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Joshua 6:17 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And the city shall be devoted, even it and all that is therein, to Jehovah: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And the city shall be accursed, [even] it, and all that [are] therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that [are] with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “The city shall be under the ban, it and all that is in it belongs to the LORD; only Rahab the harlot and all who are with her in the house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And the city shall be accursed, [even] it, and all that [are] in it, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that [are] with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And the city shall be accursed, it and all that is in it, to Jehovah; only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And it shall be, that, as for the city, devoted, shall it be and all that is therein unto Yahweh,—nevertheless, Rahab the harlot, shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers whom we sent.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— and the city hath been devoted, it and all that [is] in it, to Jehovah; only Rahab the harlot doth live, she and all who [are] with her in the house, for she hid the messengers whom we sent;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And let this city be an anathema, and all things that are in it, to the Lord. Let only Rahab, the harlot, live, with all that are with her in the house: for she hid the messengers whom we sent.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And the citie shalbe accursed, [euen] it, and all that [are] therein, to the LORD: onely Rahab the harlot shal liue, she, and all that [are] with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And the city shall be devoted, it and all things that are in it, to the Lord of Hosts: only do ye save Rahab{gr.Raab} the harlot, and all things in her house.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And the city shall be accursed, [even] it, and all that [are] therein, to Yahweh: only Rachav the harlot shall live, she and all that [are] with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And the city 5892
{5892} Prime
From H5782 a city (a place guarded by waking or a watch) in the widest sense (even of a mere encampment or post).
shall be x1961
(1961) Complement
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
accursed, 2764
{2764} Prime
From H2763; physically (as shutting in) a net (either literally or figuratively); usually a doomed object; abstractly extermination.
[even] it, x1931
(1931) Complement
The second form is the feminine beyond the Pentateuch; a primitive word, the third person pronoun singular, he (she or it); only expressed when emphatic or without a verb; also (intensively) self, or (especially with the article) the same; sometimes (as demonstrative) this or that; occasionally (instead of copula) as or are.
and all x3605
(3605) Complement
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
that x834
(0834) Complement
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
[are] therein, to Yhw יָהוֶה: 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
only x7535
(7535) Complement
The same as H7534 as a noun; properly leanness, that is, (figuratively) limitation; only adverbially merely, or conjugationally although.
Rv רָחָב 7343
{7343} Prime
The same as H7342; proud; Rachab, a Canaanitess.
the harlot 2181
{2181} Prime
A primitive root (highly fed and therefore wanton); to commit adultery (usually of the female, and less often of simple forniciation, rarely of involuntary ravishment); figuratively to commit idolatry (the Jewish people being regarded as the spouse of Jehovah).
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
shall live, 2421
{2421} Prime
A prim root (compare H2331, H2424); to live, whether literally or figuratively; causatively to revive.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
she x1931
(1931) Complement
The second form is the feminine beyond the Pentateuch; a primitive word, the third person pronoun singular, he (she or it); only expressed when emphatic or without a verb; also (intensively) self, or (especially with the article) the same; sometimes (as demonstrative) this or that; occasionally (instead of copula) as or are.
and all x3605
(3605) Complement
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
that x834
(0834) Complement
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
[are] with x854
(0854) Complement
Probably from H0579; properly nearness (used only as a preposition or adverb), near; hence generally with, by, at, among, etc.
her in the house, 1004
{1004} Prime
Probably from H1129 abbreviated; a house (in the greatest variation of applications, especially family, etc.).
because x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
she hid 2244
{2244} Prime
A primitive root (compare H2245); to secrete.
<8689> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 2675
(0853) Complement
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
the messengers 4397
{4397} Prime
From an unused root meaning to despatch as a deputy; a messenger; specifically of God, that is, an angel (also a prophet, priest or teacher).
that x834
(0834) Complement
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
we sent. 7971
{7971} Prime
A primitive root; to send away, for, or out (in a great variety of applications).
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Joshua 6:17-19

