“Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark.
But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets (shofar). It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet (shofar), that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”
Victory! Everyone wants it. It may be for physical healing, for success in your marriage and relationships, in your work or business, or maybe you have material needs. In order to have victory in Christ, it is important to study every aspect of our Lord Jesus that we can. Through these real-life experiences of the Children of Israel marching around Jericho, God gives you and I clues as to how we can have that kind of victory!
This is a very long article because there are so many factors to understand and consider. Hence, before we get to our story about Jericho’s demise, we’ll need to take a closer look at the Ark of the Covenant, which played THE MOST IMPORTANT ROLE of all. The more we understand about it, the better our understanding we will have of how to achieve our own victories.
There are lots of details about the Ark itself and the incident 38years previous to the fall of Jericho. You see, in order to have victory in the present, we must understand the mistakes of the past so as not to repeat them. Let’s dig in!
Of all the types, shadows and stories in the Bible, this one item is the clearest depiction of our Lord. We study it because the Bible says that those who are wise want to know more about Him. Not only that, “Grace and peace are multiplied in our lives” when our knowledge of Him increases. (See 2 Peter 2:1). The Holy Spirit, our Master Storyteller, reveals many facets of Jesus’ beauty, His glory, and His majesty in this one piece of furniture.
Unlike the rest of the Tabernacle of Moses, there was only one piece of furniture in the Holy of Holies: The Ark of the Covenant. There was no light source, like the sun or the menorah in the other two parts of the Tabernacle. Only The Ark, Jesus, provided Light! The LORD Himself came down to talk with Moses from time to time from between the wings of the Cherubim.
You see, above all things, God wants to be with His people, as close as He possibly can, wherever they are. Trouble is, under the Old Covenant, Jesus had to veil His glory because no one could look on Him and live.
Under the New Covenant however, Jesus doesn’t only walk beside us, He lives IN US. Can’t get any closer than that! 💖😁
Construction And Contents Of The Ark.
The lower part was constructed of Acacia wood, a very hardy tree that grows in the desert. Wood in the Bible is a depiction of humanity. This particular wood is considered “incorruptible” because it is resistant to decay and pests of all kinds, like cedar. Inside and out, it was overlaid with gold
It contained three items, pictured above: 1) The two tablets of sapphire stone on which were written the Ten Commandments, 2) Aaron’s rod that budded, and 3) A golden pot of Manna. (See picture above.) These three items represent man’s rejection of God’s Law, (the stone tablets), God’s appointed leadership, (Aaron’s rod) and God’s provision (the golden pot of Manna).
Yes, you read that right: The Ten Commandments were written on blue stones of Sapphire. If this is a new concept to anyone reading this, you may follow the link below for more on that topic:
This portion of the Ark represents Jesus’ person. “Thy word have I hid in my heart,” the Psalm says (119:11). Jesus is the only One Who perfectly kept all the law, while He walked this earth, so that you and I, who are hid with Christ in God, get an A+ in law-keeping! 😊
The top was made of one solid slab of the finest gold weighing 1 talent. That’s 100lbs, folks! The entire thing was hammered into shape. It was called, “The Mercy Seat,” in Hebrew, “Kapporeth,” which means, “Covering.” Under the Old Covenant, sins were only covered, not cleansed. On it’s top was sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice once a year on Yom Kippur, representing Jesus’ work of redemption.
The two Cherubim on either side, wings unfurled, are “looking down” on the blood sprinkled there. As guardians of God’s holiness, when the blood is sprinkled on top of the Mercy Seat, God cannot “see” what is hidden inside. In other words, he cannot “see” man’s rebellion. What God has hidden, let it stay hidden.
Blood on the Mercy Seat above demonstrates that “Mercy triumphs OVER judgment!” 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻
The Ministry Of Death.
