Today I’m going to talk about one of the most famous stories in the Bible. Kids and adults alike love this story! Why? Because a gigantic wall comes tumbling down! It isn’t taken down by a battering ram, boulders, bombs or man power. It’s taken down by God himself. Circles, trumpets and shouts were part of this amazing feat, but God engineered it all.
Most people see this story as one of great victory for the invading army of God’s people- the Israelites. And it is!!!! This story shows the victory God bestowed on his people as they claimed their first piece of the Promised Land. They had finally left the years of wandering in the desert. They crossed the Jordan River into the land God promised them- a land flowing with milk and honey. The unfaithful generation had died off and now it was time for the new generation to step into God’s plan for their lives.
I have read this story many, many times. But, a few years ago I started to see something quite amazing within the story. At first glance I thought it was mainly about warfare, claiming/securing land ,and victory over the pagan nation of Jericho. It was also about entering the Promised Land of course.
One day I was researching the story of Jericho and I found out something interesting. In the story, Joshua leads the Israelites into battle and gives instructions for what to do. (These instructions are given to him by God. ) But, Joshua is actually another name for Jesus. Yeshua is Jesus’ Hebrew name, but the English spelling of this is Joshua. The Greek name for Jesus is Iesous and the English rendering of that name is Jesus. No matter what language you use to say Jesus’ name, however, it means SALVATION. He lived up to his name by saving us from our sins!
The next thing that interested me is the fact that trumpets and a shout were used to take the wall down. For the past few years I have been studying the Feast of Trumpets, as well as other Feasts of the Lord. The Feast of Trumpets is celebrated once a year on Tishrei 1 on the Hebrew calendar. That would occur in Sept. or Oct. on the Gregorian calendar. On this feast, the trumpet (shofar) is sounded 100 times. 99 blasts are played on the trumpet, which is actually a ram’s horn (shofar). The blasts are played in groups of 3 and 9, with the last blast being set apart. This 100th blast is called the LAST TRUMP.
Some biblical scholars have tied the Feast of Trumpets to the possible rapture of the church someday in the future. Keep in mind this feast occurs every single year so even if scholars think it could occur on this feast, they wouldn’t know the year, day or hour.
“In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:52
This verse is associated with the rapture of the church. Christ returns in the blink of an eye and pulls his Bride off the earth, taking them to heaven. Keep this verse in mind as you read further.
Going back to the trumpets at Jericho, let’s look at some verses to give us context about the trumpets…………..
“March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of ram’s horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them SOUND A LONG BLAST ON THE TRUMPETS, have the whole army GIVE A LOUD SHOUT; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”
If you read the verses from Joshua 6, you can clearly see there was a long blast blown on the trumpets. It is the last blast they play, and it is a long one, so it is likely the last trump. In Hebrew this would be called the Tekiah Gedolah. In Strong’s concordance this blast is described as being drawn out, or prolonged.
So far, we can see some interesting things, but there’s more. If we go back to Joshua, chapter 2, we are introduced to RAHAB. We find out in chapter 2 that Rahab did something quite amazing. Even though Rahab is a prostitute and citizen of Jericho, she hides the two spies sent by Joshua to scope out the land. The King of Jericho caught wind of the plan. He immediately sends officials to ask Rahab to bring out the men who came to her house. Rahab, however, does not turn the spies over. Instead, she hides them on the roof of her house under some stalks of flax. She admits to the King’s men that she saw the spies, but says she didn’t know where they came from. Next she says, “At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.” All the while, the spies have been safely hidden on her roof.
The plan works and the King’s men set out to find the spies on the road outside the city gate. When the coast is clear, Rahab goes to the roof to speak with the spies. She is bold and says, “I know the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you………. Now then swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness go you. Give me a sure sign that you will SPARE THE LIVES of my family…. and that you will save us from death.”
Rahab is saying she wants the Israelites to remember her family when they invade and destroy the city! She wants her life, along with her family members, spared.
