Hebrews 11:30
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(30) Seven days.—It is the persistence of Israel’s obedience (in the midst, we cannot doubt, of the unmeasured contempt and ridicule of their foes) during the seven days of almost total inaction (Joshua 6) that is here brought into relief.

Hebrews 11:30. By faith — The faith of Joshua and the Israelites in God’s promise; the walls of Jericho fell down — Being smitten by the hand of God, without any human force; after they were compassed about — In solemn silence, according to the divine command; seven days — How absurd a spectacle soever their procession might appear to the besieged. “As the land of Canaan belonged to the Israelites by a grant from God, the possessor of heaven and earth, it was proper that the first city which resisted them should be taken in such a manner as to demonstrate the truth of their title. And therefore God did not order them to attack Jericho with engines of war, but he ordered the priests, his immediate ministers, to carry the ark, containing the tables of his covenant, round the city daily for seven days, Joshua 6:13; and to sound trumpets of rams’ horns, as summoning the inhabitants in the name of the God of Israel to surrender; the armed men going before, and the rearward following. And on the seventh day, having surrounded Jericho seven times, they raised a great shout, upon which the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city every man straight before him, Hebrews 11:20. Thus were the inhabitants of Jericho and all the Canaanites made to know the supremacy and power of the God of Israel, and how vain it was to make any resistance.” — Macknight.11:20-31 Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, concerning things to come. Things present are not the best things; no man knoweth love or hatred by having them or wanting them. Jacob lived by faith, and he died by faith, and in faith. Though the grace of faith is of use always through our whole lives, it is especially so when we come to die. Faith has a great work to do at last, to help the believer to die to the Lord, so as to honour him, by patience, hope, and joy. Joseph was tried by temptations to sin, by persecution for keeping his integrity; and he was tried by honours and power in the court of Pharaoh, yet his faith carried him through. It is a great mercy to be free from wicked laws and edicts; but when we are not so, we must use all lawful means for our security. In this faith of Moses' parents there was a mixture of unbelief, but God was pleased to overlook it. Faith gives strength against the sinful, slavish fear of men; it sets God before the soul, shows the vanity of the creature, and that all must give way to the will and power of God. The pleasures of sin are, and will be, but short; they must end either in speedy repentance or in speedy ruin. The pleasures of this world are for the most part the pleasures of sin; they are always so when we cannot enjoy them without deserting God and his people. Suffering is to be chosen rather than sin; there being more evil in the least sin, than there can be in the greatest suffering. God's people are, and always have been, a reproached people. Christ accounts himself reproached in their reproaches; and thus they become greater riches than the treasures of the richest empire in the world. Moses made his choice when ripe for judgment and enjoyment, able to know what he did, and why he did it. It is needful for persons to be seriously religious; to despise the world, when most capable of relishing and enjoying it. Believers may and ought to have respect to the recompence of reward. By faith we may be fully sure of God's providence, and of his gracious and powerful presence with us. Such a sight of God will enable believers to keep on to the end, whatever they may meet in the way. It is not owing to our own righteousness, or best performances, that we are saved from the wrath of God; but to the blood of Christ, and his imputed righteousness. True faith makes sin bitter to the soul, even while it receives the pardon and atonement. All our spiritual privileges on earth, should quicken us in our way to heaven. The Lord will make even Babylon fall before the faith of his people, and when he has some great thing to do for them, he raises up great and strong faith in them. A true believer is desirous, not only to be in covenant with God, but in communion with the people of God; and is willing to fare as they fare. By her works Rahab declared herself to be just. That she was not justified by her works appears plainly; because the work she did was faulty in the manner, and not perfectly good, therefore it could not be answerable to the perfect justice or righteousness of God.By faith the walls of Jericho fell down ... - Josephus, Hebrews 6:12-20. That is, it was not by any natural causes, or by any means that were in themselves adapted to secure such a result. It was not because they fell of themselves; nor because they were assailed by the hosts of the Israelites; nor was it because there was any natural tendency in the blowing of horns to cause them to fall. None of these things were true; and it was only by confidence in God that means so little adapted to such a purpose could have been employed at all; and it was only by continued faith in him that they could have been persevered in day by day, when no impression whatever was made. The strength of the faith evinced on this occasion appears from such circumstances as these: - that there was no natural tendency in the means used to produce the effect; that there was great apparent improbability that the effect would follow; that they might be exposed to much ridicule from those within the city for attempting to demolish their strong walls in this manner, and from the fact that the city was encircled day after day without producing any result.