This shows us why it is so dangerous to teach the Ten Commandments as Law that must be obeyed to be acceptable to God. In order to do so, you have to push aside the Mercy Seat. In other words, push Jesus aside. 😮 NOT COOL! 😠
Church, we are under grace. We have the LawGiver, Jesus, living WITHIN US. We don’t need “The map,” so to speak. We have the Map Giver. Law can only dictate OUTWARD BEHAVIOR. It cannot affect the heart and effect the inward change God desires. Only Jesus can do that. The map cannot tell you the good places to stop for food or the great places to visit. But Jesus, the MapMaker can! And if you get tired, you can let Him drive, which He wanted to do all along.
The Law tells you things like, “Do not steal;” “Do not commit adultery;” “Do not covet.” It does not show God’s heart of love. It does not tell you, “God so loved the world.” Just “Do this, do that…..or else.” But when you understand how much you are loved by God, not only do not want to steal: Grace makes you want to be generous and give to others. You not only do not want to commit adultery because you love your spouse! The Law never tells you to give to others or to love your wife or husband.
So what’s it gonna be? The Man: Jesus, or the Map: The Law? Pick one because you cannot have both.
Cherubim were first mentioned in Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve were driven from the garden. God placed them at the entrance to it, wielding flaming swords that turned every which way. This effectively prevented man from returning to Paradise, eating from the tree of life, and living forever in their fallen state. These terrifying angelic beings are guardians of God’s holiness.
After the fall, God made our first parents coats of skin to cover their nakedness. In order to do so, of course, He had to kill animals. That’s right: God was the first One to kill animals to offer sacrifices for sins. He was demonstrating to them that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. The innocent dies for the guilty.
(For more on that topic, you may follow the link below:
The first mention of the word, “Sword,” is here as well, in conjunction with the two Cherubim. The last mention of “Sword” in the Old Testament, however, is very telling. It is here, in Zechariah 13:7 “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my Fellow, saith the Lord of hosts:”
That “Fellow,” is our Lord Jesus Christ. The Sword of God’s judgment was, in essence, sheathed in His breast as He hung on the cross. He quenched all the fires of God’s wrath and righteous judgment that were leveled against us. That’s why Paul could boldly write, “There is THEREFORE NOW NO condemnation to those who are IN Christ Jesus!” There is no more sword of judgment for you and I. 😁
Cherubim At The Tomb.
Cherubim were the two angelic beings that Mary saw at the empty tomb: One at the head, one at the foot of where Jesus had lain.
He was not there; He was risen, just as He said. Jesus shed His perfect, sinless blood. The price was paid! Only one thing remains for man to do: ACCEPT THE PAYMENT. Salvation is not automatic or universal.
The Beginning Of Evil Days.
When the Israelites first came to Promised Land 38 years before the victory at Jericho, they had sent 12 spies into the land check it out. Even though God had told them He “Had given them (past tense)” the land, they said, “We cannot take the land.” They didn’t believe Him. (Uh oh!) 😮
This one incident sparked a whole host of evil things that have happened to the Jewish people down through history. The day is called, “Tish B’Av, or the 9th of Av,” on their calendar. 😓 Anyone familiar with their history and traditions knows VERY WELL the meaning of this date, which we won’t go into in this article. If you’re interested in the whole, heartbreaking story, you may follow the link below:
Suffice it to say that at Kadesh Barnea, the original evil day set off a host of other evil days, most of which many of you are familiar, especially those that occurred in the 20th century. 😭
The Majority Isn’t Always Right.
Two of these spies, Joshua and Caleb, brought back a good report. The others brought back an evil one. All they could talk about how big the giants in the land were and how high and thick their walls were. Why, we were “like grasshoppers in their sight,” they said.
Sadly, the majority sided with the 10, which meant they didn’t believe God either. 🥺 In fact, they became so angry at Caleb and Joshua they tried to to stone them. God Himself had to come down and break it up! Goes to show you that the majority isn’t always right.
