|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Place of fragrance, a fenced city in the midst of a vast grove of palm trees, in the plain of Jordan, over against the place where that river was crossed by the Israelites (Joshua 3:16). Its site was near the `Ain es-Sultan, Elisha's Fountain (2 Kings 2:19-22), about 5 miles west of Jordan. It was the most important city in the Jordan valley (Numbers 22:1; 34:15), and the strongest fortress in all the land of Canaan. It was the key to Western Palestine.
This city was taken in a very remarkable manner by the Israelites (Joshua 6). God gave it into their hands. The city was "accursed" (Hebrews herem, "devoted" to Jehovah), and accordingly (Joshua 6:17; Comp. Leviticus 27:28, 29; Deuteronomy 13:16) all the inhabitants and all the spoil of the city were to be destroyed, "only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron" were reserved and "put into the treasury of the house of Jehovah" (Joshua 6:24; Comp. Numbers 31:22, 23, 50-54). Only Rahab "and her father's household, and all that she had," were preserved from destruction, according to the promise of the spies (Joshua 2:14). In one of the Amarna tablets Adoni-zedec (q.v.) writes to the king of Egypt informing him that the `Abiri (Hebrews) had prevailed, and had taken the fortress of Jericho, and were plundering "all the king's lands." It would seem that the Egyptian troops had before this been withdrawn from Palestine.
This city was given to the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18:21), and it was inhabited in the time of the Judges (Judges 3:13; 2 Samuel 10:5). It is not again mentioned till the time of David (2 Samuel 10:5). "Children of Jericho" were among the captives who returned under Zerubbabel Ezra 2:34; Nehemiah 7:36q.v.) the Bethelite attempted to make it once more a fortified city (1 Kings 16:34). Between the beginning and the end of his undertaking all his children were cut off.
In New Testament times Jericho stood some distance to the south-east of the ancient one, and near the opening of the valley of Achor. It was a rich and flourishing town, having a considerable trade, and celebrated for the palm trees which adorned the plain around. It was visited by our Lord on his last journey to Jerusalem. Here he gave sight to two blind men (Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52), and brought salvation to the house of Zacchaeus the publican (Luke 19:2-10).
The poor hamlet of er-Riha, the representative of modern Jericho, is situated some two miles farther to the east. It is in a ruinous condition, having been destroyed by the Turks in 1840. "The soil of the plain," about the middle of which the ancient city stood, "is unsurpassed in fertility; there is abundance of water for irrigation, and many of the old aqueducts are almost perfect; yet nearly the whole plain is waste and desolate...The climate of Jericho is exceedingly hot and unhealthy. This is accounted for by the depression of the plain, which is about 1,200 feet below the level of the sea."
There were three different Jerichos, on three different sites, the Jericho of Joshua, the Jericho of Herod, and the Jericho of the Crusades. Er-Riha, the modern Jericho, dates from the time of the Crusades. Dr. Bliss has found in a hollow scooped out for some purpose or other near the foot of the biggest mound above the Sultan's Spring specimens of Amorite or pre-Israelitish pottery precisely identical with what he had discovered on the site of ancient Lachish. He also traced in this place for a short distance a mud brick wall in situ, which he supposes to be the very wall that fell before the trumpets of Joshua. The wall is not far from the foot of the great precipice of Quarantania and its numerous caverns, and the spies of Joshua could easily have fled from the city and been speedily hidden in these fastnesses.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
jer'-i-ko (the word occurs in two forms. In the Pentateuch, in 2 Kings 25:5 and in Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles it is written yerecho; yericho, elsewhere): In 1 Kings 16:34 the final Hebrew letter is he (h), instead of waw (w). The termination waw (w) thought to preserve the peculiarities of the old Canaanite. dialect. In the Septuagint we have the indeclinable form, Iericho (Swete has the form Iereicho as well), both with and without the feminine article; in the New Testament Iereicho, once with the feminine article The Arabic is er-Riha. According to Deuteronomy 32:49 it stood opposite Nebo, while in 34:3 it is called a city grove of palm trees. It was surrounded with a wall (Joshua 2:15), and provided with a gate which was closed at night (Joshua 2:5), and was ruled over by a king. When captured, vessels of brass and iron, large quantities of silver and gold, and "a goodly Babylonish garment" were found in it (Joshua 7:21). It was on the western side of the Jordan, not far from the camp of Israel at Shittim, before crossing the river (Joshua 2:1). The city was on the "plains" (Joshua 4:13), but so close to "the mountain" on the West (probably the cliffs of Quarantania, the traditional scene of Christ's temptation) that it was within easy reach of the spies, protected by Rahab. It was in the lot of Benjamin (Joshua 18:21), the border of which ascended to the "slope (English versions of the Bible "side") of Jeremiah on the North" (Joshua 18:12). Authorities are generally agreed in locating the ancient city at Tel es-Sultan, a mile and a half Northwest of modern Jericho. Here there is a mound 1,200 ft. long and 50 ft. in height supporting 4 smaller mounds, the highest of which is 90 ft. above the base of the main mound.
