Walls of JerichoCould the continual pounding of the in-step marching around the city once each day for six days, and seven times around on the seventh day, along with the harmonic motion, the blowing of the trumpets, and the earth-shaking shout have triggered an earthquake? Or was it Godís knowledge of the shoddy construction of the foundation of Jerichoís 30 feet-high walls that the archaeologists discovered?
Walls of Jericho
Years ago, I was discussing the Word of God with a priest who said that the first five books of the Bible were fairy tales. I assume he equated all supernatural accounts in the Scriptures to be the same. The man stood in the pulpit of a particular congregation as a representative of God and His Word—a Word he didn’t believe.
A brother in Christ once had a conversation with his pastor. They were discussing the issues of faith. The pastor said, “What if I told you I don’t believe...”
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GOD SAID, Joshua 6:1-20:
1 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.
2 And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.
3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.
4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.
6 And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD.
7 And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.
8 And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.
9 And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.
10 And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout.
11 So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp.
12 And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.
13 And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.
14 And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days.
15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.
16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city.
17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
MAN SAID: The miraculous accounts in the Bible are fairy tales—Aesop’s fables.
Now THE RECORD. Could the phenomenal, supernatural descriptions in God’s Word—creation, the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, Noah’s ark, the parting of the Red Sea, the walls of Jericho, Jonah and the whale, and more—actually be true? Do history, the sciences, analytical thinking, and childlike common sense say YES? The answer is YES and ABSOLUTELY!
It must be noted that God does not perform magic. Proverbs 3:19-20:
19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
All truth, all knowledge, all true science is sourced in God through Christ Jesus. Trust Him.
Did you ever hear of a phenomenon called “harmonic motion?” The people in Frankfort, Kentucky have. After a Saturday night football game at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium, five thousand people walking virtually in step across the bridge nearly caused it to collapse. Kentucky’s Transportation Secretary Milo Bryant said people marching across a bridge like soldiers could cause a catastrophe. It can cause “harmonic motion.” It’s common practice for armies to march out-of-step when crossing a bridge. Now imagine Joshua with hundreds of thousands of soldiers marching in step around the walls of Jericho—silently, once a day for six days—then on the seventh day, seven times, followed by the huge power of the trumpets and the horrendous anticipated shout!
Dr. Free, who holds BA, MA, and PhD degrees from Princeton University, conducted a 10-year post-doctoral study in the field of archaeology and completed Near Eastern studies at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. He writes at length in his book Archaeology and Bible History of the famous archaeologist Garstang, the man who excavated Jericho and discovered its very walls.
After Garstang examined approximately 100,000 fragments of pottery, 1,500 unbroken vessels, 80 scarabs (gems or ornaments representing large black beetles held sacred by ancient Egyptians), the fallen walls and other evidence, he had no hesitation in dating the fall of the city at about 1400 BC, and identifying it as the Canaanite city of Jericho.
Garstang called in three of Palestine’s top ranking archaeologists and pottery experts: Pe’re Vincent, Clarence S. Fisher, and Alan Rowe. When these authorities carefully and independently examined the pottery, charred ruins, and fallen walls, they signed statements with Garstang confirming the date as 1400 BC with the possible alternative of any date not later than 1377 BC. This fits perfectly with the Biblical record.
Garstang summarizes: “As to the main fact, then, there remains no doubt: the walls fell outwards so completely that the attackers could be able to clamber up and over the ruins into the city.” Amazingly enough, the walls fell outward, when by design they should have fallen inward.
This discovery caused quite a stir among the ungodly skeptics. If these kinds of miraculous Biblical accounts actually happened, then there is a God, atheism is for fools, evolution is dead, wickedness will be judged, and evil men and women will be cast into hell.
For nearly twenty years, constant opposition was brought to bear on Garstang’s conclusions until 1952, when skeptics managed to have Jericho reexamined under the direction of Miss Kathleen Kenyon.
During the later course of Miss Kenyon’s excavation, some of the skeptics arrived and wanted to know of her findings. She advised that Professor Garstang and the other archaeological experts were wrong. Immediately, the news was dispatched around the world.
After Garstang’s dating of Jericho was discredited by the skeptics, Miss Kenyon returned to Jericho for further investigation where she then reversed her position and vindicated Garstang’s findings. But, the skeptics didn’t come forth to set the record straight. Miss Kenyon said, “All the canons of historical criticism demand that we accept the main facts of the story of the conquest of Jericho as authentic, for it was obviously an event of great importance in the ultimate dominance of the Israelites in Palestine, and the wealth of detail makes it clear that it was a faithful verbal record handed down for generations until it was incorporated in a written record....”
Halley’s Bible Handbook weighed in with the following:
“And they burnt the city with fire,” [Joshua 6:24]. Signs of the conflagration and destruction were very marked. Garstang found great layers of charcoal and ashes and wall ruins reddened by fire. The outer wall suffered most. Houses alongside the wall were burned to the ground. The stratum generally was covered with a deep layer of black burnt debris, under which there were pockets of white ash, overlaid with a layer of fallen reddish brick.
“Keep yourselves from the accursed thing,” [Joshua 6:18]. Garstang found, under the ashes and fallen walls, in the ruins of store rooms, an abundance of food stuffs, wheat, barley, dates, lentils, and such, turned to charcoal by intense heat, untouched and uneaten: evidence that the conquerors refrained from appropriating the foods. [End of quote]
Garstang also suggested that a possible earthquake could have contributed to the collapsing walls. If this was the case, could the continual pounding of the in-step marching around the city once each day for six days, and seven times around on the seventh day, along with the harmonic motion, the blowing of the trumpets, and the earth-shaking shout have triggered an earthquake? Or was it God’s knowledge of the shoddy construction of the foundation of Jericho’s 30 feet-high walls that the archaeologists discovered? One thing is certain: the existence of a fault line and the means to trigger an earthquake, or Jericho’s faulty foundations would be knowledge that the Creator would possess.
Josephus, the famed Jewish historian, writing shortly after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, wrote concerning Jericho. Referring to Joshua, he writes:
When he had said this, and had set his army in order, he brought it against the city: so they went round the city again, the ark going before them, and the priests encouraging the people to be zealous in the work; and when they has gone round it seven times, and had stood still a little, the wall fell down, while no instrument of war, nor any other force, was applied to it by the Hebrews. [End of quote]
GOD SAID, Joshua fit the battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down.
MAN SAID: The miraculous accounts in the Bible are fairy tales—Aesop’s fables.
Now you have THE RECORD.
Authorized King James Version
Free, J.P., Archaeology and Bible History
Halley’s Bible Handbook, p10
Josephus Complete Works, Kregel Publications, p105
Owen, G.F., Thompson-Chain Reference Bible
Acts 1:8 (KJV)
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.