How could the 10 spies have known that the giants saw them as “grasshoppers?” Did they go door to door and take a survey or something? Of course not. The fact is, they made up the whole story because they were afraid. Yes, there were giants in the land. Yes, the walls of Jericho were VERY THICK; Yes, they could actually have chariot races on top of them. 😮 We shall soon discover that their presumption was dead wrong.
“Kadesh Barnea,” means, “Holy purification wandering.” It was from here that the spies were sent. Well apparently, their wanderings weren’t purifying enough. The 10 who brought back the evil report, the leaders and all the people who sided with them, greatly displeased the Lord. He turned them back and they wandered in the wilderness. In the ensuing 38 years, everyone except Caleb, Joshua, and the younger generation, died. Only Joshua and Caleb remained alive because they had a “Different spirit:” The spirit of faith.
Prophetically speaking, this is a reference to Jesus, the Gentile nations, the last generation, us. Joshua’s name means, “God is Savior.” That’s JESUS! Celeb means, “Dog.” (Jewish people referred to Gentiles as “Dogs”); and the youngest among the people refers to our generation, the ones who will be alive and remain when Jesus calls for us and raptures His Church.
After that rebellious generation died, God brought Israel once again to the entrance of the Promised Land. No doubt this new generation had heard the stories of the 12 spies, the giants, and of their fate as a result of not trusting God. But they had also heard of the richness and fertility of the land.
Joshua, as their leader, had learned from the mistakes of the past and was determined that this new group not repeat them. Let’s follow the story.
The Lord’s Command To Joshua
Joshua 1: 1-9
After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.
Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.
Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
Rahab Hides The Two Spies.
Once again they are ready to cross over the Jordan River. Joshua, as Moses’ successor, would lead the people as they fought to get back their ancient land. Before they did so, Joshua sent in two spies to check out both the land but, especially, the city of Jericho.
“Two,” in Hebrew numerics, means “Witness.” 10 is a reference to the Law. Their fathers, who sided with the 10, wanted to go back to the Law rather than rely on God’s grace to conquer their giants. But as you know, without faith, it is impossible to please God.
(For more on the meanings of numbers in the Bible, you may follow the link below to a short series on that topic:
“Then the woman took the two men and hid them. So she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.” (But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof.) Then the men pursued them by the road to the Jordan, to the fords. And as soon as those who pursued them had gone out, they shut the gate.”
Why did Rahab protect these men? Because she believed that the God of Israel was the real deal. How did this happen? Let’s continue the story:
“Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men: “I know that the Lord* has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.”
In verse 8 above, notice she called God, *”Lord.” The word she used in Hebrew was “Yahweh,” the Name of the Covenant-keeping One. Somewhere along the way, SHE HAD BECOME A BELIEVER IN THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB! Remember what the 10 spies had reported 38 years before, that they looked like grasshoppers from the perspective of the giants? But as you can plainly see, that assertion was totally false! God delivered them out of Egypt Forty years ago……FORTY!!! Those giants hadn’t seen them as grasshoppers back then. Quite the opposite…..THEY WERE SCARED TO DEATH OF THEM!!! 😮
Rahab was probably wondering what in the world took them so long to get there. Everyone, to a man, was so afraid of the Israelites that the gates of Jericho were shut up tight. No one went in or out. They had heard how God parted the Red Sea for them and how He defeated the Egyptians. One of the most terrifying events to them was the utter defeat of the Amorites and their two kings: Og and Sihon. These guys were also giants like the ones in Jericho, a product of demonic genetics. If they didn’t stand a chance against Israel’s God NOBODY DID.
Rahab not only hid the two spies, she helped them escape out her window. Since she lived on the wall of the city, that meant they did not have to go out through the city gates to get away. She made them promise, however, to save herself and all her family when they came to destroy Jericho. They agreed, on one condition: That she leave the red cord hanging from her window. This depicts the blood of Jesus!
Victory Principle #1.
