Joshua’s Jericho

Chapter 3 - The Fortifications of Jericho - Part 2

In the North (where Rahab lived), unlike all the other parts, not only was the Revetment Wall preserved and portions of the mud brick wall immediately above it, but the first expedition (by Sellin and Watzinger) also found a number of domestic structures preserved on the North-Side from the final phase of City IV (see picture below). They were located on the lower slopes of the sloping rampart between the upper and lower walls, just inside the Revetment Wall. Rahab lived in just such a house, right against the outer city wall, with a window through the Parapet Wall. 


*The preserved Revetement Wall and Mud-brick Wall and houses in the North


So we see here an amazing confirmation of the Bible. All the walls were destroyed except for one section in the north, where neither the upper nor the lower mud brick walls fell down, and the houses in-between were preserved. Could it be a coincidence that the very place Rahab lived was preserved while everything and everyone else was destroyed? No! This was a supernatural deliverance, because she trusted in the Living God. 

As Psalm 91:1,2 says: “He who dwells in the Secret Place of the Most High shall abide under the Shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my Refuge and my Fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.” 

Psalm 91:7,8: “A thousand may fall at your side, and 10,000 at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.”

Psalm 91:9-11: “Because you have made the LORD, my Refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”

In the previous photo, you saw the Reventment Wall on the North-side, with the remains of the Mud-brick Wall on top of it. The next photo is a close up of this North-side Reventment Wall. Again, observe the remains of the Mud-brickWall above it:


*Cross-Section Diagram of the Walls
 

So first of all an attacker faced a trench and a lower stone Revetement Wall (20 feet high) encircling the bottom of the hill, with a mud brick Wall on top of it. Then there was an earthen Rampart going up to the top of the hill at 35 degrees, and then the Upper City Mud-brick Wall (30 feet higher up) that surrounded the top of the Tel, which was the main City Wall. It must have seemed almost impossible to make a successful attack on this City!

 

To make this even worse, this steep earthen rampart was covered by a slippery white plaster surface, called a ‘Glacis’ which went all the way up from the lower brick-wall to the upper brick-wall. It was Kenyon that discovered this. She made deep cuttings through the outer slopes of the mound and was able to trace a thin plaster surface sloping down from the top of the trench (see picture below). This slippery slope made it very hard to climb up and so it made you a sitting duck for the archers on the walls shooting at you. 


*The Sloping Glacis

When archaeologists make a slice, they have to remove everything in that portion. In this slice of Kenyon (below) the Glacis has now been removed, but you can still see the Stone Wall at the bottom:


*Kenyon’s Trench (Slice)

When Kenyon looked at the Glacis and the Revetement Wall that went all the way round the Tel, she realised what was going on. These were impressive defence fortifications: a double-walled system (one at the base of the hill and another at the top of the hill), with the two walls separated by a steep-sloping slippery Glacis. This was typical for Canaanite Middle Bronze Cities, and no doubt intimidating for the Israelites, who knew they had to conquer it.


So beneath the main City Wall on the top of the outer slope of the mound was a slippery steep Glacis. This prevented the access of chariots and battering rams to the base of the main wall; making the undermining of the city wall by sappers much more difficult. 
It also exposed any enemy assault to a treacherous ‘killing field’ immediately beneath the defenders’ archery positions on top of the main city wall. It also held in place the loose debris of the mound behind a ten-centimetre sheath of plaster to prevent land slippage through rain erosion and thus a natural undermining of the heavy mud brick wall at the crest of the slope.

 

If you look at a side-wall of a Slice (Trench), it is sometimes possible to see traces of the Glacis, the white material going up diagonally as in this view (below): 

*Remains of the Glacis
 

So as Joshua and the Israelites looked at the impressive Walls of Jericho it would have seemed impossible to defeat them. Any attack in their own strength was bound to fail. If they climbed the first wall, they would have been sitting ducks for the archers perched on the Upper Wall, as they struggled to climb the slippery 35 degree slope. But Joshua knew that all things were possible for God Almighty, Whose Power was far greater than any enemy. God had promised to go with him and defeat His enemies, if He would (1) BE STRONG in faith (by meditating on the Word) and (2) BE COURAGEOUS to act on (obey) the Word (Joshua 1:5-9). 

*Joshua 1:5-9 - THE KEYS TO SUCCESS.

In Joshua 1:5, God promised His Presence with Joshua bringing SUCCESS in accomplishing His Will (Possessing the Promised Land): 
"No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.”

The keys to SUCCESS are then poetically repeated 4 times in v 6,7,8,9:

Joshua 1:6: "(1) BE STRONG (in FAITH through meditating on the Word)
and (2) of good COURAGE (to act on the Word) 
for: 
(3) to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the Land which I swore to their fathers to give them (the PROMISE of good SUCCESS).”

Joshua 1:7: "(1) Only be STRONG (in FAITH through meditating on the Word) and, (2) very COURAGEOUS (to act on the Word), that you may observe TO DO according to all the Law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that: 
(3) you may PROSPER wherever you go (the PROMISE of good SUCCESS)”

Then he explains how we can be (1), so we can do (2), and so have (3):
Joshua 1:8: 
"(1) This BOOK of the Law shall not depart from your mouth,
but you shall MEDITATE in it day and night, that:
(2) you may observe to DO according to all that is written in it.
(3) For then you will make your way PROSPEROUS, and then you will have good SUCCESS (the PROMISE of good SUCCESS)

Joshua 1:9: "Have I not commanded you?
(1) Be STRONG (in FAITH, believing the Word),
(2) and of good COURAGE; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed (to act on the Word)
(3) for the LORD your God is WITH YOU wherever you go (to give you good SUCCESS in Possessing the Land).” 

The Commander of the Lord’s Army (Jesus) had appeared to Joshua and told him what to do (Joshua 5), and when they obeyed, the supernatural power of God was released and the walls came tumbling down. 

In the next Chapter, we will see how the archaeology also perfectly confirms the Bible’s account of how the walls of Jericho fell down. 

You may be facing your Jericho. Remember, however impossible it seems, God’s supernatural power is well able to bring it crashing down. The Greater One is with you, and as you trust in Him, and release the Trumpet of God’s Word along with your shouts of praise to God as the Israelites did, you will also see your Jericho destroyed, opening the way for you to possess your Promised Land of abundant life of love, health, peace, fruitfulness and joy in God.

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