June 2, 2012

Miracles and Jericho

Many evangelical biblical scholars recognize the three main periods of miraculous events in the biblical narrative - 1.) The Exodus/Conquest (Exodus-Joshua); 2.) The Ministries of Elijah/Elisha (1-2 Kings ca. 870-800 BCE); 3.) The Ministry of Jesus/Early Church (Gospels-Acts ca. 30-70 CE). Of course there are other supernatural events in Scripture that fall outside of these three specific periods - most of those are acts of divine power without a clear "sign" (e.g. Uzzah and the Ark ca. 980 BCE, Jonathan/Armor-bearer wiping out the Philistine Garrison @ Michmash ca. 1030 BCE, etc.).

Interestingly - Jericho is the only city specifically cited as being the location of a miracle in all three "miracle" periods.

  • Exodus/Conquest - The miraculous destruction of Jericho's walls  (Joshua 5-6)
  • The Ministries of Elijah/Elisha - Elijah taken to heaven; Elisha turning poison water into sweet water (2 Kings 2); and Elisha making an axe-head float near the Jordan (2 Kings 6 - probably near Jericho "sons of the prophets")
  • The Ministry of Jesus - Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus (and associate - see Matt. 20:30) (Mark 10:46-52)

While this is not earth-shattering news it does clearly show that Jericho was a prominent fixture on an important east-west route for over 1500 years of redemptive history. 

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