Church, you don’t need to be afraid of the devil or of your giants: THEY ARE AFRAID OF YOU AND YOUR GOD!!! You have the advantage over them: You have The Ark! THEY DON’T HAVE JESUS. Demons, the darkness, and the devil are all afraid of you, who are hid with Christ in God. So when you speak in Jesus’ Name, the devil cannot distinguish whether it’s you or Jesus. All he sees is the power of God Almighty!
Crossing The Jordan.
“…and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), 16 that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.”
The Priests stepped into the waters of the river first and stand in the middle, about 2000 cubits away (approx. 4/5 of a mile). As soon as they did so, carrying the Ark, the LORD caused the waters to recede as far as the city of ADAM. The name of this city mentioned is no accident! The Holy Spirit is drawing pictures again!
Jordan, “Ir-Dan” in Hebrew, literally means “To go down.” The waters of that river pushed all the way back to the city of Adam is a picture of Jesus’ death, washing all our sins away, all the way back to Adam! This event served to further unnerve the people of Jericho because it occurred at the time of year when the Jordan is in flood stage. There is no there time of the year when there is more water flowing than at this time.
Just as the priests went into the river first walking 2,000 cubits ahead of the people, so Jesus crossed “The river” first, before us. For 2,000 years, the Church has been wandering and wondering in this wilderness. Jesus died 2,000 years ago and crossed over before. Soon, He will part the waters of the “Jordan,” and bring us into the promised land to be forever with Him. This is referring to the event we call, “The Rapure!”
After they crossed over the Jordan, God instructed Joshua to do something quite unexpected. He was to see to it that all the men be circumcised. Doesn’t sound like a very wise idea days before a major battle, does it? But back then, physical circumcision was the sign of God’s covenant with them. But to do something like that before a major battle? They would have a hard time walking let alone fighting their enemies.
As you know, God’s ways are not like ours, are they? When we are weak, He is strong. He is our defense! He fights for us! Fortunately for us, we are not required to observe this practice today because circumcision under the New Covenant is that of the heart! Men, you can breathe a sigh of relief! For health reasons, it’s fine, but it’s no longer commanded.
Victory Principle #2.
THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S but the victory belongs to you!
The Angel Of The LORD Comes To Joshua.
Joshua 5: 13-15
“13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” 14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my LORD say to His servant?” 15 Then the Commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.”
Before this great battle, Joshua had a vision. He saw the Angel of the Lord with a drawn sword in His hand. He didn’t realize at first who it was, so he said, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” Jesus said, “I did not come to take sides: I HAVE COME TO TAKE OVER.” Joshua at last realized Who stood before him and fell down at His feet to worship Him. It was a reminder that this battle, this army, this company of people were His. They did not belong to Joshua or anyone else.
Victory Principle #3.
We would do well to remember, pastors, leaders, teachers: This is not your church or ministry. It belongs to Jesus. It is His. We cannot just go and do anything we want. When all is said and done, you and I must point to Jesus. He must have the preeminence.
See? I Have Given You The City!
“6 Then Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” 7 And he said to the people, “Proceed, and march around the city, and let him who is armed advance before the ark of the Lord.”
8 So it was, when Joshua had spoken to the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns (shofar) before the Lord advanced and blew the trumpets, and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them. 9 The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets.”
Do you really think that walking around the city and shouting was what brought down the walls? No, of course not. So why did God have them go though all that? Why didn’t He just destroy the city with an earthquake or something? He certainly could have. But He didn’t.
Well, technically, it was an earthquake that made the walls come down but it was in conjunction with them doing their part. They followed Joshua’s instructions to the letter and did so for seven days straight. THEN GOD MOVED!!!
Each day as they marched around the city as God instructed, they may not have seen it, but the foundations of the city were crumbling, little by little. As you march around your Jericho, day by day you may not see or realize it, but the foundations around the walls of your Jericho are crumbling! One day, they too, will come crashing down!