_ _ And the city shall be accursed — (See on Leviticus 27:28). The cherem, or “anathema,” was a devotion to utter destruction (Deuteronomy 7:2; Deuteronomy 20:17; 1 Samuel 15:3). When such a ban was pronounced against a hostile city, the men and animals were killed — no booty was allowed to be taken. The idols and all the precious ornaments on them were to be burned (Deuteronomy 7:25; compare 1 Chronicles 14:12). Everything was either to be destroyed or consecrated to the sanctuary. Joshua pronounced this ban on Jericho, a great and wealthy city, evidently by divine direction. The severity of the doom, accordant with the requirements of a law which was holy, just, and good, was justified, not only by the fact of its inhabitants being part of a race who had filled up their iniquities, but by their resisting the light of the recent astonishing miracle at the Jordan. Besides, as Jericho seems to have been defended by reinforcements from all the country (Joshua 24:11), its destruction would paralyze all the rest of the devoted people, and thus tend to facilitate the conquest of the land; showing, as so astounding a military miracle did, that it was done, not by man, but by the power and through the anger, of God.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Joshua 6:17-27

_ _ The people had religiously observed the orders given them concerning the besieging of Jericho, and now at length Joshua had told them (Joshua 6:16), “The Lord hath given you the city, enter and take possession.” Accordingly in these verses we have,

_ _ I. The rules they were to observe in taking possession. God gives it to them, and therefore may direct it to what uses and intents, and clog it with what provisos and limitations he thinks fit. It is given to them to be devoted to God, as the first and perhaps the worst of all the cities of Canaan. 1. The city must be burnt, and all the lives in it sacrificed without mercy to the justice of God. All this they knew was included in those words, Joshua 6:17. The city shall be a cherem, a devoted thing, at and all therein, to the Lord. No life in it might be ransomed upon any terms; they must all be surely put to death, Leviticus 27:29. So he appoints from whom as creatures they had received their lives, and to whom as sinners they had forfeited them; and who may dispute his sentence? Is God unrighteous, who thus taketh vengeance? God forbid we should entertain such a thought! There was more of God seen in the taking of Jericho than of any other of the cities of Canaan, and therefore that must be more than any other devoted to him. And the severe usage of this city would strike a terror upon all the rest and melt their hearts yet more before Israel. Only, when this severity is ordered, Rahab and her family are excepted: She shall live and all that are with her. She had distinguished herself from her neighbours by the kindness she showed to Israel, and therefore shall be distinguished from them by the speedy return of that kindness. 2. All the treasure of it, the money and plate and valuable goods, must be consecrated to the service of the tabernacle, and brought into the stock of dedicated things, the Jews say because the city was taken on the sabbath day. Thus God would be honoured by the beautifying and enriching of his tabernacle; thus preparation was made for the extraordinary expenses of his service; and thus the Israelites were taught not to set their hearts upon worldly wealth nor to aim at heaping up abundance of it for themselves. God had promised them a land flowing with milk and honey, not a land abounding with silver and gold; for he would have them live comfortably in it, that they might serve him cheerfully, but not covet either to trade with distant countries or to hoard for after times. He would likewise have them to reckon themselves enriched in the enriching of the tabernacle, and to think that which was laid up in God's house as truly their honour and wealth as if it had been laid up in their own. 3. A particular caution is given them to take heed of meddling with the forbidden spoil; for what was devoted to God, if they offered to appropriate it to their own use, would prove accursed to them; therefore (Joshua 6:18) “In any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing; you will find yourselves inclined to reach towards it, but check yourselves, and frighten yourselves from having any thing to do with it.” He speaks as if he foresaw the sin of Achan, which we have an account of in the next chapter, when he gives this reason for the caution, lest you make the camp of Israel a curse and trouble it, as it proved that Achan did.

