Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

How the River Jordan Became Dry, and the Walls of Jericho Fell Down

After the two spies had come back from Jericho to the camp of Israel, Joshua commanded the people to take down their tents and remove from their camping place to the bank of the river Jordan. Then the priests took apart the Tabernacle, and covered the ark and all the furniture in the Holy Place; and ran the poles through the rings for carrying the altar, and made ready for leaving the camp. At the same time the people took down their tents, and rolled them up, and brought together their flocks and cattle, and stood ready to march.

Then Joshua gave the word, and they marched down toward the river, which was rolling high and strong in front of them. Joshua said:

"Let the priests carry the ark of the covenant in front, and let there be a space between it and the rest of the people of three thousand feet. Do not come nearer than that space to the ark."

And all the people stood still, wondering, while the ark was brought on the shoulders of the priests far out in front of the ranks of men, until it came down to the very edge of the water. They could not see the ark, for it was covered, but they knew that it was under its coverings on the shoulders of the priests.

Then said Joshua to the priests, "Now walk into the water of the river."

Then a most wonderful thing took place. As soon as the feet of the priests touched the water by the shore, the river above stopped flowing, and far away, up the river, they could see the water rising and piling up like a great heap. And below the place where they were standing the water ran on, until it left a great place dry, and the stones on the river's bed were uncovered. Then, at Joshua's command, the priests carried the ark down to the middle of the dry bed of the river, and stood there with it on their shoulders.

And Joshua gave order to the people to march across the river. In front came the soldiers from Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, who had already received their homes on the east of the river, but were with the other tribes to help in the war (see Story Thirty-three in Part First). After them came all the other tribes, each by itself, until they had all passed over the river; and all this time the priests stood on the river's dry bed holding the ark.

Then Joshua called for twelve men, one man from each tribe; and he said to them:

"Go down into the river and bring up from it twelve stones, as large stones as you can carry, from the place where the priests are standing."

They did so; and with these stones Joshua made a stone-heap on the bank; and he said:

"Let this heap of stones stand here to keep in memory what has taken place to-day. When your children shall ask you, 'Why are these stones here?' you shall say to them, 'Because here the Lord God made the river dry before the ark of the covenant, so that the people could cross over into the land that God had promised to their fathers.'"

And Joshua told these twelve men to take also twelve other stones, and heap them up in the bed of the river where the priests stood, with the ark, so that these stones also might stand to remind all who should see them of God's wonderful help to his people.

When all this had been done, and the two heaps of stone had been piled up, one on the bank, the other in the bed of the river, Joshua said to the priests, "Come now up from the river, and bring the ark to the shore."

They did so; and then the waters began to flow down from above, until soon the river Jordan was rolling by as it had rolled before. So now at last the children of Israel were safely in the land which God had promised to their fathers more than five hundred years before.

They set up a new camp, with the Tabernacle in the middle, the altar before it, and the tents of the tribes around it in order. The place of the camp was near the river, on the plain of Jordan, and was called Gilgal. And there the main camp of the Israelites was kept all the time that they were carrying on the war to win the land of Canaan.

When they came into the land, it was the time of the early harvest; and in the fields they found grain and barley in abundance. They gathered it, and ground it, and made bread of it; and some of it they roasted in the ear; and on that day the manna which God had sent them from the sky through forty years ceased to fall, now that it was needed no more. (See Part First, Story Twenty-four.)

There, in full view of the new camp, stood the strong walls of Jericho. Joshua went out to look at the city; and he saw a man all armed coming toward him. Joshua walked boldly up to the man, and said to him, "Are you on our side, or are you one of our enemies?"

And he said, "No; but as captain of the Lord's host have I come."

Then Joshua saw that he was the angel of the Lord; and as he bowed down before him, said, "What word has my Lord to his servant?"

And the captain of the Lord's host said to Joshua, "Take off your shoes from your feet, for it is holy ground where you are standing."

Joshua did so; for the one who was speaking to him was not merely an angel, but the Lord himself appearing as a man. And the Lord said to Joshua, "I have given to you Jericho, and its king, and its mighty men of war; and I will destroy the city of Jericho before you."

Then the Lord told Joshua the way in which the city should be taken; and Joshua went back to the camp at Gilgal, and made ready to march as God commanded. During the next seven days all that was done was according to the word spoken by the Lord to Joshua.

They drew out the army as if to fight against the city. In front came the soldiers from the tribes on the east of the river. Then came a company of priests with triumph made of rams' horns, which they blew long and loud. Then came the ark of the covenant, borne on the shoulders of the priests. And, last of all, came the host of Israel, marching in order. No one shouted, nor was any noise heard, except the sound of the rams'-horn trumpets. They marched around the walls of Jericho once on that day, and then all marched back to the camp.

The priests blowing their horns


The next morning they all formed in the same order, and again marched around the walls of the city; and so they did again and again, marching once each day for six days.

On the seventh day, by God's command, they rose very early in the morning, and did not stop when they had marched around the walls once; but kept on marching round and round, until they had gone about the walls seven times. As they went by they saw at one window on the wall a scarlet cord hanging down; and they knew that this was the house of Rahab, who had saved the lives of the two spies.

When the seventh march was ended, they all stood still. Even the trumpets ceased, and there was a great silence for a moment, until the voice of Joshua rang out, "Shout, for the Lord has given you the city!"

Then a great shout went up from the host; and they looked at the wall, and saw that it was trembling, and shaking, and falling! It fell down flat at every place but one. There was one part of the wall left standing, where the scarlet cord was hanging from the window.

And Joshua said to the two spies, "Go and bring out Rahab and her family, and take them to a safe place."

They went into Rahab's house on the wall and brought her out, and with her her father and mother, and all their family. They cared for them, and kept them safely in the camp of the Israelites until all the war against the people of the land was ended.

While some of the soldiers were taking care of Rahab, all the rest of the army was climbing up over the ruined wall. The people in the city were so filled with fear when they saw the walls falling down on every side, that they did not try to defend it, but sank down helpless and were slain or taken prisoners by the Israelites.

Thus the city was taken, with all that was within it. But the Israelites were forbidden to use for themselves any of the treasures in the city. Joshua said to them, "Nothing in this city belongs to you. It is the Lord's, and is to be destroyed as an offering to the Lord."

So they brought together all the gold, and silver, and precious things, and all that was in the houses. They took nothing for themselves, but kept the gold and silver and the things made of brass and iron for the Tabernacle. All the rest of what they found in the city they burned and destroyed, leaving of the city of Jericho nothing but a waste and a desolation. And Joshua said:

"Let the Lord's curse rest on any man who shall ever build again the city of Jericho. With the loss of his oldest born shall he lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it."

After this Rahab, the woman who had saved the spies, was taken among the people of Israel just as though she had been an Israelite born. And one of the nobles of the tribe of Judah, whose name was Salmon, took her for his wife. And from her line of descendants, of those who came from her, many years after this, was born David the king. She was saved and blessed, because she had faith in the God of Israel.