“10 Now Joshua had commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout.” 11 So he had the ark of the Lord circle the city, going around it once. Then they came into the camp and lodged in the camp.”
Victory Principle #4.
If God simply fixes our problems with just a wave of His hand or makes our condition instantly disappear, He knows we would miss out on something much more important. He wants us to learn His ways and grow in faith. Toward that end, He uses people and works WITH them. Think of it as training for reigning. As our faith grows stronger, our trust in Him becomes more and more unshakable. He said it Himself: “Without Me you can do NOTHING.”
Seven priests blowing seven trumpets (shofar) went before the Ark, the armed men went before the priests, and all the people followed behind the Ark. He commanded them to keep silent. They were not to utter a single word as they marched around the city, regardless of what might be happening on top of the walls. That’s what you need to do whenever you face a seemingly impossible problem. Keep your eyes on Jesus, keep quiet until the appointed time, and keep on following His lead.
Keep Quiet. Say Nothing.
No doubt, the people inside Jericho were well aware of their presence, wondering what the heck they were doing marching silently around the city. The adults very likely knew enough about how this God had delivered Israel, but the teenagers were probably sitting up there on the walls, hurling insults, cat calls, and who knows what from their high perches. Nevertheless, Joshua sternly warned the people, “Keep quiet. Say NOTHING.”
Why is being silent so important? Remember what happened the last time? The people groaned, grumbled, complained and rebelled against God and ALL OF THEM all died in the desert as a result. Joshua was very determined not to let this to happen again. That’s why they were told to keep quiet.
As they walked along, Jesus, the Ark, was in their midst. They lifted Him up, carrying the Ark on their shoulders as the seven priests continually blew the ram’s horn, or shofar. They marched around the city, AND EVERYONE WAS SILENT.
Here’s the picture: The shofar is fashioned from the horn of a ram, a male sheep. You have to kill the animal to take its horn. This depicts the Lord’s death. How do we do that today? A non-verbal way of proclaiming the Lord’s death is taking by communion.
Victory Principle #5.
Lift up Jesus, proclaim the Lord’s death over your problem and don’t say anything. Once you have spoken to God about your problem, situation or disease, don’t keep saying, “I still have that pain.” “I still have that problem.” Keep on lifting up Jesus, proclaim the Lord’s death, and KEEP QUIET. The devil only knows he’s got you by what comes out of your mouth.
You don’t need be have a pastor or deacon present to have communion. It says in the New Testament that they “broke bread from house to house.” I believe the devil takes 4 or 5 steps back when he sees a believer with the bread and the cup in his or her hand. He is afraid of you!
Faith Comes By Hearing.
“But I took communion and I heard a message on healing.” Therein lies your problem. Faith comes by continuously “Hearing,” not by “Having heard.” Keep on hearing, keep on listening, keep on confessing that “As He (Jesus) is, so am I IN THIS WORLD.” He has the first word AND the final word on your problem or situation.
They went around the city seven days. Seven is the number of perfection. That doesn’t mean you pray, take communion seven days, and your problem is solved. If that’s what you thought, you missed the point. Ask, and keep on asking; seek, and keep on seeking; knock and keep on knocking, until you have your victory. Don’t give up on the “6th day.” Keep on until you get your answer.
“20 So the people shouted (teruah)* when the priests blew the trumpets (shofar). And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. 21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.”
*”Teruah” is the sound of Jubilee! The year of Jubilee is where all that you lost is fully restored! 2017 was a year of JUBILEE!!! We have the victory, the “walls” of our city, our “impregnable fortress,” fall flat when we lift up Jesus and proclaim the Lord’s death…..and keep quiet. No negative confession.
All the priests are also clothed in white linen. You and I, Church, are the priests today. We are clothed in the white raiment of the righteousness of Christ. When we do likewise, the walls of our city fall flat before Him, Whose battle it is. The battle is the LORD’s, but the victory is ours. HALLELUJAH!
The Final Visit Of The Ark: Jesus!