The men agree and even say, “Our lives for your lives.” The men also remind her that she cannot tell anyone in Jericho about what they are up to. She agrees. Rahab gives the spies instructions on where to hide and how to escape their pursuers. She lets them down by a rope hanging in her window.
The spies give Rahab some last instructions before they leave her home. They tell her she must tie a SCARLET CORD to the window of her home- the same window she let them escape from. They also tell her she must bring her entire family into the home. They must stay inside while the fighting and destruction is going on outside. Rahab agrees to these terms and the spies depart. When they returned to Joshua (at camp), they shared all that had happened.
We see here that Rahab and her family are going to be spared death for helping the spies. Her helping the spies is no small task as she could be killed, along with her family, for helping the spies. In order to be spared, Rahab must hang a scarlet cord from her window. SCARLET CORD=ESCAPE FROM DEATH AND DESTRUCTION.
When Joshua and his army get to Jericho and the wall comes down supernaturally, the oath to Rahab is not forgotten. Here is what Joshua said: “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your OATH to her.” And that’s what happens. Rahab and her entire family are brought out safely and put in a place outside the camp of Israel.
What happens next? The entire city and everything in it is burned, except for the silver, gold, bronze and iron. Yet, Rahab and her family are spared and the story says, “and she lives among the Israelites to this day.” Not only was she spared, but she was brought into the family of Israel. We now see a Gentile (non Jew) entering a family of Jews.
When I read about Rahab and her family, I see some fascinating connections. Firstly, Rahab was not Jewish. She would be considered a pagan, especially since the people of Jericho worshiped a moon God. Jericho actually means city of the moon. She was a foreigner. But, she is accepted into the Israelite family. She also is a prostitute, which would be considered quite a sinful profession. The scarlet cord was the sign that would remind the Israelites she and her family would be spared. Regardless of her status as a foreigner/prostitute/pagan, she would be spared the wrath and destruction that would befall her city.
In this story I see an allegory of the Rapture. One day, the Bride of Christ will be snatched away in the blink of an eye. Christ will return quickly and grab his Bride, taking her to the hidden, safe place in heaven. This will jump start the Tribulation here on Earth. The Bride will go to the wedding ceremony in heaven, while the Earth is judged for sin and rejection of God. Just as Jericho was judged, so too will the Earth and those who rejected Christ be judged.
In the story of Jericho, we see Rahab being spared. She isn’t the likely candidate. But, she does have something- she has the scarlet cord. As Christians (the Bride) we also have that scarlet cord. We have the scarlet blood of Christ as our seal- the wedding ring that ties us to our Groom, Jesus. Like Rahab, we don’t deserve this amazing gift, but if we receive Christ, his oath to us is that we will be spared eternal death and destruction. Before we knew Christ we were foreigners, but through his scarlet blood, we are saved. But, like Rahab, we must pledge our loyalty to him. Rahab was faithful in that she helped the spies and did not reveal their plans to the King. She was loyal to the spies and grace was bestowed on her.
By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. Hebrews 11:31
In the ancient Jewish wedding, the Groom would signal the Bride he was on his way by a shout and the sound of the trumpet. At the Rapture, Jesus will also signal his Bride with a shout and the blast of the trumpet. At Jericho, the last trumpet blast and shout signaled victory! A gigantic wall collapsed, allowing the Israelites to secure this victory. When Christ returns, you can bet a giant wall will fall down! It will be the wall between heaven and earth. His Bride will go straight up to heaven and boy will that be a victory!
The story of Jericho occurred near the time of the Passover, as seen in this verse below.
“On the evening of the fourtheeth day of the month, while camped at Gigal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover.” Joshua 5:10 The Israelites also celebrated the Feast of First Fruits in the land they had just entered. “…..they ate some produce of the land, unleavened bread and roasted grain.” (Joshua 5: 11) This was done after they crossed the Jordan River, which was supernaturally parted for them.