_ _ II. The entrance that was opened to them into the city by the sudden fall of the walls, or at least that part of the wall over against which they then were when they gave the shout (Joshua 6:20): The wall fell down flat, and probably killed abundance of people, the guards that stood sentinel upon it, or others that crowded about it, to look at the Israelites that were walking round. We read of thousands killed by the fall of a wall, 1 Kings 20:30. that which they trusted to for defence proved their destruction. The sudden fall of the wall, no doubt, put the inhabitants into such a consternation that they had no strength nor spirit to make any resistance, but they became an easy prey to the sword of Israel, and saw to how little purpose it was to shut their gates against a people that had the Lord on the head of them, Micah 2:13. Note, The God of heaven easily can, and certainly will, break down all the opposing power of his and his church's enemies. Gates of brass and bars of iron are, before him, but as straw and rotten wood, Isaiah 45:1, Isaiah 45:2. Who will bring me into the strong city? Wilt not thou, O God? Psalms 60:9, Psalms 60:10. Thus shall Satan's kingdom fall, nor shall any prosper that harden themselves against God.

_ _ III. The execution of the orders given concerning this devoted city. All that breathed were put to the sword; not only the men that were found in arms, but the women, and children, and old people. Though they cried for quarter, and begged ever so earnestly for their lives, there was no room for compassion, pity must be forgotten: they utterly destroyed all, Joshua 6:21. If they had not had a divine warrant under the seal of miracles for this execution, it could not have been justified, nor can it justify the like now, when we are sure no such warrant can be produced. But, being appointed by the righteous Judge of heaven and earth to do it, who is not unrighteous in taking vengeance, they are to be applauded in doing it as the faithful ministers of his justice. Work for God was then bloody work; and cursed was he that did it deceitfully, keeping back his sword from blood, Jeremiah 48:10. But the spirit of the gospel is very different, for Christ came not to destroy men's lives but to save them, Luke 9:56. Christ's victories were of another nature. The cattle were put to death with the owners, as additional sacrifices to the divine justice. The cattle of the Israelites, when slain at the altar, were accepted as sacrifices for them, but the cattle of these Canaanites were required to be slain as sacrifices with them, for their iniquity was not to be purged with sacrifice and offering: both were for the glory of God. 2. The city was burnt with fire, and all that was in it, Joshua 6:24. The Israelites, perhaps, when they had taken Jericho, a large and well-built city, hoped they should have that for their head-quarters; but God will have them yet to dwell in tents, and therefore fires this nest, lest they should nestle in it. 3. All the silver and gold, and all those vessels which were capable of being purified by fire, were brought into the treasury of the house of the Lord; not that he needed it but that he would be honoured by it, as the Lord of hosts, of their hosts in particular, the God that gave the victory and therefore might demand the spoil, either the whole, as here, or, as sometimes, a tenth, Hebrews 7:4.

_ _ IV. The preservation of Rahab the harlot, or inn-keeper, who perished not with those that believed not, Hebrews 11:31. The public faith was engaged for her safety by the two spies, who acted therein as public persons; and therefore, though the hurry they were in at the taking of the town was no doubt very great, yet Joshua took effectual care for her preservation. The same persons that she had secured were employed to secure her, Joshua 6:22, Joshua 6:23. They were best able to do it who knew her and her house, and they were fittest to do it, that it might appear it was for the sake of her kindness to them that she was thus distinguished and had her life given her for a prey. All her kindred were saved with her; like Noah she believed to the saving of her house; and thus faith in Christ brings salvation to the house, Acts 16:31. Some ask how her house, which is said to have been upon the wall (Joshua 2:15), escaped falling with the wall; we are sure it did escape, for she and her relations were safe in it, either though it joined so near to the wall as to be said to be upon it, yet it was so far off as not to fall either with the wall or under it; or, rather, that part of the wall on which her house stood fell not. Now being preserved alive, 1. She was left for some time without the camp to be purified from the Gentile superstition, which she was to renounce, and to be prepared for her admission as a proselyte. 2. She was in due time incorporated with the church of Israel, and she and her posterity dwelt in Israel, and her family was remarkable long after. We find her the wife of Salmon, prince of Judah, mother of Boaz, and named among the ancestors of our Saviour, Matthew 1:5. Having received Israelites in the name of Israelites, she had an Israelite's reward. Bishop Pierson observes that Joshua's saving Rahab the harlot, and admitting her into Israel, were a figure of Christ's receiving into his kingdom, and entertaining there, the publicans and the harlots, Matthew 21:31. Or it may be applied to the conversion of the Gentiles.