That, Church, is the account of the first visit of the Ark to the city of Jericho. Now, let’s look at the last time THE ARK, Jesus, came to visit the cursed city of Jericho.
Jesus Comes To Jericho.
Mark 10:46-47 “Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
As you saw above, the first visit of the Ark brought only death and destruction to the inhabitants, though God’s people were triumphant. The last visit was 180 degrees different!
Did you ever notice there is no record that Jesus spent any time there or lodged overnight here? He comes into the city and, in the next phrase it says, “He went out of Jericho.” It’s as if He didn’t want to linger there. On this particular day, however, “As He went out of Jericho,”A blind beggar sat by the road. Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by and he began to cry out with a loud voice, “Y’Shua BarDavid, honéni: Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! Literally, “Show me your grace!”
Way back in Joshua chapter 6, he had pronounced a curse on this city in verse 26 of that chapter:
“Then Joshua charged them at that time, saying, “Cursed be the man before the Lord who rises up and builds this city Jericho; he shall lay its foundation with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates.”
As you know, Bartimaeus means, “Son of Timaeus.” Timaeus means “Impure.” He was not known by his given name, but simply as “Timaeus’ son,” which means, “Son of Imprity.” Looking back to the curse on anyone with the audacity to rebuild the city, Bartimaeus was probably the son of the man who built the city. This blind man was most likely the younger son who was wasting away at the city gates. He lacked both health: He was blind; and wealth: He was a beggar. If his condition continued much longer, he would probably join his older brother, who would have died when their father laid the foundation of the city.
How did Bartimaeus know it was Jesus? He HEARD that He was passing by, having HEARD many times about this wonderful Man before. He wasn’t about to miss his chance, so he cried out to Him. He had been hearing how other blind eyes were opened, of healings and miracles too numerous to mention. But above all, of the love and kindness of this wonderful Man, Who could be none other that the long-awaited Messiah.
The name, “Bartimaeus,” is mentioned only one time in the entire Bible: Right here in Mark 10. Though there are other times in the other two synoptic gospels where Jesus restored the sight of a blind beggar near Jericho, these are very likely the same event. “Bartimaeus,” however, is only mentioned by name in Mark’s account. We will discuss why this is so in just a bit.
Let’s continue our story:
“Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called.
Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.”
And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.”
It says that Bartimaeus “Threw aside his garment.” In that culture, beggars wore a particular garment which identified them as a beggar. When Jesus told the man to come near, he threw aside his begging garment, announcing that he wasn’t coming back the same. He expected to receive his sight!
But it also says, “Jesus stood still.” What a powerful phrase! It is mentioned only three times in scripture. Each time, it was to open the eyes of this particular blind man. Twice it was spoken to two men as He approached Jericho and two more times to the same blind man as He was leaving Jericho. (Back then, there were 2 parts to the city so if you were in between, you could be leaving one while drawing near to the other.). We’ll discuss the awesome importance of this later on.
Jericho, the city which God cursed, just “happens” to be located at the lowest point in planet earth, near the lowest body of water, “The Dead Sea,” at 1280 ‘ below sea level. How appropriate that the “cursed city” should be near the “Dead Sea,” where nothing lives.
At first, many people in the crowd following Jesus, told this poor man to keep quiet, probably not in very nice terms. But he didn’t care. He shouted all the louder. At the sound of his cries, JESUS STOOD STILL. This is such a touching passage of scripture. It brings tears to my eyes! Here’s why…..
The Sun Stood Still In The Heavens.
This same phrase also appears in the strangest place in the Old Testament. Do you remember the incident that happened in Joshua’s day when the sun stood still over the valley of Ayalon? It’s true! Let’s take a little trip into the distant past and see what happened there.
Joshua’s Long Day.