This may teach us the propriety and necessity of faith in similar circumstances. Ministers of the gospel often preach where there seems to be as little prospect of beating down the opposition in the human heart by the message which they deliver, as there was of demolishing the walls of Jericho by the blowing of rams' horns. they blow the gospel trumpet from week to week and month to month, and there seems to be no tendency in the strong citadel of the heart to yield. Perhaps the only apparent result is to excite ridicule and scorn. Yet let them not despair. Let them blow on. Let them still lift up their voice with faith in God, and in due time the walls of the citadel will totter and fall. God has power over the human heart as he had over Jericho; and in our darkest day of discouragement let us remember that we are never in circumstances indicating less probability of success from any apparent tendency in the means used to accomplish the result, than those were who encompassed this pagan city. With similar confidence in God we may hope for similar success.

30. The soundings of trumpets, though one were to sound for ten thousand years, cannot throw down walls, but faith can do all things [Chrysostom].

seven days—whereas sieges often lasted for years.

This Divine faith, exercised by Joshua and Israel after their entrance into the Land of Promise, (who did, on God’s word and command, compass the impregnable walls of Jericho once every day for six days together, and on the seventh day seven times, sounding with trumpets of rams’ horns, and at last giving a shout), brought down these walls flat to the ground by the almiglity power of God, to whom they were as nothing, Joshua 6:20. Faith in all this realized God’s promise to them, reached forth their love to him, and obedience in all particulars required by him, glorifying God, as the great Captain of their hosts, as he revealed himself, Joshua 5:13-15; committing the work and event to him, who, by the breath of faith, doth crumble down these walls before them. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down,.... Of themselves, not from any natural cause: the Jews say (n) they sunk right down into the ground, and were swallowed up; even the whole wall fell round about, as the Septuagint version in Joshua 6:20 expresses it: or, it may be, only that which was over against the camp of Israel, as Kimchi observes; since Rahab's house was built upon the wall, and yet fell not. And this was by the faith of Joshua, and the Israelites, who believed the walls would fall, at the sound of the rams' horns, as God said they should: after they were compassed about seven days; which was a trial of their faith and patience: the Jews say (o) it was on the sabbath day that they fell: this was a preternatural act, and cannot be ascribed to any second cause; nothing is impossible with God; no defences, ever so strong, are anything against him; unlikely means are sometimes made use of by him; faith stops at nothing, when it has the word of God to rest upon; and what God does, be does in his own time, and in his own way. This may be an emblem of the fall of the walls of the hearts of unregenerate men; of their unbelief, hardness, enmity, and vain confidence; and of the conversion and subjection of them unto Christ, through the preaching of the Gospel; which, in the eyes of men, is as mean and despicable, and as unlikely to bring about such an event, as the sounding of the rams' horns might be to the inhabitants of Jericho: and it may be also an emblem of the fall of Babylon, and other antichristian cities, Revelation 16:19.

(n) Targum Jon. Jarchi & Kimchi in Josh. vi. 5. (o) Jarchi & Kimchi in ver. 15.

{13} By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

(13) Jericho.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 11:30. The example of faith afforded by the Israelite people in connection with the siege of Jericho, Joshua 6.

Πίστει] on the ground of faith, which, namely, the people displayed. Wrongly Grotius, who supposes πίστει is to be construed with κυκλωθέντα.

ἔπεσαν] On the plural of the verb with the neuter plur., see Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl. p. 479.

κυκλωθέντα] after they (daily with the ark of the covenant, heralded by trumpet blast) had been encircled (incorrectly Schulz, and others: beleaguered).

ἐπὶ ἑπτὰ ἡμέρας] for seven days, seven days long. Comp. Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl. p. 381.30. the walls of Jericho fell down] Joshua 4:12-20.Hebrews 11:30. Κυκλωθέντα) compassed about, without machines, LXX., Joshua 6:6 (7). The faith of Joshua is virtually praised in this passage; and yet the miraculous arresting of the sun in his course is not mentioned, because there was to be nothing else like it in any future period: Joshua 10:12; Joshua 10:14.—ἐπὶ ἑπτὰ ἡμέρας) for seven days. In other places many sieges lasted many years.Verse 30. - By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were compassed about seven days (see Joshua 6:1-21). The capture of Jericho may be selected for mention, not only because of its extraordinary character, but also as being the beginning of the campaign in Canaan, the first necessary conquest that opened the way to the rest. The history is not further pursued in detail, this being sufficient to suggest it all. Only, for a special reason, the case of Rahab has attention drawn to it. Compassed about (κυκλωθέντα)

Comp. Luke 21:20; John 10:24. oP.

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