Day 5:  Jericho

Do you remember the song?  

Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho

Joshua fought the battle of Jericho

and the walls came a-tumbling down

Jericho is the site of the famous battle in Joshua 5, an early Israelite conquest after they crossed the Jordan River. It is also the home of Rahab the prostitute who was spared in the battle and is named in the genealogy of King David and Jesus. 

It is the place where the prophet Elisha purified the spring with salt. The water is still viable today and the reason that Jericho remains an oasis city. (2 Kings 2)

It is the place in Luke 19 where Jesus met Zacheus the tax collector and invited himself over for dinner.

The tree set apart to remember Zacheus climbing a sycamore to get a better view of Jesus.

Jericho Sits at the foot of the Judean Desert. Close by is Mt. Nebo, where Moses stood and looked out at the promised land. 

Jericho remains an oasis town. The fact that this area remains inhabited demonstrates the power of fresh water in the desert. It is under Palestinian authority and our bus was required to pass through check points to get there. 

We arrived the Tel of Jericho, an archaeological site discovered in the 1950’s. The excavated town dates back to Biblical times with finds that date back to 8,000 BC. Interestingly, the found the remains of wall, though it actually dates earlier than the time of Joshua. It should be an exciting find, but the excitement is tempered with the mystery: where is the location of Joshua’s wall?

The road from Jericho to Jerusalem is also a meaningful place in scripture. It is the place where Jesus set the parable of the Good Samaritan. It is also believed to have been called the Valley of the Shadow of Death as it is a highly dangerous path. 

Pilgrims on their way up to Jerusalem would have traveled the Jericho road in caravans. A monastery has been built over the old road and new roads have taken its place. 

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