Joshua 6:26
Parallel Verses
New International Version
At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: "Cursed before the LORD is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: "At the cost of his firstborn son he will lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest he will set up its gates."

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
And Joshua swore at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before Jehovah who shall rise up and build this city Jericho! In his first-born shall he lay its foundation, and in his youngest son shall he set up its gates.

World English Bible
Joshua commanded them with an oath at that time, saying, "Cursed is the man before Yahweh, who rises up and builds this city Jericho. With the loss of his firstborn shall he lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son shall he set up its gates."

Young's Literal Translation
And Joshua adjureth them at that time, saying, 'Cursed is the man before Jehovah who raiseth up and hath built this city, even Jericho; in his first-born he doth lay its foundation, and in his youngest he doth set up its doors;'

Joshua 6:26 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

And Joshua adjured them at that time - It appears that he had received intimations from God that this idolatrous city should continue a monument of the Divine displeasure: and having convened the princes and elders of the people, he bound them by an oath that they should never rebuild it; and then, in their presence, pronounced a curse upon the person who should attempt it. The ruins of this city continuing would be a permanent proof, not only of God's displeasure against idolatry, but of the miracle which he had wrought in behalf of the Israelites; and for these reasons God willed that it should not be rebuilt: nevertheless, he left men to the operation of their own free will, and recorded the penalty which those must pay who should disobey him.

He shall lay the foundation thereof, etc. - This is a strange execration; but it may rather be considered in the light of a prediction. It seems to intimate that he who should attempt to rebuild this city, should lose all his children in the interim, from laying the foundation to the completion of the walls; which the author of 1 Kings 16:34 says was accomplished in Hiel the Beth-elite, who rebuilt Jericho under the reign of Ahab, and laid the foundation of it in Abiram, his first-born, and set up its gates in his youngest son Segub: this was 550 years after Joshua pronounced the curse. But we are not sure that this means that the children either died a natural or violent death on this occasion for we may understand the history as relating to the slow progress of the work. Hiel having begun the work at the birth of his first-born, was not able to conclude before the birth of his last child, who was born many years after: and as their names are mentioned, it is very likely that the distance of time between the birth of each was well known when this history was written; and that the extraordinary length of time spent in the work, in which a multitude of vexatious delays had taken place, is that to which the prophetic execration relates. Yet the first opinion is the most probable. We must not suppose that Jericho had been wholly neglected from its overthrow by Joshua to the days of Hiel; if it be the same with the city of palm trees, mentioned Deuteronomy 34:3. We find it mentioned as an inhabited place in the beginning of Judges 1:16, a short time after the death of Joshua: And the children of the Kenite, Moses' father-in-law, went up out of the city of palm trees, with the children of Judah, etc.; and this said city (if the same with the city of palm trees) was taken from the Israelites by Eglon king of Moab, Judges 3:13. The ambassadors of David, who were disgracefully treated by Hanun king of the Ammonites, were commanded to tarry at Jericho till their beards should grow, 2 Samuel 10:4, 2 Samuel 10:5. It appears, therefore, that there was a city which went under this name long before the time of Hiel, unless we can suppose that the city of palm trees was a different place from Jericho, or that the name Jericho was given to some part of the circumjacent country after the city was destroyed, which is very probable. After Hiel had rebuilt this city, it became of considerable consequence in the land of Judea: the courses of priests lodged there, who served in their turns at the temple; see Luke 10:30. There was a school of the prophets there, which was visited by Elijah and Elisha, 2 Kings 2:4, 2 Kings 2:5, 2 Kings 2:18; and it was at this city that our Lord miraculously healed blind Bartimeus, Mark 10:46; Luke 18:35, etc. At present, Jericho is almost entirely deserted, having but thirty or forty miserable cabins in it, which serve for a place of refuge to some wretched Moors and Arabs, who live there like beasts. The plain of Jericho, formerly so celebrated for its fertility, is at present uncultivated, producing nothing but a few wild trees, and some very indifferent fruits. See Calmet.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

adjured This is to be regarded as a prediction, that he who rebuilt the city should lose all his children in the interim between the laying of the foundation to the completion of the walls.

Numbers 5:19-21 And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say to the woman, If no man have lain with you...

1 Samuel 14:24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying...

1 Kings 22:16 And the king said to him, How many times shall I adjure you that you tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the LORD?

Matthew 26:63 But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said to him, I adjure you by the living God...

Acts 19:13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took on them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the LORD Jesus, saying...


1 Kings 16:34 In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn...

Malachi 1:4 Whereas Edom said, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus said the LORD of hosts, They shall build...

'And Joanna paved Rahab the harlot alive... and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day.'--JOSHUA vi. 25. This story comes in like an oasis in these terrible narratives of Canaanite extermination. There is much about it that is beautiful and striking, but the main thing is that it teaches the universality of God's mercy, and the great truth that trust in Him unites to Him and brings deliverance, how black soever may have been the previous life. I need not tell over again the story, told with such
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Jericho Itself.
We read, that this city was not only wasted by Joshua with fire and sword, but cursed also. "Cursed be he before the Lord, who shall rise up and build that city Jericho," Joshua 6:26. "Nor was another city to be built (says the Talmudists), which was to be called by the name of Jericho: nor was Jericho itself to be built, although to be called by another name." And yet I know not by what chance this city crept out of dust and rubbish, lived again, and flourished, and became the second city to Jerusalem.
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Cross References
Numbers 5:21
here the priest is to put the woman under this curse--"may the LORD cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell.

1 Samuel 14:24
Now the Israelites were in distress that day, because Saul had bound the people under an oath, saying, "Cursed be anyone who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!" So none of the troops tasted food.

1 Kings 16:34
In Ahab's time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the LORD spoken by Joshua son of Nun.

2 Kings 2:4
Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here, Elisha; the LORD has sent me to Jericho." And he replied, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So they went to Jericho.

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