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Walls

In ancient times, one of the distinctions between a "city" and "town" was that cities were usually surrounded by walls while towns were often just "unwalled villages." Before the invention of artillery and air bombardment, a massive wall with a few strategically-placed guard towers made a city impregnable (except in cases like Jericho - see the Fact Finder question below). In the Bible, walls were also used in a figurative and metaphorical sense for safety and security.

"cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars"

When the Israelites crossed the sea at the time of their exodus out of Egypt, The Lord miraculous parted the waters "by a strong east wind" - the "wall" that was created on each side of the driven-back sea was therefore a barrier of water on each side of them, not an upright "wall" on both sides as is most often portrayed (see The Walls Of Water).

The Walls of Jericho

"And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and The Lord [see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD] caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left." (Exodus 14:21-22 KJV)

On their march to their physical promised land, the Israelites encountered numerous walled cities. They conquered them all.

"All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many. And we utterly destroyed them." (Deuteronomy 3:5 KJV)

Upon their entry into the promised land, perhaps the most famous walls of those ancient times were the walls of Jericho (see also the Fact Finder question below):

"So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city." (Joshua 6:20 KJV)

Upon their return from the Babylonian captivity in the time of Nehemiah, the first priority was to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem:

"Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates [see also Physical and Spiritual Gates] thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach." (Nehemiah 2:17 KJV)

One of the events of Bible History that became a figure of speech was the The Writing On The Wall:

"In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote" (Daniel 5:5 KJV)

Walls were also spoken of in a figurative sense; those who live in defiance of God's way are leaving themselves "wide open" to even more evil.

"He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls." (Proverbs 25:28 KJV)

The sacrifice the Christ not only broke down the "middle wall of partition" between Israelites and Gentiles, it broke down the wall between God and humanity as a whole (see also Why Was It Torn?).

"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us" (Ephesians 2:13-14 KJV)

Fact Finder: What was it that actually caused the walls of Jericho to fall?
See What Actually Made The Walls of Jericho Fall?


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