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“No Means No”

What is the “accursed thing” in Jericho that God told Joshua about in Josh 6:18?


Dear Curious,

The accursed thing was the spoils of war that typically would have been plundered after looting Jericho, but in this case, they were to be burned or devoted to the Lord.  God was very specific that the Israelites were not supposed to keep any of Jericho’s valuables for themselves and that the entire city’s goods were devoted to the Lord (Josh 6:17).  The accursed thing (some versions say “the devoted thing”) in Josh 6:18 refers to the commandment to not keep any of the goods for themselves.  In Josh 7:1, we see that Achan disobeyed that command, and when it was found out, he was stoned for his disobedience (Josh 7:24-26).