The geological situation (see JORDAN VALLEY) sheds great light upon the capture of the city by Joshua (Joshua 6). If the city was built as we suppose it to have been, upon the unconsolidated sedimentary deposits which accumulated to a great depth in the Jordan valley during the enlargement of the Dead Sea, which took place in Pleistocene (or glacial) times, the sudden falling of the walls becomes easily credible to anyone who believes in the personality of God and in His power either to foreknow the future or to direct at His will the secondary causes with which man has to deal in Nature. The narrative does not state that the blowing of the rams' horns of themselves effected the falling of the walls. It was simply said that at a specified juncture on the 7th day the walls would fall, and that they actually fell at that juncture. The miracle may, therefore, be regarded as either that of prophecy, in which the Creator by foretelling the course of things to Joshua, secured the junction of Divine and human activities which constitutes a true miracle, or we may regard the movements which brought down the walls to be the result of direct Divine action, such as is exerted by man when be produces an explosion of dynamite at a particular time and place. The phenomena are just such as occurred in the earthquake of San Francisco in 1906, where, according to the report of the scientific commission appointed by the state, "the most violent destruction of buildings was on the made ground. This ground seems to have behaved during the earthquake very much in the same way as jelly in a bowl, or as a semi-liquid in a tank." Santa Rosa, situated on the valley floor, "underlain to a considerable depth by loose or slightly coherent geological formations,.... 20 miles from the rift, was the most severely shaken town in the state and suffered the greatest disaster relatively to its population and extent" (Report, 13 and 15). Thus an earthquake, such as is easily provided for along the margin of this great Jordan crevasse, would produce exactly the phenomena here described, and its occurrence at the time and place foretold to Joshua constitutes it a miracle of the first magnitude.
Notwithstanding the curse pronounced in Joshua 6:26 the King James Version, prophesying that whosoever should rebuild the city "he shall lay the foundations thereof in his firstborn," it was rebuilt (1 Kings 16:34) by Hiel the Bethelite in the days of Ahab. The curse was literally fulfilled. Still David's messengers are said to have "tarried at Jericho" in his day (2 Samuel 10:5 1 Chronicles 19:5). In Elisha's time (2 Kings 2:5) there was a school of prophets there, while several other references to the city occur in the Old Testament and the Apocrypha (2 Chronicles 28:15, where it is called "the city of palmtrees"; 2 Kings 25:5 Jeremiah 39:5 Ezra 2:34 Nehemiah 3:2; Nehemiah 7:36; 1 Maccabees 9:50). Josephus describes it and the fertile plain surrounding it, in glowing terms. In the time of Christ, it was an important place yielding a large revenue to the royal family. But the city which Herod rebuilt was on a higher elevation, at the base of the western mountain, probably at Beit Jubr, where there are the ruins of a small fort. Jericho was the place of rendezvous for Galilean pilgrims desiring to avoid Samaria, both in going to and in departing from Jerusalem, and it has been visited at all times by thousands of pilgrims, who go down from Jerusalem to bathe in the Jordan. The road leading from Jerusalem to Jericho is still infested by robbers who hide in the rocky caverns adjoining it, and appear without warning from the tributary gorges of the wadies which dissect the mountain wall. At the present time Jericho and the region about is occupied only by a few hundred miserable inhabitants, deteriorated by the torrid climate which prevails at the low level about the head of the Dead Sea. But the present barrenness of the region is largely due to the destruction of the aqueducts which formerly distributed over the plain the waters brought down through the wadies which descend from the mountains of Judea. The ruins of many of these are silent witnesses of the cause of its decay. Twelve aqueducts at various levels formerly branched from the Wady Kelt, irrigating the plain both North and South. Remains of Roman masonry are found in these. In the Middle Ages they were so repaired that an abundance and variety of crops were raised, including wheat, barley, millet, figs, grapes and sugar cane.
See further PALESTINE EXPLORATION.
George Frederick Wright
Jericho (59 Occurrences)
Matthew 20:29 As they went out from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 10:46 They came to Jericho. As he went out from Jericho, with his disciples and a great multitude, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the road. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 10:30 Jesus answered, "A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 18:35 It happened, as he came near Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the road, begging. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 19:1 He entered and was passing through Jericho. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Hebrews 11:30 By faith, the walls of Jericho fell down, after they had been encircled for seven days. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 22:1 The children of Israel traveled, and encamped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 26:3 Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke with them in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 26:63 These are those who were numbered by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who numbered the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 31:12 They brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, to Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and to the congregation of the children of Israel, to the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by the Jordan at Jericho. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 33:48 They traveled from the mountains of Abarim, and encamped in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 33:50 Yahweh spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 34:15 the two tribes and the half-tribe have received their inheritance beyond the Jordan at Jericho eastward, toward the sunrise." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 35:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 36:13 These are the commandments and the ordinances which Yahweh commanded by Moses to the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Deuteronomy 32:49 "Go up into this mountain of Abarim, to Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and see the land of Canaan, which I give to the children of Israel for a possession; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Deuteronomy 34:1 Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. Yahweh showed him all the land of Gilead, to Dan, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Deuteronomy 34:3 and the South, and the Plain of the valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, to Zoar. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 2:1 Joshua the son of Nun secretly sent two men out of Shittim as spies, saying, "Go, view the land, including Jericho." They went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab, and slept there. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 2:2 The king of Jericho was told, "Behold, men of the children of Israel came in here tonight to spy out the land." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 2:3 The king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, "Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered into your house; for they have come to spy out all the land." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 3:16 that the waters which came down from above stood, and rose up in one heap, a great way off, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those that went down toward the sea of the Arabah, even the Salt Sea, were wholly cut off. Then the people passed over right against Jericho. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 4:13 About forty thousand men, ready and armed for war passed over before Yahweh to battle, to the plains of Jericho. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 4:19 The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, on the east border of Jericho. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 5:10 The children of Israel encamped in Gilgal. They kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at evening in the plains of Jericho. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 5:13 It happened, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man stood in front of him with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua went to him, and said to him, "Are you for us, or for our adversaries?" (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 6:1 Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the children of Israel. No one went out, and no one came in. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 6:2 Yahweh said to Joshua, "Behold, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the mighty men of valor. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 6:25 But Rahab the prostitute, her father's household, and all that she had, Joshua saved alive. She lived in the midst of Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers, whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 6:26 Joshua commanded them with an oath at that time, saying, "Cursed is the man before Yahweh, who rises up and builds this city Jericho. With the loss of his firstborn shall he lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son shall he set up its gates." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 7:2 Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth Aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, "Go up and spy out the land." The men went up and spied out Ai. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 8:2 You shall do to Ai and her king as you did to Jericho and her king, except its spoil and its livestock, you shall take for a plunder for yourselves. Set an ambush for the city behind it." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 9:3 But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 10:1 Now it happened when Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 10:28 Joshua took Makkedah on that day, and struck it with the edge of the sword, with its king. He utterly destroyed them and all the souls who were in it. He left none remaining. He did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 10:30 Yahweh delivered it also, with its king, into the hand of Israel. He struck it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls who were in it. He left none remaining in it. He did to its king as he had done to the king of Jericho. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 12:9 the king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 13:32 These are the inheritances which Moses distributed in the plains of Moab, beyond the Jordan at Jericho, eastward. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 16:1 The lot came out for the children of Joseph from the Jordan at Jericho, at the waters of Jericho on the east, even the wilderness, going up from Jericho through the hill country to Bethel. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 16:7 It went down from Janoah to Ataroth, to Naarah, reached to Jericho, and went out at the Jordan. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 18:12 Their border on the north quarter was from the Jordan. The border went up to the side of Jericho on the north, and went up through the hill country westward. It ended at the wilderness of Beth Aven. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 18:21 Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, Beth Hoglah, Emek Keziz, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 20:8 Beyond the Jordan at Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness in the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 24:11 "'You went over the Jordan, and came to Jericho. The men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Girgashite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; and I delivered them into your hand. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Samuel 10:5 When they told it to David, he sent to meet them; for the men were greatly ashamed. The king said, "Wait at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 16:34 In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid its foundation with the loss of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates with the loss of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of Yahweh, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 2:4 Elijah said to him, "Elisha, please wait here, for Yahweh has sent me to Jericho." He said, "As Yahweh lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you." So they came to Jericho. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 2:5 The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came near to Elisha, and said to him, "Do you know that Yahweh will take away your master from your head today?" He answered, "Yes, I know it. Hold your peace." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 2:15 When the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho over against him saw him, they said, "The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha." They came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 2:18 They came back to him, while he stayed at Jericho; and he said to them, "Didn't I tell you,'Don't go?'" (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 25:5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 6:78 and beyond the Jordan at Jericho, on the east side of the Jordan, were given them, out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer in the wilderness with its suburbs, and Jahzah with its suburbs, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 19:5 Then there went certain persons, and told David how the men were served. He sent to meet them; for the men were greatly ashamed. The king said, "Stay at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 28:15 The men who have been mentioned by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all who were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them on donkeys, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brothers: then they returned to Samaria. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezra 2:34 The children of Jericho, three hundred forty-five. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Nehemiah 3:2 Next to him built the men of Jericho. Next to them built Zaccur the son of Imri. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Nehemiah 7:36 The children of Jericho, three hundred forty-five. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 39:5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; and he gave judgment on him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Jeremiah 52:8 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)