Attack on Jericho


The first city attacked in Canaan was Jericho.

Joshua 4:19 (KJV)
19 And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth [day] of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.

Jericho is located north of the Dead Sea in the Jordan valley west of the Jordan river. It is in the State of Palestine in the West Bank.

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Jericho is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.

“Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of more than 20 successive settlements in Jericho, the first of which dates back 11,000 years (to 9000 BCE).”

Jericho is also the lowest city in the world, located 258 metres (846 ft) below sea level.

The low altitude allows it to be close to the underground water and to be quite fertile.

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“The people who settled here so long ago would have done so to take advantage of the freshwater which is such a scarcity in the harsh desert environment just north of the Dead Sea.”

The Bible called Jericho the “city of palm trees”.

Deuteronomy 34:3
And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, to Zoar.

Greek geograher, Strabo, described Jericho:

Jericho is a plain surrounded by a kind of mountainous country, which in a way, slopes toward it like a theatre. Here is the Phoenicon, which is mixed also with all kinds of cultivated and fruitful trees, though it consists mostly of palm trees. It is 100 stadia in length and is everywhere watered with streams.

“Jericho, which literally means “fragrant place,” boasts a pleasant climate with plenty of sunshine and a lush oasis watered by Elisha’s Spring.”

In 35 BC the Roman politician Mark Antony made a gift of Jericho to his lover Cleopatra of Egypt. Cleopatra had coveted the oasis because she wanted to control the plantations of persimmon (now extinct), which produced a perfume that reputedly “drove men wild”.