Fast forward and many, many years later and we see that Jesus fulfills the Feast of Passover by becoming the Passover lamb on the exact day of the feast. He also rose from the dead on the Feast of First Fruits, becoming the first fruit out of the ground. These feasts had been celebrated for over 1500 years and then Christ fulfilled them on the exact date of the feast. The fact that the Israelites celebrated these feasts before they went in and secured their first piece of the Promised Land reminds us that Jesus will also bring us to the Promised Land. Like Joshua, which is also translated as Yeshua, or Jesus, Christ will snatch us from the Earth and take us to the land we have been given as an inheritance. He will also come back to Earth and redeem the land, ushering in the Millennial Kingdom.
The destruction at Jericho was extensive and devastating. The tribulation will be just as destructive to the Earth. Luckily, it will last only 7 years. In the meantime, the Bride will be in heaven for 7 years. In the ancient Jewish wedding, the timing of the Bride being hidden in the secret marriage chamber was 7 days. But, in biblical timing we often see one day translated as one year- thus 7 days equals 7 years. This can be seen in the book of Daniel. This is one interpretation. Some scholars believe the Rapture will occur in the middle, or even at the end of the Tribulation. I personally think it will be a pre-tribulation rapture. But, the timing is obviously up to God!
I always think of Corrie ten Boom’s book The Hiding Place when I picture the rapture. Corrie saved hundreds of Jewish people by hiding them in the wall of her home. She hid the Jews from the Nazis. By hiding these Jewish people, she was sparing them the tribulation of the horrific war. She was sparing them heartache and death. The Nazis were unable to find one single person that was hidden in the secret wall in her home.
Rahab knew about walls. Why? Because she lived in one! Her home was actually within a wall ! Though all the other homes around her were destroyed, hers was spared. When the attack came, she was given a hidden place among the Israelites. She was rescued from her burning city and brought to live among the Israelites. In fact, did you know that Rahab married a Jewish man named Salmon, who was one of the spies she saved! They eventually have a son, Boaz, who grows up to become a righteous and godly man. Boaz is the kinsman redeemer we read about in the book of Ruth. Boaz and Ruth later have a son named Obed. Later, Obed becomes the father of Jesse. And of course, Jesse becomes the father of King David. Jesus himself is descended from the line of King David. So, you see, the prostitute who lived in the wall, became part of the line of Jesus Christ.
Like Rahab, we were all sinners, but Jesus brought the wall down. He tore the veil and now we have full access to the Savior. I love this verse from Ephesians 2:14, which describes what Jesus did: “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” This particular verse is saying Jesus brought the wall down between the Jews and the Gentiles. Before he came, there was a separation between the two. But Christ’s death allowed both Jews and “foreigners” to come into the family of God. Like Rahab, the foreigner now had a place in God’s camp.
Corrie ten Boom loved Psalm 91 because it spoke of our shelter and hiding place with God. Psalm 91 says, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, rests in the shadow of the Almighty………I will not fear the arrow that flies by day, or the terror that stalks at night…..no disaster will befall me, no plague will come near my dwelling….. you will deliver me and rescue me, and with long life satisfy me and show me your salvation.”
I know a lot of Christians worry about the Tribulation. If you read the book of Revelation, it’s enough to scare you to death. But, I really believe this wrath is not reserved for the Bride. I believe we will be taken to the secret place of the Most High. Like Rahab, we will not see the destruction of the Tribulation. That is my hope.
I am not dogmatic about this. I am interpreting this based on scripture, the opinions of biblical scholars, and by looking at biblical allegories. I also have studied the Feasts of the Lord and this would seem to fit the pattern of those feasts, as well as the pattern of the Jewish wedding. But in the end, it’s not up to me or anyone else. God is in charge. I could never claim to have his plan figured out. But, looking at hints makes me hopeful, and I know that either way I’m going to be ok. Jesus, at some point, will either come to get me, or I’ll go home to be with him. I’m ok with either one. Though, I have to admit, it would be pretty cool to escape death!!!! Nevertheless, until then, I’m going to keep that scarlet cord hanging from my window.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, NIV version