The Israelites, under Joshua’s command, were chasing down the Amorites, closing in on them. But the sun was starting to go down, and after dark, it would be impossible to find and destroy them all. So Joshua prayed the most incredible prayer and the LORD ANSWERED HIM. Let’s follow the story:
“Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel:
“Sun, stand still over Gibeon;
And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”
So the sun stood still,
And the moon stopped,
Till the people had revenge
Upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.
And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.
Then Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to the camp at Gilgal.
Incredible! God heard Joshua’s prayer and caused the sun to stand still “For about the space of a whole day.” He really went to bat for Israel!
The Amorites, of course, were terrified of this people because their God had just destroyed the fortified city of Jericho and killed it’s inhabitants. The only one spared was Rahab and her family, just as the LORD commanded.
Why Did God Order Everyone Killed?
Why did God order them all killed? Because the city was filled with giants, as you recall. They were some of the after-the-flood demon/human hybrids, one of the devil’s many plots to stop Jesus from being born. You see, if the human race was tainted with fallen angels’ DNA, the Champion could not be born, and we would all be toast. Oh, this wasn’t the first time he tried this tactic. He pulled his evil stunt before the flood, too. They were known as the “Nephillim,” back then.
This is another whole topic, in an of itself so, if you are unfamiliar with it or want to know more, you can read the whole story by following the link below:
Anyway, the inhabitants of the of Canaan had heard of the fall of Jericho and Ai and of the peace that Gibeon had made with Israel. Adoni-Zedek, The king of Jerusalem, was not about to allow that fate to happen to his kingdom. So, he “emailed” the other four kings and got together with them.
For some reason, they thought it would be a great idea if they attacked Gibeon; you know, the city that had made peace with Israel. REALLY BAD IDEA! The leaders of Gibeon sent to Joshua to come and help them, which he did.
But God Himself helped His people by killing numbers of the Amorites with hail stones. There were still so many of them, however, and the sun was starting to go down. They would not be able to catch up with all of them before sundown. That’s what prompted Joshua’s prayer and the ensuing long day.
The five kings were all a bunch of big cowards, no surprise. They ran away and hid themselves in the cave at Makkedah. Somebody found out about it and told Joshua. He told hos men to roll some large stones over the mouth of the cave and set a guards in front of it. Then he was to go and rejoin the battle.
They were told to attack the rear guard of their enemies and not allow them to go into their cities. “The LORD has delivered them (past tense) into your hand,” he said in verse 19. Let’s follow the story in verses 24-27:
“So it was, when they brought out those kings to Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the captains of the men of war who went with him, “Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings.” And they drew near and put their feet on their necks. Then Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong and of good courage, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.”
And afterward Joshua struck them and killed them, and hanged them on five trees; and they were hanging on the trees until evening. So it was at the time of the going down of the sun that Joshua commanded, and they took them down from the trees, cast them into the cave where they had been hidden, and laid large stones against the cave’s mouth, which remain until this very day.”
After the battle was over, Joshua commanded the kings be taken from the cave. He had the captains of his army to put their foot on the necks of the kings. This demonstrated to everyone that these kings were under their feet.
The Final Ark, Jesus!
When Jesus came, He healed the sick, bound up the broken hearted, restored sight to the blind, and made the lame walk; physical and spiritual healings of all kinds. The name of the blind beggar, “Bartimaeus,” is mentioned only one time in the Bible because SALVATION ONLY HAPPENS ONCE. It is good for all time and eternity. It can never be lost. We get up, sight restored and follow Jesus on THE road.
Who was it that made the Son of God stop and stand still? Was it someone of great influence, wealth and importance? NO! The One Who made the stars and placed them in the heavens, Who formed the earth, made man out of its dust, Who parted the Red Sea, Who made the sun stand still in the heavens as Israel pursued her enemies, THAT JESUS!!!…..at the cry of a blind beggar, STOOD STILL.
This is the God we serve! This is the One Who loved us SO MUCH that He gave His life for us. Victory isn’t an “it:” IT’S A HIM! Our Victory is a Person: JESUS!
You may follow the link below to part 6 to continue this series: