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Obliteration of Jericho

The Amorites were the people of the hills surrounding Jericho. The Canaanites were the related people that dwelt from the coastal plains to the Mediterranean. After Moses dies, God sent Joshua into Canaan, which included all the inheritance of the people of Israel. It included the Sinai across to the Euphrates River and north to the border of Lebanon and Syria. God gave the Land of Canaan over 400 years to repent of their wickedness, but they continued in their sin. So, God destroyed them by giving the Land to Israel and using Israel as His instrument of wrath. Therefore, Israel completed the obliteration of Jericho following God's will. In the following few paragraphs, I will explain why these people deserved to be destroyed.


God Spoke to Abraham


Genesis 15:13-16 

13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;

14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.

16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

 

Fall of Jericho

God spared the Amorites (or people of Canaan) for 400 years because they had not gone to the very depths of their foreseen depravity. The following is a description from Leviticus describing a tiny fraction of these people's crimes.


Leviticus 18:21-25 – God Speaking to Moses

21 And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord.

22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.

24 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:

25 And the Land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the Land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.


So, the list of sins includes:

  1. Sacrificing young children to idols (18:21, burning children alive to Molech)

  2. Profane the name of God or using the LORD's name in vain (18:21)

  3. Lying with a male as one lies with a female: it is an abomination (18:22)

  4. Having intercourse with animals (18:23, an abomination)

  5. Women having sex with animals (18:23, yet another abomination)

  6. The Land and animals are defiled by the sins of its inhabitants (18:25)


So, the Land and even the animals had become defiled by such depravity. This depravity is why Israel had to utterly destroy Jericho down to the last man, woman, child, and animal. Moses further shared in the Book of Deuteronomy that it was not Israel's righteousness that was driving out the Amorites but God's desire to punish their egregious wickedness.


Deuteronomy 9:4

4 Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the Lord thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the Lord hath brought me in to possess this Land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord doth drive them out from before thee.


The Obliteration of Jericho Further Evidence


Deuteronomy 18:9-12

When thou art come into the Land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.

10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.

11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.


This passage further illuminates the sins of the Amorites (and other people of Canaan). All of the following practices are pagan and detestable to God.


Divination – the art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge supernaturally.

Observers of time –is a person who tries to foretell future events by predicting significant political or physical changes from the observance of the planets, eclipses, and motion of the clouds (Astrology).

Witchcraft – using sorcery or magic via communication with the devil or a familiar spirit. Rituals and practices that incorporate belief in magic and that are associated primarily with neo-pagan traditions and religions.

Charmer - the chanting or reciting of a magic spell or incantation. A practice or expression believed to have magic power or something worn by the person to ward off evil or ensure good fortune (a charm).

Consulter of familiar spirits – is a medium or someone who consults with demonic spirits to answer their questions (Ouija board).

Wizard – a person skilled in magic or a sorcerer.

Necromancer – is a person who conjures spirits of dead people to magically reveal the future or influence the course of events.


Obliteration of Jericho


All of these evils were undoubtedly the "tip of the iceberg." The abominations throughout Canaan, including Jericho, were egregious and affected all the people and animals. Jericho's ground and surrounding area were even cursed.[1] This prophesied curse came true for King Ahab.[2] The lifestyle of the Amorites affected children too, and these children would have matured following in their parent's footsteps.


Many of these children had been raised under the excesses of those who were responsible for the obliteration of Jericho, the Amorites. People often fail to appreciate that all young children are unaccountable for their actions. That is true until a child reaches an age of accountability. God is, in fact, sparing these children from spiritual death and the eternal wrath of God in the flames of Hell. This grace is an act of profound mercy on God's part. All the children of the Amorites who were not yet morally accountable are in heaven.


The people of Canaan practiced hedonistic, infanticidal, demonic-inspired, abominable lifestyles. It was only a matter of time before the Amorite society reached a point when the Almighty God reached his limit of tolerance. Any society or nation could commit these atrocities. Our society in the USA is sinning against God. So, our society will experience the wrath of God, and deservedly so.


The obliteration of Jericho was a blessing for the infants and children because they entered heaven. The rest of Jericho, including the defiled animals, were deservedly obliterated from the face of the earth. God gave them over 400 years to repent, but they failed, incurring the wrath of God they deserved.

 

References

[1] Bible gateway passage: Joshua 6:26 - King James Version. (n.d.). Bible Gateway. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+6%3A26&version=KJV

[2] Bible gateway passage: 1 kings 16:34 - King James Version. (n.d.). Bible Gateway. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+16%3A34&version=KJV




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