David Plotz, at Blogging the Bible, has read the book of Jericho. His new post is up.
The song goes:
Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho
Joshua fought the battle of Jericho
And the walls came tumblin' down.
But they didn't fight a battle of Jericho. Here is my biblical ignorance in full flower. I always thought that there was a pitched battle for Jericho. But no. Joshua has the Israelites circle the city once a day for six days. On the seventh day, they circle the city seven times, with seven priests blowing seven rams' horns. (Question: If they were circling the city for seven days straight, how did they observe the Sabbath? Also, it's nice to see seven finally replace 40 as the holy number.) At the end of the final circuit (the 13th total, actually, not the seventh), Jericho's walls collapse in a heap.