Jericho (Palestine)

Jericho is an ancient city located in the West Bank , near the Jordan River , in Palestine . The archaeological findings of this Canaanite city demonstrate that it was built more than ten thousand years ago. Its original inhabitants were the Canaanites .

In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the city is known as the place where the Israelites returned from slavery in Egypt, led by Joshua, the successor of Moses.

  • in Arabic أريحا Ariha;
  • in Hebrew יְרִיחוֹ Yerihó (pronounced [ierijó]).


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  • 1 Geographical situation
  • 2 Mentions in the Bible
  • 3 Curiosities
  • 4 Archeology
  • 5 See also
  • 6 Sources

Geographic situation

Jericho is mentioned in the biblical texts and located at the bottom of the slope that leads to the mountainous plateau of Judah , about 8 km from the northern coast of the dry basin of the Dead Sea , almost 240 m below the level of the Mediterranean sea and approximately 27 km from Jerusalem . It was an important city in the Jordan Valley (according to Deuteronomy  34: 1, 3), on the west bank of the river.

Mentions in the Bible

At one time, the city was known as “the city of palm trees” ( Deuteronomy 34: 3; Judge 3:13); the first mention in the Scriptures occurs in relation to the camp of the Israelites in Sitim ( Book of Numbers  22: 1 and 26: 3), around 1400 a. n. and.

The only way for the Israelites to advance into the interior of Canaan was by taking the city. Joshua sent two spies to recognize the city. The people crossed the Jordan River , and they planted the tents in front of the city. By order of the leader Josué – heir to Moses , who also claimed that he had the power to communicate with the god Yajvéj -, each day the men went around the city, once a day, for six consecutive days. In the midst of the soldiers, the priests carried the Ark of the Covenant, preceded by seven priests honking their horns. On the seventh day they circled the city seven times; At the end of lap seven, as the prolonged honking of the horns echoed, the men knocked down the adobe walls and entered the city, killing all men, women, and children. Except for a certain Rajab, who betrayed his compatriots, giving shelter to the spies and indicating them where to cross the adobe wall. The gold , the silver , precious objects, entered the treasury of Joshua , who said that they were actually for God Yajvéj . Joshua launched a curse – which his compatriots believed infallible – against whoever rebuilt the city.

A few years later the village was rebuilt. It was assigned to Benjamin; it was in the limits of Benjamin and Ephraim .

Eglon, king of Moab , made it his residence at the time when he oppressed the Israelites.

During Ahab’s reign , Hiel of Bethel fortified the city; in the course of this fortification he lost, or sacrificed, his two sons, in fulfillment of Joshua’s curse.

During the time of the prophet Elisha – a disciple of the prophet Elijah – there was a community of prophets in Jericho. Elisha passed the old prophet Elijah through Jericho and took him to the Jordan River (near Jericho), and returned alone, saying that Elijah had been taken up to heaven by a chariot of fire: as proof he showed Elijah’s bloody clothes.

In Jericho, the men of Judah who had been taken prisoner by the army of Peka , king of Israel, were released . The Chaldeans seized Zedekiahnear Jericho. After the return from exile, some of its inhabitants helped build the walls of Jerusalem. Bacchides, a Syrian general, built the walls of Jericho at the time of the Maccabees. At the beginning of Herod’s reign the Romans plundered Jericho. Later Herod embellished it by building a palace and, on the hill behind the city, he built a citadel that he called Cipro. The parable of the Good Samaritan is situated on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. The healing of blind Bartimaeus and his companion took place on the road to Jericho; Zacchaeus, whom Jesus called to stay in his house and give him salvation, lived in Jericho.


Jericho is almost 240 m away. below the level of the Mediterranean Sea, in a tropical climate, where the balsameras, the henna, the sycamores grew. Jericho roses were considered extraordinarily beautiful. Ancient Jericho rose very close to the abundant waters now called ‘Ain es-Sultãn; This is undoubtedly the source that Elisha healed. Modern Jericho, in Arabic “Er-Riha”, is 1.5 km southeast of the source.



Ernst Selin and the Deutsche Orientgesellschaft society (1907-1909) began excavations there on the mound called Tell es-Sultan. They were continued very extensively by John Garstang (1930-1936); in 1952 they were resumed by Kathleen Kenyon and by the schools of archeology in England and the USA. UU . It was Garstang who discovered the evidence for the fallen walls, and this evidence was photographed by him and by subsequent investigators. The walls had fallen from the inside out. Its foundations had not been mined, but must have been collapsed by a powerful earthquake. There was also evidence of a violent city fire. The review ofMiss Kathleen Kenyon of this identification based on the pottery associated with the chronology of Egypt does not take into account the necessary revision of the chronological structure of the history of Egypt . On the basis of Velikovsky and Courville’s review , the destruction of Jericho agrees perfectly with all the physical details of the destruction and with the archaeological remains, and there is no objection to the identification made by Garstang in 1930-1936, nor to the date from 1400 BCThe remains corresponding to the conquest corresponded to a double brick wall, with an outer wall of 2 m. thick, an empty space of about 4.5 m. and an interior wall of 4 m. These walls were 9 m back then. Tall. The very small city was then so overcrowded that houses had been built at the top of the wall, above the empty space between the two walls (cf. Rahab’s house, Jos. 2:15). The outer wall sank outward, and the second wall, with its buildings on top, sank into the empty space. Thus, archeology gives us, in fact, a totally harmonious evidence with the account of the Scriptures.


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