord Jesus, the Greater than Joshua, and follow Him, He will lead us from victory to victory into our promised inheritance, our full Salvation. He helps us possess it. He leads us and we follow Him to victory. He is the CAPTAIN OF OUR SALVATION.
As we study the story of Jericho, we will see that every detail given finds perfect confirmation in its landscape and archaeology. What you will learn about Jericho is hardly known, even by Christians, yet it is some of the most interesting truth you will ever hear!
In Joshua 2-6 we read the story of Joshua and Jericho, the key enemy stronghold guarding the entrance to the Promised Land. Israel had to conquer this stronghold if they were to possess the land. In the Bible, it is called ‘the City of Palm Trees’, a splash of green against a brown dusty background.
The City of Palm Trees
It is an oasis in the desert, due to a spring called Elisha’s spring, because he healed the poisoned waters of Jericho:
2Kings 2:18-22: “And when they came back to him (Elisha), for he had stayed in Jericho, he said to them, “Did I not say to you, ‘Do not go’?” Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Please notice, the situation of this city (Jericho) is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren.” And he said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.” So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.”
If we add the SALT of GOD'S WORD to the poison in our souls our bitter waters will be healed.
Ancient Jericho is now called Tel-es-Sultan, and it is famous for being the oldest City in the world in its archaeology.
In the photo above, we are looking towards the South, and the spring is just over the road on the left. Originally this spring was within the City Walls, as indicated in the aeriel photo below. Unfortunately the road destroyed a good chunk of the City.
Guided Aerial View
A Tel is an artificial hill which is created when one city is built above the last. In Jericho case there are about 20 cities that were built, got destroyed, and then the next one is built on top of the remains of the last one. So over time the mound gets higher. This happens when there is a compelling reason to build on the same spot. The general reason is its strategic location, but the specific is the rare and valuable water supply with the Spring.
So the most recent cities are on the top and as you go down you go back earlier in time So it is like a layered cake and archaeologists cut slices or trenches in it to see the history of its occupation.
When you go down to the bedrock you have reached the original town. When the famous British archaeologist Dame Kathleen Kenyon dug in Jericho right down to the bedrock she made one of her great discoveries - an amazingly well-preserved Neolithic Tower, that must have come from the time just after the Flood. This famous discovery caused Kenyon to claim that Jericho was the oldest inhabited city.