_ _ V. Jericho is condemned to a perpetual desolation, and a curse pronounced upon the man that at any time hereafter should offer to rebuild it (Joshua 6:26): Joshua adjured them, that is, the elders and people of Israel, not only by their own consent, obliging themselves and their posterity never to rebuild this city, but by the divine appointment, God himself having forbidden it under the sever penalty here annexed. 1. God would hereby show the weight of a divine curse; where it rests there is no contending with it nor getting from under it; it brings ruin without remedy or repair. 2. He would have it to remain in its ruins a standing monument of his wrath against the Canaanites when the measure of their iniquity was full, and of his mercy to his people when the time had come for their settlement in Canaan. The desolations of their enemies were witnesses of his favour to them, and would upbraid them with their ingratitude to that God who had done so much for them. The situation of the city was very pleasant, and probably its nearness to Jordan was an advantage to it, which would tempt men to build upon the same spot; but they are here told it is at their peril if they do it. Men build for their posterity, but he that builds Jericho shall have no posterity to enjoy what he builds; his eldest son shall die when he begins the work, and if he take not warning by that stroke to desist, but will go on presumptuously, the finishing of his work shall be attended with the funeral of his youngest, and we must suppose all the rest cut off between. This curse, not being a curse causeless, did come upon that man who long after rebuilded Jericho (1 Kings 16:34), but we are not to think it made the place ever the worse when it was built, or brought any hurt to those that inhabited it. We find Jericho afterwards graced with the presence, not only of those two great prophets Elijah and Elisha, but of our blessed Saviour himself, Luke 18:35; Luke 19:1; Matthew 20:29. Note, It is a dangerous thing to attempt the building up of that which God will have to be destroyed. See Malachi 1:4.

_ _ Lastly, All this magnified Joshua and raised his reputation (Joshua 6:27); it made him not only acceptable to Israel, but formidable to the Canaanites, because it appeared that God was with him of a truth: the Word of the Lord was with him, so the Chaldee, even Christ himself, the same that was with Moses. Nothing can more raise a man's reputation, nor make him appear more truly great, than to have the evidences of God's presence with him.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Joshua 6:17

Accursed — That is, devoted to utter destruction. This he speaks by direction from God, as is evident from 1 Kings 16:34. To the Lord — Partly because the first — fruits were appropriated to God; partly lest the soldiers being glutted with the spoil of the rich city, should grow sluggish in their work; and partly to strike the greater terror into the rest of their enemies.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Joshua 6:17

And the city shall be (l) accursed, [even] it, and all that [are] therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that [are] with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.

(l) That is appointed wholly to be destroyed.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
or, devoted,
Joshua 7:1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.
Leviticus 27:28-29 Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the LORD of all that he hath, [both] of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing [is] most holy unto the LORD. ... None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; [but] shall surely be put to death.
Numbers 21:2-3 And Israel vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities. ... And the LORD hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: and he called the name of the place Hormah.
1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
Ezra 10:8 And that whosoever would not come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited, and himself separated from the congregation of those that had been carried away.
Isaiah 34:6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, [and] with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.
Jeremiah 46:10 For this [is] the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.
Ezekiel 39:17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, [even] a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.
Micah 4:13 Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.
1 Corinthians 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
Galatians 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

only Rahab:

Joshua 2:1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there.


Joshua 6:22-23 But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot's house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her. ... And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.
Joshua 2:4-6 And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they [were]: ... But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof.
Joshua 2:22 And they went, and came unto the mountain, and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned: and the pursuers sought [them] throughout all the way, but found [them] not.
Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
1 Samuel 15:6 And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
Matthew 10:41-42 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. ... And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold [water] only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.
Hebrews 6:10 For God [is] not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Hebrews 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
James 2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent [them] out another way?
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Gn 12:3. Lv 27:28. Nu 21:2. Jsh 2:1, 4, 22; 6:22; 7:1. 1S 15:6. Ezr 10:8. Is 34:6. Jr 46:10. Ezk 39:17. Mi 4:13. Mt 10:41; 25:40. 1Co 2:7; 16:22. Ga 3:10, 12. He 6:10; 11:31. Jm 2:25.

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