place of fragrance, a fenced city in the midst of a vast grove of palm trees, in the plain of Jordan, over against the place where that river was crossed by the Israelites (Josh. 3:16). Its site was near the 'Ain es-Sultan, Elisha's Fountain (2 Kings 2:19-22), about 5 miles west of Jordan. It was the most important city in the Jordan valley (Num. 22:1; 34:15), and the strongest fortress in all the land of Canaan. It was the key to Western Palestine. This city was taken in a very remarkable manner by the Israelites (Josh. 6). God gave it into their hands. The city was "accursed" (Heb. herem, "devoted" to Jehovah), and accordingly (Josh. 6:17; comp. Lev. 27:28, 29; Deut. 13:16) all the inhabitants and all the spoil of the city were to be destroyed, "only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron" were reserved and "put into the treasury of the house of Jehovah" (Josh. 6:24; comp. Num. 31:22, 23, 50-54). Only Rahab "and her father's household, and all that she had," were preserved from destruction, according to the promise of the spies (Josh. 2:14). In one of the Amarna tablets Adoni-zedec (q.v.) writes to the king of Egypt informing him that the 'Abiri (Hebrews) had prevailed, and had taken the fortress of Jericho, and were plundering "all the king's lands." It would seem that the Egyptian troops had before this been withdrawn from Palestine. This city was given to the tribe of Benjamin (Josh. 18:21), and it was inhabited in the time of the Judges (Judg. 3:13; 2 Sam. 10:5). It is not again mentioned till the time of David (2 Sam. 10:5). "Children of Jericho" were among the captives who returned under Zerubbabel Ezra 2:34; Neh. 7:36). Hiel (q.v.) the Bethelite attempted to make it once more a fortified city (1 Kings 16:34). Between the beginning and the end of his undertaking all his children were cut off. In New Testament times Jericho stood some distance to the south-east of the ancient one, and near the opening of the valley of Achor. It was a rich and flourishing town, having a considerable trade, and celebrated for the palm trees which adorned the plain around. It was visited by our Lord on his last journey to Jerusalem. Here he gave sight to two blind men (Matt. 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52), and brought salvation to the house of Zacchaeus the publican (Luke 19:2-10). The poor hamlet of er-Riha, the representative of modern Jericho, is situated some two miles farther to the east. It is in a ruinous condition, having been destroyed by the Turks in 1840. "The soil of the plain," about the middle of which the ancient city stood, "is unsurpassed in fertility; there is abundance of water for irrigation, and many of the old aqueducts are almost perfect; yet nearly the whole plain is waste and desolate...The climate of Jericho is exceedingly hot and unhealthy. This is accounted for by the depression of the plain, which is about 1,200 feet below the level of the sea." There were three different Jerichos, on three different sites, the Jericho of Joshua, the Jericho of Herod, and the Jericho of the Crusades. Er-Riha, the modern Jericho, dates from the time of the Crusades. Dr. Bliss has found in a hollow scooped out for some purpose or other near the foot of the biggest mound above the Sultan's Spring specimens of Amorite or pre-Israelitish pottery precisely identical with what he had discovered on the site of ancient Lachish. He also traced in this place for a short distance a mud brick wall in situ, which he supposes to be the very wall that fell before the trumpets of Joshua. The wall is not far from the foot of the great precipice of Quarantania and its numerous caverns, and the spies of Joshua could easily have fled from the city and been speedily hidden in these fastnesses.
(place of fragrance), a city of high antiquity, situated in a plain traversed by the Jordan, and exactly over against where that river was crossed by the Israelites under Joshua. (Joshua 3:16) It was five miles west of the Jordan and seven miles northwest of the Dead Sea. It had a king. Its walls were so considerable that houses were built upon them. ch. (Joshua 2:15) The spoil that was found in it betokened its affluence. Jericho is first mentioned as the city to which the two spies were sent by Joshua from Shittim. (Joshua 2:1-21) It was bestowed by him upon the tribe of Benjamin, ch. (Joshua 18:21) and from this time a long interval elapses before Jericho appears again upon the scene. Its second foundation under Hiel the Bethelite is recorded in (1 Kings 16:34) Once rebuilt, Jericho rose again slowly into consequence. In its immediate vicinity the sons of the prophets sought retirement from the world; Elisha "healed the spring of the waters;" and over against it, beyond Jordan, Elijah "went up by a whirlwind into heaven." (2 Kings 2:1-22) In its plains Zedekiah fell into the hands of the Chaldeans. (2 Kings 25:5; Jeremiah 39:5) In the return under Zerubbabel the "children of Jericho," 345 in number, are comprised. (Ezra 2:34; Nehemiah 7:36) Under Herod the Great it again became an important place. He fortified it and built a number of new palaces, which he named after his friends. If he did not make Jericho his habitual residence, he at last retired thither to die, and it was in the amphitheater of Jericho that the news of his death was announced to the assembled soldiers and people by Salome. Soon afterward the palace was burnt and the town plundered by one Simon, slave to Herod; but Archelaus rebuilt the former sumptuously, and founded a new town on the plain, that bore his own name; and, most important of all, diverted water from a village called Neaera to irrigate the plain which he had planted with palms. Thus Jericho was once more "a city of palms" when our Lord visited it. Here he restored sight to the blind. (Matthew 20:30; Mark 10:46; Luke 18:35) Here the descendant of Rahab did not disdain the hospitality of Zaccaeus the publican. Finally, between Jerusalem and Jericho was laid the scene of his story of the good Samaritan. The city was destroyed by Vespasian. The site of ancient (the first) Jericho is placed by Dr. Robinson in the immediate neighborhood of the fountain of Elisha; and that of the second (the city of the New Testament and of Josephus) at the opening of the Wady Kelt (Cherith), half an hour from the fountain. (The village identified with jericho lies a mile and a half from the ancient site, and is called Riha . It contains probably 200 inhabitants, indolent and licentious and about 40 houses. Dr. Olin says it is the "meanest and foulest village of Palestine;" yet the soil of the plain is of unsurpassed fertility.-ED.)
Smith's Bible Dictionary (1884) , by William Smith.
his moon; his month; his sweet smell
Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary (1869) , by Roswell D. Hitchcock. About