Israel Enters the Promised Land

Joshua 2-8

After Moses died, Joshua became the leader of the Israelites, and he led them to the Jordan River to prepare to enter the Promised Land. Priests carried the ark of the covenant before the Israelites, and as soon as their feet touched the water, which was in the midst of seasonal flooding, the waters were blocked upstream at Adam, and the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land on dry ground. The Israelites collected twelve stones from the middle of the river and set them up at their camp in Gilgal as a memorial of the event. While they were at Gilgal, all the Israelite males were circumcised, and the people celebrated the Passover. From that time on, manna no longer appeared from heaven for them. Nearby, the ancient, well fortified city of Jericho stood guard over the entrance to the rest of Canaan. After marching around the city each day for seven days, the Israelites watched its walls fall flat, and then they were able to capture the city. The family of Rahab the prostitute was spared from death because she had hidden two Israelite spies who were scouting out the city before the attack. Soon after this, the Israelites suffered defeat while trying to capture the small town of Ai, and the Lord revealed that it was because a man named Achan had taken some of the devoted items from Jericho. So Joshua took Achan and his family to the Valley of Achor and executed them there. Later the Israelites were able to capture Ai. Joshua then renewed the covenant at Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. He built an altar there, and half the Israelite tribes stood in front of Mount Gerizim and shouted the blessings of obedience to the covenant while the other half stood in front of Mount Ebal and shouted the curses for disobedience (see also Deuteronomy 11:26-32).

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