A Jericho Cycle?*

Note: Has anyone suggested that Joshua 2-7 forms a symmetrical unit?  There is a clear symmetrical contrast between Rahab who hid the spies on the roof, and Achan who hid his Jericho treasures in the ground. Rahab the Canaanite harlot through faith finds life for herself and her family. Achan a faithless prince in Israel causes the loss of his life and the life of his family. Between the accounts of the spies and the fall of Jericho we are told of Israel at Jordan and at Gilgal. The two sets of events may seem unrelated but it is interesting that at Jordan the waters of the river were “cut off” (Josh 3:13, 16, 4:7) –  a word for cutting a covenant and also used of circumcision in Exodus 4:25 – and at Gilgal the males of Israel were circumcised. The parable of the Jordan river becomes relevant here. As the water descends to the sea of death the ark of the covenant, representing Christ, causes the flow right back to a place called Adam. At Gilgal the cutting off of the flesh, representative of fleshy thinking is a necessary requirement for inheritance in the Kingdom of God.

A. Rahab finds life – Josh 2.

B.  At Jordan the water is “cut off” – Josh 3,4

B’. At Gilgal the nation is circumcised – Josh 5

A’. Rahab is saved and Achan is destroyed like Jericho – Josh 6,7

One thought on “A Jericho Cycle?*”

  1. Just seen that David Dorsey has ch 1-8 as a convincing seven part chiasm centred on 5:1-15.
    a. 1:1-18 focus on “book of the law of Moses”
    b. 2:1-24 encouragement from a believing Canaanite
    c. 3:1-4:24 Jordan “stands up”
    d. 5:1-15 Israel worships YHWH in promised land.
    c’. 6:1-27 Jericho falls down.
    b’. 7:1-8:29 discouragement from a faithless Israelite
    a’. 8:30-35 focus on “book of the law of Moses”

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