In the early hours of the morning, Joshua and his team were already up and about, with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant. Seven priests, each with a shofar made from a ram's horn, led the way in front of the ark. They kept playing their shofars, while armed men marched ahead and the rear guard followed behind the ark.
For six days, they had a routine. Each day, they would circle the city once and then head back to camp, with the sound of shofars filling the air. Then came the seventh day, a special one indeed. They got up at dawn and circled the city not once, but seven times! And on that seventh round, something extraordinary happened. As the priests blew their shofars for the seventh time, Joshua turned to the people and declared, “Shout out loud, because God has given us the city!"
He gave clear instructions: the city was to be destroyed. However, Rahab, the woman who had hidden the Israelite spies, and her family were to be spared. Joshua warned the people to steer clear of any plunder that was meant for destruction, to avoid bringing trouble upon their camp. Instead, all valuables like silver, gold, bronze, and iron vessels were to be considered holy and given to the treasury. And so, when the people let out a mighty shout and the shofars blared, something incredible happened. The walls of the city just collapsed flat! This allowed the people to march right in and take the city.
City of Giants?
God spoke to Joshua, saying, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor.” (Joshua 6:2). Jericho was no ordinary city; it was known as the 'City of Giants'. Why? Because it was home to a race called the Gibborim, known for their formidable size and strength.
But who exactly were these Gibborim? To understand them, we need to look at the Nephilim, mentioned in Genesis 6:4. The Nephilim were a race of giants who emerged when 'the sons of God' mated with human women, resulting in extraordinary offspring. The Bible describes these Nephilim as "mighty men of old, the men of renown."
So, the Gibborim were descendants of these Nephilim. Though perhaps not as towering as their ancestors, they were still considered a fierce and powerful warrior race. What's interesting is that the same Hebrew phrase, hag·gib·bō·rîm / gib·bō·w·rê, is used in both Genesis and Joshua to describe these 'mighty men'. This has led some Bible scholars to wonder: were the inhabitants of Jericho, the Gibborim, actually giants?
Read the article. Can you answer the questions?
- Read Numbers 13, Deuteronomy 2 - 3, Joshua 15, Amos 2 and 2 Samuel 21. Which words does the Bible use to describe people groups known as giants?
- Research the Gibborim. What do you think happened to this race of giants?