Thursday, November 17 2011
The Gates Of Jericho
Jericho is one of the most-ancient cities of human history. Located below sea level in the Jordan River Valley, north of the Dead Sea, Jericho was recorded early in Bible History as "the city of palm trees."
"34:3 And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar." (Deuteronomy 34:3 KJV)
Jericho has been an attractive prize for the succession of world empires that have assumed control of the land of Israel. After the Assyrians (see Ancient Empires - Assyria and Sennacherib In History And Prophecy), the Babylonians (see Ancient Empires - Babylon) and the Persians (see Ancient Empires - Persia, Iran's Greatest Leader Was Pro-Zionist and Has Another Haman Arisen?), the Greeks (see Ancient Empires - Greece) under Alexander the Great ruled Jericho. After Alexander's early death, the Greek/Seleucids (see The Seleucids) of Syria held it until the Maccabees overthrew them in response to the original "abomination of desolation" (see Antiochus And The Maccabees and Christ's Hanukkah). Then followed the Greek/Ptolemies (see The Ptolemies) of Egypt who, in the time of Cleopatra (see The Cleopatra Connection), lost Jericho to the Romans (see Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire) who controlled it during the New Testament record era (see What Was Holy About Herod's Temple?, Annas And Caiaphas, Through The Eyes Of Josephus and The Temple Vessel Prophecies Today).
The Ottoman Empire (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) held Jericho, and much of north Africa and the Middle East, until the end of the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars) when the British took control under the UN Mandate (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration).
In more modern times, Jericho has been contested between "Israel" (which is today actually only the return of The Southern Kingdom of Judah; the "lost ten tribes," The Northern Kingdom of Israel, have not yet returned - see The Gathering of Israel and Judah; also Who Were The First Jews? and Are Levites 'Jews'?) and the "Palestinians" ("Palestine" is merely the English pronunciation/rendering of "Philistine").
"Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho"
Jericho is perhaps most-famous for having been taken by the Israelites when they first crossed the Jordan River, from the Israelite territory east of the Jordan, where Moses is buried, and where two and a half of the tribes were assigned their share of the Promised Land (see Beyond Jordan), to the land west of the Jordan. Jericho was situated directly in their path when they crossed the river.
Prior to the attack, Joshua sent scouts into Jericho. With the help of Rahab, the closing of the city gates for the night was not a problem.
"2:1 And Joshua the son of Nun [see also Joshua's Timnath] sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there.
The attack on Jericho came just after Passover - the LORD had delivered them out of Egypt at Passover, and then delivered them into the Promised Land at Passover (see Milk and Honey).
"5:10 And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho [see also The Firstborn Of Passover]. 5:11 And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day.
The gates of Jericho were then shut, day and night. The siege of Jericho would not last long however.
"6:1 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.
Joshua then declared a curse upon anyone who would rebuild the city.
"6:26 And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it." (Joshua 6:26 KJV)
Centuries later, in the time of Ahab and Jezebel (see Ahab Of Israel), "did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho." He chose to ignore the warning; the warning however chose not to ignore him: "he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun."
"16:31 And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. 16:32 And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. 16:33 And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.
Fact Finder: What did Jesus Christ say about the gate to the Promised Land?
This Day In History, November 17
284: Diocletian was proclaimed emperor of Rome (see Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire).
375: Valentinian, Emperor of the western Roman empire, died of apoplexy (a stroke) in Pannonia (a Roman province in central Europe; see Ancient Empires - Rome) after being enraged by the insolence of "barbarian" envoys who were defeating Rome's legions in the forests of Germany (see also Hermann) and refusing to bow before the defeated "divine" Caesar.
1278: 680 Jews were arrested (293 were hanged) in England for counterfeiting coins.
1539: Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto arrived at the location of what is today Mobile, Alabama.
1558: The coronation Queen Elizabeth I of England. She restored the Church of England, which had been established by King Henry VIII in 1534, after her half-sister Queen Mary (Mary Tudor) had turned England back under the control of the Church of Rome.
1636: Henrique Diaz, Brazilian general, won a decisive battle against Dutch colonial forces in Brazil.
1796: Napoleon defeated an Italian army near the Alpone River in Italy.
1855: Scottish explorer David Livingston discovered Victoria Falls in Africa.
1869: The modern Suez Canal opened after 10 years of construction.
1903: The Russian Socialist movement divided into two factions, the Bolsheviks who supported Vladimir Lenin, and the Mensheviks who followed Georgi Plekhanov. By the 1980s the socialist economic system had proven itself to be a dismal failure.
1913: The first ship crossed through the Panama Canal.
1917: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), British Field Marshal Edmund Allenby's troops entered the Jerusalem hills prior to the taking of the city (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration). That same day, German General von Falkenhayn left Jerusalem for Nablus, the Biblical Shechem, 40 miles to the north, while falsely assuring the Ottomans (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) that reinforcements would be sent.
1918: Influenza deaths in the U.S. were reported as higher than the number of U.S. troops killed in battle during the First World War (although the U.S. entered the First World War during only the last 18 months of the 4 year war that devastated Europe from 1914 to 1918; listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1954: General Gamal Abdel Nasser became Egyptian head of state following the fall of President Mohamed Naguib.
1966: The Great Leonid meteor storm was observed in western North America, estimated at 144,000 meteors per hour / 40 per second - the most intense meteor shower ever observed. The meteor storm lasted less than 1 hour and was caused when the earth passed through a dense patch of the Leonid meteor stream. Leonids enter the atmosphere at 162,000 m.p.h., the fastest of any shower meteors, and burn up at an altitude between 80 and 55 miles.
1967: The U.S. unmanned Surveyor 6 spacecraft became the first man-made vehicle to land and take off from the Moon (the Russians were the first to land an unmanned vehicle on the moon).
1973: During the Watergate break in investigation, Richard Nixon made his famous denial to the Associated Press, "people have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook." Nixon resigned the next year when he could no longer deny and impede his impeachment and criminal prosecution.
1997: Muslim terrorists disguised as police opened fire on tourists in Egypt, killing over 70 British, Swiss, German and Japanese people.